Romance (LI)

Updated January 14, 2015

Below you’ll find screenshots, video clips, and links to documents that contain every change ThaneMOD makes to the game when Thane is Shepard’s love interest. Changes are organized chronologically. All content is from ThaneMOD v2.0 unless stated otherwise. Future releases will inevitably change and edit this content. Updates will be made as time warrants, and will be noted in the text.

All embedded clips below lead to ThaneMOD’s YouTube Channel, which hosts a playlist for all LI Spoilers in chronological order.

PRIORITY: MARS

Anti-flirt | Sparring With James and Some Easter Eggs
Requires Romance Improvements Module

Before we get into the specifics of what ThaneMOD changes after Priority: Mars, we want to briefly touch on the reasons why we decided to create “anti-flirt” content.

The tendency for certain NPCs to flirt with Shepard and the lack of player control in Shepard’s response is something that rubbed many, many Mass Effect fans the wrong way. The ME3 Romance DLC Survey was brimming with comments by players who felt Shepard was constantly fending off unwanted advances.

When it came to Thane’s situation, many players felt these advances were in especially poor taste due to his declining health. This was exacerbated by the fact that FemShep tended to reciprocate the flirtatious behavior via auto-dialogue or when the player chose the “Agree” (upper right) dialogue option. This option is often viewed as the “nice” or “paragon” response, yet the dynamic with the NPC can vary dramatically with Shepard’s gender. FemShep will flirt but BroShep is just friendly. Or, the NPC’s reply will be laced with innuendo with FemShep but not BroShep. This gave some FemShep players the impression they couldn’t play paragon without mandatory flirting as a by-product. Another contributing factor was the removal of Thane’s romance in Mass Effect 3. This meant certain instances of flirting would have been avoided had there been a proper “plot flag” in place for his romance. In other words, those who romanced Thane in ME2 and tried to rekindle things with him in ME3, often fell victim to more flirting than those who romanced a different LI in ME1 or ME2.

ThaneMOD’s goals for this content in v1.0 was the following: use Thane’s “makeout” plot flag to create a romance, put FemShep’s flirting in full control of the player, and remove flirting by NPCs that felt too overt and immersion-breaking. However, advances in modding tools have made it possible for us to refine these goals for ThaneMOD v3.0. The advent of plot flag creation means we can return the flirt content to the game while still keeping the conversation in the player’s control. For example, the player can now flirt with James if they wish, and James will only flirt in response. If Shepard doesn’t flirt with James right before the spar, he’ll keep things platonic for the remainder of the game.

In addition, FemShep, like BroShep, now has a platonic “Agree” option available for this conversation with James. This option was previously used only when FemShep waited until after Tuchanka to speak to James for the first time, something which seemed unnecessary and restricting. Combined with retaining the ability for James to call Shep “Lola”, the changes to this conversation put FemShep’s relationship with the lieutenant fully in the player’s control. For those who wait until after Priority: Palaven to have this conversation, James’s flirtatious comments toward Shepard when discussing EDI are removed—assuming the player chooses not to flirt.

These alterations to James and two easter eggs are the only changes ThaneMOD makes prior to Priority: Palaven. The video embedded above has been refreshed in anticipation of ThaneMOD v3.0.


PRIORITY: PALAVEN

Email | New LI-Specific Huerta Email
Requires EWAC and Romance Improvements Modules

The original email Thane sends Shepard from Huerta had no variation for romance status, which felt out of character for the relationship. Therefore, the first change ThaneMOD makes to Thane himself is an attempt to correct his “voice” in this message. Working off the vanilla note we adjusted the wording and altered the title, taking our cues from ME2. The note still arrives after completing Priority: Palaven and was written by n7Siha. Edits were made by barddoc1992 and n7Siha for ThaneMOD v2.0.

*ENCRYTPED MESSAGE*

From: Sender Blocked

Siha-

Communications for the Sol system remain sporadic at best. I don’t expect this will get through but must continue to try.

I have not stopped praying to Arashu since the Reapers began their attack on Earth. I check the news on the extranet several times a day. I have exhausted all my contacts. Still there is no word regarding your whereabouts or safety.

I was beginning to fear the worst when I discovered the Normandy recently docked here at the Citadel. I must believe you are on board, Siha. I cannot bear to consider the alternative.

I am in Huerta Memorial Hospital registered under the name “Tannor Nuara.” The alias and this message’s encryption are both for my protection. It is unwise to advertise my location, particularly when I am not in ideal health.

Siha, please return when you are able. We should meet before circumstances force us to part again.

I love you.

-Thane

New LI Huerta Note, Pt 1

New LI Huerta Note, Pt 1

Dialogue | Revised Huerta Conversation

Reading Thane’s note triggers his availability at the Citadel. Editing Thane’s conversation at Huerta Memorial Hospital was an enormous project with many goals, the main intent of which was to bring Thane back in character and return the romance to the level it had reached by the end of Mass Effect 2. Other priorities included creating a more distinct emotional feeling between the friend and romance conversations and keeping Thane’s illness from being the sole topic of conversation.

