So I finally get to meet the Illusive Man, but the final 2 renegade/paragon option are greyed out! Here are my stats:

  • War Readiness > 5000
  • Max Reputation (90% Paragon, 10% Renegade)

However I still can't choose the Paragon/Renegade option. How do I do that?


2 Answers 2


To end the standoff with the Illusive man via Charm / Intimidate, you need to have previously used Charm / Intimidate in every conversation with him.

There are 6 in total: Once on Mars, once on Thessia[1], once on the Cerberus Base, and three times in the final conversation on the Citadel.

The first three are hidden within left-side (investigate) branches of the dialog tree, and you can only use the final Charm / Intimidate if you have succeeded at all the previous 6.

The last paragon option will convince The Illusive Man to commit suicide, and the renegade interrupt will result in you shooting The Illusive Man before he shoots Anderson.

1: The Paragon/Renegade rewards for the Charm/Intimidate dialogue options on Thessia are switched around, so if you wish to maximize your Paragon points, you must choose Intimidate and vice versa. Doing so will not prevent you from convincing the Illusive Man at the end of the game.

  • what happens if you succeed that check?
    – l I
    Mar 18, 2012 at 3:06
  • @yx. you either convince the Illusive man to commit suicide (a la Saren) or you unlock a renegade interrupt that lets you shoot him before he kills Anderson. Anderson is worth 1000 war assets. Mar 18, 2012 at 3:19
  • hmm... I unlocked the renegade option and that last choice was blacked out for me
    – l I
    Mar 18, 2012 at 3:26
  • @yx. not sure what to tell ya; I did the paragon path so I'm not familiar with what you may have failed to do. Mar 18, 2012 at 3:31

Like Saren in Mass Effect 1, you need to use Charm / Intimidate options every time they're available in your conversations with the Illusive man. Simply waiting till the end is a no go - you have to be actively convincing him he's wrong, every time you see him.

In Mass Effect 1, not doing this changed the difficulty from 8 Charm / Intimidate to 12 Charm / Intimidate (the max).

In Mass Effect 3, not doing this apparently makes the final Charm / Intimidate impossible.

  • 7
    I have 6000+ war readiness ~98% Paragon 2% Renegade. I choose Paragon conversation (blue) options every time there is one in all conversations including those with the illusive man. I've had maxed reputation bar in all three games (~98% Paragon every game, I always get some random Renegade for some reason like 10 points of Renegade for each game). And these options are grey... I don't get it. Really frustrating.
    – Jaeson
    Mar 13, 2012 at 3:45
  • Same here for me. :|
    – Hugo Rocha
    Jan 5, 2015 at 14:07

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