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UNC: Besieged Base

White sands on Chohe

Biotic fanatics have taken over a medical station and drugged innocent researchers to serve as human shields. You must eliminate the biotics while minimizing innocent casualties.

Acquisition [ ]

This assignment only becomes available when you hit 80% Paragon , or 90% Paragon if you had attained 80% Renegade first. Admiral Hackett explains the situation and sends you to the planet Chohe , in the Cacus system of the Hades Gamma cluster. The mission takes place at a Sirta Foundation research facility.

Preparation [ ]

The assignment takes place entirely within the prefab structures on Chohe, and the enemies all have biotic capabilities. Movement is limited in the indoor environment and there's a lot of obstacles - including the killable hostages.

To minimize casualties, consider switching your squad power usage (under Game Options > Gameplay) to 'Defense Only' or 'Disabled'. This will prevent your squadmates from accidentally using tech powers that injure the scientists. There are six scientists to protect in the base, so watch your fire. If you're going for the Paragon route, lower-firing and precise weapons -- specifically a pistol modified to do a lot of damage per shot -- will do well here.

Walkthrough [ ]

Chohe's moon and the outpost base exterior

When you arrive on Chohe, head to the Science Base southwest of your landing site. Once you are inside it, is strongly recommended that you save your game if you are going for the Paragon ending of saving all the scientists. If you are not going for that ending, save nonetheless, because the fight can be difficult.

There are several Biotic Terrorists in the main chamber of the base, but some are waiting in the back tunnels. They will only come into the main chamber once you get close enough or move out from the cover around the entrance to the room. While the biotics themselves are not a particularly difficult fight (they seem to use their powers less frequently than other biotic enemies), the mission is complicated by the presence of addled scientists who will wander into the line of fire (and should not be killed). There are also some containment cells scattered throughout the base which may explode when Sabotage or Overload are used. There will not be a notification of the number of scientists remaining. If one is killed, a notification will appear showing how many are dead.

A good tactic is to lure the biotics out of the main chamber and into the tunnel to the entrance chamber, away from the scientists. The biotics will swarm the tunnel, which makes it easy to eliminate them. The scientists will not usually walk into that area, but watch your fire, just in case. While the Biotic Terrorist Leader has a habit of staying behind the barricade at the other end of the main room, meaning that you have may have to go after him, but he will sometimes give chase along with his followers. An easy way to notice if the leader is coming is if you hear shouting, specifically if it sounds like a crazed madman ranting about how the future cannot be stopped.

Two drugged scientists and two biotic terrorists

An alternate tactic is to park your squadmates in the entrance chamber by the boxes not facing the door while you wade inside the central chamber, use as few AOE abilities as possible or just use your weapons without resorting to targeted abilities, and dispose of the biotics up close by yourself. This way you can be sure no stray bullet or ability from your henchmen kills any wandering scientist. This works especially well for "tanking" builds like Shock Trooper Soldiers although you may want to fall back to the entrance chamber as advised above if the medi-gel fails to keep up with the damage you're taking.

Legendary Edition: The Insane Scientists no longer wander around the room, but they can still be killed by friendly fire or glancing impact from exploding containment cells. While in the original game you get a counter showing how many researchers died, in Legendary Edition the counter is omitted and the UI only indicates if anybody died.

Once you have killed the biotics, you will get a pop-up message (see below for details). It's now time for looting. On the antechamber before the main room there's a Malfunctioning Object opposite the door if you haven't gotten around to it yet. On the main chamber, in the upper right column in your map is a wall-mounted Medical Kit. On the back chambers there are three lootable items per chamber. The one with the empty shelves has a Crate, a Locked Crate (easy decryption ), and a Secure Crate (average decryption). The one with computer banks has an Upgrade Kit, a Locked Crate (easy decryption), and a Malfunctioning Object.

If they survive, the drugged scientists are interesting to talk to.

Once you are done, return to the Normandy . When you get back, use the Galaxy Map to talk to Hackett and end the assignment. Hackett will give you his opinion on what happened: stunned congratulations if there were no civilian casualties, moderate approval if only some scientists were saved, and strong criticism if all of them were killed. Once Hackett signs out, appropriate morality points are awarded.

Messages [ ]

“You've cleared the facility. The "collateral damage" was heavy, but the Alliance does not negotiate with terrorists. "Evolution of humanity," huh? Those biotics didn't seem that different from the other scum you deal with...”

“You've cleared the facility. Civilian losses were... tolerable. "Evolution of humanity," huh? Those biotics didn't seem that different from the other scum you deal with...”

