Mass Effect Wiki

UNC: Hostage

MSV Ontario

Fanatical biotics in the Hades Gamma cluster have kidnapped the chairman of the Parliament Subcommittee for Transhuman Studies and are holed up in a derelict freighter in the Farinata System.

Acquisition [ ]

UNC: Hostage takes place aboard the MSV Ontario in the Farinata system, of the Hades Gamma cluster. It can be gained either via:

Preparation [ ]

The Biotic Terrorists have an attack which can knock you to the ground for an extended period, leaving you vulnerable to attacks and unable to respond. Neural Shock will drop them safely to the ground, Damping will stop them from using their abilities, and physics-based attacks whether of the biotic or shotgun /ammo variety will keep them distracted. They don't have loads of health or damage protection, so just shooting them early and often will also work out pretty well. It is useful to arm squadmates with upgraded shotguns on this assignment, as the biotics will tend to rush you.

Walkthrough [ ]

Biotic Terrorists

A group of biotic extremists has captured Chairman Burns from the Systems Alliance Parliamentary Subcommittee for Transhuman Studies. They are holding him hostage on board the Ontario, protesting his vote against providing reparations for L2 biotics.

When you enter the freighter, there aren't any enemies in the entry areas, but they are located in the main cargo hold. Before going to the hold however, there is a crate in the first room on the right. It is unlocked, so be sure to grab it now, or on your way back. When you enter the cargo hold, note that until the terrorists spot you, the time limit doesn't start.

Note: It is highly recommended that you save before entering the cargo hold.

When you engage, or the Biotic Terrorists spot you, then the three minute time limit starts . You have to fight through the Terrorists and get to the other side of the hold where they are holding Burns in three minutes. This won't be easy, but fortunately three minutes is a lot longer than it sounds. Even though the Terrorists are only armed with pistols , they will use their biotic powers frequently, knocking both you and your squadmates down. This leaves the Terrorists time to shoot the squad without fear of reprisal.

The Terrorists also like to rush the squad, making the area around the door very tight. Despite the fact there are only six Biotic Terrorists, they are deadly in close quarters, especially when Shepard and the squad are picking themselves up off the floor. If you have any biotics, then use their own weapons against them. Tech talents are also very effective, especially Damping , as that will keep them from using their biotic abilities. There are a few explosive crates in the cargo hold, so use them to knock the Terrorists back, and damage their shields and health.

Since the area around the door can get cluttered, try to either backpedal towards the airlock, or out into the main hold. While the door may confine the Terrorists, there is little cover around to shield you and the squad from the Terrorists. Once all the Terrorists are down, run to the other side of the freighter, towards the cockpit section, and once there, go to the door on the left, as that is where Burns is being held.

Note: You don't actually have to kill all the biotics, if you just run through to the door, you can skip all the fighting and end it in less than 30 seconds.

Biotic Leader and chairman Burns

Once the squad reaches him, that is open the door, you now have to deal with the leader of the extremists who is holding Burns at gunpoint. The biotics are angry at how L2s are suffering and point out that a grand gesture like this is the only thing that works. If Shepard becomes hostile, the extremists will shoot Burns and then attack.

Picking the "Take them down!" option at any time, immediately leads to a firefight. Since you are fighting in close quarters, and because the Biotic Terrorist Leader is armed with a shotgun, dealing with these enemies can be difficult. The best way is to deal with them is to backpedal into the cargo hold and then dealing with them. The Leader is the biggest threat, so focusing on him first is a good idea, then switching to his lackeys.

You can also try to talk them down with Charm (Req. 6) or Intimidate (Req. 5), explaining that the biotics still need Burns' political connections. Using this Charm option can earn eight Paragon points, while using Intimidate can earn a total of nine Renegade points. Either option leads to a peaceful resolution of the situation. Unlike the Biotic Cultists in a similar assignment , the surviving terrorists cannot be targeted and fought after you reason with them.

If Kaidan is in the squad, he says he's an L2 as well and they can trust him - Shepard can make sure Burns follows through.

