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Mass Effect: Andromeda is the fourth game in the Mass Effect series, a continuation from the first three games (referred to by fans as either "The Shepard trilogy" or "The Reaper War trilogy"). Developed by BioWare Montreal, it was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on March 21, 2017 in North America and March 23, 2017 in Europe.

In 2176 CE, humanity founded the Andromeda Initiative, a multi-species project to reach and colonize the Andromeda Galaxy. Nine years later, and only months before the Reaper invasion, five massive ships leave the Milky Way, beginning a six hundred year journey across the gulf between galaxies. Even though the ultimate goal is to establish a trade route between galaxies, everyone on board knows it won't happen in their lifetimes. Of course, reaching Andromeda is just the easy part, as the Milky Way isn't the only galaxy that has its dangers...

Players can choose to play as either Scott or Sara Ryder, the twin children of Alec Ryder, members of the Pathfinder team for humanity's ark, the Hyperion. After arriving in Andromeda, an incident forces the chosen Ryder sibling to take on the mantle of Pathfinder, and continue their mission to explore the Andromeda galaxy in search of new home worlds.

Titan Books published three semi-prequel novels, starting with Mass Effect Nexus Uprising in March 2017 followed by Mass Effect Initiation in November 2017 then Mass Effect Annihilation in June 26 2018 that flesh out the Andromeda Initiative and the events that led to the state of the project at the start of the game.

The game reintroduces vehicular gameplay to the series, after the all-terrain vehicle was consigned to DLC in Mass Effect 2 and removed entirely from Mass Effect 3. It also returns to a Wide Open Sandbox model, featuring a number of central planets that serve as mission hubs and dungeons all in one. A great deal else is unique to Andromeda, however. Ryder has access to every ability in the game at all times, and can customize their skill build to their heart's content; in conjunction, the classic six character classes are now "Profiles" that give corresponding bonuses, which can be swapped on the fly. The Karma Meter is gone entirely, replaced by a more roleplaying-oriented system that lets the player choose between four moods (emotional, logical, flippant, professional) as they see fit. Finally, Item Crafting and Vendor Trash make their entries into the series, the former allowing for enhanced customization of weapons and armor.

Mass Effect: Andromeda contains the following tropes

  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • The number of people who actually like Director Tann is all but non-existent.
    • Every non-kett character hates the kett. The only time anyone says anything positive about them is the occasional scientist being impressed with their skill at genetic engineering, and they still hate them. This is noticeable because everyone hates the kett even before meeting the angara or learning of the kett's endgame or the Archon's plan.
      • Speaking of the Archon, on top of everyone else, the Archon even becomes hated by most of his fellow kett for being a bad boss, his obsession with the technology of the Jaardan and the implication that he's planning a coup against the kett leaders for personal gain.
    • Ryder runs into this a few times from some people, depending on the choices they make, and in this game Ryder gets this regardless which choice is made.
  • Abandoned Mine: Most of the Remnant Vaults can be described as such.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: One of the engineers Gil Brodie worked with before he was assigned to the Tempest, Ignacious, developed a crush on him. Depending on whether or not Ryder is involved with Gil when s/he speaks to him, Ignacious will send Gil a six page email either extolling his virtues before asking him out, or rambling about how good they could have been together if Gil hadn't ended up with Ryder first. Gil is not amused in either situation.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Cryo Ammo, Disruptor Ammo and Incendiary Ammo make a return from the original trilogy, each with their own useful properties and capable of setting up powerful combo detonations. Contrary to their previous portrayal, they're now consumables with a finite number of uses (three clips per unit) instead of permanently active powers. You can, however, outfit a squad member with them via their upgrade tree.
  • Absolute Xenophobe: The Roekaar, a faction of the angara, hate everything non-angaran with a passion. Considering what the kett have done to their people, it's not that hard to blame them, but sadly they continue to hate your guts even after you've proven the Initiative's worth and peaceful intentions dozens of times over. Ironically, this trope is also a key characteristic of their sworn enemies, the kett. If you spare their leader at the end of a quest, a bunch of them walk away, implying they've changed their mind both about him, and the Milky Way arrivals. The kett count as well, though that's just part and parcel of being Scary Dogmatic Aliens.
  • The Ace: Each species on each Ark has one representative who is the exemplar of that race called the "Pathfinder".
