Mass Effect: Andromeda

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In the year 2185, humanity lives in a golden era of interstellar travel.
Our discovery of ancient alien ruins on Mars propelled our understanding
of science and technology ahead by thousands of years.
While many now enjoy the newfound freedoms and challenges of
exploration in the Milky Way, others now look to even more distant stars.
For the hundred thousand adventurers embarking on this one-way voyage,
the future begins in...


Mass Effect: Andromeda is an action role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Released worldwide in March 2017, it is the fourth major entry in the Mass Effect series and the first since Mass Effect 3. The game itself is both a prequel and sequel, as the story begins between the second and third games (with some fans calling the first three games the "Reaper Wars" or "Shepard" trilogy for ease of classification).

The game begins within the Milky Way Galaxy during the 22nd century, near the end of Mass Effect 2, where thousands of people, humans and aliens, are planning to leave the Milky Way and populate new home worlds in the Andromeda Galaxy as part of a strategy called the Andromeda Initiative. The player character is chosen from two customization twins form the Ryder family; the male's default name is Scott and the female's default name is Sara. The character is an inexperienced military recruit who joins the Initiative and wakes up in Andromeda following a 634-year journey. Events transpire after they first make planetfall that result in Ryder becoming humanity's Pathfinder, tasked with finding a new home world for humanity while trying to unite the various factions inside and outside the Initiative, dealing with an antagonistic alien race, the kett, and uncovering the secrets of a mysterious synthetic race known only as the Remnant.

Tropes used in Mass Effect: Andromeda include:
  • Abandoned Mine: The Remnant Vaults are this while Meridian is a better-preserved example.
  • Absolute Xenophobe:
    • The kett, which is obvious given their story role.
    • The Roekaar, a faction of the angara, hate everyone who isn't an angara with a passion given their first contact experience was with the kett and the more aggressive members of the Initiative. This hatred continues even after Ryder and co have proven the Initiative's good qualities and helped them rebuild their society. If you spare their leader at the end of a quest, several of them turn on their leader after seeing his hypocrisy and reconsider their view of the members of the Initiative.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: While many players tend to reach lvl 65 when they finish the game, the game can be continued after the main story quest. The current level cap is 135, though this can only be achieved in a "New Game"-style second playthrough.
  • The Ace: Each species on each Ark has one military officer form that race called the "Pathfinder". Their job is to establish their civilization and is chosen from an individual believed to be the best positive example of their respective species.
  • Action Girl: The player character, if the female twin is chosen, though if the player chooses the male twin Sara still fits this trope. There are also your female squadmates and several characters including both asari Pathfinders. Every female kett encountered and the female angara among the Roekaar fit the dark variety of this trope.
  • Affably Evil: The kett Primus, if Ryder chooses to do the "Dissension in the Ranks" quest, is probably the most polite kett in the game. Where kett only address non-kett as "it" or "specimen", or at most a title, the Primus addressed Ryder by name. She also considers Ryder and the other races being turned into kett as becoming a family, and if Ryder refuses her offer she gives a polite but frustrated farewell.
  • Alien Blood: Among the Andromeda species encountered, the angara have bright-blue blood while the kett, despite being various assimilated species, all have browish-green blood. Most of the animals native to Andromeda who bleed on screen appear to have red blood.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The kett have several blatant parallels to the Nazis. They have a master race mentality, and deadly prison camps - replete with Cold Blooded Torture, Playing with Syringes and They Would Cut You Up both For Science! and For the Evulz - for those they deem undesirables which is anyone who they deem unworthy of Exaltation and any POW's they don't kill. Their leader, The Archon - at least the leader of the kett in the Heleus Cluster - is a megalomaniac with a Cult of Personality and appears to be a less capable fighter than his followers since he dies The Unfought and what, if any, physical abilities he had are never shown nor revealed by autopsy.
  • Assimilation Plot: The main goal of the kett. Their plan is to convert every race and species of fauna they deem worthy into kett with a bio-engineered genetic mutation process called Exaltation... and kill the rest. Known species and races subjected to Exaltation include krogan and angara for the former and Challyrions and Eriochs for the latter.
  • Cultural Posturing:
    • In the Cultural Exchange section of the Nexus, every race presents themselves in the most flattering possible light. One display even called civilization in the Milky Way a harmonious collective of peace-loving races.
