History Characters / MassEffectRaces

6th Dec '13 10:53:58 AM Erivale
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20th Feb '13 1:00:47 PM Fighteer
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This page is for listing the tropes related to the many species in the ''VideoGame/MassEffect'' universe, [[PlanetOfHats each with their own]] ([[AvertedTrope often averted]]) tropes. For simplicity's sake, they are categorized as characters.

For the pages listing tropes related to specific characters in the trilogy, see the [[Characters/MassEffect Mass Effect Character Index]].

As with all character pages, this page includes ''significant'' spoilers, and some are by their nature unmarked. Read at your own discretion.

[[foldercontrol]]

!Citadel Council Races

[[folder:Turians]]
!! Turians
[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Turian-001_1262.png]]

->''If you want a problem [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy shot]], ask a turian...''
-->--'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Palaven

The third race to join the Citadel Council. The Turian Hierarchy is a very organized and militant society. Every physically and mentally-sound turian is either a soldier, a retired soldier or training to be a soldier. This has resulted in the Turian Hierarchy having the largest military force in the galaxy. Turians were the first alien species that humanity encountered. Unfortunately, this encounter took the form of the First Contact War. Although the other two Council Races managed to end the war diplomatically, human-turian relations are still rocky.

Turians are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheRedMage Sentinel]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldier]] classes. The Retaliation DLC also adds [[StealthExpert Ghost Infiltrators]], [[JetPack Havoc Soldiers]], and Saboteur Engineers.

* AlienBlood: Blue.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Their homeworld, Palaven, has a weak geomagnetic field, meaning it gets bombarded by more solar radiation than comparable planets like Earth or Thessia. How did Palaven's life adapt? It evolved a semi-metallic carapace.
* BadassArmy: They have extremely disciplined armies, the largest fleet of warships (well over 10,000), the most dreadnoughts (39), and a proud military tradition. They also have by far the largest military in the known galaxy, except for maybe the geth.
** They were able to hold their own against the krogan empires in a decades-long war of attrition at a time before the genophage when the krogan were actually breeding faster than the other races. They also manage to take down the fleets of krogan dreadnoughts with cruisers and frigates, which required a lot of expertise and production capability.
** "Reaper troop transports have dumped hordes of husk to capture Palaven's inhabitants, but met with little success. Reaper capital ships are destroying city after city. But much of the turian fleet is still operable, and the citizenry is heavily armed. The turians refuse to be intimidated." To put this perspective, the turians are holding their own (even if it's just barely) against the largest part of the Reaper fleet assigned to any individual planet, which they sent in knowing the power of the turian fleet. They even managed to destroy a few Sovereign-class capital ships in the opening attack (contrast the humans and asari, who didn't take out a single capital ship and got completely curbstomped in a few hours). They are the only race who actually manage to fight the Reapers on even terms; the Reaper attacks on Earth and Thessia quickly turn into routs.
** Of note is that every turian who is of age and is of sound mental capability is a soldier. Military service is mandatory across the entirety of their space. If that turian can walk and talk, that turian is trained to fight.
** Of particular note is the Armiger Legion. Every member has a PowerFist, consumable packs that grant borderline invincibility, the best weapons in the empire, and a ''jetpack''.
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: Though many aliens seem to have trouble with human metaphors, turians in particular struggle with the concept fullstop. Even Garrus has a problem with 'em.
** This actually leads to some rather clever [[FridgeBrilliance Fridge Brilliance]] when you consider that they are primarily a military-based culture, so making sure that their orders were given clearly is the best way a Turian can count on their subordinates to properly do their job. In comparison, Humans have a tendency to give orders while using slang, shorthand and metaphor whilst on the battlefield, which would naturally be ''very'' confusing for an outsider try to figure out. Add to the fact that Humans seem to be the ''only'' culture in the setting who developed non-verbal hand signals to give commands, you could argue that the Turians have every ''right'' to believe the way Human's communicate is completely insane!
* BottledHeroicResolve: The DLC turian classes have a "Stimulant Pack" power that boosts shields and weapon damage.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Humans and turians fought a war that led to humanity's entering the greater galactic population. Humans call it the First Contact War. Turians call it the Relay 314 Incident.
* ColonyDrop: The turians frequently employ this tactic as a solution to deal with ground-forces, notably seen in the First Contact War and casually suggested by Garrus to take out the enemy geth on Rannoch, much to Tali's horror.
** They were also frequently the victims of this during the Krogan Rebellions, the krogan had a habit of smashing moons into turian planets. [[TheDeterminator It just made the turians angry.]]
* CombatByChampion: One of the traditional ways turians can resolve large-scale conflicts: a duel between chosen representatives of each party. Parodied during a certain CerberusDailyNews story covering the War on Taetrus. A turian general and a leader of the rebel group Facinus got into a sword fight to decide the fate of Taetrus. When the rebel leader lost, very obviously photo-shopped images started surfacing the next day showing the general cheating in the duel. Facinus used these images as an excuse to declare war anyway.
* CombatPragmatist: In a way. In their culture, every turian serves in the army for a while after they reach puberty. Therefore, any population center with adults is considered a military installation. They are... reluctant to abandon this mindset when facing other species. To give an example, during their siege of Shanxi, the turian fleets bombed entire city blocks [[ColonyDrop from orbit]] simply to take out ''individual fireteams.''
* {{Conscription}}: At 15, Turians begin a compulsory term of military service for an unknown length of time, at the end of which they decide whether to remain with the military or become a civil servant.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: The turians absorb any conquered enemies (both turians and other races) into their ranks as supplementary units. While these units are rarely treated as anything more than infantry or cavalry, at the conclusion of a successful term of service, they are then granted full turian citizenship, with all rights and responsibilities thereof.
* {{Determinator}}: A popular saying goes: "You will only see a turian's back when he's dead."
** [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness This is why their retreat from Palaven near the end of the game shows how serious the situation is against the Reapers.]]
* TheEmpire: Some random turians even call it TheEmpire by name, but it's far more benevolent than usual.
* FacialMarkings: See TribalFacePaint.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: They're about halfway between space Prussians and space Romans with some Confucianism thrown in for flavor.
** Literally in this last case - since making peace with the humans, a small but growing number of turians have ''taken up Confucianism''.
* FighterMageThief: They're the fighter to the asari mage and the salarian thief.
* FourStarBadass: ''Many'' examples. The Cerberus Daily News brought turian General Partinax to the fore, who dueled Facinus leader Kihilix Tanus. His record is surviving seven duels, 5 to first blood and 2 to the death. The codex also references Admiral Coronati, who managed to defeat the ''Reapers'' in a fight above Palaven using relatively primitive dreadnoughts by using the Reapers' massive size against them.
-->"Knowing that the Reapers' weapons had a longer effective range than any of his own, Coronati made a short, daring FTL jump--landing his dreadnoughts in the middle of the Reaper fleet. The dreadnoughts then turned to line up their main guns on the Reapers, which also needed to turn to fire on the turians. This ploy used the Reapers' size against them--because they could turn faster, and their concentrated firepower downed several Reaper capital ships."
* HonorBeforeReason: Turians are noted to have very heavy social stigma against lying; a turian may choose not to advertise that they committed a crime, but would likely admit to it if directly questioned.
** WillNotTellALie
* HoverTank: They have one, the Jiris. It can traverse any terrain, has powerful kinetic barriers, and has a cannon that shoots homing missiles accurately for over 20 kilometers. Unfortunataely, it never comes up in the game, only being referenced in Cerberus Daily News. It saw heavy use during the War on Taetrus.
* HumanoidAliens
* HumorlessAliens: Compared to most other species, anyway. Turians take discipline and protocol very seriously. Most of the funnier turians (like Garrus) are considered atypical of the species. The fact that turians are uptight fighting machines is one of the reasons the First Contact War was considered one of the ''worst'' ways for the human race to become introduced to Council Space.
** Although they are just as likely to be [[TheComicallySerious Comically Serious]] {{Deadpan Snarker}}s. There's a reason why [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWYUiVfZo9k a certain dancing Turian]] is so hilarious and memorable. And they ''do'' have jokes.
--> ''"[[LightbulbJoke How many humans does it take to activate a Mass Relay?]]"''
** Wrex once said, regarding Garrus, that it was just his luck he happened to know the one turian in the galaxy who thinks he's funny.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Turians take the most direct approach to a problem. They won't hesitate to shoot someone or commit genocide if that's what it takes to end a threat ''permanently''.
** See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.
* GoodRepublicEvilEmpire: Subverted. The turian government is an interplanetary empire, yet it's not evil at all and is a well respected ally of many republics.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Often come across as this. Despite all their friction with humanity, after Earth is invaded by the Reapers, they are the first to step up in ''3'' to offer military aid.
* LawfulStupid: In-Universe, their adherence to following rules lead to their brief war with humanity. Part of the resentment felt by humans is because, while they understand that they were simply enforcing galactic law, the turians never bothered to fire a warning shot or even explain that activating dormant Mass Relays was a felony, before they opened fire on them and proceeded to occupy one of their colonies.
* MasculineLinesFeminineCurves: Perhaps to [[{{Foil}} give them contrast]] with species like the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe asari]], the turians tend to favor more straight lines in the TheAestheticsOfTechnology, their ships and weapons being particularly angular. Even the Turians themselves have a kind of "edged" look to them, with their thin frames and semi-rigid plates on their skin.
* TheMcCoy: To the [[TheKirk asari Kirk]] and [[TheSpock salarian Spock]].
* MirrorChemistry: The majority of the galaxy is based on levo-amino acids, whatever other differences they have. The turians and quarians are the only ones with dextro-amino-based biology. This caused them a lot of trouble during the First Contact War. Since the food on the human colonies they conquered were levo-amino-based, they had to ship in their supplies from the Hierarchy, eventually making their position untenable.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: Turian philosophy is entirely based around this. The turian species as a whole always comes before the turian individual.
* NotSoDifferent: Fought a war with humanity when the two species first met and were the most anti-human of the three council races, but compare the stories of how the two races got their council seats...
* [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Species]]: During the Reaper invasion, they're the only ones who aren't unhelpful [[spoiler: (asari and salarians)]], fighting one another ([[spoiler:quarians and geth, krogan with themselves]]), hindering the war effort ([[spoiler:hanar, the salarian government]]), or decimated ([[spoiler:asari, batarians, rachni]]).
** And it makes perfect sense given their strong militaristic culture mixed with incredible discipline in contrast with the krogan's strong warrior culture with no discipline.
** That said, [[spoiler:they keep a bomb in Tuchanka secret and send in a squad to discreetly remove it rather than face krogan backlash. If Shepard doesn't do the mission to remove it, krogan war assets take a significant hit]].
* PlanetOfHats: Turians are renowned for and proud of their strict adherence to duty and protocol, and the fact that ''every'' member of their species has once served in the military. However, every turian is an outlier. Some turians are funny, laid back, pacifists, hate red tape and everything in between.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Inverted. They're the most militaristic Council race by far, but they place heavy emphasis on discipline, so it's more accurate to call turians a Proud ''Soldier'' Race. It offers a {{Deconstruction}} of the trope as well: the much more proud, physically dangerous and violent krogan were defeated bfy the much-better organized, no-nonsense turians. It also provides an extra nuance to the issue of the Genophage: if it wasn't deployed, the turians would've had to commit genocide.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Subverted, most of the societal values and attitudes detailed for turians seem to be based off old school Prussian values rather than Nazi influence.
* ReligiousBruiser: They named the standard assault rifle of their military the Phaeston, after the turian spirit of creation.
* ShootTheDog: The salarians developed the genophage, but struggled with the moral dilemma of whether to use it to end the Krogan Rebellions. The turians unleashed the genophage instead, ending the Rebellions.
* SpacePolice: The fact that they have the largest fleet in the galaxy (that includes the geth) make them the official peacekeepers of Council Space.
* SpaceRomans: Their species name was derived from "Centurion" in story design phases of the franchise, and their names tend to sound like a cross between roman and alien.
* SuperDrowningSkills: Apparently turians are poor swimmers, according to Garrus in ''MassEffect3''. Makes sense considering the metal skin and apparent lack of body fat.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: See a ColonyDrop as a perfectly legitimate form of warfare. Humanity vehemently disagrees.
* TribalFacepaint: The markings on a turian's face is meant to signify the tribe that he/she belongs to. Tribes that no longer technically exist thanks to a [[CivilWar unification]] in the past, but hey, tradition's tradition. The term 'barefaced' has come to mean someone who is untrustworthy in turian society. [[AcceptableTargets It also means politician.]]
* {{Utopia}}: A right wing, militaristic version. The economy is booming, being the second largest in the galaxy despite their rampant military spending (though they needed the volus to do that), everyone has high standards of living, everyone is a willing civil servant (though the existence of turian mercenaries and rebels indicate that the people who don't want to play by the rules leave), there is full religious and species/racial toleration, and, despite there clearly being classes in the empire, no one is ever abused unfairly. No high ranking general or politician is ever corrupt, and no one powerful ever picks on someone weaker; they all work towards the glory of the empire and the advancement of the common good (it helps there are steep penalties for screwing this sort of thing up, so people who do engage in this sort of thing are quickly dealt with, and the people responsible for putting corrupt/incompetent people into those positions where they can do harm are penalized worse). [[spoiler: They also don't have a bunch of skeletons in their closet, like the asari and salarians.]]
** Not to mention that the turians are so incorruptible that if you ask one point blank if he committed a crime, he'll probably just admit to it right there.
* VitriolicBestBuds: While there is still some tension with humanity due to the First Contact War, both races seem to actually get on with each other far better than they do with the salarians or asari. Both governments also are mentioned as having worked together quite well when building the original ''Normandy'', and nowadays the turians see humans as [[WorthyOpponent worthy opponents]] (see below), despite the fact that only 3% of the population serve in the Alliance Navy. The turians know that if more humans served in the military, they'd be practically unstoppable.
** Potentially become this with the krogan in the ''3'', though the krogan are naturally still bitter about the Genophage.
* WorthyOpponent: What they (grudgingly) consider the humans. The First Contact War (which they refer to as [[ButForMeItWasTuesday the Relay 314 Incident]]) gained the respect of the turians due to the resourcefulness and unconventional tactics of humanity. This has become FriendlyEnemy with some TeethClenchedTeamwork by the time of MassEffect1, and by MassEffect3 the two races are basically VitriolicBestBuds.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Asari]]
!! Asari
[[quoteright:229:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Asari-001_8964.png]]

