The Mass Effect series made me care for alien NPCs (mere graphics and code) as if they were a part of my family. Characters who survived from the first game, all the way through the third, became close friends with my Commander Shepard—some of them wanted to be “more than friends” with me—but not the one I wanted. This is the tale of my Commander Shepard and one Quarian named Tali’Zorah.
I didn’t fall for Tali the first time I met her; hell, I didn’t even know what she looked like. She was clad head-to-toe in a spacesuit that seemed to be part functional and part aesthetic. A purple faceplate obscured her features—save for two glowing eyes. She was naïve and lost as she tried to make her way through the galaxy on her Pilgrimage. Her species’ history interested me enough to talk to her whenever I got the chance. I didn’t realize what was happening at first, of course… then, by the end of the first game, she developed a dry, sarcastic wit… that’s when I knew that I was hooked.