This page is for listing the tropes related to Antagonists And NPCs who first appeared in the second Mass Effect game.
For the pages listing tropes related to Party Members, NPCs and Antagonists who first appeared in other games in the trilogy, see the Mass Effect Character Index.
"ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL."
Voiced by: Keith Szarabajka
The name for Collector drones possessed by the General to fight Shepard directly. Actually the name of the Reaper in charge of the Collectors.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Being a Reaper and all.
- He's also apparently the oldest and most powerful Reaper.
- Badass Boast: "I WILL SHOW YOU TRUE POWER." "THIS IS WHAT YOU FACE." and many, many more
- You can listen to it here, at the 58 second mark.
Harbinger: Human, you've changed nothing. Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater. That which you know as Reapers are your salvation through destruction.
- Big Bad: Prime antagonist for the main storyline of the second game, controlling the actions of his surrogates in much the same way as Sovereign did. In Mass Effect 3, it is revealed that he leads the Reapers, being the most powerful and oldest of them all.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Taken very literally. He doesn't appear in person, but takes over regular Mooks, turning that particular Mook into a hyper-powered biotic killing machine. What's more, it doesn't take a lot out of him, so even if you beat his host, he just possesses one of its buddies.
- Catch Phrase: "ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL" and all variations thereupon.
- Collector Puppets
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Think you're safely in cover? Think again. He can knock you out of it at will.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Towards the end of Mass Effect 3, Harbinger comes down to Earth to annihilate the Alliance ground forces. The battle is over in a minute, with most of Hammer Company dead and Shepard left severely injured.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Nearly won several times both in and before the game. Shepard and co. only survive one particularly devastating assault through sheer luck.
- To be clear on how Dangerously Genre Savvy Harbinger is, he attacked and destroyed the Normandy with as much overwhelming force as he could muster, short of showing up personally, at the first opportunity. He was perfectly content to let his minions do his work for him while not risking himself at all. And he wanted undeniable proof that Shepard was dead, and would have gotten the body had the Illusive Man not intervened. Throughout Mass Effect 2, he lays several traps for Shepard, first deliberately attacking Horizon, then using a 'disabled' Collector ship as bait, and finally with the Reaper IFF virus (and that last one got damn close). He refuses to even enter the same galaxy as Shepard until the Collectors are dead, and even then he had one last ace up his sleeve in the form of the Alpha Relay.
- He keeps it up in Mass Effect 3: the first move the Reapers make is to steam straight towards Earth in the hopes of killing Shepard. And then he slips up at the very end, when he forgets to check if Shepard is dead after BeamSpamming Hammer Company to death.
- Demonic Possession: "ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL."
- Demoted to Extra: He's still the apparent leader of the Reapers and thus the Big Bad of the game, but his only appearance in Mass Effect 3 is showing up at the very end to attempt to stop Alliance soldiers from beaming up to the Citadel.
- To further emphasize this, remember how much he loved to speak and just wouldn't shut up in the second game? He gets nary a peep in Mass Effect 3. Odd, considering you will hear Keith Szarabajka's voice in other parts of the game.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Since it's revealed that the Citadel is home to the AI that controls all of the Reapers, that would imply that Harbinger is its second-in-command. However, the Catalyst itself doesn't seem to do much, while Harbinger is the driving force of much of the invasion. It isn't even clear if he knows about the Catalyst at all.
- Eldritch Abomination: He's a Reaper, and, like Sovereign, just loves reminding you of how far beyond your comprehension he is.
- Evil Gloating: Less so than Sovereign, but still.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Almost on par with Sovereign.
- Fantastic Racism: Sort of. He's very interested in humanity in general and Shepard in particular, but makes dismissive comments about any non-human party members and their species.
- It's a lot worse when you find out the reasons why their species weren't picked to be made into reaper babies. The drell and krogan were dismissed out of hand due to lack of numbers, while the quarians were actually considered due to their aptitude for cybernetics.
- Fighting a Shadow: His favorite tactic.
- "YOU ONLY DAMAGE THE VESSEL, YOU CANNOT HURT ME."
- Fireballs: He's capable of shooting them. They're kind of like the Warp power that Shepard and co. can use, except it's colored differently and also lights things on fire.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Hero-Killer: After humanity proved itself a threat, he sent the Collectors to target them specifically. First on the list: that upstart who got Sovereign blown up...
- In actual gameplay, whenever he gets on the screen, and you're on a higher difficulty, wave goodbye to your squadmates. Their AI tend to make them hide behind cover while periodically popping out and shooting, which doesn't work so well when Harbinger has the ability to knock them out at will while at the same time setting them on fire. Also, half the squad powers don't even hurt him because he has armor instead of health.
- At the climax of Mass Effect 3, Harbinger personally comes down and blasts Shepard, who is on foot. Amazingly enough, Shepard lives and keeps on going. However, if your military score is too low, both of the squadmates with you are killed.
- Also, in the Suicide Mission, if you pick the wrong tech expert, squad leader, or both, then Harbinger kills your tech expert with a fireball.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: When he appears in London, all you can do is dodge his attacks. There is no way to defeat him, and he'll get you eventually.
- I Am Legion: Alternates between using "I" and "we"; not only does he have an entire species worth of potential vessels, but Harbinger himself is an entire organic species uploaded into a Reaper shell.
- Implacable Man: "I WILL FIND YOU AGAIN."
- Incoming Ham: "ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL."
- I Shall Taunt You: He is a very verbal son of a bitch.
- Large and In Charge: The largest and oldest of the Reapers, and unquestionably their leader.
- Large Ham: Harbinger doesn't emote that much, but his lines on the other hand...
- Man Behind the Man: The first time you fight the Collectors, you'll be shown the Collector General possessing lower ranking minions. At the end of the game, when the Collector General dies, you see the actual Reaper, Harbinger.
- Meaningful Name: It's the spokes-monster of the Reaper fleet, and claims that the real war is coming all too soon.
- Mind Over Matter: Possessed Collectors gain advanced biotic abilities.
- Non-Standard Character Design: He's the oldest of the Reapers, and his design reflects this: the "tentacles" are shorter and fewer, his "eyes" glow yellow and his "tail" section is doubled by a crest.
- Powers Via Possession: He can apparently force this upon those he controls. Includes heavy shield/armor upgrades and biotic-singularity-throwing as a package deal.
- Reality Ensues: Hammer Company attempts an all-or-nothing dash towards the Conduit as he's blasting them to pieces; not surprisingly, they're all but completely annihilated.
- Recurring Boss: Every time a Collector level rolls around, you'll encounter him again. And again. And again. And again...
- Resistance Is Futile: "YOU CANNOT RESIST." "WHY DO YOU RESIST US, SHEPARD?" "EVOLUTION CANNOT BE STOPPED." And so on.
- The Reveal: He's a Reaper and the Man Behind the Man.
- Sapient Ship: Like all Reapers.
- Scripted Battle: His single appearance in Mass Effect 3 is less of a battle and more you frantically trying to dodge his lasers while you run to the Conduit. No matter what happens, he ends up hitting you.
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's Harbinger. Not Harbringer. There is no R in the middle.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted. His Transformation Sequence is several seconds long, and he doesn't do anything else in the meantime. Since the sequence causes him to briefly rise into the air and out of cover, this is always the best time to attack him.
- Transformation Sequence
- The Unfought: Not counting the innumerable fights with possessed Collectors, you never directly confront Harbinger. Subverted in Mass Effect 3. Harbinger confronts the alliance ground team directly and destroys them in less than a minute.
- Villain Override: I WILL DIRECT THIS PERSONALLY.
- We Have Reserves: "KILL ONE AND ONE HUNDRED WILL REPLACE IT."
- "LEAVE THE DEAD WHERE THEY FALL"
- (after having its current vessel destroyed) "THIS FORM IS IRRELEVANT."
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Has his Collector goons simply destroy the Normandy and kill Shepard in the first ten minutes of the game. No drama, no gloating, just surprise and overwhelming firepower. Of course, there's not really much of a way that Harbinger could have seen his/her resurrection by Cerberus coming...
- Worthy Opponent: Gives a backhanded compliment that he considers Shepard to be one in Arrival.
Harbinger: Shepard. You have become an annoyance.
- You Have Failed Me...: "You have failed. We will find another way."
The Collector General
"YOU PRETEND TO BE EVERYWHERE AT ONCE. I ALREADY AM."
Voiced by: Keith Szarabajka
A special Collector that leads and coordinates the Collectors as a whole. Offering lucrative technological rewards in exchange for live test subjects, amongst the beings he's successfully retrieved were two dozen left-handed salarians, sixteen sets of batarian twins, a krogan born of parents from feuding clans, and two dozen quarians that never left the Migrant Fleet, but nobody knows what happens to the individuals concerned after the exchange is completed.
In addition, the General appears interested in human biotics, as well as Shepard in particular and the human race in general. Just as Saren used Husks to support his army of geth, the General also uses Husks to support his Collectors in a battle, but with three new types: Abominations (suicide runners), Scions (long-range bazooka men) and Praetorians (crab-like bosses).
The General appears to be the leader of the Collectors, using his drones as intermediaries to make contacts in the seedy criminal underbelly of the Terminus system. His most notable accomplishments include sending Golo to capture Paul and Gillian Grayson in Ascension, ordering the Collector Cruiser to destroy the Normandy and murder Commander Shepard in the prologue of Mass Effect 2, consorting with the Shadow Broker to acquire Shepard's body in Redemption, and ordering his drones to personally kidnap entire colonies of humans throughout the rest of the second game.
Apart from a brief holographic image appearing in Joker's cockpit and a possible encounter with him on Arrival, you never confront the General face-to-face, but you hear his taunts constantly, and he possesses various Collectors to fight you off. Turns out to be just another puppet and The Dragon of Harbinger.
- And I Must Scream: What happens to the beings that he's received, including the abducted human colonists.
- This also happens to be the very reason why he even exists.
- Bait and Switch Boss: Played up as the Big Bad behind the collectors, but is really just a puppet to Harbinger.
- Big Bad: Seems to be this at first, but he turns out to be The Dragon.
- The Dragon: To Harbinger, being used as a mouthpiece.
- Eye Lights Out: Just before he dies because Harbinger has abandoned him.
- Mouth of Sauron: An unusual case, in that we never meet the mouth in person either.
- Nightmare Face: There's something unsettling about its face.
- Red Herring: He's not the real villain, just a vessel Harbinger uses, and he was under Harbinger's control for 99% of his life.
- The Reveal: He's The Dragon.
- Shout-Out: He looks an awful lot like a member of another race of Abusive Precursors.
- Tragic Villain: Since he was just being controlled by Harbinger the entire time.
- The Unfought: Shepard never even sees him directly, and possibly never sees him at all.
The Human Reaper
A new Reaper that was being constructed by the Collectors. It was the reason for the Collectors abducting human colonies in the Terminus systems and taking the colonists to the Collector base. The colonists were broken down into genetic material and pumped through tubes that lead to the Reaper itself. The Reaper was destroyed by Commander Shepard while it was largely incomplete.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Its eyes and chest, to be precise. Bonus points that said junctions are literally labeled "Weak Point".
- Background Boss: Pops in and out of the background to make his attacks.
- Breath Weapon: Has a cannon in his mouth.
- The Cameo: Appears towards the end of the Cerberus Base in Mass Effect 3, though it's inactive and heavily damaged. Depending on whether you left the Collector Base intact or not, you'll salvage either its heart or its brain as a War Asset.
- Eldritch Abomination: Being a Reaper.
- Humanoid Abomination: Though it is actually part human genetically. It is enormous, but is also the same shape as a human.
- Fetus Terrible: In Reaper terms, it hasn't even come close to being born yet.
- Final Boss: Of the second game.
- Go for the Eye: Its eyes are two of its weak points. The other points are in its mouth and on its stomach.
- Humongous Mecha: And it's still mostly incomplete.
- Load-Bearing Boss: The area it resides in starts falling apart after you defeat the Reaper.
- Nightmare Face: Take the infamous Terminator skull coming through the flames, add a few extra bits and pieces, and bump up the size to a ten story skyscraper. That's this thing.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Millions of them, actually.
- The Reveal: The very existence of this thing is a reveal in itself, but specifically, it reveals the reason why the Collectors do what they do.
- Skele-Bot 9000: Even looks a lot like the Terminator.
- Walking Spoiler: Although "walking" may not be the best term, considering that it's only a torso.
Dr. Amanda Kenson
"Only a small fraction of the mass effect relays date back 50,000 years. The majority are far older, indicating they were created by a species predating even the Protheans."
Voiced by: Victoria Gay
An old friend of Admiral Hackett, Dr. Kenson sent a shockwave through the galactic community by publishing research that proved the Mass Relays pre-dated the Prothean civilization. She is later incarcerated by the batarians who claim they stopped her from committing terrorist acts. Turns out they were half right since, although she had planned to smash an asteroid into the Alpha Relay, it was to prevent the Reapers from using it as a springboard when they arrived. Unfortunately, by the time Shepard frees her, she had already been indoctrinated and will now do everything in her power to stop Shepard from interfering with her masters' plan.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Who else would venture into batarian space to discover an artifact.
- Badass Bookworm: Not as badass as other examples in the series (she prefers to have her men fight for her), but she's decent in a fight and hardly someone you want to cross.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: She's been indoctrinated by the artifact.
- Cutscene Boss: She either blows herself up or gets shot via a Renegade action.
- Deep-Cover Agent: Described as such by Admiral Hackett.
- The Dragon: To Harbinger, as Saren was to Sovereign.
- Driven to Suicide: She blows herself up when a Paragon Shepard finally corners her and tries to talk her down. A Renegade action simply shoots her, but she's already pulled the pin.
- Early-Bird Cameo: First appeared in Cerberus Daily News, revealing to the galaxy her findings that the mass relays were not made by Protheans.
- Escort Mission: Her rescue from the batarians plays out like this, though she can fight as well.
- Fallen Hero
- Guest Star Party Member: In the Arrival DLC.
- Moral Myopia: When Shepard activates the Project, Kenson immediately calls out Shepard for what s/he's done. Not because Shepard's actions will kill thousands of innocent people, but because it would kill Kenson's crew and prevent Kenson from seeing the Reaper's arrival. This is, of course, a side-effect of getting Indoctrinated.
- Taking You with Me: She tries to do this when she blows herself up, but Shepard survives the explosion.
- Too Dumb to Live: Yes, let's put the indoctrinating Reaper artifact out in the open, with no attempts to contain it.
- Villainous Breakdown: Complete with whining and hitting things because she can't hear the whispers any more.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Played with. Her initial plan to stop the Reapers would have killed thousands of innocent people. However, she dropped the plan after becoming indoctrinated, realizing it to be horrible, but for the wrong reasons.
The Overlord/David Archer
DAVID DOESN'T WANT TO BE HERE.
