Mass Effect Andromeda’s Protagonist Was Almost Named After A Pun

Mass Effect Andromeda's Protagonist Was Almost Named After A Pun

BioWare veteran Mark Darrah reveals that he almost managed to trick the development team into naming the main character after a silly pun.

It’s entirely possible that Mass Effect: Andromeda could’ve been less of a failure if only Mark Darrah managed to trick the development team into naming the main character after a silly pun. For a number of reasons, Mass Effect Andromeda was a considerable disappointment when it launched, which is something even the developers have admitted to.

As revealed last year by devs who worked on the game, Mass Effect: Andromeda’s budget was strictly limited, which prevented the team from implementing a plethora of intriguing ideas and even some basic gameplay mechanics. For instance, underfinancing the development process resulted in just two new species that were added to the game, not to mention that the team wasn’t even capable of bringing back all the existing races from the Milky Way galaxy. What’s even more disappointing is that free galaxy travel across Andromeda had to be cut as well, alongside numerous other features that were lacking from the game.


Related: Mass Effect Andromeda’s Major References To The Original Trilogy

BioWare veteran Mark Darrah, who left the studio two years ago, has recently shared an anecdote on Twitter describing a silly pun that could have potentially made it to the deeply flawed Mass Effect: Andromeda. According to Darrah, he pitched an idea to name the game’s protagonist Travis Ellers. The pun comes from a shortened version of the character’s name, as his friends would’ve called the protagonist Trav. In other words, if only Darrah had managed to trick the team into actually naming the character that way, the crew of intergalactic travelers would’ve been led by Trav Ellers.

As long as I’m throwing out terrible names I have…
You should know I tried to trick the Mass Effect: Andromeda team into naming the male character
Travis Ellers (Trav to his friends)
I litterally alway said it that way
“Travis Ellers (Trav to his friends)”

Almost worked

— Mark Darrah (@BioMarkDarrah) June 2, 2022

Despite all the drama surrounding Mass Effect: Andromeda upon its release, the game has its strengths, one of which is the beauty of the neighboring galaxy and the inhabited planets there. Back in December 2021, a digital artist shared a gameplay video of Mass Effect: Andromeda captured in 8K with ray tracing enabled. These enhancements went a long way toward making exploring the gallery a more beautiful experience. The rework was possible thanks to the power of the Nvidia GTX 2090 graphics card, which pushed the game’s visuals to the limit. The exceptional quality of lighting and reflections was almost enough to make viewers forget about the title’s many flaws.

Although naming Mass Effect: Andromeda’s protagonist Trav Ellers could’ve resulted in a giggle or two, it doesn’t suit the serious premise of the game. Trav Ellers is more fitting for a parody sci-fi video game rather than a major Mass Effect entry. Still, Andromeda turned out to be quite a failure, and Mark Darrah suggesting a silly name for the protagonist might mean that even back then, he already knew the game was about to become a disappointment. Or it could have just been an innocent joke. Either way, Darrah’s tweet serves as an amusing anecdote from the development of an infamously flawed game.

Next: Mass Effect 4: Shepard’s Return Looks Hopeful Following Actor Update

Source: Mark Darrah/Twitter

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Dmitry Lapunov
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Dmitry Lapunov is a video game writer and journalist based in Minsk, Belarus. His career started back in 2006 in a local newspaper. Since that very time, he’s been working with various gaming media outlets covering the hottest topics in the gaming industry. He’s now working for Valnet, Inc., focusing on Screen Rant and Game Rant.

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