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Major events in Mass Effect Timeline

Some Major events in Mass Effect game

It’s easy to ignore the codex portion when you start to play a Mass Effect game. You’re concentrating on shooting and romancing and flying through space to complete missions, and you’re glossing over the one button in the menu. At some point, though, you’re going to want to know what the deal is with the geth, or the Citadel Assembly, or the genophage.

One of the things that make Mass Effect games special is how much detail you’re waiting for, and how much context it brings to the action. Mass Effect’s story makes the shooting of a bunch of Krogan feel like something that matters, rather than just another barrier between you and the next full-screen mission.

You finally get the need to look deeper. And that’s where you discover all the records of human space exploration and alien contact, and beyond that, for some of the alien species and their progenitors that go back thousands of years.

There’s a lot going on about it. And the spoilers will be there.

The history of the Mass Effect Universe starts some time before 1,000,000 BCE—dates are given in the CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era) formats—when a species called leviathans dominates the galaxy. Observing a recurring cycle in which societies collapse after developing synthetic life forms that turn on their creators, the Leviathans attempt to break this cycle by, ironically, creating a synthetic intelligence. They’re calling it the Trigger.

The Catalyst is intended to act as a bridge between organic and artificial life, operating at any expense to conserve organic organisms. The Catalyst, assuming that conflict is inevitable, sees the best way to do this by taking organic societies at their height, shortly before they are responsible for their own demise, and by absorbing their genetic material into new life forms that can be preserved indefinitely. It retains them, but only in the sense that it makes them jam.

The Catalyst starts with its own founders, transforming them into the first reapers, and initiating the war that its creators had sought to stop.

1,000,000,000 ECB

A reaper named the Leviathan of Dis is defeated by the true leviathans. In the long run, however, the leviathans have lost. The reapers begin their period of accelerated cultural development by leaving mass-effect technology lying across the galaxy to find growing species, and then consuming those species as soon as they become sufficiently advanced.

48,000 ECB

The protheans are the last to fall to the reapers in a long line of animals. While the protheans had heard of the reapers and had started to prepare for their arrival, they were too late. However, their preparations survive in the next period in the form of the Crucible.

1900 ECB

Nuclear warfare devastates the Krogan homeland of Tuchanka, and the advanced Krogan culture becomes one of the warring clans in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

580 of the ECB

Asari, the first post-prothean race to experience mass-effect relays and establish faster-than-light flight, discover Citadel Station.

500 ECB

The Citadel Council is established after the Asari are joined by the Salarians at the Citadel Station, the two species working together to locate and unite other civilizations. Communication is made with quarians, volus, hangars, and batars.

1 EC

One of the interplanetary expeditions of the Citadel Council reaches the Rachni after the opening of a relay leading to structures operated by their hive-mind. The Rachni Wars are beginning.

300 of the CE

Rachni are considered extinct after they have been defeated by the Krogan, who have been genetically raised by the Salarians explicitly to battle them. As a reward for their efforts, rachni worlds and several planets in Citadel space are granted a fast-breeding krogan to settle.

693 EC

Beelo Gurji, a salaried agent working for the Citadel Council, is accused of using civilians as bait during an espionage operation. Rather than being punished, Gurji is promoted, becoming the first Specter. Spectres are granted greater freedom than other agents and are intended, in part, to keep an eye on the expansion of krogan.

700 EC

The Krogan has found a colony in the asari world of Lusia. They refuse to leave, so Spectres is launching a strike against them. The Krogan retaliate, and the Krogan Revolt begins. First touch is made with the Turians, who are part of the war against the Krogan.

710 EC

Turians release genophage, a bioweapon developed by salar scientists, which induces a genetic mutation in crogans that decreases the viability of their pregnancy. The impact has been catastrophic.

800 EC

The long-term impact of declining crogan populations brings an informal end to their threat. The Turians play their position at the core of the Citadel Army.

1400 EC

Broad industrialization in the drell home world of Rakhana leads to an environmental collapse.

CE 1600

The servants of the reapers called “collectors” are seen in Terminus Systems, but these accounts are dismissed by the Citadel Council as rumors and the presence of the collectors as myths.

1895 EC

The technologically advanced quarians find that their robotic assistants, the geth, have attained sentience. Fearing rebellion, the quarians begin to destroy the geth, which leads to the very revolution they feared.

1980 EC

An asari named Aria T’Loak takes over the station of Omega and becomes known as the Pirate Queen of Omega.

2000 EC

The first contact is between the drell and the hanar. The hanar begins to evacuate the drell from their dying home planet, and the drells that survive form a symbiotic relationship with the hanar, which they call the Compact.

2069 EC

Human beings are beginning to settle the Earth’s moon, creating the Armstrong Outpost.

2148 EC

Using knowledge found in the prothean ruins of Mars, humans discover that Charon, previously thought to be Pluto’s moon, is actually a mass relay. They’re going to fly across it to Arcturus.

2156 EC

Children in Singapore who have been inadvertently exposed to element zero are beginning to exhibit telekinetic powers. Some of them at least do that. Others are just developing cancer.

2157 EC

While triggering a mass relay, human explorers are attacked by turians because, in order to avoid a repeat of the Rachni Wars, the opening of new relays is forbidden. What humans call the First Encounter War is beginning. Turians call it ‘Relay 314 Incident.’ You will learn more about it in the comic book Mass Effect: Evolution.

2163 EC

Members of the four-eyed Batarian species have found the remains of a massive, once-living starship called the Leviathan of Dis—a reaper.

2165 EC

The Human Systems Alliance becomes an Affiliate Member of the Citadel Council.

2171 EC

A member of the first paramilitary group, Cerberus, assassinates Pope Clement XVI with poisoned rosary beads. It is replaced by a pope more respectable to the ideals of Cerberus. (Beyond the games, Cerberus is applied to the novels, in particular Mass Effect: Ascension and Retribution.)

2176 EC

The Andromeda Project is a partnership between multiple species who plan to send Ark ships to settle the Andromeda Galaxy. While it’s going to be a one-way journey, their long-term goal is to open a path between the two galaxies.

2183 CE-The start date of the Mass effect

Humans and visitors are working together to build a ship named SSV Normandy to be captained by the first human specter, Commander Shepard. Rogue Spectre Saren Arterius is leading an assault on the Citadel on behalf of the reapers and is being repulsed. A month later, Mass Effect 2 began with the devastation of Normandy and the loss of Shepard.

2185 CE-Major incidents with Mass effect 2

After two years of effort, Cerberus succeeds in reviving Commander Shepard. The first wave of the Andromeda Project is beginning to set up a new galaxy, having accelerated their preparations in response to the recurring threat.

2186 CE-Departure date of Mass Effect 3

Reapers enter Batarian space, finally reaching Earth. Shepard is attempting to use the prothean weapon called the Crucible to permanently defeat them.

2744 EC

In the Heleus cluster of the Andromeda galaxy, the first communication occurs between the chain and the angaran. At first, the chain seems cooperative, but then kidnaps the Angaran leaders and sows discord between the Angaran worlds.

2819 CE-Mass Effect start date: Andromeda

Three of the Ark ships of the Andromeda Project arrive in the Heleus cluster and are attacked by clouds of dark energy called the Scourge. You will learn more about it in the novel Mass Effect: Nexus Uprising.

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