Mass Effect: Commander Shepard | Party Members (Kaidan Alenko | Ashley Williams | Garrus Vakarian | Liara T'Soni | Tali'Zorah | Urdnot Wrex) | Antagonists | NPCs
Mass Effect 2: Early Party Members (Miranda Lawson) | Late Party Members | Secret Party Members | Main Antagonists | Secondary Antagonists | Normandy Crew | Council Space NPCs | Non-Council Space NPCs
Mass Effect 3: Party Members | Antagonists and NPCs | Multiplayer Characters
Mass Effect: Andromeda: Pathfinder Ryder | Party Members | Crew of the Tempest | The Andromeda Initiative | The Kett | The Angara | Other Characters | Multiplayer Characters
This page is for listing the tropes related to Ryder, the protagonist of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Voiced by: Fryda Wolff (Female/Sara Ryder), Tom Taylorson (Male/Scott Ryder)
The Player Character of Mass Effect: Andromeda. Ryder is a Pathfinder, tasked with heading explorations into the Andromeda Galaxy. You play as one of the two twin Ryder siblings, Scott and Sara.
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A — F
- Action Girl: If playing as Sara, she'd have to be. She's still in the game if playing as Scott, but because she's in a coma and then stuck in medical, she never gets a chance to show her chops. At least, not until the final mission.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Sara was one, before leaving the Milky Way, being security attaché to a group of Prothean investigators, but either Ryder explores the dead civilizations of Andromeda as well as the living ones.
- Admiring the Abomination: If you pick logical/rational dialogue options when dealing with kett, Ryder will frequently express great admiration of the kett's intelligence, drive, adaptability, and hard work, all the while lamenting the horrific ends they work towards.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Reyes Vidal is a smuggler and a self-admitted thief, liar and murderer. Both Ryders can romance him, and it seems that his bad boy creds are at least partially responsible for why they're attracted to him.
- Amazon Chaser: Ryder can choose to flirt and even romance physically strong women such as Cora and Vetra if they desire, though Cora is only a romance option for a male Ryder.
- Ambadassador: Ryder must make contact with new alien races and choose how to interact with them, while also being capable of taking on enemy soldiers and nasty alien beasts.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Brother and sister Ryder are portrayed this way in this poster◊.
- Badass Bookworm: Ryder can claim to be this to Keri T'vessa, informing her that they read when trying to relax.
- Badass Family: They are the son/daughter of Alec Ryder, one of the first humans to travel through a mass relay and an N7 operative, and the sibling of a perfectly action-capable twin who travelled to Andromeda with them.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Surprisingly averted, at least for Sara. The nude model that's used for her sex scenes is anatomically correct in every aspect, although mods are required to actually see all of it due to the Scenery Censors used to hide her naughty bits during cutscenes.
- Barrier Warrior: Or "Beehive Barrier". The Barricade power in the Combat skill set allows Ryder to create this kind of barrier to take cover behind. The biotic barrier is also available as another power, allowing you to soak up more damage.
- Beware the Nice Ones: One side-quest in particular can have Ryder Pay Evil unto Evil on a pair of ex-Cerberus scientists. The choice to do so is the player's, but Ryder is the one that tells Sam to "make it hurt".
- Depending on player choices and responses to quick-time events, either Ryder can be called upon to commit cold-blooded murder on a few occasions. (Examples: shooting the Cardinal in the back after she agrees to free the angara; shooting a defeated kett who has already been subject to torture.)
- Big Little Brother: Scott is younger than Sara by one minute, but is a fair few inches taller than her.
- Big Sister Instinct: A female Ryder will state that saving Scott shares her priority with stopping the Archon during the final mission. Male Ryder says the same thing about Sara, but he's the younger sibling.
- Blood Knight: Both Ryders will agree with Drack when he says the fight you recruit him in was fun.
- Bold Explorer: The entire purpose of the Pathfinders. Scott also remarks that, while he was stationed at the Charon Relay, he couldn't wait to see what was on the other side.
- Boldly Coming: Ryder can flirt with three angara and romance two (depending on gender), the first friendly race they make contact with in Andromeda, as well as several other Milky Way species.
- Book Ends: Ryder's first and final words spoken during the main storyline: "We made it."
- Born Unlucky: Ryder can several times lament their lack of luck, and begin wondering if they were born unlucky, if luck can be genetic.Ryder: Am I unlucky in general?
Jaal: I... don't know what to say about that.
Ryder: It's possible, right? It could even be genetic.
Liam: You should probably talk to Lexi about that.
Ryder: I'd rather not.
- Brain/Computer Interface: Their interface with SAM just may be one of the most benign examples of this trope - justified as it was their father who took great care in designing this interface.
- Buffy Speak: Sara becomes quite incoherent when flirting with Suvi.
- Canon Name: The default names for the characters are Scott and Sara. So canon, in fact, that the defaults are actually used in spoken conversation in the game if left alone.
- The Captain: Like Shepard, Ryder leads a squad in combat as well as being the commanding officer of the Tempest.
- Catchphrase: Where Shepard had "I should go", Ryder has a tendency to sign off conversations with "I'll let you get back to it."
- Celibate Hero: Depending on dialogue options chosen, it is possible for Ryder to remain this way throughout the game, avoiding all romances. On the other hand, it is also possible to thoroughly avert the trope by having either Ryder romance multiple characters before eventually committing to one.
