Have You Met Ryder? – Our Characters In ME:A
Both of us began playing the game as soon as we could. We have been waiting for this game for quite a long time and while be both tried to keep our expectations down (remembering how high they were for Inquisition and not the game did not deliver) we were both none the less really excited. So off we went and created out protagonist and here they are.
Ora Sarit Ryder
The names for my characters (and I count her brother as my character as well) were the only things I had considered before the game was out. Everything else I left for later. And while I am perfectly capable to make my characters from scratch I like to use what the game gives me to work with to jump start game ocs rather than making up something independently that might or might not work in the game context.
My Ryder family is Jewish and I kinda played around with the names, combining them with their default names in the case of me wanting to keep the default names for a play through. Sarit, Ora’s middle name, is the diminutive Hebrew version of Sarah – she sometimes goes by her middle name. Her brother Ravid meanwhile still gets called Scott by some people, a nickname that stuck around from his alliance days. (Scott and Ravid basically mean the same thing – Wanderer – in different languages. When his friends noticed that he had a tendency to just walkt around aimlessly when he was in deep thought, literally being a wanderer, it kinds stuck around.) So those were the only things I had been set on before.
Ora is a mostly very direct and casual person with a big heart. She is easy to excite and very emphatic towards everyone around her. She is a tad idealistic but doesn’t fear getting down to business if she has to – there are certain things that she would never do though. She is the person that goes the extra mile to make sure that everyone is happy and no one is left behind. She is also a “run headfirst into chaos and wing it” person, both in her interactions with people as well as in her fighting style. Ora is a Vanguard, comfortable in the middle of the action and in the front lines. She is not the person to lead from a distance or to look quietly for advantages, she is the person who jumps off a cliff and hopes that everyone just follows her lead.
Her relationships to her crew are very informal, from personal interaction up to their official meetings. She brings snacks to vid-calls and tactical meetings, makes slides with funny pictures if she want to tell her people about a plan and overall there is more laughter than anything else on the Tempest, even when working. She gets along with everyone on her ship. She admires Liam for his optimism, even though she shares that trait. Lexi is a familiar face as she knows her from before their journey started. She thinks her friend should try to relax a bit more though. With Suvi she has a deep bond over their mutual love for science and their similar view on religion. Kallo and Ora are worst pair of gossips on the ship together. They never get mean though, just incredibly nosy. Peebee and her hit off right away. Ora gives her her space and Peebee is grateful for that. They keep trying to out-dare each other in the field, taking more risks than the rest of the crew approves off. With Cora she had a bit of a slow start. Her father’s death had hit her hard and hearing Cora talk about him the way she does drove the fact that Cora had spent so much more time with Alec than his own children ever did home in a slightly painful way. Ora got over that quickly though and they developed a good relationship full of mutual respect and a tentative friendship so far. With Drack she bonded instantly, with both of them having the tendency to charge ahead into the action and hit things. He still tries to convince her that the Krogan Hammer should be her weapon of choice.
Gil and Ora are thick as thieves when it comes to playing pranks on the rest of the crew and have an ongoing battle of trying to outsmart each other. She went to great lengths to try and make him get along with Kallo – successfully. Vetra scared her a bit in the beginning. Being everything that Ora wanted to be – smart, confident, well connected and ready to do whatever it takes to get things done. Ora had a slight case of hero worship for Vetra from the moment she pulled some strings at the docs. It takes a while for ehr to see the other woman as a regular person with the same worries that everyone else has. Jaal and Ora get along immediately – though it takes him a while to warm up to her enough to actually talk to her about things. Ora handled the first contact with the Angara like she handles everything: By running in and winging it, then seeing what happens. Luckily for her, the Angara being a rather emotional and open species, this worked in her favour. Especially with Jaal. They are the ones that get the extra big box of tissue papers during movie night.
Ora is not a very diplomatic person, politics are too involved and too abstract to really get her interested. But her open personality and her honest wish to help everyone around her get her through those situations without big incidents. She can see how Director Tann gets on so many people’s nerves but she has no trouble working around his hangups to find solutions that make both him and the rest of the Nexus somewhat happy. Likewise she does get along well with Addison too later on. After an initial feeling of being offended by Addison’s dismissal of her as pathfinder Ora has to admit that the other woman is somewhat right in her assessment. Ora is new to the job, chosen over someone who trained for years with absolutely no experience. There is no reason for anyone around her to expect that she would succeed. On the contrary, believing she would without her having actually done anything does seem like the weirder option in retrospect. So she doesn’t really take it personal and sees the disapproval as a challenge to prove herself.
She has no issues with having SAM in her head. On the contrary. Having the constant presence in her head helped her a lot in the beginning when she felt rather alone after just having lost her father and her brother being in a coma. The idea of a fully integrated AI was a bit strange to her at first, but she fully trusted her father and that trust extends to SAM – she trust it completely and without reservations.
