In an official statement from BioWare, it was announced that Patch 1.10 will be the final update for #MassEffectAndromeda, firmly shutting down speculation about DLC planned to expand on Ryder's extragalactic adventures. The news did not come as a huge surprise to many because it's clear that the studio is evidently pressing on to new projects, most notably #Anthem.
But, it takes far more than a few dark clouds to discourage the creativity among the passionate, devoted and ever-talented BioWare fandom. Lethallan, a fantastic video editor known for adding cinematic flair to those emotionally devastating #DragonAge conversations, knows what lies in store for the Tempest company and it is a sight to behold.
Never Underestimate The Space Inquisition
Spoilers for both Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda follow.
The slick and stylish mashup is visually stunning, integrating subtle, tiny references to both universes and connecting the two divergent stories in a composition that rivals the professionalism and high quality expected from official video game trailers.
Presumably set after the denouement of Andromeda's narrative, Ryder's crew continue traversing space when Suvi intercepts a transmission from an unknown planet. Weakened by the events of Trespasser, the Inquisition reaches out to those willing to aid against Solas's plan to tear down the Veil and destroy their world as they know it. As luck (and fan imaginations) would have it, the Tempest crew valiantly oblige. Lethallan's video offers a sliver of the banter that the companions would have — Ryder's cavalier attitude and Cassandra's pragmatism work wonderfully as chalk and cheese.
It implies that ghostly assassin Cole may act as a neutral party, refusing to ally either with the Inquisition or Fen'Harel due to his equal fondness for both leaders. However, Solas may have capitalized on Cole's metaphysical inclinations, and used his likeness to dupe the Inquisitor and Ryder into permitting 'Cole' access to Hyperion's SAM Node. Cole would be the emotional addition to SAM's logical default, augmenting the AI's capabilities and thereby convincing Ryder of his value on the team. Unfortunately, this 'Cole' is the Trojan Horse — Solas in disguise. He projects a hologram of himself to Ryder (because he's an Elven God so just don't query it), allowing Solas one on one contact with the Pathfinder, for better or worse...
Hopefully no one loses a limb this time round. If you're already as invested as I am in Lethallan's vision, that sneaky 'to be continued' means we have even more Dragon Effect headed our way very soon!
The Best Part? It's Actually Canonical (Kinda)
There is more than enough evidence to support Thedas as an existing planet in the Mass Effect setting. Let me explain. No, there is too much. I'll let Mari of YouTube channel GeekRemix explain, and I'll sum up.
A darkspawn ogre statue seen during a Mass Effect mission, Krogan trophies shown off in Orlais, a strikingly familiar 'moon,' catastrophic seismic disasters — the hints for an interrelation between these two RPG favorites stack up pretty significantly. Of course, each to their own, but the possibility of Dragon Age and Mass Effect occurring in the same universe is almost too good not to jump on board the train to TheoryVille.
It starts to get tricky when considering magic and the Fade in Dragon Age lore, but may I introduce you to biotics? You know, gravity-manipulating special powers that people are born with and are inheritable after exposure to a mysterious, previously unknown element? Also sharing a color scheme with said element? (It's lyrium. I'm talking about lyrium.)
Thedas's school of witchcraft and wizardry may have encountered a new 'eezo' isotope that decays differently to the material that Shepard and Ryder know, granting mages variable and crucially more volatile abilities. Why volatile? Well, we know magical affinity connects the bearer to the Fade where all kinds of nasties and a few benign...ies are waiting for an opportune moment to cross that barrier. We also know it happens a whole goshdarned lot. With unfortunate accidents and intentional misuse of magic driving many Dragon Age plotlines, is faster-than-light travel going to be at the top of the list of priorities? This would explain why Krogans visited Thedas, but Thedasians did not visit Tuchanka.
Now with Mass Effect: Andromeda on the canonical scene, there is another slight hiccup when attempting to confirm this theory. The crew of the Tempest would be contacting the Inquisition all the way back in the Milky Way galaxy. When Ryder wakes up from cryo, the events of the original Mass Effect trilogy have passed in a blink of an eye, relatively speaking. Additionally, following Mari's hypothetical timeline, if the Inquisition can vid-call Ryder then Solas has not yet succeeded in subsuming reality into the Fade and therefore is incongruent to the physical state of Presrop during Mass Effect 2.
However, this is solved if Presrop is not Thedas and the equivalent planet is somewhere in the Heleus cluster — perhaps shrouded by the Scourge like the Angaran homeworld Aya was — suggested by Lethallan's awesome mashup.
Ideas Are Not So Easily Destroyed
It's no secret that Andromeda suffered a shaky launch and tepid reception from critics to longtime fans alike, finally culminating in the discovery that the overall development journey was as far from smooth sailing. Whatever conclusions can be drawn from this spiraling sequence of events, an undeniable and enthusiastic proportion of the BioWare community truly enjoyed Pathfinder Ryder's story in spite of loud (occasionally unhelpful) naysayers.
Success is measured in all kinds of ways. With fans as inspired and dedicated as Lethallan creatively showing their appreciation for a gaming experience they loved, the legacy of Andromeda will be the connections it forged between established and new players, exploring the final frontier together.