- Character Class System: You can choose the type of training Ryder received back at the Milky Way at the beginning of the game. The training doesn't lock Ryder into classes like it did Shepard in the original trilogy; it just gives them a boost in certain skills and determines what type of weapon they can pick up on Habitat 7 after rejoining Cora's team. The types of training are Security (Soldier), Biotic (Adept), Technician (Engineer), Leader (Sentinel), Scrapper (Vanguard), and Operative (Infiltrator).
- Chick Magnet: Or "Dude Magnet", depending on the gender chosen. A large amount of chicks and/or dudes can be into Ryder, even if Ryder doesn't actively pursue flirting or romance.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Like any RPG protagonist, Ryder will help pretty much anyone who'll ask, regardless of what they're asking - overworked mechanics, resistance fighters worrying about their friends, ruthless outlaws, not-so-ruthless outlaws, stoners who need a new UV lamp... probably the only reason Ryder doesn't have a quest helping a kett is because none of them ask.
- Closest Thing We Got: Ryder (or at least this Ryder) was not supposed to be the human Pathfinder, and sure as hell wasn't supposed to be the only Pathfinder. In particular, Addison and Tann only see Ryder as a pretender to the title until they've established a few outposts and driven back the kett in key places. That being said, they throw their full potential behind them because they're the only hope they've got.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Whereas Commander Shepard was an experienced and decorated officer at the beginning of the first game, Ryder is described as being much more inexperienced and untested. Additionally, Shepard is a decorated war hero by the time of the first game, while the Ryders were blacklisted due to Alec's highly illegal research on AI. It's played up with their physiques - their heads are significantly larger proportionate to the rest of them than Shepard's was, making them look shorter, scrawnier, and less imposing.Explanation
- Additionally, the white and blue of their Andromeda Initiative armor makes for a nice contrast to the default black and red N7 armor most associated with Shepard.
- Both Shepard & Ryder are fusions of organic and synthetic life, but in different ways; Shepard from extensive cybernetic components, and Ryder from their SAM implant.
- Public opinion between the two characters differs as their stories progress: Shepard is seen as a model soldier, and their appointment into the Spectre program is met with near-universal approval. Once they die, and are resurrected two years later, much of the galactic community see their disappearance as a betrayal, and a lot of work has to be done to build bridges. Ryder is greeted with a lot of scorn once they are appointed Pathfinder, as they are seen as a pretender to the role. But as they build settlements and gain allies, Ryder grows more of a reputation, and by the end, they are acknowledged with nothing but praise from damn near everyone they meet.
- While Shepard was by no means a Celibate Hero, Ryder can have A Girl in Every Port and unlike Shepard has the option to flirt with characters even if they are an Incompatible Orientation.
- Converse with the Unconscious: With their sibling. Since they have the same SAM implant Ryder does, this is a justified case in which they can actually converse back.
- Cute Bruiser: Sara is one of the smallest members of her team, and her entire build makes her look a lot cuter than Fem!Shep; how cute exactly depends on the individual player's preferences during character creation. She's also the first and so far only PC to have access to an impressive array of very powerful melee weapons up to and including a freaking krogan warhammer.
- Cuteness Proximity: Toward the space hamster they find hiding on the Tempest. Sara will outright call it the cutest thing she's ever seen.
- Sara also outright calls Suvi cute if they flirt.
- Daddy's Girl: Downplayed. While Alec was distant with both of them, certain dialogue differences between the twins suggest that Sara was closer to their father, or that she understood him better, at least.
- Damned by Faint Praise: If Ryder is in a committed relationship with Peebee, which includes assuring her that she's the one and only person they want to be with, they're not particularly thrilled when Peebee confesses she's "kinda sorta in love" with them. The casual response immediately throws it back at her by having Ryder snark about being "kinda sorta happy" about this. It's still a mild example because Ryder is by that point well aware of the Domestic Abuse Peebee suffered in the past, and consequently understands how hard it is for her to openly confess romantic feelings to anyone.
- Deadpan Snarker: Unlike Shepard, who was only this if the player chose, Ryder always is this. They will quip and joke without the player's input. Choosing the bottom left responses on the dialogue wheel turns this up a notch to the point that several characters (including some squad mates) will call Ryder out on not taking anything seriously even when shit's really hit the fan. (A few irreverent response options will even terminate discussions that otherwise would trigger side-missions.)
- Determinator: If they weren't there before, Ryder graduates summa cum laude by the time of the climax. The Archon severs their connection to SAM, rendering them almost dead due to how much influence SAM has on their vital functions. They don't let that stop them, struggling to get back to the Tempest even as they can barely stand, never mind that using Remnant tech without SAM to interface puts massive strain on them.
- Dork Knight: Sara Ryder is so awkward while flirting she can give Samantha Traynor a run for her money. She also makes terrible jokes.
- Drives Like Crazy: According to Peebee, at least. Jaal, on the other hand, finds their driving calm enough to fall asleep, repeatedly. Given the terrain on the worlds where the Nomad is driven, driving like crazy is often the only way to get from Point A to Point B on wheels. One dialogue option lampshades this when Ryder is asked about driving the Nomad.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Ryder's team dismisses themselves from a meeting, which annoys them enough to call them out. Other people in the Initative also refuse to show Ryder respect, such as Addison calling them by name instead of title, and even normal citizens think Pathfinders are useless. This doesn't change until Ryder has established a few outposts, with Addison in particular eventually using their title.
- Easily Forgiven: On occasion. For example...
