In celebration of the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition release, a big group of the trilogy's voice actors, writers, and producers got together to answer questions from fans and tell old stories over the weekend. Spearheaded by femshep voice Jennifer Hale herself, you can also hear the voices of dudeshep, Tali, Liara, Joker, Samantha and more all together in the same nostalgia-ridden video call.
There's talk of the developers' kids now playing the games for the first time, actors hugging lots of fans, and getting a little emotional in the recording booth. It was honestly just swell to hear the team talk about the joy of working together, whether or not you're planning to jump back in for the remaster.
Moderated by Ash Sevilla, the group of twenty hardly needed any question prompts to jump off with old stories. The actors in the room aren't shy about introducing themselves in-charcter, which is certainly a treat. The group also included members of the Legendary Edition team, members of the original trilogy writing team, and the creative performance director as well.
As they highlight at the beginning, most of the cast members recorded their lines separately, meaning many hadn't properly met before. Hale hosted a similar reunion call for N7 day in 2020, but by the group's memory, this call was the biggest group of them to all be together in one "place" at once.
A big through line for the talk actually winds up being the choice-based stories that BioWare have become somewhat synonymous with. Original trilogy lead writer Mac Walters advises any new players approching the series to take their time making decisions and know they can always come back for a second playthrough. Granted, we all know how hard it is to not just make all the same choices in every save file, don't we?
BioWare's senior writer and senior editor spouses Patrick and Karin Weekes mention that their children are now playing the Legendary Edition and a bit of the joy in seeing them tackle those choices for the first time. "We've made a group agreement to not go to the romances becasue that's really awkward with your teenage son," Karin Weekes adds with a laugh. That sure does bring back memories of playing my own first BioWare games in my parents' living room as a teenager.
There's also a heck of a lot of appreciation from all of the voice actors for performance director Caroline Livingstone. They talk about adjusting to the amount of content and the depth of each character in the series. The topic of branching narratives comes back around again too as the actors chime in on what it felt like to record lines across various paths through conversations.
"There's an extra added challenge as an actor when you do this, and it's the first time I ever came across the branching dialogue," says Thane's voice actor Keythe Farley. "The fun and joy of it was to be able to go back and play a scene in a different way—with different writing, different outcomes. That was not only a challenge, but also a real treat."
There are plenty of other sweet little anecdotes as well. Hale talks about not being a particularly good video game player herself but enjoying watching livestreamers play—and then promptly fleeing the chat when she's discovered. Joker's voice actor Seth Green talks about how being involved in Mass Effect was so much different from other projects because of how fondly fans feel about the characters. "I've hugged a lot of strangers, you know what I'm saying?" He says. Patrick Weekes also talks about their early days as a junior writer on the first Mass Effect and all the lessons that involved.
It's a swell conversation with lots of nice stories that are best heard from those voices you know rather than my paraphrasing. So go on and throw that on in the background if it's your jam. Ta to Hale for putting it together, Sevilla for moderating, and to all the cast and crew who shared their stories.