Mass Effect Legendary Edition gave fans the opportunity to return to Bioware’s lore-rich sci-fi franchise with new and improved 4K HD graphics and many other quality of life upgrades. But let’s be honest; even when you had the chance to do it all again and chart a new course on your epic adventure, you didn’t change Commander Shepard’s backstory or class, and most tragically of all, you didn’t test the waters with any of the Normandy’s other many eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. You stuck with whoever you romanced the first time around, reliving the highs and lows of that intergalactic love affair rather than seeking something new.
You aren’t alone, dear reader. When given the opportunity to smooch someone other than my quirky Quarian, Tali’zorah, in Mass Effect 2, I responded with an indignant “hey man.” Oh, were you expecting me to elaborate? Nope, that’s all I had to say in defence of romancing the same character all over again. If it ain’t broke, don’t rock the boat.
In that same spirit, I’ve devised a list poking fun at our unwavering tastes that summarises what your Mass Effect romance says about you.
Honorable mention to Aria T’loak who gives you a peck (begrudgingly in Male Shep’s case) in Mass Effect 3’s Omega DLC. Omega only has one rule but god bless it, you would’ve loved to have broken it in more ways than one. Ahem. Without further ado, here’s your Mass Effect romance callout post.
When you first met Mass Effect’s resident blue girl next door, something awoke in you. That something, other than a sudden eagerness to embrace eternity (y’know, for science), was that humans are passé. Aliens are where it’s at. Ultimately, your attraction to Liara boils down to you melting into a puddle whenever she rattles off nerdy facts about everything you walk by and her inability to catch on to sarcasm. You like a person who’s tender and soft but isn’t afraid to threaten folks with her lethal biotics.
Kaidan Alenko is the soft boy you’ll do everything in your power to keep alive, even if it means throwing Ashley Williams in front of a bomb. You love the kind of partner you can be the provider for, be it dishing out the extra strength aspirin or giving your resident biotic the best armour a Spectre can buy.
You appreciate the kind of woman who’s not shy about voicing her opinion, even if that sometimes means overlooking some blatant spacism. You also like the kind of woman who playfully negs you in front of your friends just to see how you’ll react. Chances are you also find the concept of slam poetry endearing despite never having been impressed with what the amateur wordsmiths have to say about feelings and “society.” Also, you unironically love it when your partner calls you daddy. I don’t make the rules.
When you first saw Cerberus’ lethal operative, Miranda Lawson, chances are you went “Oh hey, that’s the lady from Chuck!” If you romanced Miranda, you probably love a commanding woman who knows she’s the shit and isn’t afraid of reminding everyone in the room that she’s the HBIC of the Normandy. Let’s be honest, her Australian accent had you acting unwise and ready to abandon your previous Mass Effect partner.
You also like a girl who’s a bit of an exhibitionist. For those who didn’t know, the sleeping quarters for your unnamed crewmates provided a bird’s-eye view of the two of you bumping uglies by the Normandy’s drive core. Ya nasties.
You are a person with exquisite taste. Personal bias aside, if you romanced Tali’Zorah, you look for a partner that unironically loves watching Twilight, getting plastered at the party, and singing off-key at karaoke and acting none the wiser the next day.
Maybe your affinity for Jack started when you were a cartoon-watching kid who felt weird whenever Shego, Sam Manson and other goth characters were on screen. For better or worse, goth chicks are unequivocally your type. Jack is callous, arrogant, and feisty as hell, but under that tough exterior is a girl who desires some stability and you want to be that for her.
Jacob is a cutie with an ironing board booty but he’s also the type of guy who thinks that being mysterious was attractive. It is not. But you nonetheless find it endearing enough to give the tryhard soldier a chance, despite the glaring red flags that he might be just like his father. Either that or the first game’s cast had lost its lustre for you, you wanted to hop into the first opportunity for new love that came along and landed on Jacob. Lucky you.
Say it with me everyone: There is no Shepard without MF Vakarian. Who’s to say whether it was his sultry voice, his hyper-efficiency on the battlefield, or his charming jokes that sent you into orbit over this sexy space rock birdman? Sure, he starts out as a glorified space cop with all the negative connotations that come with it, but by god, you can change him.
You like a man you can make playful back-and-forth jokes with at both of your expenses, and you don’t have a problem with battle scars. If anything, the scars dial up his already dime status to a crisp dollar bill. Happy calibrating.
Oh Thane, what could have been. You might’ve rolled your eyes at Romeo and Juliet back in middle school but look at you now: applying clown makeup yet again so you can cry over this sexy dying amphibian man all over again. You love tall, dark, and brooding sickly men. Your Timothée Chalamets, if you will. You also love a man with a tragic past and a soul too good for this world. I salute you for your service.