- Shooting Akksul. Jaal will be briefly upset at Ryder for not trusting him to handle it, and refuse to speak to them, but soon starts up again, and Akksul's never spoken of by them afterward. Even Evfra is more concerned about the way Ryder killed him rather than the fact they did, though the governor of Aya notes it will make relations between the Initiative and the angara strained.
- Shooting Kalinda and sending her plummeting into lava. Peebee gives Ryder a brief What the Hell, Hero?, and then doesn't really bring it up again. She'll even start a relationship with Ryder right afterward.
- Leaving the Salarian Pathfinder to die in favour of rescuing the krogan. Her replacement will harbour no grudge, only noting that her death will demoralise the Salarians, but without ascribing any blame toward Ryder. It helps, however, that the Salarian Pathfinder made it fully clear in her final transmission she intended to sacrifice herself so Ryder and the Krogans could escape, meaning she had never expected to be rescued anyways.
- If Ryder lied to their twin about what happened on Habitat 7, their sibling is not happy about it once they learn the truth but pulls them into a tender hug to grieve together mere seconds later even so.
- Eating the Eye Candy: During the sex scenes, of course. Male Ryder in particular is shown to be a butt man, as he gropes Cora/Peebee's behind in their respective sex scenes (and the former is featured front and center on the screen)
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Becoming a Pathfinder, representative of the Milky Way in both diplomacy and combat, can't be an easy task.
- Embarrassing Nickname: They're not happy when Bain Massani keeps calling them "Little Duck" during their short team-up on Eos. Their squad has a field day with it though, which doesn't exactly help matters. Fortunately for Ryder, none of their companions bring it up again once Massani is out of the picture.
- Emotional Bruiser: Choosing Emotional responses naturally makes Ryder one of these, as do Casual responses (although in a more jovial way).
- The Engineer: Pathfinder units in Real Life militaries usually have combat engineers attached to them, in order to clear landing zones/bridgeheads/beach heads. Since these Pathfinders are the first ones in as part of a colonization armada, it is logical that at least some engineers are part of their ranks. They can also choose to specialize in tech-based abilities via the Engineer profile.
- Ethical Slut: Depending on the playing style, it is possible for either Ryder to flirt with and even, in some cases, have casual sex with several different NPC characters at the same time before committing to a relationship (an example, playing the female Ryder it is possible to make out with or even have sex with Peebee, Liam and Reyes, with Peebee explicitly taking on an optional "friends with benefits" role and available for multiple encounters before locking in a relationship with anyone). Once a commitment point is reached, however, Ryder becomes monogamous. (Well, if one doesn't include having an optional affair with asari reporter Keri or, for the male Ryder making out with an angaran historian).
- Field Promotion: Their father Alec was the original Pathfinder. After their breathing apparatus gets damaged, during an expedition Ryder Sr. sacrifices his own while passing on the title of Pathfinder.
- Flash Step: Multiple versions. The most straight forward example is when Ryder has the Explorer profile loaded. It allows them to use their biotic ability to move a short distance faster than light. Using the asari sword grants a similar ability, except they quickly strike with the blade once they reach their destination. Loading the Infiltrator profile grants a similar technique, except they don't actually move faster than the eye can track, Ryder just activates their cloaking ability at the start of the dash, making it seem like they are flash stepping.
- Flat "What": Upon finding the corpse of a salarian surveyor.Ryder: Okay, what got him? Outcasts? Collective? Random exile?SAM: Gravity.Ryder: What?SAM: He fell and broke his neck, probably while trying to obtain samples.
- Forgot About His Powers: The game doesn't take into account whether or not Ryder has biotics, or if they had them before becoming Pathfinder. This is most notable in the prologue and on Cora's loyalty mission where it would have made sense for Ryder to help with barriers, or when talking to the NPC sibling and neither of them bringing up that their mother's eezo exposures also granted them powers. At no point does Ryder or Cora discuss the fact that Ryder has powers. Of course, depending on the player's preferences, it's possible to play through the game without calling upon Ryder's biotic abilities.
- For Want of a Nail: Whichever one you choose as your character decides which one is the Pathfinder, and which one ends up in a coma.
- Fragile Speedster: Regardless of the build you choose, thanks to their Jump Jet Pack and the new dodge mechanic, Ryder can move around the battlefield a lot faster than Shepard ever could.
- Friendly Sniper: You can play as one if you're so inclined. The Infiltrator profile is geared towards this combat style, and sniper rifles are one of the most useful weapons in almost any battle regardless of profile.
- From Stray to Pet: During one (very minor) side mission, Ryder helps track down a "space hamster" that has gotten aboard the Tempest. Ryder may optionally keep the stray hamster as a pet afterward. (If playing the deluxe edition of the game, this is actually the second pet Ryder can obtain after adopting a "space monkey"-like creature called a pyjak.)
G — L
- The Gadfly: Ryder typically reacts with wit and snark to everyone, especially when characterized with "Casual" choices. On their own, though, Ryder will pull hilarious pranks. For instance, conspiring with Jaal to give Peebee a taste of her own medicine.
- Genre Savvy: When Peebee proposes splitting up to cover more ground in the Remnant vault on Eos, one of Ryder's responses is an incredulous, "Have you seen any horror movies?" Nothing terrible comes of it.
- A Girl in Every Port: Ryder (both male and female) can engage in this trope by having a full romantic Love Interest on the Tempest, as well as at least two other lovers on a few hub worlds. If they do, the non-crew lover acknowledges that they are The Mistress in this relationship but don't mind, because they love even the little bit of attention Ryder gives them, and will offer them a home with them for as long as they want it.