“You've cleared the facility. All of the civilians are safe - though still chattering to themselves and screaming at the garbage cans. "Evolution of humanity," huh? Those biotics didn't seem that different from the other scum you deal with...”

Enemies [ ]

mass effect paragon mission

Mass Effect

Mass Effect Wiki Guide

Besieged base.


Let's be very clear from the outset -- UNC: Besieged Base is only available if you're playing as a Paragon. What's more, your Paragon meter must be at least 80% full for you to get this side quest. Once it's that full, you'll be able to travel to the appropriate place where this side quest begins. To get to the necessary locale, head to Hades Gamma. From there, seek out the solar system known as Cacus, and the planet Chohe going around the star within.


Once you are on the planet, getting to the besieged science base you must infiltrate is as easy as driving southward (veering to the east a little bit). The driving should be fairly uneventful, and there are no enemies surrounding or guarding the science station in any way, so there's little (if anything) to worry about here. Yet.


As you enter the science station, you'll be prompted with a warning. The biotic enemies in here must be distinguished from the innocent civilians that will be running around in the firefight to come. You can kill them all, if you want, but you'll be rewarded with more Paragon points and the like if you are careful to not shoot them. This isn't as hard as it seems, so don't worry too much (the red targets over your enemies will let you know they're not friendly). You'll have to take out a smaller group of enemies in the southern corridor after the main room is cleared, but once that's done, so is the side quest. Be sure to explore the southernmost rooms for items before heading back to the Mako, and from there, to the Normandy.


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Mass Effect 1 Legendary Edition

Assignments paragon, unc: besieged base.

mass effect paragon mission

This Assignment will be given on board the Normandy once your Paragon is at a specific level. It takes place on an Uncharted Planet that you must explore with the Mako.

Once your Paragon is 80-90% full, you'll receive a transmission from Admiral Hackett

(1 of 2) Once your Paragon is 80-90% full, you'll receive a transmission from Admiral Hackett

Once your Paragon is 80-90% full, you'll receive a transmission from Admiral Hackett (left), then make your way to the planet Chohe. (right)

How to Begin ¶

As you explore the Galaxy in Mass Effect, you’ll get the opportunity to choose your own responses to situations, granting Paragon or Renegade points at times. Once your Paragon reaches 80% full, you’ll get a transmission from Admiral Hackett the next time you travel to a new Cluster on the Galaxy Map. Should you have received the UNC: The Negotiator Assigment for a Renegade score of 80% instead, you’ll need to bring your Paragon to at least 90% to be offered the Assignment.

Get to Medical Base ¶

With the Assignment accepted, make your way to the Cacus system of the Hades Gamma cluster and land on the planet Chohe. Once planetside, make your way to the southeast to find the Science Base and enter the facility. Upon entry, you’ll receive a warning stating that the hostages are drug addled and may wander admist a storm of bullets. As Admiral Hackett remakred, you’ll want to save as many as possible.

Command your Squad to stay at the entrance here

(1 of 3) Command your Squad to stay at the entrance here

All of your targets are in the main room itself and comprise mostly Biotics, this means that things can escalte quickly, espcially with the containment cells littered around the room. Make a save to be safe, killing most of the hostages is well worth reloading and instead, head into the room to lure your foes and bring them back towards the entrance room. This should keep you away from the hostages and allow you to control the situation better, you may wish to manually leave your squad at the entrance so they don’t accidently shoot a hostage.

Once the area is clear, tkae take the time to loot the back rooms and then make your way back to the Normandy to give your report to Admiral Hackett. The more hostages you saved, the greater the Paragon points you’ll earn.

mass effect paragon mission

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I finally did it - UNC: Besieged Base with NO casualties. Hardest mission in the game I swear lol

mass effect paragon mission

The thing to do is simply park the companions and make sure they don't move, they are the biggest problem on this mission imo

You can also pop into the room, fire off a couple shots to draw aggro, then back up thru the tunnel to funnel all the enemies into the doorway and avoid the scientists since they stand still

Liara is just like SINGULAAAAAAAARITTTTYYYYYYYYYY in a big opera voice and levitates them all to death.

Once I put her and tali in time out, I did it in like one try.

Really? I never had an issue with them, it was always the terrorists shooting at me and the civilians wandering into the path of their fire/powers.

Agreed! It took me a couple reloads to realize that lol. Thought I could just direct them to stick to a corner. Nope. I had to lock them in the entrance corridor multiple times...

Yup, I just did this mission last night. Squad was Wrex and Tali. For some freakin reason, Tali thought it was a good idea to shoot through the researcher to kill thr baddy. The only freakin casualty too.