  • Alien Blood: Angara have bright-blue blood. Kett have browish-green blood. Due to animation problems, the exiles all bleed the same red despite of being comprised of humans (red blood), turians (dark blue blood), salarians (green blood), krogan (orange blood) and asari (purple blood).
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The kett view themselves not only as the Andromeda galaxy's master race, but apparently as the only sentient race at all. Everything else is referred to as "it" or "specimen", and subject to no end of Playing with SyringesCold-Blooded Torture and They Would Cut You Up both For Science! and For the Evulz. They round up POWs as often as they kill them on the spot, segregate them based on their genes and work everyone "unworthy" to death in labor camps. Their society is even more militarized than the Turian Hierarchy - they literally can't procreate without waging wars of extinction on all fronts. Their leader - at least the one in Heleus - is a megalomaniacal Omnicidal Maniac with a Cult of Personality full of fanatically loyal followers centered on him and him alone, and just like a certain historical figure, he surrounds himself with "perfect" specimens of his species while being nowhere near as capable in combat as them himself, judging by how he actually turns out to be The Unfought in the end, though the circumstances are somewhat different.
  • Asshole Victim: Too many to list here.
    • Every named kett character Ryder kills, nearly every kett and most of the inhabitants of Kadara - a Wretched Hive where if you kill someone there, chances are very good they deserved it. Further examples abound on the Nexus, at most other locations, as well as on loyalty missions, spread out across both the native and the newcomer species.
    • Basically every antagonist and antagonist faction in the original trilogy, such as the Batarian Hegemony and most vorcha, since most of them didn't get an ark to Andromeda. A possible ending is that every one of them got wiped out by the Reapers, which is a horrible fate for anyone.
  • Badass Family: The Ryder family. Players will choose between twins Scott and Sara as their Player Character, with the other twin still playing an important role in the story. Their dad, Alec, was one of the first humans to travel through a mass relay on Jon Grissom's exploration team, enlisted as an N7, and later became the Pathfinder (a mixture of soldier, diplomat, and explorer meant to lead the colonists once they arrive). One of the twins has to take his place after he dies saving their life. Their mom, Ellen, was one of the first scientists to research human biotics (which sadly also made her terminally sick, but doesn't make her achievements any less significant.) The "Ryder Family Secrets" sidequest reveals that Alec kept her in stasis and brought her onto Hyperion in secret, with the hope that a cure could be discovered in Andromeda.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The conflict of the kett vs everyone else. The kett are black, being blatant even for Scary Dogmatic Aliens. The angara aren't innocent either, as the war with the kett have made some of them take on similar traits like absolute xenophobia and use of cold-blooded torture. The Initiative has some evil members including the leaders of the salarian ark who sold out their people to the kett to study Exaltation.
  • Book Ends:
    • Ryder's first line and last line before the credits is "we made it." The first conveys Ryder's relief that the Hyperion made it to Andromeda. The second conveys Ryder's relief that the Hyperion has found a safe home for humanity in Meridian.
    • If a relationship with Peebee is pursued, it begins the same way they first met: Peebee rushing into Ryder and knocking them to the floor.
  • Boss Battle: Quite a few of them, either against fairly common but very dangerous enemies like Fiends or against actual bosses which are denoted by a special skull symbol below their health bar. The latter tend to be beefed-up version of regular enemy types with a lot more health and shielding, but they behave no different from the basic counterparts and therefore (usually) require no special tactics to defeat. Ironically, the games' main antagonist, the Archon, is The Unfought.
  • Call-Back:
    • The entirety of the final battle on Meridian feels like a Call-Back to the original game. It starts out with the Nomad being deployed directly from the Tempest (just like the Mako on Ilos), a giant flagship that's under assault in need of rescue and (potentially) get saved by the cavalry, waves of minions and flunkies being sent against the protagonist to kill or delay them, and a villain who's attempting to access an ancient and advanced superstructure that, if not stopped quickly, will begin a galactic extinction within minutes. There's still differences, of course, but it's comparatively urgent and epic in scale.
    • Cora and Drack can have a humorous conversation about her not dating him because he might be too much krogan to handle. In Mass Effect 3: Citadel, Fem!Shep and Wrex had an almost verbatim exchange after the casino heist if he wasn't chosen as the third squad member.
