Note: This walkthrough is more of a general guide to getting through the mission then a list of how of all the hows and wherefores. Part of the fun and addictive quality of Mass Effect is making your own choices and seeing how those choices effect the game. That being said enjoy playing Bring Down The Sky.
Part 1: The Baseball of The Gods.
Once you have downloaded the Bring Down The Sky DLC simply go to the Normandy’s Galactic Map and select the location marked as Asteroid X57. Once the system map loads you’ll find the asteroid clearly marked near the only inhabitable planet in the system, Terra Nova. According to the data for Asteroid X57 Terra Nova lost contact with the team on the asteroid which has been steadily moving toward Terra Nova and refusing all other communications. This anamoly, as it involves a truly massive space rock striking the surface of TN and causing untold calamity, bears investigating. When you’re ready select the asteroid and prepare for battle on The Baseball of The Gods.
Once selected a cutscene will start, first showing the looming bulk of the asteroid as it travels toward Terra Nova, and then the Normandy in all it’s sleek high techiness making spacetracks toward the spacerock. A female computer voice(shouldn’t it be Majel Barrett?) telling you the situation, that the asteroid will collide with the planet in roughly four hours, and stating that the fusion torches will all have to be deactivated to stop the asteroid’s motion. An unidentified female voice will also be heard, reconfirming what the computer told so, so now that you’ve got your second opinion prepare to head on down for your next Mass Effect adventure.
Part 2: Hope you got some really big stoppers.
Once the Mako is firmly on the ground you’ll see a ? marked on your mini map that is directly behind you. You can drive back for a look but, to save time, look at your main map and fix your pointer on the point of interest on the map and start heading towards it. You would have also seen three excalamation marks on the map, that represent the three fusion torches, but as you get nearer the mark you’ll be able to see one of them first hand for yourself. They are very impressive looking, yes, with that bright flame expelling itself from the mouth of the torch but what is important to note all those angry looking red dots scattered around the perimeter of the torch. That torch, indeed all of them, are defended by something but not all of them by the same thing. Leave it for the moment and keep driving on: there is a chance that at some point the female voice from the cutscene will be heard telling you you’re headed in the right direction. Maybe she’s a VIGPS?
Atop the mountain you’ve been traveling towards you’ll find your point of interest: a transmission tower. It’s currently broken but, with quick hands or a slathering of omni-gel, it can be repaired. Once that’s done, however, a window will pop up telling you that three data links between the tower and three outlying survey stations are now marked on your map. The locations of all three are now marked on your map and, as you have three hours before the end of the world, why not go take a look? You can do them in any order you please but for purposes of this walkthrough they will be done nearest to farthest. Therefore the first one to travel to is Survey Station Number 3 which lies at the bottom of a small gully and turns out to be the source of the question mark you would have seen on your mini map after your landed.
Part 3: Seeing the Sights.
-Survey Station 3-
The station consisted of a prefabricated shelter, like the ones you saw on Eden Prime and elsewhere in your adventures, which currently has it’s armored shutters lowered. There is also a data tower like you found on top of the mountain but the only sign of life, or what used to be life, is the body lying face down in the dirt. Examine the body to find that he’d expired through less then natural means, armored shutters not withstanding, but you’ll find no other evidence of his killers at the moment. Head inside the shelter, grab the medi gel from the aid station on the wall, and look at the log book to find out the name of the dead man outside and that he was planning on going to repair the transmission tower when he was relieved. Looks like his plans were changed rather suddenly. There’s nothing more to be done here but finding his body will start a new secondary mission so hop back in the Mako and make your way toward Survey Station 1.
-Survey Station 1-
This station, as opposed to the more reclusive placement of Number 3, has been placed high atop a mountain peak. Upon first glance, however, it looks like the occupant(s) of this station may not have survived either as the shelter door lies propped against the outcrop of rock nearby. Be sure to grab the secure crate sitting against the side of the shelter nearest you before making your way inside to find, sadly, that there are no survivors. The body of one Dr. Hynes, who apparently tied from a severe impact due to an explosion of some kind, lies on the floor near the desk. Activate the computer atop the desk to hear her last log entry which, in addition to revealing how she perished, also mentions the name who did it: Batarians. You may recall this name from elsewhere in the game but said simply Batarians tend to equal big time trouble. Pick up some more medi gel if you need it and then depart: there’s nothing more to be done here.