Ora is also someone who doesn’t hold grudges. She has an extreme sense for fairness and justice, but she forgives readily and easily. Most of the time she is the factor that balances two opposing parties out. Decisions where she actually has to chose between life and death, whom to save and whom not to tend to stay with her for a long time though.
More details (as if this thing isn’t already long enough) would go into too much spoiler territory – I’ll write a thing about how she handled the main storyline after the game has been out for a while longer.
Similar to Anna, I was pretty set upon the name before the game even started. I played with the thought of keeping the name “Sara” when I heard that it was used ingame but after a bit of thought I decided against it.
My Ryder family originally comes from Ireland, even though the accent doesn’t give it away. (Headcanon is everything.) Called Cate by her friends, Caitlin is the kind of person who gets along with nearly everyone, due to the fact that she is easygoing, funny and – at least on the surface – open with her feelings. She shares easily and quickly forms deep attachments with the people around her. She is very close to her twin brother Scott and was equally close to her mother, who helped her with her biotic abilities a lot, and loved her father dearly. His death hit her hard but even harder was how much she found out about him afterwards which made her realize she barely knew him at all. The fact that Cora knows so many little things about him she didn’t keep nagging at her, even though she doesn’t hold it against her. Not Cora’s fault her Dad was’t around and didn’t really talk when he was.
Caitlin is a very good listener and loves to get to know people, always stopping by for a word or two, looking for that special spark meaning true friendship. Or more. She is not someone to hold a grudge and forgives easily but she quickly holds her distance when people put material things above other living beings – which does not really make her that popular with politicians.
Cate hides her insecurities behind humour and sarcasm – and insecurities she has plenty, most dominantly the fear of being rejected. She is by all means a person who needs other people around her, to connect to and to share her feelings, fears, hopes and thoughts with and finding herself without her family in another galaxy, a bunch of responsibilities shoved onto her shoulders made it hard to breathe sometimes. So, it often is touch and go between trying to make light of a bad situation, not taking it too seriously, and being professional.
She left the Milky Way with the hope of building a new home and future for herself in Andromeda and it is a goal she puts all her strenghth into. She firmly believes they will make it and works hard towards it, sowing hope and optimism wherever she can. It is still difficult for her to understand how something like the revolt on the Nexus could even happen when everyone in the Initiative came to Andromeda with that goal – why people would rather fight each other instead of helping and supporting each other is beyond her. Especially since they have nothing to gain but everything to loose. She is an explorer in the best sense of the word, walking new worlds with the open and marveling eyes of a child, and if it is possible to avoid fights, she does, putting life above everything else. If there is a choice between saving a life or not, she always does save it. Finding allies and friends in Andromeda is one of the best things for her and to keep that, she would give up advantages without blinking – something she shares with Liam (along with their love for movies, among other things).
Caitlin is a very open and honest person and expects the same of other people – at least when it comes to honesty. She would never take credit for something she didn’t do alone and always emphazises how they all work as a team. It goes a long way to make her close with her crew. She admires Suvi’s scientific expertise and even if she wouldn’t go as far as saying she believes in a creating God like Suvi does, she shares her belief that there is something greater than all of them. She is still trying to bridge the problems between Gil and Kallo, both of whom she really likes. Beating Gil in poker is still one of her life goals. Cate quickly realized Cora’s need for guidance being an insecurity over her own capabilities and is trying to work up a way to help her. Her and Vetra were an instant match made in heaven. Caitlin adores her very much and basically had heart-eyes from the moment they met on the docks. They connect deeply over their fear and love for their family and younger siblings and Caitlin admires her quick spirit and wit a lot. Something similar happened with Drack, even though she suspects that he looks at her more like an indulging father, but thinking about it – she doesn’t mind that at all. Lexi is someone she trusts and would like to know better but respects that the Asari doesn’t want to compromise their professional relationship. Peebee is the only one on the ship Caitlin still doesn’t quite know how to place. She feels like Peebee is always ready to run without ever looking back and even though they have a lot of fun together, it feels superficial. That in turn makes Caitlin weary. However, since Peebee openly communicated her wish to have some space to herself, she respects that and does not impose.
Liam and Jaal both are people Caitlin quickly came to care deeply about. Jaal’s emotionality and empathy resonate a lot with her and she is fascinated and amazed by Angaran society and culture. His honest and direct way of communicating quickly earned her trust and friendship and she appreciates and shares his openness a lot – which in turn made them connect easily on an emotional level. The same is true for Liam in whom she found a kindred soul with the eagerness and need to form connections with others and an unquenchable optimism.
Caitlin does not really mind SAM being in her head, although to be honest – since there are no options here, she hasn’t given it much thought and just rides with it. No sense in getting worked up about something she can’t really change.
So here you have them – our Ryders. What about you? Who are you playing?