Mass Effect 2

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Achievement/Trophy Guide


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<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<   MASS EFFECT 2   >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<   Achievement Guide   >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Author: Ber'Zophus
E-mail: berzophus, at, sympatico.ca
Version: 1.01

History:
1.10 (Feb 12, 2010)
- Added a lot of information about the Insanity achievement...almost a whole
  mini-walkthrough. Also some more minor clarifications and corrections, and
  added all the info I've received so far on No One Left Behind (thanks again
  to everyone who e-mailed me about this. Sorry if I didn't respond; there were
  a lot of e-mails!)

1.01 (Feb 7, 2010)
- Minor updates, clarifications, and corrections. Thanks to everyone for
  e-mailing me.

1.01 (Feb 4, 2010)
- Initial Release
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

This is a guide on getting any one, or all, achievements in Mass Effect 2. The
guide is kept as spoiler-free as possible. Of course, the very nature of this
guide may be considered "spoilers" to people who don't want to have anything
spoiled, but at least know I won't ruin any plot points wherever possible.

Mass Effect 1 was pretty easy to get 100%, but time consuming. Thankfully,
Bioware has made this one even easier to achieve 100%. The grind-style
achievements (like killing 150 enemies with pistol & sniper rifle, using 150
techs) are either gone, or have greatly reduced requirements. Most achievements
will come through a natural progression of the game with little difficulty.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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[#0] FAQ - Mass Effect 2 Achievements

[#1] Story-Progression Achievements [Can't be missed] (240 G)
[#2] Story-Based Achievements [CAN be missed] (150 G)
[#3] Party-Recruitment Achievements (80 G)
[#4] Party-Loyalty Achievements (100 G, +15 DLC)
[#5] Combat-Based Achievements (100 G)
[#6] Completion-Style Achievements (330 G)

[#A] In Closing

===============================================================================
[#0] FAQ - Mass Effect 2 Achievements
===============================================================================

This section is just to provide answers on questions you may have about the
achievements, and advice as you start the game.

- First off, all achievements but one can be obtained on the easiest
difficulty, Casual. The only other one requires you to play through on the
hardest difficulty, Insanity.

I highly, highly recommend you play through the game once on Casual to get the
feeling of the new combat system. Trust me, it is very, very different from
Mass Effect 1. Standing your ground against enemies just blindly shooting will
get you killed even on Casual...yet that's just about all you do in Mass Effect
1. Weapons now have an ammo restriction, and the ammo in the game is rather
limited, so your powers and squadmates are much more important this time
around. But you can make an entire FAQ on the differences between ME1 and ME2.
Just know it's different and you're probably in for a world of hurt if you
try Insanity right from the start.

- Unfortunately, the rewards for getting achievements (like bonus damage or
money that you got for achievements in ME1) are not as great this time around.
Most give you nothing, and all of them only matter on a new playthrough. But
they're still good perks.
(Thanks to Maniacpoodle and Jonathon for reminding me of a couple ones I
missed). 

Finishing the game (the "Mission Accomplished achievement") will give you a
25% bonus to all experience obtained in future playthroughs. And getting
Long-Service Medal, which is finishing the game twice or once with an imported
ME1 character, will give you a starting bonus: an extra 200,000 credits, plus
50,000 units of each of the 4 research minerals.

As well, for each individual loyalty achievement you get, you can choose to
get their Advanced Training power right at the very start of the game. ie,
if you did Jacob's loyalty mission, you can start your next playthrough with
Barrier unlocked.

Hence, there's three very good reasons you should do your Insanity playthrough
after a Casual run.

- This time around, the combat tech-based achievements can be obtained even if
you're not a tech/biotic. In ME1, you need to be a Tech to get the Tech-based
achievements. However, this time around, you need not be. I'll explain this
in the Combat-Based Achievements section. Just keep that in mind when you go to
build your character: you don't have to keep Achievements in mind, as any class
of character can get all the achievements. Play who you want.

- Importing your ME1 character vs. starting a new character have no affect to
any achievement except one: Long Service Medal. This achievement is rewarded
playing through the game twice with a new character, or once with an imported
ME1 character.

Nevertheless, you should really import your ME1 character. You get perks that
are useful but not overpowering (like starting at a slightly higher level, and
getting some credits and research minerals right from the start), and you'll
catch the tons and tons of ME1 references thrown throughout the game. But fear
not if you haven't played ME1, as it will otherwise not affect your achievement
hunting.

- The achievements that have a counter, like warping X barriers, or getting X
headshots, are saved separate from your save file. Hence, any progress counts
to them even if you reload and do the same section over and over again. This is
a good way to get any of the Combat-based achievements, like Warp Specialist.


===============================================================================
[#1] Story-Progression Achievements [Can't be missed]
     240 G
===============================================================================
These achievements revolve around completion of the story and cannot be missed.
There are other achievements in the game (certain party-recruitment ones, for
example) that also cannot be missed, but they are discussed in their own
section of this guide.

-----------------------------------------------
Missing in Action                           5 G
"Save your crew from an overwhelming attack."
-----------------------------------------------
You will get this after you complete the introduction.

-----------------------------------------------
Very Elusive                               10 G
"Return to active duty."
-----------------------------------------------
This is rewarded very shortly after the first one, after you're given your
first mission.

-----------------------------------------------
Colony Defense                             25 G
"Defend a human colony from attack."
-----------------------------------------------
You will obtain this after completing the main mission on Horizon.

-----------------------------------------------
Ghost Ship                                 25 G
"Complete the investigation of a derelict alien vessel."
-----------------------------------------------
This is actually a main-quest mission the Illusive Man will give you later in
the game, and it's just as it says: investigating a derelict ship. Complete it
for the achievement.

-----------------------------------------------
Suicide Mission                            50 G
"Use the Omega 4 Relay."
-----------------------------------------------
This is the, rather obviously, point-of-no-return mission (The game will make
that clear to you). You are awarded this achievement literally the moment you
use the Omega 4 relay, before the mission even really starts.

-----------------------------------------------
Mission Accomplished                      125 G
"Save humanity throughout the galaxy from certain annihilation."
-----------------------------------------------
This is rewarded after completion of the suicide mission, the last in the game.
Take note, when you have this achievement, you'll earn 25% additional
experience whenever you'd get XP on your future playthroughs.


===============================================================================
[#2] Story-Based Achievements [CAN be missed]
     150 G
===============================================================================
These achievements revolve directly around the story, but are the ones that CAN
be missed. You only have one shot on each playthrough. Fortunately, they are
not at all difficult.

-----------------------------------------------
Big Game Hunter                            10 G
"Thresher Maw defeated"
-----------------------------------------------
*Sorta Spoilers ahead*

This will occur on the loyalty mission for Grunt. You will face off against a
Thresher Maw. Remember, those giant land worms from ME1 you fought in the Mako?
Well, you're on foot for this one. For the loyalty mission, you need only
survive for 5 minutes (a clock will be onscreen). But to get the achievement,
you must kill the Thresher Maw within those 5 minutes. Fortunately, on Casual,
this is still very easy. (And still easy even on Insanity).

The Thresher Maw is only armored. Hence, be ready with anti-armor techs, like
Incinerate, Incendiary Ammo, and Warp. It's easy to see its attacks coming;
just stay in cover. And for a super-easy win, just use the Cain "Nuke
Launcher". A single hit will wipe out over half its health. And if you don't
have that, the Particle Beam is another heavy weapon that can easily mop the
floor with the Thresher Maw. Seriously, what else would you save your heavy
ammo for? Why not go all out?

-----------------------------------------------
Paramour                                   50 G
"Successfully pursue a relationship with a teammate"
-----------------------------------------------
Yeah, maybe this isn't "Story-Based" per-se, but really, if you've played Mass
Effect, you know the characters are the story. And you do have to put effort
at this one throughout the whole game or you will miss it.

Still, this is not at all difficult to get. Simply talk to your teammates. With
each of them you'll be given the conversation option to just chat with them.
They'll have something new to say every 1 or 2 missions (not assignments), and
otherwise will simply tell you they're busy and to come back later. So try to
be diligent to check on them, especially after you finish a major mission.

Obviously, do their Loyalty mission as you likely will otherwise stand zero
chance. And clearly don't treat them like garbage and you'll do fine. You'll
pretty much always be choosing paragon options, yeah even in the case of Jack.
But note, not always; sometimes the Paragon path WILL kill your chances, and
other times Renegade is actually the good thing to pick, but it's easy to tell
when.

