Ashley and Garrus’ design was different in the Mass Effect beta.
Mass Effect is a title that required several years of development by BioWare and which for the time was revolutionary, being one of the first real videogame blockbusters.
Thanks to the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, interest in the saga has been rekindled, also winning a new series of fans, who are discovering several hidden details about the Commander Shepard trilogy.
Suffice it to say that thanks to the remastered trilogy, fans have managed to discover quests that have remained hidden for fourteen years.
Additionally, one of the authors of Mass Effect 3 unveiled an easter egg that fans had never been able to find, related to the rover we sent to Mars.
The cover of the first Mass Effect, in addition to the iconic Commander Shepard, showed two of those who will become iconic companions of the trilogy: we are talking of course Ashley Williams and Garrus Vakarian.
In particular, Ashley is shown in the cover with a particular viewer, which in the final game is still similar but different from what is shown in the final artwork.
As reported by Game Rant, in the Reddit forum dedicated to the series, a screenshot of the beta version of the first Mass Effect emerged, showing how not only Ashley but also Garrus were originally conceived with a different design.
As you can see from this screenshot, Ashley looks a lot more like box art and was conceived as a tech-savvy, while Garrus was initially not supposed to have his iconic headset :
If in the case of Garrus the change appears very minimal, given that the rest of his design appears practically unchanged, it seems clear that Ashley has undergone a substantial change during the programming phase, since her class has also been changed, becoming a soldier.
Technically it is still possible to transform Ashley into a technology expert, as reported by some fans of Mass Effect 3: In the third chapter of the trilogy, it will be enough to choose her as a companion in the mission on Rannoch and assign her that specific task, regardless of the limitations of the class.
However, this is a feature that is possible with any member of our crew: assigning that same action to James Vega, for example, will also provide us with a unique and fun cutscene.
It is likely that in the end, BioWare chose to entrust that role to Tali, one of the most beloved characters of the trilogy who was the protagonist of a change to the face in the third chapter.
The developers had also thought of a possible first-person spin-off, but it was canceled due to the excessive costs it would have required.
As a result, fans have managed to come up with a mod that allows you to explore the galaxy firsthand, as long as you obviously don’t have to fight.