The character included in Mass Effect 3's controversial day-one DLC pack From Ashes can be unlocked simply by altering the core game's files, PC gamers have discovered.
The character's model, animations, abilities and voice acting are all included on the Mass Effect 3 disc.
A video posted online by one fan shows how gamers can modify a couple of values in the PC version of Mass Effect 3 to immediately unlock the From Ashes character for use in battle - without paying £7.99/800 Points for the privilege.
BioWare had previously stated that work on From Ashes was only begun after the main game entered certification, something fans have taken issue with in BioWare's forum. It was there that Mass Effect 3 producer Michael Gamble responded:
"From Ashes is a 600 MB+ download with all new content, including the mission on Eden Prime, new dialogue options and conversations with [the squad member], new cinematics, the Prothean weapon, and new appearances for all squad members.
"All of the above content was completed while the main game was in certification and are not available on the disc."
Gamble did not state that the DLC includes the character itself and only mentions "new dialogue options", in addition to those already included on the Mass Effect 3 disc.
"Because the plot of ME3 is so richly interwoven with the character interactions and moments, you simply cannot use a DLC module to 'insert' a new character," Gamble continued in a blog post.
"As we've mentioned before, that character has to be planned and the framework has to be established ahead of time for us to build off of with the DLC module. You may have seen a similar framework developed in ME2 for the Zaeed and Kasumi characters.
"We wanted [the new character] to be a fully featured squad member, with deep dialogue throughout the game - and we needed him to be accessible via the character selection GUI (which you cannot simply 'overwrite' with DLC).
"Thus, certain elements of the [character's] appearance and some of the VO needed to be included on the disc. That is a fact. But that doesn't mean the content was created, and then removed. It is a necessity of adding a rich character presence in our game."