    • The kett do this to an exaggerated degree. Even the Primus, when making an offer to Ryder, responds to his "You need my help?" statement by saying "I am kett. I do not need help."
  • Continuity Nod: The game is replete with these:
    • There are ex-Cerberus scientists on Kadara who are still performing strange and highly unethical experiments. Their reason for leaving Cerberas was they disagreed with the inordinate resources and credits the Illusive Man and Miranda Lawson had thrown at a project to bring a dead person back to life - aka Project Lazarus from Mass Effect 2. For added irony, they dismiss Lazarus as "pure voodoo".
    • On Kadara you can meet Cassandra Verner, sister of Conrad Verner, who becomes a fangirl of Ryder like Conrad being a fanboy for Shepard.
    • An anti-AI terrorist group's founder was motivated by the events surrounding or relating to Project Overlord, however it played out.
    • Nakmor Kesh mentions the krogan adaptation to the genophage have joined the Andromeda Initiative. Mordin mentioned this adaptation in ME2 and had taken steps to counter it, but these krogan left beforehand.
    • There's a sidequest to recover data contain research to cure the genophage performed by Doctor (aka Warlord) Okeer, which turns out to be Okeer's research into creating a krogan super soldier, aka Grunt.
    • On Eos, you can meet a bounty hunter killing Kett who goes by the name of Bain Massani. He mentions he never knew his father, except that he has the same last name and is a bounty hunter, revealing him to be the son of Zaeed Massani; they even have similar speaking mannerisms.
    • The last memory recovered from Alec Ryder’s logs is him confirming information about the Reapers and Shepard's findings with Castis Vakarian, Garrus's father. Garrus mentioned telling his father everything, who accepted the facts and took action during Mass Effect 3.
    • Drack occasionally name drops some of the historical krogan warlords that Okeer formed Grunt's genetic material from. Drack even claimed descent from one of them, which would him and Grunt genetic relatives if true.
    • SAM was the product of AI research that almost got humanity sanctioned off the Citadel like the quarians were during the era of Ambassador Anita Goyle, Udina's predecessor. This project was central to the plot of Mass Effect: Revelation, and was part of the mission that had David Anderson lose his Spectre candidacy as well as contributing the information that led to Saren working with Sovereign; Anita Goyle herself even has a cameo in one of Alec’s memoirs).
    • In a conversation with Peebee, Jaal mentioned that he talked to an asari on the Nexus who used to work as a dancer at Afterlife, the bar from Omega (though he mistakes her wording to think she meant the actual life-after-death afterlife).
    • The turian security officer Tiran Kandros mentions he has a cousin who's a mercenary on Omega: Nyreen Kandros, from the third game's Omega DLC.
  • Cool Starship: The Tempest, which resembles the Normandy SR2, albeit smaller, slimmer and without weapons.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • The Archon offered this kind of deal with Vehn Terev. The Archon approached him and said all he wanted was the Moshae, and that if he handed her over the others would be spared. Vehn handed her over to him, not knowing what the Archon wanted. He got found out, and the Archon nearly exalted the greatest hope of the angara, with Vehn getting nothing in return.
    • Towards the end of the game Ryder can find a transmission from the Primus, the Archon's second-in-command and enforcer, detailing her intentions to turn on the Archon. Should Ryder track them down, they make contact with her and she offers a bargain, that in exchange for killing the Archon she will give them a kill-code to disable her ship during the final battle and thus significantly reduce the kett forces the team has to fight. Subverted as even though the codex - and Liam, if present - outright calls this arrangement a deal with the devil, nothing negative regarding this occurs within the game and the Primus keeps her word.
  • Death World: Every Golden World initially surveyed by the Initiative turns out to be this trope, either due to due to malfunctioning Remnant terraforming tech or the Scourge. Notable examples include Habitat 7 and Voeld.
  • Downer Beginning: The game starts this way: After coming out of stasis, the Hyperion is damaged by the Scourge. Then it's revealed that the crash has caused medical complications that put Ryder's twin in a coma. Then it's revealed that Habitat 7, the intended new homeworld for humanity, has been reduced to a stormy, toxic wasteland completely unfit for habitation. Then first contact with the first sapient race found results in a battle no matter what path you chose. Then Ryder's father died saving the player character. From there it's revealed that the founder of the Initiative died and her replacement is unqualified for his job, the Nexus is a few months away from starvation, a good portion of its awake crew were exiled for participating in an armed mutiny, none of the Ark ships other than the human are accounted for and none of the intended Golden Worlds are fit for colonization.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Danny Sarris, when found at the Paradise on Kadara, has started drinking heavily. A lot of people are shown doing this on Kadara and it's implied that this because several of them had second thoughts about joining the Initiative but it's too late to go back.
