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Virmire: Assault

mass effect nuke mission

You must infiltrate Saren 's base and destroy it completely. Captain Kirrahe will assist with a diversionary strike to draw off most of the geth .

Acquisition [ ]

This mission is acquired after leaving the salarian camp on Virmire and beginning the attack on Saren's base.

Preparation [ ]

The mission's encounter environments run the gamut from long-range to close range against krogan and geth. You will encounter groups of several krogan at once, so consider including talents that can knock charging krogan off their feet - e.g. Neural Shock , Lift , Throw . Apart from that you will be fighting some fairly large geth at sometimes uncomfortably close ranges, so some abilities such as Sabotage to foul their weapons and AI Hacking to turn them against each other wouldn't go amiss.

Whereas the previous part of Virmire tended to emphasize long-range weapons, during this portion of the mission you'll be facing more close-quarters encounters. Tali and Wrex are good examples of squadmates to bring along. Tali in particular has both a shotgun and tech talents that can help stop incoming fire. Wrex on the other hand brings biotic talents to knock down his fellow krogan and the occasional geth. If she wasn't sent with Kirrahe, Ashley also becomes a viable option, although she lacks crowd control talents.

Consider modifying weapons with ammo that either prevents health regeneration, knocks opponents down, or both. The sheer number of charging enemies with defensive powers can become problematic. Armor configurations should be geared toward shield and health regeneration, since hostile fire will normally occur in places with poor cover, and using all your medi-gel to stay alive only to run out when a particularly powerful opponent comes along will make this battle tough.

It's also inevitable you'll face some enemies with radar jamming. Have at least one member of your team equipped with your strongest detection upgrade at all times.

As a main plot mission there are lots of opportunities to increase your morality points here. If you intend to take on the assignments with high Paragon and/or Renegade score requirements this is one of the last few moments to beef up your scores.

Walkthrough [ ]

You and your two selected squadmates jump down behind a wall and survey the area. Captain Kirrahe comes over the comm and does a quick comm check. Respond as you will. Kirrahe replies that he is starting their attack and he reminds Shepard to be on the lookout for anything that can help them.

Sneaking in the Back [ ]

Like with the previous mission, there are multiple branching paths to take though they all end up in the same place. Consulting your map, you will be advancing generally to the west. There are four labeled places there, from east to west: Communications Tower, Satellite Uplink Tower, Refueling Platform, and Research Facility. The Satellite Uplink Tower and Research Facility cannot be missed while visiting the Communications Tower and Refueling Platform are optional.

If you intend to make things easier for Kirrahe's teams simply visit the labeled places in order, then when you reach the research facility entrances backtrack the alternate routes to sweep for killables and/or loot. Note: This section of the mission is concurrent with the assignment Virmire: Assisting Kirrahe's Team . This page will only list the basics required to reach and enter the facility; consult the assignment page for more details on the assignment objectives and environs.

The geth's comm tower

When you gain control head forward and to the north, there is a communications tower. The outskirts is defended by a Geth Trooper and a Geth Shock Trooper . On the structure itself are two Geth Snipers (one upstairs and one downstairs), another Shock Trooper, and a Geth Destroyer . They will greet you with a hail of gunfire and red tracking beams.

The comm tower has a geth console and a weapon locker (easy decryption). Disrupt the former if you want to make headway in the concurrent assignment.

West of the communications tower there are two routes. No matter the way you choose you will run into some more geth:

Satellite Uplink Tower

The next structure is the satellite uplink tower. It is initially defended by a Shock Trooper and a Krogan Warrior . On top of the structure is a satellite dish you can plink for the assignment, and below it is an aid station for medi-gel .

Beyond the sat uplink tower is a series of raised catwalks connecting circular platforms with ramping stairs from north to south. Halfway through the sole passage out of the sat tower the squadmate you sent to help Kirrahe radios that hostile air support has headed to refueling stations to recharge: a hint you can heed or ignore. Emerging from the catwalk, a Geth Destroyer can be seen north, and may be hidden beyond a crate. Shooting at it may alert a nearby Geth Rocket Trooper along the catwalk directly leading to the research facility. Deal with them as they're the immediate threats. Legendary Edition: The Destroyer is less aggressive and won't even shoot or charge until you get close to it.

You now have a choice to go north to the refueling platform, south to explore what's there, or direct to the base.

Going north leads to a gaggle of geth flyers above flammable tanks, so deal with them to accomplish an assignment objective. Note: Kirrahe's survival depends on the destruction of the flyers. Failure to do so results in the squadmate aiding the salarians taking over radio chatter duties for the rest of the mission.

Saren has some strange priorities on things to guard

South from the sat tower leads to a platform defended by two Krogan Warriors: it has a lootable crate and an explosive containment cell, the latter being conveniently placed to soften these tough enemies up. Note: a portion of the area below the catwalk, the one bounded by the southwest walls, is inaccessible, so be wary of physics attacks that might result in you or your enemies ending up there with potentially no firing solutions or legal way out.

The long tunnel headed northeast from the circular platforms leads to an upgrade kit and a vantage point covering the base entrance. Note: This spot is a good place to snipe the geth and krogan guards that will spawn once you get really close to the research facility through the central catwalk.

Synthetics and organics working together, who would have thought

If you explored both north and south areas before proceeding to the base, or have no interest doing so, proceed westward through the only catwalk to the research facility. When you reach the steps to the last circular platform, radio chatter will announce the result of your interference (or lack of) with the geth flyers. The platform is covered in hexagonal geth shields as well as the base entrance beyond it; and the entrance is defended by two Geth Snipers and two Krogan Warriors. Find cover as appropriate.

The krogan that appear here have a habit of walking down the bridge then charging about halfway across, then proceeding to melee and use their shotguns to fill the squad full of holes. The facility entrance has a bunch of explosive containment cells though, targeted shots may reduce the hostiles' health to manageable levels before they can get you. Insanity Tip: If you return to the sniping spot noted earlier, you can get all the geth down before any of the krogan can get to you -- plus you'll usually face the krogan one at a time instead of together. Note that you may need to approach the bridge to Saren's base closely enough to get the enemies to spawn first, before heading to the sniping point.

When the area is clear head across the bridge. Loot the wall safe (easy decryption) and crate on opposing sides of the entrance.

You now have two options to get into the base: the door on the upper level to the right of the bridge, or a path down through the base's underworks that begins to the left of the bridge. When you reach either entrance you hear radio chatter from Kirrahe or Ashley/Kaidan acknowledging you're getting close. At either end, there is a computer terminal where one of your squadmates will hack the console and say there are two options: either disable the alarms, or generate alarms on the other side of the base. If you elect to disable the alarms you will get more experience in the form of more enemies to fight. The other option will throw more enemies into Kirrahe's teams.

Once you access the console at either end, the other one will be disabled and the relevant door will remain locked. Don't worry , the base entry layout is circular so the endpoint of your chosen route is the beginning of the alternate route, just with locked off doors (enter through the sewers, you can arrive at the warehouse and vice versa). No lootables or enemies are locked out in either case. Consulting your map, if you choose the sewers you'll be going through the Maintenance Bay, Storage Room, Cell Block B, Security Office, Maintenance, then Warehouse. The order is reversed should you go through the Warehouse first. Either way, you will be progressing the mission through the Security Office.

