Mass Effect Andromeda hasn’t had the benefit of a trilogy to build up its player driven narrative intricacies. A lot of its Easter Eggs and secrets are call backs to the original Mass Effect trilogy. That trilogy, barring the atrocious ending, was exhaustive in how the player’s choices affected the story from the fates of entire species to the tiniest details in setting or dialogue.
Some of these scenarios were incredibly rare or difficult to realize. There are hidden romances, unexpected fates, and hidden character details you can find, but only through meticulous completionism or through choices with consequences only in later games. In this list we’re looking at some of the sweetest, funniest, darkest, or most dramatic of those hidden moments that make you stop and marvel at how much detail and forethought went into these games. Here are 16 Secret Moments You Might Not Have Known About in the Original Mass Effect Trilogy
16 TURIAN CHOCOLATE
This unique cut scene dialogue is only available if you bring Garrus along as the second squadmate when Shepard and Tali board the Geth Dreadnaught over Rannoch in Mass Effect 3. After Shepard briefs the team, Garrus says that it’s good to have Tali back. He’s hopeful that with two dextro-amino crew members on board, the Normandy will stock better food for Turians.
Garrus also mentions that Dr. Michel, a doctor on the Citadel throughout the trilogy, got him some Turian chocolate. Tali seems a bit amused by that, even though Garrus himself doesn’t seem to think much of it. “She said she saw it and thought of me, why?” He explains. “Oh nothing,” Tali replies. The scene can get even juicier if Female Shepard is romancing Garrus. Tali will imply that Femshep better watch out for any further advances on Garrus from Dr. Michel.
Since both Tali and Garrus were such popular characters it’s safe to assume that a large number of players romanced one or the other. While either is a totally worthwhile experience in the game, it does close off one absolutely adorable scene before the ultimate battle against the Reapers in ME 3.
After Shepard seizes Kronos Station and the battle for Earth is the only thing left in the game, Shepard can make the rounds with his crew one last time. If Shepard goes to check on Garrus’s station in the Normandy’s forward batteries, they’ll find Tali and Garrus in a close embrace. They’ll both mumble, flustered, coming up with excuses like one of Garrus’s mandibles got caught on Tali’s helmet. If Shepard doesn’t immediately walk out due to embarrassment, they can tell their old friends how happy they are for them both. Fans came up with the nickname for this moment based on Garrus’s fondness for calibrations. If Shepard is in a relationship with either Tali or Garrus, they will just playfully banter before the final battle.
14 KILLING GIANNA AND ANOLEIS
In Mass Effect, players have a lot of options for getting access to the Peak 15 research labs on Noveria. The labs are locked down and the roads are beset with blizzards, so Shepard needs a garage pass. The game can guide most players along the corporate intrigue choice route where they help the undercover internal affairs agent Gianna Parasini. In exchange for helping her nail Administrator Anoleis for rent kickbacks, Parasini will give Shepard a pass to continue their investigation.
But there is an especially sinister option for players looking for serious renegade points. After Parasini reveals herself and asks Shepard to help with her investigation, Shepard can go back to Anoleis’s office and find a new dialogue option if the player talks to him. Shepard can expose Parasini and Anoleis will call her into his office. In a fit of reckless selfishness, Anoleis will draw a gun on Parasini and the two will kill each other in a shootout. Shepard overhears the whole thing go down and then can recover the garage pass from the corpses.
13 GETTING WITH THE CONSORT
The Asari Consort Sha’ira gets talked up plenty by the denizens of the Presidium in Mass Effect. Everyone is amazed by her and edified by the sage advice she offers. There are hints and glimpses of her more sensual side, such as the exaggerated looks we get of her hands when she summons Shepard past her long line of clients for an immediate meeting.
Shepard can accept a quest to help mend Sha’ira’s standing with a Turian General named Septimus Oraka. If Shepard manages to convince Septimus to come clean about nefarious rumors he’s been spreading about the Consort, she’ll be most grateful. Her usual gift will be an insightful appraisal of Shepard’s past and potential. Shepard has a dialogue option to show disappointment with the Consort’s vague gift. If they pick that option, the Consort will have sex with Shepard, male or female. Apparently, Sha’ira is that concerned about satisfying Shepard. It’s still a surprising moment for how suddenly intimate the interaction between Shepard and the Consort becomes.
12 MORINTH THE BANSHEE
In Mass Effect 2, you can only recruit the vicious Ardat-Yakshi Morinth to your party if you have enough Paragon or Renegade points to break out of her trance. And then you can actually make the choice between keeping Samara or killing her and letting Morinth take her place. Otherwise Shepard will automatically help Samara.
If Morinth manages to keep her cover and survive the suicide mission, she’ll give Shepard the slip by the beginning of Mass Effect 3. But that’s not the last you see of her. Shepard will intercept letters Morinth tries to send to her secluded sisters about how she misses them and wants them to be free to see her, but it never happens. Instead, in the first part of the battle for Earth, Shepard and squad face down a banshee as they hold out for extraction. Except this is no ordinary banshee; instead of the generic enemy label on its health bar, ‘Morinth’ can clearly be seen, twisted into a monster inside and out.
