Mass Effect Andromeda Says Bye To Milky Way In Teaser

Space: one of the frontiers. These are the trailers of the videogame Mass Effect Andromeda [official site]. It’s mission: to explore strange new worlds, discover new lifeforms, and then have sex with them. As November 7 comes closer, a day which Bioware has stolen for itself during which they will likely reveal something important about the upcoming guns ‘n’ conversation game, the developers have decided to tease some plot in a brief moon-based video. Not much plot, but a little.

Bye, earth! So far, we know only a little of the story behind this spin-off. We know that the two playable main characters, male Ryder and female Ryder, are brother and sister, and that both will co-exist in some manner during the game. This may simply mean you pick who you want to play as in the beginning, then hear about what your less-impressive brother is up to throughout the tale. Or it could mean something more interesting and switchy. We don’t know.

What is clearer now is the timing of the spin-off. The voiceman of the trailer talks of “a future that begins 600 years from where we stand”, which hints that the journey to Andromeda has been a bit of a mish. The non-banjaxed earth shown here also suggests that the crew and settlers of the Andromeda mission set off before the events of the first trilogy came to a conclusion, as our pally-wals at Eurogamer point out. This would explain why Mass Effect Andromeda isn’t bound by the end of Mass Effect 3, as we learned earlier.

“We want this to be a new story,” Bioware’s Aaryn Flynn told Eurogamer previously, “and it would be very hard to say it’s a new story but also that you need to understand how [the past trilogy] ended.”

Mass Effect Andromeda is scheduled for release in early 2017. We’ll know a lot more next week, with any luck.

From this site

69 Comments

  1. Greg Wild says:

    I wonder how long till we find out which colour is canon.

    • yogibbear says:

      Pre-extended cut ending Destroy obviously because it’s the only one where you live and it’s the only correct choice as otherwise you just failed and became indoctrinated and you lost.

      • snowgim says:

        Yes! Maybe I haven’t hung around forums enough, but your the first person I’ve seen that knows the correct ending, so I had to comment. I’ve only played ME3 once, but that’s what I chose and I’ve never regretted it.
        I even have a Guild Wars 2 character named after the fact that Shepard lives.

      • Asurmen says:

        You live on Merge if your warscore is high enough. I finished it on that ending pre-extended ending, and had the hand twitch cutscene.

    • Asurmen says:

      I don’t think it matters.

  2. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    Andromeda has to be my most anticipated anything at the moment. A game that combines the gameplay of Mass Effect 3 with the latest Frostbite visuals and a Bioware-quality story about exploring and colonizing a new galaxy–like, yes, this sounds perfect. This is exactly what I want from my video games. Bring on 2017 :-)

    • Unclepauly says:

      “Bioware quality story” –

      • JakeOfRavenclaw says:

        I assume from the quotation marks that this is meant to be sarcastic, but I’ve quite enjoyed Bioware’s recent output. Don’t know if I’ve ever connected with the cast of a video game more than I did in Mass Effect 3. Inquisition was quite good in that regard as well, with Dorian and Cassandra being real standouts, but the whole cast was great. Loved Inquisition’s take on religion too, which is a rare subject in video games.

        • TheKnightMadder says:

          I have to sort of hesitantly point out here that characters arent story. You don’t get to say your game has a great story because it has well-rounded characters.

          Well-done characters certainly HELP a story, but they don’t make it good.

          And as a mass effect fan i am very hesitant about what this new one will actually do. because while Biowares character writing has been consistently good for ME, their other writing hasn’t been. ME2, most people’s favourite, is a great example of this. It’s actual story is utterly attrocious. To the point of being barely coherent at the best of times and occasionally not even that. Its just that its cast was so good no one cared, in many places no one even noticed.

          (A great example of ME1 vs 2 writing quality is to see how ME2 actually sabotaged things the first game intelligently set up for its sequel. For example, ME1 gave you a character who had the prothean cypher – he wasn’t chosen by fate or a Mary-Sue, he just happened to be in the right place and thus has an immediate good reason to be eveyrhwere Main charactering it up – and Liara Tsoni, who had the knowledge to go hunting with you. Fast forward, and the reason that Shepard is brought back to life to be Main Character is ‘because he’s a bloody icon’ (Miranda’s words) and Liara has thrown out her entire life to go be a info broker for literally no reason).