Note: If you drive west from Survey Station 1, over the mountains, you’ll eventually come to a peak which is more or less behind one of the fusion torches. Here you’ll see another shelter, a transmission tower on it’s roof, that turns out to be Asteroid X57’s somewhat unofficial radio station. Despite the incredible view of Terra Nova in the distance the music that the engineering team on X57 had for entertainment makes what is happening here all the sadder. Who knows how long they had to endure the muzak before the end? Tragic, simply tragic. Anyway, buck up, soldier…there’s one more survey station to go. Get back in the Mako and start the long drive toward the NW…just don’t turn on the radio. Who knows what you’ll hear. There is something to keep your eye out for, however, as you drive along. You can see one of the other fusion torches in the distance if you keep driving along the mountains: the perimeter is surrounded by a ring of lights. You’ll find out what that’s about later but for now just keep it in mind.
-Survey Station 2-.
You’ll find the survey station sitting on a wide empty plain of land and you’ll find that the interior the building is equally deserted as the landscape surrounding it. The armored shutters are up and no one, dead or alive, is anywhere near the building. Go inside for more medi gel(mmm, yummy!) and to read the look. It turns out that the engineer assigned to this station, Chief Surveyor R. Montoya, spotted what he thought was heavy weapons fire in the distance. He left the building to see for himself but before that he initiated emergency protocol which means that you’re going to come under attack any second….now!
That was easier then you thought, wasn’t it? Anyway, once the excitement is over, search around until you find the footprints leading off to the east. Make your way back to the Mako and just strive straight ahead till you reach a point where the ground slopes down in front of you. At the bottom you’ll find the body of Montoya who was felled by a sniper’s bullet and killed. There will still be some gear in his pack, though, so take it and get back in the Mako. You’ve found all the survey team now but there’s nothing more you can do for them. It’s time to focus on those who are still living.
Make sure you save first, though. This will get hairy pretty fast.
-Fusion Torch 1-
If you need a point of reference Fusion Torch #1 is located very close to X57 Radio and, besides, they aren’t all that hard to find. Outside the building you’ll find six heavy turrets grouped close together out there. The approach to the Torch’s control room is narrow so you’re probably better off trying to pick them off one by one then leaping in there and mixing it up EXTREME style. Be careful, though, if you move far enough back a seemingly impenetrable box like shield will rise up and prevent you from shooting at them from a safe distance. Damn upgrades. It takes about two to three shots per turret so don’t take chances, make your shots count, use the low surface area and maneuverability of the Mako to your advantage and they should be quieted it no time. Once that’s done, park the Mako and head into the facility proper.
If you’ve knocked around the Mass Effect universe you should be all too familiar with this style of structure as it’s seen on colony worlds all over the place. Don’t get too excited at all the storage lockers as you go in, however, as they can’t be opened. Draw your weapons and open the door to get your first view of the beings that have been causing all this calamity: Batarian soldiers along with four Batarian War Beasts. You can choose your own way of dealing with these baddies but, in a pinch, shooting a round into the large fuel tank at the back of the room will make a big bang that can be a big help in this fight. Once they’ve all been dealt with you’ll be able to freely explore the building along with receiving a new Secondary Codex located in the technology file and titled Translation. Where you learned that blowing all those suckers to their version of hell I have no idea but, time’s a wasting, so let’s press on. There’s a room on the first floor that contains a Grenade Upgrade Kit on the left shelf and a storage locker at the back of the room.
Once you’re done there head upstairs and enter the room at the end of the hall. To the left of the entrance is a secure crate you can open and, at the other side of the room, the controls for this torch. Deactivating the fusion torch will not only mean you’re 1/3 of the way to your goal but will also cause you to get another message from your as yet unnamed contact, Kate Bowman, who is one of the engineers on Asteroid X57. It turns out there are some survivors after all and Kate has been hiding since the Batarains arrived. She thinks that they’ve noticed the 1st torch being turned off(how could anyone not notice?) so you’d better be on your way to your next objective.
