Mass Effect Lengendary Edition (PC) Autosave History

I recently published a new Powershell script to help MELE players automatically convert the singular autosave file to regular saves to help avoid the dreaded "oh crap I have to replay 2 hours of content just because I clicked too fast and made the wrong decision" problems. You can find it here:

The script is pretty well commented throughout and it's actually pretty simple, but I figured I'd talk through some of the history and ideas a bit in the Read more here.

When MELE came out in 2021 and I started a new playthrough, I quickly ran into a classic problem for me with a lot of RPG's, but specifically Mass Effect: "Oh crap I clicked the wrong thing in the dialog options just now." Sure, you can roll back a save when that happens, but what if the autosave triggered and your last save was an hour or more ago?

Enter Powershell file watchers. Originally it was a really simple script that created a filewatcher and used a couple variables to directly monitor a file.

I've started a new playthrough of MELE and thought it was time to update to the script so I could publish it.

I used to build up a quick WinForm GUI for the script, and added some functions so you can pick the game (ME2 or 3), it will identify the careers you have saves for, you pick the right one, and it creates the file watcher for you. Every 2 seconds it checks to see if the files have changed, and if they have it copies them to a new regular save so you can quickly roll back in game. When done, Ctrl+C and it closes out the file watchers.

While working on this updated version, I once again ran into a problem I've had plenty of times in the past when working with Powershell: nested variables. I'm so used to bash and Python having a certain level of logical scoping, but Powershell works so strangely in this regard. I had to revert to spamming Write-Host commands throughout the code during testing just to figure out where it wasn't working so I could identify the problems.

Also, during testing, I discovered an interesting quirk with Notepad++. Instead of trying to Alt+tab out of the game and constantly push through to new autosave points, I was just cutting out chunks of the autosave file in Notepad++ while the script was running and saving it so the file watcher would trigger. When I finally hit the point where it was clearly working, it was weird because it seemed to be doing two copies every time... I launched the game and it worked right, but now I was curious. I loaded the save in regular Windows Notepad and doing the same, and it only copied once. Apparently Notepad++ changes files twice when saving. Weird.

The biggest issue I've had with it is that it just doesn't exactly work right with ME1. The script does properly copy the files, but for whatever reason ME1 thinks the saves are corrupted. I think ME1's save files include some data about the save being an autosave, and since the script works by simply copying the autosave to a new name that matches regular saves, the game thinks the saves are bad.

Overall, though, ME1 autosaves a lot less frequently anyways, and you likely want to be performing quick saves anyways due to that, so it might not matter as much.

Anyways, yeah, if you stumble on this via Google or something, give the script a shot. It really helps me out. I tend to skip through a lot of the dialog because I've played the game enough times I know what people are saying, but due to how ME works it will sometimes pick up those skips as dialog wheel selections and boom, your Paragon play through is suddenly not perfect because there was a neutral selection by accident. With this script, roll back one or two regular saves and just reply a tiny bit of the game instead of potentially an hour or more.

This article was updated on 23/06/03 10:52:39