To reach our goals, we felt the following needed to be addressed:

  • Thane should address FemShep as “Siha”
  • Add a hug when they greet each other*
  • Fix the bugged hand-holding animation*
  • Remove FemShep’s mention of being at the hospital to see the VS
  • Remove the “Kaidan triangle” in Thane’s dialogue for those who romanced Kaidan in ME1
  • Remove the focus on Thane’s illness, but still keep it present
  • Retain the mention of Kolyat, but have FemShep ask about him instead
  • Relocate the out of character public makeout session in the Patient Lounge to somewhere private*
  • Edit FemShep’s invitation for “private time” so that it doesn’t make their reunion feel like a two-minute booty call
  • Remove FemShep’s makeout moan that sounds nothing like Jennifer Hale (FemShep’s VA)
  • Allow the makeout to be repeatable, as would be expected in a continuing relationship
  • Allow FemShep to express her worries to Thane about the war and give him the ability to support her
  • Allow FemShep and Thane to talk about their time apart while she was on Earth
  • Allow them to tell each other “I love you”
  • Make the entire conversation repeatable, rather than having Thane blow her off
  • Replace Thane’s “flattered” greeting with something more in-character
  • Lower the pitch of every line Thane speaks to more closely match his voice from ME2

This was a very long list. We were able to implement all but the three points with the asterisks. The edits were extremely technically-challenging and certain aspects remain unfinished. There are many things about dialogues and animations that are still impossible, which is something we were unaware of when we originally penned the revamp. This is why FemShep is saddled with four unvoiced lines of dialogue. While we have the audio for the lines ready, there’s no way to get them into the game — something we hope to remedy in ThaneMOD v3.0.   We’d also like to fix the poor lip-sync in places (requires editing facial animations), or at the very least adjust the camera so the mis-sync isn’t so noticeable. Both are incredibly important for immersion and we’re disappointed they are still lacking.

Drawbacks aside, we still feel the modded conversation is a dramatic improvement over the vanilla version, meeting almost all of our goals as outlined above. The dialogue re-write was courtesy of n7Siha and coldwetn0se but was a collaborative effort with substantial input from the community. N7Siha and Emeraldfern edited the audio.  Highlights can be viewed in the screenshot gallery below. Click on a tile to enter carousel mode.

Codices + Achievement | Thane Krios – Drell Biology – Paramour

Following the conversation two plot events are triggered, the first of which is the Paramour Achievement. Introduced in ThaneMOD v2.0, implementing this achievement was incredibly important to us. Paramour is BioWare’s way of saying a romance is “legit.” Having it in place for Thane in ME2 and not in ME3 upset many of his fans. Changing this to have him grant Paramour again was one of the many pieces of the puzzle necessary to “promote” him back to the status of a “real” ME3 Love Interest. Thane fans have JohnP to thank for Paramour.

Thane’s new codex entry also triggers after the conversation, something we decided to add in light of his greater significance to the game when using ThaneMOD. Using the existing ME2 squadmate entries as a guide, we attempted to follow the contents, trigger-timing, and images closely to maintain immersion. Coldwtn0se composed the text, with edits made for v2.0 by n7Siha and barddoc1992. Raw screenshots for the background were taken by n7Siha. AndromedaShepard created the 3D render.

Known Associate: Thane Krios

Thane Krios was born in 2146 on Kahje, a descendent of the drell population rescued by the hanar from the dying world of Rakhana. Identified early as a potential candidate for the Compact, a voluntary service arrangement between the host and client species, he began training as an assassin at the age of six. With a deadly combination of biotic prowess, hand-to-hand combat mastery, and sniper rifle expertise, Krios matured into a formidable foe for any would-be target. By 2185, his reputation as one of the galaxy’s most skilled assassins piqued the interest of the Illusive Man, founder of Cerberus. The reclusive leader of the pro-human group was recruiting a team of highly-trained combatants to help Commander Shepard end the Collector attacks on human colonies. The drell agreed to join Shepard’s team, contributing to the mission’s success.

Though he suffers from Kepral’s Syndrome, a terminal illness common to drell, Krios’ rigorous lifestyle slowed the progress of his condition until recently. When the Normandy SR-2 crew dispersed due to Alliance intervention, the assassin disappeared along with many of Commander Shepard’s other squadmates. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Added with v2.0 of ThaneMOD, a third plot event is tied to Thane’s Huerta dialogue: acquisition of the Drell: Biology codex. This entry  triggers as long as the player earned it in ME2, and provides some badly-needed story content for the drell species to ME3. We also took advantage of the opportunity to edit this codex. Thane’s account of Kepral’s Syndrome via his ME2 conversations does not align well with the content of the codex, nor with his account via conversation in ME3. They are all vague enough and different enough (with some inaccuracies to boot) to create confusion as to exactly how Kepral’s works. In fact, from ME2 to LotSB to ME3, the physiology of Kepral’s Syndrome seems to change. Considering some players don’t even read the codices, it’s the details in Thane’s ME2 conversations that most will recollect most clearly. So, we worked off that content while trying to stay true to the spirit and style of the original entry. We tried our best to nail down the key aspects of Kepral’s lore by clarifying and correcting the stated physiology without going into great detail—and while still keeping things easy to read and understand.

