Mass Effect (2007)

Mass Effect (2007)

Sarsben Dec 19, 2016 @ 8:11pm
How am I messing up the Ashley romance? (spoilers)
So, I've just finished ME1 for the fourth time (first time on PC). My first playthrough, I romanced Ashley. Second time I went for Liara. Both times I got the confrontation scene with the two of them. The last time I played I wound up locked in with Liara somehow, and never got some of Ash's romance dialogues or the confrontation scene. This time, more or less the same thing happened, except I definitely got the Ash romance dialogue where she talks about her family and the conversation ends with Shepard saying something about having something to look forward to after the mission. Nothing after that, though.

It's not a super big deal-- I've never tried a "sticking with Liara all the way through ME3" series playthrough, and I know I could just use a save game editor if I really wanted to change my save state-- but it's getting frustrating that this has happened to me twice in a row now and I have no idea why. Especially since it had always seemed to me that the only way to screw up a romance in this game was to never talk to the character in question or basically tell them you hate them.

Does anyone know if the scene on the Citadel with Kaiden and Ash looking out the window with Shepard is necessary for completing their romances? I know that I accidentally missed that scene my last couple playthroughs because I had already met Garrus or Wrex and swapped them into my party before I got to that section of the Citadel. If it's not that, the only other thing I can possibly think of is that there's some random dialogue option that ends Ashley's romance path without making it even remotely clear that this is happening.

Online guides haven't been very helpful with this, because they all seem to operate on the same assumption I was-- namely, that you cannot possibly mess up the romances by accident. Anyway, this isn't exactly a major concern, especially since I've already finished this playthrough. I'm just curious about this and wondering if I'm missing something really stupid and obscure.
Last edited by Sarsben; Dec 19, 2016 @ 8:13pm
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Showing 1-13 of 13 comments
BloodyMares Dec 20, 2016 @ 2:24pm 
About Ash vs Liara. I had this happen to me as well and like yourself I was puzzled. After playing with saves multiple times I discovered that each character has 2 phases:
First is a simple romantic interest. Starts with Ashley's jealousy towards Liara and with Liara's obvious confession.
Second is a "lock-in" phase. At this stage you officially enter a relationship and that person comes to you when the Normandy is grounded and when you fly to Ilos. Important note: You can't lock-in to both romantic interests. The romantic interest that you "lock-in" automatically aborts your other existing romance and becomes your only love interest.
You locked in to one of the characters too early (Liara) before you completed a third world mission. Here's how "lock-in" dialogues start with both Ashley and Liara:
1) Keep note how many conversations you had with Ashley. First one is about Garrus, Wrex and the Council. The second is when she is jealous of Liara. After the third conversation she says "Still interested in me? Baggage and all?" The moment you reply (there is no option to say no), you're locked in.
2) When Liara starts to tell about asari biology and that she had never had sex and you then tell her that you would like to be her first.
If you did either of those conversations then it means no catfight. So make sure you only talk 2 times on the Normandy with both Ashley and Liara so that they're interested in you but not yet locked in.

Citadel talk with Ash and Kaiden isn't necessary. It simply gives you flavor. that's all. As I said, all romances start with phase 1 and end with phase 2.
Another way to avoid romance if you want is to simply stay professional with Ashley when she's jealous of Liara ("It's non of your business") and say that you're not interested in Liara.

I hope I cleared things up for you.
Last edited by BloodyMares; Dec 20, 2016 @ 2:27pm
just.nuke.em Dec 22, 2016 @ 11:41pm 
Originally posted by BloodyMares:
Important note: You can't lock-in to both romantic interests.
I tried. Loved that cut scene :steamhappy:
Illus Dec 25, 2016 @ 2:15pm 
Also I believe that Liara's "lock-in" conversation is bugged and if you choose the third option you get locked in despite it being a very clear no.
Last edited by Illus; Dec 25, 2016 @ 2:23pm
BloodyMares Dec 27, 2016 @ 12:49am 
Originally posted by Illus:
Also I believe that Liara's "lock-in" conversation is bugged and if you choose the third option you get locked in despite it being a very clear no.
No, it's not lock-in dialogue that's bugged. It's the first romantic interest conversation where she asks if you have feelings for her.
Sarsben Dec 27, 2016 @ 9:41am 
Okay, thanks for the replies and input. I know that in my recently completed game, I got the convo where Ash is jealous and asks about Liara. I don't recall which option I chose, but I do remember that there didn't seem to be any obvious "I'm not interested in her" options. When Liara asked if I was involved with Ashley I said "Ash is special," and then when she asked if I was into her too I said yes, because I thought this would lead to the catfight. I'm not sure if I saw the "baggage and all" conversation so maybe I did inadvertently advance to the "lock-in" stage with Liara too soon. I do know that my last dialogue with Ashley ended with the implication of future sexytimes, with Shepard commenting about having something to look forward to.