For you, rejection has a cooldown timer. And you’re as patient as the holy Buddha himself if it means being able to share mutual silence with the almighty justicar, Samara. You love a partner who clearly has their shit together. I’m talking about a career woman with a 401(k) and a good credit score, who lets you buy the Lindor truffles in Barnes & Noble’s checkout area. You wanted her to step on you from the moment you first saw her ragdolling that Eclipse lieutenant.
There’s no nice way to say this: Javik is the walking definition of “don’t meet your heroes.” Upon discovering the long-lost Prothean, you quickly find that he’s rude to everyone he meets and he boasts like the guy who peaked in high school whenever bullets start flying. Which is why your walk of shame out of Anderson’s apartment in the Citadel DLC hits as hard as it does. But like the prophet Megan Thee Stallion once said, “it never happened if the dick wasn’t snappin.”
First and foremost, you’re a monster for killing off Samara, so let’s just jot that down. Second, the game literally warned you that they/them blussy would kill you. Was it worth it?
Samantha Traynor might be one of the most technologically sound crewmates aboard the Normandy, but let’s be honest, homegirl has no social skills. The min-maxing of her tech proficiency turned her into a woman who trips and tumbles through every conversation she’s ever had. And you love that little nerd.
Steve is like the smell of freshly baked gingerbread cookies on a cold winter Christmas. While you love how he makes you feel, you can’t help but feel a little sad at the fact that your time with him is fleeting. This isn’t because dude is gonna die or whatever, it’s mostly because Bioware didn’t really write a lot of interactions for you two. That’s tough.
Did you know James works out? Of course you did, he won’t stop talking about his gains. While on paper James should be annoying as all hell, this loveable swole father gets brownie points from you by virtue of him not subscribing to human dildo Andrew Tate’s clown shoes philosophy on women. You like ‘em big, you like ‘em chunky, and you like that they respect women.
Tensions are high aboard a spaceship and you don’t always have time to tend to your loyal crew and space-fish or space-hamster. Kelly’s job aboard the Normandy 2: Electric Boogaloo is basically to perform psych evaluations on your heroic crew’s cluster of daddy issues and report back any bad vibes. Why that would also include her giving Shepard her best “White girl in a drug commercial” lapdance in his private quarters I don’t know, but then I’m not a space-psychologist. If you romanced Kelly, you have a compliment kink and wish your mobile therapy app didn’t charge you after its trial period.
Yeah, this one is pretty clear cut. Go with God.
Cora Harper is, in every way but physically, an Asari. You romancing Cora means you also humour your partner despite them professing the healing quality of Himalayan crystals, their dogmatic devotion to horoscopes, and their insistence on hanging up that culturally appropriated wall rug above your bed. You know the one. She means well, but you’re dating a Karen. At least Bioware put some spice into her and Scott’s “beast with two backs” love scene, so you’re not holding every L.
Pelessaria B’Sayle (Peebee)
This is gonna sound mean but take it how you will: You read Scott Pilgrim and decided girls like Ramona Flowers are your type. No shame. I’d be remiss, though, not to mention that not every person with coloured hair dye likes being treated like an exotic creature, especially if they happen to be a bubbly Asari like Peebee. Transparency is important to you and you love someone who’s spontaneous, funny, and unafraid of voicing her intentions.
Vetra Nyx is what Spike Spiegel meant when he said he likes the kind of woman that can kick his arse. You swoon for the sarcastic types and you get weak in the knees whenever she suggests a romantic escapade.
You’re a sucker for a smooth talking Han Solo-type that your friends say isn’t good for you. But what do those friends know? They’re too busy complaining about other people’s houses while theirs has roaches in it. Sure, you’ve dated his type before and the ups and downs of dating someone so illusive are tiresome but the euphoria of being on the receiving end of their affections is intoxicating.
Jaal Ama Darav
Much like Idris Elba (or society’s parasocial view of him), you love a man with a deep, commanding voice who also isn’t afraid to dial back his machismo and show off his soft side. Sure, he’s a simple lad sometimes, but his straightforward approach to life is something you strive for, which makes you love the giant purple catman even more.
Of all the underwhelming M/M romances in the Mass Effect series, Gil Brodie manages to be one of the more endearing ones. If you romanced Gill, you like someone who’s comfortable in his own skin and takes charge when you guys get physical.
Romancing Liam Kosta is like romancing your childhood friend that you one day decided to no longer just be friends with. Although transitioning from cracking open a cold one with your bunny lad to sneaking away somewhere quiet to snog him is still weird to overcome, the awkwardness of your blossoming romance keeps you happy.
Sure, Suvi Anwar is a bit of a weirdo for admitting she licked space rocks unprompted, but you’ve got a soft spot for quirky girls that go brrr for space shit. You like the type of person who will take you on a date to the museum and will read every plaque aloud to you.
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