If You Kill Wrex On Virmire, You’re Playing Mass Effect Wrong

I can’t quite remember who said it to me – I’ve probably deleted their friendship from my memory as a result of this transgression – but someone once told me that they always kill Urdnot Wrex on Virmire. What the hell?

I imagine most Mass Effect fans hold everyone’s favourite krogan warlord close to their hearts, but it turns out that some people are staunchly anti-Wrex. It makes no sense to me – what, you’d rather have Wreav in charge of Tuchanka? That’s just stupid. We’ve got one krogan warlord who cares for his people and wants to rebuild a society in which they live in harmony with other species, and one lad who reckons as soon as he’s got about eight more soldiers, he’s going on an interstellar conquest to turn the galaxy inside out. One of these leaders is obviously preferable to the other, and it’s not the murdery one.

I mean, Wrex has killed people too, but if we’re gonna get into that, let’s not forget that Commander Shepard has the highest body count in the whole Mass Effect series. Wrex is a bounty hunter who fought his own father during a supposedly sacred Crush, so of course he’s pulled the trigger. Does that make him a bad person? No. He’s the only character in the first Mass Effect game who has any clue what’s going on. Garrus is over-excited about leaving C-Sec behind and says some Very Weird shit, Tali is a brilliant engineer but is pretty rude to people, Liara is far too absorbed by academia, Kaidan hasn’t quite come to terms with his biotic implants, and Ashley is a space racist. I know some of you argue she inherited this from her dad and learns to be better throughout the series, but I don’t really want to have to listen to a space racist for two whole games before she says, “Oops! My bad.” Ashley Williams is the worst character in Mass Effect.

Which brings me to my next point – Ashley shoots Wrex! I reiterate: what the hell? Who on Earth condones that? You literally have the option to not make the worst character in Mass Effect shoot the best one, and yet instead you say, “Yep, that’s how I want my playthrough to go – with space racist Ashley Williams busting a cap in certified legend Urdnot Wrex’s undeserving face.” I reckon Wrex is without a doubt the single best squadmate in the original game, but he’s also tied to loads of the best writing in Mass Effect 2, and his return to the Normandy in Mass Effect 3 is some genuinely god-tier material. I cannot believe there is even one percent of people on planet Earth who intentionally decide to get rid of him halfway through the first Mass Effect. Are you masochists?

This goes beyond whether you personally like or dislike Wrex, too. Depending on the decisions you make throughout the trilogy, you can see him unite previously warring krogan clans under one banner. They still drink ryncol and boot each other in the quad – yes, krogan have four balls – but they’re far more interested in galactic diplomacy now. Wreav literally wants them to blow up the universe without actually understanding why he even thinks that’s a remotely reasonable idea. He’s such an idiot, and even Grunt knows it – if you’ve played the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, you’ll know that Grunt, while extremely competitive with Wrex, has a deep respect for his elder. Also, imagine not having Wrex there to say “Shepard” in Mass Effect 3? What are you even playing these games for? Do me a favour: get your Mass Effect disc, or the console you own it digitally on, and post it to somebody who will appreciate it. Write a little companion note saying, “This is because I didn’t save Wrex on Virmire,” so hopefully they get the message and do the right thing.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition launches in May and plenty of people are going to be playing the trilogy for the first time. Whether you’re a newcomer to the Milky Way or, like me, are returning for your umpteenth playthrough, I just want to say one thing: if you kill Wrex on Virmire, you’re playing Mass Effect wrong. You’re depriving yourself of one of the best – if not the best – characters, making the galaxy far worse off, and buying into the stupid jargon of an idiot space racist. Save Wrex – and save Kaidan while you’re at it, eh? I know he moans about his headaches a lot, but he’s a good lad, and he treats other species with, you know, actual respect. Also he doesn’t shoot Wrex because he knows that’s an absolutely ridiculous thing to do in the middle of a mission where your numbers are already dire. Kaidan has a brain.

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Cian Maher is the Lead Features Editor at TheGamer. He’s also had work published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Verge, Vice, Wired, and more. You can find him on Twitter @cianmaher0.

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