Mass Effect 3/Characters/Party Members
This page is for listing the tropes related to party members who first appeared in the third Mass Effect game.
For the pages listing tropes related to NPCs, Antagonists and Party Members who first appeared in other games in the trilogy, see the Mass Effect Character Index.
Think you can dance and talk at the same time?
Voiced by: Freddie Prinze Jr.
The first confirmed new party member. James Vega is a lieutenant in the Alliance Marines. He stars in the short comic Mass Effect: Conviction, which ends with Anderson appointing him Shepard's guard while s/he is in the brig post-Arrival, and is set to be the main character of Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, an animated film set during Mass Effect 2.
- Abnormal Ammo: One of his powers is Incendiary Ammo.
- Audience Surrogate: Although he's a seasoned soldier, James doesn't know much about galactic politics, allowing the other characters to explain bits of back-story to new players.
- Badass: Establishing him as one is pretty much the entire point of the Mass Effect: Conviction tie-in comic, which among other things has him jumping with a batarian out of a third story window.
- Bar Brawl: Ends up getting in a fight with a bunch of batarians in an Omega bar after he breaks a TV because of it playing a news story about the events of the Arrival DLC.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Most of his outfits have a helmet for vacuum conditions... except the Collector's Edition Palette Swap. The eyepiece apparently overrides it.
- Beehive Barrier: Fortification.
- The Big Guy: More muscular than the other human squad members. He's definitely based more on survivability than Ashley... hell, he's pretty much a cross between the two krogan squaddies from the other games.
- Call Back: If you complete the Grissom Academy mission and meet with Kahlee Sanders, James will remark about her and Anderson being a couple. Also see below in the Trivia section.
- Captain Crash: Cortez teases him about the below incident on Mars, though it only seems to have happened the once, or possibly twice if he's with you during the Cerberus invasion of the Citadel.
- Car Fu: Flying Car Fu. On Mars, he prevents Dr. Eva from escaping with the Crucible data by ramming the escaping shuttle with another shuttle.
- Casting Gag: Freddie Prinze Jr played an Ace Pilot-cum-Space Marine in the ill-fated Wing Commander film, making the shuttle crash thing even funnier.
- Death Seeker: A mild case. Due to his Shoot the Dog moment which turned out to be pointless in his backstory, he doesn't really seem to care if he dies or not, making him incredibly reckless.
- Delinquent Hair: He sports a fauxhawk.
- Disappeared Dad: He's out there, but James is reluctant to call him family anymore. The Homeworlds comic reveals that Joshua turned to red sand after James's mom died, and even tricked James into helping with a deal so he could threaten him with blackmail.
- Drives Like Crazy: Justified as him crashing into a shuttle stopped it from escaping with vital information. Still, he drives like a SPAZZ!
- Even the Guys Want Him: Shepard hits on him regardless of gender no matter what.
- Gratuitous Spanish: All over the place.
- Heroic BSOD: He had one after an incident at Fehl Prime, which led to him temporarily leaving the marines for Omega.
- Hero Worshipper: Played with; he's quick to stick up for Shepard's name in Conviction, and makes a point of saluting even while s/he's in the brig, but isn't too awed or deferential in person—he even challenges Shep to a sparring match the first time they talk on the Normandy.
"Don't get me wrong, you're good. Probably one of the best. But I know you're human, just like me."
- Hidden Depths: He's not a Genius Bruiser, but it's clear that there is quite a bit more to him than his muscles.
- Ink Suit Actor: Though a bit more buff than Freddie Prinze, Jr.
- It's All My Fault: He sacrificed his squad for valuable intel on the Collectors, only for Shepard to destroy their homeworld before it could be used. Even though he denies it, it's clear Vega deeply blames himself for this.
- Kill It with Fire: He has Incendiary Ammo and Carnage.
- Late to the Punchline: When arguing with Cortez about ground vehicles, he expresses his fondness for one called the Grizzly, prompting Cortez to snark that he would be the one to love grizzly bears. James doesn't get it.
- Mr. Fanservice: Seems to have replaced Jacob as this, given his fondness for working out in ridiculously tight shirts.
- Naive Newcomer: A subversion, as despite his lack of knowledge about galactic politics, he's an experienced soldier and doesn't let his teammates' reputations intimidate him. He can be found trying to out-brag Garrus on the Normandy.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe, no one will let Vega forget his shuttle antics.
