Mass Effect: Should You Save The Council?

The Mass Effect games offer plenty of opportunities for players to shape the world and plot of the series with the decisions they make while playing. At the very end of the first Mass Effect game, you are faced with the choice of saving the Citadel Council or letting them die.

While this might seem like it doesn’t overly matter as it’s at the end of the game, the repercussions of your choice will echo in the future games as well. If you’re having a hard time deciding what to do, especially seeing as it’s hard to empathize with people who kept telling you the Reapers were all in your head, we’ve got a short guide here on the consequences of each choice.

Decision Point for the Council’s Fate

Your last chance to make a final save before choosing the fate of the council is before you interact with the Control Panel in the Citadel’s Tower. This is right after your confrontation with Saren, whether you fought him or he shot himself is dependant on your prior choices.

Once you are ready to proceed, interact with the Control Panel. This will lead to one of your squadmates telling you to open the arms of the Citadel so the fleet can attack Sovereign, while the other squadmate will tell you to open the communications channel.

As soon as you open the communications channel, you will receive a distress call from the Destiny Ascension, the ship that has the Citadel Council aboard. With their shields failing and engines offline, they are sitting ducks for the attacking Geth.

Joker chips in to tell Shepard that the Alliance ships can save the Council if the relays are re-opened. One of your squadmates will remind you that the Council has done little for humanity, whereas the other squadmate will tell you to consider the bigger picture. So what should you do?

Decision Consequences

Though you are seemingly faced with three choices, the “Concentrate on Sovereign” option has the same end result for the Council as “Let the Council die”, though the number of Renegade Points earned will be different.

If you Save the Council.

  • Event: Alliance ships save the Destiny Ascension, though there are casualties for the Alliance fleet. Once the Council is saved, the Citadel’s arms are opened and the Alliance ships fly in to attack Sovereign. (Increase in Paragon Points)
  • Mass Effect Consequences: In the end scene, the Citadel Council thanks Shepard and the Alliance and decide that humanity has earned a seat on the Council. The Salarian Councillor will ask Shepard for their opinion of who should be the Councillor for humanity, emphasizing that their vote will carry a lot of weight. You can choose between Udina, Anderson, or letting the council decide.
  • Mass Effect 2 Consequences: The Council will grant you an audience and reinstate you as a Spectre as a sign of goodwill.
  • Mass Effect 3 Consequences: The Alliance fleet will be weaker War Assets, however, you will gain the Ascension as a War Asset as well.

If you let the Council die

  • Event: The Alliance Ships come through the relay and ignore all comms from the Destiny Ascension, which is then destroyed by the Geth. The Citadel’s arms are opened and the Alliance ships fly in to attack Sovereign. (Increase in Renegade Points)
  • Mass Effect Consequences: In the end scene, Udina plans to start a new Council. If your Paragon Points are higher than Renegade, Udina plans to have a multi-species Council that will be led by humanity. Alternatively, if your Renegade Points are higher, Udina plans for a human-only Council. Afterward, you can decide whether Udina or Anderson becomes the Council member.
  • Mass Effect 2 Consequences: The Council will not grant you an audience or reinstate you as a Spectre. If you elected Anderson as Councillor, he will reinstate you as a Spectre. Other races you meet in the Citadel will be more hostile towards you.
  • Mass Effect 3 Consequences: The Alliance fleet will count as superior War Assets.

If you Concentrate on Sovereign

  • Event: The Alliance Ships come through the relay and ignore all comms from the Destiny Ascension, which is then destroyed by the Geth. The Citadel’s arms are opened and the Alliance ships fly in to attack Sovereign. (Small increase in Renegade Points)
  • Consequences: The same as if you chose “Let the Council die”. See above.

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