It was time to give Mass Effect another go. I took my new blue alien Liara with me, and the always sturdy and cool Wrex (who does look a bit soft and cuddly somehow too, though). The start was fun, as I found out that Liara, being a biotic, goes all glowy purple when she feels threatened (picture above) - so cute! I don't know why I'm pulling out my gun even though I'm a pure biotic as well, though. Must have something to do with men liking to see their female protagonist look sexy with guns, hrmpf.
I was not suspecting anything yet when I was sent to a frozen planet to look for a research facility. (In retrospect, this was obviously all set up to make me relive my traumatizing Hoth experience!) When I entered the research facility, a foul plan was revealed. Since the "based-on-shooting-things" principle clearly wasn't effective enough to scare persistent girls such as me away, cockroaches had to be introduced. And not just normal cockroaches, no, it had to be GIANT acid-spraying cockroaches, with the habit to leap upon you from behind out of some tube or grating. If there was no grating available that was no problem: they could always just crawl towards you like a maniac with those horrible little legs. I tell you, the TGV turns pale compared to the speed of these monsters.
I should tell you something about my relationship with cockroaches. When I first arrived at the flat I currently live in, I was pleasantly surprised by how clean it was. Before, each time I would get a new place, the former owner had been too lazy to clean up after him or her. Suspicious dirty spots on the carpet, fungus-filled fridges... I've had it all. But this place was clean, I daresay surgically clean. It was almost as if someone had decontaminated the place. Later, I found this was actually the case. The building was suffering from a cockroach plague, something they obviously didn't tell me beforehand. My apartment might have been roach-free, but from time to time roach scouts would take an exploration tour and invade it through holes and tubes. These creatures totally freaked me out. I'm not afraid of worms, spiders or snakes, but when I saw a cockroach, I'd put a glass over it and scream for my boyfriend to get rid of it. They just totally disgust me. I have filled all the holes with fume now and have not seen any roach for years, but the mere thought of them still makes me shiver.
It appears that in-game roaches have a totally different effect on me: I expressed joyful cheering each time a roach splat out over the screen. In the meanwhile, my boyfriend was freaking out as he kept being surprised by those monsters jumping out of nowhere, which was very funny. I had a lot of fun watching my boyfriend squirm and yelp. Does that make me a bad person?
In the end, we found out that these cockroaches were actually called Rachni: a violent alien species that had sought to conquer Citadel space in the past and was then driven to extinction by the Salarians and Krogan. A frozen egg of a Rachni queen was found and hatched by the research facility we were in.
The researchers tried to train the offspring for combat, planning on a Rachni invasion fleet that would fight for evil mastermind Saren. Something obviously went wrong, and the violent Rachni overran the whole lab. To make it even more complicated, I ran into the captured Rachni queen after defeating the final boss and had a civilized conversation with her. Well, civilized... Rachni are not capable of human communication of themselves, so she controlled the body of a dead Asari to speak through it's mouth. Cockroaches with voodoo talents, brr! Anyway, she asked me to kill whatever was left of her offspring since it was not brought up well and asked me to free her, so she could raise new offspring in a non-violent manner. I pressed the button and let her go. Can you believe I fell for that? An enormous hideous-looking acid spraying creature with too many legs to count and I let her go. Surely there is something wrong with me if I'm feeling forgiveness towards roaches of all species!
I'm not sure whether playing Mass Effect has a good effect on me or not, but I guess the future will tell...