Mass Effect fans may have discovered the name of the protagonist in the upcoming installment to the franchise Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Eurogamer reported that the Mass Effect subreddit has been full of theories since Reddit user Benelioto found a dog tag on the left side of the screen in the N7 Day 2015 trailer, roughly 44 seconds in to the trailer itself.
According to Benelioto, the dog tag read “RYDER” or “RIDER.” This led to theories that the new protagonist may be named after Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. This fit with the original name of Shephard, as the Mass Effect trilogy’s protagonist was named after Alan Shephard, first American man in space.
The E3 announcement trailer also had Redditor The_Iceman2288‘s attention, as it was accompanied by Johnny Cash’s “Ghost Riders In The Sky.” Coincidentally, “ghost” is a synonym for “spectre,” which is the class Shephard held in the original trilogy in pursuit of maintaining inter-species relations. When questioned on the possibility of removing the song in favour of “proper music that fits the Mass Effect universe,” BioWare Montreal’s studio director, Yanick Roy, replied with “No, sorry, because there are very good reasons for that choice of song for the trailer that should become clear later on.”
Bottom line is, there seems to be a good reason behind the song choice, and the “RYDER/RIDER” dog tag seems too large a coincidence to be completely unconnected. All we know for sure is that we won’t be bumping into any familiar folks in our journeys through Andromeda’s galaxy, not even Commander Shephard. For now we’ll just have to look forward to the fourth main game when Mass Effect: Andromeda releases next holiday season.