Park them before the second hallway into the main room, shoot once and then half the enemies will funnel into the hallway. Then leave them there and mop up the rest

No wonder I kept getting civilians killed...

I put squadmates on defense powers only and pulled all the enemies to the first hallway and it only took a couple tries

Ah this was easy. I stood by the door, fired a shot and just backed off....let them come to you

It worked for most of them but the 3 in the back, I had to keep poking and running back. Man those scientists were fragile.

That's all well and good until one of them tries to chuck a Warp through a stack of crates and hits a civilian instead. Usually the one to the left right through the door.

I did the same. Got their attention then ran back towards the hallway that leads to the entrance and let them funnel in one by one. It’s how I got through a lot of fights while playing on insanity.

Turning squad powers off is Eze mode

....I totally forgot that was even an option...well now I feel silly haha

I did it only one casualty, who I shot in the head because I wasn't paying attention and forgot it was a hostage rescue mission...

...a mistake we all make from time to time.

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How to complete UNC: Besieged Base in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Going above the line of duty.

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mass effect paragon mission

Screenshot by Gamepur

A hostage situation is brewing in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and Admiral Hackett needs Shepard’s help to deescalate the situation. There’s a base in the Hades Gamma cluster in the Cacus system that has been overrun by biotics, and they’re using the scientists at the facility as meat shields to prevent anyone who assaults them from hitting them and instead hit the civilians. You’ll have to attack the base and save the six scientists.

How to get the UNC: Besieged Base quest

The only way to obtain this quest is to fill up 80% of your Paragon bar. Alternatively, if you’re going up the Renegade line, and you have at least 80% of that filled, the mission becomes available when reaching 90% of the Paragon, so being mostly Paragon is better for this mission than being Renegade. When you’re at this point, and you’re traveling from different systems on the Normandy, Admiral Hackett will reach out to you and assign the mission.

mass effect paragon mission

When you reach the Cacus system, the planet you’re looking for is Chohe. The base will be closer to the southern portion of Chohe.

mass effect paragon mission

How to protect the scientists

When you arrive at the base, you’ll receive a notification about the scientists captured by these biotics have been drugged, meaning they will be standing right in the middle of a firefight, and they will not move. You want to make sure you don’t randomly fire off your abilities during the fight, and you’ll want to make sure your squadmates are not doing the same. You can turn this feature off by going to the options menu, and underneath gameplay, you can choose to modify the Squad Power Usage. We recommend switching this to defensive or none.

If you want to save as many scientists as possible, make sure to save your game when you enter the facility in case an accident happens during the battles.

When you enter the room, our best advice is to go to the right side and stay in this area. There are no scientists here, and if you remain behind these crates for cover, the biotics will come to you during the firefight. You’ll force them to face you in close quarters, which can be troublesome given their powers. But it’s the best way to ensure no civilian loses their life during the fight.

mass effect paragon mission

After defeating all of the biotics, you’ll receive a notification sharing your progress of how well you protected the drugged scientists. The best outcome is to have all of the civilians remain safe at the end of the fight.

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Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Should You Play as a Paragon or Renegade?

There is really no wrong way to play the Mass Effect trilogy, but is it ultimately better to be a Paragon or Renegade?

mass effect paragon mission

Mass Effect Paragon and Renegade

The recent release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition on Xbox Game Pass has inspired many people to pick up the trilogy for the first time and try to answer that question that has haunted Mass Effect players for years : “Paragon or Renegade?”

Well, at the risk of negating the rest of this article, the fact of the matter is that the right decision in just about every game with a morality system is the one that feels right to you or the one that simply excites you most. Any reasonably well-designed morality system should encourage you to make split-second decisions based on your own moral compass, and, for the most part, Mass Effect does just that.

However, whether you’re playing these games for the first time and want a little better idea of the differences between the trilogy’s two moral alignment extremes, or you’re a Mass Effect veteran who wants an excuse to weigh in on this debate, here’s our look at the differences between Paragons and Renegades as well as a few words about which might be right for you.

Why You Should Play As a Paragon in Mass Effect

Paragons aspire to be a (mostly) noble hero.

The word “Paragon” should make it pretty obvious that this is the moral path you’ll want to follow if you’re determined to play as the hero, but it’s worth emphasizing that Commander Shepard will still be a “hero” in Mass Effect regardless of which direction your moral compass points. This isn’t like the first KOTOR where you’re deciding between being a Jedi or Sith or other games that offer similar “good vs. evil” choices.