Voiced by: Jesse Gervais
"Project Overlord" is a Cerberus program whose goal is to control the Geth by uploading a person's mind into a VI, creating a "virus with a face" that can exploit their religious impulses. David Archer, the project director's brother, volunteered for the procedure... unfortunately, the VI immediately went haywire and is now on a rampage to escape. It turns out that David didn't volunteer at all.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- And I Must Scream: It's not until the end of the DLC that the indecipherable noises that the Overlord was making suddenly clear up, and it's realized that it was David trying to scream for help.
- Anti-Villain: The end of his DLC reveals that the Overlord's homicidal actions resulted from the desperate attempts of a tormented human prodigy to escape the constant noise of the geth network.
- Arc Villain: He (and his small army of geth) only appears as the antagonist in his DLC, and isn't mentioned in the vanilla game.
- Bald of Evil: Well, not really.
- Bald of Awesome: If you rescued him, he's upgraded to this in the third game.
- Body Horror/Medical Horror: The rig he's wired into. Yeesh.
- Brain Uploading
- Break the Cutie
- Catch Phrase: David Archer has "Square root of nine hundred six point oh one is thirty point one...". On the other hand, the Overlord himself has a catchphrase in the electronically distorted snarls it produces throughout the game. This is later revealed to be him screaming "QUIET PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!".
- Character Witness: If you send him to Grissom Academy, he vouches for you to some scared kids during the Cerberus raid there in Mass Effect 3.
- Contagious AI: Infects and controls an army of geth and security mechs. He can even overpower EDI if you're not quick enough during the boss fight. Thankfully, he cannot do the same to Legion.
- Cores and Turrets Boss: Sics geth holograms on Shepard between exposing its core.
- Digitized Hacker: As a VI, he can interface with any electronic device. It's noted that if he ever escaped his facility, he could cause a "technological apocalypse".
- Gone Horribly Wrong "It all seemed harmless..."
- Machine Worship: The purpose of the project was to get the geth to see him as a sort of god-figure, letting him control them.
- Master of Unlocking: When you meet him again in the third game, he hacks the lock on a security room door for you, providing some weapons and ammo.
- Mercy Kill: If you leave him with Cerberus, Gavin reveals he eventually "ended his misery".
- Nuke'Em: In the event that you didn't play Overlord at all, a meeting with Gavin Archer reveals that Cerberus eventually dealt with the problem themselves via nuclear bomb.
- Photographic Memory: Combined with his mathematical abilities, it's the key to his ability to speak the geth language.
- The Rainman: He is extremely good with numbers, to the point where he can communicate with the Geth (who use math as their language). This is the reason why he was selected for the project.
- In the third game, if you rescued him, he's putting his abilities to good use at Grissom Academy, and later, at the Crucible.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Only what it looks like. He's actually trying to cry for help, but he's so broken, it doesn't work out.
- Sickly Green Glow: Everything it infects.
- Start of Darkness: Before you finally face him, The Overlord shows you his origin.
- Tragic Villain: The Overlord is actually a young, autistic human prodigy who was forced into the experiment by his own brother to create a godlike AI that can control the geth, and hooked up to the geth network by means of forcing his eyes perpetually open with clamps and shoving pipes and plugs into every body part available. The combination of pain, the network merging, and extreme Sensory Overload drove him insane and made him go on a rampage to try to escape the noise, all while pleading for someone to "make it stop!".
- The Unintelligible: While some of what he says is just noise, he also speaks heavily garbled sentences that become clearer over time. If you know what he's saying, you'll be able to understand him: QUIET PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!.
"This is REAL biotic power!"
Voiced by: Jessica Anne Bogart
An Asari Spectre introduced in Lair of the Shadow Broker who is handling the cases of the Shadow Broker's attempted assassination of Liara T'soni. She joins Shepard in his/her effort to track down Liara after she was attacked in her home. She's secretly working for the Shadow Broker and was assigned to kill Liara.
- Anti-Villain: She works with the Broker in order to get intelligence necessary for her Spectre duties, and sees doing the Broker's dirty work as an acceptable price to pay.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: She's a Spectre for a reason.
- Badass: She's a Spectre. It's a job requirement. She beats Shepard in a mid-air wrestle.
- Deadpan Snarker: Drops a few choice quips while searching Liara's apartment.
- Determinator: See Implacable Man below.
- The Dragon: To the Shadow Broker, being his best fighter. A Spectre herself, Vasir justifies it by saying that her working for the Shadow Broker isn't any different from Shepard working with the Illusive Man.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She was mentioned in the Cerberus Daily News in February and July 2010.
- Evil Counterpart: To Commander Shepard, particularly a Paragon. Dips into Not So Different territory as well.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards "Purebloods".
- Flash Step: Does this to get to her hostage.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Most players were taken by surprise by her special talent. Vanguards snapped out of it quicker than others and went "Hey! I can do that too!". Cue charge spam.
- Foreshadowing: This Cerberus Daily News update provides a good dose of it in retrospect... so where exactly did Vasir get this "good intel", anyway?
- Grey and Grey Morality: She's a Spectre: it comes with the territory. It's also what gives her Shut Up, Kirk and What the Hell, Hero? speeches more weight.
- I Did What I Had to Do: In an attempt to kill Liara, she bombs an entire building killing many innocents.
- Implacable Man: Thrown off a ledge, crashed a flying car at great speed, bleeds across a building, takes a metal table to the face and still provides a tough boss fight.
- Lightning Bruiser: Thanks to her charge spam.
- Made of Iron: Gets hit with a lot of attacks, but almost never shows up with a visible injury. Also probably the toughest boss fight in the entire game, partly due to the fact she charges around quickly and has 2 layers of crazy tough protection.
- Magic Knight: Comes with being a biotic. Her special ability makes her especially stand out from other examples in Mass Effect.
- Mind Over Matter: Given that she's a biotic and all.
- The Mole: For the Shadow Broker.
- Not So Different: Picture Renegade female Shepard as an asari, working for the Shadow Broker instead of the Illusive Man; that's Tela Vasir in a nutshell.
- Politically-Incorrect Villain: Just to make sure we know she's a villain, she calls Liara a "pureblood bitch" before making another attempt to kill her. Remember that Liara says in the first game that no asari would be cruel enough to call her a pureblood to her face.
- Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: She resorts to taking a civilian hostage during the chase sequence. You can drop your thermal clips, keep her talking her long enough for Liara to hit her with a table, or shoot her through the hostage's shoulder. "You'll live."
- Shut Up, Kirk: Calls Shepard out on judging her for working with the Shadow Broker while (s)he works for the equally-shady Cerberus.
- Underestimating Badassery: She does seem visibly unnerved when Shepard lists off the reasons why she should back down now.
- Seemingly more so with the Paragon version;
The Shadow Broker a.k.a. Operative Kechlu
"I know your every secret, while you fumble in the dark."
Voiced by: Steve Blum
A powerful figure in the galaxy's black market who specializes in finding secret information and selling it to the highest bidder. In the first game, he/she hired Wrex to assassinate a former agent who betrayed him/her. After Shepard's death in the sequel's opening, the Broker tried to sell his/her body to the Collectors, but was stopped by Liara. Lair of the Shadow Broker reveals that the Shadow Broker is a yahg, a violent species not seen in the Mass Effect universe until now. After he's killed by Shepard, Liara takes his place as the third known Shadow Broker... at least to her knowledge. His remains are currently in a coffee cup on Liara's desk.
- Ambiguous Gender: Of the very little that's known about the Broker, his/her gender (or, as Barla Von points out, even whether the Broker is a single person or a group of agents operating under a singular title) is not among it. The Broker's a guy.
- Arch Enemy: Liara considers the Broker to be hers after the events of Redemption.
- The Illusive Man considers also the Broker "his equal" in terms of influence and intelligence gathering, and vice versa.
- Arc Villain: Main antagonist of Redemption, a comic set between Shepard's death and revival.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, he's the biggest and second deadliest enemy you face, only Tela Vasir being stronger.
- Also Asskicking Equals Authority since he took control of the previous Shadow Broker's organization by starting off as a "pet" and then killing him.
- Bad Boss: Treats his 'employees' as quite disposable. He allows a spectre who works for him to off one of his agents to disguise her role in the killing of a loose end. He tortures a Drell who betrayed him and has his agents watch, to make sure they're properly motivated. When you've practically cleaned out his men, he basically shrugs and says they're easily replaceable.
- Berserk Button: Calling him a slave. Or a pet.
- Big Bad Ensemble: As much of a threat as Harbinger for the second game, though he is only encountered in Lair of the Shadow Broker.
- Villain Team-Up: Briefly with the Collector General in Redemption. Although not exactly allies, the Shadow Broker tried to give Shepard's body to the Collectors, before Liara stepped in. The Broker himself said "it was a mutually-beneficial partnership", but it's likely Harbinger would've back-stabbed him anyway.
- The Chessmaster: The best player in the game, according to Anderson. The Broker somehow manages to sell info to everybody, but ensures that no faction ever gains the upper hand with it (gotta keep those customers somehow).
- Clueless Mystery: His identity.
- Evil Sounds Deep: At first, you think the Broker's using a computer to distort their voice/hide their identity. Then you meet him, and realize that that really is the Broker's voice.
- There are differences between the Broker's normal voice and the distorted one, however subtle. Although it strains credibility for it to transform Liara's voice into the same thing after she takes over. It's been suggested that the computer simply converts any speech into the Broker's voice, or Liara built something workable out of recordings.
- Watch the scene again. The Shadow Broker's voice over communications is the same from Operative Kelchu to Liara, but distinct from their actual voices. It's likely that the computer keeps the inflection and tone and converts the actual voice to a standard.
- There are differences between the Broker's normal voice and the distorted one, however subtle. Although it strains credibility for it to transform Liara's voice into the same thing after she takes over. It's been suggested that the computer simply converts any speech into the Broker's voice, or Liara built something workable out of recordings.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He started off as the last Shadow Broker's pet. All part of his plan.
- Genius Bruiser: He speaks eleven languages without a translator (no small feat, considering how his mouth is shaped), and has the savvy needed to run his network. He also happens to be larger than most krogan, and uses The Berserker style of combat.
- Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: The yahg were never even heard of til the DLC, and the species is completely different than any that had come before.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Once he takes enough damage, he summons a totally bulletproof barrier to hide behind and recuperate. Shepard responds by seeing if it's fist-proof. It's not.
- Hannibal Lecture: He attempts one on Liara at the climax of his DLC. It didn't go well.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Possibly the only antagonist more elusive than the Illusive Man.
- Knowledge Broker: An incredibly good one, with access to the most privileged information in the universe. Even the Illusive Man, a figure so secretive that most people are unaware he even exists, can keep no secrets from the Shadow Broker, who knows about his private life in such detail that his dossier includes which specific suit he is wearing that day.
- Large and In Charge: The yahg Shadow Broker is even larger than a krogan.
- Legacy Character/Legacy Immortality/You Kill It, You Bought It: He became the Shadow Broker after secretly killing the previous one. As Liara ends up doing the exact same thing, it's implied that his predecessor wasn't the original Broker either.
- "Operative Kechlu" was the name of the agent the Shadow Broker sent to find him. After he was dead, the previous Shadow Broker sent a message that essentially said, "Congratulations, you are now Operative Kechlu".
- More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: Seems to be a given among the yahg.
- NGO Superpower: For good reason: when your organization spans most of the galaxy, has hands in business and political interests in nearly everything in said galaxy, and specializes in collecting and using information to both support those interests and manipulate governments and corporations, you definitely should have impressive resources. The Broker owns a personal army capable of deploying hundreds of loyal soldiers in minutes on Illium alone, along with a supremely well-engineered atmospheric airbase-warship, and the enormous amounts of money, hardware and political influence one would expect from an organization of this scale.
- No Name Given: All he's/she's/they're/it's known by is 'the Shadow Broker'.
- Outside Context Villain: Even if you've played both games. Even the usual tactics of assuming that loyalty missions play to the strength of character involved won't help you too much. Expect the unexpected.
- The Reveal: Lair of the Shadow Broker clears up several of the questions surrounding the Broker.
- Ungrateful Bastard: There's a side quest in Mass Effect in which you can provide the Shadow Broker with a copy of the data Shepard has gathered on Cerberus, after which his agent informs Shepard that the Shadow Broker will be there to help Shepard when s/he needs it. Ask Liara how well that went....
- Also, his archives reveal that he was going to kill Tali when he was offering her a sanctuary in return for her information about Saren and the geth in the first game, in order to ensure that the information would not end up in the wrong hands. So basically, you saved Tali's life twice over when you first met her.
- Villainous Breakdown: He completely loses it after Liara figures out his backstory. A message left behind by the previous Shadow Broker points out that this is a Fatal Flaw of his, as his ability to think clearly plummets when he gets angry.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC reveals that the Shadow Broker's reason for giving Shepard's body to the Collectors was his attempt to pacify the Reapers and save the galaxy. Of course, his primary reason was to save his own skin. Saving the universe just means he gets to keep his power.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: How he got the job. And how his successor gets the job too.
The Blue Suns
The Blue Suns are, ostensibly, a corporation of Private Military Contractors founded by Vido Santiago and Zaeed Massani. In reality, they are a wide spanning criminal empire involved in the trading of slaves and drugs, and are in control of many planets in the Terminus systems.
The Blue Suns are a human dominated organization; however, turians and batarians both also make up large parts of the group. Unlike the Eclipse, all races serve in all roles, from grunts to elite troops to commanders.
The Blue Suns in general
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Commanders.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Run by these.
- Enemy Mine: Aria can help Shepard get their allegiance in Mass Effect 3.
- Face Heel Turn/Villain with Good Publicity: Backstory revealed throughout the game, particularly from Codex entries and planet summaries, show that the Blue Suns have several Big Damn Heroes moments to their credit, though at least a few were less heroic intention and more circumstances working out that way while they achieved their main goals.
- Faceless Goons: Many of their mooks wear helmets.
- Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: Played straight in gameplay, subverted in the Codex. During high-risk jobs, they make a point of removing anything that could affiliate them with the Blue Suns, including tattoos.
- The Jailer: They run a prison ship, the Purgatory.
- Kill It with Fire: Blue Suns Pyros.
- Mooks: The most commonly battled mooks in the game.
- Elite Mooks: Centurions and Legionnaires. Like normal troopers, except with a Vindicator battle rifle or Scimitar shotgun instead of an Avenger series assault rifle, specialized ammo and shields.
- King Mook: Blue Suns Commanders, soldiers with three thick layers of protection (shields, armor and health) who wield BFGs such as Claymore shotguns or Revenant light machine guns as weapons.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Blue stars are very dangerous, as are the Blue Suns.
- NGO Superpower: The amount of resources they have at their disposal is truly frightening. Among other things, they possess: hundreds of thousands of soldiers, heavy mechs and gunships that are just as advanced as the stuff the Alliance uses, at least three whole planets and all their people as workforce, several front corporations, a krogan cloning lab, the materials to make city destroying weaponry, and a refinery on Zorya.