Before leaving, there is a secure storage locker (average Decryption ) and a locked crate (easy Decryption) in the room with Burns and the Terrorists, a malfunctioning object in the other room across from them, and a secure crate (average Decryption) in the cockpit. There is also a crate in the cargo hold off to the left side, when entering from the airlock side of the cargo hold. Also, don't forget the crate in the first room if you didn't get it when you entered.

Mass Effect 2 Consequences [ ]

If you reason with the biotic extremists and Chairman Burns survives, you will receive a message from Chairman Burns giving thanks and confirming that you really did change his view on the L2 reparations matter. A Galactic News report will mention that Burns succeeded in getting reparations for biotics suffering from side effects of L2 implants.

Enemies [ ]

mass effect hostage mission

Mass Effect

Mass Effect Wiki Guide

This page of IGN's Mass Effect wiki guide is all about the UNC: Hostage Assignment Side-Quest, including where to find all the items, how to survive the combat encounters, and how to make the right choices for your play-through.

Assignment Stats

Travel to farinata, board freighter, negotiate with the extremist leader, video guide, essential stats.

Recommended Squad

Farinata - System View - Labels.png

This Assignment can be acquired in one of two ways. If you use the elevators on the Citadel, you have a chance of hearing this as a news item. If you missed that, Admiral Hackett will contact you once you travel to the Farinata system where the Assignment is located, guaranteeing that you'll pick it up.

The Assignment is in the Hades Gamma cluster, East of Gemini Sigma and South-East of Attican Beta, where Feros is. go to the Farinata system in the North-East corner, then sweep for these Discoveries:

Once you're done, locate the MSV Ontario at the blue cross-hairs in the North-West of the system and board the ship.

Hostage - MSV Ontario Map V2.png

After you board the ship, be sure your characters have their Talent Points well-distributed and their equipment is at the best it possibly can. You should also activate any skills you may want your characters to utilize, particularly Damping and Lift as they're very useful against Biotics.

The main storage area is littered with gear, boxes, crates and the like, but it's best to ignore them for now, particularly since you have only three minutes to make it to the hostage.

Since you'll be dealing with powerful biotic enemies, on higher difficulties you'll want to have them to come to you, not go to them. The best way to do this is to initiate the fight the main storage room, then fall back to the previous corridor. As you fall back, be absolutely certain you hit the door switch to close it behind you.

This, combined with keeping a keen eye on your radar, will let you know exactly when the enemies are coming your way. Then, you can take them out as they come through the door after you. Do this quickly an efficiently, as you'll have three minutes to get to the hostage.

Hostage slice1.png

Remember - there's no shame in falling back even further after taking out a few enemies. Their biotic attacks are powerful, and can disable your movement and your weaponry. We recommend having your shields reinforced for this battle. Also keep an eye on weapon heat… this is not the time to have your gun overheating!

When the main fray of enemies are taken out, you're not quite in the clear yet. While keeping an eye on your radar, go into the main cargo hold, where one lone enemy will be waiting for you. Take him out, and then quickly proceed to the hostage through the left-hand door.

Hostage slice2.png

It's at this point that your courage will be truly tested, as you'll have to try and negotiate with the extremist leader. Here's what can happen:

If you use one of the two Persuasion options, every biotic left on the ship will be non-hostile. If you chose otherwise however, you'll have to fight the rest.

Hostage slice3.png

There's no real cover in the hostage room, so if you get into a fight, immediately back out of the room and retreat to another room of the ship (except the cockpit, there's no cover there either!). Keep moving, seek cover, and take shots when you can to remove the remaining biotic terrorist threat.

However the negotiations turned out, you can now safely sweep the ship for loot. We'll work our way backwards from the Hostage Room.

With everything collected, return to the entryway to get back to the Normandy!

Up Next: Hostile Takeover

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Mass Effect

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Mass Effect 1 Legendary Edition

Assignments uncharted planets, unc: hostage.

mass effect hostage mission

This Assignment can be accepted at any point after you gain access to the Galaxy Map for the first time. It takes place on an Uncharted Planet that you must explore with the Mako.

