A thick shroud of secrecy has engulfed Mass Effect: Andromeda—the follow up to BioWare's superb sci-fi trilogy—ever since its existence was first announced back in June. But, much to the excitement of fans, some think they might've just uncovered the identity of the game's as-yet-unconfirmed protagonist, i.e. the person whose back you'll be staring at for a solid 80 hours come launch.
We already know that Andromeda will be the first game in the series in which players won't take control of the seasoned Commander Shepard, so who exactly is due to take his/her place?
Well, the answer might lie within this rather cryptic teaser, released as part of the N7 day festivities. Take a look and see if you can spot the subtle giveaway:
Notice it? Don't feel bad, neither did I. However, hit pause at 0:44 and you might have a better chance. The interior of this ship, as it speeds into the Andromeda galaxy, features a few notable details. For one, take a look at the dogtag on the left hand side:
Unless you have a magnifying glass, we'll need to zoom in on that image, or, as Deckard would say, enhance!
Squinting, you can just about make out the name 'Ryder,' or 'Rider' printed on the metal. But what can we glean from this?
Reddit user Benelioto astutely suggests that this may be a reference to the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, keeping in theme with the original protagonist being named after the first American man in space, Alan Shepard.
This also seems to tie-in with the use of Johnny Cash's song 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' in the game's original teaser. Studio director Yanick Roy has already taken to Twitter to hint at the song's significance:
So, the protagonist is called Ryder, she flies through the sky, and she's quite possibly a ghost. Well that clears things up.
I'm sure we'll know more before Mass Effect: Andromeda hits sometime in Autumn, 2016.