  • Epic Fail: The entire Andromeda Initiative is this, until the Hyperion arrives and Ryder goes on missions to solve the Intiative's problems; this is due to a combination of deaths among people in the chain of command leaving people in charge who are ill-suited for the job, revolts and a lack of preparation and official oversight (since the Andromeda Initiative was a collaborative effort of several wealthy and/or clandestine individuals without backing from official groups like the Council, the Human Systems Alliance or the Turian Hierarchy).
  • First Contact: Zig-Zagged. Since the Andromeda Initiative considered that there could be sentient life in Andromeda, the Initiative stress the importance of peaceful first contact in order to avoid any serious misunderstandings. However, it's never played straight; first contact with the kett involved gunfire whether or not Ryder choose the peaceful route.
  • Hate Sink: The kett Archon. He has a short temper and is an egotistical racist while his character type combines the worst traits of a tyrannical dictator, cult leader and religious extremist. Between Bioware outright stating in the game's artbook that the Archon was designed "very deliberately" and "the tone of the character was nailed very quickly" and his lack of redeeming or sympathetic qualities, it's likely the Archon was meant to garner as much of the viewers' hatred as possible.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Roekaar, despite being motivated by the suffering the angara have endured at the hands of the kett, over time become increasingly like the kett; becoming increasingly violent, clannish, single-minded and racist . The Roekaar leader's idea to render planets lifeless to kill off all non-angara calls to mind the Archon's master plan to make people accept Exaltation. This can be subverted if you agree with Jaal's plan to spare the Roekaar leader, Akksul, and prove he's motivated by hate not a desire to protect; then many of the Roekaar abandon him and even Akksul himself rethinks his choices.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Inverted with Avina. The Avina program on the Nexus is depicted as a clothed asari, rather than the nude asari covered in Tron Lines on the Citadel. However, this is played straight with the rest of the game, where the sex scenes are more graphic than those from the original trilogy and the game features more nudity.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing:
    • The kett don't acknowledge sentient non-kett races, like the angara or the Milky Way races, as such; only as pests to wipe out or a source of genetic material for their Assimilation Plot. The only words they use to describe humans, turians and anything else are "it" and "specimen" (unless they're speaking to or about an individual, then they will use their name or title. A "polite" kett might use their name, as is demonstrated if Ryder and the Primus speak to each other in "Dissension in the Ranks").
  • Lighter and Softer: The game compared to the original trilogy. Word of God states that this was deliberate so the player could do side missions without feeling like they were leaving the galaxy to burn. There's also the fact that Ryder's squad lacks a Token Evil Teammate, if you befriend the other Pathfinders no named characters are guaranteed to die except for kett characters and even The Cardinal's death is optional.
  • Loot Boxes: Their loot boxes are rewarded to gamers that finish strike team missions and can be claimed in the Strike Team Console or in the Militia Office.
  • Meaningful Name: Several characters and places have names that reference real-life people, groups or things, albeit done with less subtlety than the usual Bioware standard. Examples range from affectionate (the Ryder family - named after Sally Ryder, the first woman from the United states to go into space) to clever (Peebee's drone "Poc" - The acronym for Proof Of Concept, and the name Peebee gave her reprogrammed Remnant Observer drone) to unsubtle (the kett character called Archon - Archon is a title for autocratic rulers and villainous soul-eating angel-like beings from the religious movement Gnosticism; the Archon even consumes people's essence in the sense of DNA and has a crest like an angel's halo) to downright discourteous (the kett character called Cardinal - while Cardinal has several meanings, it is most well-known as a rank of clergy in Christianity).
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: There is as a Quick Time Event in a cutscene to kill the kett Cardinal, and it can be done mid-sentence or when her back is turned, though she has surrendered and is disarmed. There's also Sloane Kelly's brutal treatment of traitors and kett and then there's the Roekaar, and those are just the most prominent examples.
