similarities and comparison between Mass Effect and Star Trek

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Brie, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Brie

    Brie Commander Red Shirt

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    Unsure whether this would fit better in the gaming or in misc. trek, so if it would fit better in a different section feel free to move it.

    I have searched high and low for a thread about this and haven't been able to find one, which surprises me because there are MANY similarities.

    I recently started playing the mass effect series (again for the 4th time) thanks to the new trailer for Andromeda, and I started to notice that there were a surprising amount of references and similarities between mass effect and Trek and I wanted to know if you all have caught any.

    The one that stuck out the most in my head was in the first game when you go against matriarch Benezia you might recognize her voice as the voice of Marina Sirtis who plays counselor troy, well once the battle ends and she ****SPOILER**** dies, she says one final phrase which is " goodbye little wing I have always been proud of you" well if you are a person like me I immediately made the realization that Marina was referencing TNG and her mother from the series. Frequently her mother calls her "little one" and it was confirmed by Marina that it was purposeful. Obviously they tend to use famous voice actors and sometimes they reference the things they are known for, like the voice actress who plays Azula from Avatar The Last Airbender being a back stabbing character in the Mass Effect games. Hell even the obscure movie "Moon" makes a reference (I think in part to Clint Mansell being the musical contributor to both) with the vehicles in the movie being almost identical to the Mako in Mass Effect. But back on topic other Trek references I have noticed is some of the aliens being slightly similar to others from Trek, and the overwhelming anti-alien rhetoric that both reference often (and those characters usually in both Trek and ME get over it) also the planets, sometimes (either by name or look) are similar to Trek worlds.

    So my big question is what other similarities between Trek and Mass Effect have you noticed? I know there's more but I get so caught up in game play I don't catch them all

    Also please excuse any spelling errors my keyboard is dying and does not like to work sometimes
     
  2. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The developers have always been upfront about Star Trek being *one* of the major influences behind ME (along with Star Wars and a whole bunch of literary sci-fi.)

    Sure you could puck apart the superficial detain (It has a ship! With a captain! And they go to planets! etc.) and the intentional references, easter eggs and cast members from well known franchises (*cough*Claudia Black*cough*) but I think it'd be more meaningful to look at some of the underlying themes that appear to be borrowed from Star Trek.

    Specifically (at least in the first game) there's a strong focus on exploration, the diverse crew (gender & species wise at least, not that I thing about it, in ME1 Anderson was about the only non-white human on the Normandy.) The now iconic Bioware conversation system lent itself well to diplomatic solutions (though gunfire was still almost always an option.) And of course the is a certain degree of optimism about the future, re-enforced by the (very Sid Mead-esq) sleek, clean yet functional design aesthetic. Which was also the intent (albeit in a different style) of Matt Jefferies's approach to the designs.

    That all said, I'd say Star Trek makes up about only 30% of ME's DNA, with another 30% of Star Wars and the rest being a mixed bag of just about everything from Blade Runner to Battlestar to Babylon 5 and beyond.
     
  3. Brie

    Brie Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not debating that it played a part they admit that openly just as they do with other franchises as you pointed out. All I'm asking us if anyone caught any more trek "Easter eggs" or out right comparisons
     
  4. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    Of course BioWare were heavily, heavily Trek influenced when they finally got to create a proprietary sci-fi IP.

    Subjectively, I'd even say there's more (details-first) Trek DNA in ME than there is Star Wars (drama-first). Just look at the Codex entries for why there is infinite ammo in ME1 - that's pure details-first Trek.

    What gets me is that what I loved about the first Mass Effect was that it wasn't anthropocentric at all and in that way it was like Star Trek, only "better"*. Humanity was portrayed as an important (upstart) civilization on a galactic scale, but only one of many and absolutely not a Milky Way "superpower" the way the human-centric Federation is in Trek.

    Then the ME2 ending happened, and well, yeah.

    *[well, "better" in that it was more like I would have wanted Trek to be - we don't need to talk about the production and marketing realities behind Trek being anthropocentric, the reasons for which are well-known)]
     
  5. Brie

    Brie Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah I liked the first one when it came to weapon design cuz it was similar to a rail gun where ammo is basically unlimited until it overheats (very Star Trek like) but yeah then it became a "we are better that everyone" idea
     
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  6. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    I think a Star Trek like aspect that also was done pretty well in ME was inter-species diplomacy, which is one of my favorite aspects of ME3 despite all its narrative flaws - actually uniting the species of the galaxy (depending on your choices and your character's disposition) against a common threat.
     
  7. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Personally i don't see that much similarities between Trek and ME. ME is a science fiction action adventure so of course there will be some similiarities (space ships, aliens, futuristic design etc) and given the realities of production it's an obvious choice to get genre actors and fan favorites to do some of these voices.

    However i think the similarities end there mostly.. ME is an action game focused on a military mission to gather information about an upcoming enemy. Exploration is not done for exploration and scientific knowledge gathering but with a purely military focus.

    Star Trek is much more philosophical in nature, a What If people would get along and started to work together for the benefit of everybody. They only fought if they had no other choice and there were few existence threatening enemies in Star Trek (even the Borg paled in comparison to the Reapers).

    ME is Space Opera, much closer to Star Wars than it is to Star Trek in my opinion.
     
  8. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

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    The world building between Star Trek and Mass Effect are similar.

    Culturally and in terms of storyline style I'd compare ME more to Babylon 5 than Star Wars or Star Trek. It focuses more on cultures than powerful individuals, and diplomacy is presented as more an option than in Star Wars, but less an imperative than in Star Trek.
     
  9. Evil Twin

    Evil Twin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I find Mass Effect has way more in common with Babylon 5 than Star Trek. Mass relays -> jump gates, the Citadel - > Babylon 5 itself, the First Contact War -> the Earth-Minbari war, the Systems Alliance and Earth Force are both more militaristic than Starfleet, etc.

    And of course the Quarians and Geth are directly taken from Battlestar Galactica.