In Mass Effect: Andromeda, there’s really not much of a connection between the Andromeda Initiative in the Heleus Cluster and the old Mass Effect factions that we know (knew?) and love. Spectres come up a couple of times, and you can find a set of classic N7 armor, but that’s about it. So what about the iconic Illusive Man from Mass Effect 2 and 3?
Kind of like the presence (or absence, really) of the other Milky Way races, there’s a short answer and a long answer. The short (and more direct) answer is that the Illusive Man does not make an appearance in Mass Effect: Andromeda. At all. Period.
The longer answer takes a bit of work.
Based on the comic book miniseries Mass Effect: Evolution, we know that the Illusive Man’s name was once Jack Harper. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, we meet a character by the name of Cora Harper. And that’s kind of all there is. Maybe a shared last name is not a big deal in an entire galaxy, but it’s an intriguing coincidence. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it’s sure a tantalizing one.