Cortez

Same Sex Romance and Mass Effect 3

Though rare, same sex romance options are not new to video games. We have seen them Jade Empire, The Sims, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and the Dragon Age series. But lately, BioWare has had some shining moments in this area. When they announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic was going to add same sex romances post release The Family Research Council got members to send thousands of letters to EA to denounce the move. EA did not back down, and instead stood by the decision to include the romance options http://kotaku.com/5899246/homophobes-slam-ea-with-thousands-of-letters-over-same+sex-romance. When a forum poster complained about the inclusion of bisexual NPCs in Dragon Age 2 David Gaider explained that “The majority has no inherent “right” to get more options than anyone else.”  http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/304/index/6661775&lf=8 Several recent BioWare games had same sex romance options, but Mass Effect 3 is especially important as a big budget game that has characters who are exclusively gay or lesbian.

 

 Some logistics first … Let’s look at the numbers!

(Author’s note: My Shepard romanced Liara and stayed faithful to her throughout the series. Information on which other characters can be romanced was taken from the Mass Effect wiki and some YouTube clips were referenced while writing the post.)

Steve Cortez from Mass Effect 3

Before delving into Mass Effect 3, it is important to look at the series as a whole. Let’s look at what character romances result in the Paramour achievement/trophy in each game. I call those the primary romances or relationships. The original Mass Effect had had 2 primary romance options for both the male and female Shepard. As a man you could romance Ashley Williams and Liara T’Soni while as a woman you could romance Kaidan Alenko or Liara T’Soni. While Liara is often considered by fans as a same sex romance for a female Shepard, the game specifies that asari are a mono gendered species. They do not talk about a male/female gender binary; they are simply asari. So we walk away from the original Mass Effect without an official same sex romance.

 

Mass Effect 2 had many more romance options than the original game. As a man, Shepard could romance Miranda Lawson, Tali’Zorah, or Jack. As a woman, Shepard could romance Jacob Taylor, Garrus Vakarian, and Thane Krios. None of these are same sex options.

 

Mass Effect 3 has the largest number of romance options in the series. As a man, Shepard can romance Miranda Lawson, Tali’Zorah, Jack, Ashley Williams, Kelly Chambers, Liara T’Soni, Kaiden Alenko, or Steve Cortez. As a woman, Shepard can romance Garrus Valkarian, Kaidan Alenko, Kelly Chambers, Liara T’Soni, and Samantha Traynor.

Game Shepard Primary opposite sex relationships Primary same sex relationships Asari relationships
Mass Effect Female 1 0 1
Mass Effect Male 1 0 1
Mass Effect 2 Female 3 0 0
Mass Effect 2 Male 3 0 0
Mass Effect 3 Female 2 1 1
Mass Effect 3 Male 5 2 1

 

             

Secondary romances

However, there were also relationships that were not tracked by the Paramour achievement. In Mass Effect 2 either Shepard could show interest in Samara, Morinth, and Kelly Chambers. This last option of Kelly Chambers is the only one in Mass Effect 2 that could definitely counts as a same sex relationship option. In Mass Effect 3 either Shepard could have a sexual relationship with Diana Allers which which add another same sex relationship option for a female Shepard.

 

All those numbers mean something  

When looking at the numbers, there is a clear trend for greater diversity in sexual relationships within the Mass Effect series. But there is something else in those numbers: a male Shepard has more options than a female Shepard. Part of this is due to the exclusion of Thane and Jacob as romance options in Mass Effect 3. Yet, even if those two were included in the group, a female Commander Shepard would still have fewer potential romance options than a male. The quantity of options appears to favor a male Shepard.

 

This favoritism falls apart when discussing same sex relationships. If we look at Liara as a same sex option for female characters, then a lesbian Shepard has had a romance option since the beginning of the series. Even ignoring Liara, a lesbian Shepard could start a relationship with Kelly Chambers in the second game and then have that carry over to Mass Effect 3. BUT, a gay Shepard had to wait 3 games in order to have a possible relationship. If you choose to role play Shepard as a gay male, romance is left out until the end of the series. See http://kotaku.com/5909937/with-the-galaxy-in-flames-my-video-game-hero-finally-came-out-of-the-closet Denis Farr’s article about this issue.

 

What could have been done differently?

