Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard Was Originally a Woman, Watch the First Animation

January 10, 2015 Written by Zarmena Khan

shepard

Marking ten years since his first animation test for Mass Effect, Lead Animator Jonathan Cooper tweeted a clip of the animation depicting Commander Shepard, and revealed that the character was originally supposed to be a female. Watch her first steps below.

In response to fan questions, Cooper further revealed:

For those asking, I repurposed mocap from Jade Empire. Shepard was always planned to be both male & female after JE’s pre-set characters.

Jade Empire is BioWare’s 2005 action RPG that was quite well-received by critics. 

According to Joystiq, BioWare reported in 2011 that 13 percent of Mass Effect 1 and 2 players chose to play as a default male Shepard, and out of the 83 percent who chose to customize their characters, only 18 percent chose a female version. 

What did our readers prefer to play as?

[Source: Jonathan Cooper (Twitter), Joystiq]