  • Red Shirt: Like the first game in the original trilogy, the game begins with a minor character being killed to show how serious the situation is. Here it's Kirkland, a squadmate who got shot dead by kett soldiers before Ryder finds him after the crash.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens:
    • The Roekaar, an alien-hating renegade splinter faction of angara that hates all non-angara. They're so dogmatic with their xenophobia that they even do some of the same thing as the kett; dehumanizing people of different races/species and Akksul's to render planets lifeless to kill off all non-angara calls to mind the kett Archon's master plan for Exaltation. They usually shoot first and don't ask questions questions.
    • The kett play it straight, almost exaggerated, being type I (Nazis) and type III (Religious Fundamentalists) Scary Dogmatic Aliens. They even have elements of type II (Communists) and type IV (Conquistadors) in their motives: "exalt" the entire cluster, which basically means "turn everyone with desirable biological traits there into more kett, kill the rest". To further lock them in, it's their method of reproduction. They neither make nor accept any offer of peaceful coexistence.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: There are a large amount of characters, places and technology similar to ones from the original triolgy. Several examples are, in alphabetical order;
    • Architects - Thresher Maws: While they are very different in nature, they both fill a very similar gameplay niche. They are both hard-hitting, tough video game bosses that move in a serpentine manner and can burrow underground.
    • Ascendants - Banshees: Both kett Ascendants and Banshees can be described as a Boss in Mooks Clothing and have very similar combat mechanics. They even have a similar physique and lack of personality (albeit the former has different reasons for that than the latter)
    • Cora Harper - Kaidan Alenko and Miranda Lawson: They are both human female soldiesr who start out cold and apparently unfeeling but warm up - particularly to the protagonist - during the story if he right options are chosen. They are even a potential love interest for a male player character. They even share an admiration for asari culture, though Cora almost went native where Miranda just had moderate respect. Cora has also been compared to Kaidan Alenko, given her societal issues based on her biotics and being the more level-headed human squadmate.
    • Challyrions - Varren: They're both quadrupedal carnivorous alien animals with mammalian and reptilian traits that serve as an unarmored melee enemy in their games.
    • Director Tann - Ambassador Udina: The parallel is particularly strong with Udina's character in the first game. Both of them serve the role of a smug and obstructive authority figure who provides the main character with their ship. They both, ironically despite their respective positions, lack diplomatic skill, second guess the main character stab people in the back when it's convenient for them (though Udina lacked Tann's racism).
    • Fiends and Behemoths - Brutes: All three of them are bulky, armored melee fighters with similar combat mechanics and they're all are made from mutating other species, albeit through different methods for the former two. For bonus points, both Behemoths and Brutes are made from krogan.
    • Gil Brodie - Ken Donnelly: Both of them are snarky ship engineers with a penchant for poker. To drive home the parallel further, in Dummied Out content from the second game, Ken was also intended as an optional love interest. As a bonus, they even have last names that rhyme.
    • Hydras - Atlas mechs: Both are heavily armored Mini-Mecha that serve as Elite Mooks of their respective enemy types, to the point that they have some similar visual cues and a similar attack method.
    • Kett - Reapers: Though the kett lack much of the power, threat level and nature of the Reapers, they fill a similar role in the story, being the overarching villains of the game who look down on everyone else and see them as at best a resource and at worst something to be wiped out. The game even ends with the implication that there are many more out there and that they will be coming after the Big Bad is defeated.
    • Liam Kosta - Ashley Williams and Jacob Taylor: They are similar to the point that Liam could be Jacob with the serial numbers filed off. They are their respective team's Token Minority black guy (unless the player made Ryder/Shepard black as well respectively). Both tried their hands at peacekeeping state jobs that they grew dissatisfied with (police work/Alliance black-ops) before they joined an exceedingly powerful private organisation (Andromeda Initiative/Cerberus). They even have a similar introduction in the story in tandem with a human woman adept at military-grade biotics and tech skills (Cora/Miranda). Both have a similar fighting style, personality and are romance options for the female Player Character. However, his passionate personality compared to Cora's has been compared to squadmate Ashley Williams' dynamic with Kaidan Alenko. At the meta level, Jacob and Liam were written by the same writer from the dev team.
    • Nakmor Drack - Urdnot Wrex: Each of them is a Badass Grandpa of a battle hardened krogan, with hundreds of years of combat experience under their belts. Both join the player character to fight a common enemy and because they enjoy fighting and blowing things up. They even have a similar stoic personality with hidden depths and a prone to making dry comments. Some of these traits are also shared with the krogan Grunt from the second game.