 

Liara from Mass Effect 3

The relationship with Liara T’Soni deserves discussion. Does she “count” as a same sex romance for a female commander Shepard or not? If she is considered female, then there is a potential for a long term same sex relationship between her and Shepard stretching from the first game through to the last. But by describing her as part of a monogendered species the series denies players one positive lesbian romance portrayal. While a relationship with a genderless species could be interesting the asari are not androgynous, they are heavily coded as feminine. Because of their appearance, the relationship looks like a same sex romance with a female Shepard but should it be read as such or should we look at it as something different? I am not sure. Even after 3 games I do not know if my Shepard’s relationship with Liara can be considered a lesbian romance.

 

Kelly Chambers in Mass Effect 2 is also potentially problematic. Her relationship with Shepard is not considered a canon romance in that game. It is a flirtation, a quick hint of a potential relationship. When she joins Shepard in her cabin at the end of the game she is wearing a tight fitting outfit and does a sexy dance. The point of the scene is to provide sexual arousal for Shepard but does not allow for a further relationship within that one game. There is nothing wrong with that, but as the only portrayal of a same sex relationship in Mass Effect 2 it conforms with a male gaze, “two women are hot” portrait of lesbian relationships that is all too common in media. We need more diversity in the portrayal of lesbians. This relationship can become deeper in Mass Effect 3 but only if Shepard goes though this more superficial experience in the second game.

 

What makes ME3 special?

The final game in the series does several important things in terms of relationship options. The game portrays them as something that can be persistent and evolving over time. It is possible to have started a relationship with Liara in the first game, stayed faithful to her in the second game, and continue the relationship in the final episode. This is something unique and not available to a player that just wants to begin a relationship with Liara in the final game. The way the trilogy was set up allowed for the possibility a dynamic relationship. The NPCs were treated as having potential beyond just sex. These were characters whose stories mattered, with their own journey and growing relationships with Shepard.

 

However, one of the new characters in Mass Effect 3 is incredibly important. Steve Cortez is a pilot in the game. When discussing his past, you learn that he lost his husband in a Reaper invasion. This fact is handled wonderfully. We have a man, discussing the loss of his husband, and there is no pause in the discussion. Shepard does not stop to say, “Whoa, hold on, are you saying you are gay?” or ask any other question all too often heard by people in same sex relationships. Cortez mentions his husband and we are meant to mourn the loss with him. It is no different than if he mentioned the loss of his wife. This one simple thing is incredibly important. Imagine a world where all players of Mass Effect 3 accepted gay individuals as easily as Shepard does in the scene. Cortez being attracted to someone of the same sex is not an issue; it is a not an oddity, it just exists as one option within the universe. Cortez is shown as an exclusively gay man, and yet his sexuality is never shown as a problem. His sexuality is not used to impose tragedy in his life. This is not the tale of a difficult coming out story or an attack on a gay man. He is allowed to be a gay man and not have that one trait define his character arc. It is not something we see very often in media. This portrayal was done beautifully.

Authorial intent

Were the writers cognizant of these depictions and their implications? In an interview, Patrick Weekes and Dusty Everman show that members of the BioWare staff were aware of how they displayed these relationships. As Patrick Weekes said about writing a gay character:

Liara’s relationship in Lair of the Shadow Broker can be with players of either gender, so I was familiar with writing dialog that needed to work for a same-sex romance. Nevertheless, I’m a straight white male – pretty much the living embodiment of the Patriarchy – and I really wanted to avoid writing something that people saw and went, “That’s a straight guy writing lesbians for other straight guys to look at.”

 I also really wanted the romance with Traynor to be positive. One of my gay friends has this kind of sad hobby in which she watches every lesbian movie she can find, trying to find ones that actually end up with the women not either dying or breaking up. I think the most positive one she’s found is “D.E.B.S.” I wanted to avoid any kind of tragic heartbreak, to make this a fundamentally life-affirming relationship… at least, as much as possible within Mass Effect 3′s grim war story.

 

Samantha Traynor from Mass Effect 3

Similar to Cortez, for the exclusively lesbian character of Samantha Traynor her sexuality is a part of her but not her sole defining feature. Patrick Weekes again:

 I worked hard to create a character who addressed her lesbian identity in a positive and intelligent way. My first draft of Traynor’s pitch was all about how her character arc would be about identifying and overcoming the challenges of being gay… and my friends and managers called me on it. I’d been so focused on writing something positive that I hadn’t made a real-enough character. So in the next draft (closer to how she shipped), the focus was on her as a mostly lighthearted fish out of water, a very smart lab tech trying to adjust to life on the front lines, with her identity as a lesbian present but not shouted from the rooftops.

