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Assuming Direct Control

Hey Mass Effect Fans, Bioware Finally Reveals Female Turians

Our much beloved Mass Effect series is set in a lovingly crafted and intricate universe, where an ambitiously large number of alien races coexist (or at the very least tolerate each other as long as they keep out of their space). And gender isn’t an area of which the games are shy, though they’ve done it with a certain economy of character models. One of the biggest exceptions to this has been the absence of female Turians from the game (since Turians are a fundamentally egalitarian and widespread species in the galaxy, where military service for every citizen is seen as a mandatory part of adulthood and a cornerstone of their culture). Today, with the announcement of their latest DLC pack, Omega, they are finally revealed. (One more pic below.)

Here’s what male turians look like, for comparison:

Though many Turians sport, as seen above, elaborate facial markings. Females appear to lack males’ elongated head ridges, but have much more elaborate cheek… extensions?

I like it. Especially after Mass Effect 3‘s art director was quoted as saying “We usually try to avoid the females because what do you do with a female Turian? Do you give her breasts? What do you do? Do you put lipstick on her?“, which seems like a pretty lazy thing to say about a question which is specifically your job to answer. Still, considering the characteristics of their different societies, it’s pretty incredible that we got female Turians after female Krogan.

(via Destructoid.)

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  • Anonymous

    Ah, Garrus. My FemShep will always love you.

  • Anonymous

    Put lipstick on them? Ugh. There are a ton of animals on this globe that have males and females, but when creating an alien race, they can’t fathom that a female version of their aliens exist without falling back on modern human conventions? Fire them plz.

  • Anonymous

    I would have loved to see this before BioWare completely ruined all interest I will ever have in the Mass Effect franchise. Nice to know their artists are just as lazy as their writers though!

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I *loathed* that comment when I read it. I love Mass Effect, warts and all, but I’m not going to pretend like it didn’t have some severe mainstream sensibilities when it came to its women (ex: women squadmates must be thin, busty and in sexy outfits, the only women aliens you really see for the first two games are extremely humanoid as well as thin and busty, etc).

    They can come up with squid-like beetle robot monsters from dark space, plant horrors that create zombie-like hosts through spores and turtle-lizard warriors, but the second they’re asked to create an alien race that doesn’t conform to a basic gender binary/visual palette, THAT’S TOO HARD. WOMEN ARE DEFINED BY LIPSTICK AND BOOBIES. HEELS AND EYELASHES IF I AM FEELING EDGY.


    I mean, look at that turian woman. She looks totally awesome.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    And not just males and females, but gender that blurs along the line. I’m reminded of this neat little art series that’s been making rounds on Tumblr about all the different genders/gender roles in the animal kingdom.

    There’s so much inspiration just right THERE. And we get the ‘lipstick’ comment.

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, the Mass Effect series is extremely well written, it was just one goddamn ego-tripping asshole who booted out all the other writers and came up with that crack-ass ending by himself and one other dude who liked it. But at least the “Mass” fallout will show him a thing or two…hopefully… -_-

  • Anonymous

    But Garrus says lady turians have fringes! :(

  • SpammyV

    Does… does she have eyelashes? And if the longer cheek-extensions are a female trait, then why did Saren have them?

  • Kathryn

    Well, the thing with most body types is BioWare hugely cut corners. Asari and Human Females share the same body model, and Human Males and Male Batarians do too. The only variety you see in body types is for some named squadmembers/characters in ME2 and 3. So you have Miranda (whose body was partially re-used for EDI in ME3, I think), Ashley in ME3, Jacob, James, Blue-Tac Tits (also known as Samara; reused for Morinth), Jack and so on.

    Makes it much easier for BioWare to make armour for just two body types. If you notice, Salarian, Krogan and Turian males almost always have the same bodies, too, with just a few having any difference.

    But yes, the lady Turian looks frakking awesome.

  • Kathryn

    It could be a status thing, but we probably won’t know until the content hits or until BioWare say more.

    But it could even be like… androgyny. There are males out there with feminine features, females with masculine. Who knows?! :D

  • Joanna

    See Bioware? That wasn’t so hard was it?

  • catherine buca

    Well, it looks like they gave her the ‘funny lumps’ Garrus said female turians didn’t have after all:

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Re-using models saves time and money, I agree, and I won’t blame them there. They just had so many chances to still deviate from that Barbie norm for the women, though, and they still refused to take them. Blargh!

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    brb screaming at how awesome her outfit is

  • SpammyV

    Ignore everything I said about the prongs. I just checked again and Saren’s came from the sides of his eyes, not his cheek-plates. So, cheek prongs are totally fine now and the differences between head-prongs and cheek-prongs is a good thing.

    It still looks like she has eyelashes or something. Or maybe it’s just eyeliner/tattoo, but… why?

    And if she does have eyelashes I swear I’m going to rant and tear Bioware a new one. >( It still ticks me off that the hairless Asari have eyelashes just to make them hotter.

  • Cody

    So if males have elongated heads, and females have elongated cheeks, does that make Saren a hermaphrodite?

  • Cody

    Also, this is cool and all, but, um, it’s a little late to be relevant Bioware.

  • you guys

    Well, Bioware’s official forums are still freaking out about not being able to have sex with her.

  • geminithief

    Is it strange that I find her attractive? I mean, I’m gay and all but holy shit

    I only use females in ME and only the humans, but this

    This is making me question myself

  • HeatherN

    This actually kind of frustrated me. I always preferred to think that the turians just didn’t really have a lot of sexual dimorphism…like male and female turians just looked a lot alike. Otherwise, why were all the turians we saw male when they’re meant to be a society where EVERYONE joins the military? But no…turns out they’ve got females that are smaller than males and apparently have breast-like chests. *eyeroll* That just makes NO sense! Ugh.

  • MELover00

    from what i see the game is set in the future, their are a lot of gene and body mods out in the ME universe that fat people don’t exist anymore or are rare.