I guess next time, if I'm planning to try for Ashley again, I may just play it safe and blow off Liara from the start.
BloodyMares Dec 27, 2016 @ 12:13pm 
Did you have a conversation with Liara about sex? That mating is spiritual and she hadn't tried that yet. That's what locks you in with her.
Sarsben Dec 28, 2016 @ 1:00pm 
I did have that conversation. For some reason I was thinking that was one of the first dialogues with her, mainly because I remember finding it amusing how quickly she jumps into the "this is how we bang" talk with Shepard. I never knew that was the bit that commits you to the Liara romance though... interesting. Thanks for the tip.
BloodyMares Dec 28, 2016 @ 1:19pm 
No, it is actually the last and only happens after you start a romance with Liara. The one you're probably talking about is the 'Investigate - Asari culture' option which is very similar. In the latest dialogue she says how her species are famous for promiscuity but it doesn't apply to her and basically tells that she's a virgin and then confesses that she would like to try that with Shepard.
Last edited by BloodyMares; Dec 28, 2016 @ 1:24pm
A bit late but I can confirm this is true. It's not found on too many places online, but the second conversation about Asari promiscuity is indeed the one that locks you in with Liara. If you want to Romance someone other than Liara, and you engaged in the second promiscuity conversation AT ALL, you need to load your last saved game. (The first one is the investigate option as BloodyMares said) Even if you already locked in with someone else, this Liara conversation can lock you in with Liara and out of the other romance. Generally this situation is only possible if you wait until late in ME 1 to recruit Liara, because if you're at the 'challenge' stage with both romances and you complete a plotworld, the 'two's company, three's a crowd' fight will happen in the Normandy comroom. This is a good fight actually, because it forces you to choose IMMEDIATELY who to romance, and prevents you accidentally locking in with whoever you speak to first. Understanding how romance works in the rest of the ME trilogy helped me backtrace it works this way in ME 1 and my testing has confirmed it.
Last edited by Senator Ted Bundy (R-TX); Jan 24, 2018 @ 4:45am
The reason why you can lock-in with Liara even if you locked in with someone else has to do with Bioware wanting to be friendly to new players, who might wait until after even Virmire to recruit Liara, by which time they might be locked in. If it was impossible to Lock-in with Liara in that case, new players would be cut off from that romance. However where they erred is in not making this clear and not providing an option to re-lockin with the original romance. There's no saved game editor for ME 1 so screwing this up really hurts. Fortunately I only have to redo Virmire and 1 optional mission on my current playthrough, could've been much worse. Relieved to have figured this out.
To make it even clearer, the comroom fight simply happens when you've reached the 'challenge' stage with 2 romances then completed a plotworld. If you reached the challenge stage with only 1, you can of course accidentally lock-in with them after that plotworld. So the easiest way to avoid this is to recruit Liara first, then exhaust positive romance dialogue with both candidates for
a couple plotworlds. Then before the 3rd world both will be at challenge stage and lockin will be available upon 3rd world's completion, and the comroom fight will allow you to choose.
Khalaq May 23, 2020 @ 9:35pm 
I just want to thank all of the contributors to this thread. Returning to the game in 2020, it's nice to know these details so that I wind up with the paramour of my choosing. It also takes away the stress of not knowing whether the bugged-out parts of conversations were actually important (e.g. the "View" conversation never firing).
Last edited by Khalaq; May 23, 2020 @ 9:36pm
You can screw up the Ash romance by blaming her for the beacon once on board the Normandy, and If you berated her on Eden prime about leaving her squad you get a different dialogue after leaving the medical bay.
If you dont try and make peace you may get locked out.
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