 

From Dusty Everman:

 I believe that by the 22nd century, declaring your gender preference will be about as profound as saying, “I like blondes.” It will just be an accepted part of who we are. So I tried to write a meaningful human relationship that just happens to be between two men.

 This interview shows that the team at BioWare was conscious of the implications of their character designs and story arcs. They were aware of some of the pitfalls often found when creating gay characters and they at least attempted to avoid them. The full interview can be found  http://blog.bioware.com/2012/05/07/same-sex-relationships-in-mass-effect-3/

 

What do we want to see next

BioWare did several laudable things in Mass Effect 3. So what do we want to see in future games? From both BioWare and other companies I ask for one thing: DIVERSITY! We need more games to show the complexity of human experiences. Let’s have some asexual characters. Let’s have NPCs that are straight but are NOT interested in the main character despite a match in gender and orientation. Let’s have more gay characters. Once we have more diversity, we can tell more stories. The Princess doesn’t always need saving by the Prince and the Prince may not want to marry a Princess anyways. Let’s step out of the box a bit more and get creative. Who would want to play a game with a lesbian necromancer as the main character? I would! And I doubt that I am the only person. Games are meant to be fun to play, so let’s play with the stories and create some new experiences.

29 thoughts on “Same Sex Romance and Mass Effect 3”

  1. I’m going to just say that because Bioware/EA made a Liara statue from one of Japanese notorious makers of women with impossible proportions in sexual poses for men (Kotobukiya: http://www.unitlost.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/liara.jpg) she is female, period. I’m not going to accept this “monogendered” (one gendered, not agendered) this as a pass to say she’s not. She’s marketed as a woman, shown as a woman and she’s meant to be an alien fantasy for men. “Oh yes! A whole species of women just for my male fantasies!” I’ve seen it in other games (Final Fantasy XI) where the “male” one gendered species is said to be asexual and they reproduce by some kind of phoenix logic, where as the male Mithra were “out of sight out of mind” giving the male players their desired cat girls minus those “pesky cat boys!” We actually do not see a male Mithra until very much late into the life of the game and in the most recent expansion. Even then he’s an NPC and doesn’t show up all that often.

    Even looking at Liara and comparing her to the other alien characters. She look HUMAN, she is the most human looking. The other alien race men all look more alien, beast-like. This has also been around forever, in both fantasy and sci-fi art. Where the women of a species or robots are always looking close to human and the men of the species and robots look closer to the beast/robots they are supposed to be. We can see this in World of Warcraft, Phantasy Star Online/Portable/0, even in old 60′s sci-fi with the female robots with the shiny metal breasts.

    So in conclusion, Liara is female. Period. Thus she was a MALE lesbian romance fantasy from the start. Why else would there be her and not a same sex coupling for the male characters?

    1. Interesting point about the beastly looking men in sci-fi works versus the human-looking ‘female’ xenomorphism. The sad thing is that they could have chosen a more androgynous-looking model for the Asari, the artists instead chose to make them APPEAR like hypersexed humans (I am reminded of Left Hand of Darkness, incidentally). I think that really plays into your argument about male lesbian fantasy.

      I would say that the writers/artists were trying to say something about Asari culture, but I’m not sure I can say what…

      1. Indeed, I would have chosen a more androgynous model myself. Once you stick large breasts on anything you’ve pretty much gendered it.

        I still need to read Left Hand of Darkness.

      2. It’s something that holds true particularly in the sci-fi and fantasy genres of the fantastical. Heck, men and women within a same species often look like entirely different species the majority of the time, with the men looking beastly and hulkish and have the opportunity to be grotesque aesthetically without batting an eye. But the women are nearly always slender, curvy (or at least top-heavy and/or flared hips), overtly feminine, attractive and humanish (with vague alien features a la tentacle heads or horns or exaggerated humanly inhuman beauty standards for facial features).

        Not to mention how often alien/fantasy species almost always come with breasts as well. Doesn’t matter if they’re a reptilian race, or a bison race, or a feline race, whatever; they have two pairs of human protruding boobs. And it’s purely for the sexualization angle. Any other argument is just trying to pull wool over people’s eyes, imo. Asari fall under the *same* category as all the above. It is what it is.

  2. Actually I’m reading a a lot about the Asari being sexy from the get go comes from “The Art of Mass Effect” artbook. I’m wondering if anyone can confirm this/ has the artbook etc.

