Nine years since the release of Mass Effect 3 and just a couple of weeks after the release of its shiny new Mass Effect Legendary Edition remaster, a long-hidden Easter egg has been revealed.
On May 18th, Richard Boisvert, who appears to be a former BioWare developer, posted on r/masseffect about an Easter egg he hid in Mass Effect 3. “Ten years ago I put an Easter egg in the Mars mission of ME3, and as far as I know no one ever stumbled upon it,” he wrote.
To activate the Easter egg, Commander Shepard must walk a specific route between a collection of solar panels at the start of the Mars mission. (Boisvert, who was a cinematic designer at the time, provided a handy guide on Reddit.)If executed properly, Shepard is treated to a neat little sight: A Mars rover will appear, roll up to the Commander, and nod.
Boisvert’s post doesn’t say which of the Mars rovers this one is modeled from, but there’s a good chance it’s Opportunity. Of the three rovers that were on Mars at the time of Mass Effect 3’s release in March 2012, Opportunity was the only one still active and roving around. It could also be the Curiosity rover, but that one didn’t reach Mars until August 2012—several months after ME3’s launch.
Boisvert’s assertion that no one’s ever found the Easter egg isn’t quite true. In April 2020, a user on Reddit posted that they found the rover while playing with a free camera mod on PC, but they were only able to locate it, not trigger the little robot’s movement. Now that the secret’s been revealed, Legendary Edition players have the chance to meet the 174 year old rover and exchange a warm greeting between fellow space travelers.