Mass Effect 2: should you keep or destroy the Graybox in Kasumi's mission?
One of the earliest loyalty missions you'll have access to in Mass Effect 2 is for Kasumi - the Stealing Memory mission. Released as DLC in the original version of the game, the Kasumi and her loyalty quest are fully integrated into the new Legendary Edition of the game - and in her quest, you'll be faced with one of the game's more difficult heart-wrenching decisions - if Kasumi should keep or destroy the box.
The box in question is a Graybox, which is a unique item in the Mass Effect universe that's introduced in the Kasumi missions. The graybox is basically the all that remains of Keiji Okuda, Kasumi's partner and lover. Your decision around the Graybox will have a minor impact on Mass Effect 3 - and generally impacts the life of Kasumi as a character going forward in big ways. On this page, we explain the consequences of the decision you make here.
The Graybox and the Stealing Memory mission
The entire Kasumi Loyalty Mission in Mass Effect 2 is built around the mystery of the graybox. That's why it has its title - Stealing Memory - since the box is essentially a collection of the memories of a specific person. This graybox belonged to Keiji, and since he's died, it is all that remains of him. Keiji's graybox has been obtained by villain Donovan Hock - also his murderer - and hock is trying to crack the box and get the information inside. The information could damage the Alliance if it gets out... so there's two sides to wanting to retrieve the graybox for Shepard and crew - personal and professional.
The Stealing Memory mission is a heist, and has all the appropriate phases - mingling at a party, hacking, and of course doing battle. It's an easy enough quest, and we actually have it listed as one you play very early in the game in our suggested Mass Effect 2 Mission order, as during the course of the mission you can unlock the Locust, the most powerful SMG in the game. This is useful to every character class in ME2 except Soldier, as all classes but that one really rely on the SMG as a primary damage dealer.
For broad mission tips this time around, keep in mind that this is a challenging mission with large numbers of enemies. There's a lot of shields to deal with, so tech abilities will reign supreme here. There's only one problem - this is strictly a two-handed mission. Shepard and Kasumi go it alone, so you can't back yourself up with an extra character with tech skills. Kasumi has the skills you need anyway, but if your Shepard doesn't have access to any Tech skills or Disruptor ammo, prepare for this mission to be a real slog. That might be a good reason to shift it back later in the game, potentially.
Once you work through all the challenges of the mission including a frustrating final showdown with Hock, you'll be given a major choice: if you should keep or destroy the box that contains Keiji's memories.
Ultimately, the choice of what to do with the Graybox is one you can make on your own without our help if you wish - it's not a choice with major consequences in Mass Effect 3. We know that Keiji would rather Kasumi destroy the box, as he says in his message to her. But do you go along with his wishes?
Despite not being major your choice here does have some consequences, and you might want to know what they are. So, here's a run-down, as spoiler-free as possible, of what to expect depending on if you choose to keep the graybox or destroy the graybox:
- If you Keep the Graybox: Kasumi will hold on to it, going against Keiji's wishes. In ME3, you learn exactly what the evidence that was incriminating to the Alliance within the Graybox was. This information makes its way into the public knowledge, playing into a side quest in ME3 called Citadel: Hanar Diplomat. Kasumi plays a role in this mission if she survived the suicide mission. Incidentally, this is also what happens if you never do the Stealing Memory mission, as Hock eventually hacks the Graybox and sells the information. Kasumi will be seen to hold the graybox at the end of Mass Effect 3, still holding on to his memory - which you can either view as beautiful or sad, depending on your perspective.
- If you Destroy the Graybox: Kasumi will let go of the box, and with it her obsessive ties to Keiji, who is gone. In ME3, the Hanar Diplomat Mission still takes place, but the graybox is not a part of it. In the mission, Kasumi appears if she survived the suicide mission, and when the box was destroyed she is generally more upbeat and forward-thinking to the future, not just living in the past with her memories of Keiji.
Regardless of what you choose with Keiji's box, Kasumi will appear in ME3 and eventually join the war effort with you. If you didn't complete her loyalty quest at all, Hock sells the information leading to the same side quest where Kasumi still appears if alive - but she will not join the war effort at the end if she's not loyal.