If you're just going for the achievement and don't care who you bed, chances
are if you tried even a little to be on people's good side you'll have your
pick of 4 people to choose from when the time is right.

You'll get the scene, and achievement, once you decide to enter the Omega 4
Relay. Also note, since you can continue to play after you've finished the
main quest, you can also get it then, too. Just complete an assignment or
quest and try talking to them again. So long as you've been working at the
relationship you should still get it.

-----------------------------------------------
No One Left Behind                         75 G
"Keep your team alive through the suicide mission"
-----------------------------------------------

*** SPOILERS ARE AHEAD. They will not ruin the story, but the very nature of
this achievement is a spoiler if you want to know how to keep everyone alive.

On the suicide mission, your whole team will be participating in a light sorta
way, and you'll need to make some choices. Choosing inappropriate people will
get them killed on the mission, for good (and clearly blow the achievement).

This is a rough one, as people are slowly, through experimentation, determining
what works and what doesn't. Unfortunately, through all I've read there is
still no consensus on a couple points. People are following what is written
and having random people die, and I'm yet to figure out why.

For reference, I've completed two playthroughts now, on Casual and Insanity. On
each I played polar opposites; paragon and renegade, choosing completely
different outcomes literally whenever possible. Both times I had no problems
with my choices.

Thanks to everyone for e-mailing me their notes, as it helps get closer to a
conclusive guide. All I can confirm for sure is what I've done to get the
achievement and relay what I've heard.

- First off, before you even enter the Omega 4 Relay, be absolutely sure to
purchase the Armor, Weapon, and Cannon upgrades for the Normandy, or someone
will die right away. These are the "Thanix Cannon" which Garrus provides,
"Multicore Shielding" which Tali provides, and "Heavy Ship Armor" which Jacob
provides. (Thx leechify for correcting me on that one.) Just recruit each
team mate and simply talk to them about [UPGRADES] and you can then purchase
them from the research station.

- I would have everyone, even the people you don't send out, be loyal.
Greyfox1987 let me know his one remaining unloyal character got killed no
matter what he did, so this seems to matter. And hey, you're reading an
achievement guide which means you probably want achievements, right? Well
getting everyone loyal gives you an achievement for each teammate, so why
wouldn't you?

Also note, Brad and Steve have each reported to me that you can lose the
loyalty of Miranda or Jack. They will confront eachother during your
playthrough, and if you don't have the necessary paragon/renegade, your choice
will cause the other to go unloyal, which will likely blow your chances at this
achievement.

Likewise, the same is likely true between the Tali/Legion confrontation. Be
sure you choose the Paragon/Renegade option and don't side with someone.


- When you finally land, you'll be asked to choose a tech expert. I,
personally, have had both Tali and Legion go through this and survive with no
difficulites, and that seems to be the consensus as well. Yet, a lot are
reporting that either die despite following everything else.

Take note, after you choose this you must also choose a secondary team leader
(my choices are below). You MUST choose correctly on that or that will cause
the Tech Leader to die. Be SURE to take one of my picks below. (And thanks to
everyone who e-mailed me this tip.)

Otherwise, I have no clue why this woudln't work. Tech damage upgrades seem to
make no difference (I had 3/5, Legion survived.) Sent Tali in after I turned
her down in the Romance section, she still lived.

Clearly there's just some other factor that hasn't been cracked yet. Wish I
could help further since I just can't recreate the problems people are having.
(Did everyone talk thoroughly to their team mates? I talked to them through the
whole game until they finally had nothing more to say.)

- For the secondary team leader, I've had Garrus and Jacob do fine. (Miranda,
it's been told, also succeeds). Again, if you choose wrong on this, the Tech
expert gets killed, not the squad leader. While I don't know if there are
others who can succeed, it seems Samara/Morinth for sure will result in the
tech expert getting killed.

- As for your own squad, I don't believe it matters who you pick.

- When you meet up with everyone again, you're asked to choose a biotic
specialist to shield your team. Samara and Jack have worked fine for me (and
I've heard Morinth also works if you sided with her)

- You're also asked for another secondary team leader. Again, Garrus and Jacob
each worked ok for me, and Miranda should too.

- You're also given the option to send an escort to return some survivors to
the Normandy. Anyone who's loyal should work fine here. Many have advised to
send Mordin as their Mordin just seems to otherwise die no matter what they
do. That was not the case with me at all; I had him on the sidelines and he
lived, yet still more than one person has reported this to me. I suppose if
you're not using Mordin it's better safe than sorry to send him as the escort.

Aaris has advised me that you can opt not to send anyone and while the
survivors will get killed it will not blow the achievement. I tried this once
(after I already had the achievement), and can at least confirm this didn't
affect one of my primary teammates.


And that's it. Hopefully everyone should survive, and you'll get this
achievement at the end of the game. (After the other end-of-game achievements
are awarded. Don't be alarmed that it gives you Mission Accomplished first, yet
doesn't immediately give you this. There's a bit of a gap between them for some
reason. Just so you don't freak out.)

-----------------------------------------------
Against All Odds                           15 G
"Survive suicide mission."
-----------------------------------------------
To be honest, I only assume this one can be missed. You're obviously awarded
this when completing the last mission...yet there's already an achievement for
finishing the whole game, and it's given to you at the same time. Hence, is it
possible they're separated because you can finish the game and not survive?

Without giving away spoilers, I can see the possibility of Shepard not making
it at the end of the mission. But to do so would basically require you to get
almost everyone possible killed in the suicide mission....basically upgrading
nothing, making terrible choices, and leaving everyone un-loyal.

So really, if you're going for the No One Left Behind achievement above, it'll
be impossible to miss the Against All Odds achievement. If anyone wants to
play the ultimate jerk and see if it's possible to miss this achievement, let
me know the results.


===============================================================================
[#3] Party-Recruitment Achievements
     80 G
===============================================================================

Most of these achievements cannot be missed. You're required to recruit these
characters to progress the story. But still, some can be missed. (And I didn't
go out of my way to annoy them and pick "I don't want you on the team"
conversation options just to confirm them all).

The missions to recruit them are not really hard in any way except on Insanity,
and doing the game on Insanity is a faq in of itself. Hence I won't spoil the
missions unless there's something noteworthy.

-----------------------------------------------
The Professor                              10 G
"Successfully recruit the Professor."
-----------------------------------------------
He's likely the first you'll recruit. Once you gain control of the Normandy,
you'll have this mission available. It's done on Omega.

-----------------------------------------------
The Archangel                              10 G
"Successfully recruit Archangel."
-----------------------------------------------
This is also given to you at the start of the game, and is also done in Omega.
Just be sure to keep Archangel alive (you've given his health bar on-screen).
When you split up, give him a teammate to help as you're otherwise not given
much time to keep him alive. (I'm not positive if his death would result in
failure to recruit him or just a game over. Can anyone clarify?)

-----------------------------------------------
The Convict                                10 G
"Successfully recruit the biotic Convict."
-----------------------------------------------
I believe this mission is given after you recruit The Professor. Just complete
the mission when it's given to you.

-----------------------------------------------
The Krogan                                 10 G
"Successfully recruit the krogan."
-----------------------------------------------
This should be the last one you get before the Colony Defense mission kicks in.
Note, the mission is actually called "Dosier: The Warlord" in your journal. At
the end of the mission, the Krogan will be in stasis on your ship. You must
wake him up to get the achievement. (I don't believe anything's stopping you
from just leaving him in the tube.)

Also note that, if this is your last team member to get before the Colony
Defense mission, you should wake him up BEFORE you go talk to The Illusive Man
as otherwise you will be immediately drawn to the mission. Yeah, you can still
wake The Krogran up after that mission of course, but it's a minor annoyance
especially if you want the Krogan for that mission.

-----------------------------------------------
The Quarian                                10 G
"Successfully recruit the quarian."
-----------------------------------------------
This one should appear right after the Colony Defense mission.

-----------------------------------------------
The Assassin                               10 G
"Successfully recruit the Assassin."
-----------------------------------------------
This, too, should appear around the same time, but it might be interrupted by
the Ghost Ship mission (which you do immediately when given to you). You can
still do this mission after the Ghost Ship mission is done, but I believe
you're not required to do it and could skip ahead, missing the opportunity to
recruit him.