    • Idle Remnant bots communicate in stuttering noises that sound very similar to the geth's unintelligible math language.
    • A Nomad paint job you can buy is a salarian design called Silent Step. In the first game, Captain Kirrahe mentioned an unsung hero STG operative known only as "Silent Step" during his famous Hold the Line speech. The description of this paint job states that it "holds the line" against all planetary conditions.
  • Cool Sword:
    • The asari biotic sword is one option available to players for their choice of melee weapon. Using it performs a short-ranged biotic Flash Step with no cooldown, allowing it to hit enemies beyond immediate melee range.
    • The kett carfalon is another sword option that replaces the asari sword's Flash Step with a Spin Attack, combined with a Life Drain ability.
    • The kett vakarsh is a Flaming Sword that's somewhat lacking in raw damage but makes up for it by being sheathed in superheated plasma, thus setting the target on fire with every hit.
  • Cruel Mercy:
    • If Ryder opts to free Vehn Terev from Kadara and return him to the Resistance for judgement, the Moshae will suggest community service in Aya's gardens. Vehn regards the sentence as this because everyone knows he betrayed the Moshae, so now he has to live with that while the Moshae looks benevolent for sparing him.
    • Ryder can cause the same situation for Nilken Rensus if they suggest community service instead of exile for only attempting murder instead of actually committing it. It ends with Nilken requesting to go back into cryo rather than face up to everyone's scorn. Interestingly enough, if you exile him instead, you can run into him on Kadara where he actually thanks Ryder for what turned out to be a net positive.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Initiative chose the Heleus Cluster to travel to in Andromeda due to the surprisingly large abundance of "Golden Worlds" there which would be hospitable to life. They were in for a rude awakening when they arrived, however, because said worlds were all the products of artificial terraforming by a powerful, unknown alien race... which had been turned off for centuries by the time they arrived there. Furthermore, the aforementioned aliens had enemies that left behind a nasty surprise called The Scourge.
  • Downer Beginning: The game starts out pretty bleak: you quickly learn that Habitat 7, the would-be New Earth, has been reduced to a stormy, toxic wasteland completely unfit for habitation, the first sapient race you find attacks without provocation, your father dies, the founder of the Initiative died and her replacement is unqualified for his job. The Nexus is a few months away from starvation and has exiled a good portion of its awake crew for participating in an armed mutiny, none of the Ark ships other than the human are accounted for, and none of the Golden Worlds are fit for colonization.
  • Everybody Lives: In the finale, provided you take the time to befriend the other Pathfinders, absolutely no named characters die besides the Archon (if that's his name rather than a title).
  • FoilThe Jardaan to the Reapers. The Jardaan were benevolent creators who left behind tech that looked sharp and dangerous, while the Reapers were malevolent destroyers who left behind tech that looked soft and useful. The Jardaan wanted people to understand their technology (but got wiped out before they could finish teaching the angara), while the Reapers didn't want anyone to progress at all except along pre-planned paths.
  • Forever War: Although the war between the angara and the kett broke out "just" eighty years ago, it's been going on for so long that only a handful of angara are old enough to still remember First Contact with their nemesis. The vast majority of their people (including Jaal) has never known peace and fights the kett tooth and nail without even knowing how this war started or what the kett actually want. One sidequest has you seeking out angaran elders who are among the only remaining firsthand witnesses of the kett's arrival.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • The Scourge, a dark energy storm, and the greatest threat to life in the Heleus Cluster. The true villains in this case are the unknown race that created the Scourge as a weapon to fight the Jardaan.
    • In a sense, the Reapers from the original trilogy. This is because, while the Andromeda Initiative was going to happen anyway, Alec Ryder's logs reveal that most of the people leading the Initiative believed Shepard's warning about the Reapers. The reason the Andromeda Initiative left the Milky Way during the events of Mass Effect 2 was because the fear of the Reapers made Alec, Jien and the Mysterious Benefactor (who may or may not be the Illusive Man) move the schedule forward drastically to get them out of the Milky Way quicker. While this led to them avoiding the Reapers, it also gave them less time to prepare and left them under-equipped to deal with the loss of many of the golden worlds and any hostile aliens such as the kett and the angara's Roekaar.