Drell: Biology

Drell are omnivorous, reptile-like humanoids with an average life span of 85 galactic standard years. They give live birth to their young, who are capable of eating solid food from the moment they are born. Overall drell appearance resembles asari and humans, but possession of muscle tissue slightly denser than their Earth counterparts gives them a wiry strength. Many of a drell’s more “reptilian” features are concealed, including a three-chambered heart with a muscular ridge capable of shunting oxygenated or deoxygenated blood as needed.

Like humans, drell possess a hyoid bone in their throats, but structural differences allow them to inflate the surrounding tissue and produce vocal sounds outside the human range. Would-be assassins have noted these two features make drell extremely hard to strangle or suffocate.

Because drell evolved in arid, rocky deserts, the humid and rainy ocean-covered planet of Kahje proved tolerable only when residing inside a climate-controlled dome city. While life within these domes compensates for the lack of adaptations to such high levels of moisture, exposure to the planetary environment still has profound effects on the drell respiratory system. The leading cause of death among drell on the hanar homeworld is a non-communicable lung disease called Kepral’s Syndrome.

Afflicted drell experience a decrease in lung function exacerbated by exposure to moisture. Over time, the tissue loses its ability to absorb oxygen and secondary bacterial infections take root. Lesions and scarring may occur if the infection is severe. During the late stages of Kepral’s, other organs are susceptible to failure due to dramatic decreases in the delivery of oxygen. The drell will eventually suffocate.

Within a generation of settling on Kahje, overzealous treatment using hanar antibiotics led to an explosion in resistant bacteria. Current treatment plans still involve effective antibiotics, but drell are also encouraged to limit exposure to humidity and engage in regular cardiovascular activity. Organ transplants may also be useful, but low population combined with the disease’s prevalence means waiting lists are correspondingly long. Ongoing genetic engineering research funded by the Illuminated Primacy is hoped to one day result in a cure for the disease.

Amending this entry necessitated some minor changes to the Drell primary codex and Thane’s war asset and codex. To create consistency across games, we made identical edits to the ME2 codex text and tweaked Chakwas’ Log from Thane’s entry at the LotSB terminal. Both edits change a single file that can be easily installed by the player for use on their next ME2 playthrough. Expect to see a return of the Drell: Culture codex with ThaneMOD v3.0. N7Siha tweaked the content and barddoc1992 provided editing.

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Anti-flirt | On the Citadel with Aethyta, Liara, and James

Like any video game, ME3 contains bugs — some of which occur with Aethyta and Liara on the Presidium. Two of these bugs involve referring to Shepard as Liara’s current/former love interest, regardless of actual plot events. The issue stems from BW shuffling plot events during ME3 and then failing to modify conditional checks that use these the same plot events to control conversation outcomes. These two conversations, specifically, take place before the coup, but the conditionals in place check for ME3 romance bools that aren’t triggered until after the coup. As a result, it’s a very difficult problem to fix. We’ve used ME2 and ME1 romance bools as an alternative, fixing the bug for all Shepards—not just those romancing Thane. For romances that can be initiated for the first time in ME3, we’ve used relationship integers for those LIs and compared them to Liara’s to determine who Shepard is “closer” to.

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When Shepard visits Purgatory after Menae, James’ behavior towards FemShep is not only some of the most flirtatious in the game, but it occurs with all FemSheps regardless of plot conditions. ThaneMOD removes this flirt in v1.0 & 2.0. In ThaneMOD v3.0, James’ flirt will depend upon if Shepard flirts with him first, right before the spar convo.

Follow the links to see vanilla conversations with Aethyta  and James. Note that the YT poster specifies that FemShep is not romanced, but in the clip Aethyta refers to Shepard as Liara’s “old girlfriend.” Later on in the ambient dialogue there’s another reference to the non-existent relationship that Liara doesn’t deny. The embedded clip shows how ThaneMOD handles both conversations:

Back on the Normandy | Emails + Cabin Photo + War Asset Modifications

Returning to the Normandy after speaking to Thane in Huerta triggers additional modded content. Assuming the player did not yet complete Citadel: Hanar Diplomat, there will be a message waiting from Thane. This “Kahje note” was implemented as a lore and immersion-friendly “hint” of sorts, to ensure the player not only completes the quest, but saves Kahje while on it (a ThaneMOD requirement). The “anonymous source” could be headcanoned as Kasumi Goto, or if the player did not purchase the ME2 Stolen Memory DLC, it’s feasible that Thane would have other contacts on the Citadel from his days as an assassin.

For additional details on why we chose to make saving Kahje mandatory for the functioning of ThaneMOD, see the FriendShep Spoiler area. N7Siha composed the message. Edits were made by barddoc1992 and n7Siha for ThaneMOD v2.0.