-----------------------------------------------
The Justicar                               10 G
"Successfully recruit the Justicar."
-----------------------------------------------
Like The Assassin, I believe you can skip this by if you choose to progress
the main story and ignore this.

-----------------------------------------------
Friend or Foe                              10 G
"Obtain geth technology."
-----------------------------------------------
Without giving away spoilers on this, while you're doing the mission to obtain
the Reaper IFF, you're given the option to recruit another team member. When
you talk to Miranda and Jacob on the ship after the mission, just don't choose
to give him to Cerberus or you'll miss out on recruiting him.


===============================================================================
[#4] Party-Loyalty Achievements
     100 G, +15 DLC
===============================================================================

These achievements will first require you to recruit the team mate. After you
do so, talk to them as often as you can. They will eventually tell you about
a side mission they want resolved, or it'll simply show up in the Missions
section of your journal. Typically you'll need to recruit the team member, then
complete one or two missions before they'll give you their Loyalty Mission, but
in the case of the late recruits, you might be able to get them almost
immediately.

Completing this mission will cause that teammate to become "loyal" to you...
and give you a 'cheev, natch.

For each achievement you get, you will have the ability to start your next
playthrough with their corresponding skill you'd get from Advanced Training
(ie, Warp Ammo from Jack, Barrier from Jacob, Fortification from Grunt, etc).
[Thanks again to Jonathon for pointing that out. While I did notice I got this
on my second playthrough, I didn't know this was the reason.]

Like the Party Recruitment achievements, I won't break down all the missions
as they're pretty easy and straightforward. Only the stuff that could blow the
achievement is listed.

-----------------------------------------------
Revenge! [DLC ACHIEVEMENT]                 15 G
"Gain the loyalty of the mercenary."
-----------------------------------------------
This achievement is part of the DLC pack for Zaeed. Recruiting him is as easy
as stepping foot in Omega. Very shortly after, you'll get his Loyalty mission
without even having to talk to him (You actually can't converse with him like
the other characters....Zaeed just talks with no response from you).

Zaeed wants to kill a specific target. However, during the mission, you are
given the option to forego pursuit in order to save some civilians. While you
can choose to go this route, and still get Zaeed's loyalty despite him failing
to kill his target, ituran has advised me you must convience Zaeed with a
Persuasion (Paragon) option at the end. He otherwise will blame you for failure
and you'll lose his loyalty/achievement.

-----------------------------------------------
Ghost of the Father                        10 G
"Gain the loyalty of the Cerberus Operative."
-----------------------------------------------
This is Jacob's loyalty mission. While you're given some choices at the end on
how to finish this, Jacob will become loyal either way.

-----------------------------------------------
The Prodigal                               10 G
"Gain the loyalty of the Cerberus Officer."
-----------------------------------------------
This is Miranda's loyalty mission. You can't screw this up, either.

-----------------------------------------------
The Cure                                   10 G
"Gain the loyalty of the Professor."
-----------------------------------------------
Again, while you have a choice to make at the end, the Professor will still be
loyal to you at the end no matter what.

-----------------------------------------------
Fade Away                                  10 G
"Gain the loyalty of Archangel."
-----------------------------------------------
Archangel, too, wants revenge on betrayal. Now, I've seen sources say it's
possible to fail this, but I couldn't make it happen. You do have the option to
stop Archangel from killing his mark with a Paragon interupt, and then using a
Paragon persuasion. This did not affect me gaining his loyalty, and this was on
my Renegade walkthrough with very, very little Paragon.

Everything else you do will result in Archangel shooting him, gaining you the
loyalty/achievement. Hence, if there's a way to fail it I couldn't find it.
E-mail me specifics if you find a way.

-----------------------------------------------
Catharsis                                  10 G
"Gain the loyalty of the biotic Convict."
-----------------------------------------------
Don't worry about missing this, either, based on your choices.

-----------------------------------------------
Battlemaster                               10 G
"Gain the loyalty of the krogan."
-----------------------------------------------
You have to go through a proving-style mission for this. Pretty sure it's
impossible to blow the achievement/loyalty. I died in the Proving, twice, on my
Insanity run, which just gives a typical Game Over.

-----------------------------------------------
Treason                                    10 G
"Gain the loyalty of the quarian."
-----------------------------------------------
This one IS possible to fail. This one revolves around a trial. The trial will
start but will be interrupted. Take this opportunity to thoroughly talk to all
3 of the Admirals running the court, as it may be important later.

You'll go through a combat section, during which you'll find evidence that
clears the quarian of wrongdoing, but directly blames her father. She, hence,
will not want you using this evidence in court.

If you use this evidence at the trial, the Quarian will be acquitted but will
NOT become faithful to you and you'll lose this achievement.

If your Paragon or Renegade is high enough, you can use those options at the
trial to win over the judges without the need of the evidence, hence having
the Quarian be tried innocent yet gaining loyalty (your best outcome).

Otherwise, if you talked to all the admirals, you can rally the crowd about
their hidden agendas. This, too, will win the trial and gain the quarian's
loyalty.

You otherwise have nothing to present. You will lose the trial. However, the
Quarian at least will still be loyal to you if you go this route.

-----------------------------------------------
Cat's in the Cradle                        10 G
"Gain the loyalty of the Assassin."
-----------------------------------------------
The Assassin's son is trying to kill someone, which the Assassin himself wants
you to stop. You can fail this. (thanks Jesse for confirming my suspicion).

You first have to trail your mark. Periodically, the Assassin will want you to
provide updates on the mark's status, and you have to keep pretty close by to
do so. If you can't provide an update on time, you'll lose the mission; his
son will go through with the assassination, which blows your chance at getting
his loyalty, and the achievement.

Eventually you'll confront his son just before the assassination attempt. I
actually don't think you can fail at this point. You can intervene with a
paragon action to successfully stop him. Belaying that, you'll get a Renegade
option to simply kill the mark yourself, which also works as in a roundabout
way that does stop his son, after all. There's also an option to disable his
son, ie, with a non-fatal shot. This option, too, worked out fine for me (he
practically shrugs it off. The drell really are tough).

Mind you, that was my Renegade playthrough...maybe I didn't have the necessary
Paragon or something. E-mail me if you find a way.

-----------------------------------------------
Doppelganger                               10 G
"Help the Justicar resolve her mission."
-----------------------------------------------
A lot of people seem to have issues with this one. The Justicar wants you to
find a person, Morinth, so she can kill her. You have to successfully seduce
Morinth in a bar, or she'll leave and you'll lose the achievement.

Before you even start, be sure to get the note and diary in Diana & Nef's
apartment, which explains Morinth likes the drug Hallex, the elcor artist
Forta, and planet Vaenia. Very important points.

Definitely talk to Samara before you enter the bar as she has good pointers:
Morinth doesn't care at all about chivalry, righteousness, and pointless
violence. She prefers power, confidence, and strength, and justified violence.

Talk to the patron (Vij) near the entrance to hear that Morinth likes the band
Expel 10.

Otherwise, just talk to everyone in the bar. I don't believe what you do
actually matters here at all. Just stand up for yourself, convey confidence. It
seems every single thing you do, regardless, results in just that though, hence
you should be fine no matter what you do.

After enough little encounters, Morinth should approach you for conversation.
In the conversation, talk about your wildcards. Speak Music, and favour Expel
10. Mention Hallex. Talk Art and favour the elcor Forta. Mention Vaenia.
Finally, talk Travel and mention about the danger, and power being its own
reward. In general, just pick a subject and always choose the lower-left
option. That should be enough for her to take you back to her apartment.

Talk with Morinth in her apartment. She'll ultimately asks if you'll kill for
her. If you go with the Persuade/Intimidate option here, you'll have the
ability to side with Morinth or Samara (if you don't, Samara will simply win).
I've heard reports that say it doesn't matter who you side with as each will
get the achievement....but have also heard the opposite. While I already have
the achievement and can't confirm, I believe siding with Morinth would get it
based on the Mission Summary you get at the end (which is the same no matter
who you choose).

-----------------------------------------------
A House Divided                            10 G
"Hack a geth collective."
-----------------------------------------------
This is actually Legion's loyalty mission, if you chose to recruit him in the
Reaper IFF mission. It's given to you immediately after recruiting, since by
this point you're at the end of the game. Your choice at the end shouldn't
matter here; I've done both options and both resulted in his loyalty.


