It’s no secret that people love Bioware games (myself included). Now, while they love the heartfelt stories, dynamic characters, satisfying combat, interesting worlds, and the romance, there’s also one other aspect that keeps fans coming back for more: the humor.
Bioware games LOVE to poke fun at themselves, to the point where you can find a poem in Dragon Age: Origins entirely about the long elevator rides in Mass Effect 1. The poem is found at a bridge in the Dead Trenches area of Orzammar and the sheer annoyed tone of the poem sums up my annoyance towards Orzammar. I mean come on, I have to save the world, ain’t nobody got time for your politics and deep roads. Also, you have to remember that one of the writers was sitting there writing out an entire poem that you may never read in the game just to get that one piece of comedy gold out there.
In Mass Effect, however, that hilarity often expands past easter eggs like that and more into the characters themselves. This is because Mass Effect has always been less open world than Dragon Age, so instead of funny poems, you run into ridiculous conversations that make the games all the more endearing. What makes the humor work so well is that the characters themselves aren’t trying to be funny, yet are. And that levity makes the world and characters richer.
4) Conrad Verner
In the first game, if you decide to run up to the Upper Markets of the Wards in the Citadel, you can meet the well-meaning fan, Conrad Verner. He’s in love with everything Commander Shepard and wants your autograph to show his wife that he met you. Conrad is basically the Helga Pataki to your Arnold. The player can choose to indulge his weird fantasies or just be a total butt about it all. I don’t recommend the latter option because for very sad reasons, you don’t get to see his shenanigans in the later games and you definitely want that. He cannot stop getting himself into trouble and Shepard has to continue to set him straight. I mean, don’t you want to know about the mysterious wife (hint: she doesn’t exist)?
3) EDI Trying to Tell Jokes
In Mass Effect 2, you obtain an all new Normandy (aptly named the SR-2) and with that comes your new A.I. interface, the Enhanced Defense Intelligence a.k.a. EDI. In the beginning, she has behavioral blocks in place that stop her from becoming self-aware but later on, while playing Joker, you disable that and give her controls to save everyone on the Normandy. After this, she develops her own unique personality and tries to tell jokes, badly and usually at the worst times. Just to give you a taste:
2) Blasto the Hanar
While the Elcor get their own production of Hamlet, one Hanar by the name of Blasto, gets his own action movie franchise by the time of Mass Effect 2. First off, most Hanar you meet in the game are rather docile and not very apt for violence or fighting of any kind, which is what makes the fact that Blasto gets SEVEN movies a little ridiculous. Second off, what makes this even more ridiculous is that by Mass Effect 3: Citadel, you find out that they’ve been exploiting everything you’ve done as Commander Shepard and you get to star in a scene with Blasto and Javik. My personal favorite line is when you agree to do this, Blasto states that “this one does not share top billing.” It’s even greater that your paragon options are to completely overshadow his acting and be the real hero.
Grunt (the one falling out of a window) is a companion, who you obtain in Mass Effect 2 and is a lab-bread Krogan who has no idea how the world works outside of what he was taught in the lab and that’s mostly how to kill. So, Commander Shepard basically becomes his parent and has to teach him how to do things that aren’t mindless killing. Part of the fun with him is that when you get the Shadowbroker downloadable content (DLC), you can see his past Extranet (the internet in this universe) search history and most of it starts off super intelligent and then it just devolves into “sharks” or “dinosaurs.” Then with the Citadel DLC, you can get most of your companions wasted but nothing compares to hungover Grunt in the shower yelling “DAMN YOUR LETTUCE.” And to top it off, he’s voiced by Steve Blum (who some of you may remember as Oghren in Dragon Age: Origins).
And since you’ve been such good sports and have read this far. Here’s a bonus video of the terrible, terrible dancing:
Blog Image Credits: Bioware/EA.