Mass Effect Legendary Edition

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About this mod

2.0 Update: Early Legion now available!! Also featuring early recruitment of Samara, Thane and Tali, and early access to Illium and Tuchanka.

Permissions and credits
Early Recruitment 2.0

This mod has been overhauled and updated and is now presented in two modules which can be installed independently or together. Early Recruitment 1.0+ has now become the Classic Module, and a new Legion Module has been added.


This module allows early recruitment of Thane, Samara and Tali, early access to the Illium Hub and early access to the Tuchanka hub if Wrex is the clan leader. Thane and Samara are available immediately after Freedom's Progress. Tali's recruitment mission will become available after a short delay (as she is completing her mission for the Migrant Fleet), but before Horizon. 

2.0 includes technical improvements to audio implementation, improved dialogue for early recruits on Horizon, and a custom timer to prevent loyalty missions from triggering immediately. 

Main Features

  • Illium will be available after Freedom's Progress.
  • Tuchanka will be available after Freedom's Progress provided Wrex is the clan leader. Small amendments to dialogue for immersion and to clarify that recruiting Wrex is the purpose of Shepard's visit (see Media tab).
  • Thane and Samara's recruitment missions will unlock after Freedom's Progress. 
  • Tali's recruitment mission will unlock after completing 2 recruitment/loyalty missions*.
  • Horizon will trigger after 4 recruitment/loyalty* missions if Mordin has been recruited. Horizon will not trigger until Mordin is recruited. 
  • Early recruits are fully voiced in a majority of pre-Horizon missions, this is vanilla content which is otherwise inaccessible.
  • Early recruits do not have lines on Horizon (with the exception of Tali). Basic dialogue has been implemented, take any combination of squadmates on the mission. But taking two unvoiced characters will result in a quieter ambient experience.
  • Loyalty missions for characters recruited after Horizon will not trigger until at least one mission has passed. 
  • The Shadow Broker DLC triggers after Horizon. As in vanilla, you must read the email sent by the Illusive Man, then speak to Liara to progress the quest.
  • The Collector Ship will trigger (1) five missions after Horizon if (2) there are at least 8 recruited squadmates and (3) Garrus and Jack are among them. You must recruit Garrus and Jack before this mission will trigger (this is to prevent bugs on import to LE3).

*As in vanilla, loyalty missions for regular squadmates will not trigger until after Horizon. However, Zaeed and Kasumi do not have recruitment missions and - again as in vanilla - their loyalty missions are available immediately. These loyalty missions count towards unlock requirements for Tali's recruitment and Horizon.

If using the Legion module, Legion will not add to this count as the crash site functions as a pick up location (similar to Zaeed and Kasumi), and is not considered a recruitment mission. 


This module allows the player to optionally recruit Legion at the Normandy Crash Site, and fully restructures Legion's storyline to account for this. 

Main Features

  • Encounter Legion as you leave the Normandy Crash Site in a new, custom cinematic cut scene, with optional renegade interrupt (see Media tab).
  • Edits and adjustments to Legion's conversations aboard the Normandy to account for this alternate recruitment path (see Media tab).  
  • Legion may be recruited at any time up until completion of the Collector Ship mission. After this time Legion will no longer appear at the Crash Site and will be encountered aboard the Derelict Reaper as in vanilla. 
  • Alternate pathway to Legion's loyalty mission if recruited early: Legion will approach Shepard during the Collector Ship debrief to speak about the Derelict Reaper's data core (see Media tab). 
  • Derelict Reaper mission extensively overhauled to fully adapt to the following possible states: 
- Legion is recruited and in the mission squad (see media tab).
- Legion is recruited but remains aboard the Normandy (see media tab).
- Legion was encountered at the Crash Site but has been sold or remains inactive.
- Legion was not encountered at the Crash Site and will appear aboard the reaper (as vanilla).
  • Email content to scaffold edge case scenarios such as Legion being recruited at the crash site, but activated after the Collector Ship or Derelict Reaper missions.
  • Emails from the Illusive Man relating to Legion's activation and the Reaper IFF edited for consistency.
  • Legion is fully voiced in a majority of missions prior to vanilla recruitment. These are vanilla lines which were previously inaccessible. This is untrue on Horizon and basic dialogue has been implemented. 
  • The restructure of Legion's story is otherwise fully custom content. Where this includes audio work, this was created using borrowed and spliced lines.


In terms of audio support, this mod is available for the English localisation of the game only. This mod makes heavy use of spliced dialogue and borrowed lines which are not always appropriate or possible in other languages - certainly I do not have the skill to create such content in languages I do not speak. the level of work to implement this is prohibitive, so with apologies, I will not be offering full audio support in any language other than English. 

However, using this game with English audio and a different set of subtitles is supported for German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and French. I would be grateful to receive and integrate Japanese translation if anyone can provide this.

With thanks to the following for their translation work: 

German - Clover
Russian - Cole Phelps
Italian - TittyFish
French - Laz77 & Loadingue
Polish - Tajfun403
Spanish - marcodgf91


Download the .7z file. 
Import the .7z file into ME3Tweaks Mod Manager 8.1 or higher.
Apply the mod to the game. 
Play the game.

Manual installation is not supported. This mod uses the mod manager's PlotSync and Email Merge features. This is not a drag-and-drop process.

You should be able to install this into an existing playthrough (as long as you have not installed texture mods). Though obviously as a mod which adds content to the earlier part of the game, you may have missed opportunities to make use of it.