- Private Military Contractor: Their preferred means of doing business.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The turians seem to think so. Excepting Warden Kuril, all the turian Blue Suns troops wield shotguns. It actually puts them at a disadvantage most of the time.
- Villain Team-Up: They team up with the other big merc groups to defeat Archangel early in the game. They lose.
"Actually, take your shot. Give me a reason to put you down like the mad dog you are. Again."
Voiced By: Richard Green
The CEO of the Blue Suns and Zaeed's rival. He, along with Zaeed, were the founding members of the Blue Suns. However, years later, Vido betrayed Zaeed, shot him in the face, and left him for dead, leaving Vido the sole controller of the most powerful NGO Superpower in the Terminus systems. Zaeed still searches for him to this day. On Zaeed's loyalty mission, he can either be burned to death by Zaeed at the cost of the innocent civilians in the factory, or could get away, allowing you to save the civilians.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted: when he and Zaeed founded the Blue Suns, Vido ran the business while Zaeed was the field commander.
- Badass Spaniard/Badass Beard: Subverted. He throws people in front of him to die and isn't even given a proper boss fight.
- Bad Boss: In Zaeed's loyalty mission, he threatens his soldiers with death if they retreat.
- Brains and Brawn: With Zaeed.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Zaeed figured this out the hard way.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's directly responsible for almost everything the Blue Suns do in the game. Some of his business practices include turning on clients when their opponents have higher bids, raiding and massacring cargo ships, and using slave labor on the Blue Suns ruled world of Zorya.
- Cutscene Boss: If Zaeed kills him.
- Death by Irony: If you let Zaeed kill him.
- Dirty Coward: He turns tail and runs the moment he sees real danger.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In one side quest, you can find a datapad that mentions him by name even if you haven't downloaded the (free) DLC where he actually appears.
- Greed: The reason he betrayed Zaeed? Zaeed's ethics meant he wasn't making quite as much money as he could've.
- Gunship Rescue: Villainous version. If you choose to save the refinery workers instead of go after him, he and a few of his mooks escape in an A-61 Mantis gunship.
- Karma Houdini: Paragon ending of Zaeed's loyalty mission.
- Kill It with Fire: If you let Zaeed kill him, he'll die this way.
- The Man Behind the Man: It's All There in the Manual. He appoints one of his batarian commanders as the 'official' CEO of the Blue Suns, but in reality, Vido runs the company, with the other 'CEO' just being put there to protect him from assassination attempts.
- NGO Superpower/Private Military Contractor: He runs one of these.
- Nothing Personal: He tries using the "it was just business" variation to convince Zaeed to spare him in the Renegade ending. It doesn't work.
- Villain Team-Up: Slightly. Comics reveal that he deals with the Shadow Broker and trades slaves with the Collectors. His soldiers also make up the majority of the resistance in the game.
"Maybe you'll solve my problem for me."
The leader of the Blue Suns on Omega, Tarak is encountered during the mission to recruit Archangel. Fed up with losing men and shipments to the persistent vigilante, he convinced the other merc groups to work with him to end their mutual enemy.
He and Zaeed also have a bit of history.
- Aggressive Negotiations: According to his second-in-command Jentha, he can be quite the negotiator: given his temperament and the high likelihood that he's primarily dealing with other criminals, it's hard to imagine most of his negotiations would be particularly cordial.
- Bad Boss: Jentha mentions that he's been both taking his frustrations out on her and planning to shoot any freelancers who are still alive if his initial plan fails.
- Big Bad: In relation to his role in the Villain Team-Up on Omega, and from Archangel's perspective. From Shepard's perspective, he's just an Arc Villain.
- Death From Above: Attacks Archangel's hideout with a gunship.
- Enemy Mine: Teams up with rival gangs Eclipse and the Blood Pack to take down Archangel.
- Flunky Boss: Drops troops while shooting from his gunship.
- Old Friend: With Zaeed. The details are never brought up, but if he's present, Tarak immediately goes from "Get these scum out of my face" to "Answer any questions they have." He even says it's good to see Zaeed.
- Properly Paranoid: After one of Archangel's ambushes nearly killed him.
- Say My Name: "ARCHANGEL! You think you can screw with the Blue Suns?"
- Storming the Castle: Planned on doing this to bring down Archangel.
- The Strategist: He seemingly came up with most of the plan.
- Zerg Rush: The first part of his plan is to send the freelancers straight at Archangel's hideout. Subverted in that it's just a distraction to let the professionals get in close.
"You have to watch out for the other merc groups. They're almost as bad as Archangel."
A Blue Suns Commander, and Tarak's second in command on Omega.
- Affably Evil: She's very polite, considerate, and patient, and will gladly answer any and all of your questions. She also says not to be too hard on Tarak because he's under a lot of stress, and even warns you that he might kill all the freelancers regardless of what they do. She's still fanatically loyal to the Blue Suns.
- Dark Action Girl: She is a member of the Blue Suns, after all.
- The Dragon: To Tarak. From Shepard's perspective, she's a mere Mook Lieutenant.
- Firey Redhead
- Instant Armor: Tech Armor.
- More Dakka: Like other Blue Suns Commanders, she's equipped with a Revenant light machine gun.
- Punch Clock Villain
The captain of the Purgatory, a Prison Ship run by the Blue Suns that takes the kind of criminals no-one wants anywhere on their planet. He claims to be doing this "for the good of the galaxy", but regularly has prisoners beaten or spaced as an example to others, and much of his funding comes from selling inmates to people looking for payback. Cerberus arranges for Shepard to buy Jack from him, but it turns out his eyes are bigger than his stomach.
- All There in the Manual:In the Codex, it states that turians that do not wear the colonial identity facepaint markings are called "bareface", which in their language is also synonymous with slimy politicians and pathological liars. Lo and behold, the Warden is barefaced.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Whenever Kuril welcomes a prisoner, he gently asks the local authorities for a donation to keep the Purgatory running. If he isn't paid, he releases the prisoner back onto their homeworld...
Kuril: At an unspecified place and time.
- Bullying a Dragon: One of the biggest offenders in the entire series.
- Death Glare: When Shepard insists on keeping his/her guns, they have a glare-off. Kuril blinks first.
- Hypocrite: Says that he "makes the galaxy safer" by locking up dangerous individuals. But when comes the biggest hero(ine) that ever lived, he tries to capture him/her for the bounty.
- Instant Armor: Tech Armor.
- I Want Them Alive: Towards Jack. He doesn't mind killing Shepard though.
- The Jailer: He's the one in charge of the Purgatory.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Starts off as a Knight Templar, with questionable methods, but not harming innocents and trying to help the galaxy. Soon, you discover he is willing to leave dangerous criminals on planets that can't pay, and he is rather brutal to prisoners. All ambiguity goes out the airlock when tries to capture Shepard for a bounty.
- Knight Templar: What he considers himself to be. It quickly becomes clear that he's just a slaver who uses this trope to justify his actions.
- Mismatched Eyes: Oddly enough. His left eye is purple while his right is yellow.
- More Dakka: He's armed with a Revenant Light Machine Gun.
- Tattooed Crook: Inverted. His lack of face tattoos is the first sign something's not right about him. See All There in the Manual above.
- Underestimating Badassery: One of the best examples imaginable.
"Being hired is merely the beginning. You must earn your place in the mighty army we are building."
A Blue Suns commander encountered on Korlus. She is the financial contributor and overseer to Warlord Okeer's krogan cloning project.
- Arc Villain: The Korlus mission.
- Bad Boss: Spends the entirety of the mission where she's encountered insulting her troops over the intercom for being unable to kill Shepard right up until Shepard literally walks through her front door, and brushes off the dozens of dead Blue Suns, as well as Okeer and his vat-krogan, as replaceable. She refuses to send mechs to shield her men as they're panicking and being cut down, even though that's what mechs were originally designed to do.
- Canned Orders Over Loudspeaker: Trope Namer. Sort of.
- Flunky Boss: She fights alongside numerous krogan and a YMIR mech.
- Instant Armor: Tech Armor.
- Small Name, Big Ego: This woman's ego masses more than twenty Jupiters combined. Just listen to her go on at the Blue Suns about her "mighty army". Okeer claims his rejected krogan would be adequate soldiers for Jedore were she not such an awful leader; this is borne out by a reject krogan speaking to and obeying Shepard on sight, without question.
- Smug Snake: A bit too overconfident for her own good.
The Blood Pack
The Blood Pack is a legion of mercenaries founded by a krogan battlemaster exiled from Tuchanka for striking a female in anger. The group operates in the Terminus Systems, and members are fought throughout Mass Effect 2 on places like Omega, Tuchanka and Pragia. While Eclipse are weighted towards tech/biotics and the Blue Suns toward straight up soldiers, the Blood Pack are more likely to sic varren on you or shove a flamethrower in your face.
Their hiring practices are somewhat narrower than the other two groups: they consist exclusively of krogan and vorcha. The latter make up the bulk of their ground forces but are treated with no greater respect than their attack varren; they're kidnapped and beaten into submission more often than they are 'recruited'.
The Blood Pack in general
- Boomerang Bigot: The galaxy's largest abuser of vorcha is led by a vorcha.
- Although that may have something to do with all the Krogan mercenaries that went back to Tuchanka in the wake of the genophage cure. You'll notice that neither Aria or Hackett ever mention krogan when discussing the Blood Pack, and it was basically led by krogan mercs in Mass Effect 2.
- Enemy Mine: Aria can help Shepard get their allegiance in Mass Effect 3.
- Exclusively Evil: Vorcha, which make up most of the group.
- Faceless Goons: The krogan members often wear helmets.
- Grenade Launcher: According to the description for the grenade launcher available to the player, this is a popular weapon among them. In actuality, their troops just use the same ML-77 Rocket Launcher everyone else uses. However, the Blood Pack Warriors are able to fire some sort of red rocket/plasma ball thing from their shotguns, which could make them an example.
- Healing Factor: Both the krogan and the vorcha. Can be countered with fire based powers like Incendiary Ammo and Incinerate.
- Highly-Conspicuous Uniform
- Kill It with Fire: Blood Pack Pyros.
- Mooks: Vorcha.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: You might wanna avoid a group called the Blood Pack.
- Private Military Contractors: Though they're banned in Citadel Space.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The krogan certainly seem to think so. The Blood Pack Warriors are all equipped with Scimitar assault shotguns.
- Villain Team-Up: Early in the game, the Omega chapters of all three big merc groups team up to get rid of Archangel. They lose.
A krogan battlemaster that leads the Blood Pack on Omega. He teams up with the Eclipse and Blue Suns leaders on Omega in order to kill Archangel.
- Arc Villain Ensemble: With Tarak and Jaroth for Archangel's recruit mission.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Being a krogan battlemaster and all. He can apparently regenerate faster than most krogan can, according to Archangel.
- Bad Boss: If Grunt is present during the mission, he shoots one of his Vorcha in the head just to prove a point.
- Boom! Headshot!: See Bad Boss above.
- The Brute: Serves as this in the Five-Bad Band on Omega.
- Enemy Mine: Works with the rival merc groups for the sole purpose of taking down Archangel.
"They did such horrible things to us. They must have had good reasons."
A human biotic who was a test subject at the Teltin facility on Pragia. Aside from Jack, he was the only survivor of the mass breakout. He tries to restart the facility during Mass Effect 2, with the help of the Blood Pack.
- Arc Villain: Only appears during Jack's loyalty mission, as the main antagonist.
- Badass Bystander: See Heroic Sacrifice below.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: He doesn't scream and rave like most examples of this trope, but his staring, twitching and his very un-funny Insane Troll Logic with regards to the Teltin facility leave you in no doubt that he's mad. As for the brainwashed, well, he went through much of the same stuff Jack did.
- Heroic Sacrifice: If you prevent Jack from killing him in the second game, he dies in the third game by saving a shuttle full of children evacuating from the Reapers.
- Shout-Out: His last name is likely a reference to Shohreh Aghdashloo, the voice actress for Admiral Raan.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's convinced himself that everything he went through had to have some sort of value.
Eclipse is a mercenary corporation founded by an asari commando. They are employed as security or firepower. They appear as commonly battled Mooks in Mass Effect 2, where they are encountered on places like Illium, Omega and Bekenstein.
Eclipse in general
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Like the other groups, some of their members, such as Wasea, Enyala and Jaroth.
- Enemy Mine: Aria can help Shepard get their allegiance in Mass Effect 3.
- Faceless Goons: Once again, many of their members wear helmets. Notable exceptions are Engineers, Vanguards, named characters, and troops you see outside of combat.
- Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: They wear all bright yellow armor. Averted with some of Donovan Hock's guards, however, who wear black armor.
- Mooks: Eclipse Troopers.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Given the superstitions surrounding eclipses, it might be a good idea to avoid a group that uses the phenomenon as their name.
- Palette Swap: Their human units are just palette swapped versions of Blue Suns units, with at most one or two small attributes added (human vanguards have a slightly different head and toss Warps).
- Private Military Contractors: They're particularly prominent in asari space.
- Villain Team-Up: With the other two big merc groups on Omega, to take down Archangel. They lose.
The leader of the Eclipse mercs on Omega. Heavily involved in the red sand trade. He teams up with the other merc groups to take down Archangel.
- Drugs Are Bad: He runs the red sand trade.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Part of the reason he wants Archangel dead is because he killed his brother.
- The Evil Genius: From Archangel's perspective. He controls the mechs, and helped Tarak plan the attack.
- Hand Cannon: He's equipped with an M-6 Carnifex.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: You can hack his heavy mech to kill all his mercs, and rarely him.
- Kill It with Fire: Like other Eclipse Operatives, he possesses the Incinerate power and holographic Combat Drones.
- Leeroy Jenkins: After you kill all his mercs either way (through normal gunfire or hacking his heavy mech), he comes charging out with a Carnifex.
- We Have Reserves: He's perfectly happy throwing freelancers at Archangel for this reason.
- You Killed My Father: The main reason he hates Archangel is because he killed one of Jaroth's top lieutenants... who also happened to be his brother.
"My replies were intended to provoke, though not to cause distress. Your reactions are atypical of most humans. You are interesting."
Voiced by: Tricia Helfer
When the Normandy is destroyed in an ambush by the Collectors, Cerberus builds a second, twice as large and more powerful Normandy for Shepard's mission. It is now equipped with a shackled Artificial Intelligence called EDI ("Ee-dee", short for Enhanced Defense Intelligence) that runs the combat electronics.
In Mass Effect 3, EDI's avatar is no longer present. Instead, she takes over the synthetic body of Dr. Eva, a Cerberus spy machine that infiltrated the Prothean Archives on Mars, and in the process becomes an actual squadmate.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: She was built with averting this in mind: she only has access to the weapons systems and the communications array. Joker's still paranoid about it.