- Good is Not Nice: Depending on the player's choices, Ryder can blow the Cardinal and Akksul's heads open, or shoot Kalindra and send her plummeting into the lava below. Even if the high road is taken in those encounters, Ryder's job requires killing lots of people to protect the initiative, and they are comfortable with that fact.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Averted. Compared to Commander Shepard, who only swears infrequently, Ryder swears up a storm during their adventure and even drops the occasional F-bomb.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: While Sara certainly isn't ditzy, she can come across as one regardless when Vetra teases her inability to cope with turian booze (for purely biological reasons, different chirality and all) and Sara retorts by claiming that it isn't a party until she's passed out at the end.
- The game offers a few occasions where Sara can get drunk enough to pass out.
- And then there's the (optional) time Sara gets so plastered that she's dancing on top of the table and sitting in Sloane's chair.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: As with the original series, Ryder will be referred to by rank or last name to avoid this, though their default names are "Scott" and "Sara", and the non-player Ryder twin is referred to by one of those two names. If the player chooses to keep their default names they are occasionally referred to by their first name by other characters, particularly in romances.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Zig-Zagged: Wearing a helmet is optional on all combat and away missions, not just the ones in inhospitable environments (though the benefits of a helmet remain in place). The helmet will vanish regardless during any cutscene or conversation not taking place in a hostile atmosphere.
- Heroic Ambidexterity: Ryder can shoot equally well with both hands, allowing them to make best use of any available piece of tall cover. Melee attacks are always right-handed, though.
- Heroic RRoD: There's a reason SAM helps with the Remnant tech. When the Archon severs the connection, Ryder has to activate it by themselves, and does at least some damage to themselves in the process. Talking with Lexi before the final mission reveals Ryder's also being pumped full of drugs just to keep them on their feet long enough to finish the fight, and that coming down afterward will be extremely painful for them.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Ryder seems to have serious self-esteem issues. It's never directly addressed, but they let everyone walk all over them and it's all over how their expressions and body language is animated. Their crew don't even pretend to take them seriously.
- Hidden Buxom: Sara's pretty top heavy under that armor, as revealed during the topless love scene with Jaal.
- Holding Out for a Hero: The Initiative made many attempts to defy this, but so many of them failed that the trope became extra-strength reinforced. Until Ryder showed up, every Pathfinder was assumed dead, which meant that the main expeditionary and combat arm of the Initiative was gone. Every attempt to battle the kett, study the lost golden worlds, understand Remnant technology, or otherwise achieve the goals of the Initiative fell flat. By the time Ryder showed up, half the Milky Way people have given up and the other half expect Ryder to solve all of their problems.
- Hope Bringer: Much like Shepard. Before Ryder shows up, the Initiative has failed massively. All of the Arks have gone missing, the attempts at colonies on Eos have failed, the Krogan and a large chunk of the Nexus' forces have broken away, and the angara have been stuck in a war with the kett for over seventy-five years. Ryder shows up, and in a short amount of time finds those Arks, founds successful colonies on four worlds, restores several worlds to liveable conditions, reconciles the krogan with the Nexus, forges an alliance with the angaran and gives the kett across the Heleus Cluster a bloody nose.
- Humble Hero: Depending on how the player chooses their dialogue, Ryder can downplay their major accomplishments, or state it was a team effort.
- I Can't Dance: Much like Shepard before them, Ryder can do almost anything... but even with AI assistance, dancing is not one of those things. More alarmingly, they actually seem to dance better when completely blitzed on a Gargle Blaster than sober...
- The Immodest Orgasm: Sara is this according to a romanced Jaal.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Thanks to the game's blind-fire mechanic while hiding in cover, it's entirely possible for Ryder to score headshot after headshot without even once looking in the targets' general direction. Might fall under Gameplay and Story Segregation, but still, that requires some serious skill. Even apart from that, Ryder's marksmanship appears to be sufficiently above par In-Universe to elicit frequent lines of praise from their squadmates regardless of the latter's own combat abilities and experience. SAM's assistance could make for a possible justification.Peebee: One in a million!
- Incompatible Orientation: Ryder can flirt with squadmates and other potential love interests that don't swing their way, and will be let down gently by them.
- Incompletely Trained: In a conversation with a heskaarl, the angaran equivalent of an N7, Ryder mentions Alec gave Scott and Sara some of his N7 training.
- Informed Flaw: Lexi's report on Ryder (read from the Codex) will call them "impulsive" if the player has acted on a few Interrupts. There are barely more than a dozen such prompts in the game, compared to the hundreds of decisions Ryder can make. In addition, many of these prompts aren't "impulsive" but just human. For instance, most siblings would hug each other after one of them came out of a coma.
- Ink-Suit Actor: The default facial appearance of the female Ryder somewhat resembles that of voice actress Fryda Wolff. This is one of the few characters within the game to which this applies. Someone skilled with adjusting the customization can make the male Ryder more closely resemble voice actor Tom Taylorson, too.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Drack is around 1400 years old, Peebee is around 100 though in Asari standards that makes her the same age as Ryder and Lexi is 275 years old.
- Interspecies Friendship: Ryder becomes a good friend to Lexi (who they can flirt with though she turns them down), Drack and Kallo. Also to any alien character that Ryder doesn't flirt with or try to romance.
