You can only access Illium after completing the core mission on Horizon. Once that’s been resolved you’ll be given three new dossiers (the Assassin, the Justicar, and the Quarian), the first two of which are on Illium. These recruitment missions, along with several upcoming loyalty mission the Prodigal and a healthy supply of assignments and merchants makes Illium arguably the second most important civilized area you’ll visit in this game. It’s an ideal first stop for the second half the game, and where we suggest you go immediately after the events on Horizon.
When you arrive, you’ll be pestered by an asari concierge, who informs you that an old ally - Liara - is on Illium and she wishes to speak with you. You can also question the concierge to gain a good bit of information about Illium; it’s just as dangerous and shady as Omega, but with some paperwork to obfuscate matters. Inhumanity comes in many forms, it seems.
Illium - Trading Floor
Talk to the concierge as much as you care to, then exit the docking area and go through two doorways to reach the “Trading Floor” area, where you can find a variety of characters standing around.
To your left you might find an Asari complaining about some missing sentimental token. Talking to her won’t help much, as she’s too distraught to properly pass on an assignment, but this is a reference to the assignment [The Prodigal: Lost Locket Found]. As the name indicates, you’ll find this missing locket during Miranda’s loyalty mission, The Prodigal. If you haven’t started The Prodigal yet, this Asari won’t appear.
Further on you may find another Asari, provided you kept the Rachni Queen alive in Mass Effect 1. Not a very consequential encounter, the Rachni Queen - through the agency of this asari - informs you that when you need her, she’ll be ready. Good to know.
Continue forward and turn left (east) and you may find Gianna Parasini to your right, along with a door and some stairs just beyond her (also to the right). Ignore them for a moment and continue forward to find Illium’s first store, Serrice Technology. Talk to the asari merchant here and pass a Paragon/Renegade check to score a discount, then check out the store’s wares. There’s a lot for sale here, including a Biotic Damage upgrade, the Bypass Module (if you find bypassing objects difficult) and the entire Kestrel armor set, which is excellent armor for the Vanguard, as well as any class who can reliably pull off headshots (ideally the Infiltrator and Soldier).
|Serrice Technology||Price (normal)||Price (discount)|
|Kestrel Torso Sheath||10,000||8,333|
|Kestrel Shoulder Pieces||6,000||5,000|
|Kestrel Arm Sheathing||6,000||5,000|
|Kestrel Power Pack||6,000||5,000|
Illium: Gianna Parasini
Secure the discount, then backtrack west to the table where you’ll find Gianna Parasini, but only if you helped her take down Anoleis in Mass Effect 1. Engage in some small talk with her and she’ll very quickly remember she has business elsewhere. Read the note she left behind to find out she’s trying to enlist you in another white collar crime bust.
Return to the merchant over at the Serrice Technology kiosk and pick the option “I want advanced merchandise.“ to help Gianna out, or pick “You’re being watched.” to sabotage the effort. In the latter case you’ll anger Gianna and won’t get any XP for this assignment, although it’ll still be listed as complete. In the former case you’ll have to pass a Paragon/Renegade check to advance if you didn’t haggle for a discount earlier. Should you manage to get the information out of the merchant, Gianna’s trap will spring closed and you’ll need to talk to her at the table where you met her to complete the assignment, earning 40 (50) XP in the process.
Just beyond the table where Gianna Parasini sits you’ll find an alley to the right, where you’ll find a door and some stairs. Ignore the door and go up the stairs to find… another door. Ignore an asari named Nyxeris sitting at a desk and go through the door to meet Liara. There’s a bit of chatter here, but to summarize be sure to ask Liara about Samara and Thane to advance those two recruitment missions, then start the missions Illium: Liara: System Hacking and the mission [Lair of the Shadow Broker]. Be sure to complete the mission [Illium: Liara: System Hacking] (follow the provided link) before starting [Lair of the Shadow Broker], as starting the latter mission will automatically complete the former… although you’ll still get 40 (50) XP for it.
Leave Liara’s Office and head back down stairs to return to the Trading Floor, then continue east past the Serrice Technology kiosk and head upstairs and go through some doors to reach the Eternity Bar. Along the way you’ll find an Asari (lot of these standing around) who will inform you of some pestilential human causing trouble in the bar, starting the assignment Illium: A Troublemaker.
Enter the bar and note that in a side room to the west you’ll find an asari named Lanteia, whom you’ll need to talk to start Miranda’s loyalty mission, The Prodigal.
Illium: A Troublemaker
More interesting is the bar, where you’ll find an old friend - Conrad Verner - accosting the bartender. Note that Conrad will only be here - and hence this assignment will only start - if you kept him alive during Mass Effect 1. Lot of contingencies from the first game, and we’re not done yet.
Talk to Conrad and he’ll blame you for teaching him a lesson in what it takes to keep the galaxy safe the last time you met. One could argue, however, he didn’t learn the lesson he was supposed to. Chastise him, hit him, or shoot him, this choice surprisingly doesn’t matter and exhaust his dialogue options. Do not tell him “Get lost, Conrad. We’re done.” at any point and he’ll tell you why he’s here and who put him up to this farce. If you tell him to “get lost”, he’ll do so, completing the assignment, albeit without giving you an XP reward or a potential discount you could otherwise get, so this is not the ideal way of going about things.
Shipping and Cargo
Put a pin in this assignment for now and return back to the alley south of Serrice Technology. This time head through the door near the stairs that would otherwise lead up to Liara’s Office and when you pass through a second door you’ll be in the Shipping and Cargo area.
On the western side of this area (near where you enter) you’ll find a salarian complaining about a missing datapad and some trigger-happy mercenaries. This is related to the assignment [Illium: The Assassin: Salarian Family Data], although the assignment won’t actually start here. You’ll need to keep an eye out for said missing datapad during the mission Dossier: The Assassin.