- Nice Guy: He's a really affable guy, and makes fast friends with most of the crew. Even Javik.
- The Nicknamer: It's apparently his way of remembering people: he admits to giving people names when he feels their given name "doesn't fit". Calls Male Shepard "Loco" or Female Shepard "Lola" in their first talk aboard the Normandy; you have the option of whether to allow him to continue using it. Also calls Garrus "Scars", Liara "Doc", Tali "Sparks" and Javik "Buggy". Cortez is "Esteban".
- One Steve Limit: Was originally named Sanders, but changed to avoid rumors of him being related to Kahlee Sanders.
- Playing with Fire: Incendiary Ammo.
- Ramming Always Works: Rams his shuttle at Dr. Eva's shuttle on Mars to prevent her escape.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The "manly" to Cortez's sensitive guy.
- Ship Tease: With Shepard, although it never goes anywhere. When Shepard asks if he plans to do anything about all this flirting, James freezes up and stutters.
Shepard: [smirks] Uh-huh. That's what I thought.
- Shirtless Scene: When he gets his N7 tattoo.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His backstory. He sacrificed his squad to get vital data on the Collectors, but Shepard defeated the Collectors before the Alliance could use the data.
- Space Marine: As a member of the Alliance Military.
- Stone Wall: And built like it too. In-game, he has high health and possesses the Fortification ability.
- Team Chef: "Hope you don't mind, I was craving some of my abuela's huevos rancheros."
- Throw Down the Bomblet: One of his powers is Frag Grenade. It's very useful.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Cortez. Also with Garrus. They have a scene where they swap old war stories, eventually leading to one where they team up to save the galaxy from the reapers. When Garrus adds "with a little help from their friends", Vega corrects him. "Nah, it was just us. But mostly me."
- The Watson: Mainly during the early missions.
- You Are in Command Now: His CO, Captain Toni, died during the mission on Fehl, leaving Vega in charge of the squad.
Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer.
A Prothean found in a stasis chamber on Eden Prime. Javik is is a veteran of the Protheans' centuries-long war with the Reapers, spending all of his life as a warrior, and was intended to be part of a plan to outlast the Reaper invasion by sealing millions of soldiers and specialists in stasis pods to emerge after the Reapers departed, and rebuild their civilization (needless to say, this didn't work out right). Javik was one of many Prothean "avatars" of various concepts and virtues such as bravery, compassion and loyalty; in Javik's case, however, that virtue was vengeance, and he joins Shepard's team to enact revenge for the total destruction of his people. Made available in the day-one DLC From Ashes.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV. His "virtue" is vengeance, after all, and in all arguments with the rest of the crew he is always in favor of the most extreme and aggressive solutions.
- Badass: Oh hell yes.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Take him into vacuum and he doesn't even bother with the face-mask other characters put on. Oxygen is for primitives!
- Broken Pedestal: To Liara. Late in the game, she actually flips out at him for "not having the answers" when Thessia falls to the Reapers.
- Catch Phrase: See Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? below.
- Color-Coded Wizardry: Javik's biotic powers are colored green instead of the usual blue, possibly signifying that Prothean biotics are different and/or even more advanced than those used by the modern races.
- The Comically Serious: A lot of the comedy surrounding Javik depends on how deadpan he is at all times.
- Consummate Professional: Cares only about stopping the Reapers, not making friends with the crew.
- Continuity Nod: Many of his features were chosen to mirror those of the Collectors from Mass Effect 2.
- Cultural Posturing: Bordering on Fantastic Racism (and crossing into it sometimes), he's very quick to remind everyone how asari, humans and turians were all laughably primitive during his time. He's shocked to learn that the salarians evolved at all, remembering them as the "lizard men" who "used to eat flies". Of course, for him that was minutes before you met him.
- However, he's the first to admit that the Protheans' monolithic culture was one of the cores of their undoing, and that the fact that this cycle is filled with so many different cultures is one of the very few advantages that we have.
- He also has very little tolerance for synthetics and A.I. entities. His reaction to Legion is urge Shepard (repeatedly) to throw it out the airlock.
- Deadpan Snarker: Heavy, heavy emphasis on "deadpan".
James: So, how about smoking? You ever do that?