          But the worrying thing is that ME2 or 3 wouldn’t have worked as well as they had if they hadn’t had ME1 to fall back on. And 1 WAS well-written. Genuinely, incredibly well written. To the point where so many of the best points from the second and third’s stories are just paying off what was established up in 1.

          The issue with Andromeda is that they can’t do that anymore. They have to create another very good base, and frankly i’m not sure they have it in them anymore.

          • JakeOfRavenclaw says:

            I’m someone who vastly prefers ME2 and 3 to the first game, so I suspect we may just be approaching this issue from different angles. But you’re right, the main plot of ME2 is pretty inconsequential. I guess what it comes down to is that I don’t really care–the cast and their stories are so good that it’s still super compelling to me on a narrative level. And ME3 really doubles down on the themes of facing inevitable death, and stepping up and deciding what things you really want to care about in the time that’s left to you. The new game gives them a lot of interesting ideas to play with in terms of being in a truly alien space and trying to build up a new society from scratch, that’s super exciting to me. Very much looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

          • Von Uber says:

            Yup. Most of the best arcs in the trilogy come from ME1.

          • LexW1 says:

            Given how enjoyable ME2 was, it’s pretty clear that the characters are more important than the actual plot, which you overstate the weakness of anyway.

            I mean, actually that holds true in most mediums – books, films, TV. Characters > plot. I’ve read dozens of books with great plots and bad or terrible characters and I remember them as mediocre at best. But those with great characters, even with terrible plots? Those I remember fondly.

            It’s hard to even think of something which has a good plot and bad or mediocre characters and which is actually good, let alone great, overall.

            I mean, let’s be real, even Witcher 3, which is worshipped as a god at RPS has multiple occasions where the plot basically falls screaming down a well, and it’s only the charm of the characters that keep the story going at all (until the plot climbs out, shivering and filthy – I guess it wasn’t a very clean well). Don’t even get me started on that shit with the bard.

          • soijohn says:

            Just saying, but if you read anything about storytelling ( like John Truby’s most respected book ) you will learn that characters are everthing. It’s even clear that all of Bioware stories turn around characters. The plot doesn’t even matter that much, what is important is the interaction between characters and their overall storyline ( their evolution ). That’s why half the game is dialogue. Exposition about the plot barely matters, it can be anything. BUT ! The premice of it has to be good. What’s the tension in that world ? How does it affect our characters ? Will they save all of humanity ( thats becoming very boring now ) or will they face challenge that will change them forever ( no matter the scale of the challenge ).
            I think, if they were patient enough on the worldbuilding, on the premice, and if they hired new blood to bring new ideas, create new characters, build some cool shit to do and improve their very idiotic maneichist good/bad system, we can have a very good game.

          • brucethemoose says:

            “Well-done characters certainly HELP a story, but they don’t make it good”

            I don’t entirely agree.

            Yes, the story is a separate thing, but good characters are the foundation of it. In fact, I’ve seen adaptations of excellent stories that butcher the characters… and, despite having the same strong story, they just fall apart.

        • Manco says:

          Am i the only one who thinks Bioware’s characters are basically trope check lists? All of their characters are horribly broken individuals with assorted “cool”, dramatic quirks and “badass” quotes tacked on.

          And their romances? God, I cringe with every single one. And there’s not even effort involved, it’s just going through the motions, picking all the dumb, kiss-ass answers and boom: uncomfortable sex scene as a reward.

          • E_FD says:

            I haven’t played a new Bioware game since the first Dragon Age/Mass Effect 2 (whichever of those came last, I honestly don’t remember), but yes, an awful lot of the major characters in all their games feel like variations on the same stock archetypes they’ve been using since Baldur’s Gate.

            ME2 was particularly blatant about this, IMO, what with most of the plot being about interacting with your party members. Which is a good idea in theory, except that there’s a dozen of them and nearly all of their story arcs are about either parental issues and/or asking Shepard whether they should forgive or kill some jackass from their backstory.

    • reggiep says:

      I found the Bioware rep.

