IMPORTANT — READ THIS BEFORE INSTALLING THANEMOD!
The first step to using ThaneMOD is to fully read this article and The Basics. This provides the minimum amount of information needed to prepare and install the mod. When used in conjunction with the ThaneMOD Install Guide (contained in the mod download), it will help you avoid the majority of problems and unexpected surprises. If you don’t mind a few more spoilers, taking a look at How to Play is also a good idea. If you want full on spoilers, read The Details.
ThaneMOD has a few straight-forward requirements that will likely be non-issues for most players. Some involve ME2 or ME3 plot events and others involve technical aspects of ME3 itself.
If the following requirements are not met, ThaneMOD either will not function properly, OR the game will proceed as vanilla:
- Role-Playing (full decision) Mode. ThaneMOD is an RP mod. It does not support “Action mode” (it should work in story mode) and I cannot guarantee proper functionality. Troubleshooting support will not be for players who attempt to use the mod outside of RP/FD mode.
- Extended Cut DLC. The ThaneMOD epilogue is built on the EC ending. ThaneMOD will not work with the original release version of the game endings (pre-EC). If you have the Mass Effect Trilogy Edition on PC, you have the EC DLC by default.
- English language/International Localization. ThaneMOD is restricted to an English language localization. Other localizations are an enormous project and are not currently feasible or planned.
- ME2 Import. A standard, new ME3 playthrough assumes Thane is dead. ThaneMOD does nothing to change this. Your game must be imported from ME2.
- Suicide Mission. We’re sure this is obvious, but there is no reason to use ThaneMOD if Thane is not alive in your ME3 playthrough. It alters vanilla content in certain specific ways and needs to be uninstalled when playing a game in which he is not alive.
- Loyalty. Saving Kolyat during Thane’s loyalty mission in ME2 ensures you gain his loyalty. His loyalty cannot be earned in ME3.
- Citadel: Hanar Diplomat. You must choose to save Kahje during this ME3 quest or major parts of ThaneMOD will not work.
- Speak to Thane in Huerta. Any plot-related content ThaneMOD alters that occurs during and after the coup, will not work if you don’t speak to Thane in Huerta before the coup.
The “addition” of new content in ThaneMOD results from a variety of strategies, typically replacing vanilla content. With this in mind, we want to bring attention to two specific situations:
- New Codex and War Asset Images. To insert these, certain images related to the “Online Kinect Game Manual” were replaced. Obviously these Kinect files are not used in PC versions of the game.
- New Epilogue Slides. Adding new epilogue slides is difficult, existing BIK video files must be overridden. Relatively few of these exist in the game, so a few loading screens and the training videos were chosen in an attempt to avoid problems. Players modding ME3 have likely already viewed the training videos, but if you haven’t (and don’t yet have the achievement) you’ll want to watch them before you install the mod. You may also temporarily disable the mod to watch them, and then re-enable it. This problem will be fixed in TMv3.0.
Before modding any game, you should always create a manual backup. It will much easier to restore a file or two from a manual backup, rather than having to resort to Origin.
The easiest way to do this is to navigate to ..\Origin Games\Mass Effect 3 and copy the entire folder somewhere else on your PC. You’ll read more about the importance of backing up in the Install Guide.
Unlike its predecessor, ThaneMOD v2.0 is a DLC mod. Instead of physically overwriting files, it will override them based upon DLC priority (a bit like the DA:O override folder). Any file in the ThaneMOD DLC will override the identical-named file created by BioWare.
Overrides also work with respect to other DLC mods. JAM and CEM override ThaneMOD. ThaneMOD overrides MEHEM.
Textures can be installed with ThaneMOD, but specific procedures must be followed to ensure you don’t break the mod. See the Install Guide for more details.
The following mods are compatible with ThaneMOD. Follow the installation order as stated in the ThaneMOD Install Guide.