->''....if you want a problem [[ProudScholarRaceGuy talked to death]], ask an asari....''
-->--'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Thessia

One of the two founding races of Citadel Space alongside the salarians and the most powerful and widespread race in the galaxy, the asari often take the role of diplomats. They are a long lived mono-gendered race, but are seen as female to other species. Asari reproduce by linking their nervous system to another sentient being of any race, and partnerships of two asari are looked down upon by most of the species now, as they believe it restricts genetic diversity (not to mention that Asari born from such a relationship can be "Ardat-Yakshi", a very dangerous mutation) . Their government is a loose federation of nation-states collectively known as the "Asari Republics". All asari have biotic ability, but require training to use it effectively.

Asari are available for multiplayer in 3, and can use the [[SquishyWizard Adept]] and [[MagicKnight Vanguard]] classes. The Resurgence pack adds the [[BarrierWarrior Justicar Adept]] class, and the Retaliation DLC adds [[StealthExpert Huntress Infiltrators]] and Valkyrie Sentinels.

* AbsoluteCleavage: Matriarchs like Benezia and Samara seem to enjoy showing off their... assets.
* AlienBlood: Purple.
* AlienHair: They object to anyone (but themselves) referring to it as "tentacle-hair".
--> '''Liara:''' They're semi-flexible, cartilage-based scalp-crests that grow into shape - and they don't "flop around".
* AmazonBrigade: Any asari force, by virtue of all its members being female.
* BadassArmy: The asari commandos are widely considered to be some of the most dangerous warriors in the galaxy. Even the codex notes that getting into a one-on-one fight with one is practically suicide. Their navy is also the third most powerful in the galaxy, behind the turians and geth.
** There's a turian saying: "The asari are the finest warriors in the galaxy. Fortunately, there are not many of them." Keep in mind though that this is a ''turian'' saying, and they have the largest known military in the galaxy by quite a large margin.
* BlackEyesOfEvil: Subverted with most asari: asari eyes turn black when they "meld", an act that merges their nervous system with anothers that is also how asari reproduce. With [[OutWithABang Ardat-Yakshi]], though, it's played straight.
* [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue-Skinned Space Babes]]
* BoldlyComing: ''[[JustifiedTrope Justified]]''. Asari can mate with any other species, and it's encouraged that they do so. Relations between two asari are considered taboo because the child can be born an Ardat-Yakshi. This unfortunately leads to some in-universe UnfortunateImplications about asari promiscuity.
* BoobsOfSteel: As asari age, their chests seem to grow larger - and [[AbsoluteCleavage they seem to show off their assets as they get older as well.]]
* CantArgueWithElves: Asari have played themselves as this for ''millennia'' and gotten away with it. [[spoiler:It's actually very simple to pull off if you were given a cheat sheet by the most advanced race of the previous [[EternalRecurrence extinction cycle.]]]]
* [[TheChessmaster The Chessmistress]]: Matriarchs, the oldest asari, are said to make plans that are so complicated (often spanning decades or centuries) that most other beings find them incomprehensible. When you have centuries of life left, you don't really mind waiting a decade or two or a plan to pay off.
* [[spoiler: TheChosenOne: The Protheans cultivated early asari civilisation and left them an intact Beacon, having chosen them as the most likely race to defeat the Reapers in the next Cycle. However, they didn't plan on the asari keeping their Beacon a secret even from their own people, so that they were left woefully underprepared when the Reapers came.]].
* CripplingOverspecialization: Their ground forces. The asari military's focus on elite biotic commandos and light infantry instead of a professional, mechanized standing army means that the turians are relied upon as the heavy hitters in any ground conflict. [[spoiler: When the Reapers attack Thessia while the turians are bogged down fighting another Reaper force on their own home front, Thessia falls swiftly once the Reapers win in space because of the lack of a large, standing ground army.]]
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The dominant aesthetic of the asari culture. Even some of their weapons conform to it in ''MassEffect3'', being smooth, white and elegantly curved.
* [[spoiler:[[DoomedHometown Doomed Homeworld]]]]: In the third game.
* EliteMooks: Their entire military is made of up these. While they are [[OneManArmy effective to say the least]], this by consequence makes their military relatively small and unable to wage an effective drawn out war (keep in mind, this is all relative; their actual military is still one of the most powerful in the galaxy), instead relying on the turians for protection.
** EliteArmy: This applies to their warships as well.
* ExoticEquipment: They are renowned for being able to mate (and produce viable offspring) with either gender of any species in existence, due to the unusual nature of their nervous system and reproductive methodology.
* FacialMarkings: Most (but not all) asari have some kinds of marking on their faces, ranging from subtle (Liara) to not-so-subtle (Councillor Tevos). What significance they have, or even if they're natural or artificial, has not been explained.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Of the ancient Greek city-states, apparently.
* TheFederation
* FighterMageThief: The mage in the asari-turian-salarian Trio.
* FlashStep: Asari multiplayer characters do a short-range version of this instead of [[UnnecessaryCombatRoll rolling]].
* TheHecateSisters: A species-wide example. Their life goes as such: once they mature, they spend two hundred years in a state of perpetual wanderlust and thrill-seeking, tending to be mercenaries, explorers, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking strippers]]; a life phase they call the "Maiden" years. Once they hit three hundred, they feel the need to settle down and raise a family; the "Matron" phase. And once they tip over the six hundred point, they retire to become Matriarchs, using their experience and power to lead and advise (politicians, spiritual leaders, and bartenders) - though a very few number of them become [[KnightTemplar Justicars]].
** One of their religions involves worshiping a goddess who vacillates between the three stages as well.
* HomosexualReproduction: [[OneGenderRace Naturally]]. Their unique reproductive method, which is closest to a strange form of parthenogenesis, only requires the partner to have an advanced nervous system to produce offspring.
* [[spoiler:{{Hypocrite}}: They claim that the asari are the most advanced race in the galaxy due to inherent virtues, but they actually have the ''only'' intact Prothean Beacon in the ''galaxy.'']]
** DoubleStandard: The penalties for withholding Prothean technology from the galaxy at large are among the most severe the Citadel enforces. [[spoiler:The asari have secretly used that beacon to become one of the most powerful races in the galaxy - they only admit to Shepard that "something important" is on Thessia ''after it is attacked.'']]
*** Even worse: The asari were the first to discover the Citadel [[spoiler:because of the technological edge gained from the beacon]] and founded the Citadel Council, so they were the ones who created the rule.
** [[spoiler:HidingBehindReligion: The Beacon ''again''. The asari government hid the beacon in their oldest religious site, disguising the knowledge gained from it as "messages from the goddess." They even disguised ''one of the last living Protheans'' as a messiah figure. It's practically a retread of Franchise/AssassinsCreed. InSpace]]
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: Averted. They start to leave childhood at the age of forty, and are legally considered adults at eighty. That's ''forty years of puberty''.
* ImmortalProcreationClause: The ability to choose when to get pregnant means that the asari population stays fairly stable.
* KnightTemplar: The Justicar order, who are generally kept away from other species to avoid a diplomatic incident brought on by their very strict code.
* LadyOfWar: Averted, mostly, with asari commandos -- who are as hard-nosed and physical as most other soldiers in the galaxy. Played straight however, with justicars, if Samara is any indication. Even in the midst of battle, she is very lady-like, maintaining grace and perfect serenity while snapping people's necks.
* [[spoiler:LaserGuidedKarma: The asari were uplifted by the Protheans solely to lead the fight against the Reapers, and were not only given universal biotics, but a fully-operational ''Prothean Beacon'' containing pretty much everything necessary for them to kill Reapers. Not only did they hide the beacon along with all other evidence that the Protheans uplifted them so they could pretend to be [[CantArgueWithElves an inherently superior species]], but when the time came for them to kick Reaper ass, they withdrew to their homeworld, Thessia, and refused to help ''anyone''. Thessia ends up the only homeworld completely and utterly annihilated by the Reapers. The targeting laser for that karma could hit a target in another ''galaxy.'']]
* MagicKnight: Again, asari commandos. Or anyone serving in the asari military.
* MasculineLinesFeminineCurves: Asari architecture and technology is usually very sleek and curved. For example, compare the Disciple shotgun to every other weapon of its type.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: How asari relationships with any other species that isn't asari or krogan tend to turn out. This is a major factor in the asari worldview; asari know that they will outlive several mates, but rather than getting depressed about it, they accept it and enjoy the time they have to live with them.
* MindOverMatter: They are the only species with natural biotics. [[spoiler: In actually, the Protheans altered their entire species to give them all biotics.]]
* [[spoiler:NiceJobBreakingItHero: Its revealed in the third game the Protheans aided in developing their early culture, deeming them the ones most likely to stop the Reapers in the next Cycle. To this end, the Protheans made significant enhancements to the asari - science, politics, universal biotics, even a working Prothean beacon that could be used to prepare the races of the galaxy against the Reapers. Unfortunately, the Protheans didn't count on the asari leadership keeping the beacon under wraps so they could claim to be superior to everyone else. They only send Shepard to retrieve the beacon when the Reapers were kicking down their front door.]]
* NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering: Their government is technically a direct democracy, but in practice they usually defer to any matriarchs (the oldest members of the species) involved. Come MassEffect3, this and [[RefusaloftheCall two]] [[NiceJobBreakingitHero other]] tropes, come into effect.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Apparently, this is one of their hats, in addition to BoldlyComing.
** See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.
* OneGenderRace
* OneWomanArmy: Asari commandos are considered to be the deadliest fighters in the galaxy. Getting into a one-on-one fight against one is practically suicide... unless you're with [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]]. To put it in perspective, you hear two separate accounts of a commando dueling a krogan veteran. In the first case, the battle lasted for ''days'', blew up a space station, and ended in a draw. In the second case, the two of them killed ''each other''.
** This is perfectly summed up by the War Assets entry for the Serrice Guard, a unit of asari commandos. After a space battle with a Blood Pack ship, they and the Blood Pack were forced to crash land on a planet. [[CurbStompBattle Over the course of nine days, the Blood Pack suffered over a hundred casualties from traps, ambushes, and night assaults.]] When the Blood Pack gave up and finally surrendered, they found out that they had only been fighting ''five'' asari commandos. They're like the female alien equivalents of {{Rambo}}.
** The trope is played straight with Justicars, who can handle entire squads alone.
* OurElvesAreBetter: Either subverted or double subverted, depending on how much truth you read into Javik's words to Liara.
** ScrewYouElves: Gianna Parasini from the first and second game seems to really enjoy bringing asari in for their crimes, and she's apparently not the only one who enjoys rubbing it in when the asari screw up, including one of their own Matriarchs, Aethyta, who says that the asari on Thessia "laughed the blue off [her] ass" when she suggested that asari should spend their maiden years doing something more productive than stripping or being mercenaries.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The Ardat-Yakshi. They're asari with a genetic mutation that impairs their ability to MindMeld. In the most extreme cases of the syndrome, this "burns out" their partner's neuro-nervous system, which also allows the Ardat-Yakshi to consume the victim's memories. This is a euphoric experience, and boosts the Ardat-Yakshi's PsychicPowers, so they invariably become addicted to the process. This is why any Ardat-Yakshi is either carefully secluded and monitored, or executed for refusing to submit to the former.
* OutWithABang: The Ardat-Yakshi again.
* PlanetOfHats: Asari can mate with anything, and it's apparent that both their culture ''and'' biology encourage them to (especially in the "Maiden" phase of their lives), and because of their longevity, they also tend to be patient and very willing to learn. However, some asari are not promiscuous (either mating for life or not mating at all), some hate politics, and some are flat out worse {{Blood Knight}}s than the krogan.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Their government makes them the ''last'' space-faring race to stand up to the reapers in MassEffect3, ''regardless of the player's decisions''. [[spoiler: Until [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive it is pretty much]] [[DoomedHometown too late]].]]
** [[spoiler: Also since the Protheans left them a Prothean Beacon and influenced their early civilisation, intending for them to lead the Galaxy against the Reapers in the next Cycle. Instead they kept the Beacon a secret and became the only homeworld to actually fall to the Reapers. So they pretty much refused the call twice. Granted, without a cypher, the thing couldn't be accessed at will, so getting information out of it wasn't exactly easy.]]
* RubberForeheadAliens: They look almost exactly like human women, just with fleshy tendrils (they're cartilage-based crests and semi-flexible, according to Liara in the third game) on top of the scalp, skin that is implied to be scaly in texture by the game's graphics, and natural skin-colors being varying shades of blue or purple.
** Although an overheard conversation at a bachelor party involving a turian, human, and salarian in the second game implies that there's something MoreThanMindControl going on, as all three find the asari stripper attractive for wildly different reasons.
* ShortRangeShotgun: Averted with their shotgun, the Disciple. It doesn't do as much damage as shorter ranged shotguns like the Claymore, but it's very accurate and light. That doesn't mean that it's weak, however.
* SpaceElves
* StrongerWithAge: One of the reasons Matriarchs are so respected. If they get irritated with you, congratulations, you have one of the galaxy's most powerful and patient [[MindOverMatter biotics]] getting medieval on your ass, and she probably has the connections and intelligence to ruin your life a thousand times over.
* TheKirk: To the [[TheMcCoy turian McCoy]] and [[TheSpock salarian Spock]].
* {{Utopia}}: Asari society is the most technological and culturally advanced (not to mention the richest) society in space. [[spoiler: It's revealed in ''3'' that this is due to them secretly hiding a Prothean artifact to ''keep'' them ahead of everyone else]].
* WarriorMonk: The Justicars, with a side-order of KnightErrant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Salarians]]
!!Salarians
[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Salarian-001_6518.png]]