- Interspecies Romance: Both Ryders can choose to woo several different aliens. Either sibling can court Peebee (asari), Vetra (bisexual female turian) or Jaal (male angara, bisexual as of a later patch) as "full-fledged" romances, and Keri T'vessa (Asari) as a minor one. Scott also has Avela Kjar (female Angara) as a minor romance. Dead-end flirting options (resulting in a gentle "no thank you" or a joking dismissal) are also available to try on Lexi (asari), the angaran governor of Aya and even - in a tongue-in-cheek fashion - the krogan, Drack.
- It Runs in the Family: Their father, Alec, was one of the first humans to travel through a mass relay with Jon Grissom's exploration team, and later became an N7 soldier. Clearly, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to his children being pioneers and badasses. On a less badass note, Sara has apparently inherited her dad's terrible flirting skills. The stone-cold determination, however, comes from both parents.
- It's Personal: The final battle introduces personal stakes, and then continues to escalate them right up to the end. To wit: the Archon "hacks" the Pathfinder and shuts off their SAM, then attacks and steals the Hyperion along with SAM and their sibling, then taunts the Pathfinder and says how pathetic they are while delighting in the fact that forcing their sibling to open Meridian causes them pain, then directs his forces to destroy Ark Hyperionnote and possibly kills their friend Captain Dunn. The attack on the Hyperion is personal to all of humankind, and Ryder fires them up by stating the Archon just forced Meridian to be the human homeworld, so now, humanity is fighting for the only planet they've got.
- Kill It with Fire: Ryder can get the Incinerate power, a Flamethrower and a flamethrower turret, plus Incendiary Ammo for their guns.
- Kill It with Ice: Cryo Beam and Cryo Ammo got you covered.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: In fine franchise tradition, Ryder can and probably will loot everything that isn't nailed down, regardless of where they are. One scene on Kadara has Ryder come across two looters stealing from a corpse, and Ryder can attempt to take the moral high ground by saying "Looting is wrong.". The two looters just laugh at you and continue about their business.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Vanguard class is back with a vengeance and arguably even more powerful than ever thanks to the wide variety of combo primers at your disposal. It's one of the few power-heavy builds that can rival the gunslinging Soldier in terms of sheer damage output.
- Likes Older Women: Cora Harper is assumed to be between twenty-seven and thirty-two years old, while Scott is canonically twenty-two. Downplayed with Peebee who, while roughly one hundred years old, is around Ryder’s age by Asari standards.
- Living a Double Life: If Ryder romances someone at a hub world (Nexus or Aya), they will basically take the stance that what Ryder does out in space isn't their business and that they'll be waiting at "home" whenever they want to come back. It becomes more pronounced if Ryder is also romancing someone on the Tempest. Keri T'Vessa almost uses these exact words when describing the terms of their relationship.
- Living Legend: Double Subverted. Unlike Shepard, Ryder is a relative unknown (their father is the famous one) with few accomplishments before the game starts. However, later in the game, Ryder has become THE Pathfinder. That is, they become the standard even other Pathfinders have to live up to. This is especially true if all the other original Pathfinders die or are replaced; the rookies have to look to Ryder's example.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Some romances reveal that Ryder has a very, very healthy sex drive. Not to mention that they can have multiple sex partners in a single game. Depending on the choices made, a friends with benefits option is available for Peebee allowing either Ryder to have multiple sexual encounters with her during the course of the game.
M — R
- Mandatory Motherhood:
- Subverted. While a romanced Gil will mention Scott's "civic duty as a man" is to have children, there doesn't seem to be any actual obligation to do so. Gil will also bring up the subject with Sara, and Sara has the option of saying motherhood is not for her.
- Meanwhile, during a conversation with Jaal at the cultural center, Scott or Sara may mention they want to be able to show their children what Big Ben looks like some day.
- Master of All: The level cap is high enough to eventually max out any and all powers at Ryder's disposal (it happens at level 131 of 135, to be precise). Unless you abuse the hell out of certain experience glitches, you'll need a whole bunch of New Game Plus runs to accomplish this, but once you get there, nothing's going to pose a challenge anymore.
- Meaningful Name: Ryder is derived from Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. May also be derived from the riders in The Wild Hunt, if the trailer's theme song is anything to go by. Also, a lot of Ryder's actions in this game involve riding around on the Nomad.
- Mind over Matter: Biotic abilities return from the original trilogy. Notably, they exist as a skill tree that Ryder can access regardless of class. The twins' in-utero exposure to eezo occurred due to their mother's research into biotic implants.
- The Mistress: Dialogue with Vetra on Kadara reveals that Sara Ryder considers herself to be Reyes's mistress if she's in a committed relationship with him and he took the throne of Kadara Port from Sloane. Vetra suggests she demand the title of Baroness at the very least because Pathfinder-Baroness sounds cool.
- More Dakka: That's what the Soldier profile is all about. Don't feel like wasting time with powers and their lengthy cooldowns? Grab the meanest guns you can find and let rip to your heart's content. It's no problem at all to carry four huge firearms at all times without impairing cooldown times, giving you the right tool for any situation. The Turbocharge power takes it to the next level by seriously buffing your damage, rate of fire and clip size for a short time.
- Must Have Caffeine: One of Sara's first lines is how she can't explore space without coffee. Scott doesn't share her enthusiasm for it.
