Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

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Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:39 am

This is a topic that I have brought up frequently in the IT thread, but it can be its own topic here. Demersel brought this up first, and it got me thinking and investigating on my last playthrough.

Is it really such a good idea to allow Legion to upload the Reaper code?

If you've played 'From Ashes', you may have noticed that, as soon as you start doing the Geth missions, Javik brings up the Zha'til:

Javik: "In my cycle, a race called the Zha used machines, the Zha'til, as synthetic symbiotes. The Reapers subjugated the Zha'til as they have the geth. Their mechanical swarms blotted out the sky. They were brutal, merciless."
Tali: "Keelah. What did you do?"
Javik: "We sent their star into supernova. I believe the Zha would have thanked us."


(...)

Shepard: You mentioned before your people had problems with AI.
Javik: The Zha'til. They were as the Geth to this cycle.
Shepard: What happened?
Javik: Their creators lived on a dying world. It was beyond their ability to save. So they resorted to implants to enhance their intelligence.
Shepard: I think I know where this is going.
Javik: The AI seized the physical body. It could alter the genetic material at the deepest level. In time, the offspring were molded into a slave race. Few organic traces were left. They were monsters.


On two occasions Javik draws the parallel between the Geth and the Zha'til. But there's more. Like the Zha, the Quarians couldn't live on their homeworld any more. And if you make peace between Geth and Quarians, the Geth will upload themselves into the suits of the Quarians, to help boost their immune systems. So, just like the Zha, the Quarians will enter into a symbiotic relationship with a Reaper code-based AI.

See where I'm going with this?

If ME4 turns out to be a sequel, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Quarians would end up like the Zha.

I'm thinking pattern recognition.

The Protheans were brought down from within by a faction who wanted to use the Crucible to control the Reapers. These agents turned out to be indoctrinated.

This is completely analogous to Cerberus in our cycle. In much the same way, I think the Geth/Quarian situation is exactly analogous to the Zha'til.

"But if the Geth can't be trusted, how come they don't betray us at Earth?", will people say. I say it's because we have never seen the consequences of our big decisions in the same game.

If you've noticed, the Reaper code in the Geth consensus seems to have a life of its own. It rewrites itself, and no matter how hard you try, the roots of the code can't be eradicated. People say the code only regrows because the Reaper is still 'attached' to the consensus, but this is merely an assumption. At least, I haven't found anything that supports this claim, please correct me if I'm wrong.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Reaper code slowly rewrote itself, and the Quarians end up as some kind of Collectors.

Now I'm not saying people should be anti-synthetic. My Shepard supports synthetics, believes they are alive, etcetera. But that isn't the issue here.

The issue here is that the Reapers like to mess with the cycle's synthetics in order to screw organics over. The problem is that you're allowing a Reaper solution to be used. By using Reaper tech, we follow the path the Reapers lay out for us.


Legion in ME3 really doesn't seem like the guy he was in ME2. I would even say that he betrays his own ideals in ME3. Look at what he says after the destruction of the Collector Base in ME2:

Legion: "An interesting choice, Shepard Commander. Your species was offered everything Geth aspire to. True unity. Understanding. Transcendence. You rejected it. You even refused the possibility of using the Old Machines' gifts to achieve it on your species' own terms. You are more like us than we thought."

Shepard: Some of the Geth followed Sovereign, the "heretics".
Legion: The heretics accepted their technology. The Old Machines offered to give us our future. The Geth will achieve their own future.
Shepard: What difference does it make how you acquire a certain technology?
Legion: Technology is not a straight line. There are many paths to the same end. Accepting another's path, blinds you to alternatives. Nazara--Sovereign--said this itself. Your civilization is based upon the technology of the mass relays. Our technology. By using it, your society develops along the paths we desire.


And here he is, accepting the gifts of the old machines, because he can't pass up instant ascension. I think it is possible that the Reapers rewrote him / the Geth, and he's simply been compromised.

In short, my reasons for distrusting the Geth:

- The Geth willingly aligned themselves with the Reapers

- The Geth are of the opinion that submission is preferable to extinction (Whether or not Legion agrees with this is irrelevant when a significant majority of Geth programs have been rewritten by the Reapers - because they operate on consensus)

- There are eerie similarities between the whole Zha'til and the Geth/Quarian situation (Both organic races can't live on their homeworld anymore and both enter a symbiotic relationship with Reaper-based AI)

- Legion suddenly no longer has any problems accepting the Reapers' gifts (using the Reaper upgrades to become 'true AI'.)

