Former Mass Effect lead writer was ‘blindsided’ by the deep thirst for Garrus

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Everyone has their favorite Mass Effect companions. Personally, I liked to roll with Wrex and Zaeed; others prefer Jack, Legion, or Thane. There are probably even a few who have fond memories of poor Jacob. There’s only one companion who seems to have universal appeal: Brave, tragic former lawman Garrus Vakarian.

It all seems obvious now—Garrus took an easy first place in our Mass Effect companions ranking, Garrus body pillows are not just real but really hard to keep in stock, and the page URL for our deep-dive into why he’s so great is literally, uhh, “garrus-vakarian-smooches.” But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer on the first two Mass Effect games, said during an AMA on Reddit that nobody saw the deep Garrus thirst coming.

“We always knew they’d come back as companions,” Karpyshyn said when asked about how Garrus and Tali came into shape as romance options in Mass Effect 2. “I was a bit surprised fans wanted the romance options. Tali I could sort of see… you never saw her face, so it was easy to imagine something vaguely human. (But she had those weird feet!) Garrus blindsided me—but once we saw what fans wanted, we decided to deliver!”

Unfortunately for the truly dedicated Garrus shippers out there, while romance is on the table, a gaggle of baby half-Turians is not. Karpyshyn said he’s not sure what the “official” BioWare position is these days—he left BioWare, for the second time, in 2018—but in his opinion, inter-species reproduction “wouldn’t be possible.”

“The various species in Mass Effect are too biologically different to breed with each other,” he wrote. “Except Asari, of course… it’s part of what made them unique. But that’s just my personal take; I don’t work on the series anymore so if BioWare wants to have Turi-quar babies, that’s their choice.”

Karpyshyn covers a lot of ground in the AMA including his own favorite Mass Effect character (no spoilers, but it’s not a companion) and why he hopes Mass Effect is never made into a movie. He dips into other topics including the Knights of the Old Republic games, his Star Wars novels, his new novel Time Kings of Las Vegas, and how he got started in the business. All in all, it’s a fun read—you can catch the rest of his responses on Reddit.

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