BioWare Didn’t Expect Mass Effect Fans’ Love for Favorite Characters

Mass Effect is known for letting players romanticize many characters, but some BioWare developers were shocked by the love for some squad members.

The Mass effect games let players take on the role of Commander Shepard, a well-known military figure in the galaxy who is tasked with saving it from destruction. While the original trilogy offers fans plenty of action and a compelling story to keep them going, Mass Effect can also let the player play with a partner if they play their cards right with a few dialogue options. Romance options are an important part of Mass Effect and other BioWare titles, but developers had no intention of including some of the options players can choose from in the sci-fi action series.

This comes from former Mass Effect lead writer Drew Karpyshyn, who revealed in a Reddit AMA that the BioWare team was “overwhelmed” by the love fans had for certain characters. He was especially surprised to know that so many players of the first Mass Effect wanted Garrus to be a romantic option in the second game. Although Garrus is a much-loved character in Mass Effect, at first his appearance doesn’t look like anything that could be considered attractive to humans. His reptilian facial features and otherworldly proportions would understandably prompt Karpyshyn and his team to leave Garrus perhaps out of the romantic possibilities.

However, once the fans spoke, Karpyshyn was confident that their demands would be met. “Once we saw what fans wanted, we decided to deliver!” he said in the Reddit AMA. Even without understanding the appeal of a Garrus romance, many fans were happy to see it added to the game. For many fans, this is the best romance in the trilogy and has spawned a lot of Mass Effect fan art as a result.

Another character Karpyshyn was a fan of to his surprise was Tali, a Quarian engineer who makes her way to Normandy in Mass Effect 1. Like Garrus, she can’t fall in love until Mass Effect 2. Again, Tali turned out to be a fan-favorite character, something that Karpyshyn somewhat understood as she constantly wears a mask to cover her face and protect her from illness. “You never saw her face, so it was easy to imagine something vaguely human,” Karpyshyn said of the decision to make Tali a character for romance.

Without these two romantic options in the Mass Effect trilogy, some fans would be left with a singleton Shepard. For many, having aliens that can be romanticized helps foster the inclusivity that the Mass Effect series is known for. Hopefully, with Mass Effect 4 in the works, fans will have new alien partners soon enough.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is out now for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Leave a Comment