      • JakeOfRavenclaw says:

        *sigh* This is the kind of thing that makes me think I should just find another website to get my gaming news from :-/

        If you really need convincing: Kai Leng is extremely dumb, Inquisition kinda falls apart at the end as it suddenly decides that it actually wants to tell a different story, Diana Allers is maybe the worst character in any video game ever, the gameplay in SWTOR is deathly boring, etc. Have I met the required negativity quota now?

        • LexW1 says:

          Sadly, people like that guy are everywhere. They’re completely unhelpful and serve literally no purpose, I mean, apparently they’re posting to prove what a jerk they are (and I should know) and just vaguely harass people who aren’t also cynical jerks.

          At least on reddit, even though it’s mostly awful, people like him are downvoted into oblivion.

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Thankfully, idiot children who cannot grasp the concept of someone liking something they do not are generally not representative of comments on RPS. Block and move on.

  3. Jimbot says:

    I’m slightly optimistic since the setting could allow for some interesting stories. But something tells me that it could (and probably will) be put the wayside for beating some ancient evil or somesuch nonsense that EA’s Bioware loves so. I just hope it’s more interesting and engaging than Inquisition. Boy, that game was so incredibly dull.

  4. mpk says:

    I’m horribly conflicted about this, purely because of everything that was wrong with the individual Mass Effect games – no matter how thoroughly I enjoyed them.

    The whole series was a shoogly jenga tower that somehow managed to be greater than the sum of all its parts, but you can’t play the games without having their flaws front and centre. The greatest, for me, was the complete lack of a logical throughline in the overarching story apart from “Reapers are coming, oh shit”. If this is part one in another trilogy, I hope to god – any god, you choose who – that they have a story roadmap that covers the beginning, middle and ending of the series, instead of it obviously being made up for each game entry.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Maybe ME2 wasn’t even in the cards until ME1 sold so well, hence they didn’t really plan past that.

      Lots of other media suffers from that same problem.

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        Nauallis says:

        Nah, that definitely wasn’t the case – Mass Effect was always supposed to be some sort of trilogy. I remember reading articles about it back in 2006.

        More likely they had some idea of what the overarching plot was going to be for the whole series but as always the devil’s in the details, and new tech, new code, and more cash allow you to do more overall than perhaps originally planned.

    • engion3 says:

      I was conflicted with this as well. The controversy that came out of the ending of 3 left me reading the subbreddit for weeks, however, when I look back at the entire thing I really enjoyed it.

      The times having random conversations with crewmates (and more), exploring all the environments, and the above average gameplay is more than enough for me to look forward to another one. I suppose I’ve become a glass half full sort of gamer in recent years.

    • Distec says:

      The biggest issue with the ME trilogy was that they didn’t have a lead writer penning the whole thing to ensure any degree of narrative or tonal consistency between each installment. The story could have still been total crap if one person was at the helm, of course. But I’m pretty sure we would have had a less jarring transition between 1 and 2, and they couldn’t possibly have done any worse than ME3’s wrap-up.

      My understanding is that Bioware already lost their lead writer on Andromeda, so this doesn’t bode well. Even if that wasn’t the case, I don’t think the Bioware that made ME1 really exists any more.

      I wish I could say I was cautiously optimistic for more ME, but that’s been reduced to simply “cautious” for now. Unless they can somehow convince me with their marketing materials before release, I see myself being done with the franchise.

      • LexW1 says:

        Schlerf was only there for five months, so, frankly, his “lead writer” title is basically nominal – he arrived after the game started development and left before it could even have finished writing.

        So presumably the effective lead writer is someone else, and probably pretty much always was.

        As for the tearful “The Bioware that made ME1 no longer exists”, well, dude, are you aware that the lead writer of ME1, Drew Karpyshyn recently RETURNED to Bioware? Pretty much all the other ME1/2 writers who didn’t suck are still there too so not sure who you are missing.

        Obvs. he didn’t work on this, but he may well work on the next one, and if he becomes lead writer, great, frankly.

        • Distec says:

          I have no idea what it’s like behind the scenes at Bioware. Maybe his title was nominal, maybe it wasn’t. Still, this doesn’t seem like good footing to start your next epic space opera adventure; assuming new ME installments will follow in the vein of the original trilogy. I’ll defer to your knowledge on that.

