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Mass Effect: Andromeda Essays

Essays 04 September 2015, 11:12

author: Meehow

The Ark Theory: Does Mass Effect: Andromeda feature a galactic exodus?

We may not know much about the latest installment of Mass Effect series, but that doesn’t stop the fans from coming up with theories concerning its contents. One of the most interesting among them is the one that involves something called the Ark.

Table of Contents

Dreaming of Andromeda

Taking into account all of the above, a journey to the Andromeda galaxy by conventional methods is not necessarily an impossible, but a more or less pointless option. In search of an alternative we return to the mass relay technology which allows ships to move across hundreds, thousands or possibly even dozens of thousands of light years. During the events of Mass Effect trilogy we’ve seen some unusual relays, including the Omega-4 relay which allowed for a safe journey to the center of the galaxy, barely inches (on the galactic scale) away from a supermassive black hole. If building a relay capable of such precision is possible, why building a super-relay offering ultra long range travel wouldn’t? This somewhat rhetorical question will mark the beginning of our analysis of the Ark Theory.

What is the purpose of this mysterious structure? - 2015-09-04
What is the purpose of this mysterious structure?

Reddit user NeroJoe is one of the prominent co-authors of the Ark Theory. He created a speculative timeline that follows the main Mass Effect chronology but, at the same time, includes facts about an enigmatic mass relay (or a similar device), known as the Ark, which leads to the Andromeda galaxy. One of the theory’s strong points is that it allows for a completely new story without the necessity to canonize any of the Mass Effect 3’s endings. That solution would be perfectly matched with the declaration Aaron Flynn, the chief of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal divisions, made, concerning the developer team’s idea for a continuation that would be connected to the previous installments while being an independent story at the same time. But let’s start from the beginning.

The beginnings of the Ark Theory reach back to the 2014 E3 presentation of the fourth installment of Mass Effect; the title Andromeda had yet to be revealed at the time. The first version of the theory was based on the assumption that some refugees from the council races fled from the Milky Way to the Andromeda galaxy on a colossal spaceship called the Ark. The idea originated from the notion that the galaxy map visible on the trailer looked differently than the one we’ve seen before. The fan community, however, remained mostly skeptical, and for good reasons, (compare with the “Galactic exile” section) leading the early Ark Theory to a death in obscurity, in contrast with the highly popular Indoctrination Theory which originated around the same point in time.

When this year’s E3 brought us the official announcement of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the Ark Theory returned from the dead. The announcement proved some of the previously leaked information and rumors to be highly possible if not outright true. The next thing came soon after via BioWare workers’ Twitter accounts – photos showing T-shirts with a mysterious “ARKCON Pathfinder Initiative” logo (ARKCON may be an acronym but we don’t know that for sure yet). This would correspond to the information included in an alleged survey BioWare circulated to a certain number of people. If that’s not enough for you, take note that the same logo appears in the background of the official website.

One of the key factors that forced major changes in the Ark Theory is the concept art visible above, published to commemorate the N7 Day in November 2014. According to the new, modified theory what we see in that picture is not a space station but a gigantic mass relay of unknown origin. When you look at its architecture, it certainly seems possible (notice the shining energy field) and it does bear some resemblance to the abovementioned ARKCON logo. Of course, there’s always an option that the Ark Theory’s followers are just following someone’s suggestions but for now, let’s concentrate on the details.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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