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However, only a Paragon Shepard will consistently try to set a better example for the galaxy through their actions. They’re pretty much the opposite of an “ends justifies the means” kinds of character. There is a consistent logic to the Paragon’s decision-making that is easy to follow and appreciate.

Paragons Often Prefer Persuasion Over Intimidation

There are numerous points throughout the Mass Effect games when you’ll be able to “interrupt” a sequence and choose a special option based on your alignment. Generally, speaking, Paragons are more likely to use these interruptions to persuade people rather than intimidate them or simply harm them.

That’s not a hard rule (Renegade players will also be able to use persuasion), but if you’re generally more interested in using charisma and logic over fear and brute force, Paragon is much more likely to offer roughly what you’re looking for. They generally try to find a way to diffuse a situation than blow it all up.

Paragons Typically Inspire More Love From the People Around Them

Again, this isn’t a hard rule (and we’ll talk about some of the exceptions to this rule in a bit), but generally speaking, playing as a Paragon means that you’re more likely to win over the people closest to you and assist them in their moments of need. 

While some races and characters will be more impressed with Renegade Shepard, Paragon Shepards are more likely to at least try to offer a moment of comfort to their crew and the other people they encounter. To put it another way, some characters may be more impressed with Paragon or Renegade Shepard, but few characters will outright hate Paragon Shepard the way they may come to hate a Renegade Shepard. 

Paragons At Least Try to Save More Lives

You can’t save everyone in the Mass Effect franchise (or at least not all the people you’d like), but if you’re interested in saving as many lives as possible (including lives of minor characters you meet along the way), Paragon is the way to go. 

It’s not that Renegades are outright killing more people around them (although that certainly happens) but rather that Paragons are more likely to go out of their way to save someone whereas Renegades may be too focused on an objective to worry about the collateral damage. Renegades may justify breaking a few more eggs along the way than Paragons will.

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Paragons Decisions Tend to Play Out Across the Long Term

One of the great (though occasionally annoying) things about Mass Effect is that you’ll often make decisions that you don’t get to see the immediate consequences or benefits of. You sometimes just have to trust that you’re making the right decision at that moment. 

Well, Paragons tend to make more decisions that may not yield immediate results but tend to benefit them in some way down the line and across the span of the trilogy. While it can be frustrating to have to just wait and see how certain things play out, the idea of not doing everything for the immediate payoff certainly bolsters the role-playing aspect of the Paragon path. 

Mass Effect: Notable Paragon Specific Choices and Benefits

Mass Effect

Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Every Class Ranked Worst to Best

Mass effect: 10 toughest choices in the trilogy, why you should play as a renegade in mass effect, renegades have a dark sense of humor.

One of the most consistent benefits of playing as a Renegade in the Mass Effect trilogy is the number of darkly humorous dialog options open to Renegade Shepard players. In fact, some of the most amusing and memorable dialog options in the game can only be experienced if you commit to the Renegade lifestyle . 

I should clarify that your views on how “funny” Renegade Shepard’s dialog options and actions are may vary based on your own sense of humor. There is a bluntness to many Renegade dialog options that you just don’t get with Paragons, and even a few moments of dark slapstick humor that honestly justify going full Renegade at least once. 

Renegades End Up With a “KOTOR-Style” Scarred Face

While Renegades aren’t necessarily “evil” in the same way that some of the…less than good player characters in other RPGs with morality systems tend to be, it’s worth noting that you can still get that cool “Sith-style” scarred face in Mass Effect if you go full Renegade. 

You’ll start to see some facial distortion if you fill the first bar of your Renegade meter, but you really have to commit to the Renegade lifestyle to see just how twisted Shepard’s face can get. 

Renegade Players Can Often Eliminate Extra Enemies and Receive Immediate Rewards

We’ll dive into this a little deeper in a bit, but one of the best reasons to even occasionally choose a more “Renegade” option when it becomes available is that those options can sometimes result in acquiring an additional item or even eliminating an enemy from a future fight. 

Granted, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether the Renegade option you’ve been presented will result in such an immediately beneficial income, but this is one of the most obvious ways that even a dash of Renegade in your life can be surprisingly beneficial. 

Renegades Slowly Dive Into the Dark Side

While Renegade choices typically exist in a kind of grey zone in the first Mass Effect game, choosing to commit to the Renegade lifestyle across the entire trilogy will eventually allow you to play as a much more cruel character who is shockingly heartless at times.