    1. Yep; it’s stated outright that they were developed as a fanservice race. In both artbooks, I believe, but definitely in the first Mass Effect 1 artbook. I’ll scan the page once I get back home.
      It was stated in the pre-release ME1 interviews, too, ME1 being something of a love letter to scifi nostalgia (and all the sexism that implies). That so many people bend themselves over backwards buying into Bioware’s subsequent BSery/retconning makes me very sad.

      1. They tried to create the Drell as a fanservice race for women, but let’s look at the differences shall we? Drell are more alien/beast-looking than the Asari. They’re not dancing around in a strip club anywhere. You mostly see male Drell but it’s revealed that there ARE female Drell and the gamemakers have to have a gun to their head to ever show a female alien that doesn’t look human and conventionally attractive. The one love interest/party member we ever get of the supposed fanservice race is riddled with so much baggage and a guaranteed unhappy ending that it really makes me question how the heck he was ever “fanservice”, especially since the gamemakers admittedly forget about him in ME3. Thane is so much fail in my book. Not him, but the way the creators handled him.

        Yes, I’m bitter.

        1. @feministgamer

          I was going to bring up the Drell issue, but you nailed it. They started off wanting the Drell included as (straight) female fanservice, but it turned into a nightmare. I personally love their design, but the treatment of the Thane/Shep romance was just utterly heartbreaking.

          As for the whole “sexy human-like female alien” trope, I was even more disappointed with what the design of the Quarians, namely Tali. I was really hoping that, if they decided to show her unmasked, she would look foreign and truly “alien”. What a let down, let me tell you… Beautiful long black hair with a pretty human face. Lame.

          1. Apologize for the typos… “disappointed with what they did with the design of the Quarians*

        2. Bingo. Besides, I fail to see how Thane/the Drell are much fanservice for straight women considering his plotline and where it goes. Not to mention his romance almost entirely revolves around talking about his dead wife in creepy memory recollection and going to save the kid he had with said dead wife. If they were trying for a bad boy with a sensitive soul and wounded past that can be redeemable and fixed by you, then… well, I’d be insulted more than I would find it to be ‘fanservice.’ As for appearances, the only eyecandy he sports is a subtle hint of chest. Nothing comparable to Samara, Miranda, etc.

          Then, as you said, the devs admit they forgot about Thane(‘s romance stuff) in ME3. So… it was pretty poorly handled all around.

  3. Hm. Mass Effect 2 definitely did offer Kelly Chambers as an LI for men and women, imo. People (and devs) can argue that she’s not a ‘true’ LI and it’s just a ‘partial’ romance, but if you can date (you can have a private dinner together) and if she’s putting on a dancer’s thong and boob cutout outfit and grinding and gyrating all over your cabin for your Shep’s enjoyment in the end-game, it’s pretty obvious something’s going on between Shepard and Kelly.

    I don’t buy the ‘she’s not a romance’ option, especially since she becomes a full-fledged on in ME3, where you continue your interactions with her from ME2.

    One other thing is that during the PR hype for ME2, the devs (including Casey Hudson) outright said that there would be no same-sex romance in ME2. Which, as we see, isn’t true. Even if kissing Liara when you greet her as a romancing FemShep and the Asari as a race ‘don’t count as women,’ there still is Kelly Chambers. Also, he said that FemShep/Liara do not count as same-sex because Asari aren’t ‘women’ and therefore it’s not lesbian. Right. That certainly angered the fanbase, from what I remember (and was a part of).

    But speaking of Asari and sex and ‘what counts,’ it’s pretty obvious that Asari are meant to be nothing but biological women, with a lot of poorly disguised lore/biologic excuses in order to have lesbians get it on in space for hetero dudes to fanwank over. Asari and Liara certainly were *not* made with bisexuals/lesbians in mind. They have breasts, they can have physical sex with Earthmen, and they birth children. I’m certainly not against people enjoying the Asari or Liara as a character, but the reasons and history of everything relating to the subjects… leaves me rather cold and put off.

    And yeah, I agree that Gay/Bi DudeSheps really did get a weak end of the treatment in terms of opportunities to have same-sex relationships. In the third installment, only two men are options. A Lesbian/Bi FemShep has Liara, Kelly, Diana, and Samantha in ME3. There is also the Consort fling in ME1, if that counts for nothing other than same-sex sex offered.

