Ryder family secrets
Your father locked portions of SAM's memory array, and SAM is unable to recall certain information. You must explore in order to find the numerous memory triggers scattered throughout the world.

Acquisition Edit

This mission is acquired automatically upon completing the objective "Speak with SAM on the Hyperion" during A Better Beginning (the first objective on the mission).

During that conversation SAM told Ryder about their symbiotic relationsship, and that SAM can enhance Ryder's abilities and performance. However, SAM is unable to tell Ryder what Alec Ryder's plan was, because he put a block on SAM's memory array. These hidden memories might be unlocked the more Ryder explores. SAM suggests Ryder's room on the Hyperion is a place to start.

Walkthrough Edit

Find A Way To Remove SAM's Memory Blocks Edit

Memory trigger

In Ryder's room there is there is a memory trigger. Interacting with it starts a conversation with SAM, who explains that it is an eidetic trigger related to Ryder's father and the portions of SAM's memory that he locked. SAM is programmed to unlock blocked memories as Ryder finds more memory triggers. The first memory has now been unlocked, and can be accessed in SAM Node.

Two new objectives are unlocked.

Speak With SAM In SAM Node About An Unlocked Memory Edit

SAM explains to Ryder that the memories can be experienced as seen by Alec directly through the implant.

Memory #1 is played.

An additional audio log to this memory is available on the Archive System in Ryder's room on Hyperion, where Encrypted Log #1 now is accessible.

Note: Details on the memories and archive content can be found on the bottom of this page.

Search For Memory Triggers That Will Unlock SAM's Array Edit

This objective will remain active during the entire mission.

There are 16 memory triggers hidden all throughout the Heleus Cluster. Some can only be triggered by progression, others are found in specific locations at any time. They are easy to find because they are marked on the map.

Finding a memory trigger will bring SAM closer to unlocking memory arrays. When Ryder has discovered enough memory triggers to unlock a new memory, SAM will inform Ryder. Ryder can experience that memory by returning to the SAM Node and asking SAM to play it (there is a mission objective to remind the player of the unlocked memory).

There are in total six memories to be unlocked. Each memory requires three triggers to unlock, apart from the first memory (which is unlocked after discovering a single trigger).

The table below summarizes each trigger's location and method of acquisition.

Location Details
Hyperion/Habitation Deck Located in Alec Ryder's former personal quarters after Ryder speaks with SAM during A Better Beginning.
Eos On the edge of a cliff overlooking Site 1: Promise. Should be able to notice it as Ryder drives to the first monolith in A Better Beginning.
Eos On a cliff north of the kett facility. You may acquire the mission Kett's Bane along the way.
Eos Prodromos, beside August Bradley.
Havarl In the bottom path next to the ravine. You can pick this up when you visit the turian encampment there.
Havarl At the top of Mithrava; you will reach this area by following A Dying Planet.
Havarl In the area with the third, underground monolith. You will reach this area by following A Dying Planet.
Voeld On a cliff south of Hjara Station.
Voeld On a cliff near the outpost site.
Voeld On a rocky outcrop near a kett camp that will be marked as a Point of Interest.
Kadara Close to the map marker for the Outpost Site.
Kadara On a cliff a little east from the western monolith.
Kadara Next to an acid pool in Kurinth Valley in the NW area of the map.
Elaaden The northern one is on the top of a cliff.
Elaaden The western trigger is inside a cave. Approach from the south to find the entrance.
Elaaden The southern is next to two trees.

Optional: Check On Ryder's Sibling Edit

After completing the mission A Better Beginning, the player will unlock a new optional objective to visit Ryder's sibling in the Cryo Bay. Though still in a coma, SAM tells Ryder that their mental processes are functioning normally, and SAM can use Ryder's implants to establish a communication link. Ryder can then have a brief, unconventional conversation with their twin. They will ask Ryder about their father and new home. Ryder can be honest with them about the dire situation, in which case the shock will cause them to slip back into a coma. Alternatively, Ryder can lie to them to make their rest more peaceful, but the player will have to deal with the consequences when they wake up and discover the truth for themselves.

Speak With Director Tann About The "Benefactor" Edit

This objective becomes active after the fourth memory is unlocked and the now accessible files of Encrypted Log #3 in the archive have been read by Ryder - one of them about a mysterious "benefactor".

Jarun Tann doesn't know anything about a benefactor, and dryly concludes that this person either is a phantom, missing or dead.

The conversation then reveals that no proper investigation was conducted on the death of the Initiative's founder Jien Garson. The next objective starts.

Investigate The Nexus Records About Jien Garson's Death Edit

The terminal for Security Footage has two files regarding Garson.

  • The first is a missing persons report for Garson. She was last seen during the emergency stasis revival that occurred after the Scourge encounter.
  • The second is an update on the previous report and states that the case is closed. Her dead body was found in a Nexus apartment and had severe burn marks. It's unclear how she got there. Activate this file and the next objective is activated. Ryder and SAM conclude something isn't right about this.

Investigate The Nexus Apartment Where Jien Garson Was Found Dead Edit

The apartment is in the docks.

Scan The Room For Clues Edit

SAM uses the room's environmental data and displays a scene that clearly indicates something definitely was not right: Jien Garson and an unknown person standing above her. However, these apartments were locked at the time, so how did they get in?

Continue Scanning The Room For More Information Edit

There is a hidden door located by scanning the wall.

Investigate The Hidden Room Edit

One of the datapads holds some disturbing information. Garson had hidden additional information in her VI in the Cultural Exchange. SAM picks up the code to unlock the information.