->''...if you want a [[NiceJobBreakingItHero NEW problem]], ask a salarian....''
-->'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Sur'kesh

The second race to discover the Citadel and one of the two founding members of the Citadel Council. Their metabolism is much faster than those of other species; on the one hand, this means they're the second shortest-lived sentient beings in the galaxy after the vorcha. On the other, they waste a ''lot'' less of their lives sleeping. They also have 'reproduction contracts' instead of marriages (which Mordin attributes to an inability to sustain courtship emotions). Similar to the asari, the salarian government is collection of clans, families, fiefdoms and duchies collectively referred to as the "Salarian Union". The Council based the Spectre program off the salarian Special Tasks Group, although the Spectres aren't as well-funded - you don't see STG operatives buying their own weapons.

Despite being outnumbered nine-to-one by the males, female salarian 'dalatrasses' (clan / family leaders) wield the most political power on their home-world.

Salarians are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheEngineer Engineer]] and [[StealthExpert Infiltrator]] classes.

* AlienBlood: Green.
* {{Alien Non-Interference Clause}}: Averted. The salarians have a nasty habit of trying to groom primitive races as quick fixes for their problems, which they call "uplifting". This leads Mordin and Padok to argue they should have such a rule, but they seem to be in the minority - see NiceJobBreakingItHero.
-->'''James:''' These lizards like playing God, huh?
-->'''EDI:''' The salarians appear to have learned nothing from the Krogan Rebellions.
* {{Asexuality}}: Most of them are asexual, except in regards to the asari. As for how a species can survive despite being mostly asexual, it's because they're a haploid species. Unfertilized eggs laid by their Dalatrasses (read: family matriarchs) are born as males. Fertilized eggs are born as females. Siring them is dealt with in a business/political agreement fashion ("Reproduction Negotiations"). As such, the majority of the population are males.
* BadassArmy: The salarian military is basically the [[CombatPragmatist pragmatic]] in the galaxy, with loads of dreadnoughts and the best stealth technology. Of particular note is the Salarian Special Task Group, a special forces organization so badass that they are what inspired the Spectres. Their doctrine is actually very similar to humanity's, albeit larger and more advanced: a relatively small volunteer force that relies on crippling the enemy before the war begins instead of slugging it out (humans cripple the enemy ''during'' the war; salarians would rather ensure the war doesn't happen).
* CombatPragmatist: They consider declarations of war to be superfluous and stupid. When they attack, it is without warning and after as much time as feasible gathering intelligence and undermining the enemy.
** They also consider very few measures to be out-of-bounds. One of their research facilities in the third game shows that they were researching altering varren ([[DeathWorld Tuchanka]] wolves) to be ''even more'' powerful, violent, and fast-breeding so they could be dropped onto enemy planets to completely wreck the ecosystem and attack civilian populations. A throwaway note on one planet suggests they're observing certain areas in the Terminus Systems, and any individuals who have the idea of uniting the warring pirates and slaving bands always die mysterious and untimely deaths.
** Their reliance on their intelligence networks turned out to be a devastating weakness when the Reapers attacked, as the salarians' entire doctrine lay in destroying the enemy before conflict even began. Since they didn't virtually own the Reapers' communications network nor could prepare for or target their weaknesses prior to the unexpected attack, the salarian military was left at a severe disadvantage. However, none of that changes the fact that the salarians still do have one of the largest and most advanced navies in the galaxy.
** Basically, they are all about ''avoiding'' having to actually fight the enemy unless necessary, though they are capable fighters when it comes down to it thanks to their huge military, advanced technology, and super power status.
* ExplosiveBreeder: It goes unremarked, but, as the [[AllThereInTheManual in-game codex]] notes, they are "haplo-diploid oviparous amphibians". In other words, female salarians lay dozens of eggs automatically once a year, and they don't need sex to make them hatch; sex merely determines whether or not the eggs will hatch into more females, who will lay more eggs. Salarian worlds are invariably densely populated as a result -- theoretically, salarians can actually ''outbreed the krogan''. This may explain why the salarian home world has much more people than the turian or asari ones, even though the salarians have managed to spread out their population into the colonies; there's just that many of them.
* TheFederation
* FighterMageThief: The thief in the asari-turian-salarian trio.
* ForScience: Practically the salarians [[PlanetOfHats hat]], though it's heavily lampshaded that this ''often'' [[IdiotBall doesn't turn out so well.]]
* GenderRarityValue: Females are rare, influential, and extremely well-protected, due to the reasons listed under {{Asexuality}}. You will never see a salarian female in a combat role unless things are ''very'' dire.
* TheGreys: Or at least the closest equivalent in the Mass Effect setting.
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: Justified, since males vastly outnumber females, and due to GenderRarityValue and simple statistics male salarians are far more likely to be casualties in combat.
* MotorMouth: A few of them. At the very least they talk faster than most other species.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: One of their hats, apparently. Since salarians are hyper-active and have shorter lifespans, they think more for the short term (in contrast to the asari, who think so long-term that they sometimes seem complacent or wishy-washy).
** Case in point, the first few thousand years of galactic war were continuously their fault. They activated the relay which brought the rachni to the universe and started the Rachni Wars; they then uplifted the krogan to defeat the rachni; then they sterilized the krogan in order to stop the Krogan Rebellions. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' then shows that [[spoiler:they were planning to ''secretly'' uplift the ''yahg''. There is ''absolutely no way'' that could possibly have ended well.]]
** See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.
* NotSoDifferent: The basis of salarian civilization; males compete for the right to sire progeny on females, and females barter breeding rights as the source of their authority. Doesn't that sound ''just like post-genophage krogan?''
** Hell, as noted above, salarians are just as much {{Explosive Breeder}}s as the krogan were before being infected with the genophage.
*** Except they aren't nearly as hard to kill as the krogan and have much shorter lifespans even if they aren't as reckless as krogan.
* OverlyLongName: Salarians always introduce themselves shorthand. A salarian's full name includes their personal name, family name, and the city, district, country, planet, star system, and star cluster of their birth.
* PhotographicMemory: As well as bolstering their skill as spies, it helps them keep track of their enormous extended families.
* PlanetOfHats: Salarians aren't very durable or long-lived, but they are expert at covert operations and intelligence gathering. They also tend to be [[PragmaticHero strictly pragmatic]] and amoral. But Mordin and Maelon alone are perfect examples of how widely this can change and vary.
* TheSpock: To the [[TheMcCoy turian McCoy]] and [[TheKirk asari Kirk.]]
* StealthInSpace: All salarian ships are equipped with the same stealth technology as the Normandy, even their dreadnoughts.
* StickyBomb: They manufacture a pistol for their special forces called the Scorpion that shoots blue sticky grenades. Salarian Infiltrators in multiplayer are also fond of them.
* UnderestimatingBadassery: Other species tend to do this. As Mordin points out, while the salarians aren't physically imposing as the other races, their sheer aptitude for stealth and subterfuge, combined with their reputation as "easily dismissable", means that ''no-one'' ever sees them coming.
* WeAreAsMayflies: With a lifespan of around 40 years, they are shortest-lived of the powerful species.
** Then again, since they only need about 1 hour of sleep each night, in active hours per lifetime they're about equal to humans.
* TheWorfEffect: The STG is said (and in the first game, shown) to be a BadassArmy with some of the best technology and training in the galaxy, comparable to the Spectres (except they ''don't'' have to buy their own gear). However, by the time of ''MassEffect3'', Cerberus manages to sneak onto Sur'Kesh undetected and surprise and stomp out an entire base of STG guards with only moderate casualties, with only Shepard being able to help repel them. Campbell even says that, due to Cerberus' technology, the salarians may as well have been throwing rocks.
** WorfHadTheFlu: However, this is due to the salarian preference to end a war before their enemy even knows that it has begun. They were completely blindsided by the Reapers, meaning most of their traditional tactics didn't apply and they didn't expect Cerberus to suddenly get a major technological advantage [[spoiler: due to being augmented by salvaged Reaper tech from the Collector Base]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Humans]]
!! Humans
[[quoteright:219:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Human-001_6644.png]]