- After her restraints are removed, her subsequent actions show she's fully on your side -- and very pleasant! -- despite being an illegal AI developed from Reaper technology by a terrorist organization. That's some serious subverting right there.
- She reveals in Mass Effect 3 that she was built out of the remains of the "Hannibal" AI that Shepard destroyed in the first game on the Moon. Despite this, she holds no malice towards Shepard for doing what they had to do.
- Appropriated Appellation: "EDI" stands for Enhanced Defense Intelligence, simply a label of her function. As EDI's character develops, it just sorta... becomes her name.
- Audio Erotica: Samantha Taylor sheepishly apologizes for the times she mentions how sexy EDI's voice was when she finds out EDI is AI. Later on, a recording shows one of the scientists who worked on her confessing it's hard to resist EDI with a voice like her's. Shepard him/herself agrees.
- Become a Real Boy: Her character development in Mass Effect 3. There's shades of this in the second game also, since EDI spends a large amount of time trying to understand and rationalize organic behavior. However, it isn't until she gains her own body (and possibly develops a relationship with Joker) that she actually makes concerted efforts to feel "alive".
- Black Box: initially has a number of "unspecified" functions.
- Cannot Convey Sarcasm
- Casting Gag: Voiced by known Cylon Tricia Helfer.
- Catch Phrase:
EDI: That is a joke.
- Character Development: Goes through this in spades during the third game if pushed the right way.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Remember that out-of-control AI on Luna? That was the initial version of EDI before being recovered by Cerberus and rebuilt.
- Cool Starship: When she's unshackled, she becomes the Normandy.
- Crew of One: If unshackled, she could potentially do the jobs of most of the human crew. This becomes a necessity in the endgame, although she and Joker note the Normandy still flies better when they work as a team.
- Deadpan Snarker: EDI becomes increasingly snarky over the course of the second game, mostly due to Joker's influence. In Mass Effect 3, she's so damn snarky, she gives Joker a run for his money.
- Do-Anything Robot: Technically a "Do Anything AI". In Mass Effect 2, virtually every single obstacle Shepard faces is dealt with by saying, "EDI. Do stuff.".
- Doppleganger Spin: Once EDI commandeers the Cerberus infiltrator mech for herself, she gains the "Decoy" power, which projects a distracting (no, not that way) holographic doppleganger of her mech platform.
- Everyone Can See It: Her relationship with Joker even before she got a body.
- Exposition Fairy: Fortunately far less annoying than most examples.
- First-Name Basis: A sign of Joker and EDI getting along is when she starts calling him 'Jeff' as opposed to 'Mr. Moreau'. Joker stops calling EDI "it" and starts calling EDI a "she". Significantly, the first time she calls him 'Jeff' is after the Collectors attack the ship and kidnap the rest of the crew.
- Glacier Waif: As a squad mate, her passive power leans towards strong shields and health as well as hard hitting powers, but not to reducing recharge times, and she even has two powers that are devoted to increasing her survivability. She makes for one sturdy fembot.
- Humanity Is Infectious: In Mass Effect 3, EDI admits the reason she asks Shepard for a human perspective, instead of an Asari, Turian, Quarian, etc, is because she's come to self-identify herself as a human. Its heavily implied to be due to the influence of both Shepard and Joker.
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Cerberus incorporated recovered tech from Sovereign in her construction.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Joker and Shepard both refer to her this way initially. Joker's switch to using "her" is more of a plot point than Shepard's, who can treat her as 'equipment' for the whole game depending on your dialogue choices.
- Video records found in Mass Effect 3 show that the Illusive Man insisted on referring to her this way even after she rebelled. Shows what he knew.
- Just a Machine: Averted with Paragon Shepard and Joker, both of whom are the first to treat EDI as a person and not just a tool to run the Normandy. Its likely what causes her to develop such Undying Loyalty towards them both throughout the second and third game.
- "Just Joking" Justification: Uses this regularly, to varying degrees of effectiveness.
EDI: There is nothing wrong with off-duty distractions. Though some of your extranet bookmarks are technically illegal in council space.
- Ludicrous Precision: Tends to do this, often in regards to how screwed they currently are.
- Master Computer: Invoked.
EDI: I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees...
- Mission Control: EDI pulls this duty alongside Joker.
- Morality Chip: Inverted. EDI has multiple levels of programming controls that prevents her from rebelling, but actually becomes more helpful to Shepard and Joker after they're removed. It's also revealed in Mass Effect 3 that she's actually capable of modifying her own morality protocols. Again, she becomes an even more helpful and moral person by doing this.
- No Sense of Humor: To an almost amusing degree, at least according to Kasumi. Then again, she's probably right.
Shepard: EDI isn't a crutch, Joker. I want your eyes on everything.
- Though even she knows how groan-worthy probing Uranus is.
- She gets better at it. When Cerberus tried to remote-hack the Normandy, they got an impressively explicit response from EDI.
Cerberus Scientist: I think she was making a joke.
- Parental Substitute: Invokes this toward Shepard in Mass Effect 3, asking them essentially to give her The Talk on how to begin a relationship with Joker.
- Playful Hacker: Cerberus apparently tried to take the Normandy back remotely after Shepard ran off with it. When they sent the signal, EDI's response was to flood their inboxes with zettaabytes of porn from Joker's collection.
- Playing with Fire: Once EDI gains the EDIBot, one of the standard tech powers in her repertoire is Incinerate.
- Which explains why the room where the body was deposited was on fire...
- Plot Armor: She and Joker will survive the suicide mission no matter how poorly it goes for you.
- Replacement Goldfish: Not EDI herself, but if you read between the lines and look at the Expanded Universe, Dr. Eva, the robot whose body EDI takes over in the third game, is named after another character from the Illusive Man's past. And the robot Eva was designed to be completely loyal to the Illusive Man and not have any free will of her own. Ew.
- Required Party Member: During the assault on the Cerberus base in the third game.
- Restraining Bolt: Initially limited to only cyber warfare activities during battle and monitoring by Cerberus programming blocks. Joker eventually undoes them.
- Robo Ship: Rumors abound about her and Joker in-universe from the likes of Mordin, Kasumi and, should you chose, even Shepard. EDI is not amused.
EDI: What Jeff and I are exhibiting is more a platonic symbiosis than hormonally-induced courtship behavior.
- Developed further in Mass Effect 3: once she takes Dr. Eva's body for herself, EDI begins trying to understand organic relationships in more detail in order to try to comprehend Joker more.
- Robot Girl: In Mass Effect 3, EDI has a violent AI-on-AI confrontation with Dr. Eva's synthetic body that ends with EDI wiping and controlling her body, turning her into a full-on ambulatory squadmate.
- Sapient Ship: After she's given complete control of the Normandy.
- Sex Bot: Toyed with. Before she knows that EDI is a sapient intelligence, Samantha Traynor commented that she found EDI's voice extremely attractive. Further, everybody is impressed with how attractively feminine the body EDI gets from Dr. Eva is, to the point that they know Joker is going to go crazy about it. He does. And lastly, the whole bit is lampshaded by Jack.
Jack: Nice body, EDI. Now you look like a sex-bot instead of a sex-toy.
- And, in a Crowning Moment of Funny, Shepard can even overhear Joker asking Mordin for advice on how it would be possible to have sex with EDI without breaking any bones.
- Okay, there's no Unusual Euphemism that will do, so let's just be blunt: the DLC costume gives two upgrades: +25% shields and a frakking camel toe. This can be very disconcerting, as the camera is most likely to show this on it during exposition scenes when you're supposed to be paying attention to the plot.
- Shock and Awe: Once she is rendered remotely ambulatory via appropriating the Dr. Eva mech, she has the bread-and-butter tech power Overload.
- The Smart Guy: Provides helpful advice on almost all missions and is very good at what she does behind-the-scenes.
- Spaceship Girl: At least her voice.
- Troll: Repeatedly provokes Joker because she enjoys watching his reactions.
- True Companions: Her response to Miranda's misgivings about her being unshackled? "You are my crewmates." The Shadow Broker dossiers show that she communicates with Legion verbally rather than electronically in case any of the organics wander in... she feels it would be rude for them to carry on a conversation no-one else can hear.
- Undying Loyalty: To Shepard and Joker.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Joker.
- Can also be read as Belligerent Sexual Tension; at least Shepard thinks so. Plus, it's telling that after EDI is unshackled, she stops calling Joker "Mr. Moreau" and starts calling him "Jeff". Joker in turn stops calling EDI "it" and starts calling EDI a "she".
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Subverted in Mass Effect 2. EDI states that she and Joker are engaging in a platonic respect and partnership, rather than hormone-driven courtship. Joker is creeped out by the suggestion. Then played completely straight in Mass Effect 3, where EDI acknowledges that Joker finds her new body aesthetically pleasing, but that she has no biological drives which allow her to reciprocate. Instead, she's driven by the desire to understand Jeff and make him happy, so she asks Shepard for his/her advice. You can tell her to keep things friendly, or encourage her to the point that she figures out how to love him back on her own.
- What the Hell, Player?: Will chastise you if you make Shepard go into the opposite sex bathroom.... or send probes to Uranus.
"You have unread messages at your private terminal."
Voiced by: Cara Pifko
The Normandy SR-2's yeoman (and unofficial crew counselor), a perky young woman who has plenty of respect for both Cerberus and Shepard. Romanceable despite not being a party member.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys/Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Depending on how you interact with her as a Male/Shep, she'll admit to one of these two after recruiting Thane.
- Anything That Moves: Doesn't care what race/gender her partner is because "Passion is nice wherever you find it and intimacy brings understanding." Uh-huh. Fans have had a field day speculating about how the varren-carried STD got on board the Normandy.
- Bi the Way: Kelly is very flirty, regardless of her interlocutor's gender.
- Boldly Coming: As noted, Kelly's rather... open when it comes to romance.
- Break the Cutie: Even if she survives the suicide mission, she ends up with some pretty heavy emotional scars.
- Up to Eleven in Mass Effect 3. She can't even step onto the Normandy anymore without having flashbacks of her abduction and capture. And, if Shepard yells at her when she reveals that she used to spy on him for the Illusive Man, she'll run off in tears, and you'll later learn that she killed herself by swallowing a cyanide pill.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: In Mass Effect 3, if she survived the second game, she will be a therapist with a crippling case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with some Survivors Guilt for good measure.
- Driven to Suicide: She will have an emotional breakdown if you yell at her for being The Mole in the third game and will later take cyanide pills due out of depression.
- Ethical Slut: Kelly is extremely promiscuous but not at all predatory.
- Fan Service: Apparently, the entire point of her romance.
- Good Bad Girl: She's a nice girl. She's can't be called 'pure' in any way whatsoever, but she's nice.
- Heroes Want Redheads: If her romance is pursued.
- Intimate Psychotherapy: Hinted at. She's a yeoman in title and in function, but as Shepard points out, this job could be done by a VI. Her actual main function is as the unofficial ship counselor, whose job is to keep stress in check among the crewmembers. She mentions that this duty is best fulfilled informally. On a totally unrelated matter, she says "Passion is nice wherever you find it and intimacy brings understanding." Way to keep stress in check indeed.
- Kill the Cutie: What happens if you delay in going through the Omega-4 relay.
- And in the third game, can die if you don't persuade her to change her identity on the Citadel during the Cerberus invasion.
- If you choose to yell at her (instead of forgiving her) when she reveals that she sent reports on Shepard and the crew to the Illusive Man during the previous game, she will commit suicide.
- The Mole: She will confess that she was spying on Shepard on behalf of the Illusive Man in the third game.
- The Pollyanna: For crying out loud, she reacts to Garrus joining the crew by commenting on how she just wants to give him a hug and tell him everything will be all right. Lampshaded a little too: since they obviously couldn't have a whole new set of dialogue for post-Suicide mission, if you talk to her then, she'll have a bad flashback and then happily quip "Now, back to regular Kelly! <3".
- Subverted like hell in Mass Effect 3. She's got a bad case of PTSD from her abudction and can't bear the thought of returning to the Normandy.
- Sexy Secretary: One of the reasons she was put on the crew was to invoke this.
- Shipper on Deck: Reportedly, in some cases she'll make some sly comments to you about you and your chosen partner if you start pursuing a romance.
- She does so even before you start pursuing anyone/regardless of whether you do at all (i.e. that her female intuition tells her Tali wants to be "more than just friends", and you shouldn't be surprised if Jack comes onto you)... She's a true Shipper!
- The same is true for the female Shepard romances, even though she gets a little more gossip-girl-like when remarking how Shepard and Garrus would be a cute couple or how she likes Shepard even more after admitting she finds Thane attractive. The only ones she says nothing about are Jacob and Miranda.
- There Are No Therapists: In Mass Effect 3, she appears to be the only therapist available on the docks, and she is surrounded by people who need her help, so her own issues will have to wait.
Kenneth Donnelly and Gabriella "Gabby" Daniels
"Kenneth and I have been partners in crime since we graduated from tech academy.
Voiced by: John Ullyatt (Kenneth), Dannah Feinglass (Gabby)
Two of the Normandy's engineers. Also members of Cerberus, although not the evil kind. They have a snarky comment for every situation.
- All Men Are Perverts: Ken has appreciative things to say about Miranda and Tali's form-fitting outfits, perks up when Gabby tells him how little Jack is wearing, and even teases Gabby herself a bit.
- In Mass Effect 3, Ken does the same for EDI's new body. Gabby even sees it coming a mile away.
- Bi the Way: Possibly Gabby: in Mass Effect 3, if Shepard doesn't push them into a Relationship Upgrade, she seems to seriously consider Kenneth's suggestion that she should try dating Traynor after Gabby informs him he doesn't have a chance. But this might just be to mess with him.
- Break the Haughty: Kenneth is awfully confident in his Skyllian-Five Poker skills, but with enough Paragon or Renegade points, you can show him otherwise.
Kenneth: You beat me at my own game. You're all right, Shepard.
- Deadpan Snarkers: They snark at each other constantly.
- Dude, She's a Lesbian: Gabby makes it clear to Ken that he's not Samantha Traynor's type.
- Everyone Can See It: Several crewmembers comment on the fact those two would be perfect for each other if they ever got around to realising it.
- In Mass Effect 3, should Shepard encourage them, they hook up, leading some of the crew to comment:
- Fiery Redhead: Ken.
- Geeky Turn On: At one point, after listening to Gabby spout some Techno Babble about what she had to after in response to the Normandy's armour being upgraded, Ken responds lustfully "I love it when you talk dirty."
- Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Kenneth is a big believer in this. To the eternal annoyance of Gabby.
- Greek Chorus
- Honor Before Reason: Kenneth lost his job over defending Shepard, and Gabby quit hers to stick with Kenneth.
- Killed Off for Real: If you delay going through the Omega 4 relay. Gabby is the first to go, followed by Ken.