Indoctrinated salarians in the sewers

The base underworks route requires you to decrypt the sewer door entrance (easy decryption) and fight off some indoctrinated salarians before reaching the security console in the area labeled the Maintenance Bay. On the upside, there's a technician kit there. Legendary Edition: The sewer route now has a giant crate should you need cover near the first indoctrinated salarian.

The other route features no enemies before reaching the security console, but you may face heavy resistance immediately after opening the doors of the area labeled the Warehouse if you don't disable the alarms. Either route features hostile salarians, which elicits some comments from one of your squadmates regarding Kirrahe losing some men and indoctrination . Going through the underworks is initially stealthier, though it won't matter in the long run if you're aiming to kill everything and maximize experience points anyway.

Base Entry [ ]

A bunch of crates in a sneaky location that has a high chance of being overlooked if you entered the base sneaking in

Assuming you enter through the sewers, after the console door you'll see some stairs and some indoctrinated salarians lurking about in the storage room above. After dealing with them, be sure not to miss the group of four crates behind the staircase.

There's an Aid Station right by the storage room door upstairs for reference should you need the medi-gel now or for later. The door leads to more stairs and eventually you arrive in the area marked as Cell Block B on your map. In it is the Turian Intel Report terminal containing a codex entry if you haven't received it yet (easy decryption) and a hold of cells containing salarians reduced to gibbering except one who can actually talk.

You have a choice: open the doors for Paragon points and exp, or leave them be for Renegade points

When you talk to this particular salarian he introduces himself as Private Menos Avot and says that experiments have been performed on him for the six days he has been imprisoned. Your squadmates will comment on his condition and both think that something is off about him. You now have a choice: let him out, or leave him in.

If you let him out he succumbs to the "incessant whispering" and attacks along with the indoctrinated salarians from adjoining cells. If you choose to leave him, he doesn't take this sitting down and will try to get out by charging the glass, cracking it partially (and his skull) in the process. Letting Avot and his cellmates out nets you a fight, some exp, and Paragon points while leaving them there nets you some Renegade points (though there's no option to open their cages afterward), so as always the decision is ultimately up to you.

Saren's severe staffing problem shows when he has a couple of droolers stationed at a security office

Head out into the stairs and at the end you reach a security office that holds two more indoctrinated salarians, as weak as those who preceded them. When they are disposed of there is a hardened weapons locker (hard decryption) and a crate near where you came in. Make sure to open them before moving on. If you haven't gotten it yet, the terminal labeled Salarian Intel Report has another codex entry in it (easy decryption).

If you wish to advance to the heart of the mission faster at the expense of experience and loot, take the elevator at the center of the room to the next section . Otherwise, ignore it for now.

If you want to explore, there are two more doors in the security office aside from the elevator and the one you came in. Take the one leading out into a corridor and into Maintenance. Head across the catwalk and you will arrive at another door. You're in the right place if someone on the cells below notices your presence - ignore him for now. Beyond the door, you arrive first at an antechamber to the areas labeled Maintenance and Warehouse on your map. In this antechamber is a terminal containing an Asari Intel Report - another codex entry if you haven't received this from other avenues yet (easy decryption).

Heavy hitters and cannon fodder in one room

In the next room are two more indoctrinated salarians, a Shock Trooper, and a Geth Juggernaut . The salarians are roving around, so you might not see them initially. Shoot the salarians and use a power on the Juggernaut to keep it off balance. If you see it, aim for the explosive ion containment cell conveniently located near their starting positions.

When you take down the guards in the maintenance area, focus on the salarians and possibly geth that are coming from the lower level warehouse. If you chose to generate alarms on the other side of the base then you'll see only the salarians; otherwise you'll also face Geth Shock Troopers, Geth Troopers, Geth Rocket Troopers, and a Geth Destroyer. The three or four salarians are not a threat but the charging Destroyer is, so focus on that one first. When the attackers are down, take the medi-gel from the aid station near the stairs heading down into the warehouse before heading back. Note: If you chose to come in through the base's upper level door rather than the underworks, this is the room you'll have entered.

The door forward leads to the warehouse while the door at the bottom left is the actual entry point to the detention cells

Head back to the security office and the take an immediate right to the door there, labeled in your map as leading to the Detention Cells. When you open the door you should be looking at a staircase heading down and to the right. It leads to the lower levels of the catwalk you were on. When you reach the bottom open the door and in the far left cell the salarian calling out to you earlier: Lieutenant Ganto Imness . Talking to this salarian will give up a lot more information than the last one that actually talked and didn't just shoot. Ganto will tell you about the threat of Indoctrination and what happened to his squad, apparently in the other cells.

You can ask him about the tests and what has been happening, and when you have all the information you want you have two options, let him go, or keep him in the cell. He will understand either way. However, giving him the chance to outrun the blast grants some Paragon points, while leaving him to die will net some Renegade points. You can actually even tell him you're leaving him, gaining the Renegade points, and then change your mind and let him out after all, gaining the Paragon points as well. Afterwards, you can also open up the cell next to his, which contains four salarians. You can just free them, or you can execute them for more Renegade points.

Once you've had your fill of exp and loot head back up to the security office and into the elevator.

Saren's Base Interior [ ]

For a couple of eggheads Droyas and his assistant have no problems packing heat

When you reach the top of the elevator, you arrive at the base's genophage lab. Which somehow involves experiments on husks . The enemies in the room don't immediately notice you. Interacting with the stasis console directly in front of you will instantly draw their attention, however, causing the krogan researcher Doctor Droyas , his asari assistant , and the husks in the stasis chambers to attack, so don't do this.

The asari thankfully doesn't possess any biotics that can knock you down but Droyas has Neural Shock which can, as well as a number of other nasty tech abilities, so it's a good idea to disable him ASAP before he notices you. Since you don't want to get blindsided by the husks while concentrating on him, an effective strategy is to rush across the room to the far end where there are no husks.

There are only two doors in the area: the elevator, and an initially locked one at the middle of the room. When all enemies are down the door unlocks and you can start looting the area: near the elevator is an upgrade kit and also a wetware kit, and on the other side of the room is a medical station (easy decryption). When you are done, head out of the lab via the door, and take out the two Geth Troopers blocking your way to another security office. The drawbridge nearby will be lowered later; ignore it for now.

Remember this gal, you'll be seeing her again in unexpected places if you let her live

When you enter the room there is an asari behind a desk. She introduces herself as Rana Thanoptis , a scientist that is in a more permanent position than she would have wanted. You can ask questions and she gives a lot more information about indoctrination and Saren’s flagship, Sovereign . If you keep asking questions then she gives up a wealth of information and access to Saren's private lab. Now you have the option to either let her go or kill her; she'll make cameos in future Mass Effect games if you let her go.

Rana's office has a secure weapon locker (average decryption) by way of lootables. Take the elevator to Saren's lab and at the top is another beacon , and your squadmates remark that it is the same as the one on Eden Prime . Interacting with the beacon is the point of no return for the earliest sections of the mission. Ensure you already explored, looted and killed everything you need prior to this as backtracking will become impossible.

When you activate the beacon, it transmits the full vision into Shepard's brain; unlike the last time, this beacon doesn't explode, and the Commander remains conscious. After Shepard is released, the squad walks up the stairs and across the overhead catwalk, with a red hologram for controls appearing there. When you get closer a red hologram of something else appears.