- Legion withholds information from Shepard THREE times:

1. When not telling Shepard that (s)he's going to have to go into the consensus itself.
2. When not telling Shepard that he (Legion) is saving Geth programs from the consensus.
3. When not telling Shepard that he (Legion) still carries the Reaper upgrades.

One argument that people like to bring up to counter this, is that Legion 'reverse engineers' the Reaper code. However, I did this mission twice on my last playthrough, looking for anything that supports this, but I couldn't find it. Both Tali and Javik simply call it "Reaper code", and Legion calls it "upgrades".

Here is literally everything that is ever said about the subject:

(Before the mission)

Legion: We will deactivate defense systems and acquire an escape vehicle.
Shepard: You can do that?
Legion: This unit still carries remnants of the Old Machine upgrade code. We can break any Geth security. You are concerned.
Shepard: (renegade) Yes, I'm concerned! You're still hooked up to the Reapers?
Legion: No, we simply carry code upgrades that make us more effective--more intelligent.
Shepard: But you lied! You lied about rescuing those Geth on the server, and you're lying again now! Damn it, Legion, what do I have to do to gain your trust?

(...)

------

(After the mission)

Legion: Shepard-Commander. The Geth only acted in defense after the creators attacked. Do we deserve death?
Shepard: What are you suggesting?
Legion: Our upgrades. With the old machine dead, we could upload them to all Geth without sacrificing their independence.
Tali: You want to upload the Reaper code? That would make the Geth as smart as when the Reaper was controlling them!
Legion: Yes, but with free will. Each Geth unit would be a true intelligence. We would be alive, and we could help you.
(...)
Legion: Error. Copying code is insufficient. Direct personality dissemination required. Shepard-Commander, I must go to them. I'm sorry, it's the only way.


At best, you can assume he reworked the code because he mentions the word 'remnants'. But it is nowhere near solid proof that it was reverse engineered. He basically just talks about upgrades all the time, and Tali definitely calls it "Reaper code", as does Javik.

If anyone knows of any quote that supports the idea that Legion re-purposes the Reaper code, please let me know.

I think it resembles a really devious trap in which Legion simply can't pass up instant ascension, and Shepard goes along because he doesn't want to kill either of his friends, all in the name of everlasting peace between synthetics and organics. Throw in Legion's sacrifice and we've got ourselves a beautiful case of synthesis foreshadowing.

Making peace, using Reaper solutions? I say: Probably not a good idea.

Javik (Re: Legion): Your synthetic ally is using Reaper code. That is a mistake.


Last edited by DoomsdayDevice on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:27 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Andromidius on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:51 am

Only answer I can given honestly:

Potentially.

The variables are different, and with no Reaper influence the relationship may never turn darker. But its impossible to know.

Scary thought, though.
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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:05 am

Yeah, it's scary.

What's interesting is that (supposedly - someone posted this) Tali specifically mentions not having any Geth in her suit if she's your love interest. She only wants Shepard in her suit.

So if the Quarians are screwed, at least Tali will survive.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by draconian139 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:45 am

Wow, wasn't aware that Legion changed that much between the two. He didn't survive the SM for my main Shepard(and I've only played through ME3 once) so most of the things mentioned just reinforced that it wasn't Legion to me. I remember playing them and thinking, "Bah, real Legion wouldn't do that. Too bad I screwed up."
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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Rifneno on Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:50 am

No. They're not going to make "kill an entire race when you've got a choice to NOT kill them" the right choice.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:04 am

Rifneno wrote:No. They're not going to make "kill an entire race when you've got a choice to NOT kill them" the right choice.



You were saying? Laughing

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by ZerebusPrime on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:17 am

At this point, the cold calculus for me is a matter of:
Risking the longterm future of the Quarian race...
vs
How badly do I need both the Geth AND Quarian fleets?

And under no circumstances do I choose the Geth fleet alone over the Quarians'.

Honestly, the story of Mass Effect 3 leads me to believe that it's worth risking the Quarians' future if it doubles my dreadnought count. The Reapers are starships, after all, and that Crucible has to be escorted through a vast swarm of enemies in space. I don't care if the Geth can provide better ground support; I need ships with great big guns!

Also, the Quarians seem very likely to eventually build more AI, even more Geth, if the Geth are wiped out. Admiral Xen can't be alone in her desire to harness her species' natural affinity for AI.

In short.... if ME4 is set in the future, chances are the Quarians are doomed.
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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:21 am

Zerebus! Good to see you! Grin

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:24 am

draconian139 wrote:Wow, wasn't aware that Legion changed that much between the two. He didn't survive the SM for my main Shepard(and I've only played through ME3 once) so most of the things mentioned just reinforced that it wasn't Legion to me. I remember playing them and thinking, "Bah, real Legion wouldn't do that. Too bad I screwed up."

