'Mass Effect Andromeda' The First Murderer Outcomes: What Happens To Nilken When He's Freed Or Exiled?

'Mass Effect Andromeda' first murderer
Nilken Rensus is the subject of an early 'ME:A' side quest, 'First Murderer.' BioWare

If you've been playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, then you'll know that it can get messy out in the galaxy. Case in point, the "First Murderer" side quest involves a Turian accused of committing Andromeda's first murder. The story takes place early in Mass Effect Andromedma and will require players to make a choice between two different outcomes.

You will encounter Mariette near the Militia Office of the Nexus Operations Area, who will tell you about her husband's conviction. Mariette believes her husband, Nilken Rensus, is innocent and asks if you can help free him. Take on her request to begin your journey.

'Mass Effect Andromeda' first murderer
Nilken Rensus is the subject of an early 'ME:A' side quest, 'First Murderer.' Photo: BioWare

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To speak with Nilken Rensus you'll walk to the cell where he is kept and encounter Sergeant Aker, who will allow you to speak with him. Nilken will share with you his side of the story – he was a part of the effort to set up colony on Eos, However, Nilken's unit was overrun by hostiles and suffered the loss of their leader. Given the desperate circumstances, Nilken pleaded for Chief Hiram Reynolds to clal for evacuation. Instead, Reynolds insisted that the team stay and fight. The argument between Nilken and Reynolds escalated amid a sandstorm and approaching hostiles. In the midst of the chaos, Nilken claims he thought he saw a kett and fired in panic, only to take the life of Reynolds by accident. Nilken advises you to speak with Kandros about the evidence against him.

Nexus lawmaker Kandros believes the Nilken case is closed but is indifferent about re-opening it either way. Kandros will also point you to the witness Cassidy Shaw, who allegedly saw Nilken kill Chief Reynolds as well as the recordings. Yet despite the evidence, the sandstorm and the kett attack does create a lack of definitive evidence, particularly since Reynolds' body was never recovered or investigated. 

Director Tann is more reluctant about reopening the case, but since you're a pathfinder, he grants you permission to investigate the body at Eos and retrieve the body.

With your team, you'll head to Eos to investigate the site of the murder to scan for clues. Despite the sandstorm burying most of what went down tat day, your scanner finds armor pieces that act like bread crumbs that lead you to the Kaerkyn Cave. You'll learn Nilken did not kill Reynolds after all, since the chest armor suggests he was shot from the back (Reynolds was facing Nilken). Inside the cave, you'll discover more clues including an audio that reveals Nilken intended to kill Chief Reynolds, even though he didn't. Nilken missed his shot and Reynolds died in the hands of a kett instead. 

So Nilken didn't kill Reynolds, even though he meant to. You return to the Nexus and now it's your job to determine Nilken's innocence. Even though Nilken did not kill Reynolds, he intended to. If you choose to exile Nilken, you'll see Kandros approving reaction. Nilken will be found living in the outlaw planet Kadare later on.

Or, even though Nilken did intend to kill Reynolds, he ultimately did not commit the crime. Mariette will be delighted to know you chose to let Nilken free. However, she'll eventually learn the truth. Even though Nilken will hang around the Nexus for a while, the incident will haunt him and make his life unbearable. Later in the game, Nilken chooses to be placed in stasis and freeze himself.

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