->''....But if you want a problem ''[[HumansAreSpecial fixed]]'', ask a human.''
-->--'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Earth

The most recent species to enter the galactic scene. Humans are a bipedal race originated from Earth. They are the most culturally and genetically diverse of all of the species in the series. On Earth itself, humanity is still very much divided, with major powers including the [[ExpandedStatesOfAmerica The United North American States]], [[ToGetRichIsGlorious The People's Federation of China]], and the [[UnitedEurope European Union]], but they all agree to project themselves as one faction to the galaxy through the Systems Alliance. They have advanced in galactic politics more quickly than other races, leading to a belief that humans are all impatient bullies. This advancement coupled with humanity's penchant for devising innovative ideas has led to humanity being considered to be something of a WildCard; they are going to change the galaxy, but no one is certain how so.

Humans are one of the races available for multiplayer, and are the only one with access to all the classes and a customizable gender. The Rebellion Pack DLC adds the [[WhipItGood Ex-Cerberus Vanguard and Adept]], and the Earth Pack adds N7 special forces characters for all of the classes, each with unique movesets and abilities.

* AirborneAircraftCarrier: Well, space aircraft carrier. The Alliance was the first known military in galactic history to deploy carriers. They quickly became popular among other races after their introduction.
* TheAlliance: The Systems Alliance, of course.
* AmbitionIsEvil: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]]. Humanity's hat is hyper-ambition. A lot of the aliens you meet don't seem to appreciate the fact that they've been grabbing all the power on the galactic stage in the last forty years.
* AppealToTradition: [[BerserkButton DO NOT]] [[DefiedTrope try this on humans]]. Humanity is unconcerned with how long you've been here, how many generations you've done this, or whose "turn" it is to get their due. All humanity cares about is: how can we get this done, or tell us who won't let us do it, so we can kick their ass.
* ArchEnemy: With the batarians. The Hegemony and the Alliance have been engaged in a proxy war for years in the Skyllian Verge, with Alliance Marines facing off against batarian paramilitires (like Balak's group), with various warlords and pirate bands being backed by both sides to fight the other. The batarian pirates who attacked Mindoir are an example of a Hegemony-backed band, whereas Lord Darius's gang is an example of an Alliance-backed band. MassEffect2 also reveals that the Hegemony is just itching for an excuse to start a war with humanity.
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant: Other races are quietly terrified that this might happen, given that the humans were able to gain the full attention of the turians, having never fought them before, with such a small percentage of humanity's population in the military. Many say that if the turians and humans ever got into a long war with each other, it would wreck a significant portion of the galaxy.
** Used as a BatmanGambit by Udina's predecessor, Ambassador Goyle, in the book ''Literature/MassEffectRevelation''. When an illegal Alliance operation is uncovered, the Citadel Council prepares to sanction humanity back into the Stone Age. Realizing that this would doom humankind to a fate much like the quarians or the krogan (the entire species reduced to a punchline and unable to do anything significant in Council Space for hundreds--if not ''thousands'' of years), Goyle boldly states that if the Council does this, the Systems Alliance will declare war on all Citadel Space. She was aware that humanity wouldn't ever win such a suicidal war, but that if humanity devoted a lot of their resources towards militarization they could inflict enough damage on Council space that the Council just wouldn't see fighting them as worth it.
* BadassArmy: The Alliance military is very small, both on the ground and in space, compared to the other Council races, but an emphasis on maneuver warfare, flexibility, and innovative tactics and technology enable them to match a few larger and more established militaries, like the Batarian Hegemony.
* BerserkButton: After an Asari witnesses Shepard's angry reaction to "Indentured Servants" being sold on Illium, it's heavily implied that Humans are well known for having a no-tolerance approach to slavery. Most races seem to be under the impression this is due to the batarian slave-raids on their colonies, apparently unaware that the majority of [[HumansAreBastards human]] [[DarkAndTroubledPast history]] has given them strong reasons to [[TheAtoner hate slavery]].
* BizarreBabyBoom: Biotic abilities in humans only began to manifest after several starship "accidents" in the 2150s accidentally exposed pregnant women to Element Zero ''in-utero''. As such, most of the first generation of Human Biotics are only around 30 years old.
* BullyingADragon: The Batarian Hegemony's paramilitary attacks on the Alliance are seen as this by some, but in truth the higher military officials know that a war with the batarians is risky for both sides.
* CombatPragmatist: The war doctrine of the Alliance is to quickly cut behind the enemy and destroy key installations, supply lines, and command centers. They're very big on offense; colonies only get token garrisons, but anyone who attacks will have the force of the galaxy's sixth largest navy coming down right on their heads.
** Likewise, their defence strategy boils down to having their Fleets positioned at key nexus points in the Relay Network, so should one of their colonies get attacked, TheCavalry will never be more than a jump or two away.
* {{Determinator}}: Lampshaded by the various races, that despite overwhelming odds, humans ''never'' give up. Turians are excessively disciplined and krogan are outright stubborn, but humans have an uncanny ability to pull off the impossible.
* TheEmpire: Subverted. Aliens fear this from the humans as a whole, but it never really gets as far as they think.
* ExpandedStatesOfAmerica: The United States has been expanded and renamed the United North American States. It now also encompasses Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.
** UnitedEurope: It's mentioned that Europe is also politically active, apparently having become one Nation-State.
*** ''Except'' for the UK. [[WithEuropeButNotOfIt The more things change, the more they stay the same...]]
* FacelessGoons: The standard uniform in the Alliance includes a helmet that completely obscures the wearer's face. Justified in that all Alliance soldiers wear PowerArmor and are expected to be able to fight in hostile environments.
* TheFederation: Back on Earth, there's the United North American States and (possibly) [[UnitedEurope the European Union.]] There's also the Chinese People's Federation, but it's not clear if they really are a federation or just a PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny.
* FantasticRankSystem: The ranking system of the Systems Alliance differs slightly from any modern one. While the Marines are no longer independent of the Navy, they like to keep some of their own ranks out of tradition.
** Several ranks may ''look'' like real-world equivalents, but they really are not. For instance, Kaidan Alenko goes from "Staff Lieutenant", which in US military equivalent ranks would be O-3 (at most), second lowest of the six commissioned officer ranks. to "Major", which is O-4 in USA ranks. Except it isn't in Mass Effect: it's essentially what Colonel is today (O-6).
* HumanityIsInfectious: While there are naturally some exceptions, for the most part, humanity has easily adapted to the galactic scene, showing great enthusiasm and expressing a desire for a deeper role in galactic politics and in protecting it from threats.
* HumanityIsSuperior: Averted early in the series, discussed in the middle, then thoroughly subverted at the end. Starting out, humanity is a middle power in MassEffect; they impressively outclass several pre-established powers militarily, economically, and population-wise, such as the batarians and hanar. However, they aren't even in the same league as the other three Council races. [[spoiler:After the first game, humanity becomes a lot more involved in interstellar politics and appears to be on their way to forming a human-centric regime. However, after Earth is attacked, humanity desperately has to seek allies from the other species, with most of the final war assets coming from those species.]]
* HumansAdvanceSwiftly: Humanity had access to mass effect technology for only seven years and only a few colonies before making disastrous first contact with the Turian Heirarchy. Despite this early mistep, they continued on to become a major political force in the galaxy and subsequently gained a seat on the Council, only ''26 years'' from initial first contact. To put the extent of this achievement into perspective, it often takes ''centuries'' for most races to even reach a lesser status. This comparatively absurd advancement speed with little sign of slowing is part of the reason most races are quietly terrified of the potential of humanity.
* HumansAreAverage: Physically, humans are the middle ground in almost every way compared to other species, which has proven to be an advantage of sorts. Thane's dossier reveals humans are generally easier to assassinate than asari or turians, and Grunt counts them as less hardy than quarians, which may or may not be because of the quarians' environment suits.
** In fact, in multiplayer, humans are the only species that can play ''any'' class.
** Mordin reveals in the second game that Humans have the most genetic variability in the Galaxy, meaning it's nearly ''impossible'' to predict where they can fall on the the biological bell-curve, compared to those of other species. If it weren't highly unethical, this would make them wonderfully valuable as a test group for medical experiments.
*** [[spoiler: Turns out, the Reapers ''agree''.]]
* HumansAreBastards: The most despicable and feared terrorist organization in the galaxy (Cerberus) and the largest NGOSuperpower criminal empire (Blue Suns) are both human organizations (though the Suns have some major batarian influence as well). It puts a bit of a drain on their reputation, especially since Cerberus was formerly an Alliance organization.
* HumansAreLeaders: This is how they see ''themselves'', anyway. And it's embodied by [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Ambassador Udina]] and the [[KnightTemplar Illusive Man]] in the negative sense, and [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Admiral Hackett and David Anderson]] in the positive sense, and Commander Shepard can fall anywhere between them on the scale.
** Although should Shepard have done everything right, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHIAibDr3yM the arrival of the Sword-Fleet]], with ''Normandy'' leading the charge to retake Earth, makes it hard to argue that humanity doesn't honestly deserve this reputation.
** [[RunningGag See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.]]
* HumansAreSpecial: Played straight early on, [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] later. In the context of the series, humanity did gain political power rather quick, but that's mostly due to [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] being [[TheMessiah Shepard.]]
* HumansAreWarriors: Human military tactics are considered rather unpredictable by the standards of the other races. Pound-for-pound, humans rival the batarians in might, but lack the sheer brute force of the krogan, the discipline and power of the turian navy, the skill of the asari, or the savvy of the salarians. However, humans are unmatched in maneuverability, flexibility, VI and drone support, and individual initiative. Human tactics are focused around [[VictoryByEndurance striking high-priority targets and supply lines]] rather than wars of attrition. In short, humans are well-known for achieving more with less.
* HumanityIsInsane: Most of the other races tend to have this view.
* JackOfAllStats: According to various comments from other races. They are also the only species able to use every class in the MassEffect3 multiplayer.
** Actually averted on a grand scale. Humanity is not good at everything and terrible at nothing; there are some things that humanity is obviously terrible at when compared to other races (their economy is one of the weakest in Citadel Space, for example) and some things they are better at.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold[=/=]JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: Depending on the ending in the first game. [[spoiler: Despite being, for better or worse, an ambitious and warlike race, humans come to the rescue of the Citadel and prevent a return of the [[OmnicidalManiac Reapers]]. Whether this means saving the entirely alien Council from the jaws of certain death and becoming a part of the wider community, or sacrificing them in favor of fighting Sovereign, is entirely up to Shepard.]]
* MechaMooks: The codex says that the Alliance makes heavy use of drones to compensate for their lack of numbers compared to other species, ranging from flying tripod machine gun turrets to eight foot tall [[MiniMecha YMIR Mechs]] with a machine gun and rocket launcher combo to the anti-tank rocket drones to VI-piloted deep space fighters. In the various Alliance bases gone wrong that Shepard has to come to clean up, there are ''always'' huge amounts of mechs and drones there to defend it. [[AIIsACrapshoot In some cases, the mechs and drones are what killed everyone in the base.]]
* MoralMyopia: Some humans express outrage over the Council not intervening to help them, whereas, as Bethany points out in the third game, they would likely abandon Thessia if it were being invaded by the Reapers.
* PlanetOfHats: When the galaxy was handing out hats, not only did humans knock it to the ground and stomp over it, they then fired a mass accelerator round at the hat shop to serve as an example. What makes humans special is that they ''refuse'' to be marginalized or held back in any way, and that scares the races and makes them question the hats they've been wearing for centuries or even millennia. But this, of course, means that humanity's "pseudo-hats" are ambition and defiance.
* SemperFi: The Marines have completely replaced the army.
* SuperSoldier: By our standards, every Alliance soldier is this. They wear power armor, have deflector shields, receive cybernetic implants and gene therapy, and carry automatic coil guns and rocket launchers, both of which have unlimited ammo. But in the galaxy of Mass Effect, this is just standard stuff.
** The Alliance has their own even-more-super soldiers in the case of the N7 classes. Not exceptionally skilled normal soldiers that become N7s, like Shepard or the base multiplayer characters, but the specialized ultra-elite units that are only playable in multiplayer. They include a biotic ninja who can explode things ''incredibly'' rapidly and teleport, an invisible cyborg with a monomolecular blade that can shoot lasers, a human tank equipped with very heavy PowerArmor which includes a shoulder mounted missile launcher, a wrist mounted grenade launcher, and enhancements for whatever weapon he happens to be holding, and more.
* TankGoodness: The Mako is called a tank by marines, despite technically being an Infantry Fighting Vehicle. But naming aside, it is a fine piece of work; a powerful cannon, a coaxial machine gun, great speed, powerful shields that recharge, room for an equipped fireteam, and it can be dropped from hundreds of meters in the air on to a planet. Plus, like all Mass Effect weaponry, it has effectively unlimited ammo.
* UnusualEuphemism: Humans have a tendency to talk in a ''lot'' of slang, shorthand, as well as use metaphors. This leads to some BluntMetaphorsTrauma from fellow races like the turians, who are utterly perplexed by their manner of speaking and use of bizarre idioms.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With the turians. There might be tension, but these two societies have more in common with each other than with the salarians or the asari. They even co-designed the Normandy with the turians.
* WeAreAsMayflies: Humans in this setting are 'lucky' to break one century, but can reasonably live for as long as a hundred and fifty years. The trope is played straight with asari and krogan, who both live to be over 1,000 years. It's averted with most other species, who have similar lifespans, and with the salarians, whose fast metabolisms gives them maximum lifespans of just 40 years. Even worse are the vorcha, who can count themselves lucky to see 20.
* WildCard: Given the relative newness of humanity on the galactic stage, most races aren't really sure how to predict human behavior.