- Nepotism: Basically how Ryder got the position of Pathfinder. Cora was next in line to get the position, as far as everyone else knew, but Alec had several secrets and hidden goals that he knew had to stay within the Ryder family. So, whoever you pick as the main character between Scott and Sara, that's who Alec chose and who gets woken up first. Cora is not happy when she's overlooked for the position, and the rest of the Initiative see Ryder as a pretender until they prove otherwise.
- The tie in novel Mass Effect Initiation reveals that there was a very good reason for this nepotism. Alec’s original SAM has some pretty advanced capabilities (the Profiles) but it cannot seamlessly integrate into, and augment the physiology of anyone except the Ryder’s. Therefore the twins and only the twins can inherit SAM.
- In addition, by completing "Ryder Family Secrets" will clarify the other main reason. Namely, SAM held the truth about Ryder's mother, and where she was being hidden, so the siblings could find and thaw her out when/if a cure for her disease was found.
- "No. Just… No" Reaction: If romancing Jaal, Ryder can respond this way when Lexi asks them for details For Science!.
- No-Sell: They survive drinking an experimental drink of Umi's which includes ryncol. You know, the radioactive liquor for krogan that "goes through humans like ground glass". Unlike Shepard, no handwave is given for how Ryder comes out the other side of that one (though SAM's intervention is likely). The worst that happens to them is they make an idiot of themselves and pass out in Sloane Kelly's throne room.
- One-Man Army: Even worse than Shepard due to the extremely wide array of abilities available to them. Ryder can end up being all the character classes from the trilogy simultaneously, switching from one to another as the situation demands to cover for any of their squad's shortcomings in an instant. You'll usually unlock the Terminator achievement (kill 2,000 enemies) by early mid-game whereas the whole of ME 3 including all DLC pitted about 1,500 enemies against Shep. The entire original trilogy fields a sum total of about 5,500 baddies, which means Ryder will probably kill more things in a few months than Memetic Badass Shepard did in three years, parts of which covered a galaxy-wide war.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Even without prompt from the player, Ryder is usually very snarky and coy. When they are bluntly serious, you know something has really gone wrong.
- The first instance comes after they discover the Nexus and learn that it's unfinished and no one is manning its stations. Liam tries to cheer everyone up by saying "It could be worse", and Ryder instantly snaps his head off by saying after everything that's gone wrong, this had better be rock bottom.
- After the Archon takes SAM and their sibling, Ryder exudes nothing but pure rage and anger for the rest of the mission. Even picking the "Casual" option will result in Ryder growling angrily that everyone in the galaxy has earned fucking payback against the kett.
- Outside-Context Problem: Interestingly, Ryder is this, as the leading figure of the Initiative, for the kett. By all appearances, they seem to have had the Heleus Cluster well in hand, with their plans progressing apace, and then suddenly here come several colony ships from across dark space, filled with unknown aliens with unknown capabilities wielding unknown technologies. And at their forefront, representing not only humanity but effectively the entire Initiative, is Ryder: fighting back, emboldening and creating alliances with the angara, making use of the Remnant tech that's puzzled the kett since they entered the cluster, organizing resistance, founding colonies which serve to entrench these odd new aliens and make them harder to uproot, weakening if not outright breaking kett control, and in general totally upending and derailing the kett empire's plans for the cluster. And none of this could have been planned for, because it would have been impossible to foresee in order to plan for in the first place.
- The Paragon: By the end of the game, Ryder has become the Pathfinder; everyone follows their example and craves their guidance.
- Passing the Torch: Out of universe, from Shepard to Ryder. Though given the wording, it's possible that's an actual recording Shepard made for the explorers of the future. In-universe, they got their title from their father, who dies early on.
- Precision F-Strike: Surprisingly most of the profanity in Andromeda comes from Ryder: they swear more often than Shepard but a lot less than Jack.
- Perma-Stubble: Scott's default face gives him some noticeable facial hair.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Sara appears to be the shortest crewmember other than Peebee (Suvi, Cora and Vetra tower over her). The developers stated on Twitter that she is about 5'8, so it's less that Sara is tiny and more that all of her female crewmates are unusually tall.
- Propaganda Hero: Ryder can be one, if they give positive answers during Keri's interviews, agree with Tann on most of his decisions, agree with Sarissa that inspiring is more important to a Pathfinder than truth and generally paint the Initiative as made of sunshine and rainbows.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Not precisely psychic, but Ryder's mental overexertion while interfacing with the Remnant without SAM's help leads to this at one point.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Zigzagged. While Ryder's gender won't affect abilities or combat, the Ryder twins each have distinct personalities and thus have slightly different dialogue and responses throughout the game, including the Ryder twin who isn't selected as the Player Character and becomes an NPC. This includes having different backgrounds prior to going to Andromeda. The two also, of course, have unique romance options, although a few are available to both.
- Real Men Hate Affection: Sara will accuse Scott of this if the player doesn't hug her once she wakes up from her coma. And she'll only hug the player if they made certain choices. Averted if playing as Sara, in which case Scott will initiate the embrace.
- The Red Mage: The Pathfinder is good at a little bit of everything, and you can take skills and abilities normally restricted to certain classes in the past. SAM's interface even allows you to alter your character class and powers at will due to his ability to control Ryder's bodily functions and motor skills.
- Reluctant Hero: Probably the last thing Ryder expects when they wake up on the Hyperion is being named humanity's Pathfinder just a few hours later, and they go through a minor Heroic BSoD upon learning the awful truth about what happened to their father. It takes a while for them to come to terms with their new responsibilities, but fortunately they grow into it quickly enough to make the right calls once things get serious; well, even more serious. Exactly how quickly they leave the reluctance behind is up to the player's dialogue choices.