You can begin this Assignment when you hear a new report on the elevator in the Citadel

(1 of 2) You can begin this Assignment when you hear a new report on the elevator in the Citadel

You can begin this Assignment when you hear a new report on the elevator in the Citadel (left), then make your way to the MSV Ontario on the Farinata system, within the Hades Gamma Cluster. (right)

How to Begin ¶

There are two ways to begin this Assignment, with the earliest being from a news report on the Citadel:

Once you gain access to the Galaxy Map, there’s a random chance to listen to a news report while riding the elevators. Multiple Assignments can be started this way and UNC: Hostage is another example of that.

Alternatively, make your way to the Farinata System of the Hades Gamma Cluster and you’ll receive a transmission from Admiral Hackett asking you for your assistance.

Board Freighter ¶

Regardless of how you accept this Assignment, head to the Farinata System of the Hades Gamma Cluster and you’ll find the MSV: Ontario to the west of Tunshagon, head over and board the freighter. Consider making sure you have an Adept on your Squad, such as Liara (or yourself as an Adept), being able to disable your enemies will be a huge boon for this Assignment.

Once you’re ready, head through the entrance and once you enter the main room, be prepared for a large firefight. All of your enemies are Biotics and as such, will use their powerful abilities on you, trying to disable you themselves. To make the matter more complicated, a timer of 3 minutes will beign here so you’ll need to be quick with deafting the 6 Biotics in this room. Attempt to lure them towards you and back up towards the entrance, funneling them through the corridor and disabling them with your own Biotics.

Abilities such as Singularity and Lift are potent here to disable their own biotics

(1 of 2) Abilities such as Singularity and Lift are potent here to disable their own biotics

Abilities such as Singularity and Lift are potent here to disable their own biotics (left), using Charm or Intimidate will lead to a peaceful resolution. (right)

Once the room is clear, make your way to the east and enter the room to the north, saving the other rooms for later. You’ll run into the leader of the terrorists here and you’ll have a few choices so long as you don’t say “Take them down!” :

If you fail the Charm or Intimidate check, you’ll have to take them out by force and seeing as the leader has a Shotgun, you’ll want to quickly back away and disable him with a Biotic if possible. The other two Biotics will pose less of a threat on their own.

mass effect hostage mission

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How to complete UNC: Hostage in Mass Effect Legendary Edition

The negotiations were short.

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mass effect hostage mission

Image via BioWare

Not everything is perfect in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition galaxy. In the Hades Gamma cluster, a group of biotics have taken hostages and captured the chairman of the Parliament Subcommittee on Transhuman Studies. You’ll have to make your way into the facility and convince the leader to let them go peacefully, or you can complete this mission meeting alternative objectives.

Where to find UNC: Hostage

You can acquire the UNC: Hostage mission by listening to a news report on the Citadel while traveling through the elevator. Alternatively, you’ll receive a journal entry for this quest when entering the Farinata System.

mass effect hostage mission

The location you need to go to in the Farinata System will be a transportation ship called the MSV Ontario.

Saving the hostages

When you arrive on the MSV Ontario, you’ll see a handful of red dots in the next section of the ship. When you arrive at this area, the Biotic Terrorists will become hostile to you, and a timer will appear at the top. You have three minutes to finish off these terrorists and make it to the end of the ships where the hostages are. These enemies have biotic abilities and can easily toss you to the ground, making it difficult to fire or move. You’ll want to avoid these attacks and remain behind cover.

Alternatively, you can avoid all of the enemies and rush to the back of the ship and speak with the leader, avoiding the enemies entirely.

mass effect hostage mission

When you arrive at the location where the hostages are held, the leader of the Biotic Terrorists will have a gun to Chairman Burns, the one who arrived to try and help the biotics. When you have the chance to choose the best outcome, you’ll have the chance to pick a Paragon and Renegade choice, granted you have enough points, Charm, or Intimidate, based on what type of Shepard you’re playing. You want to make sure to pick one of these options, as the other choices on the right side of the dial lead to a firefight.

mass effect hostage mission

Upon completing this portion of the mission, you’ll be able to talk down the Biotic Leader and come to a peaceful conclusion. You’ll earn Paragon or Renegade points based on the dialogue option you picked.