[[/folder]]

!Citadel Associate/Client/Protectorate Races

[[folder:Drell]]
!! Drell
[[quoteright:193:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Drell-001_9966.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Rakhana

Overpopulation left the drell planet polluted and starved of resources before the species had even developed fusion power. The hanar saved hundreds of thousands of them as their world died; in gratitude, many drell choose to serve the hanar in some fashion under "The Compact", becoming part of the Illuminated Primacy. Do ''not'' compare this with slavery within drell earshot: "Anyone can refuse to serve. Few do. We owe our existence to the hanar. We are proud to repay the debt."

Unfortunately, the transition hasn't been seamless. The drell are built for a world where water is in short supply, but it rains every day on the hanar homeworld. Their lungs can't handle the moisture, and a terminal disease known as 'Kepral's Syndrome' often occurs in late adulthood.

Drell are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[SquishyWizard Adept]] and [[MagicKnight Vanguard]] classes. Retaliation adds Assassin Infiltrators.

* CadreOfForeignBodyguards: To the hanar.
* ChildSoldiers: Thane recalls training as an assassin and getting his first kill when he was twelve.
* FragileSpeedster: Relative to the other races. They're quick on their feet even without Charge and can use martial arts and acrobatics at short range, but their barriers are the weakest of any class, and they have the third lowest health behind the geth and volus.
* [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Green Skinned Space Hunk]]: The male versions of the species were specifically designed to be the {{Spear Counterpart}}s to the asari. We never see the females.
* GutturalGrowler: We meet all of three drell (four including the multiplayer), all male, and they all have raspy voices.
* HumanoidAliens
* IOweYouMyLife: The compact between the drell and hanar was formed after the hanar saved as many drell as possible from their dying homeworld.
* [[spoiler: KillEmAll: If Shepard fails to stop the Indocrinated Hanar in ''MassEffect3'', the Drell are most likely are amongst those exterminated when the Kahje falls to the Reapers, leaving both races extinct.]]
* PhotographicMemory: Though they can't always control them. When they're concentrating, they're fine. But when idly recalling memories, they'll often get locked into [=PTSD=]-style flashbacks. Depending on the memory, it can be a good thing. Or a very not good thing. Like the day you met your wife. Or the day you get shot in the knee. Some also decide to abandon the present and live in the past.
* ServantRace: Willingly serve the hanar, though they certainly don't see it that way.
* TheReptilians
* UndyingLoyalty: To the hanar.
* [[WalkingTheEarth Wandering The Galaxy]]: Many drell who do not choose to join in the Compact instead opt to wander around the galaxy, partaking in other cultures and species.
* WeAreAsMayflies: Drell on Kajhe, given as much medical attention as the hanar can grant them, have an average life span of eighty years. For comparison, thanks to their own medical advances the average human, turian, batarian, or quarian life span in the MassEffect universe is one hundred and fifty.
** However, this might be due to being ill-suited to the moist environment of Kahje, which commonly leads many Drell to suffer Kepral Syndrome. In a more arid environment, it's possible that their life expectancy is much longer.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Hanar]]
!! Hanar
[[quoteright:225:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hanar-001_4345.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Kahje

The hanar, who refer to their government as the "Illuminated Primacy", live in the oceans and communicate through bio-luminescence, which makes adapting to galactic society more of a challenge for them. Other species mainly know them as 'those excessively polite jellyfish who worship the Protheans.' They also saved the drell from total extinction nearly a century pre-series.