Before you leave, though, you’ll find a man nervously pointing his gun at the walls near the exit door. He’ll take a scared shot at you, but once he realizes you’re human, he’ll introduce himself as Simon Atwell: Chief Engineer of Asteroid X57. Amdist all the other conversation choices you have with Simon he’ll tell you that the ground outside one of the torches, Number 2 to be exact, has been seeded with blasting caps topped with proximity fuses. This means you’re going to have to get into the building on foot but time enough for that later. Let’s head to Torch #3 which can be found roughly NW of the transmission tower.
-Fusion Torch 3-
Like Torch #1 there are six heavy turrets placed outside this facility but, unlike the last Torch, there is more room to move the Mako around so you should be able to take the turrets down easy as long as you keep the Mako moving. The turrets fire at a far slower rate then the Mako moves so as long as you aren’t right in front of the turret when it fires you shouldn’t have any problem. Keep an eye out for that turret on the cliff, though. Once all the targets have had their warranties expired park and make your way into #3’s control facility. This building is protected by a more divergent number of troops which include six rocket drones, a Batarian Engineer(try to dispose of him first as he can overload your weapons in addition to other annoyances) and six Batarian Troopers. During this play through it was quite easy to clear the whole room with just the Soldier type Shepard but play it however you like. I’ll be here when you’re done.
All ready then? Okay, good. Investigate the room on the ground floor for any goodies before heading upstairs to switch off this Torch after which Kate will get in touch with you again. It seems the Batarian commander -has- noticed your activities, fancy that, and is getting quite angry about it. Kate will tell you he’s setting charges before the man himself bursts into the room and finds Kate and the man with her who is shot by the Batarian leader after Kate refuses to squeal on you. Also the Batarian sends his No. 2 after you to stop you in your tracks. Good luck to you there, pal.
Note: The disposition of troops and the layout of the room may be different depending on the order you do them in but you will run into the same types of troops at one of the Torch facilities even if it’s not the one described above.
-Fusion Torch 2-
I’ve asked you to save the most difficult for last and, believe me, this -is- the most difficult of the three. Not only is it protected with rocket turrets, although far fewer then the other two, but beyond the string of lights are a massive amount of blasting caps that are so thick that you won’t be able to drive the Mak past the perimeter without getting blown clear into outer space. Consequently you’ll have to take out the turrets as best you can without crossing the line but this is nothing compared to navigating through the field itself.
As you say from the mini map the field is densely packed with blasting caps and, in addition, proximity sensors have been set up to make it nigh impossible to stroll past them as they’re set up so that if you try to evade one you’ll be detected by the other. It seems impossible but there is actually a way through the field. The thing to do is to drive the Mako up the path to the right before coming to a slope leading down. It looks like there is a large gap in the field here but this is a deceiving as I could not move down the slope without being picked up the proximity sensors. It is best to move a little way down it, however, as this will cause two Batarian Shock Troopers and two Batarian Troopers to exit the building and take pot shots at you. Snipe them from a distance and make your way back up the slope/
The best way to get through this field is to move to the cliff to the left of the slope and simply drop to the bottom. Start moving your way forward, careful of the proximity warning, until you can turn and make your way toward the base of one of the destroyed turrets without being blown up. Keep to the right of the turret, as there is a proximity sensor on the other side, and move around the base before coming around to stand beside the destroyed turret. Slowly move forward and, if picked up by the sensor, quickly back up and move to the right. Keep repeating this as needed until the sensor no longer detects you. If you keep on this path you should be able to make it to the door and deactivate the proximity sensors. When you’re all ready enter the final Torch building.
This interior, too, is different, as the room has been divided into two sections due to a wall that runs the length of most of the room. A shotgun equipped with Shredder Rounds is best for dealing with the close quarters combat you’ll encounter here: often one shot was all that was needed to fell the enemy I was shooting at. The most dangerous foe in here is the Batarian Shock Trooper who is backed up by four Batarian War Beasts and five Batarian Troopers. Once you’ve cleared them all out, though, you can search the room on the ground level along with grabbing the contents of the crate near the wall that divides the room. Head upstairs to deactivate the torch without incident but, coming back down, you’ll find the Batarian Balak sent after you waiting for you.
