In Mass Effect, Mars has always been fictionalized as an exotic frontier world, but in 2183 it is just the humble backyard of the Systems Alliance.
the Mass Effect The games visit many alien and alien worlds during Commander Shepard’s quest to save the galaxy, from the biotic-rich Asari world of Thessia to the lush jungles of Sur’Kesh and beyond. But what about the planet Mars, one of Earth’s neighbors in the solar system? Well, the fate of Mars is unusual.
For centuries, humanity has placed great importance on Mars, as the Romans saw it as a god of war, hence its name. Early modern humans believed that this world may be home to aliens building canals that would invade Earth with terrifying weapons of war on tripods, but in reality, Mars is a rather mundane world. In fact, by Shepard’s time, it’s downright forgettable.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
The Development of Planet Mars: Lowell City and the Prothean Archives
Humanity has long dreamed of colonizing other worlds and moons, with Mars being a prime candidate due to its proximity to Earth and its relatively safe environment (although its dust and weak atmosphere are of concern). Mankind’s dream was finally realized decades later in 2103, when the United Alliance of Systems founded colonies on the Red Planet, establishing Lowell City as its capital (named after Percival Lowell, convinced that aliens there lived). The settlers soon stumbled upon an incredible secret: the Prothean archives, remnants of days gone by of the incredible Prothean empire.
This was humanity’s first indirect encounter with extraterrestrial life, and the mythical Protheans quickly became a subject of great interest to the Young Alliance. The colonists and scientists of Mars have studied the archives in detail and in doing so uncovered incredible technological secrets that have accelerated the growth of mankind. It was much similar to how a hidden Prothean beacon allowed the Asari to flourish on distant Thessia.
In this way, Mars was a vital planet for the Alliance’s initial growth, and it could have rivaled Earth in terms of population alongside economic and political influence at this rate. But the fate of Mars was changed when mankind further explored the solar system and found the mass relay, an even more significant discovery. Mass relay allowed the Alliance to quickly and easily visit other systems and clusters for exploration, mining, and settlement purposes, and Mars quickly became obsolete. Of course, Mars was not entirely abandoned and in 2183 it had over three million inhabitants. But Mars’ fate of becoming the ultimate space frontier has been lost with the advent of mass relay technology and alien worlds, and the growth of Mars has therefore slowed a lot.
By the 2180s, Mars had become one of many human colony worlds, and Mars’ only claim to fame was to house a Prothean archive that enriched humanity’s technological base. Once romanticized as a god of war or the ultimate world of the colonies, Mars quickly became just another human planet, commonplace in Shepard’s time. Then the Reaper fleets arrived.
When Shepard, Liara, and Cerberus cross paths on Mars
During the first two Mass Effect games, Commander Shepard rarely visited the solar system, but the Commander was there when Reaper’s fleets came in force, and the Commander narrowly escaped Earth aboard the Normandy SR-2. Almost immediately, Shepard was given a mission: to visit Mars and examine the Prothean records, and see if there is any clue as to how to defeat the Reapers. As a reinstated Alliance soldier, Shepard immediately obeyed the order and took a team from the planet’s side to begin the operation. Cerberus’s troops were there, and they had slaughtered everyone at the Mars Research Station mercilessly.
Shepard and the team fought in Cerberus and made progress, and they even met a familiar face: Liara T’Soni, the new Shadow Broker. It was a pleasant surprise. Liara was there for the same reason Shepard was: to find a clue on how to fight the Reapers. She found the solution, a Prothean project called the Crucible.
It was a huge find, but Cerberus wanted it too, and robotic Dr. Eva Core swept the Crucible Plan and almost escaped with them until James Vega, a new soldier on Shepard’s team. , crushes his Kodiak shuttle in Dr. Core’s to stop him. to flee from Mars. Once Dr. Core was subdued, Shepard recovered the plans from Crucible, and the team hastily escaped Mars when the Reaper fleets arrived.
Mars had fallen into the hands of both Cerberus and the Reapers. But it yielded plans that would change the future of the entire galaxy, just as its records changed the fate of humanity decades earlier. The humble Red Planet was not yet finished serving the Alliance, it seemed.
KEEP READING: 5 Sci-Fi Games To Try After Playing Mass Effect
Resident Evil Village: How to Navigate the Reservoir and Escape Moreau
About the Author