===============================================================================
[#5] Combat-Based Achievements
     100 G
===============================================================================

These achievements revolve around actions performed in combat.

If you need targets that don't have armor/barriers/shields so you can just
grind for your achievements, a good place is on the assignment "N7: Wrecked
Merchant Freighter". (But take note, I only know they don't have armor/shields
on Casual, and know for sure they're protected on Insanity. So if you're
grinding for achievements you may want to just set the difficulty to Casual to
guarantee they're unarmored.)

Head to the Eagle Nebula, then the Amun system, and scan Neith. When you land
and deactivate the distress beacon, wave after wave of wimpy mechs will come
after you (and a heavy mech, but just take that out first). Only a few come at
a time, and since they're so weak, it's the perfect target to get some of the
grind achievements like Head Hunter, Brawler, or Tactician. I'm not sure an
infinite number come or not, but suffice to say it's enough.

With the 3 "Specialist" achievements, that have you use techs to shred away
Armor, Shields, or Barriers, you do NOT need to have those skills on your
character. ie, you can be a Soldier, and still get all three achievements. To
do so, you simply need to have teammates in your party that do have the
required ability. Specifically tell them to use their ability (through your
left d-pad/right d-pad shortcut, or by selecting it on the radial menu). If it
successfully removes the armor/shield/barrier, it counts towards the
achievement. Note if your squad mates use their powers freely and they do it on
their own, it DOES NOT count towards the achievement.

-----------------------------------------------
Head Hunter                                10 G
"Perform 30 headshot kills with any weapon on humanoid targets."
-----------------------------------------------
This is incredibly easy, and one I wouldn't even bother boosting; you're likely
to get this simply playing through the game, especially if you're a class that
uses sniper rifles. Enemies lose a lot of health from headshots, especially on
Casual, so you should always aim for the head anyway. I got this achievement
before I even recruited one teammate. Yes, killing a Mech with a headshot
counts.

-----------------------------------------------
Merciless                                  10 G
"Make 20 enemies scream as they fall or are set on fire."
-----------------------------------------------
Far easier than it sounds, especially if you have Incendiary Ammo or the
Incinerate tech. All you have to do is hit a non-machine target that's down
to just base health (ie, no armor, shields, or barrier left). They will always
scream. If you have Incendiary Ammo, you'll likely get this one very, very
early on without even trying.

-----------------------------------------------
Brawler                                    10 G
"Shoot and kill 20 enemies while they're knocked back by a punch."
-----------------------------------------------
This one is kinda a pain to get. You need to get up to an enemy, hit it with a
melee attack (B button), then shoot AND kill it while it is stumbling back. You
can use any gun, even assault rifles, for this as it doesn't need to be a
one-shot kill. But you do have to kill them while they're stumbling, hence
Shotguns are your best bet if you can use them.

And clearly, you should remove all protection first (shield/armor/barrier).
Your chances of killing a protected enemy that quickly is unlikely to say the
least. (But perhaps not impossible.)

This is no Mass Effect 1. You can't just run up to a wave of enemies for a
melee and expect to survive. You can usually survive fine doing this against
just one enemy, but otherwise, forget it. Only do this when you're down to the
last enemy or 2. And save yourself grief and don't try this on Insanity.

I personally grinded away at on the N7: Wrecked Merchant Freighter mission
(Eagle Nebula - Amun - Neith). The mechs that come are unarmored and weak (on
Casual at least), and a lot of them come, but in very small waves so you don't
get overwhelmed.

Another good place you can try is any mission that involves Husks, like on
Horizon and especially when getting the Reaper IFF. On that mission, there are
tons of them, and an infinite number will come at you when you're destroying
the core. They're unarmored on Casual, and they only have melee attacks, so you
can just wait and club them as they're running towards you.

-----------------------------------------------
Master at Arms                             15 G
"Kill enemies with 5 different heavy weapons during the game."
-----------------------------------------------

Easy. Just research any of the new heavy weapons you have the opportunity to,
then take them for a spin.

There are only 5 heavy weapons in the base game, but they're easy to find:
- M-100 Grenade Launcher (You find it on the very first mission)
- ML-77 Missile Launcher (Research)
- M-622 Avalanche (Research)
- Collector Particle Beam (Find on Horizon)
- M-920 Cain (Research)

Just research all the Heavy Weapon ammo's whenever you can to unlock the
research for the heavy weapons themselves.

There's one DLC heavy weapon as well:
M-451 Firestorm [in the Zaeed DLC]: You find this on Zaeed's loyalty mission

And if you happened to have preordered you game from select retailers then you
may also have a bonus heavy weapon, the M-490 Blackstorm Projector. But neither
of those are required for the achievement.

-----------------------------------------------
Overload Specialist                        15 G
"Disrupt the shields of 25 enemies."
-----------------------------------------------
See the note above about Specialists. You have to actually nullify a shield
with Overload, not just hit it, to count. Specifically ordering a squad mate
(like Miranda) to do it will also count, but it will not count if they do it on
their own.

Shields are pretty common. Bosses and tough enemies almost always have it, as
do any Blue Suns you meet, and most of the low-ranking Eclipse mercs. Hence,
really, most of the enemies you face. So just take the time to nullify all
shields you meet with Overload and you'll get this fairly easily. Even though I
started grinding for these achievements, I found myself using them throughout
the whole game after, as they're an excellent way to remove defenses while
saving precious ammo.

-----------------------------------------------
Incineration Specialist                    15 G
"Incinerate the armor of 25 enemies."
-----------------------------------------------
See the note above about Specialists. You have to actually destroy armor
with Incinerate, not just hit it, to count. Specifically ordering a squad mate
(like Mordin) to do it will also count, but it will not count if they do it on
their own.

Bosses and tough enemies almost always have armor, as do some machine-only
enemies like the Scions. The Krogan and Blood Pack will be your common enemies
that always have armor. They're not overly common enemies, so try to get this
when you can. Still, you should have enough armor sources to not need to panic
about this. And if you're on an Insanity run, the Husks are armored too, and
very weakly. They're a good source for this.

-----------------------------------------------
Warp Specialist                            15 G
"Warp the barriers of 25 enemies."
-----------------------------------------------
See the note above about Specialists. You have to actually nullify barriers
with Warp, not just hit it, to count. Specifically ordering a squad mate
(like Miranda) to do it will also count, but it will not count if they do it on
their own.

Barriers are the rarest of the defenses. Only some of the Eclipse mercs carry
it, and they're already not a common foe. The Harbinger and some of the
Collectors do as well, but you only meet them on a few main missions. I'd say
try to get this one every chance you get, as you never know how many barriers
your buddies are going to deal with before you Warp them yourself. So long as
you take a bit of an effort to get this, you should be able to without worry.

If you absolutely just can't foresee getting it, note this achievement (and
all others, actually) save separate from your save file. You can always find a
spot with a ton of barriered enemies, hit them with Warp, then reload. Your
count won't be lost.

-----------------------------------------------
Tactician                                  10 G
"Hit 20 different targets with multiple biotic powers to combine the effects."
-----------------------------------------------
This is actually easy to do, too. Again, like the Specialist achievements, you
have to order your squad to do it; they can't do it on their own. But it makes
it easy to do even if you're not at all a biotic.

Going into the Options, and turning off the Squad Power Usage feature helps, as
having your teammates using powers on their own can screw up your dynamic.

Lots of combinations work, but my favourite is Pull (Jacob) and Warp (Miranda),
especially since you have both characters at the start of the game. Just
remember Pull won't work unless the enemy has no barrier/armor/shield, but
after that, using Pull brings them to you, and you can easily Warp the
defenseless enemy for an almost guaranteed kill on Casual. (Not that you have
to kill them for it to count towards the achievement.)

As for possible combinations, I'm not sure if you can start with anything but
Pull, but there should be no reason not to: the enemies will be wide open for
the next attack. Pull/Throw and Pull/Slam will work too.


===============================================================================
[#6] Completion-Style Achievements
     330 G
===============================================================================

This is really just the section for everything else. Stuff you'd get by being
thorough, and a lot of things that you're going to get without trying.