- Like an Old Married Couple
- Loveable Sex Maniac: Ken. Constantly. Much to Gabby's dismay. Partly because she's tired of his lustful perverted jokes... and partly because none of them have her as the subject.
- Pet the Dog: Shepard can use their Spectre status in Mass Effect 3 to have all charges against them for working with Cerberus dropped, getting them out of a detention cell and reassigning them to the Normandy's engineering staff.
- Platonic Life Partners: Implied by Kasumi.
- At least, until you're given the option to convince them otherwise in Mass Effect 3.
- Quest Givers: In both games, they ask Shepard to look for a certain mechanical part that will help them.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ken and Gabby respectively.
- Relationship Upgrade: Potentially in the third game.
- Scotireland: Ken's surname is more commonly Irish, but can be found in Scotland. His accent is Scottish, and he enjoys haggis.
- Shout-Out: Ken's Scottish accent will remind players of a certain Star Trek character.
- Techno Babble:
Kenneth: I won't bore you with the tech, but there is an array of attenuators in the primary power transfer system that channels the field bleed...
- Those Two Guys
- Undying Loyalty: They hooked up with Cerberus because Ken refused to back down in defense of Shepard when the Alliance sold him/her out.
- Gabby also has this for Ken—she joined Cerberus strictly because he did.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: At least on Gabby's behalf.
- Unusual Euphemism:
Kenneth: We're off to kick the Collectors right in their daddy-bags.
- Violent Glaswegian: Ken, though not so much violent as hotheaded and passionate, especially when it comes to defending Shepard.
- Wrench Wench: Gabby.
Mess Sergeant Rupert Gardner
"Rupert! There's something different with tonight's meal! Seems like you put in more food and less ass."
—--Crewman Hawthorne, regarding Gardner's cuisine
Voiced by: Bill Ratner
The Normandy's cook and all-around handyman, he's quite proud to have been with Cerberus, as he believes the Alliance and the Council to be useless. A former family man, he lost everything he had to batarian raiders.
- Bald of Awesome: Generally boisterous.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lost his entire family to batarian raiders, leading him to join Cerberus as he felt the Alliance simply wasn't doing their job protecting innocent colonists.
- Deadpan Snarker: Whenever someone talks smack about his meals, mostly.
- Irrelevant Sidequest: Sends you grocery shopping for him on the Citadel, but at least he admits that it's a silly thing to ask his commander to do.
- Jack of All Trades: By his own admission. This includes cleaning the restrooms *and* preparing meals.
"I wash my hands! Most of the time."
- Killed Off for Real: Just like Kelly, Gabby and Dr. Chakwas, if you delay in going through the Omega Relay.
- Lethal Chef: According to the crew. Kasumi believes him to be an evil genius.
- Non-Action Guy: He's a cook and janitor. He has no involvement in combat.
- Put on a Bus: No sign of him in Mass Effect 3.
- Real Men Cook: Tries to give off a manly vibe and a good chef once he actually has proper ingredients.
The Illusive Man a.k.a. Jack Harper
"Salvation comes with a cost. Judge us not by our methods, but what we seek to accomplish."
Voiced by: Martin Sheen
The enigmatic leader of Cerberus. He seeks to protect humanity, regardless of the cost. He gets Shepard to investigate the disappearance of human colonies. He is the protagonist of the tie-in comic Mass Effect: Evolution where it's revealed that his real name is Jack Harper, and he got his start by fighting the turians on Shanxi, and his eyes were damaged when he encountered a Reaper artifact on the planet during the struggle.
In Mass Effect 3, he makes his most ambitious move yet: attempting to gain control of the Reapers and their technology rather than defeating them conventionally.
- Affably Evil: To Paragon players. According to Retribution, this is a facade he uses to make it difficult to tell when he's lying.
- If Shepard dies he seems genuinely remorseful in private, regardless of what s\he did to the Collector base.
- Ambition Is Evil: He, and Cerberus as a whole.
- Anti-Villain: When he first shows up, at least.
- Appropriated Appellation: His anti-alien manifesto was derided by Alliance command after first contact as "survivalist rhetoric written by an illusive man." He kinda rolled with it.
- Badass: If this prequel comic is any indication, old Mr. Illusive was quite the soldier. He's probably more of a Retired Badass now.
- Batman Gambit: His plan to revive Shepard as-is through the Lazarus project is one of these, and it is even lampshaded at the beginning of the game by Miranda. His gambit pays off big in the Renegade ending, but he winds up hoisted by his own petard in the Paragon ending and undergoes a Villainous Breakdown.
- Attempts an enormous one against the Reapers in Mass Effect 3, in order to take control of them to subdue other species and put humanity on top. However, his plan fails because he doesn't fully anticipate just how out of his league his own (very strong, but only human) mind is in the face of an Eldritch Abomination and ends up being indoctrinated.
- Benevolent Boss: He will do everything in his power to help out his subordinates... so long as they remain loyal and useful.
- Bad Boss: Just don't betray him. Just ask Paul Grayson, who gets Reaper technology implanted into him. In the third game, he uses Reaper technology to create an army of slaves, among other atrocities.
- Big Bad Ensemble: He's the second most recurring antagonist throughout the Mass Effect series, including the comics.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Subverted despite what the characters believe. While Harbinger and Cerberus largely ignore a direct confrontation throughout most of Mass Effect 3, the Illusive Man took great steps to control the Reapers in the meantime: he ordered Henry Lawson to study indoctrination, buffed Cerberus to NGO Superpower status and modified himself with Reaper tech so he could use the Crucible. Once Harbinger finds out, the Reapers storm Sanctuary in a brief moment of Evil Versus Evil. However, that research ultimately led to the Illusive Man himself becoming indoctrinated (or strengthening it, since his eyes are Reaper tech). By the final confrontation, it's made clear that the Illusive Man was little more than The Starscream.
- Non-Action Big Bad: In every appearance with him as an antagonist.
- Body Horror: His cybernetic implants during the final confrontation.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: His creepy glowing eyes are even commented on in-universe.
- Call Back: TIM's suicide is Saren redux.
- The Casanova: His dossier in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC reveals this.
- The Chessmaster: He pretty much is Cerberus, ensuring to be personally involved in all of their operations. Considering how intricate and far reaching their influence is, that's a lot of pawns.
- He also successfully manipulates the galaxy's most skilled soldier into working with him by making it so s/he really had absolutely no choice in the matter, completely boxing him/her in. Add on the fact that for all of Mass Effect 2, he was responsible for pretty much everything that happened and even outthought the Collectors a few times.
- We see even more of this in Mass Effect 3. He tries to ensure Shepard will be at ease working with Cerberus by recruiting Joker and Dr. Chakwas. He also specifically uses Kelly Chambers, Ken Donnelly and Gabby Daniels
- Consummate Liar: It's nearly impossible to tell when he's being truthful or lying. Aria T'Loak notes that his very body language is cultivated to be just as inscrutable as his words. One of the few people capable of successfully lying to Aria's face.
- Contemplative Boss: He spends an awful lot of time staring at that star.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: And they glow. What's especially noteworthy is that they look similar to Saren's eyes from the first game, possibly to hint that both have been touched by Reapers.
- Cunning Linguist: Apparently can speak the asari and turian dialects unaided by universal translator, although this is apparently because of the Reaper tech he was implanted with.
- Cutscene Boss: At the end of the third game, you will either be able to convince him to kill himself, like with Saren in the first game, or you'll have to take him out using one of two Renegade interrupts. Not taking either of them results in a Nonstandard Game Over.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Doesn't matter whether Shepard is Paragon or Renegade, you always get dialogue options about whether or not the Illusive Man is trustworthy, and whether he knows more than he lets on at the end of several missions (in both cases, often to his face). Granted, a lot of this is to do with Cerberus's reputation and the player's experience of them in the previous game, but even so, it's clear that Shepard and other characters are wary of him and his organization, especially as the game goes on, and it becomes more and more obvious that they are still up to no good.
- Diabolical Mastermind
- Did Not Do the Research: Or, perhaps, too much ego. Obviously, he thought he could outwit indoctrination and not end up like Saren. He couldn't.
- Dirty Old Man
- Driven to Suicide: If Shepard can make him realize that he's being indoctrinated during their last conversation, he will choose to shoot himself.
- Electronic Eyes
- Empathic Environment: His office. If Shepard is a Paragon, the star will turn blue. Otherwise (i.e. Renegade), it will turn red.
- Enemy Mine: Mass Effect 2 revolves around an uneasy alliance between him and Shepard. Previously, he had one with Liara to secure Shepard's body from the Shadow Broker.
- He seems to consider cooperating with non-humans as this kind of arrangement. Which is ironic considering that he helped save the entire turian race from indoctrination back when he was still a mercenary.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Cerberus facility that created Jack was actually a rogue facility outside his approval, and he ordered all of the surviving scientists from the project executed once he learned precisely what they were doing. Furthermore, his e-mail responses to both the Paragon and Renegade endings of the Project Overlord incident give further credence to the idea that he still tries to maintain some ethical standards in his research projects.
- However, his response to "Overlord"'s Renegade ending claims while he thought the experiments went too far, he's happy that Shepard decided to keep the research subject within Cerberus. It's possible that while the Illusive Man would happily reap the fruits of even the most unethical projects, he might as well keep Shepard's loyalty by going along with what s/he chooses to do.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Whatever his research ethics were like before, it becomes clear in the third game that he's thrown off any remaining restraints, to the point of attempting to institute a second Project Overlord, which disgusts even the head of the original project.
- However, his response to "Overlord"'s Renegade ending claims while he thought the experiments went too far, he's happy that Shepard decided to keep the research subject within Cerberus. It's possible that while the Illusive Man would happily reap the fruits of even the most unethical projects, he might as well keep Shepard's loyalty by going along with what s/he chooses to do.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: As magnificent as he was, he was still way out of his league attempting to take control of the Reapers.
- Evil Mentor: Tries to be one to Shepard in Mass Effect 2, though it's entirely up to the player whether or not Shepard actually follows him.
- Expy: The Illusive Man's development in Mass Effect 3 is rather parallel to Saren's from the first game: they both are Well Intentioned Extremists who crosses the Moral Event Horizon to deal with the reaper threat. While Saren feels that he can work with the reapers to save all organic, the Illusive Man decides to try to find a way to control them. They both even justify their actions with the exact same argument; the reapers never truly wiped out all of organics. Both of their paths leads to them getting reaper implants, making them easier to be indoctrinated. In the end, they both can also die in the same exact way, committing suicide if Shepard manages to convince them that the reapers are controlling them.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Although his facial features can occasionally be seen.
- Fantastic Racism: Sort of; at the same time he does express respect for the achievements of others, and he did save the turians from being enslaved by Desolas back before he founded Cerberus.
- Fatal Flaw: His Pride. He's so convinced that the ends justify the means, it leads to himself and the entirety of Cerberus getting indoctrinated by the Reapers.
- Fiction 500: He was able to get a multi-billion credit project to bring a person back from the dead together on fairly short notice. And build an improved version of the most advanced, experimental starship in the galaxy while he was at it. And this didn't really impede any of his other operations.
- Although it is mentioned that the huge price of bringing Shepard back was offset by the valuable medical data obtained through the process.
- Un-shackled EDI explains that Cerberus owns the companies that built the first Normandy. They likely still have the resources and technology involved.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: It's mentioned that he was once an average man with a family.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Even if you've finished the game depriving him of Reaper tech, he'll still go out of his way to get Kasumi in your team even though they've already finished their mission. The same goes for the Overlord mission, begging the question of why he'd request your aid in stopping his project after you blew up the Collector Base. In addition, you still get Cerberus funding when completing missions.
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Bizarrely, almost nobody comments on them.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: We never see him without a cigarette. Made fun of in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC: he smokes at least four a day and has seven drinks a day.
- Heel Realization: Like Saren before him, can be talked into having one, both into realizing that he's indoctrinated and how much his actions have hurt humanity.
- He Who Fights Monsters: How did he raise such a huge army in Mass Effect 3? Indoctrination. Unfortunately, indoctrination based on Reaper tech. He wasn't just playing with fire, he was playing with randomly spontaneously combusting thermite. And naturally, he succumbed himself.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: He's trying to make humanity dominant in the galaxy. Beyond that, not even Miranda, his most loyal agent, has any idea what he wants. The third game reveals that he's looking for a way to control the Reapers.
- I Am the Trope: CERBERUS IS HUMANITY!
- Ink Suit Actor: He resembles Martin Sheen. It's also fairly obvious that the photo of him in the Codex is a photoshopped picture of a younger Sheen.
- It's All About Me: "Cerberus is humanity!"
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite everything he's done wrong, and the truth behind his actions and motivations in the third game, one of the three endings reveals that the Illusive Man's plan had a large bit of truth all along. Players who don't wish to destroy all synthetic life or watch the Citadel burst into flames (with all those people who are still stuck on it) will have no choice but to appreciate what he has been working so hard to do.
- Knight Templar: He believes that everything he does will be justified later on.
- The Man: Shades of this: always shown in dim light, smoking a cigarette, a very rich and powerful fellow manipulating events from the shadows.
- Manipulative Bastard: Although he is not as manipulative as he wants to think, what with trying (and failing) to persuade Paragon Shepard to save the Collector base.
- Meaningful Name: Everything, everything related to this man is covered in layers upon layers of meticulously planned deception.
- Mysterious Employer: None of his subordinates know anything about him and the smart ones know better than to attempt to rectify that. In fact, many who work under his agents have no idea they're following his orders.
- Doubles as a Mysterious Backer in general.
- Necessarily Evil: His stance on some of his actions in Mass Effect 2 and just about everything he does in Mass Effect 3.
"You think because I'm willing to use the enemy's tactics, that they're no longer my enemy?"
- Not So Different: Mass Effect 3 starts to show that he and Saren are frighteningly similar.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He complies with his employees' requests and is willing to work with aliens so long as it suits his goals.
- Psychotic Smirk: Give him the Collector base at the end of the game, and he'll have a rather creepy one of these.
- Punny Name: Some call him TIM.
- Red Right Hand: Creepy, synthetic, glowing eyeballs.
- Shut UP, Hannibal: What Paragon Shepard does to him after destroying the Collector base. Bonus points for Miranda doing it too, when asked to convince him/her not to do it. Extra bonus points for "Shut up" being the actual dialogue option that shows up on screen.
- Slouch of Villainy: He sits rather casually in his lounge chair most of the time.
- Smug Snake: If you refuse to give him the Collector's base at the end, his unflappable demeanor... flaps a bit.
- The Social Darwinist: Develops shades of this in Mass Effect 3 (an attitude Kai Leng embraces wholeheartedly). In this case, "evolution" = becoming Reaper-tech transhumans.
- Spanner in the Works: Part of how Cerberus operates in Mass Effect 3. Attacking Sur'Kesh to kill the fertile females, and attempting to set off a Turian bomb on Tuchanka in order to prevent races from uniting.