The vanguard of your destruction, or so he claims

The hologram begins talking and after just a few seconds, Shepard and the squad come to the realization that Sovereign isn't a Reaper ship, but an actual Reaper. You can ask Sovereign questions and it is willing enough to indulge Shepard for a time. However, after learning that the Reapers are doing what they do for reasons that cannot be understood by organics, and about the destruction of the Protheans , Sovereign ends the conversation and suddenly all the glass around the lab shatters.

Destroy Saren's Base [ ]

Joker informs you that Sovereign just pulled a turn that would shear any ship in the Alliance Navy in half. Move out and back to the elevator. When you exit the upper elevator station, a Geth Destroyer is waiting for you across the bridge, so make sure not to disappoint. Before you arrive outside Rana's former office, radio chatter from Kirrahe or Ashley/Kaidan confirms the geth have been rattled due to your actions. Head into the office, exit, and you'll see the drawbridges leading back the way you came from raised and the one in front of the squad lowered.

No need to wait for the muzzle flash to die down, it's always a good time to charge an enemy to tear their guts out

On the other side of the now-accessible drawbridge are three Krogan Warriors, and they're at the far end so they can't do that much damage yet. Send your squadmates up and be sure to keep an eye on them because the krogan will usually charge. Using Lift on the krogan when they charge will often send them out of the playable area for an instant kill. When the krogan are down move through the tunnel and exit.

You're now out of the labs and into the base main level, and your map labels the next place you're going to as Turret Control. Further on the path banks upwards and along the left, though on a lower platform there are three crates (one requires average electronics, one requires average decryption, and one has no security). When you reach the turn you'll be greeted with the sight of a large AA gun. One of your squadmates are concerned it could punch holes on the Normandy . Fortunately the controls to disable it are nearby, though unfortunately it's defended by three Rocket Drones, another Krogan Warrior, a Geth Stalker , and a Geth Ghost .

Hoppers and flyers galore

On the lower platform by the sea again there are two crates: an upgrade kit and a secure crate (average decryption). The krogan is also on the lower platform and is quite easy to send flying into the abyss using Lift, then Throw. Then focus on the annoying Geth Hoppers jumping around, while being mindful not to take rockets to the face from the Rocket Drones around the corner. There are some explosive plasma containment cells in the area, though you may want to reserve it for later.

Insanity Tip: On the highest levels it's recommended you disable the hoppers first due to the Ghost's one-shot Assassination capability and the Stalker's constant threat of Sabotage. Stun them with a Lift, subvert them with AI Hacking , or Sabotage their weapons. The area is also open-air, the Hoppers can be whittled down from afar with basic targeting then strafing for cover.

They could've chosen to soak up the surf and sun, but nope, still helping the big bad overlord with his evil plans

When you head up to the controls and deactivate the AA tower your squad advises you to turn around because there are some geth that apparently followed you up the elevator you came in. A Rocket Trooper and a Shock Trooper show up. There is little cover, though you really don't need it because the geth are a pushover. Shortly after, the salarian team's leader radios congratulations on taking down the tower, musing it's now their turn to deal with the other turret. Loot the wall safe and the secure weapon locker (average decryption) before activating the elevator.

When you activate the elevator be prepared because it doesn't come up empty. Inside the elevator are two Geth Troopers and a Geth Shock Trooper. Take them out and then take the elevator yourself.

You arrive at a short corridor with an Aid Station near the exit. The salarian team's leader radios their activities once you reach the door, and after that you are in one of the krogan breeding trenches. There are two Geth Stalkers jumping around so make sure to put them out of their misery; none of the dangerous Ghosts for now. Head across the room shooting as you go and using the cover as necessary.

Sort of weird to have the counterterrorists planting bombs

When you reach the door Kirrahe or Ashley/Kaidan tells everyone to bunker down as the charges have been set. Open it to reveal a large empty (but watery) space. Joker is elated at the AA towers' destruction, and shortly the Normandy arrives as well.

Planting The Bomb [ ]

The squadmate you didn't send with Kirrahe earlier walks down the Normandy's ramp with the salarian drive core that has been converted into a nuclear bomb. As the bomb is placed near the geothermal taps that power the base, and its one weak point, your other squadmate comes over the radio saying that they are pinned down on the second AA tower. The squadmate with you says to go because they still need a few minutes to finish the arming sequence, so do so. You have the option to reselect your squad at this point because you will have access to neither Kaidan nor Ashley at this point, no matter your choices. Insanity Tip: Unless Shepard is a biotic, you may want to include Liara in this squad for her crowd control abilities as you will be facing a lot of enemies in small spaces going forward.

Three semi-invulnerable charging tanks and two insta-kill assassins? Trivial issue with the Force -er, biotics

When you regain control head to the door to your right, and be prepared for yet another fight. In this trench are two Krogan Warriors, a Krogan Warlord , and two Geth Ghosts. First order of business is to get into cover fast to avoid Assassination by the hoppers and then keep an eye on the Warlord because he has a habit of charging before the rest. He also has a habit of going just after Shepard and leaving the rest of the squad alone.

When the Warlord goes down, focus on the geth then the remaining krogan. Finally when the attackers are down, run across and take the elevator up. Insanity Tips: On Insanity this battle is a lot more dangerous than it initially looks because of the nature of the enemies and the fairly tight space. Consider remaining outside the main door and picking off both of the Ghosts to simplify the situation, and then see if you can lure over one krogan at a time.

When you reach the top head to your left and make sure to loot the crate before heading up the ramp. When you walk up the stairs you are treated to a cutscene as a Geth Dropship flies overhead, as well as a big decision.

Saving a Squadmate [ ]

Shepard radios the squadmate back at the bomb site, they say that the geth are dropping in all over the place and they arm the bomb. If you ask, then they will say that they are making sure the bomb goes off no matter what. Then the same dialogue no matter where Kaidan or Ashley are. Both are insistent that Shepard go and save the other one. Because there is no time to save both, you must now pick a single squadmate to save: Kaidan or Ashley.

Make your choice.

Taking the elevator down or up has never been more life-changing

Depending on whom you choose to save you will either continue to the AA tower or head back to the bomb site. Whichever route you take you'll be forced to follow that option until the end of the mission. If you choose to continue to the AA tower, the elevator back will be disabled. If you choose to return to the bomb site, the door to the AA tower will be disabled.

Option 1: AA Tower [ ]

Salarians on the AA tower outgunned and outnumbered

Keep heading down the path, which leads to an elevator, which leads to a small antechamber beneath the AA tower. Loot the Hardened Weapon Locker (hard decryption) and the medi gel from the Aid Station. Another elevator leads up to the AA tower itself, once you are ready save your game and head up. Once the elevator opens, draw weapons and head around until you can see geth attacking the remaining salarians. So oblige and attack the geth before they have a chance to do more damage.

The elevator opens away from the geth, giving you time to pick a path. Your right-hand side has a wall for cover and a clear firing path to the geth, and your left-hand side also has a wall for cover but with much of the view obstructed by a bunch of nearby crates. Both have their obvious advantages and disadvantages. There are 2 fuel tanks at the far end (one is obstructed by a crate if coming in from your right and the other is almost obscured by the near crates if you're coming in from the left) and there are also 2 fuel tanks at each side (may not be readily visible depending on where you are). You may want to blow them up to burn any geth inbound or nearby. You may also want to save some for the coming boss fight. Your call. Legendary Edition: Crate/cover placement has been modified such that there are now more of them along the center area. The fuel tanks are also omitted from the level.