    • Also from the original trilogy, Cerberus. While not physically present their actions have caused numerous problems in Heleus, including some of their ex-scientists experimenting on other species and an extremist group looking to eradicate AI like the SAMs because they were victims of Project Overlord. It's also implied that The Illusive Man had a hand in funding the Initiative, perhaps even as her Mysterious Backer.
    • The government of the kett empire. Only known as "the Senate", they ordered the Archon to the Heleus Cluster in the first place, and they have other Archons leading forces causing similar trouble elsewhere in Andromeda.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: What most of the conflicts between the angara, the Milky Way newcomers and the Nexus-Exiles clash boil down to. No side is innocent, everyone committed acts of questionable morality in one way or another, but the majority also had/have good reasons for why they act(ed) like the do/did. Ryder themselves must face a lot of tough decisions where neither option can honestly be called the right one and choosing the lesser evil is often the only thing they can do.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • A scavenger on Elaaden asks for Ryder's help securing a compound so he can eke out a better living. As it turns out, the compound has a small stash of weapons, which they can get a hold of. If talked to afterwards, he still maintains his cheerful attitude, but he's also decided to bring peace to the wastelands by force. Ryder can point out he's therefore becoming no better than the scavengers, to which the scavenger responds by politely but firmly asking Ryder to go.
    • The Roekaar, despite being motivated by their suffering at the hands of the kett, over time take on more and more traits of the kett. During their story arc the Roekaar become increasingly violent, clannish, single-minded and racist (apart from many making a Heel–Face Turn if you spare the Roekaar leader and prove he's motivated by hate not a desire to protect). The Roekaar leader's idea to render planets lifeless to kill off all non-angara calls to mind the Archon's master plan for Exaltation and his intentions after his villainous breakdown. Ryder can point out a comparison to the kett when they hear members of the Roekaar referring to a non-angaran captive as "it" and "the weapon".
  • Hypocrite:
    • In a recording, the Archon dismisses the asari calling melding "embracing eternity" as "poetry". This is one of the kett speaking, who refer to violently turning members of other species into their own in religious terms.
    • Many angara will make excuses for their species' criminals even while they're asking Ryder for help dealing with them, but will fly completely off the handle in response to criminal behavior from members of the Milky Way species and judge the entire Andromeda Initiative over it.
    • The Roekaar's criticisms of the kett are revealed to be increasingly hypocritical as we learn more about the Roekaar.
      • One Roekaar scolds Ryder for killing all his associates... who'd just tried to kill Ryder and their teammates without any provocation.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing:
    • The kett don't view "lesser species" like the angara or the Milky Way descendants as sentient creatures as sentient creatures; only as 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 an individual, as is demonstrated if Ryder and the Primus speak to each other in "Dissension in the Ranks").
    • Some of the Roekkar do the same. The ones who kidnap a severely ill woman to weaponize her disease against the Milky Way species just refer to her as "the weapon" or "it", not even treating her like a living being.
    • A non-Roekaar angara on Voeld refers to Ryder as "it", while Ryder's passing by, saying the Aya authorities should have "dealt with" them. Depending on who's in the party, they either get snarked at by Ryder, or scolded by Jaal (and then snarked at by Ryder).
  • I Want Grandkids: If a female Ryder romances Jaal, his true mother Sahuna will send an email requesting a description of the human birth process, which she claims she's interested in "for many obvious reasons." Scott gets the same letter if he romances Jaal; since Sahuna has not met any humans before, she apparently didn't realize that Scott is male.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Ryder can kill the Cardinal by shooting her in the back. With the right timing, it can even be done right after they finish speaking, for added effect.
    • Ryder has a choice between allowing Sloane Kelly to be shot by Reyes, or saving her.
    • At one point offscreen, Kesh decided that Spender's interference with Engineering went too far and gave him a Literal Ass-Kicking, to the delight of everyone who witnessed it.
    • Exploring the valleys of Kadara will occasionally find Outcast outposts where the occupants have been paid a visit by the Collective. Given the Outcasts' activities, it's hard to feel too sorry for them.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • If the Moshae is made ambassador to Meridian, Ryder will ask her how the angara will react to this. She'll point out that they're naturally going to have widely varied opinions, and she can't possibly guess them all. Not all species share the exact same thoughts and opinions on things.
    • Poking around the emails at Prodromos, one can be found with an afterword from Vetra telling Ryder she knowsthey're reading it, and to stop poking through other people's e-mail already.
