Mass Effect 2: What Should You Do With David?

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition handily includes all of the DLC packs from the original trilogy in its base game, so you can experience even more story content and additional little extras as you play. For Mass Effect 2, one of the included DLC story packs is Overlord.

This assignment comes from the Illusive Man and can be unlocked by checking your messages at your Private Terminal aboard the Normandy. A Cerberus facility on the planet Aite has gone off the grid, so the Illusive Man asks you to go in and check it out. As it turns out, an experiment to create a human-VI hybrid has gone rogue and has created a virus.

However, when you reach the end of the mission, you discover that David Archer, the supposed willing volunteer in this experiment, was cruelly forced into it with horrendous consequences.

Decision Point for David

After making it through the deathtrap elevator in Atlas Station, you will eventually come to a panel where you can stop the VI. Before you interact with this panel — save your game. This is the point of no return for this mission and your last chance to save before deciding David’s fate.

Once you interact with the panel, you will be thrown into a virtual reality-style sequence where you will uncover the truth behind Dr. Gavin Archer involving his brother in the experiment, and finally, you will be faced with taking down David/the VI itself in Atlas Station.

Once this boss battle is over, you will be thrown into a cutscene and will get to see the real David and realize that he is a victim in the whole horrid affair. You’ll speak with Gavin about what happened, but ultimately, you have a decision to make in regards to David.

Decision Consequences

If you choose “David is coming with me.”

  • Event: Shepard states that they will take David and that he will be put into the Jon Grissom Academy. Dr. Gavin Archer will pull a gun on Shepard, causing Shepard to pull theirs out also. A Paragon interrupt will make you pistol-whip Dr. Archer. The Illusive Man will later message you to say you have set their efforts back several years.
  • Consequences: Shepard will meet with David in Jon Grissom Academy in Mass Effect 3, where David will vouch for Shepard. David will also give you access to a weaponry room. Should Garrus or EDI be with you at the time, David will apologize to them. Dr. Archer also features in Mass Effect 3, stating his regret over what happened and he will become a War Asset for Shepard.

Note: If Grissom Academy is not saved in Mass Effect 3, David will die in the attack and Dr. Archer later kills himself and will not be available as a War Asset.

If you choose “The project needs him.”

  • Event: Shepard agrees that the project’s aims of controlling the geth are important and that David should remain there. However, Shepard punches Dr. Archer, explaining that Dr. Archer is only allowed to live because of the importance of his research. The Illusive Man will later message you to say that he appreciates you keeping Cerberus’s goals in mind.
  • Consequences: Dr. Archer explains to Shepard in Mass Effect 3 that he ultimately had to euthanize David, though they still managed to get some useful data from the project. A guilt-ridden Dr. Archer will become a War Asset.

Note: If you complete Priority: Rannoch before going to Arrae in Mass Effect 2, and chose not to save David, Dr. Archer will kill himself after realizing that the geth are no longer a threat and that David was put through horrific torture for nothing.

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