As I’ve discussed a few times before, I love Mass Effect. If I could only recite one sentence every ten years, that’s what I would choose to tell you before I was rendered silent. One thing that is memorable about the Mass Effect series are the characters that you interact with. There’s not a single one that I dislike, although I do hold a few closer to my heart than I do others.
If you haven’t guessed already by the title, I have an incredibly soft spot for our dear scientist salarian. The first time I played Mass Effect 2 and The Illusive Man gave me his dossier, I was skeptical. Salarians are space nerds, I thought. This Mordin sounds like a rube. I don’t even want him on my team. Can I skip him? Even when I landed on Omega and met the character, I was still skeptical. Sure, his manner of speech was endearing and it was pretty badass that he was defending a clinic on his own, but I still wasn’t convinced.
To be entirely truthful, I didn’t realize how deeply Mordin affected me until Mass Effect 3. It’s a miracle that I even managed to keep him alive during the suicide mission, but I’m glad I did. While I was waiting for the third installment of the game to come out, I did what any fan would do and replayed the entire series over again to refresh my memory. I decided to give Mordin a second chance this time around.
To help me understand him better, I made sure to take him out during every mission so I could soak up the party banter while we were out. It didn’t help all that much, so I decided to talk to him more frequently. I actually paid attention to what he said about his work on the genophage, as a doctor, and so on. What struck me the most about ME2 Mordin was his moral compass. He was very much concerned with what was right at that given moment. In his mind, he was entirely justified.
It was only after his personal mission where his confidence began to crumble. He began to have doubts about his work and his past decisions. This is clearly evident in ME3 when Mordin is back on Sur’Kesh working with Eve/Bakara. I have to admit that I was thrilled to see Mordin in the third game after replaying the second one. He had grown on me. I even had him as my ringtone.
Something I’ll never forget is the scene where he yelled at me. “I made a mistake!” he exclaimed, a sense of guilt and anger coloring his tone. I paused my game and went straight to the Mass Effect wiki and began reading more in-depth about Mordin. He’s an older salarian who wants to right his wrongs. It takes a lot to admit that you were wrong about something, and it takes even more to try and fix what you broke. I admired that a lot about him.
So you can pretty much imagine how broken I was after that scene when I realized he was going to die. I had some tears forming when we exchanged goodbyes. I don’t know how I managed to survive:
“Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.”
But as soon as he began singing up in the spire I began to cry. It wasn’t pretty. When the Citadel DLC came out and you could find the datapad with Mordin singing “Amazing Grace,” I also ugly-cried. That song described his internal struggle perfectly.
My explanation of how deeply Mordin affected me is doing a huge disservice to his character. He is so much more than how I’m attempting to describe him. I can’t seem to put it into words. Sure, I’ve cried over character deaths, but Mordin felt so personal. He was my friend. I spent well over 2 years getting to know him and finding out new things about him. I think once you create this idea about a character and why you adore them so much, it’s hard to put that feeling into words.
Oh, and please don’t mention seashells or I will start crying (again).