    • The Movie Night is basically all about the Tempest's Genre Savvy crew having a blast poking fun at various movie tropes, from Fanservice over Large Ham overacting to the mandatory use of Red Shirts in action movies and beyond.
    • Find enough Remnant Data Cores, and teammates like Jaal and Peebee will start pointing out the Remnant sure seemed to leave a lot of them lying about.
    • Bring Peebee along to the Remnant Vault on Elaaden, and she'll point out the makers sure seemed to love growing plants underground.
    • During the mission on Meridian. Liam points out that the Remnant are very similar to the Protheans from the Milky Way (long lost yet advanced alien civilization, with tech that has glowing lines and fire energy).
    • During one vault excursion, Ryder will enter into a humorous dialogue with themselves, poking fun at their tendency to talk to themselves during missions.
    • Scan Poc, Peebee's pet Remnant, and you find a message from Peebee telling Ryder to stop being nosy (similar to Vetra's comment about emails, above).
  • Meaningful Name: A staple of Bioware, the game has references to real-life people, groups and events.
    • The developers have confirmed that the name Ryder has plenty of meaning behind it, not the least of which is Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, as a successor to Commander Shepard's surname which comes from Alan Shepard, the first American man in space. More so for the female Ryder, whose default name Sara is a derivative of "Sarah" just like "Sally" is. It also applies as Ryder spends a majority of the game "riding" around on the Nomad and exploring. Nomad is also a suitable Meaningful Name for the buggy.
    • "Jaardan" sounds like "garden" and the Jaardan are responsible for creating the vaults and the terraforming network that can turn uninhabitable planets into garden worlds suitable for life.
    • Peebee decides to name her first modified Observer "Poc", for Proof Of Concept.
    • The designations of the Exiles' various Elite Mooks are pretty spot-on: Anarchists, Pariahs, Operatives and Berserkers.
    • The club on the Nexus that was was originally supposed to be (and still officially is) a lab is called Vortex. A vortex is a very common piece of lab equipment.
    • Every named kett has a meaningful name, one of which is also ironically used (Invictor; one of its means is "the undefeated"). On a very controversial note, three of those names are titles directly ripped from real-life religions ("Cardinal" and "Primus" are clerical titles in Christianity and "Archon" is from the religious movement Gnosticism - the kett Archon even has a crest resembling an angel's halo).
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The Scourge. It messes up ships that come into contact with it, it disrupts the orbits and weather of planets it comes near ("near" in this case being within a few AUs), it kills anything that touches it, it reacts to any Remnant tech that comes near it. Worst of all, it completely destroyed what was to become the new turian homeworld, leaving our favorite dextro species with no place to settle. It's spread across the entire Heleus cluster with no obvious spawn point and no means of getting rid of it (not that anyone seems to be trying), screws up basic physics, and is just generally bad news. It's a weapon released and aimed at the Jaardan for some reason.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Invoked, In-Universe, by one of the turians found on Havarl, who says that while they do want to be rescued, they just don't want their rescuers to be human, because "those arrogant bastards would never let us forget it".
    • Invoked another time when Ryder talks to their twin after the latter awakes from their coma. One of the main reasons the Ryders left the Milky Way was that they never would've been able to live down the stigma brought on by Alec's insanely illegal AI research that turned even his completely uninvolved kids into blacklisted pariahs virtually over night.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Andromeda Initiative is a civilian, privately-funded project founded by the mysterious Jien Garson, with no ties to the Alliance or the Council, making their monumental journey to Andromeda all the more impressive. It later turns out some of their funding was from morally dubious people with massive bank accounts.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Drack once killed a Thresher Maw with his bare hands. No details are given because when he recites the story, Gil and Peebee make him skip to the "good part", in this case meaning "the bit where he says he killed it".
    • In the Eos Vault, Vetra recommends Ryder watch their fingers, in case of traps, noting she "made that mistake before".
    • On Kadara, Cora may mention an incident during her huntress days when a target in the Terminus system tried hiding out with a gun smuggler. Problem was, the smuggler was the baby sister of one of Cora's team. Things apparently didn't work out well for the target after that.
    • While exploring Voeld, Drack comments that it reminds him of a frozen moon where he once nearly lost his "lucky toe". He doesn't elaborate further.
