I’ve been putting a lot of thought recently into how the races will marry up in this conversion. There are 7 main races that you meet in Starflight – this leaves a lot of Mass Effect races out… Thinking about how they react to the player (and each other), I’ve put together a little list of changes I intend to make. The most important ME races are all covered, and things kind of fit. Any major issues can probably be written around when changing the script though.
Below are the ways I plan to convert each race for this mod. And check out the beautiful artwork ripped from the Starflight manual. They don’t do game-art like this anymore!
The Mechan -> The Geth
This was the mos straight-forward of them all. Have one synthetic race, replace with another synthetic race. The Mechan are guarding the world of “Heaven” in SF, which I can easily replace with “Rannoch” (the old Geth homeworld). In SF, they are waiting for an old expedition to come and arrive, and are friendly with you if you claim to be a part of that expedition. With a bit of script-jigging, that can easily be changed to waiting for materials for their “megastructure”, and convincing them that you were sent by Nazara (the reaper Sovereign). Easy, and relatively clean.
The Gazurtoid -> The Asari
The Gazurtoid are described as “highly religious”, and see themselves as “redeemers of the galaxy”. The Asari are a highly spiritual race themselves, and while not “redeemers of the galaxy”, this can be toned down. They were the first to inhabit the Citadel, and political leaders, so not too much of a stretch.
The Thrynn -> The Krogan
Much like the Mechan, the choice for the Thrynn was obvious. They are described as “Cunning reptiles not to be trusted”. Which made me immediately think of the Krogan. In SF, you have to be friendly with them to stop them from attacking you. With the Krogan, being dominant is more likely to earn their respect, so that doesn’t quite fit. But with a bit of hackery, I may be able to change that. The Thrynn will attack you almost immediately if you are friendly with Elowan, or have one on board. Given the genophage in ME, that made me think…
The Elowan -> The Salarians
Who would the Krogan hate more than Salarians, for unleashing the genophage! The Elowan are described as gentle & peaceful, which can match up quite nicely with the Salarians thoughtful, scientific nature. The Elowan are wary of the Thrynn, as the Thrynn eat their children – the delicious “headfruit”. They won’t communicate if a Thrynn is on board, or if you have been friendly with them recently. This can be seen as the Salarians being wary of the Krogan, as they strive for revenge for the genophage. I did think about having the Turians fill this role, but they don’t really count as “gentle & peaceful”. However…
The Spemin -> The Turians
The Spemin are an arrogant race, which can be tied into the Turians “warmonger” attitude – arrogance in their militaristic strength. They are also said to be knowledgeable of the other races in the galaxy, and considering the Turians have been part of the council for a long time, that should fit. They are more likely to respond to you if you go in threatening – which sounded right for a warlike race. This is a trait that fits closer with the Krogan, however… So I may have to replicate this code with the Thrynn somehow. Swapping the Turians for the Krogan won’t work so well, as there is no bad-blood between Turians & Salarians, so it would make for having to change everything around. And 1 inconsistency is better than many!
The Veloxi -> The Volus
The Veloxi are an obsequious race, and highly knowledgeable of all the others. Which is very similar to the trading Volus – always polite to get a deal, and full of information from their galactic trading. The Veloxi are proud of their ties to the ancients in SF – but that can easily be written out for the Volus. Their information on the ancients is also somewhat incorrect in the game. And this can be easily rewritten as the Volus picking up rumours whilst trading – and rumours aren’t always factually correct.
The Minstrels -> The Hanar
The Minstrels are a race of space faring poets, singing songs of history, the ancients and the universe. Change poet for preacher, and ancients for “Enkindlers” and you have the Hanar to a T. This one practically writes itself!
So that is how I plan to change the SF races to those of ME. I’ve got all the main citadel races covered, but a few side races are missing (Elcor, Drell, Vorcha, Quarians, etc…). I may look at adding more, but I think that may be way beyond my skills. But due to the text-heavy nature of the game, I’m sure I can slip in some references to the others somewhere! If you have any clever ideas on how to convert the races that you find superior to mine, please let me know in the comments.
Now I’ve got a plan, it’s just the HEFTY task of changing in-game text and graphics! If anybody is any good with pixel-art, and wants to help out, please let me know.