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Mass Effect concept art shows Shepard as a Reaper, Tali unmasked, and more

Wrex

Matt Rhodes: Heres a version of Wrex on his throne that was never released. It was drawn to help give the level artists a starting point.

Human Reaper

Matt Rhodes: The Collector ship and the Human-Reaper both took a very long time to design. This biggest challenge was communicating the immense scale. These concepts were all part of the long discussion about scale, but also how abstracted the Human-Reaper would be. Early experiments leant more towards a fetus, others towards adult skeletal and muscular systems.

Human Reaper

Matt Rhodes: This one in particular was far too literal. I include it because the human-tube has been a long running and terrible joke between a few friends. Just imagine the deafening squeak of a thousand asses rubbing on glass.

Shadowbroker

Matt Rhodes: Early passes at the Shadowbroker.

Shadowbroker

Matt Rhodes: This one is my personal favorite. I kind of wish wed gone this direction, even though admittedly it's a bit more boring that the final version. This was a response to the description Hes basically Ares, in space.

Edi

Matt Rhodes: Edi went through a lot of quick, early iterations. When you know a character is going to be a particular challenge it can help to explore a lot of territory quickly and early. We tried: Plastic-skin, with and without glowy-bits.

See more iterations of Edi on Rhodes' site.

Edi

Matt Rhodes: I still find that concepting major characters in T-pose (or just standing there) to be challenging. When I feel stuck, it helps to put them in context. This image explores Edi being more literally connected to the Normandy.

Reaper drones

Matt Rhodes: These were early Reaper drone concepts that remain my favorites to this day

Protheans

Matt Rhodes: Protheans were interesting. At first I was trying to design a creature that could conceivably be (if you squint your eyes) the genetic root of all the alien races in our galaxy (yes yes, just like that TNG episode). I was trying to stay as close to their original appearance in ME1 as I could (which had been kept intentionally vague for just this reason). That didnt last long though.

Finale

Matt Rhodes: Okay, admittedly, Ive kept these drawings far away from the internet for a while. Thats because theyre connected to controversy in one way or another. Please take them as they are: drawings done during development, posted for interests sake. Ive been asked to comment on these subjects in the past but will continue to let the work speak for itself.

These were some of the first images drawn for the finale level. The original thought was to create a serene space in the middle of a pitched battle. I thought it would be interesting to create this golden lotus flower out of panels and protective foil.