Along the eastern end of the Shipping and Cargo area you’ll find Seryna sitting behind a desk, who you’ll need to talk to in order to start the mission (Dossier: The Assassin. She won’t be very talkative until you’ve asked Liara about Thane, however, and we’ll assume you don’t care to run off and start this mission just yet.
Head up some stairs along the southern wall and go through two doors to reach the southern end of Illium.
Gateway Personal Defense
Turn left (east) and you’ll find Gateway Personal Defense, which is the second of Illium’s four shops. Notable wares include Heavy Skin Weave and Assault Rifle Damage, but they all come at a premium… unless you’ve started the assignment Illium: A Troublemaker and did not run off Conrad. In this case, talk to the Weapons Dealer and pass a Paragon/Renegade check to advance the aforementioned assignment and score a discount.
|Gateway Personal Defense||Price (normal)||Price (discount)|
|Heavy Skin Weave||90,000||75,000|
|Submachine Gun Damage||60,000||50,000|
|Assault Rifle Damage||60,000||50,000|
After dealing with the Weapon Dealer you can return to Conrad and finish his assignment, earning you 40 (50) XP. Wee! It also preps another assignment, but we’ll get to that shortly.
Memories of Illium
South of the Gateway Personal Defense kiosk you’ll find the Memories of Illium kiosk. Compared to the previous two stores, this one isn’t all that interesting unless you’re desperately in need of more fish and model ships.
|Memories of Illium||Price (normal)||Price (discount)|
|Prejek Paddle Fish||8,000||6,666|
|Model - Alliance Cruiser||500||416|
|Model - Athabasca Class Freighter||500||416|
|Model - UT-47 Kodiak Drop Shuttle||500||416|
Illium: Blue Rose of Illium
More interesting than the kiosk, however, is the proprietress, an asari standing nearby. Talk to her and she’ll discuss the awkward shows of affection made by her krogan boyfriend. To secure a discount at the Memories of Illium kiosk, pass a Paragon/Renegade check to fortify or sabotage the relationship. Whether you fight on the side of love or cynicism doesn’t really matter, you’ll earn the discount and 40 (50) XP either way.
Illium: The Justicar: Stolen Goods Found
Return to the door that lead to this area and from here head south opposite the door to reach the Taxi Stand, where you’ll find an asari talking some some “missing goods” that she plans to abscond with. This is related to - but doesn’t start - the assignment [Illium: The Justicar: Stolen Goods Found], which you can complete after the mission Dossier: The Justicar.
Illium: Medical Scans
Now head down the western wing of this area, where you may find Shiala sitting on a bench. She’ll only be here if you kept the colonists on Feros alive during Mass Effect 1 and you spared Shiala after defeating the Thorian.
Assuming those conditions are met, talk to Shiala and question her about the medical issues the colonists of Zhu’s Hope are facing, which led to an even worse plague: binding corporate medical contracts. Offer to help to start the assignment [Illium: Medical Scans].
Fortunately, this assignment doesn’t take you very far - head upstairs to the south to find Erinya standing near the Baria Frontiers kiosk. Talk to her and she’ll do her best to shut you down immediately. Say what you will until you get the dialog option “That sounds personal.”, which will lead to a Paragon/Renegade choice. Pass either one and you’ll get the outcome you want for Shiala. Report to her and you’ll complete this assignment.
Once done, check out the kiosk Erinya was standing next to, from which you can buy several Star Charts, which will open up new areas for you to explore on your galaxy map. Buy them all - this is one of the rare shops you can’t get a discount for.
|Star Chart - Hades Nexus||500|
|Star Chart - Minos Wasteland||500|
|Star Chart - Pylos Nebula||500|
|Star Chart - Shrike Abyssal||500|
Finally, note that you can find Officer Dara at the Tracking Office, whom you’ll need to talk to in order to start the mission Dossier: The Justicar.
Illium: Indentured Servitude
Aside from running around and completing Illium: Liara: System Hacking (check out the provided link) the only thing to do on Illium is… leave it. Either that or save the game, then reload. There’s another assignment in the Eternity Bar, but you need Conrad to be gone before it’ll start, which means completing the assignment Illium: A Troublemaker and reloading the area.
Meet these conditions and return to Eternity Bar, where you’ll find a Slave Broker and a quarian along the western end of the bar. Talk to the duo and you’ll get to learn more about Illium’s shady laws on “indentured servitude”. Simply put, the quarian got herself in financial trouble, and the slave broker is having trouble finding her an acceptable contract with which to discharge her debt… and make the broker some profit.
Offer to help, then head to the northern end of the bar to find a Synthetic Insights Rep, who will give good reasons for not wanting to take on a slave, no matter how skilled. If you succeed at a subsequent Paragon/Renegade check, all is well and good - report your success to the slaver to complete the assignment.
Alternatively you can respond with “That makes sense.” to concede the point to the Synthetic Insights Rep, then return to the slaver, where you’ll find another set of Paragon/Renegade options, which ultimately results in the quarian being set free due to a legal loophole.
Convincing the Synthetic Insights Rep to take the quarian or convincing the Slave Broker to let the quarian go both complete the assignment and net you the same reward: 2,000 Credits and 40 (50) XP.
And with that, we’re finally done on Illium… aside from the missions Dossier: The Assassin, Dossier: The Justicar, Miranda: The Prodigal, Illium: Liara: System Hacking and perhaps [Lair of the Shadow Broker]. We suggest focusing on the two recruitment missions, first, but if you prefer to leave Illium and complete Dossier: The Quarian, first, that works just as well.