          As for the “good” Bioware writers… Well, I think most of them would qualify. So it’s not entirely an issue of one’s skill at prose. I found ME2 and 3 to be ultimately disappointing, but there are a lot of instances where I did find the writing to be of good quality and enjoyable (also a lot of shit as well, but never mind). The problems start when you’re basically delegating sections of your overall arc to different people who clearly have different impressions of what the ME universe is and what’s important in it. This explains (to me any way) why ME2 felt off from the word “go”, even though visually it has all the same stylings and iconography.

          I like the take on “writers” that Shamus Young does in his retrospective series; not so much the actual individuals, but a clear authorial voice behind the work. Video games often have multiple writers given the amount of content they have to fill in, so it’s often silly to attribute the plot of any game’s success/failure to one individual or a few. But for whatever reason – either due to too many incompatible writers, Drew Karpshyn not thinking far enough ahead, or pressure from EA – Bioware couldn’t pull this off.

          I also don’t mean to be flippant with the “Bioware that was” comment. I just honestly don’t think EA has the patience or inclination to let their subordinate developer make another boring, nerdy game like the first Mass Effect. Bioware could have the best in-house writing team ever, and I’d still be suspicious of their publisher’s influence.

          • LexW1 says:

            I don’t think you have any basis for that claim re: EA pushing Bioware, given Dragon Age: Inquisition and it’s DLC, which is nerdy-as-shit, and super-deep into Dragon Age lore and so on. In particular Trespasser is just a total fan-fest in the best possible way, and excellent DLC at the same time. Similarly, Citadel was a brilliant and very nerdy DLC, and definitely wouldn’t have been allowed if EA was there pushing them to make bro-highfive-chest-bump DLCs or whatever.

            (DA:I’s only real problem is it’s sadly MMO-like design when you’re not involved with story quests. Praying that ME:A doesn’t repeat this mistake – but Bioware seem to know it’s a mistake… seem to…).

            Certainly it isn’t the sort of game that could even remotely be seen as the product of “EA pushing Bioware”. Indeed, I think it’s very hard to claim EA push any of their studios. I can’t think of a single incident of it in the last, what, five years?

            The only time EA even arguably pushed Bioware was with the release date of DA2 – EA allegedly wanted to see if Dragon Age could become a semi-annual series like BF was. But several Bioware people denied EA pushed them, and said it was actually their own silly decision to shove it out the door. Whether you believe them is up to you but even if you call them liars, then that’s the only example I can think of, and well over five years ago.

            I’m not aware of Shamus Young, but I’m also not aware of any video game series with a well-regarded story that actually has a “strong authorial voice”. Individual games, sure, but that’s a little different. The strongest authorial voice I can think of in a videogame series is probably in Bioshock/Bioshock Infinite, and the story of both is frankly, weak, loud, and cliche-ridden, and has some really unpleasant equivocation for the sake of false balance.

      • April March says:

        No, the biggest issue with ME is that the first one, despite its numerous shooty bits, was closer in tone to one of the more philosophical and humanist Star Trek episodes (or maybe a lighter versionof the niche RPGs that seemed to have gone out of style at the time, like Divinity: Original Sin). It was more successful than it had been expected to be, and its tone was shifted to be more palatable to wider audiences, which made it closer to a generic space RPG. The bedrock of 1 gave it stability to remain interesting, as well as a blueprint for engaging characters and also Kaidan, but each successive installment made the story a bit worse as it made the combat a bit better. (It’s telling that the final game still has decent-ish story and crappy combat.)

        • LexW1 says:

          Crappy combat by what standard? I thought ME2 and 3 had pretty solid combat, if not outright good. ME3’s co-op MP combat is, frankly, some of the best co-op that’s ever existed (if you’ve not played it with friends, you’ve missed out severely, even with strangers it’s pretty amazing). Certainly if we use “RPGs with action combat” as the baseline, ME2/3 have amazing combat. If we use “third-person action games of the era”, ME2/3 still come out looking pretty good. I guess if we use “third person action games in 2016”, maybe less so but…

          ME1’s combat is utter rubbish, for sure, but after that? Nah.

          Also, I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a “generic space RPG” (I mean, what would that even be? System Shock or something?), so the idea that ME tonally shifted that way is a bit sketchy/vague. The main change from ME1 to ME2 in terms of story/writing is increased focus on and increased number of characters. I think most people can agree that first game has the strongest underlying plot (somewhat dented/damaged by the structure of the game), but the weakest character writing by some margin.