-----------------------------------------------
Fashionista                                 5 G
"Personalize your armor in your quarters on the Normandy."
-----------------------------------------------

Easy as it sounds. Use your Armor console in the personal quarters of the
Normandy, change anything at all about your armor and bam, cheev.

-----------------------------------------------
Highly Trained                             15 G
"View all advanced combat training videos at Shepard's private terminal."
-----------------------------------------------

Very easy. Once you're on the Normandy, use your personal terminal and watch
all 3 "Advanced Combat Training" movies. That's it.

-----------------------------------------------
Scientist                                  10 G
"Complete any research project in the Normandy's laboratory."
-----------------------------------------------

You'll need to recruit Mordin first. After that, use the research terminal on
the Normandy to make ANYTHING and there you go. 

-----------------------------------------------
Scholar                                    15 G
"Unlock 15 new Mass Effect 2 codex entries."
-----------------------------------------------

This isn't like Mass Effect 1 at all. There are far, far more codex entries
than 15 to be had. Just talk to people, Investigate anything you get the chance
to, and you will have this very, very early on.

-----------------------------------------------
Technician                                 15 G
"Obtain 10 technology upgrades."
-----------------------------------------------

You just need to get 10 upgrades, either through purchasing them, or
researching them. That's stuff like Heavy Weapon Ammo, or Assault Rifle Damage.
There's far more than 10 to be had in the game so you'll get this one, too,
really early on.

-----------------------------------------------
Prospector                                  5 G
"Retrieve mineral resources by scanning and probing a planet in the galaxy
map."
-----------------------------------------------

Ah the infamous planet scanning. Just approach almost any planet, start the
scanner with Y, hold LT until you find a mineral deposit, launch a probe with
RT, and you get the achievement. (Then repeat a hundred times ad nauseum to
afford your research projects. Seriously, Bioware, this is better than the
Mako?)

-----------------------------------------------
Operative                                  15 G
"Complete a mission discovered by scanning an unexplored world."
-----------------------------------------------

When you're exploring the planets of the galaxy, and you hit Y to bring up the
scanner, you'll sometimes have EDI (your ship's computer) announce an anomaly
on the planet. Use the scanner to pinpoint the source of the anomaly, launch a
probe, and you can now land on the planet and do a side quest. Finish any such
quest for the achievement.

-----------------------------------------------
Agent                                      50 G
"Complete 5 missions discovered by scanning unexplored worlds."
-----------------------------------------------

Just like "Operative" above, only you have to finish 5 such missions. There
are plenty more than this. Simply take the time to visit all the planets you
can, pop open the scanner to see if there's an anomaly, and if not, leave.
Usually there's one such mission in each Nebula/Cluster you head to (but not
always...some have two, and some none). I'm not positive, but I believe the
assignments you get after completing such missions (ie, you get "N7: Abandoned
Research Station" after finishing "N7: Wrecked Merchant Freighter") also count
towards the achievement. Not that it matters if they don't as there's still
plenty you can do.

-----------------------------------------------
Explorer                                   10 G
"Visit 100% of the planets in an unexplored cluster."
-----------------------------------------------

Very easy, can be done in the Omega Nebula. Just fly to all the planets and
objects (like space stations) in a system, and hit A to enter orbit to get some
info about it. Once you hit all the planets/objects in a system, the map will
give you a 100% indicator in the corner. Now just fly to the green border of
the system to hit the Nebula level, and you can fly to other systems in the
cluster. Hence, just keep hitting planets in each system.

While you're at the Nebula level, you'll get a % progress indicator for all
planets in the entire cluster. Hence, get that to 100% and you've got this
achievement.

-----------------------------------------------
Power Full                                 15 G
"Evolve any power."
-----------------------------------------------

Just get absolutely any skill, no matter what it is or does, to level 4. Easy.
This will take up to 10 skill points to do (obviously the powers you start with
only need 9 total), but you should still get it with relative ease
even if it's later on in the game. Once you unlock level 4, choose one of two
modifications for that power, and the achievement is yours.

-----------------------------------------------
Weapon Specialist                          15 G
"Fully upgrade a weapon."
-----------------------------------------------

Weapons have 7 upgrades possible. 5 will be Damage-based, and the other two
will vary based on the weapon. For example, the Shotgun also has Shotgun Extra
Rounds, and Shotgun Shield Piercing. The Sniper Rifle has Sniper Headshot
Damage and Sniper Rifle Penetration. (etc.)

Some upgrades can be bought, others are found and researched. Typically, the 2
extra ones that aren't damaged based you'll get automatically at the research
terminal once you have the damage-based ones, but not always. Be sure to hunt
for them on every mission/assignment you do.

Obtain all 7 on any weapon and you've got the achievement. This shouldn't be
hard at all to do, as you only have to fully upgrade 1 of the 4 weapons. But it
is time consuming, as you're only going to get the last upgrades to your guns
very late in the game.

-----------------------------------------------
Power Gamer                                10 G
"Reach Level 30 with one character"
-----------------------------------------------

Level 30 is tough to reach, even with a character imported from Mass Effect 1.
Trying to do absolutely everything I could, I only got level 30 while I was on
the suicide mission. Unlike ME1, you only get experience for finishing
assignments and missions. NOTHING else counts, including finding codex entries
or even killing enemies. But on the flipside, every single level only takes
1000 xp to level to the next, and you get 1000 for each major mission. The
loyalty missions give 750, and most assignments give 125 XP (some really minor
ones only give 40).

If you don't get it on one playthrough, don't worry, as the Mission
Accomplished achievement gives you a 25% bonus on all experienced gained in
future playthroughs. Hence there should be no problem hitting level 30 on your
second playthrough.

-----------------------------------------------
Long Service Medal                         75 G
"Complete Mass Effect 2 twice, or complete it once with a character imported
from Mass Effect 1"
-----------------------------------------------

It's as easy as it sounds. People new to Mass Effect 2 should do two
playthroughs anyway: Casual and Insanity. Or hell, just so that they can play
as a Paragon and again as a Renegade to see what happens. But of course, if
you played Mass Effect 1, there's no reason not to import your character so
you keep all the choices you made, get perks like money, minerals, and a higher
starting level, and obviously to get this 75 gamerscore bonus for finishing the
game only once.

Getting this achievement will also give you a nice starting bonus on your next
playthrough: 200,000 additional credits, and 50,000 units of the 4 research
elements. (Thanks again, Maniacpoodle, for the reminder).

-----------------------------------------------
Insanity                                   75 G
"Complete the game on the "Insanity" difficulty level without changing the
setting"
-----------------------------------------------

In a sea of very easy achievements to get, this one stands out as being just
maddeningly hard. This is not at all like the Insanity run through of Mass
Effect 1. This time, insanity really really is insanity. You take a lot more
damage, shields take longer to recover and recover much slower, enemies have
a lot more health, and every single enemy has some sort of protection (ie, 
shield/armor/barrier). Without constant intervention, your teammates will be
dying monkies. And if you so much as pop out of cover unshielded, even for the
minimum amount of time possible, you can die.

I'm going to say this right up-front: You have to really, really want this one.

The game is, quite simply, not fun on Insanity. It's annoying. It's unfair.
It is not for the faint of heart, and absolutely not for those prone to rage.
It easily reaches controller-throwing levels of frustration. Times where you
order your squad mates to cover and they charge at the pile of enemies instead.
Or times where they desperately need to cover to restore health, and instead
pop out of cover to die. You'll order Shepherd to go into cover and he'll just
stand there and die. And, well, places with infinite enemies, Harbinger,
Praetorian, and the Geth Collosus are...anger inducing. It screams of "unfair".

Really, for anyone who's beaten a Call of Duty on Veteran, this actually will
feel rather similar. The phrase "You will not survive" is familiar.

You're going to need practice, preparation, and a hell of a lot of patience.

Getting this achievement really needs its own complete FAQ. But I'll list what
I've done to get it. I'll provide tips, and advise on the really hard sections
of the game. Of course, these are just my opinions and what I personally did to
win. You may play through differently, disagree on some points, and that's 
fine. There's more than one way to get this. I'm sure every combination could.
What's below is simply mine.

And yes I did get it. In hindsight I'm not sure it was really worth it, but I'm
a real sucker for getting 100%.

Now get ready for a wall of words. You may think this is broken down
needlessly, but if you think that you probably haven't tried Insanity yet.