    I will say, too, that Straight/Bi FemSheps are next in line for treatment when it comes to lacking opposite-sex romance options in ME3. Thane and Jacob… oh goodness. Yeah. She can either rekindle her romance with Kaidan or… nope, that’s it. Garrus has to be previously romanced in order to carry over, he cannot be romanced fresh in ME3. So… FemShep gets no new romances at all. And her pool of returning romances is severely limited/hampered for various problems. Note that none of these kind of things happen to any of DudeShep’s opposite-sex romances, new and returning, at all. They are all waiting and welcoming for their big stud, and only have eyes for him. It all gives me a headache, honestly.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Kaidan technically romanceable for a new relationship in a new game? I assume, like in ME2, he’s alive by default if you start a new game as female Shepard. But yeah…if Kaidan’s dead, and you didn’t romance Garrus in ME2, you’re out of luck for straight female options. (On the other hand, at least the Garrus romance was pretty damn awesome!)

      1. You are correct, Kaidan can be romanced fresh in ME3. I should have been a little more clearer, apologies. What I meant to convey is that there is no *new* opposite-male romanceable character in ME3. Straight DudeSheps can get Diana, for example, as a new opposite-sex romance option. FemSheps can get Diana as well, but it is a same-sex option. There is no new straight/opposite-sex (aka no new men characters available to hetero-romance) option for FemShep in ME3.

        Straight FemShep in the entire series has:
        Kaidan, Thane, Jacob, Garrus

        In ME3 for forced plotstuff that happens, she only has:
        Kaidan and Garrus

        If you didn’t previously romance Garrus, then by ME3 she only has:
        Kaidan

        Straight DudeShep in the entire series has:
        Liara, Kelly, Ashley, Diana, Miranda, Jack, Tali

        Straight DudeShep by ME3 through plotstuff, he still has:
        Liara, Kelly, Ashley, Diana, Miranda, Jack, and Tali

        If you didn’t previously romance Kelly, Ashley, Miranda, Jack or Tali, then you still have a chance in ME3 to have:
        Liara, Ashley, AND Diana

        Also…

        Same-Sex Options in the series for FemShep:
        Liara (in 3 games, 1 DLC), Diana (ME3), Samantha (ME3), Kelly (2 games), and Consort sexytime in ME1

        Same-Sex Options in the series for DudeShep:
        Kaidan (ME3), Cortez (ME3)

        1. Yeah, it’s interesting and vaguely telling that there are actually more possible new same-sex relationships (3) for FemShep in ME3 than new opposite-sex relationships (1), whereas it’s far more balanced for guys (2 same-sex, 3 opposite sex). Honestly, I’d feel better about the whole thing if they A) had given a bit more time to the Thane and Jacob rekindlings and B) Diana Allers hadn’t happened (seriously, who asked for her?). As much as I like the fact that there was at least *one* Alliance squad member who didn’t fraternize with their supervisor, perhaps Vega should have been a straight/bi romance option after all, like most people were expecting…

          1. Yeah, I think we all could have done without Diana Allers. If any reporter deserved to be serving on the Normany for plot and intrigue reasons it should have been Kahlisah al-Jilani. She’s been with us from ME1.

            As for Vega, I think him being a bi option would have been a very positive move.

            This reminds me of some of the complaints I hear in regards to bi options, particularly men bi options. There is an argument on BSN that I heard fairly often and that is, ‘Wow, it just cheapens characters when there are so many gay and bi guys on board the Normandy. It’s so unrealistic!” Nevermind that we have a female blue space babe that can reproduce with any living entity, a bisexual lady yeoman in ME2, and a lesbian lady that replaces her in ME3, and a bisexual reporter. All on the Normandy past and present. Yeah, it’s only unrealistic when there are non-hetero dudes around. ;P

            1. I would have loved Khalisah to join the Normandy – or at least had Diana Allers wear more clothes. Why, in a world where woman NPCs invariably either wear armour, trouser suits or fitted long dresses with high collars is she wearing a skintight mini dress. Seriously, what the hell is with that?

    2. “Note that none of these kind of things happen to any of DudeShep’s opposite-sex romances, new and returning, at all.”

      Yep. I wanna blog-rage about this sometime soon. Already ranted about the recurring Carth Syndrome in love interests for straight women and gay men, but it’s all the same problem – and it’s not just Bioware. It’s just a huge blind spot for development teams that are predominantly male, which is why they need to *stop being that.*

      1. It is something I complain about and discuss on the forums. It’s a valid issue, for sure. And it is VERY telling of the industry and the people that make our games, imo. They truly do need to stop doing that with romances for women (and gay men). Once in a while is fine for a decent story, but when it turns into a recurring theme over and over again for male love interests, then scrutiny is valid.