The second the last geth falls a cutscene starts where Saren appears overhead and barrages Shepard and the squad with biotic attacks from his hover-platform. Eventually after an attack that forces Shepard into cover Saren lands and begins a conversation.

He is impressed because his geth thought that the salarians were the real threat. Over the course of conversation you can get a lot of information about why Saren betrayed the Council and what Sovereign's motives are. If certain dialogue options are chosen, you are presented with Charm and Intimidate options. Using either of them will yield morality points as well as facilitate another persuasion check later in the game .

Saren Taunts Shepard

No matter what you say to Saren, it soon becomes clear that words will not be enough to stop him. Here at the AA tower, no matter where you are after finishing off the geth you resume the fight after the cutscene in cover to the left of the elevator.

Saren is essentially out in the open, but while riding his platform he is immune to biotic attacks except for Warp and Stasis . He usually focuses on Shepard and leaves the remaining squad members alone, so spread out but don't hesitate to have them join the fight.

Because there is a lot of cover here use it to your advantage and take shots at Saren until the fight ends. Other than that, just keep your defensive abilities active, Sabotage Saren's weapons and use Damping to stifle his abilities as often as possible, and you should be fine. Tip: Saren will sometimes hover over places where fuel tanks are, so lucky for you if he does on a fuel tank you refrained from destroying. You can blow it up for great justice—use Sabotage for maximum effect.

Of course a boss always fights with his goons

This fight has changed dramatically in Legendary Edition . First of all there are no fuel tanks to the sides that you can use to take out chunks of Saren's health. Secondly, although Saren will initially exchange some shots and perhaps powers with you, he will soon begin summoning waves of Geth Troopers, Geth Shock Troopers, and eventually Geth Snipers and Geth Destroyers. Head over to the elevator entrance—this gives you a place to defend, and you can hide in the elevator itself if you need to recharge your shield.

The geth will advance on you, and you will need to protect both your right and left flanks. Meanwhile Saren will be hovering and moving back and forth, and will unleash withering firepower and eventually rockets on anyone who ventures very far out of cover. When the initial wave of geth is down he will waste little time before summoning another. Again you will need to manage your flanks carefully, keep your squadmates alive, and gradually whittle away the geth. Ideally you'll also get some free moments to concentrate fire on Saren and do him some damage.

The fight ends immediately when you manage to lower Saren's health bar to 50%, so you can choose how you divide your resources between whittling him down and holding back the geth.

Option 2: Back to the Bomb Site [ ]

Geth headcount: 2 Snipers, a Destroyer, a Juggernaut and a Prime

When you reenter the bomb site, take cover immediately behind the large box right there on your left. There are a few more geth, mainly Destroyers and Shock Troopers—but on higher difficulty levels there will be a Juggernaut, two Snipers, and also a Geth Prime as icing on the cake. Primes are very dangerous foes to face on foot as they deal heavy damage and possess a dangerous suite of abilities including Damping that can seriously hamper your entire party. Try to disable it ASAP with your own Damping, or abilities such as Stasis, Lift, and Sabotage before it can bring its formidable arsenal to bear.

There is very little cover here, from the door your only cover is a stack of man-sized crates. On the upside, the geth are in a shooting gallery. If you're playing the original Mass Effect there are 4 fuel tanks in the area, assuming your trigger finger didn't get itchy and destroyed them on first arrival earlier, that you can shoot when geth are nearby to end the fight quickly. If you can save any, they may be useful at the upcoming boss fight.

The second the last geth falls a cutscene starts where Saren appears overhead and barrages Shepard and the squad with biotic attacks from his hover-platform. Eventually after an attack that blows Shepard into cover Saren lands and begins a conversation.

Saren on his hovercraft

No matter what you say to Saren, it soon becomes clear that words will not be enough to stop him. Here at the bombsite, no matter where you are after finishing off the geth you resume the fight after the cutscene in cover to the left of the cylindrical structure, a bit back from the door you came in and a bit further back from the initial cover of man-sized crates near the door.

Use the cover that is provided to shoot at Saren until the fight is over. Saren is essentially out in the open here, but while riding his platform he is basically immune to biotic attacks except for Warp and Stasis. The best way is to order your squadmates to attack Saren because he usually focuses on Shepard and leaves the remaining squad members alone.

Because there is little cover here, keep moving as you use powers and gunfire to take out Saren before he can do the same to you. If you desperately need cover go to the door where you just came from. Keep your defensive abilities active, use Sabotage and Damping to suppress his weapons and abilities, and stay on the move, and you should be fine. Tip: Saren will sometimes hover over places where the fuel tanks are, so lucky for you if he does on a fuel tank you refrained from destroying. You can then shoot or even better Sabotage to cause him a lot of damage.

Nowhere to hide? Try going on the offensive instead of turtling or camping

This fight has changed dramatically. First of all there are no fuel tanks that you can use to take out chunks of Saren's health. Secondly, although Saren will initially exchange some shots and perhaps powers with you, he will soon begin summoning waves of Geth Troopers, Geth Shock Troopers, and eventually Geth Snipers and Geth Destroyers. The geth will advance on you from both sides of the circular structure, and so part of your challenge is to keep from getting surrounded in a situation where you have nowhere to hide when you need to restore your shields.

One strategy is to alternate between destroying or pushing back the ones on the left, and then the right, and so forth. Meanwhile Saren will be hovering and moving back and forth, and will unleash withering firepower on anyone who ventures very far out of cover. When the initial wave of geth is down he will waste little time before summoning another. Again you will need to manage your flanks carefully, keep your squadmates alive, and gradually whittle away the geth. Ideally you'll also get some free moments to concentrate fire on Saren and do him some damage.

Virmire Escape and Aftermath [ ]

Eventually when Saren takes enough damage, a final cutscene will play showing Saren stepping off his platform, casting his assault rifle aside and grabbing Shepard. The turian holds Shepard over the edge, but something gets his attention and the Commander delivers a right hook to Saren's chin, making him drop Shepard. He then retreats to his platform and flies away. The Normandy arrives overhead and the screen fades…

The nuke goes off

…To the bombsite where the squad member left behind, clearly wounded, is still shooting at the geth from behind the bomb. They look up to see the Normandy flying away, smile, and get back to shooting the geth. If you picked up the squadmate from the bombsite, you won't see the fate of whoever was left at the AA Tower; the game just cuts directly to the next scene.

Then the scene shifts to the Normandy running and Joker trying to outrun the blast while telling everyone to hold on as it will be close. As the nuke goes off, Shepard looks out the window at the mushroom cloud produced by the bomb.

Once you are in the debriefing room, the squadmate you chose to save is trying to argue that they were the wrong choice. You can choose to rebuff or the soft response. If you have Liara in the squad she offers to join your minds again to make sense of the vision. If you have the cipher from Feros then she recognized some of the places from her research, Ilos .