- Death Seeker: If you convince him to re-experience the memories he stored in the Echo Shard, he tells you his plans for the future: to find the graves of his fallen comrades and "put their ghosts to rest", and then to join them himself.
- Defrosting Ice King: Over the course of the game, he gradually warms up, and even starts joking around with other members of your squad.
- Determined Defeatist: He's extremely pessimistic about the chances of Shepard's cycle and has to be loudly reprimanded to offer words of hope, but not even once does he suggest giving up. On Thessia in particular, he's gunning for success.
- Downloadable Content: Javik does not appear in the vanilla game.
- The Empath: Like all Protheans. Javik is able to determine complex ideas and concepts regarding another through physical contact, and can determine a great deal about another by simply walking through a room where they stayed for some time. In his own words, memory has its own chemical process, and the Protheans had developed their sensory abilities to such a degree that reading others' natures through analyzing their DNA was as simple as breathing.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: His armor needed to have an 'ancient' feel while still being high-tech. Pit him against Phantoms or Kai Leng and you have an alien samurai/cyborg ninja deathmatch! Seriously.
- Crosses over into Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. His armor has a samurai vibe, his accent is African and his people evolved as hunters and eventually developed into space-Rome.
- Exotic Eye Designs: Each of his eyes has two pupils.
- Extra Eyes: He has four eyes.
"How do you people see with only two eyes?"
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: He was in stasis for 50,000 years.
- Genius Bruiser: Seems to have been the Protheans' hat. He's very intelligent, and very warlike.
- Glowing Eyes: In the promotional image, at least.
- Go, Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Gives one of these to various people on the Citadel, apparently in an attempt to scare them shitless to get the seriousness of their situation across. A paragon interrupt lets you convince him to change it into a Rousing Speech.
- Human Popsicle: Until he woke up, obviously.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: Spent fifty thousand years in a stasis pod before Cerberus found him.
- I'm Standing Right Here: If you take him with you to Thessia:
Liara: (to Shepard) The beacon must think you're a Prothean, because of the Cipher you picked up all those years ago on Feros!
- Ironic Echo: On the receiving end of one from his own VI, Victory. "Their sacrifice will be honored in the coming empire."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Paragon!Shep (as usual) can nudge him into this.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He is very distressed to find out which species comprise the Council in this cycle, to the point of declaring the battle with the Reapers a lost cause.
- Last of His Kind: Naturally.
- Living Relic: The only living member of a race that went extinct fifty-thousand years ago.
- Magic Knight
- Mercy Kill: When told of the Collectors & their deaths at the hands of Shepard by Liara, Javik's response is that Shepard's actions qualify as this.
- Might Makes Right: Huge believer in this. He strongly argues against the methods Shepard employs to recruit allies, instead insisting that the best way to do so would be to force them to help. The whole reason he was frozen was to wait until after the harvest and forcibly uplift the remaining races to spend the entire cycle preparing for the next invasion, but his army was wiped out at the last minute and his reanimation equipment was damaged.
- Mind Over Matter: A biotic. It is not known how common it was among Protheans.
- Never Trust a Trope: Artificial intelligences, by virtue that, unlike organics, AI's are aware of their creators, flaws and all. Both EDI and Legion are targets of Javik's ideals on the matter.
- No Sense of Humor: Initially. When James asks if Protheans actually tell jokes, he tells one that sounds like a Cryptic Background Reference we just can't understand... then reveals he made it up to see if James would buy it (he did), and was, effectively, trolling him. Then he laughs.
- Omniglot: His empathic abilities let him learn English in moments by scanning Shepard's memories when they touched his shoulder.
- Optional Party Member: The From Ashes DLC allows you to recruit him.
- Precursor: The last living member of the current cycle's precursors.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: He was a soldier fighting for the survival and glory of the empire. It turns out the Protheans were a warlike people who elevated and conquered other races into their galactic empire, much to Liara's dismay. Wrex thinks he'd fit right in on Tuchanka.
- Interestingly, he averts the standard Blood Knight tendencies: when faced with a reaper on the ground, he notes that his goal is "vengeance, not suicide". And when observing krogan behavior, notes that "war is not a sport. It is a means to an end."
- Revenge: His entire reason for existing now.
- Serious Business: When prompted, Javik explains that, when the Protheans didn't fight Reapers, they would pass the time by having staring contests that lasted for hours.
- Shadow Archetype: To a Paragon!Shepard.
