- Actor Allusion:
- The krogan are very similar to Klingons. It's no surprise then that Wrex's adviser Gatatog Uvenk is voiced by an actor famous for playing a Klingon.
- Kal'Reegar, the quarian you meet before facing the Geth Colossus, concerns himself less with politicking and more with shooting, just like another character played by Adam Baldwin.
- Miranda, the Cerberus Femme Fatale, is voiced by (and modeled after) Adam Baldwin's co-star from Chuck, Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Sarah Walker, a CIA Femme Fatale.
- Steve Blum plays a strong, deadly, artificially created, technically newborn lizard warrior with a childlike (for his species) demeanor, a love for battle and an Undying Loyalty to his human master. Just like Guilmon.
- Mordin's actor really did perform Gilbert and Sullivan.
- One of the ways EDI messes with Joker when Shepard talks with the latter is to move his chair around a few times. One of the gags in Austin Powers was when Dr. Evil's chair went out of control and spun him around. Although Seth Green's character in the movies didn't have that happen to him then.
- Ali Hillis plays Liara who comes off as cold and ruthless, traverses a place with lightning all around to get to a person named Feron, then defrosts after it is over. Hmm, Lightning and Feron! Where have we heard those phrases before?
- Ascended Fanon: BioWare's response to Garrus' and Tali's popularity and the fans' desire to have them romance options.
- Executive Meddling: Ahead of the anniversary re-release, a dev on Twitter revealed that there were originally two additional same-sex romance options in the game (between Fem Shep/Jack and Man Shep/Jacob). It got far enough into development that the scenes between them were fully animated before the decision was made to cut them, citing fear of boycotts from Heteronormative Crusader groups.
- Fan Nickname:
- The game that gave birth to Garrus being called Space Batman.
- SuZe was Jack's nickname before people knew it was "Jack". Short for "Subject Zero". It's fallen out of use now, probably because hardly anyone in the game calls her "Subject Zero." For good reason.
- There are some who call The Illusive Man... TIM.
- The Virmire Survivor for Kaidan/Ashley, which is typically used by fans to refer to the role the surviving one of the two plays in 2 or 3, unless talking about a specific one.
- Meme Acknowledgment: BioWare merchandising produced shirts for the "Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest sonofabitch in space!" and "I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite store on the Citadel" memes.
- The Other Darrin:
- The voice for the man trying to get a refund from the turian shopkeeper on the Citadel doesn't sound anything like it did in the first game. If he didn't specifically mention that he'd been trying to get a refund for two years, most players probably wouldn't have noticed it was him.
- Mordin is the only major character to switch voice actor between games. Few noticed the difference.
- Playing Against Type:
- Martin Sheen as the Illusive Man.
- Carrie-Anne Moss as Aria.
- Though... acting cool and sarcastic in a nightclub while she waits around for Our Hero? Not much of a stretch.
- Kal'Reegar is a much more open-minded, upstanding character than some of Adam Baldwin's more notable roles, standing in sharp contrast to Chuck and his parts in the Whedon universe.
- Pre-Order Bonus: If you pre-ordered at GameStop, you get a M-490 Blackstorm heavy weaponnote and the Terminus Armor, and if you pre-ordered at EBGames, you get the Inferno Armor. However, the Inferno Armor is now available as part of the Equalizer Pack DLC, and the Terminus Armor and Blackstorm weapon are available as free DLC.
- Relationship Voice Actor:
- Serendipity Writes the Plot:
- Many characters, especially Legion, have dialog for missions that happen long before you are able to recruit them. It's speculated that the game was originally much more open when it came to recruiting people and the space limitations of the Xbox 360's DVD drive forced BioWare to break things up.
- The characters who might have died in the first game—like Wrex, the Citadel Council, and either Kaidan or Ashley—notably get Demoted to Extra in this game if they survived. This was apparently so that the developers wouldn't have to devote too much disc space to accommodating the first game's various Multiple Endings, and so that there wouldn't be even more branching story-lines in Mass Effect 3.
- Star-Making Role: Legion is one of two roles that made a star out of D.C. Douglas, the other being Albert Wesker.
- Talking to Himself: Niftu Cal and male Shepard are voiced by Mark Meer.
- Throw It In!: Michael Beattie, Mordin's voice actor, came up with the idea of sharply breathing between sentences. It's now considered one of Mordin's defining characteristics.
- What Could Have Been: The Mass Effect Wiki has a comprehensive list. Some examples:
- Cut content from the Firewalker DLC reveals that one of the scientists you're trying to find was a minor NPC from the first game on Eden Prime, the one who was "raving".
- Unimplemented content, pre-release posts on Weekes's dev blog, and other leaks indicate that Tali, Miranda and Thane could be romanced by Shepards of either gender in earlier development. In the final product, the most visible remainder of this is that most of Tali's lines are the same for both Shepards, which are clearly intended to nudge the player to a romance with her. Female Shepard can even attempt to initiate a romance with Tali, but she will dodge the issue.
- Similarly, Kenneth and Gabriella were meant to be romanceable like Kelly.
- Character recruitment was originally intended to be much more open-ended, and modding your save file to add party members before you should be able to recruit them will let you hear their dialog for earlier circumstances, such as taking Legion to Purgatory. This likely changed because of the late decision to split the Xbox 360 version of the game into two discs; the forced recruitment progression funnels the player along a path that's not entirely linear, but predictable enough to split the game with.
- A few leftover voice recordings in the released game indicated that Liara was initially intended to have a much deeper and longer storyline which was later made a reality with the DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker.
- Early video previews showed more involved gun mechanics; weapons would cool down on their own à la the first game, with ejectable thermal clips as a "need More Dakka right this second" option. Specialized ammunition was shown to be a consumable resource instead of a passive ability and as such could be turned on or off at will.
- Going through the dialogue and screen text files reveals that several of the loyalty missions originally had very different plots:"Bored with being the galaxy's top bounty hunter, Zaeed's also exhausted by up-and-comers seeking a rep written in his blood. Now he's learned that the second-best bounty hunter has gone corporate, and job one is to kill Zaeed. Zaeed's plan: wipe them out first... with extreme prejudice."
"You helped Zaeed fake his own death, and he's grateful."
"Kasumi revealed that Nava Corp has designed and is about to unleash tailored bio-viruses against the citizens of the Alliance. Only Nava Corp possesses the vaccines. Kasumi needs you to help stop Nava Corp permanently."
- Mordin was initially intended to be biotic. One correct choice for maintaining Biotic Barrier during suicide mission. Dummied Out content lampshaded by Jack in ME3. Claims Mordin could have protected the party from seekers by incessant babbling. Also, initially would have come into conflict with Grunt. The two have next to no problems with each other.
- A cut sidequest in ME2 originally had Shepard forced to find some red sand for Jack, due the fact that Cerberus experimentation meant that red sand was the only thing that could help her sleep without levitating everything in the room.
- All post-Horizon squadmates have hidden dialogue for earlier in the game, but Legion came off a bit worse than Tali, Thane or Samara.
- Jack was originally meant to be pansexual and romanceable by Shepherd regardless of gender, while Jacob was specifically imagined as a gay man and potential love interest for Man Shep. Their respective routes were far enough in development to be fully animated before being cut (see Executive Meddling, above), and Jack and Jacob's romance routes were repurposed to permit different-sex relationships only.
Trivia / Mass Effect 2