Joker offers to patch the Council in and as usual, you can accept or not talk to them. If you do then the Council is grateful that the initial mission was a success. They are skeptical about the Reapers, but affirm that as a Spectre, it is Shepard's decision how to react. While the Council does offer some condolences for the loss of Shepard's squadmate in the explosion, they are half-hearted and disinterested, noting the trillions of other lives at stake.

Walk around the Normandy after you are done with the Council and Joker, as most of your squadmates will have opinions about the mission and the loss of your squadmate. If Kirrahe survived, you can visit him in the Normandy’s hangar deck along with the surviving salarians. He also offers his condolences to Shepard and will vow to never forget the sacrifice that either Ashley or Kaidan had to make. You can talk to Commander Rentola to purchase any of his leftover gear, a number of Armory licenses (if not previously acquired), and a second chance to acquire the Armali Council armory license (if not previously acquired during the UNC: Asari Diplomacy mission) that he didn't have available before the battle. Note: Rentola, Kirrahe, and the salarians will depart the ship for good once you dock. Additionally, if you have done all plot worlds and are planning on visiting them, do it before you access the Galaxy Map.

Should you have completed the first four plot worlds at this point, you will be returned to the Citadel once you use the Galaxy Map and lockdown will begin immediately after you dock.

Enemies [ ]

Mass Effect 2 Consequences [ ]

If you spared Rana Thanoptis, she reappears in Dossier: The Warlord as a scientist complicit again in less-than-ethical tasks. There's no option to kill her there.

The squadmate who survived Virmire won't return as a squadmate. Ashley/Kaidan only makes a small appearance at the mission on Horizon , refusing any offers to join your team despite romantic entanglements if there's any.

Mass Effect 3 Consequences [ ]

Rana Thanoptis' cameo concludes in an email newsletter . She has been indoctrinated all along and has killed herself.

The Virmire survivor once more becomes available as a squadmate for one mission before being sidelined to the Huerta Memorial Hospital . Intervening events and decisions will result in them either dead, sent to Admiral Hackett as a War Asset , or reinstated as a permanent squadmate choice for the rest of the game.

References [ ]

mass effect nuke mission

Mass Effect

Mass Effect Wiki Guide

This page of IGN's Mass Effect wiki guide is all about the Assault Mission on Virmire , including how to get through all combat encounters, where to find every source of loot, and pick the right dialogue choices for your playthrough.

Prepare for the Assault

Infiltrate saren's base, disable aa guns, provide backup.

mass effect nuke mission

After you've dealt with Wrex , you should explore the local camp. In the Western-most tent will be a Communications Relay with Easy Decryption, and in the Eastern-most tent a Medical Station with Easy Decryption, both providing Codex entries. However unless you're an Engineer, Sentinel or Infiltrator, you'll be unable to crack them as the game doesn't consider you to have any Squad Mates at the moment.

mass effect nuke mission

Also in the Eastern-most tent is Commander Rentola: you can buy and sell your Inventory items to him here. If you didn't get the Armali Council License by using the Persuasion options at the end of Asari Diplomacy , you can buy it now from Rentola.

mass effect nuke mission

Now you should talk to Kirrahe in the middle tent. He has a plan to use his ship's drive core as a nuclear device, but it needs to be placed at a specific point in the base. He plans to use his team as a distraction while you head inside and clear a space for the nuke to be planted by the Normandy.

He does however need someone to co-ordinate his teams. Your choice will be between Kaidan and Ashley. Despite appearances, this choice isn't actually that important in any way outside of loot and XP. If that's truly a concern for you, then you should choose the one you like most to be on Kirrahe's team.

mass effect nuke mission

After Kirrahe's passionate speech, you'll be asked to pick your Squad to infiltrate the base. You'll want someone who has skills with Decryption and Electronics!


First thing's first -- you no longer have the Mako, so you're on foot from here on out. Be more cautious in fighting, since you can't take nearly as much damage as your vehicle could, and practice patience as you storm enemy installations. As you head Northward from the start, you'll run into some enemy resistance from a Communications Tower. Take out these Geth as you did any other, and take cover behind rocks and other debris as enemies shoot at you from the installation to the North. Once they're doing, look for the Weapon Locker with Easy Decryption up in the building.

mass effect nuke mission

Exit the outpost and head West: it won't take long for you to notice that the path ahead splits and meets up again, just like in the Mako section. As we suggested then, take both paths as you go forward, backtracking to the one you didn't take before continuing West. This will allow you to gain XP from killing otherwise-missed enemies, and what's more, you'll be able to avoid being possibly flanked by any enemies you missed later on.

mass effect nuke mission

The enemies you meet Westward will be in another building, the Sattelite Uplink Tower. At this point, Krogan will start to intermingle with Geth enemies, and naturally, they are far more resilient, so expect the fighting to be kicked up a notch. There's a nearby Aid Station you can visit if need be.

mass effect nuke mission

Cross the western bridge, and you'll get to an intersection. First, head up the rock tunnel directly ahead to find an Upgrade Kit at the top. Now head down the to bottom and take the route leading South (it should be to your right going back down the tunnel. At the platform at the end will be two Krogan: kill them, then search the platform for a Crate .

mass effect nuke mission

Now to tend to Assisting Kirrahe's Team: this step is important because it's the one that has a direct effect on Kirrahe's fate. From where the Krogan and the Crate were, return to the intersection and continue North by going straight. At the end of this long and winding walkway will be a Refueling Platform with Geth Assault and Rocket Drones. Take out both them and the two Fuel Tanks to get +8 Paragon Points .

mass effect nuke mission

With that out of the way, continue down the path: it'll lead you back South and to the next area to the West, where more strong Krogan and Geth await at the Research Facility balcony. Take them out posthaste, seeking cover when and where you can. Once they're all down, look for the Storage Locker with Easy Decryption on the North wall, then go to the South end of the balcony to find a Crate .

mass effect nuke mission

You'll now have two ways to make it into Saren's base. There's a door on the North side of the balcony, but there's also a hidden entrance that's under the South end of the balcony. You'll want to take the South entrance for one very important reason: you can kill all the enemies in the base if you take this route, which you cannot do if you take the Northern entrance!


So with that in mind, locate the gap in the balcony railing and walk down the sand bank, then turn right around the rock to go under the balcony and find the hidden entrance. Navigate your way through the Sewers and you'll enter a Maintenance Bay with Indoctrinated Salarians. These guys are very easy: they lack any significant firepower and have very low health, and are no threat at all compared to the Krogan and heavy Geth enemies elsewhere in the base. Once they're done, open the Upgrade Kit and then go to the door in the upper level.

mass effect nuke mission

Head through the door and you'll enter a room with a stairwell. Before heading up, check behind the stairs to find four easily-missed Crates that you can open right up, no hassle. Head upstairs into the Storage Room and you'll fight two more Indoctrinated, who'll go down easy-peasy. Make sure to grab the Aid Station to the left of the door before leaving.

mass effect nuke mission

Up the stairs will lead you to Cell Block B, where you can examine the prisoners. While most of the Salarians here are delirious for some reason, one of them can be talked to. You get +8 Paragon Points for picking "All right. Let him out", or +2 Renegade Points for choosing either "No" or "Sorry. I can't risk it". You may want to let him out even if you're Renegade: this releases all the Salarians here, who will then attack you, letting you kill them for XP.

mass effect nuke mission

Continue downstairs out the North side of the room and you'll have to gun down two more Indoctrinated Salarians. Once they're dead, open up the Crate and the Hardened Weapon Locker with Hard Decryption for their loot. This room is where the two paths into the base reconverge again.