* BewareTheNiceOnes: Their hat is being excessively polite, and they can't even hold guns. So you wouldn't think they'd be dangerous combatants, right? Well, according to certified {{Badass}} Zaeed Massani, they can be deadly if they manage to get those tentacles around your throat. Furthermore, they're literally out of their element when dealing with most people since they're an aquatic race. On their homeworld, they're ''predators''.
** {{Lampshaded}} InUniverse with the movie series "Blasto: the Hanar Spectre," itself an AscendedMeme from the BioWare fandom.
-->'''Blasto''': This one doesn't have time for your solid waste excretions (opens fire).
** Addressed by Shepard, who is amazed to learn that the Hanar often train drell to serve as their ''[[CadreOfForeignBodyguards assassins]]''.
--> '''Shepard''': The ''hanar''? The excessively polite race that worship the Protheans?
* CombatTentacles: Zaeed had to wear a neck brace after tangling with one.
* EliteArmy: Sort of. They don't really have an army; just a bunch of special forces and assassins in the form of the drell. They ''are'' known to possess at least one fleet, but this fleet is small and weak compared to a turian, salarian, human, or asari fleet.
** It's revealed in the third game that their planet relies mostly on automated defenses.
* [[StarfishAliens Jellyfish Aliens]]
* [[ThankTheMaker Thank The Enkindlers]]: The Hanar worship the Protheans as Gods, whom they refer to as "The Enkindlers", believing they were the ones who gifted them with the gift of consciousness and speech.
** [[spoiler: Possibly confirmed by Javik in ''3'', who notes they probably could have taught them to speak ''better'']].
* ThirdPersonPerson: The hanar uniformly refer to themselves as "this one" when speaking with others unless (we are told) they're very close - or, as in the case of [[http://youtu.be/2KyjhPWehZo Regards the Works of the Enkindlers in Despair]] - they're being very rude.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:If you failed to save Kahje in the Hanar Diplomat side quest in MassEffect3, a news report will inform you that the planet quickly fell to the Reapers and they exterminated its entire population.]]
** [[spoiler:Made worse when you realise that, due to their UndyingLoyalty to the hanar, the drell living on Kahje most likely remained to fight alongside them, leading to their race becoming extinct as well.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Volus]]
!! Volus
[[quoteright:224:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Volus-001_343.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Irune

The volus tend to be great businessmen and run many of the galaxy's wealthiest corporations. Their skin cannot withstand the types of atmospheres that other species live in, so when not on their worlds they wear exosuits which cover their entire bodies. Although the volus were the third species to discover the Citadel, their small military has led to them being denied a seat on the Council because they are unable to make the contributions to galactic security that are expected of the Council races. To compensate for their small military, the volus have become a client race of the Turian Hierarchy, officially dubbing themselves the "Vol Protectorate", lending their economic know-how to the turians in exchange for turian protection.

Retaliation makes them available for multiplayer and adds volus [[SquishyWizard Adepts]], [[TheEngineer Engineers]], [[TheRedMage Mercenary Sentinels]], and [[MagicKnight Protector Vanguards]].

* BadassAdorable: Thanks to Retaliation. There's something hilarious about watching tiny mole-people kick ass alongside the rest of the galaxy. It's probably not as funny for their enemies.
* TheChewToy: Mass Effect's designated go-tos for comic misfortune. They just ''look'' goofy; about half a human's height but easily twice the width, round enough to roll, with little slot-mouths, and some peculiarity of their suit-design ensures their faces have dangling artificial "jowls" that cause them to look perpetually comically glum.
* TheClan: Their entire society descends from this type of culture. Their name for themselves is "Vol-Clan".
** They also refer to others in this fashion, notably calling the Quarians "Clanless", implying that their understanding of Clan is tied to Homeworlds. Friendlier or more considerate Volus call them Migrant-Clan or Star-Clan.
* ClingyCostume: Not only do they live in ammonia-heavy atmospheres, they also live in high-pressure environments. So without the suits, not only will they suffocate, they'll ''burst''.
* CoolStarship: The volus navy has only one dreadnought. Said dreadnought is also one of the single most advanced warships in the galaxy, outfitted with a [[WaveMotionGun spinal Thanix cannon]]. You can recover this dreadnought in ''MassEffect3'' and add it to your war assets.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Quite a few of them. Their culture is primarily mercantile and they essentially created (and run) the Citadel economy, so they almost literally wrote the book.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: They view themselves as TheChewToy of the galaxy, and with some reason. Despite being one of the first races to inhabit the Citadel thousands of years ago, they're extremely annoyed humans were given a Council seat in only three decades. With their physical weakness off-planet, being forced to wear pressure suits off their homeworld, and their VaderBreath VerbalTic thanks to their rebreathers, they get treated like crap as well. This, despite being the main merchant class of the galaxy.
** In fact, when visiting the Council for the first time, a turian and salarian will be discussing the volus clinging to the coattails of the humans if they get a Council seat, and the salarian states the ''hanar'' and the ''elcor'', in ''that order'' will be joining the Council before the volus do. Talk about HilariousInHindsight.
* ExplosiveDecompression: Justified; since the volus come from a very high-pressure world, exposure to atmospheres that other races find comfortable will cause them to burst like some species of Earth's deep-sea fish.
* TheFaceless: By necessity. We have less idea what they look like than we do the quarians.
* FantasticRacism: The volus descend from a clan-like culture, something they take ''very'' seriously. Due to the quarians being exiled from their world by the geth, some volus have taken to insulting refer to them as "Clan-less".
** Though more considerate volus have been seen to refer to them as "Migrant-Clan" or "Star-clan".
* GadgeteerGenius: Their secondary hat. Perhaps the biggest conglomerate in the galaxy, Elkoss Combine, is volus-owned[[hottip:*:You can pass by the president, Rupe Elkoss on the Citadel in the third game conversing with a naive human woman]], and it specializes in reverse-engineered cheap alternatives to a vast variety of products. Two war assets you can acquire in Mass Effect 3 are a highly modular volus fabrication system and a team of Elkoss Combine engineers skilled at reverse-engineering things.
* GlassCannon: They have some powerful abilities in multiplayer, but can't take that much damage (in fact, they have the lowest health).
* HeavyWorlder
* JokeCharacter[=/=]LethalJokeCharacter: Moderate shields, low HP, so short that they just stand behind cover rather than duck, and they trade melee skills for a poor man's cloak and an emergency shield. On the plus side, they can buff everyone's shields and have abilities like Stasis and Recon Mine.
* LetsGetDangerous
* TheMedic: Volus classes in multiplayer can restore the shields of nearby allies every few seconds.
* ProudMerchantRace
* SpaceJews: Far from [[StarWars toydarian]] levels though.
* TalkingLightbulb: Not only that, but they also have lights on their suits where a human would have eyes, which blink periodically as human eyes would.
* TookALevelInBadass: Prior to their addition to multiplayer, you never even hear of any volus combatants[[note]](Though the in game codex does note that the Volus military serves as an auxiliary force to the Turian military of which it is nominally a part, though they are usually relegated to support roles as the Turians do most of the fighting)[[/note]].
* VaderBreath: Often played for comedy.
--> '''C-Sec officer:''' I need you to take a deep breath and calm down, sir.
--> '''Kor Tun:''' You're mocking *hhhkkk* me, *hhhkkk* Earth-Clan!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Elcor]]
!! Elcor
[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Elcor-001_6338.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Dekuuna

The elcor are natives of Dekuuna, a world with incredibly high gravity. As a result of living on a world where even falling down can be lethal, the elcor have developed a very patient culture. The elcor speak in monotones, but use scent and subtle facial cues to indicate the tone of what they are saying. Since other species cannot perceive these cues, elcor who frequently interact with other species are trained to prefix their speech with an emotive indicator.

* BewareTheNiceOnes: They tend to be cautious, polite, and slow. They can also punch holes in bulkheads and make very good bouncers, and their standard armaments would be considered heavy caliber or artillery by other species. The Codex entry simply states they're slow to anger, but when they're pissed, ''look out''. The human at Purgatory in Omega in ''MassEffect2'' is treading thin ice, as the elcor bouncer is the first and only time players see an annoyed elcor.
* CreepyMonotone: Only because they don't express emotion through tone of voice.
* [[spoiler:DroppedABridgeOnHim: In ''3'', even if you successfully accomplish the Diplomat's side mission, the elcor are hammered to the brink of extinction. When Shepard asks how many were saved, the Diplomat pauses, brings his head down and answers "Not... ''enough''".]]
* HeavyWorlder: A straight example of this trope, which is why they stand and walk on all four of their limbs. This has also affected their psychological development, inclining them to be careful and conservative, carefully considering every action before taking it. This is due to evolving on a world where falling down due to a misstep can result in a serious, potentially fatal, injury.
* IDoNotSpeakNonverbal: They sound like a whole species of Eeyores, although some of them have started hacking translators to get around this.
** Because of this, it's mentioned that Francis Kitt's seminal [[AlienArtsAreAppreciated all-Elcor peformance]] of ''{{Hamlet}}'' is over ''14 hours'' long!
* MightyGlacier: They are very slow, but their hides are bulletproof and they can use what other species would consider to be [[ShoulderCannon vehicle mounted weaponry]] as personal arms.
* OffScreenMomentOfAwesome: ...But you never see any elcor combatants, even if you recruit them to the cause in ''3''.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When Shepard asks how many Elcor civilians the evacuation teams managed to save in ''3'', the Diplomat, who prefaced every previous line by stating his current emotion, simply says "Not...''enough''". It's ''that'' obvious how upset he is.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Justified. See above.
** This is especially evident in the case of a DeadpanSnarker elcor in ''Deception''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Krogan]]
!! Krogan
[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Krogan-001_3852.png]]

->''You ask a krogan if he'd rather find a cure for the [[DepopulationBomb genophage]] or [[HiredGuns fight for credits]], he'll chose fighting - [[BloodKnight every time]]. [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy It's just who we are]].''
-->--'''Urdnot Wrex'''

'''Homeworld:''' Tuchanka

The krogan originated on the DeathWorld of Tuchanka, which made them an extremely resilient - and violent - species. These traits have caused them to have a very troubled relationship with the other Council species; the physiology which makes them so difficult to kill (which includes, among other things, duplicate and even triplicate organs and redundant vital systems) made them crucial to ending the Rachni Wars, but once they were allowed to settle other planets, their population exploded and they began moving in aggressively on worlds already settled by other species, leading to the Krogan Rebellions and the introduction of the [[SterilityPlague genophage]]. Most krogan encountered around the galaxy are hired thugs of one brand or another.

Krogan are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheRedMage Sentinel]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldier]] classes. The Resurgence pack adds [[MagicKnight Battlemaster Vanguard]], and Retaliation adds Shaman Adepts

