This week on our Mass Effect lore series, we dive into the backstory of the Reapers, a mysterious group of ancient machines that travel to the Milky Way galaxy every 50,000 years to kill all sentient life.
Mass Effect is a series that grapples with existentialism–the idea that, with free will, a person can use the ability to think, feel, and act to determine their own fate. Interestingly, however, it does this on a scale so overwhelming that it often challenges the philosophy by diminishing the impact you think you can have. Its narrative drives home the idea that you are a single drop of water in a vast ocean, or–more appropriately–a dwindling star in a universe of hundred thousand million of them. That feeling of insignificance is best reinforced by the series’ primary antagonist: the Reapers.