New Mass Effect Teaser Trailer Breakdown and Theories

The new Mass Effect teaser trailer released at The Game Awards has been out long enough for fans of the series to speculate the direction a new Mass Effect game may take. Fans wasted no time breaking down the trailer and piecing together theories.

Michael Gamble, Project Director at BioWare & veteran of the original trilogy, also responsible for envisioning the next chapter of the Mass Effect universe, answered questions by fans on Twitter regarding the goosebumps-inducing trailer.

The teaser trailer is packed with information and hints on the next installment of the series and lore of the universe. Even though the trailer is brief, fans with keen eyes and ears have already begun discussing how far into the future of the timeline is the game set.

Will Shepard return? who are the characters that stood next to the Mudskipper ship? And even creating theories on a Mass Effect game that might span both the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy. This article will extract key information from the trailer along with exploring interesting theories conjured up by fans.

Audio Transmissions Significance and Meaning

The trailer makes many references to events in the Mass Effect timeline through audio transmissions. This theme carries on throughout the first half of the trailer, these being in chronological order:

  • 0:07: “We know now that in the early years of the 20th century, this world was being watched” – Excerpt from H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds (1938)
  • 0:16: “Rodger. Copy. Eagle, Houston. You’re go for landing. Over” – Charlie Duke in contact with Apollo 11 Moon Landing mission (196)
  • 0:20: “Arcturus Station, unknown vessel approaching. Initiating first contact protocols (2157) – This is in regards to the first contact war between the Turians and Humans.
  • 0:27: “Humanity now stands as partners of the galaxy”. (2157) This transmission highlights the end of the first contact war and when humans became allies of the citadel species.
  • 0:33 ” Ark 6 is away. Godspeed”. (2186) Refers to the Andromeda initiative launching Arks to the Andromeda Galaxy due to the threats of the reapers.
  • 0:40: Although difficult to make out, numerous dialogue can be heard referring to Mass Effect 3‘s war with the reapers. “Engines are going crazy”, “Abandon Ship”. Iconic reaper noise can be heard. Followed by a woman asking: “is anyone receiving this? We’ve lost contact”. Referencing to the destruction of Mass Relays. (2186)
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Mass Effect 3 Destruction-Ending Cannon?

A timeline of Mass Effect events is a common theme throughout the trailer and gives major hints to when the game is set. Interestingly, from the 2186 lost contact audio transmission, we can gather that the new Mass Effect game will be set in a universe where the destruction ending of Mass Effect 3 is cannon. Due to the destruction of the mass relays.

We can speculate that the new Mass Effect game could take place way into the future. By analyzing Liara T’soni’s character we can conclude that she is much older in the trailer. This is due to her Matriarch clothing giving us a clear indication that the new Mass Effect game could take place as late as 700 – 800 years into the future. As a result of knowing that Liara was only 106 in ME3.

Further evidence for this theory can be seen later in the trailer when we see Liara T’soni hiking on what appears to be a snow-covered mountain but is in fact a dead reaper. This is further confirmed by Michael Gamble on Twitter, in addition, an outline of a dead reaper can be seen in the background masked by a blizzard. Meaning that both control and synthesis endings have been cut from the lore. As a synthesis ending would mean Liara would have green glowing eyes and the reapers still be alive. While the control end would see the reapers alive too along with the mass relays still intact.

It could be argued that the audio transmission was made briefly after the ending of Mass Effect 3. However, this does not align with the dead reapers shown in the trailer.

Concept Art May Show New Mass Relay

In November, a concept art was released showing a structure named MR7 with what looks like a new kind of Mass Relay. The structure resembles a Mass Relay due to the spherical features. If the structure is indeed a Mass Relay then it perhaps shows that species in the galaxy have started to rebuild. Which would follow after the Mass Effect 3 destruction ending.

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Liara T’soni the Archaeologist, Discovering Shepard’s story Post Mass Effect 3

While this theory seems less probable due to the date that the new Mass Effect game may take place. It’s plausible that Shepard could return due to the technology available in the universe. As shown by Cerberus in the Lazarus project which brought Shepard back to life. It is unlikely that BioWare would repeat the events of Mass Effect 2.

However, it is well known that Liara T’soni is an archeologist as she shared great interests in Prothean ruins in the original trilogy. Therefore it makes sense that she would be studying the dead reapers along with sites of the Reaper war. Liara finding remnants of Shepard’s N7 armor is one of the biggest payoffs in the trailer and has major ramifications. As Liara picks up the N7 fragments she smiles, which could be speculated to mean many things. Perhaps Liara was on a mission to discover whatever happened to Shepard post Mass Effect 3. Which is supported by the evidence shown that the destruction ending is canon.

Mass Effect Andromeda Theory

It has been speculated that the next Mass Effect game will include both the Milky Way Galaxy and Andromeda galaxy. As a result of numerous references to Mass Effect: Andromeda, mentioned in the audio transmissions along with being referenced visually at the very start of the trailer as an establishing shot showcasing both galaxies. Furthermore, if Liara is in fact a matriarch, that means that the Andromeda Initiative has completed its mission.

In addition to this evidence, Michael Gamble replied to a Mass Effect fan who noted the Andromeda audio transmission on Twitter stating it was “intentional”.

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While these all might be references to Andromeda, concept art showcases the Mudskipper ship with 4 characters’ silhouettes standing outside it. Which can be identified as a Salarian close to the left, a Drell, and, most importantly the Angara which is native to the Andromeda galaxy.

However, it should be noted that this is early concept art and therefore characters within the piece may not come into fruition. This is further reinforced in the trailer as the same shot composition of the Mudskipper can be seen at the end with some differences as there are now only 3 characters including a Krogan, Salarian, and an ambiguous silhouette.

The Mass relay-like structure named MR7 mentioned earlier could perhaps be a more powerful Mass Relay that extends to the Andromeda galaxy. However, that’s just a theory.

New Mudskipper Ship Maybe the New Normandy

The Mudskipper ship was first shown off in November in the official Mass Effect blog post discussing the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition along with a brief reveal that BioWare is working on a new Mass Effect game. Since then we have seen more concept art featuring the Mudskipper amongst incredibly tall trees and a hatch to some kind of base. It was most recently featured in the teaser trailer as it travels to the icy planet.

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The Mudskipper looks much smaller and domestic compared to the high-tech reconnaissance Normandy ship. Which perhaps can give us hints on the themes and status of the crew that we will be exploring with. However, on analyzing the ship in the trailer, a model name can be seen on the side of the Mudskipper named XT8 or XT6. The XT could stand for cross-terrain. This would make the “Mudskipper” a fitting name for all-terrain vehicles. Mudskipper fish can traverse through both water and land.

This is speculation, but maybe our ship in the new Mass Effect game will double as both a space-faring ship as well as a ground vehicle such as the Mako in past ME games. Pre-Order the Mass Effect Legendary Edition here. Get Mass Effect Andromeda at an incredible price of only $7 here or through Amazon here. Also check out this great price for the original Mass Effect Trilogy at 60% off here of if you prefer Amazon then here.

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