- Rousing Speech: Like Shepard, Ryder makes these all the time. If the player chooses the Casual options from the dialogue wheel, however, Ryder will subvert the trope. In particular, in the last battle, they say "Is this the part where I make a speech? No thanks."
S — Y
- Science Hero: On some level, both Ryders are this, as it comes with the job of being a Pathfinder to explore, study, and learn about new discoveries. Sara qualifies more than Scott, though, because her experience is acting as an armed escort for Prothean archaeologists in the Milky Way, and a lot of that expertise rubbed off. In conversation, players can also choose to say that science is one of the most exciting parts of the job and the part they live for. That said, that's the extent of the trope, because neither Ryder has any qualifications within a scientific field (to the point of being Book Dumb; SAM has to explain very basic concepts on several occasions).
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: A common choice is to follow the rules or tenets of the Initiative or act on your gut. Though there is a chain-of-command in the Initiative, Pathfinders are given some leeway due to the unpredictable nature of their job. Most prominently the endgame sees Ryder forbidden by their superiors from going to Meridian or antagonizing the Archon further. Not only does Ryder disobey this order, but so does every other Pathfinder they've rescued up to that point.
- Second Love:
- Most obviously for Peebee, whose previous lover was the abusive Kalinda. Unfortunately, Kalinda left Peebee with a number of "issues" that Ryder has to work through to even start a relationship, let alone make it work.
- Jaal had fallen in love once, but the woman in question lost interest in him once she met his brother. Jaal was obviously hurt, but happy for them nonetheless. And then, the kett captured both his brother and sister-in-law. Ryder can become his second love.
- Also one for Reyes Vidal (although, it's highly unlikely you're just the "second"). One of his missions has him attacked by an embittered ex, and Reyes promises Ryder that he has developed much better taste in men/women since then.
- In-game it's possible to set up whomever the female Ryder chooses to commit to as her "second love" if flirtation and romance with Reyes continues up to the point where he murders Sloane; after this Ryder can either commit to Reyes or break it off in disgust over his actions; if Ryder instead opts to rescue Sloane from Reyes' ambush, the romance is broken off in a more...violent fashion when it becomes clear Reyes and Ryder are no longer on the same side.
- Secret-Keeper: If the Ryder Family Secrets sidequest is completed, Ryder becomes one of the very few people in Andromeda to be aware of the Reaper War and its connection to the Initiative. It's also strongly implied that only Scott, Sara and SAM are aware of their mother's survival.
- Secret Relationship: Ryder can enter a secret sexual relationship with Peebee and Keri, and a non-sexual one (just kissing) with Avela - at the same time, even (although Avela is only available for a male Ryder). Each one is insistent that what happens between them stays between them (until Peebee's Loyalty Mission, whereupon she wants a full romance). Also, given the confines of a spaceship, everybody on the Tempest will know about you and Peebee and comment on it. Prior to committing to a relationship and still in the flirting stage with her "intended" it's also possible for Sara to have a full-out one night stand with Liam with no impact on the later relationship.
- Serious Business: Ice cream. When Ryder hears from Jaal someone's setting up an ice cream shop in the crashed Hyperion, Ryder dramatically declares how it is the best thing ever. Their seriousness actually unnerves Jaal.
- Shock and Awe: A handful of Ryder's powers deal electrical damage, first and foremost the good ol' Overload, naturally. As usual, they're particularly effective against shields and synthetics, and can stun organics for a few precious seconds.
- Sibling Seniority Squabble: If playing as Sara, she mentions in the prologue that she never lets Scott forget that he's a minute younger than she is.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: To Kallo's dismay, Suvi and Ryder are two hormonal apes unable to go five minutes without flirting with each other.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Ryder had a promising career in the Alliance before Alec's illegal AI research was discovered. After Alec's discharge, the entire family found itself blacklisted.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Though Bioware says it's more murky than the Paragon/Renegade of the original series.
- The Snark Knight:
- The "Casual" responses provide hefty amounts of snark, which some characters like (such as Peebee) and others (such as Tann) do not. If Casual responses are one of your two highest responses, Lexi writes on her psychoanalytical report that she's aware you mask pain and stress with humor, but doesn't think it's a negative quality.
- Even without picking those options, Ryder is typically very snarky. For instance, when they find their first Remnant structure on Habitat 7, Liam muses about what's down there. Ryder speculates that it's "alien gods from the underworld", and repeats this when he wonders who built it. Later, before assaulting the kett base at the Habitat 7 vault, picking the logical response and doubting Alec and SAM's plan will have SAM say that they have an 85% chance of death taking any other option. "Logical" Ryder replies:
- Static Role, Exchangeable Character: Whichever gender the player chooses, the other gender plays a prominent role in the narrative as Ryder's sibling.
- Stone Wall: A sentinel, who has tech armor by default, along with Barricade, Barrier and Energy Drain is practically invincible, being able to soak up unbelievable amounts of damage.
- Surfer Dude: Scott can mention in a romance with Jaal that his favorite place on Earth is the east coast of Australia where he would spend hours on end trying to catch waves.
- Teleport Spam: Ryder has access to three variants: The returning Biotic Charge from previous games, the Explorer profile's Biotic Blink evade move, and finally the Asari Huntress sword, which has a short-range teleport as part of its attack. The latter two are particularly rife for spamming as they don't have a cool-down.
