Former Mass Effect lead writer was 'blindsided' by the deep thirst for Garrus

Garrus Vakarian
(Image credit: EA)
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Everyone has their favorite Mass Effect companions. Personally, I liked to roll with Wrex and Zaeed; others prefer Jack, Legion, or Thane. There are probably even a few who have fond memories of poor Jacob. There's only one companion who seems to have universal appeal: Brave, tragic former lawman Garrus Vakarian.

It all seems obvious now—Garrus took an easy first place in our Mass Effect companions ranking (opens in new tab), Garrus body pillows are not just real (opens in new tab) but really hard to keep in stock (opens in new tab), and the page URL for our deep-dive into why he's so great is literally, uhh, "garrus-vakarian-smooches (opens in new tab)." But that wasn't always the case. In fact, Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer on the first two Mass Effect games, said during an AMA on Reddit (opens in new tab) that nobody saw the deep Garrus thirst coming.

"We always knew they'd come back as companions," Karpyshyn said when asked about how Garrus and Tali came into shape as romance options in Mass Effect 2. "I was a bit surprised fans wanted the romance options. Tali I could sort of see... you never saw her face, so it was easy to imagine something vaguely human. (But she had those weird feet!) Garrus blindsided me—but once we saw what fans wanted, we decided to deliver!"

Unfortunately for the truly dedicated Garrus shippers out there, while romance is on the table, a gaggle of baby half-Turians is not. Karpyshyn said he's not sure what the "official" BioWare position is these days—he left BioWare (opens in new tab), for the second time, in 2018—but in his opinion, inter-species reproduction "wouldn't be possible."

"The various species in Mass Effect are too biologically different to breed with each other," he wrote. "Except Asari, of course... it's part of what made them unique. But that's just my personal take; I don't work on the series anymore so if BioWare wants to have Turi-quar babies, that's their choice."

Karpyshyn covers a lot of ground in the AMA including his own favorite Mass Effect character (no spoilers, but it's not a companion) and why he hopes Mass Effect is never made into a movie. He dips into other topics including the Knights of the Old Republic games, his Star Wars novels, his new novel Time Kings of Las Vegas, and how he got started in the business. All in all, it's a fun read—you can catch the rest of his responses on Reddit (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.