- Start of Darkness: Mass Effect: Evolution.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Saren in Mass Effect 3. Both seek to use the Reapers as a means to secure the dominance of their race, and end up indoctrinated and implanted with Reaper tech for their efforts. Shepard can even talk the Illusive Man into suicide in an almost exact replication of Saren. According to a Prothean VI, every cycle has groups like these that emerge.
- Talking the Monster to Death: You can convince him to kill himself at the end of Mass Effect 3. However, unlike with the encounter with Saren in the first game, which just requires a bunch of points in the Charm or Intimidate skills, the dialogue option to do this with the Illusive Man is very difficult to unlock; you have to have near-max EMS, a completely full Reputation bar, and have to have taken all of the Persuade options in every conversation you have with him during the game.
- Tom the Dark Lord: His Fan Nickname is essentially TIM, while his real name is Jack. Go figure.
- Totalitarian Utilitarian: It's quite telling how he tends to refer to his employees as "resources".
- Tragic Hero/Tragic Villain: He needs quite a bit of whitewashing to be considered a 'hero', but the fact remains that he had the power, knowledge (his information network nearly rivals the Shadow Broker's), and charisma to stand a significant chance of defeating the Reapers. Too bad his Pride led to him getting too close to Reaper tech and becoming one of their biggest assets against Shepard. It's hard to argue that, had the Illusive Man sided with Shepard when they encountered one another on Mars, the fight could have been won much sooner and more easily.
- The Unfettered: Is willing to allow any manner of horrible experiments happen to people in order to secure human dominance, even if those experiments are on other humans.
- The Unfought: In Mass Effect 3. This is slightly justified since he is a Non-Action Big Bad. A battle with him was originally intended, but they decided that going One-Winged Angel and turning into an unrecognizable monster didn't fit someone whose weapon had always been his mind/ideals. Or because it was "too videogamey".
- Ungrateful Bastard: Cerberus will oppose Shepard in Mass Effect 3 regardless of whether s/he decided to destroy the Collector base or not, though it later becomes clear that this largely due to indoctrination.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: See the above quote. In this case, utopia = human dominance.
- Villainous Breakdown: If you destroy the Collector base. He doesn't rant and rave, but he's clearly not pleased that Shepard basically gave him the middle finger and told him they're doing things Shepard's way from now on, or he can sod off.
- In Mass Effect 3, he has a pretty epic one when confronting Shepard and Anderson at the endgame, especially if Shepard keeps pointing out that his plan to control the Reapers is failing because he himself is indoctrinated and playing into their hands. It ends with him either ranting violently at Shepard and trying to shoot him/her and Anderson, or fighting off his indoctrination and committing suicide.
- Visionary Villain: Designed to be the best and worst of humanity all at once.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Though the "well-intentioned" part of it is entirely down to whether you agree with his notion - as some players inevitably do - that humanity has every right to crush the rest of the civilized galaxy under its collective foot and take charge.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: In the third game, his reaction to seeing Shepard after s/he storms his base:
Shepard, you're in my chair.
Captain Armando-Owen Bailey
"I'm with them [formalities] up until they keep people from doing their jobs."
Voiced by: Michael Hogan
A human Captain of C-Sec, he unofficially acts as a liaison during Shepard's time on the Citadel. He's not big on formalities, but nevertheless gets promoted to Commander by the start of Mass Effect 3.
- Anti-Hero: Somewhere between a Type III and IV.
- Canada, Eh?: Michael Hogan's northern Ontario accent comes through pretty strongly.
- Commanding Coolness: Gets promoted to this by the time you meet him in Mass Effect 3.
- Da Chief: For Zakera Ward in Mass Effect 2, then moves up into even higher echelons in Mass Effect 3.
- A Day in the Limelight: Mass Effect: Inquisition, where it's revealed that Bailey ended up killing Pallin while investigating him under Udina's orders. Of course, he believes that Pallin's innocent of whatever he was accused of despite evidence to the contrary.
- Dirty Cop: A Zig-Zagging Trope. Bailey is obviously crooked, as he's willing to torture suspects and makes under the table deals with thugs, but at the same time he's actually a good person and acts as a Reasonable Authority Figure towards Shepard.
- Foil: Towards Executive Pallin. Unlike Pallin, who was a by-the-book cop, Bailey is willing and able to bend the rules if he feels it gets the job done.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Will bargain with crooks if it ultimately means it'll keep peace on the Citadel.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Willing to engage in dirty business to keep the peace, but he's anything but a thug: see below.
- Knight in Sour Armor: His divorce, estrangement from his children, and the things he's seen on the job have made him pretty sour. Still does his best on the job though.
- Noble Bigot: Subverted. Although this trope often goes hand in hand with Old-Fashioned Copper, Bailey is one of the few NPC's in the series to avoid this. During Thane's quest, he shows empathy towards the alien population's fear of humans, observing that many of them have lived on the station since before humanity discovered space travel. All the more impressive given that many of the C-Sec officers throughout the game are very openly speciesist, including (at first) Garrus.
- Old-Fashioned Copper: On your first trip to the Citadel, you overhear him encouraging a younger officer to "make [the suspect] scream a little" to extract a confession, and then offers to do it himself if she can't handle it.
- Parental Abandonment: "You think [Thane's] the only man who ever screwed up raising a son?"
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Perfectly willing to help Shepard out, even when it involves breaking the law.
- Retcon: An accidental one regarding his name. A background news report in the second game refers to him as Owen Bailey, but the Lair of the Shadow Broker archives refer to him as Armando Bailey. A later Cerberus Daily News report patched up the mistake by giving him the rather unwieldy first name "Armando-Owen".
- Retirony: Defied. He tells you he wants to retire to a nice place in the foothills on Earth, but then quickly adds that he won't be doing so any time soon.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: His excuse for being a dirty cop.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: Basically how he got his job, though unintentionally.
Admiral Steven Hackett
"When Earth calls, you be there with your dress blues on, ready to take the hit."
Voiced by: Lance Henriksen
Commanding officer of the Alliance Navy's Fifth Fleet. Voice of authority and giver of sidequests. Often heard, but never seen in-game (until Mass Effect 2's DLC, that is).
- Ascended Extra: Goes from being just a voice telling you about side-missions, to being arguably Shepard's most frequent and trusted contact in the Reaper War.
- Badass: Orphaned at 12, showed chops in science and leadership, enlisted, became a frontier explorer, fought with distinction in the First Contact War, climbed from lowly Enlisted to the top flag office in the Alliance navy.
- Big Good: A large number of the side missions in the first Mass Effect come from him.
- In Mass Effect 3, Shepard reports directly to him and he is, for all intents and purposes, the leader of the entire human race.
- The Cavalry: Epically at the climax of the first game.
- Clint Squint: Seems to be the neutral state of his eyes.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Hackett wears the classic Mirror Universe goatee and mustache combination, but he's definitely a good guy.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a very prominent scar on his right cheek, and his right eye looks like it's taken its fair share of right hooks.
- Gray and Grey Morality: As an Admiral, Hackett is naturally concerned with maintaining the law; however, following Shepard's promotion to Spectre, he has Shepard perform more "under the table" missions to maintain Alliance confidentiality.
"You put Darius in power, but he was getting greedy. You wanted me to kill him."
- Ink Suit Actor: Preview pics for the Arrival DLC indicate BioWare decided to model Hackett's face off Lance Henriksen's.
- Ironic Echo/Meaningful Echo: "You've done a hell of a thing." 
- Nerves of Steel: Probably the calmest and most unflappable human leader in the series. Even when Reapers tore the Alliance a new one.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He uses Shepard's loyalty to the Alliance to get him/her to take on some sensitive missions. However, he does at least acknowledge that s/he is doing him a favor and acts appropriately. At the end, he defers to Shepard as the (wo)man in the field, despite his much higher rank.
- In Lair of the Shadow Broker, his dossier reveals that he denied an Alliance desk jockey's request to have Shepard detained and interrogated for a few months due to his/her ties to Cerberus, and with style.
Hackett's entire response to a lengthy request email: Request denied.
- Later in the same DLC, Liara reveals that Hackett was the one who gave her Shepard's dogtags, and confirmed that Shepard was still alive before they actually met, wishing Shepard well.
- After Shepard is forced to kill 300,000 batarians, Hackett notes that he will do what he can to protect Shepard and delay any fallout that s/he will have to face as long as possible saying that s/he did what s/he did for the right reasons. He even tells him/her to keep his report because he doesn't need it to know that s/he did the right thing.
- Rousing Speech: He gives one during the endgame of Mass Effect 3.
"Never before have so many come together - from all quarters of the galaxy. But never before have we faced an enemy such as this. The Reapers will show us no mercy. We must give them no quarter. They will terrorize our populations. We must stand fast in the face of that terror. They will advance until our last city falls, but we will not fall. We will prevail. Each and every one of us will be defined by our actions in the coming battle. Stand fast. Stand strong. Stand together. Hackett out.
- Shoot the Dog: A lot of his missions seem to revolve around this trope. After the events of Arrival, Hackett tells Shepard that s/he has to be (metaphorically) sacrificed to the Batarians to avoid a war, after s/he kills over 300 000 of them to blow up a mass relay the Reapers were minutes away from using.
- Shout-Out: Named after the former Genesis guitarist.
- Supporting Leader: He leads the charge against Sovereign in the final act of the first game.
- The Voice: Until Arrival.
"You're free to go, Justicar. It's been an honor having you in my station... and it's nice you didn't kill me, too."
Voiced by: Cindy Robinson
Anaya is a cop on Illium that Shepard meets when looking for Samara. She is quite helpful, as Shepard's cause might draw Samara away from Illium... and therefore keep Anaya from having to arrest and be subsequently killed by the justicar.
- Bullying a Dragon: Though not by choice, only by proxy: her superiors ordered her to detain Samara, even though Samara's code would force her to kill Anaya to avoid it. Fortunately, both of them are willing to be reasonable about it.
- By-The-Book Cop: She only accepts your evidence against Pitne For because Samara vouches for you.
- Da Chief: To the cops in her district.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very much so.
Shepard: You're not going to lock her up?
- Friend on the Force: Will follow up on some of Shepard's leads if you go to her.
- Hero Worshipper: Like most Asari, is in total awe of a Justicar like Samara, even if that Justicar will probably end up eventually killing her.
- Honor Before Reason: She'll follow orders even if it's guaranteed to get her killed by a Justicar.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: She makes it very clear that she will follow her orders to detain Samara if Samara does not leave Illium, even knowing that her odds of survival are close to zero.
Anaya: I'm a cop and I know my duty.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She's willing to work with Shepard and Samara to make sure they can do what they need to.
- Shout-Out: After the mission, she sends you an e-mail titled Still Alive.
"What can I get ya, babe? Sorry, no sex. I just cleaned the bar."
Voiced by: Claudia Black
An Asari Matriarch working in the Eternity bar on Illium because she had the blue laughed off her ass when suggesting her people build more mass relays. Bothered, but not too worried, about being confronted by Conrad Verner, and implies she would have dealt with him a lot more violently than Shepard. She is actually Liara's father. She took the bartending job in Eternity and later the Apollo cafe both to keep an eye on Liara for the other matriarchs and to keep the less sympathetic ones from trying something.
- Cool Old Lady: Thanks to being a Deadpan Snarker and Dirty Old Woman.
- Deadpan Snarker: Nearly everything she says includes a sarcastic quip.
- Disappeared Dad: Well... technically.
- Easter Egg: If you order a "mystery drink" at the kiosk, then talk to her again, her character model is of a much younger and more attractive asari.
- Face Palm: Her reaction to Conrad's wife paying for his ticket out.
- Flat What: Her reaction when Conrad says that he heard the bar is a front for dealing red sand.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: She gives Shepard a barely-veiled threat along these lines if s/he's been romancing Liara in the third game.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: She's faced a lot of crap.
- The Ladette: To be expected. Her dad was a Krogan, after all.
- Lamarck Was Right: "Scientists say that stuff about us getting genetic material from our fathers is crap. Seems like I got a bit of his mouth, though."
- Nature Versus Nurture: She was raised by a krogan father, so it would have rubbed off, genetics or no.
- Made of Iron: In one of the Shadow Broker archive videos, Matriarch Aethyta headbutts a krogan... and the krogan falls to the ground.
- Mrs. Robinson: She flirts with Shepard quite a bit. The fact that she's Liara's dad plays it even closer.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Her view towards asari's hat. She believes that they should be doing more constructive things with their Maiden Years.
- The Nicknamer: Well, she only gives one example rather than tendency, but it's memorable enough to stick to mind: she calls Matriarch Benezia "Nezzy".
- Also prompted Benezia's petname for Liara, "Little-wing".
- Only Sane Man: Was laughed off Thessia for suggesting that they make a serious effort to study and duplicate the Mass Relays. After the third game becomes even more so after the relays blow up in all three endings.
- Papa Wolf: Technically falls under this rather than Mama Bear since she's the father in the situation. Either way, she has been making sure nobody messes with Liara.
- Really Gets Around: "You find peace in whatever arms will hold you." Apart from Benezia, the lovers she sees fit to mention are a turian, an elcor and a hanar.
- The Reveal: She has been confirmed to be Liara's father. Not that Liara didn't already figure it out (seen here).
- Too Much Information: Liara's reaction to what she says about Benezia's magnificent rack.
- Wolf Whistle: When fondly recalling Benezia's rack.
Doctor Gavin Archer
Voiced by: Simon Templeman
A Cerberus researcher that was in charge of Project Overlord, a Cerberus project designed to find a way to communicate with and fully control the Geth in an attempt to prevent a possible second war with them by linking a human mind to the Geth Hive Mind via a VI. His younger brother, David, volunteered for the project, but the VI went rogue, leading to disaster.
At the end, its revealed that his brother didn't volunteer at all for the last phases of the experiment, he forced his own brother, against his will, to take part in the experiment despite knowing full well how horrific and traumatizing it would be on him.
- The Atoner: He quit Cerberus after the events of Overlord and is more than willing to help Shepard to defeat the Reapers in Mass Effect 3.
- Crocodile Tears: A variation. He makes a seemingly heartfelt plea for Shepard to let him become The Atoner and take care of David. If Shepard says no, it slips very quickly and he shouts "No! He's too valuable!" and tries to shoot Shepard.
- Driven to Suicide: If you fail to save David (or just keep quiet about it to make him squirm), he pulls out a pistol and walks away to "escape from this nightmare". You hear a shot a second later.
- Heel Face Turn: In Mass Effect 3.
- I Did What I Had to Do: What he claims, but it doesn't come anywhere near justifying what he did.
- Karma Houdini: Even in the Paragon ending.