*ENCRYTPED MESSAGE — FLAGGED AS URGENT*

From: Sender Blocked

Siha-

It has just come to my attention via an anonymous source that a hanar diplomat on the Citadel may be indoctrinated. Special Tactics and Reconnaissance is aware of the issue and efforts are underway to avert a potential disaster.

I fear I ask too much of you, but please assist them in this, Siha. With so few settlements outside our homeworld, the fall of Kahje could mean extinction for both hanar and drell.

-Thane

If the player completes Citadel: Hanar Diplomat before returning to the Normandy, the note is absent and the War Room terminal reveals two changes. First, an increase to the Hanar and Drell Forces base asset from 50 to 75. This is to compensate for the potential loss of the salarian Councilor or Kirrahe as a result of Thane’s absence from the coup. Second, a new image has been assigned to the asset, which formerly used the generic “Alien Fleet” image. ThaneMOD v1.1 and later features artwork created by n7Siha (see below). ThaneMOD v1.0 has alternate artwork that can be seen in the FriendShep Spoilers area.

Upon returning to the cabin, players will see a new photo of Thane on the bedside table. This edit to the game makes use of Tali’s cabin photo and the initial idea was of course spurred by Mimi’s well-known cabin photo mod. Considering Thane is absent from a majority of the game, we thought it especially appropriate for FemShep to have a photo. The picture only appears if Shepard rekindles her ME2 romance with Thane, locking in his ME3 romance — which also locks out all other romances. Every LI-version of ThaneMOD comes with almost a dozen alternate textures that can be used for the photo, submitted and voted on by Thane fans from the BSN.

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The final change aboard the Normandy after visiting Thane is the addition of the first of seven corrupted messages viewable at the Shadow Broker terminal. Added with ThaneMOD v2.0, this was an idea suggested by LoonySpectre and carried out by barddoc1992. While the addition of Thane’s emails are a fantastic and lore-friendly story device, it doesn’t resonate in the same way as, say, a holo-call. Inserting a holocall for Thane—à la Miranda on the Citadel—isn’t something we’re capable of right now, so this was the next best thing. These new messages are meant to give the player a feeling of two-way correspondence between Shepard and Thane, rather than Shepard just being on the receiving end.

“Corrupting” them was necessary, as everyone role-plays Shepard differently. The trick was to corrupt them while still keeping certain words legible enough to ensure immersion. Players have the option to “uncorrupt” them and write their own story for Shepard, using some simple instructions included on the Troubleshooting + FAQ page. A sample corrupted email can be viewed here.


PRIORITY: SUR’KESH

Emails + War Assets | Thane Krios – Mordin
Requires EWAC and Romance Improvements Modules

Thane’s personal lore for ME3 drastically changes following Priority: Sur’Kesh. If the player visits Huerta at this point they discover that Thane is no longer there. This is a departure from the vanilla game, where Thane is present through the end of Priority: Tuchanka. Giving LI-Thane even less screen time in ME3 was an extremely difficult decision for us. However, it’s at this point that Thane sends the first of six emails to Shepard, the main goal of which is to present new lore. That lore involves a treatment for Thane’s Kepral’s Syndrome. Taking into account Thane’s deterioration in health and the game’s (albeit buggy) established timeline, we thought it wise to have that treatment begin as soon as possible. This helps ensure adequate immersion, as it’s important players believe it has a reasonable amount of time to work.

Other goals of the emails are to provide additional story content for Thane’s character and to expand on the romance. The altered conversation in Huerta can only go so far with both these aspects, since it is a single conversation and there’s a limited amount of dialogue to work with. The emails are really where the bulk of Thane and Shepard’s new story lies. We tried to stay true to Thane’s voice and content established in ME2, avoiding the establishment of unnecessary lore that could step on headcanon. We also tried to show Thane undergoing some character development as he goes through his treatment. Emails 2-4 and 6 vary with player plot decisions to provide immersion and give Thane a chance to comment on what’s happening with Shepard while he’s away. The emails were proposed by Stilographium and carried out by n7Siha (main potion) with coldwetn0se (conditional portions). Edits were made by n7Siha and barddoc1992 for v2.0. Click here to be taken to a Google Doc containing the text to the first email, “Unexpected News.”

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Following the receipt of Thane’s email, Corrupted Message #2 from Shepard to Thane is viewable at the Shadow Broker Terminal and Thane’s personal war asset triggers. With Thane no longer destined for the Cerberus coup, and his survival now possible due to the treatment, he is able to contribute to the war effort and convey an asset. We took a cue from the vanilla assets and other ME2 ex-squadmates and had Thane grant 25 points. The information on mining technologies is a lore-centric extrapolation of his ship upgrade from ME2. The entry text was composed by coldwetn0se and edited by n7Siha and barddoc1992 for v2.0. We commandeered the image of Thane for the asset from the Drell codex entry, and replaced that image with…something else. …Did you notice?