- Sixth Ranger: He doesn't have to be the last teammate to join, but everyone else except James is a veteran squaddie.
- Social Darwinist: He explains this was the Prothean mindset. The strong flourish, the weak are doomed. Those who have nothing to offer society die out.
- Sociopathic Hero: His goal is to avenge his people by destroying the Reapers. There are no limits to how far he is willing to go to see this happen.
- The Spock: Having the most experience dealing with the Reapers and being a member of the apex species of the previous cycle, Javik is uniquely suited to argue for the cold logic of sheer ruthlessness at all cost against their enemies.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Insists on doing this on a few occasions, like when Joker insists on calling him "Prothy the Prothean" or on any synthetic life-form simply for being synthetic.
- Token Evil Teammate: His extremism makes Renegade Shepard look like a Paragon. Eventually he gets better and will come to respect our cycle's way of life and even expresses his enjoyment during his tour of the Citadel. And if you convinced him to not relive the memories of his people through his shard, he'll decide to explore the galaxy after the war and experience the different cultures for himself.
- He explains that much of his extremism comes from his upbringing: he was born after the Reapers arrived, and was raised in the final struggles of the Prothean Empire. All throughout his life, he has never known anything but war.
- Tragic Keepsake: The Echo Shard, the small black monolith he keeps in his room. He explains how it contains the memories of the Protheans before him who all passed it one to the next, making it vaguely similar to the greybox which Kasumi holds.
- Relinquished to Shepard in London.
- Troll: Javik tells James a Prothean joke that makes no sense. James laughs in attempt to show that he got it. Turns out, Javik lied and was simply screwing with him, then laughs at him for being so gullible.
- Tsundere: At least, he is if you ask a drunken Tali.
- Values Dissonance: Discussed in-universe with Liara. She's shocked by how warlike Javik is and by how imperialistic Prothean civilization was. It becomes clear that she had been viewing them through the lens of her own cultural norms when the reality was much different. Javik admits, eventually, that his views are a product of his time and had he lived in Liara's time, he might have seen the universe in a similar manner. Depending on how you interpret his words and tone, there might even seem to be some regret that he's not the "noble scholar" Liara believed/wanted the Protheans to be.
- He also thinks things may have been different before the Reapers came; by the time he was born, the war had been going for generations and was long past being obviously lost.
- Before the Reapers there was also the Metacon Wars. Basically, the Prothean history at this point has been bloody struggle for survival against overwhelming foes, so the harsh attitude isn't all that unexpected.
- Verbal Tic: He tends to refer to people by name, followed by description. For example: "Joker pilot", "James soldier", "EDI machine", "Mordin salarian" and "Kai Leng enemy". Not "Shepard Commander" though, that's Legion's thing.
- Warrior Poet: He's a taciturn fellow, but when he starts talking, his word choice is exquisite.
- Warrior Therapist: Javik is uncompromising in his beliefs, but he also knows how to deliver a scathing yet inspiring pep-talk to others. Gives a great one to Liara after Thessia falls to the Reapers, and she comes dangerously close to despair. Javik forces her to confront the fact that everything she thinks she knows about Protheans is dangerously wrong, which almost causes her to attack Javik. But then Javik tells her that, whatever else she may think of them, the Protheans gave the beacon you found on Thessia (apparently the most complete anywhere, giving the asari a major technological edge) to the asari because they believed them to be the best hope for their cycle. He actually uses her name for extra emphasis, having referred to her simply as 'asari' up to that point. It helps her enormously, but when Shepard asks if any of it was true, Javik replies "She believes it, so she will keep fighting."
James: You're like Sun Tzu, but with more eyes.
- On the Citadel, this only applies if you take the Paragon Interrupt. Otherwise, his "pep-talk" comes off as rather depressing and hopeless.
- While You Were in Diapers: On a galactic level. For one, he praises Shepard, before remarking that s/he's done well for a species he last remembered living in caves.
"Amusing, the asari have finally mastered writing."
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Javik's frequent suggestion on how to solve problems involve throwing them out the airlock.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Alluded to.
Shepard: I'm just glad he's on our side. You haven't seen him angry.
- On account of Shepard's Crazy Awesome tendencies.
- When he was a kid, his best friend had a sister named Lola. In James' words: "Older sister. Hot. Tough."
- Protheans altered by the Reapers.