- Third Time's The Charm: A sarcastic Ryder references this trope repeatedly, usually after yet another near-death encounter courtesy of the Archon, the Shroud or the Remnant, or all of them combined.
- Threatening Mediator: If you chose more hostile options in negotiation.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: If romancing Vetra, Ryder can become this with her since turians are taller than humans. (The Ryders' heights are not stated but it can be assumed they aren't particularly tall, whereas Vetra is six foot six, or just shy of two meters.)
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Sara's default hairstyle is a brunette ponytail and she's even more tomboyish than Fem!Shep, considering how the latter wore a fancy dress on at least two occasions whereas Sara's never seen wearing or doing anything particularly feminine.
- Took a Level in Badass: Ryder starts the game off as relatively inexperienced. By the time of the team loyalty missions, they've become the Pathfinder everyone aspires to be.
- Tragic Keepsake: Alec's helmet can be seen sitting on a nightstand in Ryder's cabin aboard the Tempest.
- Transhuman: Ryder can be physiologically augmented by an AI with whom they have a QEC interface in the brain. These augmentations are called Profiles.
- The Turret Master: The tech skill tree gives you the assault turret which initially starts out as a gun turret, but can be upgraded to a flamethrower. Peebee's secret project unlocks a Remnant combat drone as a second turret. This thing beam spams at first, but then becomes either a missile turret or a Shock and Awe generator. Running both, especially with the flamethrower and missiles combo, is a minor Game-Breaker.
- The Unchosen One: Ryder wasn't originally supposed to be humanity's Pathfinder; that title went to their father, Alec. However, Alec chose to sacrifice his life to save his child, granting them Pathfinder status and it's pointed out that this is blatant nepotism on his part. They also aren't the only Pathfinder in the Andromeda Initiative, as each species has their own Pathfinder.
- Unluckily Lucky: Ryder often comments on their luck, and they often find themselves faced with very unfortunate circumstances. That being said, many of these circumstances get resolved or lead to better opportunities. As the most prominent example, the death or disappearance of every other Pathfinder is what ultimately allows them to prove themselves as a hero.
- Unstoppable Rage: Ryder is generally very snarky, and rarely loses their cool and composure. That speaks volumes during the assault on the Archon's flagship, where Ryder slaughters the first kett they see after seeing what they did to the salarians, and the final battle, where the Archon has pissed Ryder off so much that they steamroll through every obstacle thrown in their way. At that point, Ryder doesn't even have SAM and is activating Remnant technology driven by little else besides sheer rage.
- Use Your Head: Ryder can threaten to headbutt one of the krogan guards at the gate of New Tuchanka. Since this is how krogan show who's in charge, it works a lot better than Ryder trying to be civil.
- Walking Armory: Ryder starts out with one melee weapon slot and two gun slots. Two additional gun slots can be unlocked by investing points in one of the Soldier class passives, allowing them to carry up to five weapons into battle. Depending on certain other skill choices, they can even do so without impairing power cooldown times.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Due to the wide variety of sadistic choices they must face throughout their adventure, lots of opportunities arise for Ryder to get called out on decisions they made. What probably hurts most is the reaction of their twin if they previously lied to them about their father's fate on Habitat 7.
- What You Are in the Dark:
- A light-hearted version occurs while investigating Spender's quarters. Ryder can find a ship model that was reported missing sitting in plain view. Whether they take it for themselves is up to the player.
- A not-so-lighthearted instance occurs on Kadara, when Ryder sees a sniper aiming at Sloane. They can choose to intervene, and save Sloane, or do nothing and let her get killed, and no-one would know.
- Another morally ambiguous example occurs at the end of Drack's loyalty mission where he has Aroane at his mercy while dangling him over a Bottomless Pit. Ryder can tell him to save Aroane, or let him give the guy a Disney Villain Death. The latter option makes Ryder complicit in plain cold-blooded murder no matter how much Aroane deserved it, and there's nobody outside the Tempest crew who'll ever find out. It doesn't even complicate the Spender investigation at all.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: The emotional response option (upper left corner on the wheel) will often have Ryder express their amazement at the wonders of their new home, as well as their hope in a bright future of peace and prosperity for everyone. It's up to the player to make that dream come true.
- You Are in Command Now: Neither Sara nor Scott were in line for succeeding the human Pathfinder in case things go south. That was to be Cora's honor, but circumstances force Alec Ryder to transfer the title to his child instead. Much of the early game does a good job at demonstrating how difficult it would be for a relatively untrained and inexperienced person to be burdened with such an enormous responsibility - self-doubts, lots of folks not taking you seriously or doubting your suitability, others begrudging you being something you never asked to be. It takes a lot of effort to convince both Sara/Scott and the rest of the Initiative that Alec made the right call in naming his kid the new Pathfinder.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Because of the time and distance of the trip to the Andromeda galaxy, Ryder must carve out a new home for the explorers there. Depending on dialogue choices, Ryder can either say they do miss home, or just brush it off completely.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Says this almost verbatim at the beginning of the pit fight at New Tuchanka when they learn that the Fiend they're supposed to battle unexpectedly brought two buddies with it, and they must be fought all at once.
- Younger and Hipper: Mac Walters designed Ryder with the intention to have them be more relatable to the game's target audience, at least in comparison to 29 to 31 year old Commander Shepard. Rather than being a weathered, experienced military commander, Ryder's a comparatively green soldier, 22 years old, who has yet to earn their place.
- I'll let you get back to it.