Thane Krios

Thane Krios, a highly-respected drell assassin with a tragic past, awoke from his “battle sleep” while helping Commander Shepard stop the Collectors. Now undergoing a new treatment for Kepral’s Syndrome, Sere Krios has employed his old contacts to assist with the war effort’s need for improved mining technologies. Current resource limitations could be dramatically lessened by these advances.

The final change after Priority: Sur’Kesh doesn’t unlock until Mordin is ready for the player to undertake Priority: Tuchanka — at which point he will send Shepard an email. This new feature was added in ThaneMOD v2.0 and is one of the first changes we’re making that focus on other NPCs acknowledging Thane’s continued existence. Emails from Thane can only do so much, so this is huge step for immersion, as well as appropriate when Thane is the LI. A large criticism of ME3 by Thane fans was how not a single crew member mentions him to Shepard, with the exception of one line by Joker following Horizon. None of the ME2 crew mention Thane, and neither does Bailey, EDI, nor anyone else. The lack of dialogue about Thane by those who knew him was large immersion break for many. Look forward to ThaneMOD v3.0 where we will be including modified dialogue for certain squadmates and NPCs.

The email provides Mordin with an opportunity to comment on Thane’s treatment and future health, in the context of re-visiting the humorous conversation between he and Shepard in ME2. It also helps lay some groundwork for an email by Chakwas delivered later in the game. Barddoc1992 penned the email that was edited by n7Siha.

From: Mordin Solus

News?

Shepard-

Heard via contacts about Kepral’s breakthrough. Also heard Thane no longer on Citadel. Cannot be coincidence. Only one logical conclusion: very good news. Experts on project quite proficient. Research experimental but sound. High probability of positive outcome. Excellent!

Medical matters. Resumption of human-drell sexual activity strong possibility. Expect items of personal nature confiscated or lost during incarceration. (Confinement ridiculous. Former colleagues stood ready to extract had you asked.) Have obtained replacement oils and ointments based on stated preferences. Will deliver to quarters. Sent information to Chakwas. Has agreed to provide refills.

Stress release necessary, Shepard. As is personal face on war, on reason for fighting. No need for embarrassment. Must exercise caution, however. Thane’s cardiovascular recovery time-dependent. Intense liaisons likely to slow progress. Unwise.

Will perhaps get to beach with seashells in due course. Too much work to do for now. Someone else might get it wrong.

-Mordin

cc: Dr. Chakwas


PRIORITY: TUCHANKA

Emails | Are You Well, Siha? – Corrupted SB Email #3
Requires EWAC Module

ThaneMOD v2.0 makes relatively few changes immediately following Tuchanka. Corrupted Message #3 is ready for viewing at the Shadow Broker Terminal and Thane’s second email arrives. This message from Thane exists in five variants depending on whether Mordin is present, his/Wiks’ fate, and the player’s decision regarding the genophage cure. While we wanted to talk about Wrex/Wreav and at least mention Grunt, the amount of labor was just too prohibitive. There’s simply too much plot variation from ME1 and ME2 (Wreav present instead of Wrex, suicide mission death of Grunt, ME3 death of Grunt/Wreav), not to mention player preference for the characters. In the end, we decided that Mordin was the most important character to discuss due to his role in the genophage cure, being introduced in the same game as Thane, and his ME2 conversation with Shepard about Thane.

Thane’s email continues to build his new story, and this message is the first we hear of a potential lung transplant. The ThaneMOD Community had extensive discussions about the most lore-centric way to present a viable survival scenario. Using hanar biomedical research was logical due to Thane’s mention of it in ME2. While he didn’t think it would “bear fruit” during his lifetime, of course it’s possible it could, so we ran with that. However, the state of Thane’s health in ME3 also meant that a treatment (even an advanced one) might not be realistic enough to maintain immersion for folks. So, we took our next cue from the LotSB DLC and went the lung transplant route. This lore tells us that Thane declined a transplant at some point prior to his recruitment by Shepard, but it doesn’t specify why. It’s feasible then, that if Thane is willing to undergo treatment, he’s also now changed his mind about surgical options — especially considering his reunion with Kolyat and his relationship with Shepard.

We considered involving the Eupulmos Device as per the Cerberus Daily News (CDN), but quickly decided against it. ThaneMOD takes a strict view of canon in the land of Mass Effect: if something exists in any of the three games, then it’s canon. If it doesn’t, then it’s not. This is the best way to maintain immersion and maximize the amount of mod users who have been exposed to “canon content.” CDN (not to mention the ME comics) exists completely outside of the ME2 storyline. Some players won’t pay attention to the headlines and those who choose to keep their single-player game from communicating with EA’s servers won’t even see the CDN displayed in the ME2 Main Menu. We thought it wise to build on the story content a majority of players will have experienced…in game.

Click here to be taken to a Google Doc containing the full text for all versions of “Are You Well, Siha?”.


PRIORITY: CITADEL II

Emails + Anti-flirt | A Great Shame – Corrupted SB Email #4 – Joker – Liara – Sam – James – Kaidan
Requires Core, EWAC, and Romance Improvements Modules

Events surrounding the coup are one of the plot points in game where ThaneMOD makes some large changes. For a review of coup events themselves, take a look at the corresponding section in the Friend Spoilers (and the video below). This content is identical regardless of romance status.

