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It’s Taken 16 Years For Us To Realize Mass Effect’s Intro Is Literally Top Gun

Casey Hudson says he’s been waiting over a decade for someone to notice

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A default male Commander Shepard is shown on the left looking cautiously at something off-screen, while Pete "Maverick" Mitchell is seen giving a thumbs up to the camera while sitting in a plane on the right.
Mass Effect and Top Gun have had the same text intro all along.
Image: BioWare / Paramount / Kotaku

The original Mass Effect is coming up on its 16th anniversary this year, but even now, new secrets are being revealed about BioWare’s science fiction RPG. That’s because Series Director Casey Hudson has confirmed the first game’s iconic text intro is actually an homage to the 1986 movie Top Gun.

Hudson revealed this on his personal Twitter after a fan pointed out the connection. Both Top Gun and Mass Effect have a text intro that sets the stage for what’s to come. In BioWare’s game, the opening explains the discovery of alien technology that allowed humanity to achieve space travel. In Top Gun, the text describes the founding of the aerial combat school in which the movie is primarily set. Both texts end with a similar line that leads to the title card:

“The civilizations of the galaxy call it... Mass Effect” and “Today, the Navy calls it Fighter Weapons School. The flyers call it: Top Gun

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Yesterday, a Twitter user by the username @MissSnizabelle posted about the clear parallels between the two intros, but Hudson responded this morning with a quote tweet confirming this was an intentional reference to Top Gun all along, saying “Finally someone noticed this! I’ve been waiting so long…”

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Hudson is no longer at BioWare, having departed from the studio a second time after a stint at the studio’s general manager in 2020. He then went on to found Humanoid Studios, which is working on a new science fiction IP.

The Mass Effect series has entered a bit of a revival as of late, with the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition remasters bringing the original trilogy to modern hardware and a fifth entry in the works over at BioWare. The studio has yet to say anything of substance about the game, but has been offering brief teases every N7 Day. What remains to be seen is how it will handle a return to the Milky Way galaxy after the divergent endings of Mass Effect 3, and the thought that BioWare might pick an ending as canon after making an entire series about player choice and agency keeps me up at night.