        After all, ME is a prime example of Dude PCs getting the vast majority of romance characters and storylines, yet none of them ever are beyond repair or happily ever afters (as much as can be with the metaplot, anyway).

  4. Really excellent analysis, Gunthera!

    It’s interesting to see how the series evolved regarding sexuality over the past five years. It was only last year that BioWare writers were saying that same-sex-only romances were completely off the table. I’m glad that doesn’t necessarily appear to be the case any more. I thought about how the argument was that the development cost of same-sex-only romances couldn’t be justified because of how few people actually play them. And maybe that’s true, but at the same time, even if not everyone plays the actual romances, everyone does get to interact with these characters and hear their stories. I loved becoming friends with Cortez and hearing about his husband and helping him come to terms with his loss. It was an incredibly touching story. And I think that it would be a shame if we missed out on more characters like that because same-sex romances aren’t “financially justifiable” or whatever. The romance part is great, but *everyone* gets something out of those characters, whether they play the romance or not.

    1. Thanks Alex!

      I really loved Cortez’ story as well. I adored his character and even though I did not romance him, he is one of my favorite NPCs from the entire series.

  5. In terms of nonsexual diversity, we do have James Vega… who cannot be romanced at all, and whose sexuality is never discussed (if memory serves). Which I was surprised about, frankly, since it would’ve been all to easy to have him talk about girls.

    1. Agreeing with the above comment- He sexually harasses FemShep and ogles her chest a few times. I stopped talking to him after a couple conversations, it made me so uncomfortable. And he doesn’t do this to dudeShep, so I always read him as straight.

    2. He goes on about a hot girl named Lola when he was young, and how FemShep reminds him of her. Thus, he begins calling her ‘Lola’ as a nickname. He also repeatedly flirts with FemShep (though if FemShep counter-flirts or dares him to act upon his words, he’ll back down and/or get flustered). I don’t know if I would term it sexually harassing, but it did walk the line between being too much too fast and feeling forced, imo. Especially since Shepard is the superior officer. Of course, chain of command and fraternizing on the Normandy has always been an issue with LIs, but it still does feel somewhat uncomfortable to me to have this kind of dynamic start off right from the beginning, with a superior officer, and not seeing to give a crap.

      On the one hand, I am easily bugged by characters that see boobs and instantly need to flirt and call attention to the character’s womanness. On the other hand, I thought Vega was done fairly okay in this regard. Fairly okay… tepid waters. It walks that line for me. You can tell him to stop calling you Lola and shut his flirting down right quick and just keep it business, at least.

  6. James Vega was wonderful imo. We should recognise that some women would not mind flirtation (i’m gay, and told him to keep sex out of it) but if a woman would have done that i would have gone with it. He does not press the advances if told off – hence i don’t exactly see any harrassment. It’s my right to choose to go with someone’s flirtation or not. And it’s my right to flirt with someone. It’s his right too. No double standards.

    Also he’s a straight macho guy who is not an out and out douchebro, secure in himself and his sexuality (as demonstrated by his friendship with Cortez) and not ridden by various forms of guilt. I prefer men like that – i.e. other human beings i can respect – around me (as friends) over the PC stock image of a well meaning idiot, or the un-PC flipside, sexist/homophobic douchebags, like 10000 times.

    1. … Actually having told Vega to stop flirting (more than once) in my game while playing female Shepard, I can attest to the fact that he keeps doing it even if you tell him repeatedly to stop. Tell him to stop calling you Lola. A conversation or two later he’s flirting again. Tell him to stop, he gets irritated, but sure enough he’ll be flirting again the next time you talk. He ogles you even if you tell him to cut it out. He makes suggestive comments. It doesn’t seem to matter to him that my Shepard’s completely loyal to Garrus, either, or that he might be making her uncomfortable. Nor am I given an option to pull rank on him, or to punish him for crossing the boundaries of appropriate behavior.

      I believe Vega was initially intended to be a romantic option for Straight Femshep, which is why it’s so baffling they’d make it impossible to romance him while also making it impossible to stop him from flirting. Doubly so when they took away Thane and Jacob, and when many fans do like Vega and want him as an option (I don’t, because I found him obnoxious for the above reason–he refuses to stop flirting when told to, which implies some serious disrespect).

      Long story short, he’s the Sexual Harrassment Poster Boy.

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