Yeah! That was more or less also my impression on my first playthrough.

Also:

Legion: Geth build our own future. The heretics asked the Old Machines to give them the future.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by ZerebusPrime on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:42 am

DoomsdayDevice wrote:Zerebus! Good to see you! Grin

Indeed.






...sorry, it's the avatar.
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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:56 am

IKR?

Hipster Jack is hawt. Love

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Rifneno on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:13 am

DoomsdayDevice wrote:
Rifneno wrote:No. They're not going to make "kill an entire race when you've got a choice to NOT kill them" the right choice.



You were saying? Laughing

I said KILL THEM. As in ACTUALLY DOING IT. That fucking tube doesn't do anything, and only an idiot listens to Starbinger.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by ElSuperGecko on Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:56 am

For me, the Geth were a lost cause after visiting the Geth Consensus.

The fragments of Reaper code you destroy there cannot be entirely eradicated - the root always remains. And, as we see if you only destroy part of it, the code grows back. It's essentially a self-replicating virus.

Whether the Geth acted in self-defense or not, they have been infected and corrupted by the Reapers. Too much foreshadowing of disaster here, both in ME2 following Legion's loyalty mission and in ME3 itself.

Javik (Re: Legion): Your synthetic ally is using Reaper code. That is a mistake.

It's a good quote. There's also this one:

Garrus: Nothing good ever came from Reaper tech.

And that's why in my playthrough, Legion ends up on the recieving end of three Renegade interrupts.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Raistlin Majere on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:17 am

Just for the record, EDI is using Reaper technology as well (the IFF).

The way i look at it however I see a repeat of the Zha'til quite unlikely. Remember the Geth are uploading to the suit simulate disease, no other functions. They are not uploading to implants or similar to improve the Quarian's intelligence.

The suit is not some AI all on its own either, at least from what we have heard and see, the Quarians cannot be controlled through their suits even if it is important to them as they can always take it physically.

I am also quite firmly in the camp of Legion having modified the Reaper code, understood it, made it his own, similar to how the Thanix cannon was made from the principals of Sovereign's guns.

But most importantly we can be pretty sure that the Rannoch Reaper is the root of the code in the Geth systems as the moment it dies said code disappears / seizes to function as shown by the fact that the Geth are once again helpless against the Quarian cyber weapon.

This is what prompts Legion to upload his own code in order to save his people. Had the code, the upgrades still been in place Legion would not need to do that as the Geth would still be able to defend themselves.

Ultimately I say we don't know enough about the details to say either way and until otherwise shown I am going to trust Legion as I have been able to up till now.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Rifneno on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:23 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:For me, the Geth were a lost cause after visiting the Geth Consensus.

The fragments of Reaper code you destroy there cannot be entirely eradicated - the root always remains. And, as we see if you only destroy part of it, the code grows back. It's essentially a self-replicating virus.

Whether the Geth acted in self-defense or not, they have been infected and corrupted by the Reapers. Too much foreshadowing of disaster here, both in ME2 following Legion's loyalty mission and in ME3 itself.

Javik (Re: Legion): Your synthetic ally is using Reaper code. That is a mistake.

It's a good quote. There's also this one:

Garrus: Nothing good ever came from Reaper tech.

And that's why in my playthrough, Legion ends up on the recieving end of three Renegade interrupts.

Yeah, that's true. I mean it's not like those geth are still physically hooked up to an active, live Reaper and that's why the code can't be completely eradicated or anything

Oh no wait, yes they are.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by ElSuperGecko on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:33 am

Too late, I'm afraid Rif. They crossed the line. They're dead to me now. :devil:

"Even a dead God can dream..." (or indoctrinate)

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Rifneno on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:35 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:Too late, I'm afraid Rif. They crossed the line. They're dead to me now. :devil:

"Even a dead God can dream..." (or indoctrinate)

Agreed. The geth are impossible to save because there's a Cthulhu reference in another game.

Seems legit!

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by ElSuperGecko on Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:35 pm

Just my opinion Rif, and I stand by it. The Geth must die. Evil or Very Mad

Of course, I also sold Legion to Cerberus in ME2... if I could have thrown him out of the airlock instead, I would have.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Rifneno on Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:41 pm

I wish I had the option to throw suit-rats out the airlock. :(

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:37 pm

Rifneno wrote:I said KILL THEM. As in ACTUALLY DOING IT. That fucking tube doesn't do anything, and only an idiot listens to Starbinger.

