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Sneak previews of the upcoming Mass Effect 3 indicate that someone called the "Virmire Survivor", who was in a previous Mass Effect title, is recruitable in the new game.

It's been so long since I've played either of the Mass Effect games that I don't even remember what I did on Virmire, much less whether I encountered any survivors.

Who is the Virmire Survivor?

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Voting to close as this is a question about an upcoming release and thus off-topic per the FAQ. –  Dave DuPlantis Jan 26 '12 at 17:23
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@Dave - Somewhat - take away the first line of the question, and it is a valid ME1 or ME2 question. –  Jason Berkan Jan 26 '12 at 18:01
    
I'm agreeing with @JasonBerkan on this one. Question reopened. –  Raven Dreamer Jan 26 '12 at 18:13
    
@Jason, perhaps, but the line is still there, and at least one answer is referencing ME3. I support questions about series canon, but prefer that they not be worded with respect to future releases so that we do not have to explain "Well, that question was OK because it was about previous games too." –  Dave DuPlantis Jan 26 '12 at 18:36
    
@DaveDuPlantis - The Virmire Survivor was used in ME2 as well, though. It's the same character in both games. There's no speculation, as the character exists outside of both games. –  Raven Dreamer Jan 26 '12 at 20:10
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3 Answers 3

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Virmire is a planet on ME1 where the player must choose to kill off a squad mate: Ashley Williams or Kaidan Alenko. Ashley is a female solider while Kaidan is a male sentinel. Both are potential romance options for a hetro-Shepard.

In ME2, after the Horizon mission, Shepard has the opportunity to speak to the Virmire survivor:

The former squadmate is highly upset about Shepard's alliance with Cerberus. Williams or Alenko question Shepard's loyalty and refuses to join Shepard's mission. From the conversation, you learn about what has happened over the last two years and what Shepard missed while being on an operating table.

PC Gamer and various other sources have confirmed that the Virmire survivor (Ashley or Kaidan) will be a squad member. According to Playstation 3 Magazine, UK Edition, June 2011, Issue 140, the Virmire survivor has become a spectre. Ashley can also be seen at the end of ME3 extended walkthrough from E3.

Here are the ME3 portraits of Ashley and Kaidan:
ME3: Ashley Williams Kaidan Alenko

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For a minute I thought that was Miranda - I'm not used to seeing Ashley without the iconic red-and-white helmet and armor. –  Steve V. Jan 27 '12 at 5:15
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Though this is just speculation, I would assume the "Virmire Survivor" is referencing:

Which party member you chose to sacrifice at the bomb site in the first Mass Effect. "Survivor" being the one you didn't sacrifice. So it's most likely going to be either Ashley Williams, or Kaidan Alenko.

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I think you could find this person in ME2, but they didn't join your group. They can't give a name, because it's different for each person who plays - the choices you made during the old games are loaded into your new character's story when you start a new ME game. I believe in the final mission of ME2, many of your squadmates can be lost if you make poor decisions, so it will be interesting to see how they incorporate these choices into ME3. –  agent86 Jan 26 '12 at 16:25
    
@agent86 All surviving squad members will make a return in some way shape or form in ME3, reportedly. –  Kotsu Jan 27 '12 at 2:33
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It may also refer to an Asari scientist that you can choose to kill or let go. She appears in ME2 if you do.

But yeah, it is probably Ashley or Kaidan.

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She's not a survivor though, because you can kill her. –  Raven Dreamer Jan 27 '12 at 2:30
    
@RavenDreamer But if you don't kill her, wouldn't that make her a survivor? –  Fluttershy Feb 18 '12 at 7:38
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@Tristan One of your squadmates will always survive. The scientist is not guaranteed one way or the other. So while she might survive, it's impossible for her to be the Virmire Survivor, especially since it's not given she'll survive. –  Raven Dreamer Feb 18 '12 at 7:47
    
ME3 Spoiler warning: It turns out Rana Thanoptis was suffering from Indoctrination the whole time and winds up doing some damage before being killed if you let her live... –  Shadur Jan 31 '13 at 13:35
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