  • Obvious Beta: Wonky character animations, glitchy gameplay (E.I. characters rocketing through the roof of the Tempest), constant freezes/crashes/framerate drops, and characters carrying placeholder weapons during cutscenes. Even after patching, the game still feels VERY unfinished. Most of the blame laid at trying to make the game on the Frostbite engine, which does not handle this type of game well, then with refusing to give the developers time to properly get the game working on the engine.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Though most storyline missions open more of the Heleus Cluster, rescuing the Moshae is the point where the game really kicks into full swing. In addition to more worlds to colonize, the player can complete most loyalty missions and rescue the other Arks.
  • Organic Technology: The kett, the main antagonists, have a rock-like body that melds into a similarly rock-like armor/carapace. it turns out the kett's bone-like armor is part of their body and not any sort of clothing, as the Kett are "born" naked and already fully armored.
  • Politically Correct History: The main gag of the Cultural Exchange section of the Nexus. Every race presents themselves in the most flattering possible light and one display has the quad to call the Milky Way in general a harmonious collective of peace-loving races.
  • Posthumous Character: Jien Garson, the Initiative's founder and leader, died when the Nexus collided with the Scourge on arrival in Andromeda. You 'encounter' her on the Nexus via recordings and holograms she recorded before the expedition's departure. You also discover that her death actually occurred long after the Nexus' arrival under suspicious circumstances.
    • References are made to several characters from previous Mass Effect games (including actual audio logs by the character Liara and discussion of characters such as the Illusive Man). With the possible exception of members of long-lived races such as asari or krogan, it is assumed that all these familiar individuals are long dead by the time the Initiative arrives and the game begins.
  • The Purge:
    • If the Charlatan takes control of Kadara Port, near all the non-angara inhabitants vanish from the place. If Sloane Kelly remains in charge, it's the other way around, Reyes' attempt on her life prompting her to beef up security.
    • The Primus' first order of business, after the Archon dies if you didn't do the "Dissension in the Ranks" mission and meet her, is to kill every kett loyal to the Archon.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • In chronological terms at least, Scott and Sara's father Alec Ryder counts as this. Being among the oldest of the twenty thousand humans - barring noncombatants such as scientists who could plausibly be older - on the Hyperion Ark when they set off (56 years old, born in 2129), Alec is revived upon arrival in the Andromeda galaxy at the "age" of 690. Of course, that doesn't even take into consideration any of the asari and krogan who made the trip; both species with life expectancies at, around or exceeding a millennium.
    • Drack is the oldest krogan shown in the series at around 1400 years old at the start of the Andromeda project. Counting time spent in stasis he's now over 2000 years old, making him one of the oldest beings encountered in the games.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Most of the Initiative, despite most of them not appearing to be at first.
    • Kandros and Kesh are the most level-headed Initiative leaders, always being polite, friendly, and reasonable towards Ryder.
    • Director Addison is a downplayed case. She is the most hostile member of Initiative leadership at the start. She tells you that she never even cared for pleasantries with Ryder Sr., and she now she cares for them even less. As she says, the work of the Initiative is never finished, and they're always one major disaster away from total collapse. Despite this, she helps Ryder as much as she can, and genuinely congratulates Ryder for his/her successes.
    • Director Tann zig-zags it. After the mission to the Remnant space station, he admits that his ordering you to stay away from it was wrong, and pledges the Initiative's full support. Tann largely has two failings: aggressively enforcing his own propaganda, such as having Keri T'Vessa arrested if her documentary series doesn't fit the narrative, and demonstrating Fantastic Racism on multiple occasions toward the krogan and, despite his efforts to hide it, towards the angara as well.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • When Ryder and their team find out the Archon has been horrifically experimenting on hundreds, if not thousands of salarians after capturing the salarian ark, they stare at the pile of disposed and rotting bodies in utter horror. In the very next room over, they're attacked by a group of kett, and are overcome with a blinding urge to make every single one of them pay for what they've done.
    • This is how Ryder calls for aid against the Archon during the Final Battle. S/he tells the Tempest to call every single person they've met in the game and ask them if they're ready to get "Fucking Payback" against the kett. Every pissed-off angarian, turian, asari, krogan, outlaw, and other factions Ryder has met show up in waves and blow up all the kett they see.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • As Lexi realises on Elaaden, an unfortunate side-effect of the defrosting can result in a bad case of this, which can't be cured, just alleviated.