At this point you'll now have three directions you can go. The central elevator continues down the main level path, so ignore it for now. The Northern door leads to the other path in, while the door to the left of it leads downstairs for mroe Morality opportunities.

mass effect nuke mission

For now, head through the door that leads you North. You'll go across a walkway overlooking Cell Block A, and you'll hear a Salarian call out to you. Ignore him for now and head through the door on the opposite side. On the other end, open the door to your right into Maintenance and then immediately retreat, as you'll have a powerful Geth Juggernaut to deal with in addition to Shock Troopers and Indoctrinated.

mass effect nuke mission

Bunker up in the corridor and let the enemies flow in through the doorway, then once they're down continue into the room and down the ramp at the far end into the Warehouse area. You'll encounter and kill two Geth Destroyers and two more Indoctrinated. Grab the Aid Station on the wall at the top of the ramp, and you're done! You've now cleared everything on both routes!

mass effect nuke mission

Now backtrack to the Security Office and take the door to your right and down the stairs. Here you'll find another Salarian captive you can talk to, although he appears much more sane than the last one. Here, you get +2 Paragon Points for saying "I think I can trust you" and then "I'm letting you out", or +9 Renegade for "I can't trust you" and then "Too risky" (you can however then let him out after that, letting you get both the Paragon and Renegade points!).

mass effect nuke mission

After speaking with the Salarian, you can then investigate the cell to the right and determine the fate of its delerious occupants. Picking "They're no threat" gives +2 Paragon Points while picking either "Open the door and kill them" or "Eliminate them" gives +2 Renegade Points (and some XP for killing them).


With that all done, return to the Security Office and take the elevator to the next part of the base. You'll arrive in the Genophage Labs: before anything happens, quickly Investigate the Stasis Console on your right for a Codex entry. Then the fighting begins against Husks, as well as the various scientists. Once they're down, check the table to the left of the Stasis Console for a Wetware Kit and an Upgrade Kit , then go allllll the way to the opposite end of the room for a Medical Station with Easy Decryption.

mass effect nuke mission

With the Labs stripped bare, take the door out of the room westward to an adjoining catwalk. Here, you'll be able to run along the linear pathway and back into a new building, fighting a new crop of enemies en route. Keep this place in mind -- you'll be returning here and taking a different route to continue onwards.

mass effect nuke mission

As you stumble into another Security Office, you'll meet Rana Thanoptis, who'll give you the details on what's happened to the Salarians: Indoctrination. Pay attention to her, because this is a concept that is VERY important to the Mass Effect series. At the end of the conversation you get to determine her fate. Pick "You're free" or "Get out of here" to give her a chance to escape. You can alternately pick "You deserve to die" and then "Too late" to kill her for +9 Renegade Points .

mass effect nuke mission

Whichever you chose, Rana will have opened the door for you. Head through it, going outside and then back in to an elevator that goes up the Communications Tower. Here you can find a Prothean Beacon just like one Eden Prime! Head down the ramp so that Shepard will have the missng pieces of their vision completed. As you head up to leave however, you'll have a face-to-face encounter with a powerful foe.


With all of the new information you now have, it's time to backtrack. Return all the way back to Rana's Security Office and out the door, killing a Geth Destroyer on the way. Out of Rana's office, the route has now changed and you can only head forward down the long walkway. There's three Krogan here, so if you're good with snipers, pull it out to kill them from afar. Once they're down, head through the door on the far end.

mass effect nuke mission

You'll eventually reach a new sector of the level called the Virmire Base Main Level. As soon as you exit outside, look right for a lower area you can access where you can find a Crate , a Secure Crate with Average Decryption, and a Locked Crate with Average Electronics.

mass effect nuke mission

Around the curved ramp you'll have to find another Krogan and some Geth Stalkers, as well as three Geth Rocket Drones around the corner. Once you've taken them out, make sure to check the lower balcony nearby for a Technician Kit and a Secure Crate with Average Decryption.

mass effect nuke mission

Once everything is done, head to the end of the area marked as AA Controls on the map, then look for the Supply Container on the wall, as well as a Secure Weapon Locker with Average Decryption hidden behind the elevator. Now locate the Turret Controls and deactivate them: this will allow the Normandy to slip in and deliver the makeshift bomb! Be careful though: you'll be attacked by some enemies coming in to the right of the elevator, as well as some Geth in the elevator!


Once you've downed everyone, take the elevator down to the Breeding Ground. Use the Aid Station out the door, then enter the breeding trench and take out the Geth Stalkers here quickly before they snipe your health and shields away.

mass effect nuke mission

Through the large door, the Normandy will arrive and your spare human Squad Mate will help plant the bomb. Unfortunately, Kirrahe's team is under major fire and needs backup. Fortunately, it'll take time to arm the bomb, giving you a window to get over and help them out. Pick your Squad once again (remembering to bring someone with Electronics if Shepard can't do it), then head through the other large door to your right when you regain control of Shepard.

mass effect nuke mission

In the next Breeding Trench you'll battle Geth and Krogan, so find a safe spot and eliminate them. Once they're down, head to the other side and ride up the elevator. There'll be a small ramp on your left: BEFORE GOING UP IT, make sure to open the Crate to its right.

mass effect nuke mission

Once you head up the ramp, a Geth Dropship will land right at the bomb site, meaning both of your human Squad Mates are under heavy fire and need immediate backup. You'll have to make a difficult choice: who to go and save, and who to leave behind to get killed by the bomb. Who is where was determined by who you put on Kirrahe's team. If it was Ashley, then she'll be at the AA Tower and Kaidan at the bomb site. If you picked Kaidan, then he is at the AA Tower and Ashley is at the bomb side. Ultimately, the choice is purely cosmetic.

mass effect nuke mission

Now, if you caught our drift earlier in the guide, your preferred human Squad Mate will be with Kirrahe's team up on the AA Tower. There's a very good (albiet extremely petty) reason why we told you to do that: returning to the bomb site means back tracking, while the way to the AA Tower has a Hardened Locker with loot and XP. As well, the AA Tower has significantly more cover than the bomb site.

mass effect nuke mission

Who you decide save and who you leave behind won't give any Morality Points as it's truly a Catch-22 situation. However you response after you make your choice will give Morality Points: pick "I'm sorry" for +2 Paragon Points , or "Of course it was" for +2 Renegade Points .

mass effect nuke mission

If you chose to save the Human Squad Mate, then you'll need to go back down the elevator and through the second Breeding Trench again. Since you've been through there already there's nothing to note. If you chose to save the human Squad Mate at the AA Tower, then you'll have to press on through the door on your left. There's no enemies on this path either, however when you go through the door, you can make a U-Turn to your left to find a Hardened Weapons Locker with Hard Decryption. Up ahead will be another Aid Station , too.

mass effect nuke mission

Whichever option you pick, you'll arrive into a hot battlefield and have to clear the Geth out to protect your Squad Mate. Both the AA Tower and the bomb site are roughly the same shape, however the AA Tower has a lot more cover to make up for the fact that you enter it facing the wrong way.

mass effect nuke mission

Once you've killed all the Geth, Saren himself will show up, and you'll now have a VERY important conversation with him. Here, you'll learn that he's worried about Sovereign influencing his thoughts despite his strategic play to try and avoid it. Eventually, on the upper-right corner of the Dialogue Wheel will be "It's already happened!" or, if you used the Investigate options, "You are indoctrinated". Selecting one of them will open up two Persuasion options:

mass effect nuke mission

When the conversation does end, you'll confront Saren in an actual battle. Worry not, though; this battle isn't even remotely difficult, and when he takes enough damage, he'll simply skip off to safety anyway. But with a whole new slew of information and a feeling that you're getting close to uncovering the secrets of the Protheans, Reapers, Sovereign, and of Saren himself, you'll carry your human Squad Mate to the Normandy and leave the other one behind.