Where things change is upon returning to the Normandy or Citadel after the coup. Upon returning to the Normandy, Corrupted Message #4 is viewable at the Shadow Broker Terminal and Thane’s third email arrives. “A Great Shame” comes in six versions depending upon the VS and the outcome of their confrontation with Shepard. The email is lengthy, as there is much to discuss. Thane’s health improves, the story continues to build, and we see some evolution in his character. Thane is hesitant, but now has hope and is beginning to consider the future. Click here to be taken to a Google Doc containing full text for all 6 versions of “A Great Shame.”

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Before returning to the Citadel, Shepard has the option of inviting both Sam and James to the cabin. A Shepard romancing Thane no longer has the option to shower with Sam, and with v3.0, her entire relationship with Sam up to that point can be approached differently. The conversation with James will reflect Shepard’s previous decisions about “Lola” and flirting.

On the next visit to the Citadel, Shepard’s interactions with Joker, Kaidan, and Liara are also different. The presence of Thane’s romance prevents Shepard from proposing a relationship with Joker or Liara — similar to any other existing romance. Kaidan’s conversation is also very different, even for those who romanced him in ME1. No discussion of the former relationship is present and it is purely platonic.


PRIORITIES: RANNOCH + CITADEL III

Emails + Anti-flirt | Of War and Hope – Corrupted SB Email #5 – Chakwas
Requires Core and EWAC Modules

Following Priority: Rannoch, Corrupted Message #5 is viewable at the Shadow Broker Terminal and Thane’s fourth email arrives. “Of War and Hope” comes in three versions depending upon whether Shepard sided with the quarians, geth or brokered a peace. The email is lengthy for two reasons. The first, of course, is Rannoch itself. The actions of the quarians may result in annihilation of the geth or Migrant Fleet. As Thane does throughout ME2 and in the Coup email, he would try to support Shepard after experiencing such moral dilemmas. Thane also has some big news of his own to share: he’s had the transplant. We see even more character evolution as Thane comes to grips with his survival and what it means for himself, Kolyat, and Shepard.

A quick sidebar before moving on. While we wanted to mention Tali and Legion by name in the emails — and understand it might be a bit immersion-breaking that we do not — the situation was similar to Tuchanka. There’s just too much plot variation. Both characters may be absent as a result of ME2 plot events, so instead we did our best to evoke their presence and convey the appropriate sentiments. Click here to be taken to a Google Doc containing the full text for all versions of “Of War and Hope.”

Added with ThaneMOD v2.0, Dr. Chakwas sends Shepard an email following Priority: Citadel III. The message plays off Mordin’s email, and similarly, is meant to evoke Thane’s presence and lend believability to his new fate. It also presents a mechanism for Chakwas to find out about Thane’s treatment and surgery so that additional groundwork can be laid for content in his final email. Chakwas’s email exists in one version and will only be delivered if Mordin is present in ME3 and if Chakwas is the Normandy’s medic. Folks who allowed Mordin/Chakwas to die in the SM, or invited Michele onto the ship, will not receive the message. Barddoc1992 did a freaking fantastic job writing the email that was edited by n7Siha.

From: Dr. Chakwas

Good News and Reminders

Commander-

EDI was just asking me about the logistics of long-distance romantic relationships. Her interest lay specifically in how a human might respond to the knowledge that her absent partner has undergone major surgery on another planet during a break in their correspondence. When prodded, she finally let slip that Thane has had his transplant. Shepard! Why must I find out such happy and important news this way?

Judging from my discussions with Mordin, while a significant recovery period is to be expected, this could very well mean Thane will return to full health. Do you foresee him rejoining the Normandy at some point? Of course I am willing to provide whatever support or follow-up care he might need, assuming it can be safely accommodated here. What a welcome break from routine his care would be: he is certain to be a far more compliant patient than either you or Jeff.

Speaking of Mordin, I do wish he were here to appreciate Thane’s progress. What did Kelly call the professor when he first joined the Normandy? A “hamster on coffee”? Very true, but still…the med bay will feel a little too quiet without him singing to himself. He left my work areas a mess, but I will miss having him around.

By the way, I did receive my courtesy copy of his note to you. Before he left for Tuchanka, he ensured I had all the necessary information to continue providing your intimacy aids in his absence. Really, Shepard. You could have spoken directly to me as soon as you came back on board. While Thane makes your situation quite unique, I do dispense similar supplies to other crew members. Sexual health is nothing to be shy about.

And please take better care of yourself, my friend–if not for my sake, then for that handsome drell. Your medical readouts indicate you need far more food and rest than you’ve been getting.

Remember to keep me informed regarding Thane’s progress. Interrogating EDI is not my preferred means of obtaining updates.