I’ll stop short of suggesting that playing Renegade will eventually turn you into Mass Effect ’s new villain, but it’s certainly worth noting that Renegade Shepard becomes much more ruthless as the trilogy goes on. It’s honestly much more difficult to morally justify some of Renegade Shepard’s actions in Mass Effect 3 , which is a big part of the reason why playing as a full Renegade is such a fascinating experience.

Renegades Get to See Arguably the Best Side of Garrus

Paragon and Renegade Shepards will appeal to different squadmates and NPCs who identify with their chosen alignment, but given how popular Garrus is , I should mention that Renegade players will get to see a very entertaining side of Garrus that Paragon players will only ever scratch the surface of.

A Renegade Shepard player is able to bring out Garrus’ darker side and really encourage him to become a confident assassin with a wonderfully weird sense of humor. Few crewmates look to Shepard for moral guidance quite the way that Garrus does, and it’s fascinating to see how he evolves if you go full Renegade.

Mass Effect: Notable Renegade Specific Choices and Benefits

Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Should You Play as a Renegade or Paragon?

Again, the obvious answer to this question is “whichever path you prefer to play,” and there is certainly some truth to that common conclusion. Much like choosing your Mass Effect class, you’ll ultimately enjoy the game most if you go with the moral alignment that best fits your personality and preferred playstyle. 

However, if you’re coming into Mass Effect cold and just can’t make up your mind, then I’ll say that the best overall option is probably to play Mass Effect as a Paragon or to not commit to a specific playstyle and vary up your decisions based on what that moment calls for. 

The biggest benefit to playing as a Paragon is that it just feels like the way that BioWare ultimately intended for people to play the game on some level. The idea of Renegades not being strictly evil or Paragons not being strictly good is great on paper, but by the time you get to Mass Effect 3 ’s final sequences, you really get the feeling that the team started to treat the Paragon version of Shepard as the canonical character they envisioned and the Renegade version of the character as this kind of rogue force whose most notable decisions are almost looked down upon from a lore perspective. 

As I noted above, fully committing to a Renegade playthrough across the Mass Effect trilogy requires you to make some decisions (especially in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 ) that are sometimes incredibly stupid and often make you feel like someone who is mostly interested in being a jerk for no real reason. It’s always been a little odd that Renegades in the first game are often asked to make difficult decisions that may still be the right thing to do whereas Renegades in Mass Effect 2 and 3 often make decisions that feel self-serving and simply baffling in the grand scheme of things. By comparison, there’s a consistency to the Paragon path that feels slightly more satisfying when you look back on the entirety of your experience.

Official reports show that most Mass Effect players end up making more Paragon choices, and I honestly believe that’s because there is a stronger logical consistency to those choices throughout the franchise and because there are so many Renegade choices that feel needlessly cruel.

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That being said, a full Renegade playthrough is one of the most unique experiences in the history of games with a choice-based morality system. Renegades get to enjoy some of the most darkly amusing moments in both the Mass Effect trilogy and many other RPGs. Maybe it’s just me, but there is something consistently hilarious about shutting down an elaborate conversation with a bit of violence or shooting down an enemy Indiana Jones-style before a fight even properly begins. You definitely have to accept the fact that Renegades end up being bigger jerks than you may think they’d be based on the biggest Renegade choices in the first Mass Effect game, but if you choose to commit to letting Renegade Shepard take the wheel, I can assure you that the experience will be everything but boring.

That brings us to the middle-ground. I’ve heard some people recommend choosing to go either full Renegade or Paragon in Mass Effect in order to experience every optional moment and dialog decision that those two extremes offer, and I understand why a lot of veteran players arrive at that conclusion. If you don’t go full Paragon or Renegade, you’re going to miss out on certain moments. 

However, the idea of fully committing to a particular moral extreme in order to see everything the game offers to Paragons and Renegades is partially based on the idea that you’re going to play through the Mass Effect trilogy multiple times. Some people just aren’t going to have the time or desire to put that many hours into multiple playthroughs just to see what happens.

Besides, it really does feel like there’s a degree to which Mass Effect was designed to encourage players to not just blindly commit to Paragon or Renegade and instead base their decision on what feels right in that moment. While BioWare struggled to maintain that idea across the entire trilogy (and you really do miss out on some great moments if you don’t acquire enough Paragon or Renegade points), making choices based on what feels right at the moment is one of the things that makes Mass Effect great, which makes it that much easier to recommend that first-time players do just that when they’re presented with moral dilemmas. 

Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd | @SilverTuna014

Matthew Byrd is a freelance writer and entertainment enthusiast living in Brooklyn. When he's not exploring the culture of video games, he's wishing he had a…


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