Back on the Normandy

mass effect nuke mission

You'll have an aftermath cutscene back on the Normandy where you justify your decision to your Virmire Survivor. If you have Liara and completed Feros (which, if you've followed this walkthrough in order, you've done), then she will meld her mind with Shepard's once again and is able to see the complete vision, revealing that the Conduit is on Ilos !

mass effect nuke mission

If you decide to report to the Council, then if you say "You need proof?", you get +2 Paragon Points . If you say "Screw you!" you get +2 Renegade Points , and interetingly you can then say "You have to trust me" for +2 Paragon Points .

mass effect nuke mission

At this point, you are now able to talk to Joker, your Virmire Survivor and Liara (if you have her) about what went down. If you didn't kill Wrex at the Salarian Camp, then you'll be able to talk to him about it as well.

mass effect nuke mission

The Salarian STG team will also be on the Normandy in the Cargo Bay: if you destroyed the Geth Flyers at the fuel tanks, then Captain Kirrahe will be among them too. If you need to, you can still talk to Commander Rentola and browse his wares: this is your last chance to get the Armali Council License if you don't already have it!

Up Next: How to Save Kirrahe

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Mass Effect

How to complete UNC: Espionage Probe in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Some things are better kept in the past.

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mass effect nuke mission

Image via BioWare

The UNC: Espionage Prove is a quest in Mass Effect Legendary Edition that can be a good way to give a small amount of XP for your party and prepare for you at the end of the game. You found a computer on Feros that detailed the logs of a freighter that shared delivery routes to a system in the Voyager cluster, but given the destination, nothing should be out there.

How to get UNC: Espionage Probe

You can acquire this quest by reading the logs of a ship while on Feros, and your journal entry will first be called Investigate Shipments. When you arrive at the Voyage Cluster, you want to go to the Amazon sector. Once you reach this area, you’ll receive a communication from the Fifth Fleet. Admiral Hackett will reach out to you to explain the situation and detail what you need to do to disable the nuclear probe. You can start the mission by landing on the Agebinium planet.

When you arrive on the planet in the Mako, the nuclear probe will be at the Alliance Homing Beacon location to the northwest of your starting position.

mass effect nuke mission

When you arrive at the location, it’s at the entrance of a mine. Your squadmates will comment about the likelihood of someone having moved it and triggering the signal.

You’ll have to go through the entire mine and reach the other end before locating a destroyed probe. Once you do, a detonation goes off, and a hologram appears, revealing to be Elanos Haliat, a rogue leader in the Terminus System. He reveals he was the one who was leading the Skyllian Blitz, one of Shepard’s famous battles that they were victorious. Haliat leaves you to die and sets the nuclear device off to kill you and your squadmates.

Despite being trapped, you still have to deal with the bomb. Approach the bomb and complete the manual override. It’ll be similar to completing a typical decryption. However, you’ll have to do this for multiple hardpoints on the bomb to deactivate it. You only have 10 seconds to switch between all of the decryption points and deactivate the bombs. The 10-second timer stops while you are decrypting and only counts down when you switching points.

After disabling the bomb, return the way you came, and the traditional exit will be covered by crates. Go to the left, and proceed out of the new exit. When you arrive outside, you’ll be overlooking a small camp where Haliat and his thugs have moved your Mako. Eliminate them, and complete the mission.

mass effect nuke mission

After defeating the camp and Haliat, you can return to the Normandy to report to Admiral Hackett about what happened, and inform him that the nuclear device has been secured.

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14. Mass Effect Story Walkthrough - Virmire

This is the fourth plot planet mission since becoming Spectre.

M6.0: Virmire

Travel to the Sentry Omega cluster at the NE edge of the Galaxy Map, NW of the Armstrong Cluster, select the Hoc system and land on Virmire on the right. Note that you will not be able to return to the Normandy until this mission is completed.

Enter the Mako and drive south avoiding getting too close to the sea edge on the left (instant death). Follow the path right then left round the bend, then continue right towards the north spotting Geth drones ahead.

Follow the water left towards the west and engage more drones and troopers. As you pass under an archway there are more drones to deal with as well as a Geth Juggernaut. Drive left past the rocky outcrop then continue left, avoiding going into the sea on the right.

You then come to an area containing energy barriers. Destroy the larger contingent of Geth here, then continue driving along the water path, spotting a gateway in the distance to the west populated with Geth enemies. Drive through either gap then turn left and engage a Geth Colossus dead ahead, using the Mako's weapons to weaken it then finish it off on foot for more XP.


Continue through the narrow passageway towards an intersection that splits into left & right directions, each with 2 Armatures blocking the way. As you continue in either direction you will see more Geth Colossi. Continue ahead (left path) or turn right around the rocks (right path) towards the SW to a second gateway in the distance.


Exit the Mako and ascend the stairs on the right, eliminating Geth in the area. Reach the top floor, watch out for snipers, troopers and destroyers here, then turn left and go down the passageway towards a rotating device. Turn off the nearby AA gun power panel, then activate the gate controls to its left to open the way forwards.

Go back to the Mako and drive through the opened pathway towards the south. Turn right to see another identical gateway directly ahead. Go up the stairs again and activate the gate controls on the left as before. Drive through the now opened gates towards the north and follow the waterway until you reach the Salarian camp, avoiding the sea edge on the right.

Save the game after Joker contacts you, in case you want to try out different choices for the decisions to come shortly, then a cutscene begins, introducing Captain Kirrahe and his team.

M6.1: Virmire: Wrex and the Genophage

Speak to Wrex standing at the water's edge on the NW. If you can convince him you will unlock:

Resolved impossible situation with Charm or Intimidate


If you don't have enough Renegade/Paragon points, you can still persuade him if you obtained his family armor ( P2 ); say "I wouldn't do this otherwise" or "We are" when the options present themselves.

M6.2: Virmire: Saren's Plan

After speaking to Wrex you can briefly talk to other members of your squad in the area; Cmdr Rentola standing next to Tali offers some supplies.

When you're ready speak to Captain Kirrahe in the central tent to resume the mission. Select either Kaidan or Ashley to go with the Salarians; that squad member becomes unavailable at this point in the mission. After Kirrahe's stirring speech the journal is updated with a new main mission objective as well as an assignment for helping the Salarian team.

M6.3: Virmire: Assault and V1.0: Virmire: Assisting Kirrahe's Team

Go forwards, eliminating Geth along the way, and you will see a communications tower ahead. Go up the ramp, turn left and interact with the Triangulation Tower Geth terminal to disrupt it.