11 LAIR OF THE SHADOW BROKER DOSSIERS
Lair of the Shadow Broker is one of the best DLC pieces the Mass Effect trilogy has to offer, letting Shepard follow up with Liara and investigate one of the Galaxy’s most dangerous and enigmatic figures in ME 2. After Liara and Shepard defeat the Shadow Broker and gain access to his vast stores of intel, several interesting terminals have many secrets to peruse.
The most extensive of these are the dossiers the Shadow Broker collected on Shepard’s associates. A lot of it is admirably contextualized fan service, but there are interesting and humanizing details for just about the entire cast, if you have the patience to read through them all. For example you can read through Miranda’s discouraging experiences on an extranet dating service, or you can read a medical correspondence that implies her genetic programming has resulted in infertility. Some dossier excerpts only appear in-game based on Shepard’s romance. There’s a unique letter where Thane says goodbye to his Sia.
10 JOKER HAVING FUN IN THE COCKPIT
Players may have noticed in Mass Effect that Joker never leaves the cockpit. Granted, everyone on the Normandy had static positions on the ship throughout the game. But in Joker’s case, it seemed especially out of character for him to not even say an idle word while he’s planted in the Normandy’s cockpit throughout the game.
Mass Effect 2 fixes that. Aside from the greater number of conversations you can have with Joker, the quick-witted flight lieutenant has plenty to say if Shepard just stands idle in the cockpit and listens. There’s plenty of the technical kind of callouts and commands you would expect while piloting the Normandy, but there are also humorous and even risqué snippets. Joker can entertain himself with acapella jazz riffs. If Shepard is patient enough, they can even catch some audio of heavy moaning. “Whoops, sorry! That was supposed to go to my earpiece.”
9 “HURRAH FOR THE KROGAN QUEEN!”
Mordin singing Gilbert and Sullivan was one of the most charming character moments in Mass Effect 2. “My xenoscience studies range from urban to agrarian, I am the very model of a scientist Salarian!” His theatrical predilections are mentioned again, but any Mass Effect 3 players hoping to hear Mordin sing once more had to make their rounds of the Normandy pretty consistently.
After Shepard’s mission to Surkesh, the female Krogan named Eve stays in the Normandy’s medbay while Mordin works to develop a cure for the Genophage based on her mutated immunity. After every next completed mission up until the Priority: Tuchanka mission, Shepard can visit the medbay to hear unique automatic interactions between Mordin and Eve. If Shepard visits enough times, Eve will ask Mordin to sing for her. Mordin will treat Eve and Shepard to another Mass Effect adapted version of ‘Pirate King’. It goes, “For, she is the Krogan Queen, Hurrah! Hurrah for the Krogan Queen! And it is it is a glorious thing to be the Krogan Queen!”
8 “PROBING URANUS.”
The planet scanning minigame in Mass Effect 2 was not the most inspired addition to the franchise. It was monotonous and took time away from the game’s greater strengths of engaging characters, dynamic combat, and player-driven story. But Bioware didn’t spare their meticulous attention to detail and consideration of player choice from this game mode.
Even though there are no missions there in the game, the Normandy can still visit our own local Sol system and move into orbit of each of the planets... including Uranus. Every single planet in the Sol system registers zero readings of all the resources in the game, so there is literally no reason to probe any of them. Except for the laughs. If the player does launch a probe on Uranus, EDI has several incredulous or resigned lines. “Really? Commander? Probing Uranus.” Good to know that Uranus jokes are still hilarious in 2185.
7 JOKER’S SISTER
After the disastrous mission on Thessia in Mass Effect 3, there’s a more serious conversation with Joker where he mentions his kid sister Hilary on the colony Tiptree. The Reapers have reaches the colony by then, but Joker doesn’t seem to have any other info on his family’s status.
Shepard can learn what happened to Joker’s sister, in a rather unexpected way. In Heurta Memorial Hospital on the Citadel, Shepard can find an Asari Commando (Aeian T’Goni) with PTSD talking to a psychiatrist. The conversation plays out in multiple parts and can only be completed if Shepard leaves and returns multiple times. But if Shepard diligently returns to hear it all, the whole story becomes clear.
T’Goni was part of an Asari Commando unit helping colonists on Tiptree, staying with Hilary. But the Reapers infected T’Goni’s squad mates, overran the farm and were about to capture T’Goni and Hilary. Hilary was wounded and whimpering, drawing the attention of the Reapers. T’Goni only managed to escape by fatally silencing Hillary and hiding until reinforcements arrived. Perhaps thankfully, Joker never hears this story.
6 COLONEL VAYKOM’S ENDGAME SPEECH
Here’s a truly unlikely sequence to encounter. Most Mass Effect 3 Players got to See Wrex or Wreav giving a final rallying speech to the Krogan warriors who participate in the battle for Earth. Some players got to see a host of Salarians in place of the Krogan, being given another speech by Major Kirrahe, Mr. "Hold the Line" himself.
