My friends, money can buy you love. Or it can over at the BioWare store, anyway, where you can currently pick up a framed version of that picture of Tali from the end of Mass Effect 3 (spotted by Kotaku), the one she only gives you if you chose to romance her. For the low, low cost of $30, you can possess a portrait for your mantelpiece that will raise the eyebrows of visitors for years to come.
Here's the problem for me, though: It's the wrong one. The Tali portrait in the BioWare store uses the picture from Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, an original artwork that replaced the lightly edited, controversy-generating stock photo from the original ME3: "attractive woman in field smiling with sunset".
While you'll never catch me yucking anyone's yum in these hallowed pages, I have to confess that buying a framed portrait of my videogame girlfriend holds no appeal for me (but if you fancy it, hey, live your truth). But the notion of BioWare selling a fully dolled-up version of that stock photo everyone hated is very funny to me—certainly funny enough to buy as a surprise gift for my Tali-romancing friends—and I'm sad it's not an option.
But alas, it's not to be. Perhaps I can console myself with the little morsel of lore in the photo's description. You can find a letter from Tali to Shepard on the BioWare store page, the full text of which reads:
As you may remember, I presented this picture frame to you as a gift on the Normandy. It was my way of expressing my admiration for you and our bond as comrades-in-arms. On the back of the metal frame, I've emblazoned a promise that will never fade - 'Shepard, wherever you go, I'm with you.'
I know it's not much, but...this is what I look like under the mask. I'm sorry if it's not what you were expecting. I know Quarian faces can be a bit...different. Every time you look at my picture, I hope you will be reminded of our adventures on the Normandy, from our battles against the Reapers to our intimate conversations in the privacy of our quarters.
I am not one to express my emotions openly, but thank you for being my friend, my confidante, and my inspiration. I look forward to many more adventures together.
Given that (spoilers for ME3) my Shepard's consciousness is currently scattered across the void of space so as to unite organic and synthetic beings into a new, higher order of being, they probably won't be enjoying that many more adventures with poor, dear Tali, but I suppose it's the thought that counts.