Turn around, go back down the ramp then immediately turn right passing underneath the comm tower floor. Turn left then continue forwards, passing through a gap, and you will eventually see the Satellite Uplink Tower in the distance towards the SW. Take care of the Krogan warrior and Geth enemies up the ramp and destroy the satellite above, either with weapons or a tech power.


Move W and go along the walkway that extends towards the distance. When you reach the circular area turn right and go along the walkway towards the N. At the fork go right towards the NE passing over another circular platform then continue along the narrow walkway towards the NE and destroy the fuel tanks along with the rocket drones.


Now follow either the path around towards the west or retrace your steps, going W to the research facility. Eventually you will see a circular platform with kinetic barriers along with a couple more Krogan and Geth enemies in the area. You can now either enter the door on the right (quick route), or go left then walk down to the sand area through a gap in the wall (longer route).

Quick route


For the quick route, open the door on the right, follow the walkway round then interact with one of the security consoles next to the closed doors that leads to the garage area. You will be asked to either help Kirrahe's team ("They've got enough trouble") or lessen enemies for yourself ("They can handle it").

After deciding, enter the garage area and eliminate the Geth in the area. Proceed left up the short flight of stairs then open the door on the right once you have got rid of the rocket-armed destroyers. The next room contains some terminals as well as another door on the left. Open this door and proceed down the walkway into a room with an elevator that leads to the next area.

Longer route


For the longer route, enter the sandy area then turn right and use easy decryption on the door below the floor. Enter the maintenance (sewer-like) area, following the passage left then right. Open the door, defeat the enemies here, then go up ramp at the end of the room on the right and interact with the security console to be presented with the same choice of aiding or abetting Kirrahe's team.

Open the nearby door and go up the stairs (there are loot containers behind the wall). Open the next door ahead then turn left, following the stairs up to another room. You can speak to the person inside the third cell, otherwise go to the north end of the room and go down the stairs on your left. Open the door and after dealing with a few enemies in the room you will find the previously mentioned elevator on the left as well as another two doors on the right.

If you proceed through the rightmost door, follow the walkway to another door at the end, then enter the next door on the right you will enter the garage area corresponding to the quick route described above.

If you want to investigate who was calling to you, go through the first door to the right of the elevator then walk down the ramp. Open the door at the bottom and interact with the cell on the far left as well as the one next to it. Return back to the elevator.

Elevator to research lab (both routes)


Use the elevator to go to the research lab. Eliminate the enemies in the area, including a Krogan that can sabotage your power usage.

Use the door about a third of the way down on the left then follow the path left, eventually reaching a door guarded by a few Geth. Enter the next room to automatically begin a conversation with a scientist. Decide what to do, then open the door on the other side and cross the walkway. Use the elevator, then in the next room go down either ramp and investigate the glowing comm panel.

Next, go up the ramp and you will automatically begin speaking with a holographic projection, revealing major plot points.

Leave through the door on the right and use the elevator again. Open the door on the right and continue along the walkway; beware of the Geth destroyer ahead. Enter the room where you encountered the scientist and continue on to the other door and go back outside. Proceed along the ramp that drops down on the left then open the door at the other end after taking care of the Krogan warriors blocking your way.

Open the door at the end of the short corridor then turn right, following the curved path leading northwards. As you turn left spot more enemies ahead in the distance, including Geth jumpers and more Krogan.

Continue west, spotting Geth drones above. Go up the ramp on the right and deactivate the turret controls just ahead. Geth start to appear from behind, initially from below towards the ramp then more arrive from the nearby elevator; make sure you're not caught out! Use the elevator when it's safe to do so, open the door at the other end of the corridor and engage more Geth in the trench area.

Open the blast door at the other end to enter an open flooded area, leading to a cutscene with the arrival of the Normandy.

When you regain control, go through the blast door on the right of the central pillar (the minimap will get jammed as you approach it), using the door control panel on the right side.

Destroy the Geth jumpers and 3 charging Krogan in the trench area (the jamming will stop); it's recommended to initially stay near the door until at least two of the Krogan have been killed, otherwise you can get overwhelmed with their constant charging attacks in a very tight area. Use AI hacking, singularity, stasis, lift and throw for crowd control.

Use the elevator directly ahead and as you exit create a manual save in case you want to reverse your next decision.

Turn left, then proceed up the small incline to start an interactive cutscene, where you need to make a major choice with two options, namely go to the AA tower or return back to the nuke site.

AA tower choice

If you choose to go to the AA tower, then open the door at the west end of the balcony. Enter the room, go down the stairs on the right and use the elevator. As you exit fight the Geth, leading to an interactive cutscene.

Nuke site choice

If you choose to go back to the nuke site, then reenter the previous elevator and go back to the blast door. Open it then eliminate more Geth infantry that appear from the left, including rocket-launching Geth Prime and Juggernauts (it's recommended to stay near the blast door and use the cooling tower for cover) leading to an alternative cutscene.

After either choice

During the conversation select "It's already happened!" or "You are indoctrinated" to open up a (7 skill) Paragon/Renegade dialogue choice that will be useful later on. Use nearby fuel tanks to help you in the ensuing fight if they are still available and beware of rockets coming your way. When the battle is over you will unlock

Complete Virmire

Council Legion of Merit

The Normandy will leave Virmire and you will begin a debrief with your crew to take stock about the events of this incredible mission; agree with Liara (if romancing) and you can optionally inform the Council.

You can then speak to your squad mates, as well as with Joker, to get more of their reactions, and if you managed to rescue Kirrahe's team they will be in Engineering to the left of Wrex until you travel to another system.

M7.0: Race Against Time

Interact with the Galaxy Map to receive an update from Joker, leading to Shepard automatically returning to the Citadel.


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  1. UNC: Espionage Probe

    An old Alliance espionage probe has turned up in the Voyager Cluster. These probes carried nuclear payloads, and if the Citadel discovers these nuclear booby-

  2. Virmire: Assault

    You must infiltrate Saren's base and destroy it completely. Captain Kirrahe will assist with a diversionary strike to draw off most of the geth. Contents.

  3. Espionage Probe

    The location you want to head to is the Alliance Homing Beacon, located North-West of your starting location. It's marked with a 2 on our map

  4. Assault

    This page of IGN's Mass Effect wiki guide is all about the Assault Mission ... and clear a space for the nuke to be planted by the Normandy.

  5. UNC: Espionage Probe mission

    He talked to Shepard via holographic transmission suggesting he's some place safe. He was setting off the bomb to kill Shepard while him and his band is right

  6. Maybe someone can explain this to me...

    For the UNC Espionage Probe mission, the one where the guy Haliat sets up the bomb on the planet you go to, and you have to escape.....I dismantled the bomb

  7. Agebinium: Epsionage Probe

    After taking care of a possible Geth invasion we are now sent to recover and disable an Alliance espionage probe with a nuclear warhead

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    This part of IGN's Mass Effect: Legendary Edition gameplay walkthrough covers the UNC side mission Espionage Probe.For more Mass Effect

  9. How to complete UNC: Espionage Probe in Mass Effect Legendary

    You can acquire this quest by reading the logs of a ship while on Feros, and your journal entry will first be called Investigate Shipments. When

  10. Guide for Mass Effect

    Page 14 of the full game walkthrough for Mass Effect. ... will not be able to return to the Normandy until this mission is completed. ... Nuke site choice.