  5. brucethemoose says:

    “It’s mission: to explore strange new worlds, discover new lifeforms, and then have sex with them”

    So, is Ryder a reference to commander Riker?

  6. Joe The Wizard says:

    IS THAT CLANCY BROWN?! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    I just went from ambivalent about this game, to excited. Here’s hoping the DLC plan for this isn’t as ridiculous as it’s been for Past Effects!

  7. jon_hill987 says:

    ““It’s mission: to explore strange new worlds, discover new lifeforms, and then have sex with them””

    And in the end is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?

    Kif, I’m asking you a question!

  8. Solidstate89 says:

    I’m still placing bets that this happened between ME1 and ME2 as far as when they left Earth.

  9. Talon2000uk says:

    Sigh, really Bioware.:D link to i.imgur.com

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      Hydrogene says:

      Well, now you know the secret: it must be the remains of the hidden Apollo 18 mission, where the lander could not take off and the crew lay stranded on the moon. That’s why the ascent stage of the LM is still there.

      TBH, I’m a space geek and did not notice the goof before you pointed it out. Well done! :)

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        First I got annoyed by the character tramping all over the Apollo era footprints (seriously, is that not a museum site by now?), then I got annoyed by the Ascent Stage that never went home.

  10. NickAragua says:

    The big spaceship at the end of the trailer looks like a rebuilt citadel. So, I’m guessing that this whole thing takes place way the hell after ME3.

    I might even buy an x-bone to play this one (my PC is not going to be beefy enough)

    • seroto9 says:

      More like before, or at least they set out before ME series we know.

    • TormDK says:

      Spend the money on upgrading your PC instead, you can thank me later.

      • NickAragua says:

        I’ll be doing both eventually, but upgrading my PC is a “high-risk” activity, since, in order to upgrade my CPU, I need to upgrade my motherboard – taking the whole thing apart and rebuilding it from scratch pretty much. Grabbing an X-Bone is a “low-risk” activity, since I just have to hit a “buy” button on Amazon.

        Anyway, it looks like it’ll basically be a clean slate, which is just as well. By the time you reach three games, you accumulate a little too much baggage.

    • Drakythe says:

      Honestly looks to me more like a big ass colony ship, like an inter-galactic one. I’m willing to bet this story takes place 600+ years after ME3, with a crew that was cryogenically preserved for the massive journey between galaxies (approx. 2.5 million lightyears, so 600 years travel is still a helluva trick).

      If the journey was initiated _before_ the original ME trilogy I’m going to be annoyed because why wouldn’t the Reapers have just wiped out any ship leaving the Milky Way? That seems a simple safety protocol to me: If species attempts to leave galaxy before purge, destroy attempt and initiate purge… I suppose they could hand wave it away that the Reapers weren’t in a position to intercept the ship, but that seems super sketchy reasoning to me.

      • Holderist says:

        Andromeda galaxy could be a left hand turn, Reapers came from the right. Space is freaking HUUUUUGE! There is no way they could cover the entire galaxy. If they somehow could then the allied alien planets would fall in seconds – not days. Like, enough Reapers that they could shoot every individual citizen at the same time.

      • Regicider 12.4% says:

        It’s been a while but as I remember, they weren’t exactly omniscient and relied on infiltrator thralls for intel and most of their genocide dirty work. They didn’t pinpoint and destroy individual ships outside some besieged systems in ME3 by themselves either.
        I think the intergalactic void surrounding the Milky Way is a bit on the overly massive side to cover 24/7, if they even cared about life in other galaxies to start with.

        Enough holes in the backstory to allow a single ark to escape in my mind at least.

      • LexW1 says:

        It’s worth remembering that the Reapers take several hundred years to “clean out” the galaxy (this is canon and detailed at length in ME3), and that there are only a finite number of Reapers – particularly big ones – and I don’t think it’s a terribly high one, or ME3 would have been over before it started. They don’t know everything, and ships can evade them.

        Furthermore, the Reapers try to encourage everyone to use the same hyperdrive technology – and that tech means they have to “dump” their drives into a magnetosphere quite regularly, limiting long-distance travel severely (Reapers do not have the same issue, it appears).