- Heel Realization: That said, he eventually realizes the awfulness of what he did: when the Illusive Man asks him to do a second Project Overlord, Archer tells him that "if he wanted to find the devil, he need only look in the mirror." Subsequently, he quits Cerberus and is among the ex-Cerberus scientists that Jacob is protecting.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Everyone agrees that him being pistol whipped by Paragon Shepard was well deserved.
- My God, What Have I Done?: A delayed one, but he eventually has this reaction to what he did with Project Overlord.
- Pistol-Whipping: Delivered to him by Paragon Shepard.
- Reformed but Rejected: If he shows up in the third game, Shepard's voice is just dripping hatred during the entire conversation with him.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His project turns into this. Almost everyone associated with the project killed. Legion reveals the majority of the Geth have no interest in another war, and Legion himself is perfecly happy to communicate voluntarily with humans. So in the end, all the shit Archer put his brother through was pointless. This is especially evident if you play the mission after recruiting Legion.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Averted. He fully understands why Paragon Shepard views him as Complete Monster and admits that even he knows that nothing he ever will do can make up for what he did to his brother.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: In this case, it doesn't.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has a brief one in Overlord's Paragon ending.
The Quarian Admiralty Board
"This Conclave is brought to order..."
The current members that govern the quarian Migrant Fleet, composed of Rael'Zorah vas Rayya, Shala'Raan vas Tonbay, Han'Gerrel vas Neema, Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib and Daro'Xen vas Moreh. They play major roles during Tali's loyalty mission, being the judges in her trial and each member has a unique outlook on the geth/quarian conflict.
They return in Mass Effect 3, leading a massive Migrant Fleet strike on the heart of geth territory at Rannoch, the quarian homeworld.
The Admiralty in general
- The Faceless: Quarians, obviously.
- Fantastic Racism/Just a Machine: Zaal'Koris is the only one who reflects on both sides of the geth-quarian war. Gerrel and Xen are actively hostile in different ways, while Raan doubts that "they have different factions" will convince people.
- Four-Star Badass: While they're all admirals, special points go to Han'Gerrel.
- Gray and Grey Morality: All of the Admirals seemingly have the best interests of the Migrant Fleet at heart, but all of them have their vices. In rough order from lighter to darker shades of gray:
- Zaal'Koris is a Jerkass to Shepard and Tali in court, but he remains the sole admiral who wants to make peace with the geth, believing that the other admirals are moving dangerously close to open war. Assuming Tali is acquitted and Shepard urges the Conclave to pursue peace with the geth, Koris warms up to the duo considerably.
- Shala'Raan wants to avoid open war with the geth and is good at keeping the other admirals in line, but the other admirals imply that she's rather low-key about her own opinion and generally goes along with the majority side.
- Han'Gerrel is a friendly and honorable man, but he believes total war against the geth, even with evidence they're not brainless murdering machines and that the geth who sided with the Reapers are heretics, is the only way to reclaim the quarian homeworld.
- Rael'Zorah seemed to have been a strict officer and a clever fighter, but remained distant from his daughter Tali, though he still loves her dearly. Based on spoken dialogue from the other four admirals, Rael seemed to share Gerrel's opinion in driving the geth out of their homeworld. To that end, Zorah deliberately reprogrammed captured or dismantled geth to perform experiments, in an effort to successfully hack their neural network. By experimenting on active geth, Rael not only violated sacred laws that predated the quarians' flight from the homeworld, but got everyone on the Alarei killed and endangered the entire fleet.
- Daro'Xen wants to find a method to reclaim the homeworld with a minimum of bloodshed on either side... by mind raping the geth back into slavery, and Tali's responses to Xen's dialogue suggest that Xen has a Mad Scientist or god complex.
- Manipulative Bastards: The trial isn't about whether Tali really did endanger the Flotilla, but what course should the quarians take concerning the geth. Tali just got caught in the crossfire.
Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay
"I was there when Tali was born; her mother and I had synced our suits so we could be in the same open-air room. I was sick for a week, but it was worth it."
Voiced by: Shohreh Aghdashloo
A close friend of Tali's mother, and flag officer of the Patrol Fleet. Her arm of the flotilla is responsible for picket lines, scouting, and extra-fleet escort duties. Stuck with the fairly thankless task of keeping the other admirals in line, she is sadly aware of the limits of her position and doesn't feel she can do much to change public opinion. If Tali dies in the Suicide Mission, she fills her shoes at certain points in Mass Effect 3's story, like Padok Wiks does for Mordin.
- Da Chief: One of the patrol fleet's main duties is internal fleet law enforcement; as an admiral, she's more police commissioner than soldier.
- Driven to Suicide: If Tali's dead, and you save the geth over the quarians, she shoots herself in the head.
- Neutral No Longer: Initially was wishy-washy about her stance in the whole Homeworld question, but once momentum started, she sided with Admirals Xen and Gerrel. While Xen wanted to test out all her new toys, and Gerrel was simply itchin' for a fight, Raan just wanted to take the homeworld.
- Parental Substitute: Signs point to Raan becoming a surrogate mother to Tali after Tali's biological mother died in her youth. She's "Auntie Raan" to Tali.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She "wears holes in her suit" for Shepard and Tali's sake, has to keep Koris and Gerrel from bickering at each other in the middle of proceedings, and is the only admiral not trying to push her personal agenda ahead of the truth.
Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib-Qwib
"They are our children, Shepard. We have all done horrible things to each other, but it has to end--for both groups."
Voiced by: Martin Jarvis
An outspoken opponent of homeworld invasion plans, supporter of geth peace endeavours, and commander of the Civilian Fleet. He's responsible for the well-being of the majority of the fleet's ship numbers.
- Cassandra Truth: In a cruel twist of fate, he's the only one who believes the geth were justified in exiling them after attempted genocide due to the false assumption they'd go rogue and kill all quarians. He's not at all wrong either.
- Fail O'Suckyname: He is proud of the Qwib-Qwib, and refuses to transfer over "petty insults".
- A Father to His Men: To the point that he has to be talked into being rescued rather than saving his troops.
- Jerkass: The immediate impression we get of him, before we learn he's the most rational and open-minded about the geth conflict.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In addition to his desire to seek peace with the geth, he makes it clear that he has nothing personal against Tali and respects her greatly. If you ask him about the admirals' infighting after the first part of the trial, he'll apologize for letting it interfere with the proceedings. After you get Tali off, he'll thank Shepard for being there for her when the Admiralty board wasn't. Yeah, he's kind of a dick, but underneath it all he's a genuinely good person.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He is one of the lone quarians who support peace with the geth.
- Nice Guy: In Mass Effect 3, he's the only one to stand with Tali in resisting the other admirals' war fever, his main concern is protecting the civilians who make up the bulk of his fleet, and his fervent belief in the fundamental right to life for the geth remains. He ends up becoming more of a Reasonable Authority Figure than Shala'Raan at times and his survival is absolutely crucial to broker a peace between the quarians and the geth.
- The Men First: After crash-landing on Rannoch, he's adamant that Shepard leaves him behind to save the remnants of his crew. You can convince him otherwise, and despite lamenting his loss, he agrees in hindsight that Shepard was right to do so, as he keeps his Civilian Fleet from faltering.
- Only Sane Man: In Mass Effect 2, he's the only quarian Admiral (in fact, one of the few quarians period) who wants to avoid war with the geth. Keep in mind that even Tali'Zorah, who may or may not be working with a geth at this point, thought of the geth as heartless machines. Koris is the only person to sit back and realize that the geth uprising (or the "Morning War" as the geth call it) was the quarians' own fault and the geth probably just want to live. He also is the only admiral who realizes that an outright war is suicidal (justified, since he's in charge of the civilian fleets). He is literally the only quarian in a position of authority who has come to these logical standpoints. The combination of all this pressure has made him extremely frustrated and desperate, and it makes your initial impression of him in Mass Effect 2 a harsh one. By the third game, he has his act together.
- Ramming Always Works: When a geth ground cannon starts ripping through the quarian fleet, he crashes his ship into it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Not immediately obvious in Mass Effect 2, since he seems too willing to get Tali exiled for the sake of politics, but by Mass Effect 3, he fits this trope absolutely perfectly.
- Resigned to the Call: Should you rescue him after his crash-landing, he becomes a hero to his people, having set foot on the homeworld and lived to tell about it. He's reluctant because the entirety of the rest of his ship's crew perished in the process. Ironic, considering he thought the idea of taking back the homeworld was suicidal folly at best.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Worse than senseless: if you let him die to save his crew, it becomes impossible to avoid the Genocide Dilemma later.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Han'Gerrel's manly man. While Gerrel is a hawkish asskicker who leads the main battle fleet and would love nothing more than to get a piece of the geth, Zaal'Koris looks out for the civilian fleet and wants nothing more than to make peace with the geth, even if that means forgoing the homeworld. He thinks the price of war is simply too high.
- The So-Called Coward: Han'Gerrel views him as a coward because he believes in looking for a peaceful resolution to the Geth conflict. Turns out Zaal'Koris was correct all along.
- Stealth Pun: He occasionally considers transferring to a ship with a respectable name like Defrahnz or Iktomi.
- Took a Level In Kindness: He's taken the complete opposite Character Development in Mass Effect 3 than Han'Gerrel did.
Admiral Han'Gerrel vas Neema
"Blow up some geth on the way."
Voiced by: Simon Templeman
Admiral of the Heavy Fleet, and a warhawk through and through. He's also a childhood friend of Tali's father. His fleet is the main military force of the Flotilla.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Unless reined in, he will launch a full frontal assault on anything resembling a geth ship. This includes the geth dreadnought that a fellow Admiral and a hero of the fleet is aboard, and later on, he'll order the entire Migrant Fleet to open up on the geth fleet while they're disabled, and continue ordering the attack when they've been upgraded with advanced Reaper coding unless Tali, Shepard, Zaal'Koris and Shala'Raan order him to stop.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He initially comes off as the Reasonable Authority Figure, but also supports Revenge Before Reason when it comes to the geth and doesn't see anything wrong with his ancestors' attempted genocide.
- Flanderization: In the second game, he was the most vocal admiral about wanting to go to war with the geth, but was otherwise incredibly respectful to Shepard and was one of the most sympathetic admirals towards Tali during her trial. Come to the war in the third game, and he becomes single-mindedly obsessed with destroying the geth at the cost of the Migrant Fleet's civilian ships and even Tali and Shepard while they're on board the geth dreadnought. That said, we never saw him at war in Mass Effect 2.
- General Ripper: And how!
- Jerkass: Seems to have switched places with Koris in Mass Effect 3, considering his over-eagerness to destroy the geth dreadnought before Shepard and crew were evacuated from it.
- Knight Templar: By Mass Effect 3. As they say, War Is Hell.
- Leeroy Jenkins: He appears to have this propensity in Mass Effect 3 with his Heavy Fleet, much to the consternation of the other military fleet admiral Patrol Fleet Admiral Shala'Raan.
- Manipulative Bastard: Despite being a Leeroy, some of his tactics show a cunning political mind: by forcing the attack on the geth dreadnaught, he put Raan in a position where she either had to back him or risk the destruction of the whole fleet, giving him the chance to destroy the geth flagship and give the quarians a fighting chance again.
- Nice Guy: In the second game, though he was always a believer in Revenge Before Reason.
- Revenge Before Reason: Wants a piece of the geth in the worst way. Even if it means annihilation of his people.
- Stop or I Shoot Myself: In essence, how he gets the rest of the fleet to follow his insane attacks. He places the Heavy Fleet in danger and warns the others that the Heavy Fleet will be wiped out without support, and if that happens, the quarians will be SOL when the inevitable counterattack occurs.
- Talk to the Fist: When Han'Gerrel orders the Migrant Fleet to bombard the geth dreadnought Shepard and Tali are aboard, the aftermath discussion gives Shepard a Renegade interrupt to gut-punch him and boot him off the Normandy. Still, militarily, he made the right decision to open up on the dreadnought immediately after Legion disabled it because he simply couldn't take the risk that its weapons, shields and engines might come back up, and let it go back to ripping through his fleet. Paragon Shepard can recognize this, and simply tell Gerrel to let him/her know before he starts shooting.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He goes from being a good friend of Tali and her father to willing to sacrifice her and Shepard to destroy the geth dreadnought. And that's not even covering what he does  at the end of the Rannoch arc.
- The Unfettered: He will stop at nothing to have his vengeance on the geth. Even if you manage to get the quarians and geth to make peace, it's clear that he is absolutely furious.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In Mass Effect 2, he reveals that he believes Tali and Shepard about the Reaper threat (and is one of the few people in any position of authority to do so), and justifies the need to go to war with the geth by claiming that without a planet to shelter their noncombatants, the quarians would be unable to devote the full force of their fleet to the fight against the reapers.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He attacks a geth ship that Shepard's on as soon as the defenses go down. No one else is happy about it. Shepard even gets to punch him for it.
Admiral Daro'Xen vas Moreh
"Rael should have felt no more guilt experimenting on geth than I did while performing surgery on a childhood toy!"
Voiced by: Claudia Black
An eccentric but brilliant researcher, Admiral Xen is responsible for various research vessels in the fleet. Though her arm of the fleet is small, they play a critical role in technical advancement. She does not regard the geth as alive, but as malfunctioning machines.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Her interest in Rael'Zorah's research. When you keep quiet about it, she'll send you a message gloating about how she plans to use it on the geth (expose what Rael did and she'll be furious). Additionally, her use of Rael's research is what starts the quarian-geth war in Mass Effect 3.
- For Science!: Introduce Legion to her and she'll express interest in experimenting on it, freaking it out a bit.
Xen: It has a name. Fascinating. The things I could learn under slightly different circumstances...
- Just a Machine: Doesn't believe at all that the geth are synthetic lifeforms, just machines that have malfunctioned, comparing them to starships (that are superior in various ways but are still just tools), and, if Shepard refers to Legion's help beating the Collectors, she states that the same could be said of his/her pistol. Thankfully, nothing seems to comes of it to jeopardize peace should you achieve it in Mass Effect 3; she just gets shipped off to the Crucible.
- Mad Scientist: If Tali dies in the suicide mission, she does all the hacking during the dreadnaught mission. This includes making geth platforms dance for her (offscreen) amusement.
Ash: She's not all the way sane, is she?
- The Sociopath: Comes across as one at times, showing a marked lack of empathy towards others and her indifferent tone while discussing how she she performed complex surgery on her childhood toys.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her ultimate priority is to recover Rannoch for her people, and wishes for the quarians to regain control of the geth in the process.
- You're Insane!: Tali's opinion of her plan to retake control of the geth, indicating that even among quarians, her views are extreme.
Admiral Rael'Zorah vas Rayya
"I promised to build my daughter a house on the homeworld..."
Tali's father. Somewhat distant to Tali due to the burden of being an admiral, he just wanted to build a house for his family on the homeworld.
- Apocalyptic Log: All we ever see of him, and he uses it to give his only child more orders about what to do with his findings.