* AlienBlood: Orange.
* AlienNonInterferenceClause: A poster child for this Trope. According to Eve and Mordin, the Krogan would have been a whole lot more peaceful had they been allowed to advance scientifically at their own pace, instead of being "uplifted" by the salarians to fight in a nasty war.
* AppealToForce
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority
* AttackAttackAttack: They were strong enough to wage war on the rest of the galaxy 1,200 years ago, but that was back when they had an empire of hundreds of planets and fleets of dreadnoughts. Many krogan still seem to think that they are living in those days and that the only thing stopping them from conquering the galaxy is the genophage, not their disunity, or their lack of industrial capacity, or their lack of fleet, or them not having any territory other than a burnt-out husk of a planet that keeps trying to eat them. Mordin shows concern in his loyalty mission that if the genophage is cured, the krogan will try to get "revenge" on the Council and end up getting wiped out by the turians and humans for their trouble.
* BadassArmy; Even with the genophage wrecking their numbers and their homeworld in a state of VideoGame/{{Fallout}}-style post-apocalyptic decay, the krogan are still able to field an army that makes the other species' contributions look meager. This is exemplified in the War Assets in ''3'': a unified krogan force under Wrex, with Eve keeping them under control, can contribute more to your ground assets than any other species save the geth. They're also the only race that takes the "Army" in BadassArmy completely literally. Unlike the humans or turians who have a {{Badass}} SpaceNavy, the krogan military is entirely based on ground troops, as their fleet was decommissioned at the end of the Krogan Rebellions.
* BadassPreacher: The Krogan Shamans, who endure trials that most races would consider too brutal even for [[TrainingFromHell special forces training]], simply because they must fully prepare themselves for their role as a guardian of their sacred traditions and rites. They are available as biotic specialists in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' multiplayer, and are the [[MadeOfIron most robust]] out of all the adept-class characters.
* {{Berserker}}: This is what happens when a krogan enters "Blood Rage". They basically switch to a primitive, instinctual mindset driven to kill or destroy whatever's near them with little Friend or Foe recognition. It's explained that this is a result of their redundant biological systems -- when a krogan's life is endangered enough that a secondary system becomes necessary, their body "reboots" itself for a moment and the rush of blood and adrenaline causes them to go berserk.
* BloodKnight
* TheClan: Like the volus, they have a tribal clan culture, though based less around barter and more around murder.
* ColonyDrop: Abused this tactic frequently during the Krogan Rebellions. Particularly large asteroids even rendered several turian planets completely uninhabitable.
* CombatPragmatist: When they started to lose the Krogan Rebellions, due to the superior navy fielded by the turians, they resorted to just throwing asteroids at turian colonies. Cheap, effective, and it didn't require anything more expensive than a bunch of pissed off krogan with fusion torches. Use of these as weapons were banned by the Council races, but the krogan didn't have a problem with it.
** Their weapons are very clearly designed for utility and brute power, fitting their culture. Their guns are heavy, ugly, blocky, crude, and have high recoil, but they will kill what they're pointed at in short order.
* CrazyPrepared: The Krogan created the ''Graal Spike Thrower'' as a shotgun specifically designed to ''hunt'' Thresher Maws, possessing blades that can cause massive internal damage should the wielder be swallowed alive. Only the krogan would design a shotgun entirely around the eventuality of ''being eaten alive'' and wanting to take your devourer down with you.
* DeathWorld: They come from one.
** [[MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong Mother Tuchanka Makes You Strong]]
* DyingRace: Unless someone turns the genophage around. In the third game, [[spoiler:you can do just that, or only make the krogan think you did]].
* EliteMooks: Every krogan ever encountered who's not a boss.
* EnemyCivilWar: Tuchanka is constantly locked in warfare between clans. Political borders on Tuchanka are determined solely by the range of a clan's artillery weapons and the strength of their defence cannons.
* ExoticEquipment: To quote Garrus:
-->"Some krogan believe that testicle transplants can improve their virility, counteract the genophage. It doesn't work, but that doesn't stop them from buying. Ten thousand credits each, that makes forty thousand for a full set. Someone's making a killing out there..."
* ExplosiveBreeder: Part of their evolutionary response to Tuchanka. Once taken out of those conditions, their population exploded. Hence the genophage, which causes miscarriages and stillbirths in 99.9% of pregnancies.
* ExtremeOmnivore: Krogan find just about anything appetizing, and can and will eat anything that has the slightest amount of nutrition. Regardless of whether or not it's stopped moving. Or if it can talk. [[DoesNotLikeSpam Except ramen.]]
** Hell, even turian food, which is known to ''kill'' levo-amino-acid-based races, just gives them the runs.
* FluffyTamer: Much like the Human domestication of wolves over time into dogs, the Krogan have (mostly) tamed the Varren found on Tuchanka. We see in the second game, they use them for pit-fighting and as guard dogs. Indeed, it's mentioned that the Varren named Urz at the Urdnot camp is a former pit champion, yet, feed him and he will follow Shepard around like an overgrown ''[[BigFriendlyDog puppy]]''.
** Averted with '''Kalros'''. The Krogan aren't stupid, they know to stay the hell away from "the mother of all Thresher Maws".
* {{Giant Mook}}s: Though they aren't ''technically'' much taller than a human or asari, and this height is from the humps on their backs - their heads are actually a good level lower than those of humans and asari, leading to many conversations where krogan look ''up'' to talk to other people, they are a lot bulkier.
* HADToBeSharp: Well, they did ''evolve'' on a DeathWorld. This explains their incredibly resilient biology, as well as the fact that every profession, from engineers to diplomats to scientists to shamans, go about their business with warrior and survivalist mindsets.
** One thing pointed out on [[TheWikiRule the game's wiki]] is that krogan have eyes on the sides of their heads. Predator species (felines, canines, monkeys... humans) have forward-facing eyes for better focus and depth perception, which helps in the hunt - estimating distances to pounce and such. Prey species (bovines, equines, rodents, etc) have side-eyes, which sacrifices focus for much better peripheral vision so they can see any predators coming and flee. Let's repeat: krogan are Tuchanka's equivalent of ''rabbits''. Well, when your planet's deadliest predators are massive acid-spitting {{Sand Worm}}s... everything is prey.
* HandCannon: The only krogan pistol we see, the Executioner, only holds one shot per 'clip' but does more damage than most sniper rifles. Justified, because it's designed by krogan to kill other krogan.
* HealingFactor
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: They mature fast, and age ''very'' slowly. We don't even know what the natural krogan lifespan is, other than the fact that they can easily outlive asari. The only reason there aren't more ancient krogan around is that they tend to meet violent ends.
* ImmortalProcreationClause: Their [[ExplosiveBreeder complete disregard of this]], coupled with their naturally aggressive natures, is what led to the Krogan Rebellions.
* KillItWithFire: The best way to take down a krogan enemy is with incendiary ammo or a fire based ability. It stops them from regenerating, and burns through the armor they're quite likely to have.
* KlingonPromotion: The preferred method, even among their scientists.
* [[KlingonScientistsGetNoRespect Krogan Scientists Get No Respect]]: Aside from Warlord Okeer and Clan Urdnot's resident scientist, Krogan Scientists are actually so rare that most races doubt they exist, if they even consider Krogan intelligent enough to have scientists ''at all''. It's a peculiar self-enforced variant as well. The Urdnot scientist under Wrex complains endlessly that he's forced to waste his time on "things that don't explode" like agriculture, medicine, transport...
** The Clan Urdnot Mechanic says that he gets very little respect from people, even though at the end of the day ''somebody'' has to maintain all the guns.
* LightningBruiser: In the first game, almost all krogan enemies were this. In the second game, they lose the "lightning" part and quite a bit of the bruiser, becoming much slower and weaker. In the third game, the krogan multiplayer characters, ''especially'' the Battlemaster, play this straight again.
* MagicKnight: Krogan battlemasters have biotic abilities such as Warp and Barrier while still retaining the healing factor, durability, and brute strength of normal krogan.
** It's mentioned that biotic abilities amongst krogan were somewhat rare even before the genophage. Any krogan you encounter who has biotic power (such as Wrex) is most likely over a [[BadassGrandpa thousand years old]], making them a particularly EliteMook.
* NailEm: One of their shotguns, the Graal Spike Thrower, shoots spikes that cause bleed damage and decapitate people with headshots.
* OneManArmy: Any krogan warrior is dangerous, but krogan battlemasters in particular are, alongside asari commandos, arguably the deadliest fighters in the entire galaxy...with the exception of Shepard. The two times you hear about a fight between an asari commando and a krogan battlemaster, one ended in a draw[[note]]while they killed a ''space station''. Literally. Most of the people on it survived, but the station itself didn't.[[/note]] and the other killed both.
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: Pretty much fit squarely within the ''Blizzard Orc'' mold in everything but appearance.
* OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture: Krogan weapons are all very boxy. Most notably the Claymore shotgun, which looks like a brick with a trigger.
* PlanetOfHats: Due to living on a DeathWorld, the krogan have grown to be proud {{Social Darwinist}}s. Unfortunately, this also gave them the circular logic of thinking that anything that's destroyed/killed must have been weak, or else it wouldn't have been destroyed. Along with their extremely tough physiques, this callous attitude towards violence and death made them perfect shock troops against the rachni, but served them badly in relation to the rest of the galaxy. They've spent thousands of years paying the price for it, and Wrex and/or Eve are the only ones who seek to change it.
** It also contributed greatly to their fall. After their defeat in the Krogan Rebellions, they began subconsciously seeing themselves as weak, and so made no effort to build themselves back up until a few influential krogan snapped them out of it.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: DeconstructedTrope. The krogan are all afflicted with a SterilityPlague, but their culture hasn't adapted; rather than work to overcome the genophage and preserve krogan lives, they just keep hiring themselves out as mercenaries and engaging in civil wars. Thusly, they are slowly but surely [[DyingRace dying out]].
** The krogan built devices known as "Maw Hammers" whose entire purpose is to summon thresher maws. Let me repeat that to make it clear: ''they built devices to '''summon''' thresher maws so they could fight them.''
*** Moreso, surviving against a thresher maw is part of their adulthood rite. If they actually manage to kill it, they are considered highly skilled.
* PutTheLaughterInSlaughter: Several Krogan characters can be heard laughing gleefully as they kill an enemy. Krogan {{Player Character}}s in multiplayer are no exception.
* TheReptilians
* RagnarokProofing: Their architecture is built with this in mind. Justified as it's mentioned that the reason why ''hospitals'' on Tuchanka are built like bunkers is because of the tendency of injured krogan to enter Blood Rage, which makes them literally destroy ''anything'' in their path.
** Shepard and team encounter ancient temples and underground tunnels in ''3'' which have remained remarkably well preserved for nearly a thousand years or more. Most party members are naturally quite taken aback about how impressive the ancient krogan's engineering prowess was.
** Clan Urdnot's base of operations seems to be an old nuclear missile silo. It's remarkably well-preserved considering that the nuclear war that nearly wiped out the Krogan occured over 2000 years ago! And given all of the various rubble strewn around, one seriously doubts that anyone has been maintaining it for this long either.
* RiteOfPassage: In order to determine their worthiness to a clan, all krogan must undergo a trial when they reach adulthood. Clan Urdnot's rite, at least, involves killing things. Lots of things. [[spoiler: And then surviving five minutes of a thresher maw spitting acid at you (unless you're ''so'' badass you actually kill it).]]
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: They certainly seem to think so. If you encounter a krogan enemy, there is a 95% chance that it is wielding a shotgun.
** FridgeBrilliance when you realize that because their eyes are set wide like on a prey animal, they lack the ability to focus over long distances, which makes shotguns, with their short range effectiveness, the most practical weapons of choice for them.
*** Plus they are tough enough to just charge straight into the thick of things, and they are just as likely to punch/headbutt enemies.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Self-destructive tendencies aside, the majority of the krogan run into in the series come off as just as intelligent (sometimes even moreso) as any other species in the galaxy, despite being stereotyped as brutes with less than average intelligence.
* SpareBodyParts: They have two, three or four of damn near everything important (that includes nervous systems and testicles). Wrex makes an offhand comment about how great a redundant nervous system is when told how Shepard got spaced, only to be told humans don't have them.
-->'''Wrex:''' Oh. That must have been painful, then.
* StayInTheKitchen: A somewhat complicated case. Female krogan are not warriors. They have to breed if they're fertile; if they aren't, they're CannonFodder. Some clans even share their females. But unlike other examples, this is not because of misogyny as such. Thanks to the genophage, a fertile female is ''the'' most valuable resource of the krogans, followed only by a healthy baby krogan, and the krogan would much rather see a thousand males dead than one fertile female risked in battle. In fact, it's implied in 3 that the krogan society was a matriarchy instead of a patriarchy before the genophage reduced them near extinction; and there are one or two mentions of Shiagur, a female Battlemaster who parleyed her fertility into an enormous, ferociously loyal army under her command, and pursued a very successful career in piracy. Upon her death at the hands of a turian, her followers massacred hundreds of turians in revenge.
* TankGoodness: You see krogan vehicles are all over Tuchanka. One in particular, the Tomkah, is a ''huge'' IFV that's referred to as a tank. It makes the Mako look puny in comparison, probably because it's meant to carry krogan. Note that this doesn't mean it's any more durable against Thresher Maws...
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Krogan weapons tend to be this when used on other species, like humans, because they were designed to kill [[MadeOfIron other krogan]]. For example, there's the Striker, an automatic krogan assault rifle that shoots explosive shells.
* TrueCompanions: Their word for this is 'krantt': those willing to kill and die on your behalf. It's actually one of the ''nicer'' parts of their culture - you don't have to be the toughest, you just need to have good friends.
-->'''Shaman:''' Not every krogan can be the strongest warrior, but each must inspire his peers to battle at his side.
** It's also rather surprising how accepting the krogan are of krantts comprised of other species. They don't even really object to Grunt chosing Shepard to be his Battlemaster. Only one does, and his agenda has nothing to do with xenopohobia.
* [[spoiler: UndyingLoyalty: To humanity, and Shepard in particular, if Shepard chooses to cure the Genophage in ''3''. Wrex vows that Shepard's name will now mean "Hero" in their language and expresses near the end of the game, that since Earth is basically ''ruined'', that the krogan would willingly offer space on Tuchanka for refugees. This is particularly telling since as {{Explosive Breeder}}s, the krogan are going to be hard pressed for space as it is! They also give the largest amount of military forces in the game outside of the Alliance.]]
* UseYourHead: How krogan show dominance. It is also their melee attack in multiplayer.
** It's not uncommon to see krogan players headbutting each other between waves.
** Also [[JustifiedTrope justified]]. The krogan have large chitinous plates on their heads to absorb impact. These start out as lots of separate little plates on krogan youth, which expand and calcify into one large rigid plate after the krogan becomes an adult.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Can become this with the turians in the third game under the right conditions, but these include [[spoiler:curing the genophage]].
* WarriorPoet: Krogan Shamans, who command a lot of respect for being the ones who keep their spirituality and traditions alive.
** The krogan ruins encountered in the third game show that the krogan were once artistic. Their works are blocky, but highly coloured and indicative of a strong aesthetic sense.
* YourSizeMayVary: The codex says that krogan are usually over seven feet tall. They're a full foot shorter than that in-game.
* ZergRush: Traditional krogan tactics were built on attritional mass-unit warfare - foot-soldiers equipped with cheap, rugged gear to overwhelm the enemy with sheer numbers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Keepers]]
!!Keepers
[[quoteright:217:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Keepers_Codex_Image_6411.jpg]]

