Should you attack Balak or let Balak go to save hostages in Mass Effect Legendary Edition?

Asteroid ahead.

Image via BioWare

When you arrive on Asteroid X57 in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, you need to act fast to bring down the thrusters projecting the object onto the planet below. There are three you need to shut down, and once you do, you’ll find yourself face to face with the Batarian who ran it all: Balak. He’s seeking justice against humans who put Batarians out and wishes to see him punished. Before you can properly arrest him, he gives you an ultimatum of stopping him or choosing to let him go and save the hostages.

X57 Decisions

Should you attack Balak?

If you choose to attack Balak, you’ll have to face off against and his several guards. Before you start fighting, you’ll receive 25 Renegade points, and the hostages won’t make it. It’s a simple firefight with a handful of enemies to fight, but nothing you haven’t already faced before. When you’ve beaten Balak, you’ll have the option to end him yourself, or you can choose to allow the Alliance Military to have him.

Should you let Balak go and save the hostages?

If you choose to allow Balak to escape to focus on saving the hostages, you receive 25 Paragon points for the decision. Balak will escape, and you’ll have to disarm the bombs scattered all over the room. There are three of them, and they’re guarded by several security drones that will be following you around. You want to take these out while you move throughout the large room. Once those are disarmed, you can speak with Kate Bowman, the woman who was assisting you with the operation and make sure the hostages are safe.


In Mass Effect 2, they’re more atmospheric in that you can hear small news stations talking about the Asteroid that nearly hit Terra Nova if you completed the mission. If you choose to save the hostages, they’ll talk about Balak still being large, and Bowman sends you an email. If you attacked Balak, there would be a memorial service on Terra Nova for those perished on the X57.

In Mass Effect 3, there is a mission called Batarian Codes that features Balak if he escaped and you saved the hostages. If the hostages died, and you went after Balak, a different Batarn stars in this quest.