But even fewer players got to see the totally new character Salarian Colonel Vaykom delivering that speech. Here is specifically what you have to do to get this no name placeholder where fan favorites Wrex or at least Kirrahe would be. You have to betray Wrex and then kill him on the Citadel after sabotaging the Genophage Cure in ME 3. And you either have to get Captain Kirrahe to die on Virmire in ME 1, or get him to die protecting the Salarian Councillor from Kai Lang in ME 3 (which also means you have to get Thane to die during ME 2’s suicide mission.) The effect of all these dastardly choices is that the Krogan won’t show up for the battle for Earth and Colonel Vaykom will be pepping the Salarian troops instead.
5 LIARA HALLUCINATING
The sequence of the main story missions in the first Mass Effect was a lot more open ended than most players realized. Once Shepard becomes a Spectre and Anderson gives them the Normandy, three main story missions become available. There’s Therum, where Liara can be recruited, Feros with the Exo Geni colony controlled by the Thorian and Noveria with Matriach Benezia. Anderson and Udina suggest going to Therum first but Shepard doesn’t have to.
In fact it is possible to complete Feros, Noveria and even Virmire before going to Therum. If Shepard waits that long to rescue Liara, she will think that Shepard and their squad are a hallucination induced by her prolonged capture. After the mission is complete she becomes even more distraught. It’s understandable given that by then her mother is dead and all these revelations about the Protheans and Reapers have come to light regardless of her 50 years of dedicated archeology.
4 WHAT CERBERUS DOES WITH LEGION AND JACK
A talking Geth was a pretty astounding encounter on the Derelict Reaper in Mass Effect 2. Sheer curiosity alone would have probably been enough for most players to decide to keep the Geth on the Normandy instead of sell it to Cerberus. However, if Shepard does decide to sell or never activate Legion, it comes back to bite Shepard in the ass. In Mass Effect 3, ‘Legion Assassin’ will appear as an enemy in the room with the remains of the Human Proto Reaper.
This room in the Cerberus Headquaters can also carry another eerie reminder. If Shepard waits too long to answer the distress call from Grissom Academy, Cerberus will capture Jack and her biotic students. Then when Shepard hits the Cerberus HQ, they can find audio files of Jack being tortured and reprogrammed. And finally they will encounter Jack transformed into a Cerberus phantom. Both Jack and Legion will appear as enemies if the requisite choices are made for double the horror.
3 GETTING TALI OR LEGION MUCH EARLIER IN ME 2
At some point in Mass Effect 2’s development it was possible to get almost all of the squad mates much earlier in the game, including Samara, Thane, Tali, and Legion. Several resourceful ME 2 players on PC have discovered unused game assets if you can finagle the restricted squad mates onto your team earlier than the final product intended.
For example, if you have Tali and Legion in your squad when you go to recruit Garrus on Omega, you’ll get a few unique dialogue lines. Tali will remark that she and Garrus bunkering down is just like old times. “Yeah, one big happy reunion.” Garrus will be a bit skeptical of Shepard assigning a Geth to protect him, but he’ll take all the help he can get. Also on Omega, you can get some humorous reactions to the alien plague from Tali. Whereas almost all the other squad mates have some adverse reaction and comment, Tali’s suit lets her handle plague without comment.
2 LEAVING ZAEED TO DIE
In Mass Effect 2, the main idea of the game is to recruit all the team members and get them as prepared as possible for the suicide mission. That means securing their loyalty to Shepard by completing their loyalty missions. Since Mass Effect 2 doesn’t ‘end’ in the same way the original did, it is possible to save any squad mate’s loyalty mission until after the suicide mission, though it's not ideal.
Most of the missions are unaffected in how they play out if you postpone them. With one huge exception. If you choose to leave Zaeed’s loyalty mission until after the suicide mission, and you go against his wishes, there’s a unique option at the end. Zaeed’s target escapes and Zaeed’s blind furry causes him to get trapped under a collapsing beam. If Shepard has at least two other squad mates left after the suicide mission, Shepard can choose to leave Zaeed to die in the fire he started.
“Screw you, Shepard.”
1 SAVING MORDIN
The end of the Tuchanka mission sequence in Mass Effect 3 was one of the best moments of the whole trilogy. It was also one of the franchise’s finest moments in realizing a story that was truly determined by the player’s choices throughout the trilogy. Wrex could be leading the Krogan or Wreav. Eve could survive the production of the Genophage cure or not. And for most of the players, Mordin would sacrifice his life to administer the cure.
But his death in this moment is not inevitable. There is a way to save Mordin, but at a terrible cost. In all versions of the scene at the Shroud Tower, Mordin is determined to sacrifice himself to save the cure. Ordinarily, the only way to stop him is for Shepard to shoot Mordin in the back. But, if Wreav is the one leading the Krogan, and Eve died after the cure was made, Shepard can convince Mordin with Charm or Intimidate that it’s best to not cure the Genophage. This basically means that the only way to save Mordin is to kill Wrex in Mass Effect and then doom the Krogan to extinction by tricking them. At least you get to give Mordin a final goodbye on Earth.
Are there any other unique and uncommon scenarios you encountered throughout your Mass Effect trilogy playthroughs? Share them in the comments.