Mass Effect’s continued Geth storyline the “trade off” for missing Rachni plot

Wednesday, 10th April 2013 03:23 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Mass Effect series was supposed to have more content focused on the Rachni race, but plans went awry in order to continue the story of the Geth. Spoilers for the series within.

Drew Karpyshyn, one of the original Mass Effect project leaders and key writer of the first game, told Kotaku that the Rachni had to take a back seat.

“The Rachni choice is something we really wanted to have massive repercussions down the road. Unfortunately, the realities of working in the industry – schedules and budgets and deadlines – mean that we can’t do everything we want to do,” he said.

“I will say one of the ways we tried to offset that was with the inclusion of the Geths and the Geth party member that came in Mass Effect 2, was Legion.

“He was never originally planned and the Geth were going to be sort of pushed to the side. But people really responded to them. We wanted to explore the Geths and that was one of the tradeoffs of not doing more with the Rachni.”

In the first Mass Effect, players have the choice of killing off the last Rachni or accepting her promise of peace and let her go freely into space, presumably to proliferate her species.

Apart from a brief mention in Mass Effect 3 of friendly Rachni troops in the final battle against the reapers, and in the occasional bit of media chatter, this choice has little effect on the RPG series’s conclusion; the Rachni turn up regardless, among the Reaper forces.



  1. rusty_shackleford

    the rachni plot was the coolest, most mysterious part of the first mass effect game and I got bored of #2 and never tried #3, glad to see I didn’t miss anything interesting.

    how can the extinction of a race that almost conquered the galaxy be a side plot you just dump?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Brenna Hillier

    Yeah, i was heck disappointed, personally. But really, when the two options were “race is extinct” and “race is not extinct” I don’t see how they could have moved forward without making the choice feel meaningless – which happened in ME3 anyway, I guess.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. roadkill

    Well, it would have been cool to include both races. The geth were awesome but I can’t shake the feeling that the rachni could have been awesome as well. Drew could have made that possible. His writing is incredible. I enjoyed his Mass Effect books very very much.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    I mean, it’s not like an army of sapient insects hasn’t been done a billion times before, is it? It’s not like we haven’t explored that in every medium under the sun. It’s not like one of the most well known sci-fi films of all time dealt with this phenomenon, is it?


    The insect swarm is one of the most troped things in sci-fi. Whereas the geth were handled brilliantly and railed against the usual handling of AI in sci-fi. They were sympathetic machines, but machines that weren’t easily anthropomorphised as they don’t have individuality in the way we do. If I had any way to describe them, they were sympathetic borg. The more pacifistic but somewhat neurotic (afraid of organics) nature of the orthodox geth versus the rebellious nature of the heretics was fascinating. Plus, it was amusing how much of how the geth turned out was due to bad parenting thanks to the quarians.

    It was a genuinely refreshing take on AI. EDI was unusual, too. The game would have been less without them.

    I know, I know. The mainstream loves to retread old ground. You want it to be aliens again. You want it to be space marines again. You want it to be the same old damned thing repeated time and again. But let the people who actually suffer with repetition have this, eh? The geth were unique and brilliant, aesthetically and in regards to their story.

    Yes, yes, that they were unique bothers people. Swarm of insects is SO better. I get it. But gods damn, let’s have some uniqueness in our CREATIVE FICTION. Please? A little bit?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. zinc

    Bullshit. The reality of turning Mass Effect into a *proper* 3rd person shooter, with a crowd pleasing multiplayer is more likely what led to their exclusion.

    Mass Effect 3 is such a on the rails linear shooter, it depresses me. Yeah, my plastic Barbie doll Shepard & co, can roll around like hamsters on coffee, but it doesn’t distract from the fact the plot is lacking. The characters are lacking, the locations are lacking and not one previous decision makes one bit of difference to the end.

    But hey, Bioware can’t be expected to throw in divergent plot strands, when they have EA demanding MP to ensure people buy day-one and not wait for a second hand copy right?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. freedoms_stain

    “Apart from a brief mention in Mass Effect 3 of friendly Rachni troops in the final battle against the reapers” Oh yeah? I let that bitch live and her Rachni ate most of my Engineering corp.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. LilyxLightning

    The article is not quite accurate (as in, really not accurate at all) regarding the role of the rachni in Mass Effect 3.

    ** Spoilers, obviously **

    In Mass Effect 3, one optional mission involves investigating a rachni presence detected by krogan scouts. After fighting your way through Reaper forces, including Reaper-converted rachni (Ravagers, who appear as part of Reaper forces in later missions), you discover the source of the rachni.

    If you spared the queen in ME1, you find the same queen, who had been captured by the Reapers. If you killed the queen in ME1, then you find an artificial rachni breeder created by the Reapers, who possesses a significantly-different (and quite warped) personality than the real rachni queen. You’re given the option to sacrifice the krogan team that you meet on the mission in order to rescue the queen/breeder, giving you the rachni War Asset as they join the effort of constructing the Crucible. However, if you rescued the artificial breeder, then later on, you learn that the rachni went berserk and turned on the other engineers—this results in not only losing the rachni War Asset but also a significant reduction of the Alliance Engineering Corps War Asset.

    The people who whine about choice being meaningless in ME3 are the ones who haven’t bothered to do an iota of research on various outcomes based on your choices.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Agt_Pendergast

    @ #7: I’m sure that’s what the fans were looking forward to. Having all their choices basically turned into numbers for some meaningless war assets score.

    #8 2 years ago

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