That time Mass Effect made a super hot alien assassin, for the ladies


Mass Effect is a series defined by its characters, most of which you the player have the ability to befriend and/or have sex. Like Thane Krios, an alien assassin who was specifically designed to be utterly irresistible to the fairer sex by a bunch of men who needed to be told that women generally don’t want to have sex with a fish. 

To explain, in the Mass Effect series you can befriend and romance an eclectic series of alien and human characters ranging from a bulletproof bird-man with a robot eye to an near-immortal psionic lesbian with blue skin.

It’s worth noting that all of these romance subplots are totally optional and can be ignored or explored as much as a player wants and that several of them are possible with either a male or female character. However, there are several characters that can only be romanced as a specific gender, which had women feeling kind of left out.

You see, during the production of Mass Effect 2 the team were keen to add more romance options for female players that took advantage of the universe they’d created. Which is the polite way of saying they wanted to add more fuckable alien men to the game. The problem was, a lot of the art team were men and they really had no idea what kind of alien women would want to hook up with. No, really.

Awww yeah. 

For example, when the art team first started designing Thane they initially envisioned him as an eerily perfect mannequin-like bird-man with a massive fuck off face tattoo. A design women in the office immediately vetoed, saying the design was creepy. Which surprised the art team who thought the design looked great.


After this they decided to try and make the character look more like a lizard, which again annoyed women in the office asked for their input on the design. With the overwhelming consensus being that it was kind of shitty to give women the option to romance a weird fish-man given the options men had. A fair point given that one of the male-exclusive romance options in Mass Effect 2 is a literally genetically perfect human woman.

This resulted in the art team going back to the drawing board again, this time using input from actual women who remember gave advice that amounted to “women don’t want to have sex with fish or weirdly perfect mannequin men”.

This advice led to the art team focusing on making Thane look more soulful and brooding rather than an impossibly chiselled badass and paying more attention to things like his posture and clothing. The latter of which they’d never considered as being something women liked and is the reason Thane looks like he just stepped off a space-catwalk.

Advice we can’t believe was needed because we thought it’d be pretty obvious that women find stylish, confident men who can also snap necks and cash cheques attractive but hey, you live and learn.