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Biotic Terrorists keep stunning me in "The Hostage" mission

mass effect hostage mission

So I'm playing through the hostage mission in Mass effect 1, and I can't even kill the terrorists because they keep stunning me to the ground. I occasionally can make it past them, but I don't have enough dialogue points to solve the conflict peacefully, so when I have to fight the leader, I just get stun locked and die. Is there any way to get out of that stunning crap they do? I can't find anything about it online, so I'd appreciate any help I could get

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My strategy on missions involving biotics is usually to start crying, which doesn't actually work but darn it I'm going to keep trying. ūüė≠

Seriously though, equip armor mods that have Physics Threshold boosts (Shock Absorbers/Exoskeleton) as they will help you resist getting ragdolled. The Damping ability will also shut down biotic abilities temporarily; Tali and Garrus have access to it. You can also use Kaidan's Neural Shock to instantly drop them if you can get a shot off first. (bonus: he has one (1) unique line of dialogue on this quest)

Other than that, lure them out into the entry area so you can fight them one on one, use grenades/blow up the explosive canisters, give everyone shotguns with explosive rounds, and if you have biotics of your own, spam those bad boys. Can't ragdoll you if they're ragdolled themselves.

Ty for fixing/adding information. My ME1 info is rusty atm!!

Dang. If you had the rep you could do what I do which is run to Burns defuse the situation and walk out.

Those biotics are a pain to deal with even as an Adept i dislike fighting them since biotics are OP in ME1.

This is going to sound horrable but do you have a save before this part and can come back to the mission later? If not put the difficulty down all the way. Sorry

Yeah, I do have a save before, are those like end game enemies or something?

My strategy was to funnel them into the corridor and bring along squadmates that have damping if you don't. Damping will cause their biotic powers to be on constant cooldown and, thus, they will unable to use them against you.

Also, hit them with biotics first.

My usual squadmates in ME1 during my first playthrough were usually Liara and Garrus/Tali.

Also, if you have any explosive or shredder ammo mods that can help a lot, too. In addition, try to equip armor mods that have physics threshold. Those will take the impact away from biotic stuns.

The Damping tech talent (available on Garrus, Tali, Infiltrator, Engineer and as a bonus talent) throws out a tech grenade that deals a small amount of damage over a large area and for all the affected causes their biotic and tech talents cooldown to start, with 30%/45%/60% of the cooldown left on the clock depending on the level of the power (though this doesn't work on combat talents). This prevents enemies from using their biotic talents entirely. This talent is especially powerful on Garrus, or as a bonus talent for the Soldier and Vanguard classes, as these classes also have the Assault Training/Adrenaline Burst talent, which instantly completes their talent cooldown for all other timers, allowing Damping to be used twice in quick succession (note that Assault Training/Adrenaline Burst cannot be selected as a bonus talent).

You can also fight fire with fire, lifting these enemies with the biotic talents Singularity , Lift and Throw to disable them for a period of time. You can also temporarily disable them with Stasis , which If you're playing an Adept or Sentinel is especially powerful if you take the specialization class Bastion, which gives you the Stasis Specialization upgrade that allows you to hurt enemies that have been placed in stasis. The tech talent Medicine/Neural Shock (Kaidan, Engineer, Sentinel and as a bonus talent) also temporarily stuns a single enemy, but it doesn't last that long.

Finally there's your last line of defense, your armor-based tech/biotic protection which protects you from the negative effects of enemy tech and biotic talents. This stat is naturally higher on higher level armor and armor from top-quality manufacturers. It is also higher for lighter armors relative to heavier armors (though IMHO it does not compensate for the much better damage protection values that heavier armor offers). You can further enhance this stat with armor upgrades that improve Hardening : at lower levels the Hardened Weave I-III offers a +10% to +12% increase in hardening, while at higher levels the Combat Exoskeleton VIII-X offers an excellent +25% to +35% hardening increase (note that higher level armor also allows up to 2 armor mod slots). Other good armor mods are those that increase your physics threshold , which reduces the impact of Force in terms of ragdolling you. The Shock Absorber I-III offers +10% to +20% bonus to physics thershold, the Exoskeleton IV-VII offers between +30% to +60% bonus and the * Combat Exoskeleton VII-X offers +50% to +90% bonus. Really, just slap on a Combat Exoskeleton and biotic and tech talents are mostly a concern of the past.

