New Mass Effect Changes Tali’s Face

New Mass Effect Changes Tali’s Face

It wasn’t the biggest of Mass Effect 3’s missteps, so you’d be forgiven for having forgotten all about it, but BioWare’s trilogy did us all dirty when it spent 2.9 games building up the mystery of what Tali the Quarian looked like only to reveal…she looked like stock art of a sexy human lady.

The fact Tali, the only Quarian we ever see without a mask on, was shown to be basically a human with white eyes (above) at the end of Mass Effect 3 was a crushing disappointment to fans, who had grown accustomed to being able to “romance” more alien aliens. It was also just weird…why would someone who wears a mask and helmet 99.99% of the time bother/tolerate growing long hair?

However with a chance to change things with the Mass Effect Legendary Edition remasters, Bioware have done just that, replacing the notorious stock art image with something a little less “Getty”.

Tali is still shown to be very human-like — which I’m sure will still upset some Mass Effect fans — but now has her mask on, and in general is looking a lot more like she is posing for a regular photo, and not a still from a country music video.



  • We’d always been able to see through Tali’s mask at least somewhat since the original, so there were definitely humanesque elements. With the changes in lighting, you can see even more clearly through her mask in the Legendary edition.

    Looks like a fair improvement over the original for sure.

  • I wonder about that. If they’re taking off their suits very rarely, you’d have to assume long hair might actually be the default, allowing it to grow instead of risking exposure to cut it. Unless the helmet is believed to have a built-in cutting feature, along with washing and hair disposal…

    “A quarian who wishes to remove their suit must take antibiotics, immuno-boosters, herbal supplements, or the like in order to do so safely, and even then there are inherent risks. As a result, physical acts of affection are difficult for quarians, even for the purposes of reproduction. Ships in the Migrant Fleet often contain “clean rooms” where quarians can give birth or undergo medical procedures in relative safety, though there are always risks. The most intimate thing quarians can do is link their suit environments. However, doing so guarantees a quarian will get sick, although they will usually adapt over time.”

    Given that they only take the suits off in ‘clean rooms’ for medical necessity or after elaborate procedures to reproduce, they’ve probably got some very interesting social psychology developed around looking at pictures of an un-suited Quarian, let alone whatever else they might have going on under the suit that people wouldn’t normally see. I’m thinking hair fashion might be a considered along the lines of genital piercings or shaped pubic hair designs.

    • Still think hair would be a problem, so you would think permanent hair removal would be a prudent medical treatment. Killing hair would reduce bacterial risks, and other complications.

      • Counter-intuitively, the exact opposite happens in humans, at least. Hair follicles are crucial for protection against bacteria through the oils they produce, and similar to the digestive system, there’s a whole microbiome with ‘good’ bacteria going on, there. Human attempts at hair removal often come with bacterial risks and other complications! (Of course, when it’s taken to extremes, such as ultra-long beards or dreadlocks, the health benefits/risks go swinging back the other way again.)

    • They’re aliens, who says they have hair at all?
      I don’t think any of the other alien races have hair.

      • Just to clarify, I mean if we ignore the original photo and accept the retconned one.
        Then it would make sense for Quarians to not have hair, for all the reasons detailed above.

        • This is the best reason, especially given that Quarians are most closely genetically related to Turians, who don’t have hair… but there’s Mass Effect lore which has specifically referenced Quarians having hair. It’s noted that this, along with their other biology, marks them as the closest to humans in appearance. It’s confirmed that Batarians have hair, too – facial hair – and unknown if any others do.

          If it helps, though, concept artist Matt Rhodes first conceived of the Quarians as hairless. Example Tali concept art: A few things obviously changed since that point.

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