    • A quest on Voeld requires Ryder to find an angaran Resistance fighter, who went missing. They're found torturing a kett trooper for information on their family. While calm and relatively rational, the angara is too out of her mind with grief to realize she's wasting her time.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens:
    • The kett are a blatant combination of Type I (aliens as Nazis) and Type 3 (aliens as Religious Fundamentalists) that are implied to control a vast empire outside of the Heleus cluster. They're obsessed with genetic engineering and eugenics and the Archon is implied to have a Cult of Personality built up around him. They are also quasi-religious, as they have ritualized and worship the Exaltation process. At the meta level, see Meaningful Name above.
  • Scenery Gorn: Some of the systems that can be visited have been utterly destroyed by the Scourge. Visiting a particular system shows the Scourge filling up half the screen with only a few planets still around.
  • Secret Test of Character: One of the first quests attainable on Aya, a trader asking Ryder to help with some missing supplies, turns out to be one of these from Evfra at the end.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Cora and SAM can have a discussion on AI in which SAM argues that true AI are so rare that there can't exist a sufficient sample size to determine if AI's are all bad. Cora counters by saying that while that may be true, any rogue AI is automatically a serious threat to organics. SAM counters that by saying that if an entire society believes AI are automatically hostile, then the AI will inevitably become hostile.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Although not a direct sequel to the original trilogy, ME:Ais both the next title in the Mass Effect franchise and significantly easier than any of its predecessors - at least once you're past the sadistically tough major battles against the kett in the prologue mission. The Player Character quickly becomes exceedingly versatile and very difficult to kill, all squad mates are powerful assets made of tank-grade composite armor, and there are a lot of hard-hitting guns with potentially unlimited ammo available. Weapons handling in general is notably smoother, too, since even the most powerful guns have little to no climb or sway. If you play on Normal difficulty and actually manage to get Ryder killed in combat, you either did it on purpose or something went horribly wrong.
  • Sinister Geometry:
    • Kett technology has a very biomechanical design, often reminiscent of the works of H.R Giger. Their architecture always has a lot of ribbed surfaces, exposed tubes, bulbous orbs, and a sickly green color. Part of this is because the kett use biomimetic technology; while not actually "grown" or organic, a lot of their ship and vehicle systems take inspiration from biological functions, which explains why they seem vaguely organic in appearance.
    • Remnant structures look sinister in the opposite direction, being universally spiky, angular and either dark or lit by a sharp, sterile blue glow. The overall impression is artificial, inhospitable and passively menacing.
  • Sleeper Starship:
    • The Initiative arrive in the Andromeda galaxy by going into stasis on board a starship which arrives at the new galaxy after many generations. There are four main sleeper ships, one for each of the Citadel species, and a fifth called the Nexus, which serves as the central hub. There would have been a sixth, for the quarians, hanar, elcor, and volus, but there were technical difficulties getting it ready at the same time as the others.
    • During Liam's loyalty mission, it turns out the kett use sleeper ships of their own to travel the vast distances of Andromeda. Once the kett arrived in Heleus, they stripped the ship and set the hulk adrift.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A disturbingly long list of them.
    • In universe, the Nexus is meant to be to Andromeda what the Citadel is to the Milky Way. The Nexus has a similar design to the Citadel and is meant to be the capital of the worlds settled by the Andromeda Initiative. It also uses the same Avina VI guide as the Citadel.
    • The Remnant, and by extension their creators, are to Andromeda what the Protheans were to the Milky Way - mysterious, extremely advanced Precursors that left behind tons of mind-blowing, still functional technology. They serve as a veritable MacGuffin wellspring to all sides of the conflict and eventually provide both the story background and the arena for the game's Final Battle that could spell either doom or salvation for the protagonists. They have Tron Lines all over, just like most of the Protheans' stuff back in the day. Their weapons utilize Beam Spam instead of more down-to-earth alternatives. Also, The Hero just happens to be the only person in the galaxy/cluster that's able to reliably interact with all that cool tech. Possibly justified as the game gives hints that the Protheans and the creators of the Remnant are connected.
    • Hydras are the ME:A equivalent of Atlas mechs - heavily armored Mini-Mecha that steadily advance on their target while pummelling it with barrages of heavy weapons fire. Their Arm Cannon even looks almost identical to the Atlas'.
