Mass Effect: Andromeda Ryder Family Secrets Quest Guide
STORY SPOILERS AHEAD
Ryder Family Secrets is a mission given to the player shortly after becoming Pathfinder. The original human Pathfinder and your father, Alec Ryder, transferred his SAM over to you along with his memories. Unfortunately, the memories are locked until you can trigger them with your own progress as a Pathfinder. Inside these memories are Alec’s hopes and aspirations as well as a few of the Ryder family secrets that the mission is all about.
After heading to the Nexus for the first time, SAM will notify you about these memories and tell you to continue your work as a Pathfinder and that this should open up the locked memories. That’s not entirely true, while you do need to progress the story, that’s primarily to unlock more worlds. On those worlds will be marked three Navpoints that are easy to reach and hold a memory. Head to the Navpoint and you’ll notice a green sparkle floating in front of you, interact with it and you’ll progress the Ryder Family Secrets quest.
You’ll find the SAM Memory Triggers for the Ryder Family Secrets quest on the following planets:
As you find all of the triggers on each planet, a new memory will unlock. You’ll have to head to the SAM Node on the Nexus to view it. At first, the memories are fairly simple. They cover the birth of SAM, a highly intelligent AI that is behind the Pathfinder’s extraordinary abilities and is central to the Andromeda Initiative’s mission in Mass Effect: Andromeda. You’ll also see how he was coping with his sick wife, and how he loves his children but isn’t exactly great at dealing with them. But things become much deeper than that as you progress.
After making a bit of progress, you will receive an optional objective to visit your sibling in the Hyperion’s Cryo Bay, thanks to SAM you can talk to them even though they’re unconscious. Be completely honest with them, as it will help them later on when they wake up. Once the conversation is over, continue on your business to collect more memories and unlock more Ryder family secrets.
Eventually, you’ll learn of a “benefactor,” a person (or group of persons, we have no idea) that decides to fund the Initiative for an unknown reason. Alec’s work on AI was illegal, causing him to get discharged from N7 and kicked off of the Citadel. However, there were those who felt it was the only hope for Milky Way life. The mystery of the benefactor opens up a new mystery in the current day aboard the Nexus. Before the player ever reaches this hub, where all of the Pathfinders were supposed to meet, there was a mutiny and Jien Garson, one of the Initiative’s founders, was murdered. After investigating, you find out that she’s uneasy about the “benefactor” and something not quite right is going on in Andromeda. You’ll locate a hidden message in her hologram in the Nexus’ museum too, but that will be useful later.
Continue through the game and after finding all of the SAM Memory Triggers on Elaaden, the AI will note that there’s a further lock this time around. All you can do at this point is wait and continue through the story. Go and play “The Journey to Meridian” Primary Op. After that, head back to the Cryo Bay to speak to your sibling and advance the Ryder Family Secrets quest. If you were honest with them while they were in the coma, they will be fine, since they had plenty of coma time to come to terms with everything. Then, go to SAM Node to get the final memory which has a lot of info.
The benefactor still isn’t revealed even in video chat. It has a woman’s voice (which can be fake) and the face in the video stream constantly switches between the different Milky Way races and genders. However, you learn that the benefactor moves up the timeline because Commander Shepherd found out about the Reapers’ extinction protocol every 50,000 years. Garrus’ father, a friend of Alec’s, shares that Garrus trusts Shepherd and that you must believe anything the commander shares, because it was after careful thought. Seeing that he’s running out of time, Alec has SAM serve its true purpose which wasn’t always to save all life in the Milky Way, but rather to save his wife, Ellen.
The end of the final memory shares Alec’s last order before Cryo sleep, telling SAM to make the preparations to place Ellen into stasis and to put her under the name Elizabeth Reily so the Andromeda Initiative doesn’t become aware of her presence (since the terminally ill aren’t qualified to be part of the program). The reason he passed over Pathfinder to his child, instead of Cora (who was next in line), was to keep these family secrets away from the Initiative for the time being so that his family may continue its work.
You can go to Alec’s office after watching the last memory to find out what happened in the Milky Way after the Arks departed. Emergency broadcasts from all the different alien allies, messages from Liara about her work with Shepherd to stop the Reapers, proof that shit really did hit that proverbial fan. There’s no knowing how things ultimately worked out, but you dodged a bullet. Yet, the secrets didn’t solve all of the mysteries, you still have much digging ahead of you.
After the memories are all done, you can take your sibling to view your mother’s Cryo Pod, after some tears and smiles it’s good to see hope still alive in Andromeda. And that’s the end of the Ryder Family Secrets quest in the game.
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