Mass Effect: Andromeda has been out for just under a month, and fans are still discovering references to the original trilogy and lots more secrets related to other pop culture too.
When the game first hit our shelves, some of the mediocre scores, the bugs in the EA early access demo and poorly animated faces overshadowed some of the excitement in the run-up to the game's release. Consequently, fans understandably approached the new entry in the franchise with caution or a preconceived impression that the game would be terrible.
Now that BioWare has addressed a lot of the criticisms aimed at the game's animation, many gamers have found there's a lot to enjoy in the game's sense of freedom, and stunning sci-fi setting. Furthermore, the game's more open world is packed full of secrets and lore, with fans sharing their experiences and discoveries on all forms of social media.
Mass Effect: Andromeda promised more exploration and more discoverable content than ever before, and the game is delivering that in spades. Some of the worlds, you uncover along the way are huge, but contain a lot of interconnecting side-content and layers of depth that should keep any RPG fan happy for a long time to come.
Unfortunately, despite being a huge RPG, a lot of players have blasted through the game's main storyline as quickly as possible. Consequently, they may have missed some of the games many hidden references and secrets, including the more obvious ones. Here is a list of 15 hidden Easter Eggs you probably missed in Mass Effect: Andromeda.
15 The Dark Knight Rises AGAIN
Who would ever have thought that we'd get a Batman reference in Mass Effect universe? Taking inspiration from the poster for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises which uses the surrounding tall structures to form a Bat symbol. The structures in the image above form an almost perfect Bat symbol.
The discovery was made by fans on the desert planet Elaaden, and it's a fair assumption to make that BioWare are fans of The Dark Knight. Does that mean we'll be seeing Batman cameo in a future installment of the ME franchise? It's very unlikely, but it's a fun idea to play around with, and it wouldn't be the first time Batman has had dealings with aliens in other crossover events.
14 Cora Harper is WHO!?
Lieutenant Cora Harper is a 'human biotic' and Ryder's second in command. She was also intended to be the Ryder's successor if warranted. She can be a romantic interest for the male Ryder.
Fans familiar with Mass Effect Evolution comics will know the name Harper well, as it's the surname of The Illusive man, and the leader of Cerberus from the original trilogy — his full name was Jack Harper.
Speaking to Cora, she mentions her father as being a genius that she was fairly open and honest with, but also saw him as more of a mentor that she respected, rather than a father figure.
In the Evolution comics, The Illusive Man (Jack) had a relationship with a mercenary named Eva Coré. Notably, Eva shares a passing resemblance for Cora. It's an interesting theory, that adds a wrinkle to her Cora's character.
13 Return Of The Space Hamster
Another surprise pet you can obtain during a side-quest on the 'Tempest' in Mass Effect: Andromeda is the Space Hamster (a similar pet could be found in Mass Effect 3). The Space Hamster isn't just a reference to ME3 but a throwback to BioWare's earlier RPG series Baldur's Gate, where one of the game's characters known as Minsc used to carry his very own Giant Miniature Space Hamster named Boo.
The Baldur's version of Boo not only has the same "squeak" that the ME's hamster has, but there's a moment on the Normandy where if Shepard interacts with the hamster he will tell it to "go for the eyes" — a phrase that Minsc used during battle scenes.
12 Plants Vs. Zombies Stuffed Dolls
Plants vs. Zombies is hugely popular Electronic Arts franchise that debuted on mobile and made the company a fortune. With all the references to pop culture and prior games under BioWare's list of games, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the publishers who purchased BioWare back in 2011 would want a cheeky little nod to one of their other biggest money-making franchises too.
In the Crew Quarters of the Tempest, you will find a series of bunk beds. Hiding on a lower bunk, you'll notice the plushies of Peashooter and The Scientist Zombie from the Plants vs. Zombies series.
Another reference to the tower defense game can be found on a desk in the Pathfinders Quarters. There you'll find a figurine of the 'Z7 Imp' inside his mech.
11 The Frozen Nug (Dragon Age)
There are a lot of theories that Dragon Age and Mass Effect series take place in the same Universe, albeit during completely different timelines. There was the Krogan head in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the statue of an Ogre from Dragon Age: Origins which can be found in Mass Effect 2.
While these little Easter Eggs could be included as a simple nod between development teams at BioWare, the discovery of a frozen or crystallized Nug (from the Dragon Age Universe) during a mission in the main story will no doubt get theorists excited. The Nugs are a usually a harmless rodent-like creature found in both DA: Origins and Inquisition.
10 Rick And Morty's Home Dimension
Fans of the popular adult animated sci-fi television series Rick and Morty should be pleased with this one. In one of the corridors outside the Nexus Lab, you'll notice the number C-137. C-137 is the number given to Rick and Morty's "home dimension."
For the uninitiated, the Rick and Morty series began as a short Back To The Future parody aired during the 'Channel 101 Film Festival'. The creators were later approached by the Cartoon Network's late-night programming block Adult Swim, and as a result, a full series was commissioned.
Since then, the show has become a cult hit amongst fans of the sci-fi genre and is obviously a big hit with the developers BioWare too.
9 The SpaceX Falcon Heavy
SpaceX is a privately funded program that has the goal of expanding the exploration of space and setting up a permanent colony on Mars. If you check the quarters of the main character, you'll notice what looks like a 21st century model of a launch vehicle that resembles the Falcon Heavy — which is set to launch this year.
If you interact with the model, the codex will bring up information about the pioneering SpaceX program, its reusable rocket, and how its cost effective technology created the possibility of sustainable space travel.
