Throughout playing the Mass Effect series, one of the more intriguing side objectives is pursuing a relationship. Each of the three games gives you choices for your Commander Shepards to pursue, and depending on if you import your data from one game to the other, it mildly alters the relationship paths, based on your choices from ME1 to ME2 to ME3. Which is one of the only things you really can alter, to say the least. Oops; did I write that out loud?
Anyway, with the number of possible relationships available throughout the series, it got me thinking. Which is never a good thing, because then we end up with the conclusion that Commander Shepard is pretty much the futuristic Zack Morris of the galaxy. And that all possible relationships throughout the Mass Effect series, are easily relatable to all of the girls that Zack Morris was involved with at some point throughout the entire Saved by the Bell series.
Naturally, since I’ve only played as the male Shepard, we’re only going to go through his potential conquests. Suffice to say, these are probably classified as spoilers if you haven’t played through all three games yet.
Liara T’soni is Kelly Kapowski
Despite the fact that Zack Morris dabbles with pretty much every girl on this entire list at some point, in the finale of the series, it’s Kelly Kapowski whom he ends up marrying. Who else could it really have been? Despite the fact that you as the player ultimately choose who you want to end up with, if you seen the way all of the other options play out, it’s pretty obvious that the writers of the series really want you to end up with Liara.
Liara develops an attraction with Shepard from the moment they meet. Behind the scenes, Liara is the one who essentially rescues Shepard before the events of ME2 even take place. Liara becomes the Shadow Broker in order to assist Shepard. Liara is there and present throughout the entire ME3 story. If you listen to the dialogue between Shepard and Liara, it’s more substantial, deeper and emotionally involved than Shepard with anyone else. Not to mention, Liara is the only character that Shepard can have sex with in all three Mass Effect games.
If Kelly Kapowski was the destined one, then it kind of goes without saying that Liara’s is the destined one for Commander Shepard.
Ashley Williams is Stacey Carosi
Stacey was introduced in the summer storyline where the SBTB crew all got jobs at the Malibu Sands beach resort, where she was the daughter of the general manager of the place. She was from New York, brutish, bossy and stuck up, and at first did not like Zack Morris. But like all other women throughout the series, she ultimately fell for his boyish charm and good looks, and they got together before she had to go back to New York.
The key here is brutish, bossy and stuckup, which pretty much succinctly describes Ashley Williams. Much like Stacey, Ashley has this daddy complex she rambles on about a lot in ME1 and ME3. If you instruct your Shepard to start off on the wrong foot with Ashley in ME1, you can still win her over by game’s end and ultimately have sex with her and make her your relationship, and fairly closely mirror the Zack + Stacey story arc.
The events of ME2 end up breaking you apart from Ashley if you were in a relationship with her, and when she turns and walks away from you, it’s pretty much just like when Stacey leaves Zack all sad and emo in the tiki hut. Ultimately, it’s your choice in ME3 on whether or not you want to get back with her, or kick her to the curb and not let her on your fucking ship.
Tali’Zorah vas Normandy is Lisa Turtle
I’m not going to lie, this is probably what I feel is the weakest comparison, and happened mostly out of process of elimination, but it’s still not completely too off-base. In fact, at the core, they have pretty much nothing in common, because Lisa Turtle is rich and more or less has everything she wants, while Tali is a Quarian, a race that was essentially forced off their own planet by rogue synthetics that they created themselves, which is safe to say that she is poor and has nothing but good loyalty to her race and does everything she can for their benefit.
But from a story standpoint, Tali is the only female character that is playable in all three Mass Effect games. Liara is an asterisk, because technically she only joins you for one DLC mission, but Tali is available in all three games. This is akin to Lisa Turtle being around in the Good Morning Miss Bliss days, and being there when the show transitioned to Bayside. Although she vanished come the College Years, she was present at the series finale when Zack marries Kelly.
The Zack + Lisa romance is really short, but it was one of the more emotionally believable relationships. The funny thing is that it never really plays out, unlike the Zack + Jessie pairing, because for whatever reason the whole thing was kind of written out and swept under the rug, and before the viewers knew it, Zack was supposedly single and back to chasing Kelly again. In my case, it kind of came out of nowhere, which is kind of like how the Shepard + Tali romance is. After going through ME1 without the capabilities to pursue Tali, it kind of caught me off guard when it was available in ME2.
Despite the weak comparison in this case, on a personal level, if you were to ask me which my favorite pairing is, I’d say it was with Tali. Their dialogue is some of the best, and there’s a sweetness and earnest emotion between their characters that’s actually kind of similar to the very brief Zack and Lisa fling, now that I’m thinking about it. So maybe it’s not that far off base, after all.
Miranda Lawson is Jessie Spano
Despite the brief stint with drug addiction, Jessie Spano was tall, leggy, brainy, and always strived to be perfect. Miranda Lawson was tall, leggy, brainy, and actually was genetically perfect. Both had a shit ton of hangups and insecurities about themselves. That’s really about all that links these two together, but for the sake of this post, it’s good enough.