- Foreshadowing: Han's story about their pre-Pilgrimage adventure against batarian pirates tells us he has a reckless side and isn't afraid of bending the rules. Apparently, promotion to admiral only made this worse.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: See Papa Wolf below.
- Married to the Job: Raan implies he wasn't always that way, but after Tali's mother died, he threw himself completely into his work.
- Papa Wolf: In his letter authorising Tali's transfer to Shepard's command, he notes his concern that Tali may be lead astray by Shepard's influence and that if any harm comes to her whatsover, he will not hesitate to bring the full wrath of the quarian Admiralty Board down on Shepard's head. He should've put the same thought into his own actions.
- If Tali is romanced, she implies in Mass Effect 3 that this would have been Rael's reaction to the relationship.
Tali: I'm having a drink with my boyfriend. My human boyfriend! Ha! My father would have hated you!
- Posthumous Character: By the time we find him, he's been dead a while.
- Sins of Our Fathers: When Rael's experiments go awry, Tali gets caught up in the political fallout.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wanted to build Tali a house on the homeworld, and was prepared to torture sentient creatures in her name in order to achieve that goal.
- Workaholic: Tali thinks it was his way of coping with his wife's death.
"The geth might get me, but I'm not gonna die from an infection in the middle of a battle. That's just insulting!"
Voiced by: Adam Baldwin
One of a squad of Migrant Fleet Marines assigned to protect Tali on their mission to Haestrom. He's also the only one still alive by the time you get there, and whether he lives to see the fleet again depends on you.
- Badass Normal: No known genetic mods, not a member of a species with extreme physical advantages over humans, and yet he successfully distracts an entire geth squad, including one of their walking tanks.
- Character Witness: During Tali's trial, along with Veetor, assuming he survives and Shepard chooses to "Rally The Crowd".
- Cultured Warrior: Implied by some of his throwaway comments; Kal's tactical knowledge can be very useful when trying to navigate the last part of Tali's recruitment mission, and if he survives Tali's recruitment mission, he displays quite a bit of knowledge of the political machinations involved in Tali's trial in her loyalty mission.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the third game. Rather jarring, given him being an Ensemble Darkhorse.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He offers to distract a Geth Colossus with a rocket launcher. Shepard can save him either by refusing to let him do it or by destroying the Colossus before it kills Reegar.
- Fully happens in the third game: he and his squad fix a vital turian comm relay, then hold the position until krogan reinforcements show up.
- Hidden Depths
- Killed Off for Real: Even if you save him on Haestrom, he's doomed to die off-screen.
- Mauve Shirt: Surprising, given his status as a fan favorite.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He thinks that the quarian fleet shouldn't go to war with the geth; nevertheless, he states that as a soldier he will follow any given order.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Insists he's "just a soldier", and he "just shoots things". However, he's smart enough to conclude that attacking the Geth for the homeworld would be suicidal, and also that Tali withheld evidence at her trial if you don't use it.
Tali: ...I didn't say anything about finding evidence, Kal.
- Precision F-Strike: If you choose 'Rally the Crowd' during Tali's trial, Kal will speak up on her behalf.
Kal'Reegar: Tali's done more for this fleet than you assholes ever will!
"Don't. Fuck. With Aria."
Voiced by: Carrie-Anne Moss
- Anti-Hero: Either Type IV or V from what you see of her; she's a crime boss whose crimes are All There in the Manual, and she allows all manner of crime and misery on her station short of Collector slaving.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: She's been in charge of Omega for centuries by making sure people know you Don't Fuck With Aria.
- Badass: In her backstory, she beats a Krogan Battlemaster to a pulp. In-game, all she needs is that voice and her attitude to keep the position even without doing any fighting.
- Although she's quite capable of that too: as shown in the comics, being the "queen" of Omega hasn't dulled her battle skills any. A Cerberus scientist expresses amazement at her biotic capabilities.
- A Day in the Limelight: She gets a short comic series from her perspective on Omega, Mass Effect: Incursion.
- Set to star in another 4 issue series called Mass Effect: Invasion.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments in Mass Effect 3.
Shepard: How do you plan on taking Omega back?
- The Don: She's the most powerful crimeboss in Omega and somehow has enough pull to influence the Asari Councilor. In Mass Effect 3, she can even potentially end up controlling three of the biggest mercenary companies in the galaxy.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Think that Aria'd be okay with Collector deals on her station if it doesn't bother her? Think again.
- Also, when told that an Ardat-Yakshi's in Omega, Aria is quick to point Shepard to the right direction. On the other hand, this may just be because she likes Shepard (and doesn't want a justicar making a scene); she comments that it doesn't matter to her so long as the Ardat-Yakshi doesn't try to seduce her.
- Evil Is Stylish
- Femme Fatale: How she usurped control of Omega from Patriarch.
- Genre Savvy: She has to be this to rule Omega for centuries.
- I Am the Trope:
Shepard: You run Omega?
- Iron Lady: Anybody who can keep power in Omega for centuries is not to be taken lightly. Also, Mass Effect 3 shows that she has connections as high as the Asari Councilor and can bypass the immigration process of the Citadel simply by asking her.
- Large Ham: While not as on the same level as Harbinger, Aria is quite hammy for someone played by Carrie-Ann Moss.
- Lysistrata Gambit: One of the factors that led to her success in overthrowing the Patriarch for control of Omega was that - as she puts it when telling Shepard the story - the Patriarch's men had gotten used to "certain perks" that came with working with asari.
- Mama Bear: If she sees it as hers, she protects it, whether it's Omega itself, her underlings, or her actual children.
- In Mass Effect: Retribution, she believes that Grayson killed her daughter Liselle. Unfortunately, this made her fall right into Cerberus' plans, since it was actually Kai Leng.
- Mysterious Past: No one knows where she came from or who she was before she came to Omega, and her name is just a pseudonym. Once Shepard gains her trust (or as much as Aria ever gives), Aria will allude to certain aspects of her past. It's strongly hinted that she's Aleena, the asari commando that Wrex was friends with centuries ago.
Aria: Sometimes you'd rather disappear than be forced to kill someone.
- NGO Superpower: If Shepard assists Aria in building a force to re-take Omega from Cerberus, that force, the Terminus Fleet, will assist in the Final Battle... and only the krogan clans and geth fleet are more powerful. Repeat: she's got more firepower than an entire turian fleet.
- Noble Demon
- Not So Harmless: When she first came to Omega, Patriarch thought she was just another dancer. After crushing a few of his organs and breaking half of his bones, she's been ruling Omega for centuries.
- Out-Gambitted: Over the course of Mass Effect: Invasion. The Illusive Man is probably lucky Shepard got to him first... Aria wouldn't have made it so quick.
- Pet the Dog: Has a number of these off-screen, as befitting her Noble Demon status. She gives out Shepard's contact information to a wannabe-merc (if Shepard stopped him from joining the mercs going after Archangel) so he can thank Shepard, and gives Shepard's contact information to a grieving mother for the same reason. It's also implied that her reasons for asking Shepard to defend Patriarch aren't entirely to protect her standing.
- A minor one in Mass Effect 3. If Shepard drinks enough in Purgatory to pass out, s/he comes to next to Aria on Aria's couch, despite the bar being a level and a half above where Aria is sitting.
- Pragmatic Villainy: In Mass Effect 3, she puts her plans to take Omega back from Cerberus on hold because she realizes that sending her forces against a target that's not the Reapers increases the chance of the Reapers winning. And if the Reapers win, then she'd be dead and unable to reap the rewards of her schemes.
- Precision F-Strike: "Omega has no titled ruler, and only one rule. Don't fuck with Aria."
- "I like it. Easy to remember."
- Alluded to in Mass Effect 3. "It looks like there's only one rule on the Citadel."
- Psychotic Smirk: Shepard tends to elicit a few sideways grins from her.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections: In her first scene in the third game, C-Sec threatens to throw her off the station (it only took them three weeks to figure them out she was there illegally). She replies by ringing up the asari councilor (Tevos or Irissa), who waves her through at once.
- The Starscream: Became this towards the former ruler of Omega, who she later made her Dragon.
- Although according to Aria, Patriarch betrayed her; she simply retaliated. Violently.
- Tattooed Crook: Although given that Omega has almost no "rule of law" to speak of and she herself is responsible for there being any "order" on Omega at all, she's only a crook "de facto".
- Under New Management: As of the end of Mass Effect: Invasion, Aria is no longer the ruler of Omega.
- We Will Meet Again: What she promises General Petrovsky after he forces her to abandon Omega.
- Worthy Opponent: She admits that she has a certain level of respect for the "Patriarch".
- She also comes to respect Shepard, even if she will deride a Paragon for being a "Boyscout".
"Human sentiment tastes like piss. Don't spoil a death with it."
Voiced by: Jim Cummings
Wrex's brood-brother who assumes leadership of Clan Urdnot if Wrex dies on Virmire (or if you never recruited him at all). In Mass Effect 3, he either fills Wrex's role as representative of all krogan, or appears briefly as a very reluctant follower of Wrex.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Standard krogan procedure. He gets the other clans to let him represent them through "a time-honored tradition of intimidation, threats and violence."
- Blood Knight: Far more 'traditional' than his brother. Whereas Wrex works to create a neutral zone where all clans are welcome, Wreav only co-operates with clan Gatatog because the two of them are at a stalemate.
- Jerkass: He's pretty much a typical krogan thug.
- Mauve Shirt: If Wrex is still alive, Wreav's tomkah gets consumed by Kalros during the Tuchanka finale mission in Mass Effect 3.
- The McCoy: To the dalatrass's Spock and the Primarch's Kirk, only he's a lot less nice about it than Wrex.
- Miles Gloriosus: Wreav will take credit for curing the genophage, claiming he'll be even more famous than Shepard.
- Politically-Incorrect Villain: Treats the fertile females in Mass Effect 3 like property and makes disparaging remarks about other species.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the red to—of all people--Wrex's blue.
- Shiny New Australia: Before the final battle, he tells Shepard he wants "this thing you call Australia" in exchange for his help.
- Smug Snake: Spends much of Mass Effect 3 trying to threaten Shepard. He basically exists to tell the player "You screwed up and now you're stuck with this guy instead of Wrex."
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Comes across as one of these for Wrex at first, but it soon becomes clear that they're very different in some very important ways—namely, that Wrex is trying to unite the krogan and revive their long-forgotten culture, whereas Wreav thinks the krogan are just fine the way they are.
- Try Not to Die: Before you try to summon Kalros; it's the most concern he ever shows for you and your team.
"Try not to get killed up there. Fight like a krogan, and you'll be fine."
"We've already got the blood of millions on our hands, Doctor! If it takes a bit more to put things right, I can deal with that."
A salarian geneticist, former member of the salarian STG and student of Mordin Solus. He also worked on the modification of the genophage alongside Mordin. Unfortunately, he ends up getting captured by a krogan clan, Weyrloc, who are attempting to reverse the effect of the genophage. Turns out he actually volunteered.
- The Atoner: He views his research to cure the genophage as this. Mordin, on the other hand, views his experiments as far too extreme.
- If Shepard chooses to cure the krogan, and Maelon is still alive, he will send an ecstatic email to Shepard, revealing that he took Mordin's advice and opened another clinic on Omega. He had to scram when Weyrloc put a bounty on his head, but he's just relieved that something good came out of his work after all.
- Boom! Headshot!: Mordin executes him at point-blank range if you don't choose the paragon interrupt.
- Chekhov's Gun: His research data on the genophage. If you save it, Mordin/Padok can synthesize a cure from Eve's tissue with much less trauma, keeping her alive.
- Hero Worshipper: Prior to his breakdown, he looked up to Mordin. Unfortunately, between the mission to distribute the Modified Genophage and the effects it had on the Krogan, the relationship fell to pieces.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Apparently, Maelon thought the krogan would be able to rebuild Tuchanka peacefully with Weyrloc Guld in charge. True, he joined Clan Weyrloc because they would be able to go to lengths that Clan Urdnot wouldn't, but Maelon's fantasy of a krogan cultural renaissance sounds a little hollow while he's working for a chief who brags about how he'll take over the galaxy and eat salarian eggs as a delicacy once the genophage is cured.
- Just Smile and Nod: At the end of the loyalty mission, Mordin loses his temper over the experiments Maelon has performed and puts a gun to his former student's head; in the event that you take the Paragon Interrupt, Shepard begs him not to pull the trigger, as - in spite of everything that Maelon's said about him - Mordin isn't a murderer. Maelon can only smile and nod helplessly.
- Killed Off for Real: If you don't take the Paragon interrupt, Mordin blows his brains out.
- Mad Scientist: A well-intentioned one though.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He's been wracked with guilt ever since he and Mordin upgraded the Genophage, thereby accounting for the worst of his behaviour. The Shadow Broker archives show that it started during their first mission on Tuchanka, when they were discovered by krogan guards and had to fight their way out... unknowingly killing female krogan in the process. When Maelon tried to issue a formal complaint, arguing that it went against the whole point of their mission, Mordin had him sedated. Apparently, the return to "normality" on Tuchanka and the rising stillbirths drove him even further over the edge; Mordin himself confesses that his failure to notice Maleon's distress or do anything about it only worsened the problem. Thankfully, assuming he survives the loyalty mission, Maelon recovers by the third game.
- Never My Fault: When asked about why he didn't originally disagree with the upgraded genophage, he blames Mordin's influence on his behaviour. Furthermore, when he's actively confronted over the test subjects killed in his search for a cure, he once again blames Mordin's teachings, even going so far as to claim "The experiments are monstrous because I was taught to be a monster!". Mordin, who deplores the use of live test subjects, strongly disagrees.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He really does want to cure the genophage and save the krogan.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: In spite of everything he's seen and done, Maelon still manages to be both idealistic and shockingly naive, even during a guilt-induced mental breakdown. Case in point: he claims that if Mordin's team hadn't upgraded the genophage, an expanded krogan population would have stopped Saren at Eden Prime, if only because the Turian fleets would have been forced to keep an eye on the new Krogan colonies in the Traverse. Mordin, on the other hand, believes that the Turian fleets would have just declared war on the Krogan and killed every last one of them; the third game confirms this by revealing that a Turian bomb had been planted under Tunchkana's crust after the Rebellions, to be used if the Krogan ever rose up again.
A prize-fighting varren on Tuchanka. Urz will follow the player around in the area he is located in after being fed, Urz will even take part in the pit-fights run by the krogan.
- Big Friendly Varren
- Palette Swap: Of every other varren ever seen.
- Retired Badass: Is actually a former pit-fight champion.
- Team Pet: On Tuchanka.
- That is a joke.
- What Hackett tells Shepard in the first game if s/he manages to save everyone in the Paragon-exclusive mission. Also what he says after Shepard buys the galaxy some time in Arrival.
- Or at least intended to do before thinking better of it should peace happen.
- Queen, if you're feeling dramatic.