-Chakwas


PRIORITY: THESSIA

Emails | I Am Here – Corrupted SB Email #6
Requires EWAC Module

ThaneMOD v1.0 didn’t have LI-specific content following Priority: Thessia. This was a conscious decision on our part influenced by game timeline, main mission plot content, and timeline of Thane’s new lore. We also needed Thane’s final email to arrive after Priority: Horizon to provide adequate time for him to be placed on the Normandy in the event a romance scene could be implemented in the future. However, some ThaneMOD fans took to our forum and correctly pointed out that Thessia is Shepard’s darkest, most difficult hour. She receives messages from Thane after almost every other main plot mission, so the absence of an email after Thessia was notable — and immersion-breaking.

Therefore, with ThaneMOD v2.0, content for Thane’s story in the Priority: Rannoch and Priority: Horizon messages was significantly altered to create room for a new email that arrives after Priority: Thessia. “I Am Here” is modest in length, exists in only one version, and focuses on Thane supporting Shepard the best he can from afar. This is the one case in which the state of his health is, appropriately, a sidenote. Shepard’s corresponding Corrupted Message #6 is also viewable at the Shadow Broker Terminal. Thanks to melbella and barddoc1992 for encouraging n7Siha to write the new email, and to barddoc1992 for lending her stellar editing abilities. Click here to be taken to a Google Doc containing the full text of “I Am Here.”


PRIORITIES: HORIZON + CERBERUS HQ

Emails + War Asset | An Unexpected Opportunity – Corrupted SB Email #7 – Hanar and Drell Forces
Requires Core and EWAC Modules

Thane’s removal from the coup affects a few lines during and after both of these missions. Thane isn’t mentioned as a plot casualty by Joker following Horizon, and interactions between Leng and Shepard are obviously different during the assault on Cronos Station. Dialogue in this scene is determined similarly to the coup, by import status and Kirrahe’s presence/absence.

Shepard’s return to the Normandy following Priority: Horizon triggers the final new game content prior to the epilogue. Corrupted Message #7 is viewable at the Shadow Broker Terminal and Shepard receives Thane’s final email.An Unexpected Opportunity” exists in three versions depending on Miranda’s presence/absence and outcome of Horizon. It (mostly) wraps up Thane’s medical matters, places him on Noveria, and presents a scenario for his return to Shepard and the Normandy. Click here to be taken to a Google Doc containing the full text for all versions of “An Unexpected Opportunity.”

Noveria, in Pax System, was a strategic choice. Placing hanar medical research facilities there is highly-plausible because it reinforces both ME1 and ME2 lore. Pax’s parent cluster of Horsehead Nebula is also home to Cronos Station, which is where Shepard travels following Horizon. Finally, we know from ME3 MP lore that the relay in Horsehead Nebula is directly connected to that of Kahje’s system. This last point is reiterated by the unfinished Olyn Protectorate cluster holding Kanala System in the game files — which ThaneMOD v3.0 will fully finish. It will house Kahje along with four other planets.

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This email also triggers the final new war asset when using ThaneMOD, which is a second upgrade for the Hanar and Drell Forces by way of the “Kepral’s Treament.” We chose to have the asset convey 75 points as it benefits the entire drell race — and thereby, the hanar, as well.

UPGRADE

Kepral’s Treatment

Drell afflicted with Kepral’s Syndrome have successfully responded to a new treatment. Developed by leading hanar scientists, the therapy halts and reverses disease progression, resulting in repair to all but the most severely damaged organs. Regular doses to drell involved in the war effort should alleviate mild to moderate symptoms affecting performance. The Illuminated Primacy has arranged for immediate mass production with a facility located near Port Hanshan, Noveria.

In ThaneMOD v3.0 we hope to place Thane aboard the Normandy in a new romance scene, and perhaps implement a short quest to pick him up from Noveria via the Galaxy Map. If so, we’ll expand this section of the spoilers in the future.


PRIORITY: EARTH

Epilogue | Extended Cut
Requires Standard Core or Enhanced Core with EWAC Modules

Keeping with the theme of maintaining immersion, our primary goal for Thane’s epilogue was to treat him like any other ME2 squadmate, however, we also wanted to enhance this by integrating his new LI-specific lore.

Former squadmembers like Thane are seen in two parts of the ME3 epilogue: the “flashbacks” (video clips) and “flashforwards” (the more static-appearing “slides”). Flashbacks depict either plot casualties or Shepard’s LI and appear twice during the epilogue. Since Thane’s romance was removed in ME3 he only appeared as a plot casualty — which the vanilla clip of him in C-Sec reflects. We wanted to create a happier flashback more in line with the other ME3 LIs, so n7Siha created a new flashback of Thane in Life Support from ME2 and edited it to match the stylistic conventions of the other flashbacks. JohnP modded the game files to ensure it would appear for Shepards who rekindled their Thane romance.