    • Although their methods and motivation are different, the kett's endgame for Heleus is basically the same as the Reapers' M.O: destroy all local resistance and transform those living beings they deem worthy into a supposedly superior species - themselves. Combining this with the examples mentioned below can let the kett come across as barely disguised Reaper knock-offs without the awesomeness, even a fraction of the intimidation factor, a fraction of the threat level and the sophisticated backstory.
    • On a similar note, Fiends are essentially Brutes in all but name, what with their massive bulk, their heavy armor, their habit of charging targets and then grabbing them for a One-Hit Kill, and the fact that they're a purposely mutated form of another species. Most of the kett's remaining troop types share similarities with other Reaper ground forces as well.
    • Kett Ascendants behave a lot like Banshees - they move around the battlefield via Flash Step spam, have a No-Sellshield that's even worse than the Banshees', hurl slow but powerful energy projectiles that can knock you out of cover, and to put icing on the cake, they have an insta-kill attack at melee range. Even their general body shape (tall, thin, creepy face) is similar. The only difference is that Banshees didn't hover around, for which we're all thankful.
    • A mouthy, disrespectful ship engineer with a penchant for poker - are we talking about Gil or Ken Donnelly?
    • A battle hardened krogan, old even for his species, with hundreds of years of combat experience to his belt and highly respected in krogan society, joining the player character for a common goal and because it's going to be blowing up stuff, stoic and with dry comments, has already appeared in previous games.
    • Liam Kosta and Jacob Taylor have an awful lot in common. Both are their respective team's sole Token Minorityblack guy. Both have by far the least complicated backgrounds among their comrades. Both tried their hands at state jobs that didn't really suit them (police work/Alliance black-ops) before they joined an exceedingly powerful private organisation (Andromeda Initiative/Cerberus). Both are introduced in tandem with a human woman adept at military-grade biotics and tech skills (Cora/Miranda) at the very start of the game. Both are romance options for the female Player Character. Both prefer close quarters combat (omni-blades/shotgun). Both... well, the point should be made by now.
    • A slightly socially awkward redhead who happens to be non-heterosexual and a potential romance partner; Suvi bears more than a few similarities to Kelly Chambers, the only major difference being Kelly could be romanced by the male or female Shepherd while Suvi is just into women.
    • A human female soldier who starts out cold and apparently unfeeling but who warms up - and warms to the protagonist - over time, to the point of becoming a romance option (but only for the male version of the protagonist). Lots of comparisons are possible between Cora and Miranda. The fact that Cora has also had some societal issues based on her biotics and being the more level-headed human squadmate has led her to be compared to Kaidan, though Cora has had an easier life without Kaidan's brutal training or health problems from L2 biotic implants.
    • Peebee and Liara have a lot in common. They are both quirky, socially awkward young asari who research ancient alien artifacts, and the player character saves them from attacking robots in their introduction. Peebee also plays a role in understanding Remnant technology, similar to how Liara helped Shepard understand the visions from the Prothean beacon. They can also both be romanced by either gender and their first sexual encounter as a couple provides a form of sexual awakening for both asari partners.
    • Though the similarities are to a lesser degree than most in the game, Vetra has a few similarities to Garrus, as they are both tech-savvy, visor-wearing turians who play by their own rules and advocate bending them to do what's right. However, the devs have also said Vetra's personality is closer to Tali's in an interview.
    • An unlikable, smug and obstructive politician who seems to lack skill at diplomacy, second guesses the main character at every turn and stabs people in the back when it's politically convenient. These are traits of Director Tann and make him similar to Ambassador/Councillor Udina, though Tann is worse as he is racist unlike Udina.
    • A lot of the non-Initiative guns are fairly obvious copies of weapons from the trilogy, like the angaran Ushior pistol that works identically to the krogan Executioner, or the kett Rozerad submachine gun that's basically the Geth Plasma SMG in all but name and optics.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: While exploring Voeld, Ryder can come across a bunch of angaran Resistance fighters who're engaged in a shootout with kett forces. A sidequest pops up to help them and talk to their leader afterwards, who promptly proceeds to chew Ryder out for interfering in matters that don't concern them.
    • YMMV, but I could serve as a nice Take That Player (and perhaps an unintended Take That Us) against the game's use of the Mighty Whitey trope, since the angara really do hold their own pretty well and will eventually defeat the kett without Ryder's help.
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