** TIPS AND TECHNIQUES BEFORE YOU START **

Before you even start choosing your class and squad mates, you should know some
specifics of Insanity mode that can affect your choices.

- DO A NORMAL PLAYTHROUGH FIRST! I just can't stress that enough. Just don't go
through the game for the first time on Insanity. You're just asking for even
more rage than is already provided. You really, really should know what's
coming or you could be hosed. Walking into a tough boss fight with no ammo or
supplies, or completely the wrong team mates. You need to get used to the new
system before you try this. And you absolutely want all the perks that
finishing a game gets: bonus money, an advanced tech right at the start,
minerals, and the +25% XP bonus.

- ALL ENEMIES ARE PROTECTED. Everyone has at least a barrier, shield, or armor.
The tougher enemies can actually recover their protection if you leave them
alone for long enough.

- AMMO IS PRECIOUS. Especially early on in the game, you more than have the
ability to drain your ammo, and you never, ever want to run out of ammo in the
middle of a firefight. Typically the game tends to throw you what you need at
the end of a fight, but not always. Don't rely on it.

This restriction will lessen a little later on in the game, when your weapons
start doing more damage, and you start getting better guns. But because all
enemies are protected, you might want to lay off using your guns for
everything. Personally I only use guns when enemies are down to very little
protection or base health only.

And no, guns are hardly useless on insanity. They still do great damage. It's
just the ammo restrition. A sniper shot to the head of an unproteted enemy will
be very close to an instant kill, and almost always will be when your gun is
upgraded. It can even instant-kill some protected enemies late in the game.
Just choose your shots wisely.

- YOU NEED SKILLS TO HIT PROTECTION. This is the logical conclusion of both
points above. Ammo is precious, all enemies have protection, so you need
something else to damage that protection. You should have access to ideally 2
different ways to hit barriers, armor, and shields. That way, if someone dies
you can still deal with it, and if both are alive, you can deal with it faster.

- YOUR TEAM MATES HAVE NO REGARD FOR THEIR WELLBEING. If they are inches away
from death, they will still pop out of cover to try shooting enemies. If they
are being flanked, they will not do anything about it. They will run into the
middle of firefights. They are dying monkies.

Your best bet, almost everywhere throughout the game, is to always, always
order your squad mates into cover (with the left and right D-pad options). When
ordered to cover, they will STAY there. While this may mean they can't shoot at
some enemies, they'll at least typically stay alive. They will leave cover if
you leave them too far back, and they won't move even if an enemy is flanking
them. Hence, you have to be ready to regularly order them to new cover.

Really, your team mates are just there for you to use their skills. Don't rely
on them to shoot enemies. They can, and it's great when they do, but that
ability is lessened on Insanity as the cost is typically they'll die. Be ready
to do most of the killing yourself.

And the nice thing about leaving them in cover is your squad mates DO NOT need
a direct line-of-sight to use their skills. Even if they're well back, so long
as you can see the enemy you can still use their powers.

But note, later in the game they'll be a high enough level and have enough
upgrades that you won't need to do this as often. But you really have to hold
their hand through the first half.

- MED-KITS GIVE JUST 1 MEDI-GEL. A minor point, but worth noting. On casual,
you typically get 2 medi-gels from a medical station or med kit. Well, it's
only 1 on casual. And don't forget reviving both team mates at once still
requires 2 medi-gels. So I guess what I'm saying here is it's usually better
to leave a dead team mate dead. Only revive them in tense situations and boss
fights. Otherwise, wait it out until the end of the fight for them to get up
on their own. Best to save the medi-gel for when you really, really need it.

- BIOTICS THAT DON'T HIT PROTECTION ARE QUESTIONABLE. That would be skills like
Pull, Throw, or Slam. I find them useless. They don't work through protection,
and while they do damage protection, the skills designed to damage protection
do a far better job of it. And when an enemy is down to base health, why not
just shoot him? But again, that's the way *I* play, YMMV.

- KROGAN AND VORCHA REGENERATE HEALTH. Vorcha especially, they're insane.
Enough they can recover most health when you're reloading, and you can hardly
stay out of cover shooting for long. Don't even bother shooting them if you
can't outright kill them. What you really need against these foes is a skill
that stops health regeneration. Warp and Incinerate do just that.

- ENEMIES ARE TOUGH AS THEY CAN GET AT THE START OF THE GAME AND GET NO WORSE.
This isn't really advice you can directly use or anything but still worth
noting for one reason. The game has a tremendous difficulty level through most
of the game, but you eventually get stronger where the enemies do not. Hence,
believe it or not, the end of the game is NOT the hardest part. If you're dead
set on getting this achievement, just know if you stick with it the pain does
lessen.


** CHOICES **

- CLASS SELECTION: There's no one way to get this, but personally I'd go with
the Infiltrator class. Sniper rifles are still ultra powerful, and the
strongest sniper rifle can still headshot kill most enemies in a single shot.
You also get a nice slowdown when you zoom down the sniper rifle scope, which
is very, very handy in the many intense firefights you'll be in.

You get access to Incinerate, perfect for anti-armor and for taking out
unprotected enemies. Hence, it's really good against pretty much everyone. The
cooldown is quite short when you get levelled up.

You also get Disruptor Ammo for Anti-Shields, and anti-machines. You
unfortunately have nothing specific for barriers but your teammates can help
you there.

AI-Hacking is sorta a utility that you by no means need to depend on, but can
be handy. Especially in missions against the geth, which are rather tough.

And what might be the best is the Cloak ability, the ability to briefly
disappear. This not only increases you damage, but gives you much needed
breathing room. It can absolutely be a life saver.

Of course, you can pick whatever you want. The Infiltrator works very well if
you want to get this cautiously. Pick whatever best suits your playstyle.

- ADVANCED TRAINING: There's a lot of choice to go with on your advanced-
training skill and will matter greatly on what class you took. You can't go
wrong with Barrier, as it's the ultimate panic button that can save you in a
tight spot. But as an Infiltrator, you kinda have that covered with the Cloak
ability. Mind you, Barrier does give you the ability to survive a little longer
while still being able to shoot. If you Cloak, you really have to run or you'll
decloak...and there isn't always somewhere to run to.

Personally I like Warp Ammo. It fills a gap in your ability to hit Barriers,
it's great against Armor, and even good against unarmored. And it's also
passive, meaning it won't affect the usage of your other powers. 

- TEAM SELECTION: Again, this varies totally on your character. You have to
choose teammates that fill the gaps.

Really, what you ideally want is powers that can destroy barriers, armor, and
shields. Everything else just doesn't matter. (Though they all have uses, like
AI Hacking, you have to focus on what will be used the most.)

And don't forget to have a skill that deals with Health Regeneration, as the
Krogan and Vorcha otherwise will be a massive pain to kill.

Hence, with our Infiltrator build above, we can deal with anything through
Disruptor Ammo, Incinerate, and Warp Ammo. But it's best we have techs that
don't require ammo to use. That would be Overload and Warp.

So I choose Miranda first. She has both Overload and Warp. Slam is mostly
useless, I found. It does have very fast cooldown, but that usually doesn't
matter. Only place I found it really useful was when being swarmed by Husks.
Nice thing about it is you can easily get all her other techs to level 4 and
just ignore Slam. Plus, her Cerberus Officer ability gives squad health and
weapon damage bonuses. She's a great support character.

For my second, I chose Garrus. He, too, has Overload. Concussive Shot actually
does good damage to Barriers though it doesn't say so. Armor Piercing Ammo
is just okay, but kinda moot if you go with Squad Warp Ammo.

Hence, we've got two skills each that can be used on Barriers and Shields, and
your own Incinerate for Armor. Since it's your own tech, the cooldown on it is
far shorter than on your teammates.

Again, you can choose teammates as you see fit, as all characters have their
pros and cons. I found this worked the best for me.

- WEAPON BONUS vs WEAPON TRAINING: On the Collector ship, you're given a
choice. If you can use Assault Rifles, Shotguns, or Sniper Rifles, you have
the choice to pick a really-powerful version of that gun. If you don't, you can
train in that class of weapon.

Hence, with the Infiltrator build, you can gain the ability to use Assault
Rifles, gain the ability to use Shotguns, or get a really powerful Sniper
Rifle.