Still, you have to be prepared to sacrifice them. Hence alllll the references in the game to being prepared to make sacrifices.

Raistlin Majere wrote:I am also quite firmly in the camp of Legion having modified the Reaper code, understood it, made it his own, similar to how the Thanix cannon was made from the principals of Sovereign's guns.

Don't get me wrong - I respect your opinion - but do you have anything that supports this? I couldn't find anything that even suggests he re-purposed the code.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Maximus on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:19 pm

Too bad I won't get Quarians Synthesized with the Geth. I wipe them all, every time coz I hate Tali, and I have to kill her in ME2 or ME3. Without Tali, I can't make peace between Geth and Quarians, so i choose Geth over Quarians every time. Too bad, i won't get to shoot some Synth-Quarians sorry ass... ;/

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Raistlin Majere on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:20 pm

DoomsdayDevice wrote:
Rifneno wrote:I said KILL THEM. As in ACTUALLY DOING IT. That fucking tube doesn't do anything, and only an idiot listens to Starbinger.

Still, you have to be prepared to sacrifice them. Hence alllll the references in the game to being prepared to make sacrifices.

Raistlin Majere wrote:I am also quite firmly in the camp of Legion having modified the Reaper code, understood it, made it his own, similar to how the Thanix cannon was made from the principals of Sovereign's guns.

Don't get me wrong - I respect your opinion - but do you have anything that supports this? I couldn't find anything that even suggests he re-purposed the code.

If Legion was using the Reaper code raw the Geth would immediately be under Reaper control again, it is as simple as that. Aas such he has to have modified it in some way.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:49 pm

The thing is that the Reaper code seems to have a life of its own. It regrows, moves, breathes, makes Reaper growls (in the consensus). Sure, you could say this is only because there is a live Reaper attached to the consensus, but we do not know.

It could very well be possible that it regrows after a certain amount of time.

When you have the discussion about the Reaper upgrades onboard the Normandy, Legion says he finds this "growth beautiful, indicative of life".

"Growth".

It's still using a Reaper solution to create peace. It smells of synthesis on all sides. I still can't trust it.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by Rifneno on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:54 pm

DoomsdayDevice wrote:The thing is that the Reaper code seems to have a life of its own. It regrows, moves, breathes, makes Reaper growls (in the consensus). Sure, you could say this is only because there is a live Reaper attached to the consensus, but we do not know.

It could very well be possible that it regrows after a certain amount of time.

When you have the discussion about the Reaper upgrades onboard the Normandy, Legion says he finds this "growth beautiful, indicative of life".

"Growth".

It's still using a Reaper solution to create peace. It smells of synthesis on all sides. I still can't trust it.

And I'd agree if there was a way to have the geth survive but stay as they are. Given that the choice is either murdering an entire race, or letting them use the code that Legion assures us is safe, I'd literally bet everything I own that the code is safe.

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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:07 pm

Rifneno wrote:
DoomsdayDevice wrote:The thing is that the Reaper code seems to have a life of its own. It regrows, moves, breathes, makes Reaper growls (in the consensus). Sure, you could say this is only because there is a live Reaper attached to the consensus, but we do not know.

It could very well be possible that it regrows after a certain amount of time.

When you have the discussion about the Reaper upgrades onboard the Normandy, Legion says he finds this "growth beautiful, indicative of life".

"Growth".

It's still using a Reaper solution to create peace. It smells of synthesis on all sides. I still can't trust it.

And I'd agree if there was a way to have the geth survive but stay as they are. Given that the choice is either murdering an entire race, or letting them use the code that Legion assures us is safe, I'd literally bet everything I own that the code is safe.

I totally see where you're coming from. But the thing is... all of ME3 is like that. We don't get to 'opt out' any more. The entire game forces you to choose between two choices or dialogue options.

Disallowing the upload and still achieving peace would be a no-risk win. Here, they force you to choose between allowing the upload or letting the Geth die.

In an ideal situation, Shepard would tell the Quarians to stand down and disallow Legion to use the upload. Shepard would remind Legion of his own words at the end of ME2, and Legion would see reason, or realize he's been rewritten.

The only way to realize peace is to allow the upload. If Bioware is really devious (and I'm sure they are), they'll still manage to fool people into a disastrous situation even though they went straight for destroy in the ending.

It's the same kind of sadistic humour as talking Shepards into giving up and committing suicide, using the image of a boy that gives Jar Jar Binks a run for his money, in terms of popularity with the fanbase.

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DoomsdayDevice
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Re: Could the Quarians end up like the Zha'til if we make peace between Quarians and Geth?

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