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Fanfic / Mesozoic Effect

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Mesozoic Effect is a Mass Effect fanfic that takes the idea that Everything's Better With Dinosaurs and applies it to the Mass Effect universe. It is written by the same person who did Shepherd of the Stars, but goes in a very different direction.

In 2124, a dig in Canada's Dinosaur Provincial Park finds the discovery of the millennium: a huge underground chamber containing thousands of cryonically frozen dinosaurs. When the chamber's systems awaken the sleeping creatures, humanity gets another shock: dinosaurs are sentient, and have been since the Triassic Period. Their thriving civilization was obliterated not by an asteroid strike but by a mysterious race of mechanical nightmares known to the dinosaurs as the "Architeuthis"...

The story itself kicks off with the Turian invasion of Shanxi, and uses the backdrop of the conflict to explore some of the ways the impending Reaper invasion has shaped the development of the new Pangea Alliance. Notable for portraying the Turians extremely sympathetically, with the First Contact War largely being a case of misunderstandings and best intentions gone wrong. While the story's concept can be described as far-fetched at best, the author has stated it is not intended to be a Crack Fic and the general plot is treated seriously. However, the last update was in July 2015.

For another "Mass Effect meets Dinosaurs" fanfic, see Tyrant Kings (a crossover with the Jurassic Park franchise).


  • Alternate-History Dinosaur Survival: The dinosaurs did not go extinct, but fled into underground chambers during a Reaper invasion and cryogenically froze themselves, thawing out in the 22nd Century.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: Largely averted. Dinosaurs are portrayed realistically, complete with feathers, proper sizes, and realistic abilities. Very much true in the case of their sentience, however.
  • The Berserker: Anyone using one of the Alliance's Berserker Packs turns into one. Word of God states that the effect is identical to the Krogan Rage power in Mass Effect 3, but scaled up for its...somewhat larger users.
  • Carnivore Confusion: A problem for early dinosaur civilization, solved by use of synthetic meat and population control measures. Apparently this discovery was what paved the way for dinosaurs finally becoming Perfect Pacifist People before the Reapers arrived.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Pangea Alliance's weakness. Their technology is extremely advanced, but their ships and defenses are so focused on fighting the Reapers that they have a difficult time adjusting to take on conventional opponents.
  • Dumb Dinos: Averted. The main premise is that dinosaurs and other Mesozoic reptiles are actually super-intelligent, peaceful beings.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Originally constructed to have some place for the billions of new dinosaurs to live, the Pangea Alliance eventually begins constructing geofronts on all of their planetary colonies. They are impressively well-defended.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Strongly averted. The larger dinosaur species are actually more vulnerable than their smaller counterparts because they aren't bulletproof and thus make huge targets. To combat this, they use Powered Armor to effectively turn themselves into Mini-Mecha but still tend to be Glass Cannons.
  • Glass Cannon: Most Pangea Alliance ships fall into this category. Since they couldn't build armor strong enough to hold up against Reaper firepower, they went the other way and traded almost all the armor on their ships for even bigger guns. Averted in the case of their Sky Tyrant dreadnoughts, which are tough.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Earth during the Mesozoic Era, by necessity. Unable to fight the Reapers themselves, the dinosaurs resort to hiding all their extraterrestrial signals and hoping to be overlooked. It worked for quite some time, until the Reapers stumbled onto them at the end of the Cretaceous.
  • Humans Are Warriors: The dinosaurs released a virus as they went into hibernation that was designed to increase aggression and stimulate mental development in mammals. Humans were the end result.
  • Interspecies Romance: Dinosaurs have been dating outside their respective species for millions of years, and see no reason why humans wouldn't also make suitable romantic partners. Ashley Williams is the product of two such unions: she is an Allosaurus, but her mother is a Cetiosaurus and her grandmother is a T. rex.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Played straight. The Pangea Alliance utilizes kinetic weapons almost exclusively, just like the rest of the Mass Effect races.
  • Last of His Kind: Averted. The stasis chamber in Canada is only one of several, and once all of them are discovered the dinosaur population apparently numbers in the billions.
  • Meaningful Name: The human translation of the dinosaurs' name for the Reapers is "Architeuthis". Architeuthis is the scientific name of the real-life Giant Squid genus, and thus alludes to the Cthulhuesquely cephalopodic appearance of the Reapers.
  • Oh, Crap!: Desolas is the first to realize that the 'sacred animals' hanging around the Turian base are actually scouts.
  • Perfect Pacifist People: The dinosaurs prior to their hibernation. By the time they discovered the Reapers' existence, they'd been at peace for so long they no longer remembered how to create weapons.
  • Raptor Attack: Deinonychus commandos, in fact.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Desolas aborts an attack when he realizes the squad he has been prepared to snipe are evacuating the wounded.