Personally I think the sniper rifle is totally the way to go. I don't care much
for the Viper; it fires a lot slower and does a lot less damage. This isn't a
game where you want to be out of cover long, and with the Cloak's damage bonus,
clearly you want that multiplied by a powerful shot. With the Widow, and a
lvl4 cloak, you can kill most enemies, even some shielded ones, in a single
hit.

And I certainly don't see the point to using shotguns with a build like this.
And once you get the Tempest Submachine gun, there's not much point to the
other assault rifles in my opinion. Certainly Assault Rifles are better, but
not worth turning down the Widow Sniper Rifle.


** OTHER STRATEGIES **

Ok, so you've made your choices, I'll finish off with some tips on playing
through.

- COMPLETE ALL MISSIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS. Levelling up is good. Unlike ME1, you
really notice yourself getting stronger as you level up. Hence, experience is
good. Plus, finishing quests is the only way to get money, which you'll need
to purchase the rather expensive upgrades.

- RESEARCH WHAT YOU NEED ASAP. Of course it goes without saying to research the
stuff you'll use, even if you're not sure it'll matter much, like improving
Shepard's melee damage. And the stuff you directly use you should get the
moment you can.

But if you know you won't need it, just don't get it. Face it, not only is
planet scanning a massive pain, it also costs money to do. So if you know
you're not going to use the Missile Launcher, don't research it. And save the
massive 50,000 platinum required for the Medi-Bay.

- ONLY PLANET SCAN THE RICH PLANETS. There's a great Planet FAQ on Gamefaqs
that tells you which planets are Rich in minerals. Only scan these, and only
launch your probes at the largest spikes. While it clearly saves money, more
than anything it saves time as well as your sanity. God is planet scanning
boring. Really, you can get all the minerals you need from just hitting the
huge spikes on Rich worlds.

- >>> BE AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE <<<. I can't stress that enough. It's not like
the game has any feelings, and Holy crap is the game ever cheap to you. Enemies
have the privilege of infinte ammo, and in some cases, infinite more enemies.
Far too many enemies can happily stand out of cover, slowly walk up to you, and
kill you...where meanwhile you blip out of cover and you die. Oh, and nothing
beats franctically trying to kill a Collector, bringing it down to a sliver of
health, and watching Harbinger take it over at that second back to full health
and barrier. Insert swearing here.

So don't feel ashamed to stay in cover and just fire Incinerate after
Incincerate at them. Herd enemies to a door and bring them through one at a
time to kill them. Order your team into cover well into safety and just use
their squad powers over and over. Try to find spots you can hit the enemy and
they can't hit you.

- SAVE EVERY CHANCE YOU GET. You can't save in a fight, hence every time you
can save it is safe to do so. And DO SO. You stand a chance of dying in every
single fight. And while Auto-Save is pretty good, it will not always save each
chance it can. Plus, you might actually want to keep multiple saves just incase
you get caught with low ammo or something.

- LET ENEMIES COME TO YOU. Obviously, if enemies stay where they are you won't
have any problems. You'll be playing cheap and using your skills over and over
to kill them where they stand. It's the ones that come out of cover and run for
you that you, ironically, have to worry about. These are the toughest sections
of the game. And in these situations, it's best to be as far back as possible
and just let them come to you. They'll typically do so one at a time, giving
you time to kill them then recover before the next gets there.

A specific example, on the Collector ship, the moment you have the Husks start
to swarm you, just run. Run far back. You can then carefully deal with each
from a distance while they come to you.

Or, while on Legion's loyalty mission, in the 3rd security room with all those
damn Geth Hunters, rather than take the fight to them and get swarmed, stand
upstairs and trip the alarm. Let them come to you. You can't get swarmed that
way.


And, finally, here's some specific tips to tough sections of the game.

- SCREW HARBINGER. Seriously, screw him. He's probably the most annoying enemy
you'll face. His ability to push you out of cover will typically result in your
death, as you're wide open to his other ridiculous powers and all the other
enemies shooting at you...and you're stunned so you can't do anything about it.
I wish I had a good strategy against him, but alas I simply don't. I just hope
I find the magic spot where his pushback attack fails to push me out of cover,
and hope to hell he doesn't approach. If he does, again, you'll likely die. He
has far far too much health for you to stand that chance.

All I can say is just use your skills and unload into him...screw worrying
about ammo. Hit the barrier quick with Warp and Concussive Shot, and unload
your SMG. You stand a better chance when he's down to Armor, as Incinerate
does a lot of damage to the armor, as does the M-6 Carnfiex heavy pistol. So if
you can quickly get that barrier down you hopefully should be ok.

But I can at least say, painful as he is to face through most of the game, he
doesn't get any tougher by the end while you do. He's not as annoying on the
Suicide Mission, as by that point you are much stronger and can adequately take
him down.

- PRAETORIAN: This is the wonderful boss fight at the end of Horizon. The cheap
bastard has the ability to recover its barrier whenever it gets close to you.
Hence, to stand a chance of survival, you're going to be running, a lot.

This is one instance where you SHOULDN'T have your team in cover. If they stay
in cover, Praetorian will swoop down on them and kill them. A minor annoyance
considering dying is what your team mates do, but the fact its barrier recovers
is the real annoyance. Without being in cover, your team mates will generally
keep their distance. And thankfully (or unthankfully), Praetorian otherwise
only cares about you. He'll swoop to the ground only if he's near a teammate.
He otherwise only shoots at you and only flies towards you.

So from the start, take out those husks ASAP. They're an annoyance you just do
not want to deal with. I find I didn't use much ammo against Praetorian, so
I used my Sniper Rifle against the Husks. Even with full armor, a shot to the 
LEGS of the husks is an instant kill. With the Husks dealt with, you can then
focus on Praetorian.

All I can say is to run, first. Have your team mates use their anti-barrier/
anti-armor abilities the second they can, while you just focus on running to
cover. DO NOT let him get close to you. You don't want him recovering his
barrier (he will do that on his own throughout the fight, so don't add to it).
And you can't stay out of cover long, as his shocking attack will quickly kill
you. You really have to focus on keeping your distance. If you've got distance,
go ahead and fire a few rounds (remember, rapid-fire weapons for barrier, and
slow weapons for armor) or use a tech, but personally I prefer saving my tech
for a panic usage (like an emergency Barrier or Cloak) and let my team mates do
the majority of the damage.

The area by the console has a high enough wall that Praetorian can't shoot
through it. Hence, you can constantly keep him on the other side of this, and
he can't shoot you even though you're not in cover. But it's risky...if he does
get a shot at you you have no where to go. Plus, you can't easily hit him
either. You have to at least get a brief sight of him to use a tech. But I
found that this did help me.

- GETH COLOSSUS: In Tali's recruitment mission you face a geth colossus, oh and
if you're lucky, an infinite wave of Geth. Fortunately if you know the trick
this isn't that bad to do, otherwise it's almost impossible. Start off
ignoring the colossus. Don't worry about how much health it has or doesn't
have (though clearly keep one eye on those projectiles it fires at you so you
don't get hit).

Stay where you are at the start and kill all the geth in front of you (order
your team into cover right there quick, or they'll likely run ahead and get
flanked). A few might come, and you'll find a couple around the corner to the
left as well as up the ramp to the right. They should eventually stop coming.

Then, order your team up the ramp on the right. Order them to cover in the
shade. You'll have another large wave of geth, so kill them, and it should
eventually stop. Now, run forward to the area that has a ramp leading back down
to the left (don't go down it). At this point you might get a few more geth to
spawn, and it's important to take them down here or they will flank you and
your teammates.

Finally, press forward to the end of this walkway, and you can turn left to
face the colossus. The Geth should completely stop coming, and from here the
Colossus won't regenerate its shields. Take it down in any way you see fit.
Personally I prefer with lots of name calling and swearing.

Whatever you do, DO NOT take the Left path. The geth WILL NOT stop coming. And
it's not like an occassional one here or there, it's a whole wave of them,
including Destroyers. You won't at all have time to damage the Colossus, and
the Colossus will still regenerate! Only pick this path if you've given up on
ever being happy ever again.

- THE COLLECTOR SHIP: I had so much problems at the section of the game where
you first grant EDI access to the ship. Tiny, tiny area with very little cover,
and the joys of 3 Harbingers (at least), and 2 Scions. This part SUCKED. I
personally believe it was the single hardest part of the entire Insanity run.