        So this may well be the first time someone has used a hyperdrive to try to escape the galaxy (presumably using tech derived from the death of Sovereign to avoid the need to discharge the drive), particularly before the Reapers arrived.

        Given they are traveling, we can estimate, at 0.475LY/hour, they could be really, really far out of the plane of the galaxy before the reapers get there with even a few weeks head start.

        Now, Reapers can hit 1.25LY/hour, but if they just didn’t know about this, like they didn’t know about the Catalyst (which is also a megaproject), then the whole deal could have been over before they found out, and if they didn’t know the angle of departure, good fucking luck EVER finding that thing. You could be out there a lot longer than 50000 years looking for it, and Reapers are normally only operational for a few hundred at a time, it seems (or most of them, anyway).

        The Reapers have even managed to lose entire REAPERS, note – as we found in ME2.

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          Nauallis says:

          Just to add/discuss, I think perhaps the trailer is speaking of a time approximately ~430 years in the future of the previous trilogy (ca 2183 AD), meaning 600 years from now, 2016. That would boost speeds to approx .66 LY/hour. I’m not convinced that they’re referencing only the in-game timeline (from your example), because it’s so vague, and opinions. Could go either way though.

        • aere1985 says:

          I like to think that there was some sort of decision-making panel that operated like the 10th man principle in Israel in World War Z.

          When Shepard came back ranting that the Reapers were coming, 9 decided he was crazy and there was nothing to his claims, it is the duty of the 10th to assume the other 9 are wrong. This could be the origin of the Capsule that left the Milky Way for Andromeda, to preserve the species and history of the cultures of the Galaxy. Kind-of a Noah’s Ark for Sentient species.

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    phuzz says:

    Ok, I’ll have to be the massive geek that points out that the silver bit on top of the Lunar Lander (the ‘Ascent Stage’) took off to take the astronauts back into orbit, leaving the gold bit behind (here’s Apollo 17 lifting off).
    So why is there still an ascent stage there on the moon in the video? Apollo 18?

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      Hydrogene says:

      I think that’s exactly what Talon2000uk pointed out a bit earlier, with a imgur link! ;)

      Seriously, I hope this is only marketing material, and not in game… (I’m a massive space geek too :))

    • Regicider 12.4% says:

      Warning: Scrolling down to the comments in that Apollo 17 video will cause your brain to liquify and violently escape through your facial orifices.

      • Rizlar says:

        Where is the sound in that video? Obvious fake.

        Only kidding of course. Interesting stuff about the top bit taking off, you’d think the ME video creators might have found that out while doing basic research.

        • Marr says:

          You’d think any kind of space nerd would just know that without having to look up a damn thing. Maybe it’s a balsa wood replica built on the museum site?

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        kfix says:

        Well I Think There Are Some Excellent Points Made And Questions Raised By The Perspicacious People In That Comment Section.

        FOOD FOR THOUGHT

        FOOOOOOOOOOOOOD

    • Zenicetus says:

      That bothered me the instant I saw it. Immediate loss of cred for a sci-fi game, but it was probably done by someone young enough not to know or care about the details. They should have showed the Lunar Rover and a flag, and it would have made the point.

  12. Sandepande says:

    I like more sci-fi and nobody else seems to bother with plot. Gimme.

  13. michelangelo says:

    Our character’s father is way too cool to zip collar of spacesuit? In space? Just casual walk on moon surface right?

    Lets see, if the game’s thoughts will bit smarter, then this guy’s. Hope is always the last one to die.

    • Marr says:

      Not just a moon, one that might have an atmosphere, no. The Moon, Luna, Earth’s satellite. Instant dismissal from service right there.

  14. Kelvin says:

    Y’know, this reminds me a lot of the backstory for the Terran Confederation from Star Craft.

    Get all the adventurous troublemakers, wide-eyed idealists, criminals, and otherwise unsuitably interesting people on a planet out of society, onto a ship, and fling that ship far far away with the premise that they get to be explorers.

    I know Bioware would never do this (they love their characters too much), but I wonder if it would have made for a better story if the arkship inhabitants were chosen on purpose by persons who didn’t want them around; and persons who figured that the best way to clear the playing board was to send their rivals on a 600-year trip to space-Australia.

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