Mass Effect 3: How To Keep Ashley or Kaidan Alive During The Citadel Attack

Deciding whether to save Ashley or Kaidan on Virmire is one of the hardest decisions you have to make in the entire Mass Effect series. But at least the person you choose gets to remain in Shepard’s life. But a few years later, the Commander joins Cerberus and severely damages their relationship with the Virmire survivor. This issue comes to a head during Mass Effect 3’s “Priority: The Citadel II” assignment.

Shepard, now free from Cerberus, is accused of helping his previous employers attack the Citadel. As a result, the Commander’s former companion points a gun at the hero, unsure if they should pull the trigger. Whether or not they stand down depends on how much they trust you. This guide tells you everything you need to know to end the confrontation peacefully.

How The Trust System Works

The level of trust either Ashley or Kaidan has for you isn’t directly based on your Paragon or Renegade points. Instead, the game takes into account certain actions you’ve taken throughout the trilogy.

Some of them increase your trustworthiness in the eyes of the Virmire survivor, whereas others do the opposite. By the time “Priority: The Citadel II” takes place, the total trust level has been tallied, and the scene will play out one of three ways:

  • Low Trust: You’ll have to either kill the Virmire survivor with an interrupt or let a teammate do it.
  • Medium Trust: If you’ve got a high enough reputation, you’ll be able to convince the Virmire survivor to stand down. Alternatively, if your reputation is low, then you or a squadmate must kill your former friend.
  • High Trust: The Virmire survivor automatically trusts you and targets Udina instead.

Actions That Increase The Trust Level

These are all of the things you can do to positively influence your trust level (in order of how effective they are):

  • Romance The Character In Question: Either Ashley or Kaidan will be more likely to trust you if you pursue a relationship with them in the first game.
  • Visit The Virmire Survivor In Hospital: After the “Priority: Mars” assignment, Ashley or Kaidan will need to spend some time at the Huerta Memorial Hospital. Once they’re awake, you’ll be able to visit them. The injured ally will appreciate the company.
  • Save The Council In The First Game: The Virmire survivor isn’t the only one unsure of your allegiance. The Council members beside them are suspicious too. Yet, if you go out of your way to save them in the original title, they’ll trust you more.
  • Be Nice To Ashley Or Kaidan During “Priority: Mars”: When you’re on Mars very early into Mass Effect 3, the conversation of Cerberus inevitably comes up. If you’re understanding in those talks, the Virmire survivor’s belief in you rises.
  • Visit Them At Hospital A Second Time: You’ll get another chance to see your friend at the hospital shortly after your first encounter. Like last time, it helps repair the issues between the two of you.
  • Lower Your Weapon: At the start of the confrontation in question, one of the game’s Paragon interrupts will appear. Hit it to lower your gun and those of your teammates. The small peaceful act will go a long way.

Actions That Lower The Trust Level

Here are the actions that you want to try to avoid if you intend to have the character in question live (in order of how effective they are):

  • Don’t Keep Thane or Kirrahe Alive Through To Mass Effect 3: Shortly before the encounter with Ashley or Kaidan, the Salarian Councilor is attacked by Kai Leng. If Thane or Kirrahe is alive at the time, they’ll save the Councilor. If not, Udina will show doctored footage of Shepard killing the Salarian.
  • Let The Council Die In The First Game: If you let the Council die, then the new members that the Virmire survivor is protecting will be a little nervous. They’ll see your past actions as proof that you don’t care about Council members’ lives.
  • Treat Ashley Or Kaidan Poorly During “Priority: Mars”: When you talk to Ashley or Kaidan about Cerberus on Mars, you can be defensive regarding your allegiance with the group. However, it’ll hurt the trust they have for you.
  • Cheat On The Character In Question: After romancing the Virmire survivor in the first game, you might feel that the resulting couple isn’t among the best ones. Therefore, you can romance someone else in Mass Effect 2. Unsurprisingly, your former lover will lose trust in you if that’s the case.
  • Don’t Admit To The Infidelity: For those who feel cheating on the Virmire survivor isn’t enough, you can make matters worse by not admitting to it. The chance to own up to your mistake comes when you visit your ex-partner at the hospital.

NEXT: Mass Effect Trilogy: The 10 Most Beloved Companions, Ranked

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Ben Jessey spends all his time playing video games, watching TV, watching movies, watching football aka soccer (which I guess counts as watching TV) or writing about those things. He has a degree in Film and Television studies and is now a freelance writer.

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