- MEHEM by MrFob — v0.5 and after; requires ThaneMOD package D or E
- Citadel Epilogue Mod (CEM) by Deager — v1.0 and after; look for the ThaneMOD-MEHEM to CEM Patches on CEM’s download page
- Extended Final Anderson Conversation by JohnP — v1.0 and after; included in v2.0 packages B-E
- Additional LIs in the MEHEM Memorial Scene by JohnP — v1.0 and after; included in v2.0 packages D or E
- Shepard’s Cabin Picture mod by Mimitochan — This mod is deprecated, but is only compatible with FriendShepard ThaneMOD installs (packages A, B, or D). BackOff adds cabin photos for ALL love interests that isn’t deprecated.
- JohnP’s Alternate MEHEM (JAM) by JohnP — v1.0 and after; requires ThaneMOD package B or C
Just a few brief comments on this as the nuts and bolts are handled in the Install Guide:
- All changes ThaneMOD v2.0 makes to ME3 can be organized into four modules: Core; Emails, War Assets, and Codex (EWAC); Relationship Improvements; and Huerta Music.
- Some modules comes in different versions. Relationship Improvements comes in both friend and romance versions, for example. Only one can be installed at a time.
- All four modules have been pre-sorted into five different combinations and placed into DLC Mod “packages”. Each package for v2.0B-E contains a full compliment of the modules. In other words, a “complete” ThaneMOD experience. ThaneMOD v2.0A is a smaller install with fewer game changes (details in the Install Guide).
- If you prefer a different combination of modules, you will need to use the “full manual” package, ThaneMOD (v2.0F). We suggest only those with experience modding ME3 use this package, as the install procedure is different.
- Every package also contains other files necessary for installation.
- ThaneMOD comes with both required and optional textures. Players should use the instructions in the Install Guide for overall workflow, but use the ME3Explorer Wiki for the proper procedure on how to use the toolset. The v2.0 Install Guide was written in 2014 and is far behinid current toolset development.
- Always delete your DLC_CON_THANEMOD folder before installing a new one. Never copy and paste individual files or merge copied folders. This will create an improper combination of files which will create bugs in game.
One of the great things about ThaneMOD is its amount of customization. The goal of this section is to walk you through the decisions you’ll need to make prior to selecting a ThaneMOD package. The paragraphs below have fewer spoilers than “The Details” and is organized in a different manner, illustrating the functions of and differences between the various modules.
In my opinion, ThaneMOD functions best when all modules are used. But, you know… there’s a small chance I’m biased 😛
Decision 1 | Standard Core vs. Enhanced Core
ThaneMOD Core is the heart of the mod and is what prevents Thane from engaging in the coup. Like all other ME2 squadmates, he then returns in the epilogue.
ThaneMOD Core comes in three versions: Standard for EC (Extended Cut), Enhanced for EC/JAM, and Enhanced for MEHEM. The enhanced versions include Thane in the Memorial Scene, if he is the LI. Enhanced versions must be used with EWAC for story continuity purposes. The standard version can be used without EWAC. If you ever want to switch between Standard and Enhanced Core, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall the mod, selecting the appropriate version. ThaneMOD Core is required for EWAC.
Decision 2 | EWAC
If you elect to use ThaneMOD Core, you must also make another decision:
Do you want Thane to only survive the coup and appear in the epilogue, or do you want to also experience other lore-centric changes and enhancements to his story?
Coup + Epilogue
If your interest lies only in seeing Thane survive the coup and appear in the epilogue, then you don’t want to use EWAC. This also means you should use the Standard Core for EC, rather than Enhanced Core. Standard Core is only in ThaneMOD package “A.”
- When playing without EWAC and only Standard Core, ThaneMOD makes very few changes to the game and presents Thane’s survival from the coup unembellished.
- That means there is essentially no added lore, no alteration in the timing of events, no new war assets or codex entries, no emails and additional story, no changes to the dialogue in Huerta Memorial Hospital, no romance improvements, etc. Thane is simply absent from the coup and any events in the game that are dependent on his death are removed as a result. It is up to the player’s imagination to determine why.