Finally, you can always shelve doing this mission until a later point in the game, once you've acquired better equipment and more talent points to protect against biotic attacks.

Bring Biotics yourself/squad member, especially Throw and Singularity

Immediately run away and have them come to you by funneling them into narrow corridors

You have to fight fire with fire. Bring Liara and Kaidan, put as many points as you can into singularity/lift/throw/neural shock and hit the enemies with these abilities as soon as they come into view. Enemy biotics won't be able to knock you down if they are flying helplessly through the air.

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Mass Effect 1: How To Get Zero Civilian Casualties In UNC: Besieged Base

Getting zero civilian casualties in UNC Besieged Base in the original Mass Effect is much easier said than done. Here's how you can save them all.

Unless employing a very specific strategy, it's nearly impossible to get zero civilian casualties in UNC: Beseiged Base. Although  Mass Effect Legendary Edition prides itself on being a game that is all about player choice, talent comes in at various moments as well. Yet, it would take an absurd amount of skill and luck to save every addled civilian on Chohe.

RELATED: Mass Effect 2: Where To Find The Credit Chit

Most players either drain several hours trying to get a perfect firefight with no luck before accepting their fate and moving on. That's not the worst thing that can happen, Admiral Hackett seems to understand that the situation was impossible all along. But Shepard makes a living out of doing the impossible and beating every set expectation, this mission doesn't need to be any different.

Preparing For The Fight

Half of the battle is won before the doors to the facility are ever opened. Because enemies will be mingling with innocent civilians, it's best to devise a strategy that keeps collateral damage to a minimum.

RELATED: Mass Effect: How To Leave The Citadel

Bring squadmates that don't use area damage skills . Ashley is the best choice, Garrus and Wrex are decent as well, especially if they've been leveled up to do physical damage. Liara should probably sit this one out with the large area of damage done by her biotic abilities.

For those who don't like the idea of leaving their favorite companions on the Normandy,  disable the ability for squadmates to use abilities on their own in the options menu . That way, the player can control their moves and can limit their uses to the ones that don't do damage to clusters of enemies.

Ditch the shotguns and assault rifles in favor of sniper rifles and pistols . These weapons are more precise and have no splash damage. There is still an off chance that a teammate will hit a bystander, but this at least minimizes the odds of this happening.

Safely Engaging The Combatants

Save before the fight . This strategy is wildly successful, even on Insanity difficulty, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to fail. This is a single battle, so reloading to just before it takes place will save an entire save file.

RELATED: 10 Things That Actually Look Better In The Original Mass Effect Games

While it's natural to leave the squadmates set to follow Shepard, they're too much of a liability. That's not to say they can't help, but any companions should be placed in the initial room, behind cover . They can see into the area where enemies come from, but any further than that and they could kill somebody they shouldn't.

The single most important part of this entire guide is to lure the biotics from the second room into the first room . Open the door to the area, fire a shot to get their attention, and then run back.

There are no civilians in this first room and the team can engage in no-holds-barred combat here. Additionally, the enemies will funnel down the hallway and it's easier to line up headshots and dodge biotic attacks.

Congratulations on turning this tough mission into a cakewalk! Head back to the Star Map and Admiral Hackett will express his gratitude and dismay.

NEXT: All Mass Effect 1 Choices That Carry Over Into Mass Effect 2


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    Well, I finally beat that mission, but it took a long time. I'm a soldier, with Ashley and Tali as my allies. I don't know how to stop enemies from using

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    however, here's the problem: if i remember correctly from my first career in this game, if you just kill them, the hostage is sitting in the middle of the

  11. Biotic Terrorists keep stunning me in "The Hostage" mission

    So I'm playing through the hostage mission in Mass effect 1, and I can't even kill the terrorists because they keep stunning me to the

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