Obviously, in the Mass Effect timeline, the SpaceX program led the way for the European Space Agency to permanently colonize Mars in 2103.
8 Conrad Verner's Sister
Conrad Verner was a self-proclaimed super-fan of Commander Shepard, and was a recurring character in the original Mass Effect trilogy. His character also a has a few prominent side missions in Mass Effect 2 and 3 depending on your dialogue choices from those games.
Cassandra Verner is Conrad's sister, and can be found in a club in Badlands. It seems going to Andromeda was her way of escaping her crazy family, especially her brother's fanaticism towards Commander Shepard.
Despite this, Cassandra herself seems to be obsessed with Sloane Kelly, the head of the Outcast faction in control of the Kadara Port.
7 Pyjack And The Gremlins Call Back
The Pyjack is a monkey-like creature that exists in the Mass Effect universe. It can be found on the planets Tuchanka, Eletania, and Zorya. They've been known to scavenge parts of technology and are viewed as something of a nuisance by the Krogan.
They played a part in both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. The critters have returned again in Mass Effect: Andromeda as pets if you purchased the Deluxe edition.
The Pyjack double as a terrific nod to the original trilogy, and an easter egg reference to the Gremlins movies. When you obtain the Pyjack you'll receive a message from Professor Herik warning you not to feed, bathe, or shower the rodent after 11:59 PM and to avoid exposure to solar radiation — sunlight is deadly to the Mogwai's in the Gremlins movies.
6 Zaeed's Son: Bain Massani
Zaeed Massani was mercenary and bounty hunter that could be recruited as a squadmate in Mass Effect 2's DLC: The Price Of Revenge. He was voiced by the late, and long-time BioWare voice actor Robin Sachs. He's considered a cult favorite in the same vein as Jango and Boba Fett of the Star Wars universe.
You'll find Bain, (Zaeed's son) in a Kett bunker in the Presson Dunes of Eos, after you've cleared the radiation outside. It's revealed, that he was a former private security contractor, just like his father was before becoming a bounty hunter. Unfortunately, he never met his father growing up, despite following a similar path.
After being exiled in the fallout of 'Nexus Uprising,' he traveled to the Heleus Cluster to wage a one-man war against the Kett.
5 Saren's Protege: Avitus Rix
Fans of the original Mass Effect will know Saren well; he was the prime antagonist of the first game. Additionally, he was the longest-serving member of an elite special task force known as The Spectres, before coming under the control of Sovereign and The Reapers.
In Andromeda, you'll meet Avitus Rix, who mentions that he was recruited by Saren to become a member of Spectre, and subsequently served for 15 years before retiring after the death of Saren.
Upon meeting Avitus, he talks about his relationship with Saren and how he did not believe that Saren was crazy, but was just ruthless. He feels that something must have "made him snap," as everyone has their own breaking point — he cites this as his reason to retire, he wanted to get out before he hit own breaking point.
4 Dialogue From Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
This A New Hope reference is too good not to mention. The Halo Solo reference is easily missed and happens quite early in the game.
The dialogue choice can be accessed during your squadmate Liam's loyalty mission. After eliminating guards on the bridge, your character will receive enemy communications enquiring about the commotion. In response, you'll have a choice of dialogue, and if you select "Situation normal (Lie)," then your character will reply with, “Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh...everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine, we’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?”
The line is taken directly from Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV - \ A New Hope, in a similar situation during the mission to rescue Princess Leia. There's only one Han Solo, but the line was a great reference all the same.
3 Illusive Man Is Everywhere
The links to the Illusive Man in Mass Effect: Andromeda don't end with Cora. As you sift your way through Alec Ryder's memory nodes, you'll come across Garrus's father, who mentions that his son is working with Commander Shepard and confirmed the existence of The Reapers.
The confirmation of The Reapers brought about conversations with a "mysterious benefactor." This figure never reveals his face to Ryder in communications
Furthermore, on Kadara your character can encounter two former Cerberus scientists performing mind control experiments. If you read the labs terminal, it reveals that The Illusive Man fired the scientists for refusing to end their unnecessary experiments under the orders of Miranda Lawson — another prominent character from the original Mass Effect series.
2 Jade Empire Comet: Comet Dawnstar
Jade Empire is another one of BioWare's popular RPG's from the past. It's set during a mythical time inspired by ancient China. It was a departure from the usual Dungeons and Dragons setting of the Baldur's Gate series or the Sci-Fi Fantasy setting of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic we'd seen in previous BioWare games. No surprise: it was well received by fans and critics alike.
One of the lead characters in Jade Empire was a female martial artist known as Dawnstar. The Comet Dawnstar, in Mass Effect: Andromeda, is said to be "rich in Nephrite," which is a Jade Gemstone. An obvious reference to the studios' past work, Jade Empire. The description also says, "this comet is rich in the empirically useful nephrite" and that "a second orbit is unlikely." A frank, but sad, reference to the complications preventing them from taking the series any further, and to the unlikelihood of a future sequel.
1 The White Death
There's a side quest that takes place on the ice planet Voeld, named 'White Death,' where you encounter a mysterious sniper that shoots a Wraith while you're scanning it.
The 'White Death,' is the nickname that was given to a Finnish sniper named Simo Häyhä. A man who fought during the Winter War of 1939-40 between Finland and The Soviet Union. His confirmed kill count was 505 via sniper rifle. Although, according to Western documents, his kill count is estimated to be around 800 if you include the use of his sub-machine gun in combat.
It's a nice little tribute to a real life war legend, but we'll have to wait and see if the Mass Effect incarnation will show up again in any future installments.