Although the events of Mass Effect: Andromeda are mostly separate from the original trilogy, there are a few major references to the first games.
The universe of the Mass Effect franchise contains a massive amount of lore and characters, which can at times make it difficult to keep track of who and what players have encountered. As a result, many of the references in Mass Effect: Andromeda may have gone unnoticed by some players. Although there are dozens of subtle nods to the original trilogy within Andromeda, here are a few of the most significant ones.
Andromeda serves as a sequel of sorts to the first three games, taking place in a separate galaxy hundreds of years after the events of the Reaper War. Admittedly, Mass Effect Andromeda was met with critical reception from fans, who felt that it was too detached from the original series and unpolished in terms of writing, visuals, and gameplay. Following Andromeda‘s release, and thanks in large part to how the game was received, it seemed as though the Mass Effect series wouldn’t be seeing any further continuations any time soon.
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This changed in 2020 when BioWare revealed the first trailer for Mass Effect 4, which seems to continue the story of the original trilogy, potentially leaving Andromeda‘s unresolved plot threads dead in the water. It’s unclear if or how Andromeda will be involved moving forward, but the presence of extensive references within the game itself makes the possibility more feasible to consider.
Andromeda’s Major Mass Effect References – Cosmetic Options
Shepard’s iconic armor as seen throughout the Mass Effect trilogy bears the mark of the N7, a specialized group of Alliance personnel who have graduated from ICT training. Ryder, Andromeda‘s protagonist, isn’t part of the N7 program – their father, however, was, and the N7 armor can still be acquired as a result. The Nomad vehicle also offers a few skins that reference the characters or events of the original games. For example, the Archangel paint job utilizes Garrus’ color scheme and is named after his codename in his Mass Effect 2 recruitment mission.
Andromeda’s Major Mass Effect References – NPC Relatives
Although the events of Andromeda take place many years after the original trilogy, its characters were in cryosleep long before then, meaning that there are a few direct relatives of Mass Effect characters that players may have encountered in the first games. Zaeed Masani, a companion in Mass Effect 2, has a son in the Andromeda galaxy, and Nyreen Kandros from the Omega DLC has a cousin in the form of Tiran Kandros, the head of Nexus security. Garrus’ father Castis also shows up within one of Alec Ryder’s memories, and even Conrad Verner’s sister Cassandra makes an appearance.
Andromeda’s Major Mass Effect References – Quest Events
One of Andromeda‘s larger questlines has players go up against an anti-AI organization, who it turns out was founded by a mother whose son was initially set to be plugged into the same machines David Archer was forced into during the Project Overlord DLC. Warlord Okeer, the creator of Mass Effect 2‘s tank-bred krogan crewmate Grunt, is also mentioned in the form of data that can be recovered by Ryder during a mission on the planet Elaaden. The logs that are downloaded alongside his research detail his desire to create the perfect krogan soldier – something that he would eventually manage to achieve in the form of Grunt.
Andromeda’s Major Mass Effect References – Liara’s Messages
Perhaps the most heavy-handed of Andromeda‘s references to the original trilogy come through Liara T’soni, a fan-favorite crewmate and, as of right now, the only companion to seemingly be confirmed to be included in the sequel thanks to her appearance in Mass Effect 4‘s first teaser trailer. Although players can uncover several messages from her throughout Andromeda, the most notable is her final log, which details the arrival of the Reapers and her fear that their galaxy will be devoid of life by the time Ryder emerges from stasis. If Mass Effect 4 does plan to tie both galaxies together, it will be interesting to see what sort of role Liara plays moving forward.
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