BioWare hasn’t added a new entry to the Mass Effect series in many years, yet the swashbuckling space opera continues to be one of the most popular video game franchises of the decade.
To capitalize on the growing popularity of all games in the Mass Effect trilogy, BioWare and EA decided to release a new remastered compilation.
Beyond upgrading the graphics, making minor tweaks to the graphics elements, and slightly changing gameplay mechanics, BioWare has sneaked in cool new Easter eggs that pay tribute to the fans and their love for the franchise.
One such Easter egg is the update to Tali’Zorah’s controversial maskless picture. The original cutscene featured a lazy stock photo of the potential romance option – and that was met with much anger by fans of the series, and rightly so.
Some say that it was a lazily edited photo of Hammasa Kohistani, a British supermodel, who was given tatto-esque lines to look just a tad bit more ‘alien’. Ironically, this made Tali look more like a generic humanoid alien instead of what a Quarian would be expected to look like.
The lens flare seen in the original photo didn’t help things either as fans derided BioWare’s attempt as a cheaply photoshopped image. This was unacceptable!
The New Image is Now Officially Canon
The new image gives Tali a face that looks more ‘authentic’ and aligns with what players would expect a Quarian to look like without their mask covering. Unlike the original photo that showed Tali without her protective suit, the new photo plays it safe by covering her head with a headdress.
This isn’t to say that the new face doesn’t look humanoid – it does, but there are a few exceptions. For starters, Tali’s eyes are white with a tiny bit of darkness around the iris and pupils. It’s worth pointing out that her eyes glow through the mask, so the image didn’t properly ‘capture’ how bright they really are. Secondly, Tali’s eyebrows have alien-like edge marks that hints at a non-human hairline.
A Potential Romance Option
Tali’Zorah nar Rayya, or Tali as she is better known, is one of only two characters to appear as a squad mate in all three games (with Garrus being the second and Liara being an optional third). Since she’s stuck around with players from the very beginning, Tali is a fan favorite.
This explains why players were outraged at the half-hearted attempt at rendering her face. A stock photo wasn’t going to do justice to players.
This historical wrong has finally been undone with the remaster and the general consensus is that it’s most definitely an improvement over the old face. If you scroll through most comments on the Mass Effect subreddit, you’ll find that fans are appreciative of the updated face because it closely aligns with the codex descriptions of Quarians.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition was released last May and is available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.