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In ME1 and ME2, I had to make decisions not really understanding their impact on the series as a whole. Now that I'm partway through ME3, I find myself curious as to what would have happened had I made a different choice previously. What if I'd done X? What if I'd let Y live/die?

I can't just replay ME3, import my ME2 save, and make different choices to see these outcomes - I'd have to make changes to the way I played ME/ME2. Likewise, importing no save would make wholesale changes to my experience that I'm not sure I'd appreciate.

Besides starting the entire series over again, and running through each game dozens of times to explore the various permutations, what can I do to change the way things play out in ME3? Do I get the option to edit the imported starting state on New Game+?

I'm on the Xbox, so save file editing or importing from the internet is likely to be at least challenging, if not impossible.

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It is possible to do save editing, but hard definitely applies. The operation on the XBox side may also be warranty voiding, I haven't looked into it close enough to know for sure. –  MBraedley Mar 12 '12 at 14:34
    
The answer is No on the new game + front, but I'd wager that there's a (very) complicated way to do this via a combination of PC save editors and one of the online saved game repositories, and exporting to XBox. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 12 '12 at 14:35

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Theoretically your best bet would be using a save game editor to change the flags regarding those pre-ME3 decisions and outcomes. There was one for ME2, but I admit I haven't checked if ME3 has one.

Alternately, I recall an archive of all possible ME1 variant ending saves that people could import into ME2 to get the start they wanted, hang on..

Bingo.

Your second best bet would probably be to use that site, download the save you want to import, play through, download next save, etc.

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One problem with that site is you can't get full customization with the saves, but the save editor should be able to accomplish this for you on the ME2 front. –  TylerShads Mar 12 '12 at 14:44

Do I get the option to edit the imported starting state on New Game+?

Unfortunately the answer is no, you can't change any of the previous outcomes when doing new game+.

Since you are on the xbox, a saved game editor is probably out of the question.

There are a few ways to transfer files from other xbox owners though for ME1->ME2:

To import save games on the Xbox 360, the game must be played on the hard drive the saved game was completed on, since it is not possible to transfer the file that Mass Effect 2 imports using the Xbox 360's file management tools (although it is possible when transferring the entire contents of the drive using a transfer cable). As it is possible to transfer regular save files using the Xbox 360's file management tools, the player may choose to transfer a save file right before the final battle and complete it again in order to transfer the completed game file. This will need to be repeated for every playthrough the player wishes to import. Alternatively, run Mass Effect 2 on the old Xbox to import the character, then save the game and move the resulting save file to the new Xbox.

I'd imagine the process is the same for ME3.

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It is possible to use a Save Game editor on saves from the Xbox 360 version of ME2. You can then import these saves into ME3.

Beware that these are effectively modding tools, and no one knows how Microsoft/EA/BioWare may react, but Microsoft definitely dish out life-time account bans for some forms of modding. As long as you're not re-opening these modded saves in ME2 to help you get new achievements, etc in ME2 then you're morally ok, whether the enforcement teams at MS/EA/BW agree with this though is an entirely different matter.

Essentially if you move/copy one of your existing Xbox Mass Effect 2 saves from your hard disk on to an Xbox formatted USB stick, you can then use the Modio tool on a PC to extract the Save files from the game profile on the USB device. You can then use the Gibbed Mass Effect 2 save editor to change the flags within the save game individually or en masse and re-save in Xbox ME2 format. Finally use Modio to copy the updated save back into your Mass Effect 2 profile on the USB stick and rehash and resign. Then plug the USB stick back into your XBox and the profiles should be available to import to start a new game with in ME3.

See the tools and links from these previous questions for more info:

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I would use gibbed's mass effect save editor. http://www.masseffectsaves.com/tools.php

That one is for Mass Effect 2, and it lets you alter a lot (but not everything) of stuff from your mass effect 1 import data, like who died on virmire, how you resolved most of the side missions, whether or not you push Garrus towards Paragon or Renegade, etc.

I hear he is also working on a mass effect 3 save editor which will hopefully streamline things even more!

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