So Bioware did the awful thing to actually reveal Tali’s face AND doing a crap job at it. That made me pretty much deny the whole thing ever happening (..among other things) so Tali’s “official” face is still a mystery to me.
I’d like to point out before anyone gets mad about her looking ‘wrong’ that this is 90% my headcanon and it’s not meant to necessarily meet anyone else’s ideas about her looks. How she looks here is based on my views of Quarian biology, geography of Rannoch, codex/dialogue, and earlier Quarian concepts. I always try to make my headcanons logical in a biological sense (adsjghf im so funny) but since we don’t know that much about quarian physiology, most of my “facts” are guesses at most.
So if you’re interested, go ahead and read the massive wall of lol-science text because I obviously had too much time in my hands.
The first thing you have to remember are the enviro-suits and how important they are to quarian culture. They’ve been worn by quarians for hundreds of years and there’s no way the suit’s design hasn’t been inspired by how the quarians look underneath the suit. It also makes it quite certain that quarians don’t have horns, big ears or anything that would greatly effect the suit design (both aesthetically and functionally).
Secondly, according to the codex Rannoch’s surface temperature is over 48°C so it’s one hot place to live in. Most mammals that live in hot places on Earth have huge ears for cooling purposes but quarian suits make that idea seem quite impossible or at least very un-practical. Since quarians are probably not cold-blooded, I’d imagine they would have a ‘ventilation’ closer to us humans but more suited for Rannoch’s temperatures. The ‘cuts’ and lines on her face are like a super efficient cooling system and they pretty much cover the whole body as well, keeping quarians from overheating but also saving them from having to sweat all the time. Sweating would suck in that suit.
Also since Rannoch is mostly a desert planet, and thus a very brown habitat to live in, quarian skin color is most likely very ‘natural’ looking. Any overly colorful skintones (green, blue, purple etc) don’t really make sense from evolution’s point of view, so to me quarians have always had a wide variety of brown-ish skin color to help their ancestors blend into their surroundings.
And as for the overall skin type, I’d like to think quarians are more like turians than humans. Grunt once said that humans, asari and salarians are soft and thus easy to kill, turians and quarians not as much. So quarian skin would be tougher and thicker than human skin since their physique is obviously quite the same.
The markings on her face are kinda like tattoos. Having something special decorating your face and body is something I see quarians appreciate, but anything other than permanent tattoos would be too much trouble because of the suit. The ‘text’ itself is a part taken from Migrant Fleet ships’ walls, and it probably has something to do with their homeworld as always.
And no hair. At least in a sense that humans would think as hair. To me growing any ‘fur’ in that suit makes no sense since I doubt they’d have hair in any other reason than for aesthetical purposes, and no-one gets to see it anyway because of the damn suit. Since they already use a lot of cybernetic augmentations in their bodies you’d think they also used some sort of medicine or technology to stop any unnessecary hair from growing. At least I would. But yeah if they had hair, it’d be kinda like dreadlocks because ..because I say so.
Lastly, I’ve seen a lot of art and posts that describe quarians kinda sickly-looking because of all the years spent in the enviro-suit. I honestly can see where people are coming from with the idea but it’s still not how I see quarians. Yes they are often sick because of the immune system and sterile environment, but I’d also like to believe that the suits are damn well made and don’t really affect their overall appearance that much. Otherwise you’d hear a lot more whining.
..wow I wish I could hide text in photo posts. that’s a lot of
craptext. I think I just got myself +100 pathetic geek points. level up man.
bb, +120499575823461687861768767 uber-cool geek points for fantastic bit of lore. Thank you so much, this is such an awesome essay!
Ooh, I love the art and the breakdown from a scientific POV as to what Quarians look like! :D
This. The hair thing bothered me the most with Bioware. The cheap ‘make them look human’ tactic bothered me because part of what I like of the aliens was their interesting designs. But then they gave them hair and all I could imagine was how uncomfortable that could be in the suit. I have problems with my hair when I just pull up my hood.I would hate my hair if it started growing in a suit like that.