The Zack + Jessie fling lasted all of one episode, where they had to have an on-stage kiss for a play, but while practicing, ended up making out instead. WoooooOOOOOOOoooo! Depending on your choices, your relationship Miranda can span all through ME2 into ME3 and you can have sex with her twice. Obviously, these have absolutely nothing in common, and the comp is completely on a personality basis.
Jack is Tori Scott
They’re both gross, they’re both crass, abrasive, unladylike and frankly, not really that attractive. But for whatever reason, during Tori’s brief tenure at Bayside, Zack pursued her anyway. The funny thing is that I can’t really remember if he succeeded or if Kelly and Jessie came back and prompted the unceremonious write-off of Tori, before Zack actually hooked up with her or not. But much like the apathy for Zack + Tori, it’s kind of the same sentiment for Shepard + Jack.
The only reason players would have them hook up is if they themselves are kinda freakily promiscuous, or they’ve just got that morbid curiosity of what it would be like to hook up with the grossest chick imaginable, and want their Commander Shepard to get galactic omniAIDS
Steve Cortez is A.C. Slater
Since ME3 is all progressive and accepting that we live in a modern society where homosexuality is (somewhat) common these days, Bioware went ahead and created a love interest for male Shepard that was male. With no glitches, hacking or exploits required, that is.
There’s really not a whole lot that Cortez has in common with A.C. Slater, to be perfectly honest. Cortez is kind of sensitive and emotional, and Slater is chauvinistic and an obvious jock. Clearly the conflict is the fact that Cortez was designed to be gay, and Slater was (mostly) not. Maybe because they have Latino last names between “Cortez” and (Mario) “Lopez.” And obviously throughout the SBTB series, they never really touched on the topic of homosexuality, and Zack and Slater never made out or anything.
But as long as we’re comparing the two entities, as it’s possible for Shepard to get together with Cortez, if Zack Morris had to go gay at all, c’mon, there’s no way he’s going to not go with A.C. Slater, over all the other possible males throughout the series. Who else could it be? Screech? Mike Golic? Or the Ralph Macchio-look alike Mikey from the Good Morning, Miss Bliss days? Seriously, it’s kind of a no-brainer.
Samara the Justicar is Jennifer the Nurse
Oh yeah, now we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Samara is one of the most powerful Asari in the galaxy, and is a Justicar; which are kind of like some cross between bounty hunting nuns or Hell’s Angels, depending on your interpretation. But she’s very regal-like, adheres to a strict code, and is kind of black or white when it comes to things.
But none of that is really remotely close to the one episode that Nurse Jennifer was in, in SBTB. The only real comparison I have here is that Nurse Jennifer is way older than Zack Morris, in the same way that Samara is like 600 years old or something absurd, compared to the human Shepard. And in the same manner that Zack pined over Nurse Jennifer, that Shepard could pursue a relationship with Samara, neither recipients are willing to reciprocate, no matter what. They’re both prickteases.
Morinth the Ardat-Yakshi is Joanna Peterson
A lot of people don’t know who Joanna Peterson is, in the SBTB series. It’s no surprise, considering she was literally only in one episode. That short time frame could also relate to Morinth, if you choose to kill her instead of turn heel on Samara. But much like Morinth essentially did nothing but create chaos by going about the galaxy and mind-fucking people to death, Joanna just showed up to Bayside one day, and drove a spike in between the Zack and Slater friendship, to the point where they had one of the most epic fights in teen-television history.
I mean really, if any character in the Mass Effect universe existed to fuck things up between dudes, could it really have been anyone other than Morinth?
Kelly Chambers is Leslie Burke
Oh shit yeah, we’re going to the extremities to find some comps now. Leslie Burke, the infatuation for the college freshman Zack Morris, was brainy, naïve, and pretty inhibited. Yeoman Kelly Chambers, introduced in ME2, and depending on the events of the game, may or may not reappear in ME3, was also brainy, naïve, and gave off a sense of inhibition.
I was tempted to automatically give Kelly Chambers the Jessie Spano comp based solely on the stripper dance she can do for Shepard if played correctly, but let’s face it, Jessie is a key character, and although she’s my personal favorite, aesthetically, Kelly is most definitely not. Instead, Kelly is a lot like Leslie Burke; although Shepard could pursue a relationship with Kelly, as Zack does with Leslie, it’s so typically short and obscure that when it’s all said and done, they really just don’t count in the end.
Diana Allers is Stevie the Pop Star
Diana Allers was the role essentially created to give known Weeaboo, Jessica Chobot a role in ME3. She doesn’t really serve a point in the game, as her presence on the Normandy, if you take her at all is just a mere 5 points (6,000+ is needed to get a “good” ending), so she’s pretty much there to be a virtual piece of ass that Shepard can tag if the cards are played correctly.
So that’s close enough to get her a comp to the Pop Star, Stevie who was way back in time during the Good Morning, Miss Bliss days. Like Stevie, Allers is kind of a novelty name in the storyline that is there for the sake of some cheap publicity. And much like how Zack gets his kiss with Stevie, it’s when she’s not wearing her wig and nobody knows that it’s actually Stevie, and nobody believes Zack in the end, if Shepard succeeds at railing Allers, nobody is supposed to, and nobody does know about it.