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Ride / Mass Effect: New Earth

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Mass Effect: New Earth is a motion simulator ride set in the Mass Effect universe that debuted in May 2016 at the California's Great America theme park in Santa Clara. Riders are ostensibly traveling to the planet Terra Nova for a vacation, when the planet comes under attack by a Reaper. Thankfully, their tour-ship happens to be a decommissioned Geneva-class interplanetary cruiser, and finds some very welcome assistance in the form of the Normandy SR2 and several of the galaxy's most famous heroes aboard her.


The ride includes a mixture of 3D visual and audio effects, as well as the use of smells and tactile sensations and a motion simulator couch for an immersive experience. In addition to prerecorded and prerendered material, an actor portrays the captain of the ship, Conrad Verner, who interacts with the audience, the ship's control panel, and several characters from the Mass Effect series. While the actor's lines are largely scripted, the before-and-after spiel can differ considerably, as does the amount of physicality of the performance.


Mass Effect: New Earth contains examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Shepard is nowhere to be seen, although they are mentioned and the Normandy SR2 is very much present.
  • All There in the Manual: Although the ride is fairly self-explanatory if you're unfamiliar with the Mass Effect universe, and there are artifacts in the line and a video that help establish the setting, knowing the backstory from playing the games adds a lot more flavor to the experience.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Geneva-class tour-ship that the riders board is a decommissioned Alliance cruiser. However, apparently it was "decommissioned" only in name because the thing is still fully-equipped and very capable of taking on a Reaper even with a full passenger roster.
  • Call-Back: A memorial to the victims of the thwarted batarian terrorist attack on Terra Nova from the "Bring Down the Sky" DLC in Mass Effect appears in the line for the ride.
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  • The Con: You've apparently gone on the trip as part of a "marketing presentation" for timeshare property on Terra Nova. The spiel is rudely interrupted by the Reapers before the sales pitch begins.
  • Continuity Snarl: A Reaper attacks Terra Nova, but this takes place before the Reapers' attack on Earth in Mass Effect 3 which is depicted as the first Reaper attack on a human world.
    • Also, for some reason, Garrus Vakarian seems to be in command of the Normandy rather than Commander Shepard. It's possible this is set during the period Shepard was under house arrest after the "Arrival" DLC, but why the Alliance would put a turian in command of their most advanced ships is not made clear.
    • Wrex is apparently part of the Normandy crew as well, since he is driving the Mako (far better than Shepard ever did), rather than uniting the krogan clans on Tuchanka.
      • Also jarring in that it's very possible for Wrex to be dead at this point depending on the player's Mass Effect choices.
    • Conrad Verner moonlights as a pilot for a civilian cruise line. While also pretending to be an N7-rated Alliance soldier and Spectre sometimes. Try not to think too hard about how he does all of this.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Conrad Verner himself. He kills a Reaper, something that only Shepard has been seen to be capable of doing in canon.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Conrad isn't a particularly good driver at the best of times; when the Reaper attacks Terra Nova all hell breaks loose.
    • When Urdnot Wrex takes over piloting the ship, he pilots both the ship (and the Mako) much better... only long enough to get the ship out of immediate danger, when Conrad takes over again and resumes his crazy driving, now also trying to dodge the Reaper's attacks, avoid getting in the way of the Normandy, and avoid crashing into the resort on Terra Nova.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: First you escape from a meteor shower, only to arrive on Terra Nova in time for a Reaper invasion.
    • You evade the Reaper initially, only to be attacked by rachni.
    • Then Wrex rescues you from the rachni, only for you to be drafted into helping the Normandy take down the Reaper.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The ride itself, which has substantial similarities to Star Tours.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Conrad Verner gets to go into combat beside the Normandy, and even scores a Reaper kill!
  • What a Piece of Junk: The line spiel lets you know that the Geneva cruiser you'll be traveling on is an ex-military craft repurposed as a civilian liner. The line spiel doesn't let you know that its military features, including two Thanix cannons, are still installed.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Several actors rotate playing the role of Conrad Verner, since the ride operates continuously without breaks. Most bear little resemblance to how he appears in the video games, or to each other.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: The line spiel video extolling the many attractions of Terra Nova is ominously interrupted by an Alliance News Network report that communications are down with the Asgard system, followed by the Reaper invasion sound effect.