His name is Charn and, unlike his boss, has misgivings about this whole thing. This was to be a smash and grab job for him, none of this asteroid crashing business, and he doesn’t seem that found Balak either. You can just fight him anyway, of course, but with a little back and forth negotiation you can either convince him to leave this rock with your Charm skill(Charm Charn, get it?) or Intimidate him into leaving. Either way, he’s gone, the last Torch is offline, you didn’t have to fight, and you get some Paragon or Renegade points depending on the choice you made. Yup, all in a day’s work.
The asteroid is no longer moving but you’ve still got something to do before you can call the job finished: you have to head to X57’s Main Facility, rescue the hostages, and take down Balak. The facility is located far to the north and presents a different defensive scheme then what you saw at the turrets. There are the same shielded stationary turrets, true, but there are also mobile turrets that slide along a rail to shoot at you and then slide back inside a shielded housing to reload before coming out again. Just do what you did at the first turret: move back and forth, concentrating at one turret at a time, until they’re all destroyed. I found it easier to leave the mobile turrets for last as trying to shoot a moving target and dodge rocket fire from several directions was a bit too much.
Once all the fireworks are over make your way inside the main facility exit. It’s go time, end game, and you’ll need all you can get for this one so grab the contents of the Aid Station to the left of the door along with what’s inside the Grenade Upgrade Kit nearby. The inside of the main facility is, unsurprisingly, quite heavily defended by Batarian Troopers, Shock Troopers, Engineers, and Defense Drones. The building is quite large so it’s easy for the Batarian’s to come at you from all sides but they won’t start really moving until you go up the stairs and into the open. Take the high ground or the low ground, use the alcoves on the top level, the two level medical bay on the main floor, or the shelter at the opposite end of the room for cover until all the Batarians are down.
After this momentous battle Balak himself will appear, accompanied by a Batarian and a War Beast, to complain about the terrible situation his race is now in and to say how it’s basically all humanity’s fault that the Batarians were driven to this…and attacking Elysium…and making people who’d never even seen a Batarian into slaves and…well, so on. At the end of all this impassioned dialog, however, awaits a choice. Balek has locked the survivors of X57 in a room with an explosive that he’ll detonate if you don’t let him go.
If you do choose to attack him he’ll summon up several force fields that will stall you until his men get into position. What you will face in this fight are some Batarian Bodyguards, two War Beasts, a couple of Defense Drones for flavor, and of course the big tomato himself, Balek. Make full use of the concealment opportunities the room affords, along with shredder rounds, and you’ll have Balek down on the ground. He’ll threaten that humanity will pay for what it’s done to his race someday but, at the moment, you have the choice of leaving him for the Alliance military to recover, shooting him somewhere nonlethal, or putting a bullet in him to shut him up. It’s all up to you.
On the other hand, if you chose to let him go, you’ve still got a fight on your hands. It turns out Balek has planted three charges around the building(you may have seen them in the initial firefight) and they will explode in three minutes if you don’t deactivate them fast. As nothing is truly easy, however, you will be hassled by a small group of Defense Drones. One bomb is located in curved lower level, another is in the upper level of the medical bay on the right side of the room, and the final one is hidden in an alcove on the top. When all three bombs are disarmed the drones that weren’t destroyed will also vanish, possibly to take a soothing oil bath.
You’ll be greeted again by your friend Simon, the Chief Engineer, who will be saddened either at Balek’s escape(if you let him go) or Katie’s death(if you didn’t). Apparently it’s just an all around bad day for this guy which is about to be made worse as you can now tell him the fates of his team, I.E, the three bodies you found out at the survey stations. He will be grateful, however, for your actions in stopping the asteroid so he’ll offer you a reward of your choice. You can choose from Quarian Armor, Light, Medium, or Heavy human armors, or you can ask if him to give up his Omni Tool if your Charm or Intimidate level is high enough. With your free gift now in hand all that is left to do is go to the cell and free the hostages if you chose not to fight Balek or just take your leave if you didn’t. You can talk with Katie awhile before leaving her to attend to her dead brother, Aaron, who Balak shot when Katie wouldn’t tell the Batarians about you.
That’s it, you’ve completed all of Bring Down The Sky. You can explore the rest of the asteroid now that you don’t have to worry about being shot at or just return to the Normandy. Congratulations.
This walkthrough copyright 2008 by Nick McCavitt.