From my memory, the platform sorta crudely looks like this:

   ---     ---
  /  3     1  \   
|      ---      |
|     / 2 \     |
|    X     Y    |
 \             /
  -------------

I found my team mates died really, really easily here, and the best way to
keep them alive was ordering one to cover in position 1, and the other to cover 
in position 2. Then you take cover at position X. The first wave of enemies is
going to come from the right, so it's important you have the teammate at 1, not
3, as he can be flanked at position 3.

A platform will fly in to the right with 3 collectors. Ignore them, but order
your team mates to attack them so their focus isn't on you. Instead, you focus
on the Scion that's flying around. He too easily has the ability to kill you
and your team mates, so you should take him out first, even if Harbinger takes
control of a Collector which he will. Use your Incinerate tech and your sniper
rifle (hope you got the s-98 Widow when you had the chance). You should be able
to kill the Scion before Harbinger does serious damage...hopefully. There is an
element of luck.

With the scion dead, obviously turn your focus to Harbinger. From your position
at X, his knockback attack will hopefully miss. There's a lot of space between
you and him. But it's not a guarantee, if he gets close enough. Just unload
into him. I find the M-6 Carnifex pistol actually does a lot of damage to his
armor, so use that.

When you're down to one enemy left, the next platform will fly in to the left.
Try to take out that last enemy before the platform gets there, though it is
really tough to do. More important that you revive dead team mates now, order
whoever was in position 1 to now go to position 3, and you yourself take cover
at position Y.

You'll face off another 3 Collectors, and Harbinger again will take one of
them. Though another Scion will appear at this point, he will be too far from
you to fire if you stay on this first platform. Hence, you hopefully should
maintain enough control to kill Harbinger this time around. Really, the first
platform is the really tough one. Beyond this point it's fairly simple.

When the enemies are all dead and only the Scion is left, move only a little
bit closer to just get a target on him without him firing on you, and launch a
ton of Incinerates at him until he DIES. Remember what I said about being
cheap? God, when you've reloaded this section for the 15th time it just feels
good.

- PRAETORIAN....AGAIN: You get the joy of fighting him a second bloody time
also on the Collector ship, only now with far less space and cover. This, too,
gave me great troubles until I found a good way to survive. All the strategies
for the first Praetorian still apply, like DON'T order your team to cover.

First, turn off Squad Power Usage if you have it on (personally, I just don't
have it on, but it's up to you how much you like to micro manage.) Stay on the
high ground. The moment EDI opens that door, use your sniper rifle and take out
the two Husks coming through the door. Save your team's powers for the moment,
as soon a couple Collectors will come for you. This is where you want to use
their powers to take out their barriers, then use a Sniper shot to kill them.
ie, kill the colletors ASAP. There will be another Husk that comes through the
door, too, so be ready to take him out before he gets close.

If you were quick with all that, the Praetorian will likely be just reaching
you by this point. Just do the same thing you did before: use your squad powers
to take it down. Keep the praetorian running around and around the area you
start. Just lead him down the ramp, around, and back up the other ramp in a
circle. So long as you're focusing on keeping your distance from him, you
should have time to get to cover. Plus, there's a lot of obstacles up on the
high ground that he can't shoot through, but you can. Once you know this trick,
this fight actually isn't as bad as the first one, but really, running anywhere
else will run you into a corner, which is as good as death.

- TALI's LOYALTY MISSION: There was only one part to give me troubles on this,
and it was in a very tiny room that has a ramp leading down. The geth come from
below, as well as a flanking position to the left that you can't get through.
The geth WILL charge you here, and because there's just so many of them and
they're all shielded, it is incredibly hard to keep control, even with two sets
of AI Hacking.

What worked for me is to order your squad mates to take cover in that small
room before the ramp. Walk in only far enough to spawn the enemies, then you
too run to the room. The geth will slowly climb the ramp and crawl into the
room. You should be strong enough to easily take out individual ones in
seconds. To help, just use AI Hacking when it's down to base health, and kill
it anyway.

- LEGION's LOYALTY MISSION: I seriously recommend you just don't freaking do
it. You hopefully already have his Loyalty Achievement and the No One Left
Behind achievement, hence really his loyalty just doesn't matter, and by this
point you probably don't need the money or XP this mission provides.

But if you do, there are two tough parts. First is the 3rd of the Geth
Security rooms (with the green security fields on the ground). Because there's
quite a few hunters here and you don't want to be swarmed by them, it's best
to just set off the alarm the moment you enter the room. They have a long path
to get up to where you are, and should be able to easily deal with them as they
slowly come for you.

The much worse part is when you are readying the hack. Swarms of geth come for
you with no save in between. Pretty sure I got this by luck on my third try.
The turrets sadly do little, but you might as well activate them because, if
anything, it's a temporary distraction. Try to get the shields removed from
geth ASAP so you can use either your own AI Hacking or Tali's AI Hacking on
them. If you can hit them when they're still below, hopefully a bunch of the
geth will stop focusing on you and hit it. Likely some won't, though.

Stay in cover very close to one of the two ramps. The moment enemies start
walking up the ramp you're by, just unload into them. Kill them ASAP. Don't
worry about the other ramp at all. It's more important you don't get caught
from behind. Don't forget about AI Hacking: you can use it to get free shots
on an enemy if anything. And obviously once they're dead, you can turn your
focus to the enemies coming up the other ramp, which shouldn't be too hard.
Really, the tough part is just getting the enemies on that first ramp killed
ASAP. The rest isn't so bad. But you do have to survive 3 waves without saving,
and it's still annoying.

- ENDGAME: Believe it or not, the entire end game sequence was a cakewalk for
me, in comparison to the rest of the game at least. I would have thought for
sure getting those valves opened for the tech expert would blow. But you're
pretty strong by this point: Harbinger doesn't talk what he used to to kill
him. Plus, you can save between every valve. It's not that hard.

There is a tougher section when you're with the Biotic. You're thrown a ton of
Husks and a Scion within a very, very tiny space with almost no cover, and the
Scion absolutely comes for you. Luck helps. Just try and kill those damn Husks
ASAP or they'll otherwise swam you. Then use your trusty Carnifex for some
excellent damage against the Scion. You can't really run much, so try and save
your skill usage for an emergency Cloak or Barrier as he'll likely be right on
top of you when you kill him.

Finally the boss battle. It's almost not worth talking about, believe it or
not. Use the trusty Cain to deal solid damage, even if you don't happen to nail
the weak spot bang-on. With all the ammo upgrades, you only need to pick up one
Heavy Weapon Ammo before you can use it again. Harbinger drops Heavy Weapon
Ammo in this fight, so take the time to pick it up when it's safe. And
thankfully, the boss' own attack will greatly damage the Collectors too. So
you don't need to focus on the collectors that much. Take the time to at least
use your techs against the Boss' weak spot, as trust me, that damage adds up.
Again, your Carnifex is great damage against the boss so use that.

And absolutely nothing is as satisfying as using the Cain to kill it. The last
enemy you face in the game, the last thing you have to do, blowed the hell up
in a gigantic explosion. Oh...so...satisfying.


And the achievement will be yours once the ship has left this area. If you
successfully get it, congratulations are well deserved.

Good luck. You really are going to need it.


===============================================================================
[#A] In Closing
===============================================================================

DISCLAIMER: You may NOT use this FAQ for any profit what-so-ever, including
magazines, game guides, commercial web pages that charge fees, etc. This FAQ
is meant for personal use only. You may put this document on your own web page
provided you guarantee that it has not been modified in any way what-so-ever
and gives clear credit to me, the author, Ber'Zophus. You may use this as a
basis for creating your own faq, just give me, the author, Ber'Zophus, credit.

Of course, Mass Effect 2 is still a very new game at the time of this writing.
There might be mistakes or oversights on my part. If you notice anything
missing, wrong, insights, whatever, please e-mail me and let me know. [And
sorry if I don't respond....nothing personal, I'm just really busy and I
receive a lot of mail. I do read them all.]

Author: Ber'Zophus
E-mail: berzophus, at, sympatico.ca
Xbox Live: BerZophus

Special thanks to Bioware for making yet another completely awesome video game
that sucks up far too much of my life. Can't wait for Mass Effect 3!


Hope you enjoyed the FAQ. In closing, I think there's only one thing that can
be said: I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favourite store on the Citadel.
Truly words to live by.

- Ber'Zophus


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