All surviving ME2 squadmates also appear in ending-specific flashforwards, showing a snapshot of their life sometime in the future. Thane’s mandatory death meant he lacked this content completely, so it needed to be created from scratch and placed into proper sequence during the epilogue. With ThaneMOD, a romanced Shepard may see one of four flashforwards for Thane. Control, Low-EMS Destroy, and Synthesis use one slide (Synthesis slightly varies) and High-EMS Destroy uses another. High EMS Destroy also features an additional slide following the “Breath Scene.” All slides were created with the new lore established in the EWAC module in mind, but are vague enough to work well for the player who chooses not to use EWAC (TMvA or manual installers). Raw screenshots for all epilogue slide backgrounds were captured by n7Siha. Finished slides were (awesomely) rendered and composited by Brinx-ii.

The Enhanced Core Module (TMvC) takes advantage of Thane’s new EWAC lore to place him in the Memorial Scene. Regardless of ending choice, Thane holds the plaque and the entire scene otherwise follows vanilla conventions. Thane’s name is, of course, absent from the wall. We’ve also altered the Credits music from Faunts’ “Das Malefitz” to “M4 Pt II” from the original Mass Effect. The lyrics are especially appropriate for a romanced Thane, and the song provides the player with a feeling of “coming full circle” at the end of their journey. Finally, full Credits for ThaneMOD were added with TM v2.0 and appear after the vanilla credits, prior to Stargazer.

The video clip below features the Enhanced Core versions of all endings; the Standard Core version simply contains no Memorial Scene or Credits music modifications. ThaneMOD makes no alterations to the Refuse Ending. Enhanced Core versions of ThaneMOD v1.0 included JohnP’s Extended Conversation with Anderson mod for ease of Default.sfar modding. This remained in TM v2.0 (which was an oversight) but will be removed in v3.0 due to the advent of DLC Mods. A video of the vanilla ending with no LI can be viewed here for reference.

Epilogue | JohnP’s Alternate MEHEM (JAM)
Requires Enhanced Core and EWAC Modules, with JAM

ThaneMOD’s Enhanced Core Module with JAM presents an incredible option for players who want to stay relatively true to the EC, but who want more closure with Thane and Shepard at the end of the game. High EMS Destroy creates the ultimate “happy ending.” JAM players destroy the Reapers and save EDI, experience Thane’s LI flashback and flashforward, and get to hear the moment Thane finds Siha. That moment is quickly followed by a Memorial Scene with her center-stage and Thane in the LI-role where they share an embrace. All other ending variations are essentially identical to the EC version of ThaneMOD, with the exception of the other JAM-related edits (Starchild convo, removal of jungle planet, etc).

JAM is only compatible with Enhanced Core versions of ThaneMOD (vB&C) that contain the EWAC module. Standard Core (vA) omits EWAC and is not compatible with JAM. n7Siha provided the audio for Thane’s line. JAM is by the illustrious JohnP.

Epilogue | Mass Effect Happy Ending Mod (MEHEM)
Requires Enhanced Core for MEHEM and EWAC Modules, with MEHEM

ThaneMOD’s Enhanced Core Module with MEHEM is an ideal option for the player who want a more significant departure from the EC, along with a happy ending for Thane and FemShep. Overall, there are many similarities to High EMS Destroy with JAM: MEHEM players destroy the Reapers and save EDI, watch Thane and Kolyat in a flashforward, and enjoy Shepard and Thane embracing in the Memorial Scene. Differences include an absence of Thane’s LI flashback (no R/B/G choice in MEHEM) and the retrieval of Shepard (Thane isn’t involved).

Players have the option to retain MEHEM’s credits music or install ThaneMOD’s (see EC section above for more details). ThaneMOD Credits follow’s BW’s just as it does in the EC version of the mod.

MEHEM is only compatible with Enhanced Core versions of ThaneMOD (vD&E) that contain the EWAC module. Standard Core (vA) omits EWAC and is not compatible with MEHEM. MEHEM is by the awesome MrFob.


TEXTURES

Hoodies + Dresses | HD Textures Made by Ottemis for ThaneMOD
Requires Hoodie and/or Dress TPF Files

ThaneMOD includes a set of four optional, Thane-themed, N7 hoodie re-textures. The standard-definition hoodie (FemShep only) was made back in 2012 by Ottemis and Luckythirteen (BSN), and they were kind enough to provide permission to bundle it with ThaneMOD. In addition, just prior to our v1.0 release, Ottemis offered to make HD versions of the hoodie, for both female and male Shepard. There are three color variants: black, green with a gray stripe, and green with a red stripe.

ThaneMOD v2.0 includes a set of three optional, Thane-themed, dress and shoe re-textures. Ottemis worked incredibly hard on these and all are beautifully done in HD. While we aren’t huge fans of the original dress mesh, we elected not to adjust the mesh so that folks who prefer to use Texmod could take advantage of the new textures. There’s a slight chance Ottemis will do a new dress with mesh edits for ThaneMOD v3.0.

Below are screenshots of all three versions of the FemShep HD hoodies modeled by barddoc1992’s Morgan Shepard. n7Siha’s Olivia Shepard models both hoodies and one version of the dress. Screenshots of other dress variants are forthcoming. Click on a tile to enter carousel mode.

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