This mod may be deleted or disabled safely via ME3Tweaks Mod Manager. Select your LE2 installation, and then choose "Manage Target", you will see the option to disable or delete.  


If you have any issues with the mod, and have checked the compatibility information below, please post a detailed description of the issue, along with a log + diag generated from ME3Tweaks Mod Manager, with an uploaded save. Please see the pinned post in the comments thread for a gif showing how to generate a log + diag. If you want help you need to follow these instructions. I'm not asking just for fun, I'm asking because it's what I need to help you


Unofficial LE2 Patch

This mod is built on Unofficial LE2 Patch files, and many fixes from that mod are included by default. A few are only included if ULE2P is detected in your installation (this is because of wider dependency issues). Ensure ULE2P is installed first so that the appropriate compatibility option will be automatically selected for you.

No Patch Required

This mod is compatible with Trigger Buttons. No patch required.

This mod is compatible with DLC Timings Mod v1.1 and higher. DLC Timings Mod's changes to Lair of the Shadow Broker will take priority. Other Early Recruitment behaviour will be unchanged. No patch required.

This mod is compatible with Risky Suicide Mission v1.4 and higher. No patch required. [Legion module only, Classic Module may be used with any version of this mod]. RSM has made adjustments to its readiness calculations to account for Legion's recruitment state. 

This mod is compatible with Legion Femshep N7 Shoulder Guard for LE2 v1.3 and higher.  No patch required. [Legion module only, Classic Module may be used with any version of this mod].

Patch Shipped with Early Recruitment

This mod is compatible with the Virmire Savior Mod provided you manually select the patch Early Recruitment provides when you install.

This mod is compatible with the Reaper Husks Consistency Mod. No patch is needed for the Classic Module. For the Legion Module or Full Installation you must manually select the patch Early Recruitment provides when you install.

This mod is compatible with the Cerberus and Alliance Uniform Consistency Mod. No patch is needed for the Classic Module. For the Legion Module or Full Installation you must manually select the patch Early Recruitment provides when you install.

This mod is compatible with Instant Shadow Broker Rewards. No patch is needed for the Classic Module. For the Legion Module or Full Installation you must manually select the patch Early Recruitment provides when you install. 

Patch Shipped by Other Mods

This mod is compatible with Optional Flirting Mod for LE2 v.1.4.1 and higher provided you use the patch hosted by OFM. You must install Early Recruitment before Optional Flirting Mod

This mod is compatible with LE2 Liara Squadmate provided you use the Auto Patcher tool that mod provides. If you do not use the Auto Patcher tool, it will break Early Recruitment badly.

This mod is compatible with The Normandy Project provided you you install the patch hosted by TNP. You must install Early Recruitment before The Normandy Project.

Not Compatible

This mod is not compatible with the Immersive Arrival Integration Mod. Attempting to use then together will break Early Recruitment badly. Legion module may work. Classic module definitely won't.

This mod is not compatible with Crew Abductions - Plot Hole Fixed. Early Recruitment will override this mod. 

This mod is not compatible with Spectre Expansion Mod - LE2. Early Recruitment Classic module will override this mod. Legion module may work but this is untested.

Other mods which share files with this one are likely to be incompatible unless they include a patch or state they have native compatibility. 

Technical Information

See article.

My Other Mods


LE2 Prologue Framework - Utility mod to change the way NPCs are streamed into the LE2 prologue to improve compatibility between mods.
Super Extra Party Time! - Play through the relaxed and rowdy phases of the Citadel DLC Party in one go.
Liara Mourns the Dead (LE3) - Liara reflects on the lost, following the Cerberus Coup (Ash, Kaidan, Thane).
Punch Charles Saracino (LE1) - Why can't we punch this guy? Let me punch this guy!
Nos Astra Mineral Exchange (LE2) - trade minerals and currency at variable trade rates.
Samara Camera Restoration (LE2) - Restores some unusual and artistic angles from ME2 to the first Normandy conversation with Samara.
F.I.S.H Mod (LE2) - Kelly will offer to feed your fish when you get some fish, no dinner needed.
Last Person Standing (LE2) - Survive the Suicide Mission solo and import into LE3. 
Hammerhead Sound Fix (LE2) - Hammerhead will no longer howl like a possessed demon when mining.
Unextended Cut (LE3) - Restore the original release ending, or mix-and-match EC, release and cut ending content.
Anderson's Final Conversation Restored (LE3) - Cut content restored to Shepard's final conversation with Anderson
Early Recruitment (ME2)
 - Oh look, this mod again!
Trigger Buttons (ME2) - Trigger ambush missions with a button-press. Delay the crew abduction!
Trigger Buttons (LE2) - As above, for Legendary Edition!
F.I.S.H. Mod (ME3) - Kelly survives to return your fish without needing to flirt!
F.I.S.H. Mod (LE3) - As above, for Legendary Edition!
Additional Character Creation Options (ME3) - Extra character creation options!
Buzzcut for Default Femshep (ME3) - Read the mod title!

Credits and Thanks

Media section features:
No Headgear for Squadmates
Expanded Shepard Armory 
Expanded Squadmate Armory
Casual Hubs

Thanks to: 
Gabe8 for the banner.
Marcus22Khaar, 55tumbl, Vegz, phoenixsoul13, BtEttaRepugnantPear and Audemus for working on shared compatibility between mods.
MgamerzSirCxyrtyx, HenBagle and Kinkojiro for development and maintenance of the toolset and mod manager.