Drew Karpyshyn, a former BioWare writer, recently visited Reddit for a Q&A session promoting his latest novel, Time Kings of Las Vegas. The conversation, however, focused largely on his video game work. One user was even able to suss out a funny anecdote about how he reacted behind the scenes to Mass Effect fans thirsting over its alien allies. (h/t PC Gamer)
When asked about Mass Effect party members Garrus Vakarian and Tali’Zorah nar Rayya becoming love interests in Mass Effect 2, Karpyshyn explained that that wasn’t always in the cards. He was apparently caught off guard by players’ romantic responses to the non-human characters, but as we now know, BioWare decided to throw lustful fans a bone (ahem) with the highly anticipated sequel.
“We always knew they’d come back as companions,” Karypyshyn said. “I was a bit surprised fans wanted the romance options. Tali I could sort of see…you never saw her face, so it was easy to imagine something vaguely human. (But she had those weird feet!) Garrus blindsided me, but once we saw what fans wanted, we decided to deliver!”
Mass Effect 2 also included potential xeno-paramours like emo lizard assassin Thane Krios and two blue-skinned Asari, Samara and Morinth, though sleeping with the latter would result in the main character’s immediate death (it’s complicated). Garrus, Tali, Thane, and Samara returned in Mass Effect 3 alongside Liara T’Soni, the first game’s sole alien lover, and newcomer Javik, an ancient, four-eyed Prothean.
It might seem funny to imagine a world where players aren’t constantly lusting over Garrus’ bug-like mandibles, but the aughts felt like a turning point in the expression of such desires. The human race has obviously lusted over the idea of banging aliens and assorted monsters for centuries, but in modern times, it seems like we’re all a little more comfortable letting our freak flag fly. And really, why shouldn’t we? The world is coming to an end, so we might as well have as much harmless fun as possible in the meantime.
I just hope the folks at BioWare weren’t too traumatized by the influx of horny nerds all those years ago.