    • Nexus - Citadel: Both are massive space stations intended to form the seat of power and hub of galactic society. The Nexus is even intended to be to Andromeda what the Citadel is to the Milky Way, to the point that it also uses the Avina VI program as an information guide.
    • Peebee - Liara: They are both quirky, socially awkward young asari (though Peebee is extroverted where Liara is introverted) who research ancient alien technology they are fascinated with. They both are also bisexual love interests for the player character who are open to polyamorous relationships (hard to find dialogue in the first game heavily implied Liara was open to a threesome with her, Shepard and Kaidan or Ashley if Shepard created a Love Triangle situation). They both even meet under similar circumstances in an ancient building filled with hostile robots. Peebee also plays an equivalent role in understanding Remnant technology to Liara's with the Prothean beacons.
    • Remnant - Protheans: They are both mysterious Precursors that left behind large amounts of technology that are ancient and function. They even have a similar aesthetic to the Protheans, with dark colors and being covered in Tron Lines. Their weapons utilize Beam Spam instead of more down-to-earth alternatives. While the game seems to imply that the Protheans and the creators of the Remnant are connected, while a handful of non-Protheans could use their technology in the original trilogy, here only The Hero pulls it off. The Remnant also have a parallel role to the geth, being an antagonistic group of mysterious and hostile machines, but not the main threat.
    • Suvi Anwar - Kelly Chambers: They are slightly socially awkward redheads who are non-heterosexual and a potential romance partner for the player character; the only major difference being Kelly could be romanced by the male or female Shepherd while Suvi is just into female Ryder (and politely rejects male Ryder when she thinks he's flirting with her). They even have first names that rhyme.
    • the "Tempest" - the "Normandy": Both the Tempest and the Normandy are advanced prototype spaceships that serves as the ship of the player character (though the Tempest parallels the first Normandy more than the second). They even have a similar design (though the Tempest lacks the Normandy's weapons, armor and level of shielding), and an (unarmed) vehicle equivalent of the Mako and the Hammerhead in the Nomad.
    • Vetra Nyx - Garrus Vakarian and Tali'Zorah: While Vetra and Garrus are both tech-savvy, visor-wearing turians who play by their own rules and advocate bending them to do what's right, Vetra's personality is more like Tali's; creative, open-minded and caring (not to mention Vetra's character was compared to Tali's in an interview with the devs). Vetra even has a younger sister, like Garrus, who she often disagrees with but loves dearly.
    • Voeld - Noveria: The planets Voeld and Noveria serve a similar roles in their games as they are both ice planets where the player character defeats a powerful female foe (the Cardinal - Matriarch Benezia) to rescue a captive female character who's a powerful authority figure (Moshae Sjefa - the last Rachni Queen) who has information vital to the plot (the kett seek to turn non-kett into kett and the Archon seeks something called Meridian - Saren is looking for the Mu Relay and the spaceship Sovereign can control people). You even have a dilemma at the end with a lot of lives on the line (destroy the kett facility and kill the angara captives or spare the kett facility and the Cardinal will release the captured angara - spare or kill the last Rachni Queen).
    • Weapons: Many of the weapons Ryder can acquire in the game are counterparts of the same type of weapons from the trilogy. Examples include the angaran Ushior pistol working like the krogan Executioner pistol and the kett Rozerad submachine gun with a similar damage output to the Geth Plasma SMG.
  • Wagon Train to the Stars: The Andromeda Initiative is a multi-species project to explore and colonize the Andromeda galaxy, with the Arks serving as wagons.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Both of the most villainous factions. When the Roekaar find out about the first pregnant human woman in Heleus, they immediately try to track down and kill the "breeder" as a symbol and a statement. When they learn she is sick, they try and use her sickness as a bioweapon. While the kett are never shown meeting or reacting to a pregnant female of any race, they do not care about a pregnant woman being caught in crossfire since they attack relentlessly soon after. Also there were asari children aboard the asari Ark when the kett attacked and there is no sign of them.
  • Zero Percent Approval Rate:
    • No one is shown liking Director Tann. At most, other characters express a grudging respect for him.
    • A race-wide example with the kett, as everyone else hates them. The only non-hostile thing anyone has to say about them is expressing grudging respect for their skill at bio-engineering. This is notable because it occurs before meeting the angara, learning of the kett's endgame or the Archon's plans.