OXM EXPLORES... MASS EFFECT
Going further afield in our Explore segment this month, we join the welltravelled Commander Shepard and check out some of the amazing locations in the Mass Effect trilogy
Publisher Electronic Arts / Developer BioWare / release dates 2007 – 2012 Citadel, Widow, Serpent Nebula Mass Effect 3
Every visit that Shepard has made to this enormous space station has been eventful. She oversaw the destruction of the Reaper, Sovereign, became the face of every shop that wanted her endorsement, scored a sweet apartment to live in, carried out a heist in one of its casinos, rifled through the secret council archives and even discovered that she had a clone. So, yeah. Eventful.
Thessia, Parintha, Athena Nebula Mass Effect 3
Shepard went to this beautiful Asari homeworld with Liara on a mission to retrieve an ancient Prothean artefact that could help in the construction of a superweapon to defeat the Reapers. The journey was made a little complicated because the Reapers had already started the invasion of the planet, turning it into a war zone. Unfortunately the mission ended in failure and the Reapers took the planet.
Manae, Palavan, Trebia, Apien Crest Mass Effect 3
The Turian homeworld of Palavan was just another planet to fall under attack from the Reapers. It seemed that not even the strongest military force in the galaxy could stand up to this invasion. Shepard arrives on its moon just in time and, thanks to her role in curing the genophage, successfully secures an alliance between the Turians and the Krogans and manage to push back the Reaper invasion.
Tuchanka, Aralakh, Krogan DMZ Mass Effect 3
When Shepard visited the Krogan homeworld the first time she reunited with her old friend, Wrex, who ended up becoming the leader of the Urdnot clan trying to unite all Krogans. Because of this she was able secure her new Krogan team mate, Grunt’s, place within the clan. But the second time she went there she went one better and cured the genophage and with it the Krogans’ support in the Reaper invasion.
Sur’Kesh, Pranus, Annos Basin Mass Effect 3
The Salarian homeworld is a natural beauty thanks to its lush jungles. After discovering that a cure for the genophage – a biological weapon that drastically stunts Krogans’ ability to breed – was possible, the Krogans demanded that they be cured before any help would be given in the oncoming Reaper invasion. Shepard managed to extract the last female that could make this cure possible.
Collector Base, Tartarus Debris Field, Galactic Core Mass Effect 2
Shepard travelled through the Omega 4 Relay on a suicide mission to reach the Collector’s ‘homeworld’, which is nestled among a debris field within a black hole’s accretion disc near the galaxy’s core. Turns out the Collectors were making a human/ Reaper hybrid using genetic material from abducted human colonists. Yikes.
Omega, Sahrabarik, Serpent Nebula Mass Effect 2
Ruled by the asari ‘Pirate Queen’, Aria T’Loak, this corrupt counterpart to the Citadel has everything your fiendish heart could ever desire, and more. Shepard visited here to recruit salarian scientist Mordin Solus and trustworthy Turian ally Garrus Vakarian to help take on the Reapers. After stopping off for a drink at the Afterlife club, Shepard learnt never to trust a Batarian bartender.
Noveria, Pax, Horse Head Nebula Mass Effect
This icy tundra of a planet is where scientists go to conduct research that’s too dangerous to do elsewhere. Investigating Geth activity Shepard discovers that the once extinct Rachni species are alive, but not necessarily well. Shepard saves the insect-like ones from a second genocide and gives them the opportunity to learn from their ancestors’ mistakes and not destroy every other species in the galaxy.
Rannoch, Tikkun, Perseus Veil Mass Effect 3
A Reaper base controlling the Geth was located on this former Quarian homeworld and Shepard was sent in to attempt to destroy it. But Shepard being Shepard she not only managed to free the Geth from the Reapers’ influence by destroying an actual Reaper but also brokered a truce between the Quarians and Geth, settling an interminable 300 years of conflict. Not bad for a day’s work.
Ilos, Refuge, Pangea Expanse Mass Effect
The rediscovery of the mass effect Mu Relay, which was knocked out of orbit due to a nearby star that went supernova, allowed Shepard to reach Ilos. There was something quite wonderful about visiting a planet that hadn’t been visited by a single soul for almost 50,000 years, but also something quite sad knowing that this was where the last Prothean race died out.
Virmire, Hoc, Sentry Omega Mass Effect
Shepard came to this beautiful tropical paradise to rescue a salarian reconnaissance team but finds out that the rogue Spectre, Saren, is trying to create his own Krogan army. Along with Captain Kirrahe and his Special Task Group, Shepard puts a stop to his nefarious plans but along the way discovers a shocking truth about the Reapers. The mission ended in tragedy as Shepard was forced to sacrifice a member of her team.
Feros, Theseus, Attican Beta Mass Effect
The ExoGeni Corporation thought that a planet with the majority of its surface covered in Prothean ruins would be the perfect location to settle a human colony. Little did the colony know that the planet was already home to an ancient being known as the Thorian, which decided to enslave them. Thankfully Shepard stopped it, repelled a Geth invasion and destroyed the Thorian, thus saving the day.