The other datapad is less alarming, but cryptic.

Garson Notes
Entry 1.1 (2819)

In 2179, once mentioned "A storm is coming." Said "evidence was clear." Meaning?


Hyperion, still no contact. Where is Alec? Did they get him, too?

Speak With Garson's VI Display In the Nexus Cultural Exchange Edit

Garson had run out of money for the Initiative project when the benefactor stepped in. Something big in the Milky Way spooked them, and they wanted to bring people to Andromeda. She also suspects something isn't right.

SAM suggests that unlocking more of Alec Ryder's memories might spread some light on this. This path of objectives is then put on hold, assuming the main story has not been progressed far enough.

Investigate Alec Ryder's Memories Edit

Early in the mission The Journey To Meridian, the non-Pathfinder sibling will awaken from their coma. Ryder will automatically be taken to the Cryo Bay to see them.

After the two have a short conversation, if all memory triggers have been collected, SAM will indicate the final memory is now available and prompt Ryder to return to SAM Node.

Find Elizabeth Reilly's Stasis Pod Edit

After watching the final memory and investigating the accompanying logs, both Ryder twins meet in the Cryo Bay. The Pathfinder reveals Elizabeth Reilly's true identity. SAM explains she cannot be brought out of stasis yet, as there is still no known cure for her disease. The quest is now complete.

Rewards Edit

+1330 XP

Memories Edit

Memory 1
The first memory unlocked is of Alec Ryder back on the Citadel as the human military attaché to the council, making the case for a Human-AI link project to help the human race catch up to the technology of the other space-faring races. Also included in the memory is Alec's notification by his wife, Ellen, that she has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Playing this memory will unlock the first encrypted audio log in the archives located in the Pathfinder's personal quarters aboard the Hyperion.

Encrypted Log #1 is accessible:

  • The file "Ellen's disease" shows him being shocked by the state of her disease, but at the end he mentions cryptically that SAM might be more than he ever imagined.
  • The file "General logs" contains three files: The first are his thoughts on how he has been as family father (recorded when Hyperion was about to leave the Milky Way), the second is about the asari archaeologist Liara T'Soni and a message from her (data pads regarding her research can be found in the room).
  • The final file is Alec's last words before going to the fatal expedition on Habitat 7, and that if something happens to him he hope his children will understand the things they are going to find out (probably a hint to SAM's blocked memory array).

Memory 2
The second memory is from after the Ryder's returned to Earth from the Citadel. Alec introduces SAM to Ellen, suggesting that they implement SAM into Ellen's biotic implants. Alec is convinced Ellen can be saved, while Ellen tries to prepare him for the inevitability of her death. Playing this memory will unlock the second encrypted audio log.

Encrypted log #2:

  • The first file is about Ellen's research, where she says that her disease was caused by her research on biotic implants and Element Zero, and that the right type of implant joined with the right type of AI could bolster human physiology and help counteracting her disease and prolong her life.
  • The second file is about the geth mistake, and the player can hear Alec interviewing a Quarian historian about what made the geth revolt against their creators - the quarians.
  • The third file is about Alec's deal with the Shadow Broker to buy code for an artificial intelligence for a high price.

Memory 3
The third memory is from a reunion of all four members of the Ryder family. (It appears this was not long before the departure of the Andromeda Initiative, as both twins are already full-grown.) The family discusses the military careers of both Ryder children and Alec. No files in the archives are unlocked.

Memory 4
The fourth memory is from Alec Ryder's first contact with the Initiative and the mysterious benefactor. The third encrypted log is unlocked.

Encrypted log #3:

  • The first file is Alec's comment of his first conversation with the benefactor, who puts a lot of resources and money into this project. Ryder thinks it might be worth talking with Director Tann about this, but he denies any knowledge of the benefactor.
  • In the second files Alec says he accepted the Initiative's offer. Without their support SAM will never get finished. "Ellen's getting worse. I can't fail her."

Memory 5
The fifth memory is of Ellen Ryder on her deathbed. All four Ryder's spend a few moments together before the twins leave to give their parents time alone. Ellen asks Alec to say goodbye, but he refuses. She tells him to "be strong," to which he responds, "Never as strong as you." No files in the archives are unlocked.

Memory 6
In the sixth and final memory, Alec is shown speaking to Castis Vakarian about Shepard's theory on the Reapers. They theorize that should the Reapers purge the Milky Way of advanced life, the Andromeda Initiative may be the only way for their species to survive. Alec then contacts the Benefactor; the two agree the true reason for the Initiative must remain a secret. Next, Alec speaks with SAM, who confirms Ellen Ryder is safe in stasis and her disease has not progressed. The final part of the memory is Alec's death on Habitat 7, where he is shown giving his helmet to his child and saying, "There's still hope for your mother." The fourth and final encrypted log is unlocked.

Encrypted log #4:

  • The file "Milky Way Emergency" contains files with disturbing messages from the Milky Way (including a final goodbye from Liara) from the time when the early events in Mass Effect 3 took place. The Reapers have attacked, and the people of the Andromeda Initiative might be the only survivors of the advanced Milky Way civilizations.

Trivia Edit

  • Despite the significance of learning that their mother is still alive, this fact is not mentioned again for the remainder of the game. Since it is only discovered as part of an optional side mission, and one that becomes unavailable following the endgame portion, it's possible to complete a playthrough in which the Ryder's never learn of their mother's fate.