- For consistency with other surviving ME2 squadmates, Thane receives an appropriate epilogue that varies with Synthesis/Control/Destroy.
- MEHEM and JAM users cannot use the Standard Core module.
Lorecentric Changes + Additions
The Email, War Asset & Codex (EWAC) module adds a variety of lore changes to Thane’s story. All changes are grounded in Thane’s ME2 character, variations with his relationship status, and established ME3 conventions for ME2 squadmates/ LIs.
To be clear, EWAC presents a survival scenario for Thane’s illness, using plot established by BW in ME2.
Some important points:
- EWAC attempts to create a realistic and lore-friendly treatment scenario for Thane, while still leaving room for player “headcanon.” There is significantly more room to interpret Thane’s ultimate survival if he is a friend rather than a love interest.
- EWAC contains both friend and LI-specific emails that Thane sends to Shepard during the course of the game. Email contents are determined by in-game decisions.
- A romanced Shepard receives more emails than a friend Shepard. While the friend emails explain Thane’s absence from the Citadel and events surrounding the treatment of his Kepral’s, the LI emails differ in tone and dig deeper, emotionally. EWAC is one of two modules that attempts to compensate for the lack of romance content for Thane’s character; Siha and Thane will still be apart a majority of the time, but his emails to her help the player see the relationship progress and grow.
- EWAC functions best when used with the the Relationship Improvements module. The restructuring of the Huerta conversation between Shepard and Thane provides a smoother segue into the treatment of his illness and potential survival.
- If Thane is the LI in your playthrough, it will actually be immersion-breaking if you do not use the Romance Improvements module with EWAC.
- Thane’s availability in Huerta will change for users of this module, to accommodate the new lore in the most realistic manner possible. Consult How to Play for information on how to handle this in your playthrough.
EWAC is contained in five of the six ThaneMOD packages (B-F) and requires the Enhanced Core module to function.
Decision 3 | Relationship Improvements
Relationship Improvements is the final large module for ThaneMOD. While EWAC contains both friend and LI components, Relationship Improvements comes in two completely separate versions: friend and romance. Only one can be installed at a time.
Use this version if Thane is Shepard’s friend in your import. With it, players will experience minor changes to the Huerta dialogue, making the conversation feel a bit more positive and less focused on his disease.
Use this version if Thane is Shepard’s LI in your import. The romance version of this module, Romance Improvements, contains a much larger overhaul and seeks to restore Thane as a true love interest in ME3. This is the module to use if you thought speaking with Thane in Huerta felt out of character and seemed like his romance “didn’t count.” With this version of the module, the romance dialogue now drastically differs from the friend dialogue and Thane is much more “in character.” In addition, Thane’s romance will “lock-in,” other LIs will “friendzone” Shepard, and all auto-flirting by/toward other NPCs will be removed. Finally, you will get a lovely photo of Thane for your cabin. It will automatically appear in Shep’s quarters after a certain event in game. Thane will also convey the Paramour Achievement in TMv1.1 and later.
A NOTE ABOUT DIALOGUE… All edited dialogue is subtitled and fully-voiced by the original voice actors. No new dialogue was recorded and none will be in the future. ThaneMOD will never include lines that aren’t voiced by the original VAs. It’s simply too immersion-breaking and doesn’t adhere to my standards of quality.
Decision 4 | Assorted Bits
Along with the main modules covered above, there are some minor changes you can make to the game with ThaneMOD:
Huerta Music. If you’d like a throwback to some great Citadel music from ME1, install the Huerta Music module, Friend version. If Thane is the LI in your playthrough, then opt for the romance version of this module, as it will take you back to appropriate times in ME2. This module is bundled with Relationship improvements in packages B-E.
Hoodie Re-textures. Ottemis has created three, fantastic Thane-themed HD hoodies exclusive to ThaneMOD. They come in multiple colors and are useable by both BroShep and FemShep. If you like green and black, then give one (or all) of them a try.
Dress Re-textures. Ottemis hs also outdone herself by creating three gorgeous Thane-centric textures for FemShep’s N7 dress.