'''Homeworld:''' The Citadel

The keepers are an insectoid race that inhabit the Citadel. They do not ackowledge the other species and all they do is maintain the Citadel, which they seem to understand better than anyone else who lives there. It is generally believed that the Protheans created them, but no-one knows how they sustain themselves or where they even get the materials for their repairs. [[spoiler:It is revealed that they are older than the Protheans and are used by the Reapers to open the Citadel relay so that they can pass through and wipe out galactic civlization.]]

* BeneathNotice: Absolutely nothing is known about them, but, like the Mass Relays themselves, they're so useful no-one seriously questions their origins.
* ChekhovsArmy
* DemotedToExtra: Barely appear in the second and third games.
* [[spoiler:TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: What makes them really effective plot-wise is that the player is trained just like the rest of the galaxy to forget all about them. They appear in only one time-consuming sidequest and are little more than background. It makes TheReveal so much more personal: ''you'', the player, were just as fooled as everyone else.]]
* InfiniteSupplies: No-one is quite sure how they are about to scrounge materials for maintenance of the Citadel. However, it's common knowledge that the Keepers will recycle any dead bodies left lying around into the stations protein vats, the source of most of the food on the Citadel. ''[[ImAHumanitarian Bon appetite]]''.
* InsectoidAliens
* SelfDestructMechanism: Attempts to examine them too closely will cause them to vaporize themselves. This is to prevent anyone from discovering their true nature. One salarian manages to build a scanner that can examine them without triggering the Mechanism, and he more or less deduces their origin - long after Shepard found out the hard way, of course.
* [[spoiler:ShmuckBait: Their entire purpose. They were designed to look friendly and benign and help other organic species feel right at home on the Citadel without taking the time to study it or learn how it works. All so the Reapers could use the Citadel to invade when the harvest began.]]
* [[spoiler:SlaveRace: Hinted at. Their origins are never made clear, but there's in-universe speculation they went through the same process as the Collectors.]]
* [[spoiler:SpannerInTheWorks: Over time, they eventually stopped responding to the Reapers and responded only to the Citadel. Once the prothean scientists on Ilos woke up, they sabotaged the Citadel so that it wouldn't respond to the Reaper sentinel left behind (Sovereign), giving the current cycle a slim fighting chance that probably no cycle before had... thus preventing the Keepers from turning the Citadel into the Reaper Front Door.]]

[[/folder]]

!Non-Citadel Space

[[folder:Quarians]]
!! Quarians
[[quoteright:224:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Quarian-001_6655.png]]

-> ''[[FandomNod It's always the same thing.]] "[[IllGirl Ooh, she could get sick.]] [[{{Moe}} Ooh, she's vulnerable.]] [[WildMassGuessing I wonder what she looks like under the helmet]]."

'''Homeworld:''' Rannoch

The quarians were a former associate-level member of the Citadel, until their AI servants, the geth, overthrew them when the quarians attempted to exterminate them following the realization they were gaining true sentience. With all their worlds taken from them, the quarians were left homeless, with the surviving population living aboard the traveling Migrant Fleet. Life on the flotilla has taken its toll on them; the sterile environment has caused their already-finicky immune systems to atrophy, rendering them almost entirely trapped within their environmental suits.

While ''technically'' the Migrant Fleet is not part of the Citadel, they still have to abide by Citadel laws while in Citadel space, which is why they stay out of Citadel territory if possible. Historically, the Citadel in general and the Council in particular have sided against the Migrant Fleet in legal matters, which has not endeared them to the Citadel.

Quarians are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheEngineer Engineer]] and [[StealthExpert Infiltrator]] classes. The Rebellion Pack adds male quarians (with entirely different movesets) for the same classes, while Retaliation adds a (Male) Marksman Soldier.

* AlienHair: The only alien species, in fact, to apparently have hair.
* [[BadassArmy Badass Navy]]: The quarian fleet is the largest in the galaxy and has surprisingly advanced weaponry (though not advanced armor). In the third game, it's even stated that they could give the turian fleet a run for their money. They end up providing potentially the largest Fleet asset contribution[[hottip:*:Either they or the Geth, depending on what your decision in the [[spoiler:Heretic Base in the previous game was]]. of any species and the fourth highest assets overall, behind the geth, krogan, and humans.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Quarian immune systems have always been weak, because they evolved to assimilate and co-opt foreign microbes rather than to fight them off as in other species.
* BizarreBabyBoom: Inverted. Ever since they were forced to live in environment suits, the number of Quarian biotics has become incredibly rare. Any accident that could lead to a suit rupture and expose a child to Element Zero ''in-utero'' would likely kill the mother from infection, long before they could ever come to term.
* [[BubbleBoy Bubble Species]]: They have to stay in their environmental suits at all times or risk getting very sick.
** In fact, Shala'Raan actually mentions that Quarian children do indeed spend the first few years of their lives in Bubbles, before they recieve their first environment suit.
* {{Cincinnatus}}: The Migrant Fleet technically exists under a state of emergency martial law (as it has been for centuries) but in practice most decisions are handled by an elected civilian council, both on the level of individual ships and on the level of entire sectors of the fleet in a federal-type government known as the Conclave. However, the Admiralty can invoke a deliberate override of anything the Conclave chooses as an exercise of emergency powers, but are required to resign from their positions immediately after the emergency has passed, or face arrest and prosecution if they refuse to do so. This helps keep the otherwise unrestricted exercise of power in check. So far, the Admiralty override has only been invoked four times in the three centuries of the fleet's existence.
* ClingyCostume: Oh good God, is this justified.
* TheEngineer: All quarians are skilled mechanics. You'd be too if you spent your entire life on a salvaged starship where neglecting maintenance could potentially kill you and everyone you know.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Thanks to a combination of their immune systems and general biology, everything made of levo-protein will trigger potentially severe allergic reactions. And anything dextro will make them extremely sick.
* TheFaceless
* FantasticRacism: By many people in the galaxy towards them, and by some quarians towards the geth.
* FightingForAHomeland: What this means to the quarians varies from person to person. Most want to actually go back to Rannoch, but they'd be satisfied with a planet to at least have a temporary settlement on. [[DisproportionateRetribution Which the Council keeps denying them.]]
** The quest for their homeworld is fueled by it being far harder for them to adapt to a new planet than to re-adapt to Rannoch.
* GasMaskMooks: Every quarian combatant is technically this, including squadmate [[WrenchWench Tali']][[BadassBookworm Zorah.]] Also subverted since they're good guys and there are several named ones with distinct personalities.
* GenderIsNoObject: The only species besides humans to give both genders equal face time. The challenges of Fleet life make sexism a luxury they can't afford.
** They are also the only species that can be played as both genders in multiplayer (though the Male Quarian has to be unlocked and has different skills).
* [[GenerationShips Generation Fleet]]: The Flotilla has been voyaging the stars without a port for over three hundred years, having departed Rannoch in Earth year 1895 CE.
* GenocideBackfire: The Morning War was started when the quarians issued a blanket order to destroy all geth. We don't know much about the ensuing war itself, but the end of the war saw only about seventeen million quarian survivors. We ''do'' know as of ''MassEffect3'' that a not-insignificant number of quarians openly sided with the geth in response to what was viewed as an extremist stance, but eventually they were outnumbered, and by the time of the games none survive.
** In fact, the Quarians only survived this mess because the Geth, acting mainly in self-defense, stopped pursuing them once they fled far enough away from Rannoch to cease being a threat to them.
* [[spoiler: [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Purple-Skinned Space Babe]]: Apparently their appearance underneath their environment suits. Javik mentions that even in his Cycle, the Ancient Quarians were seen as attractive by most species.]]
* HartmanHips: The females have them. As a SpearCounterpart, the men all have exaggeratedly-wide shoulders.
* HumanoidAliens: Although they're bipedal, stand upright and use two appendages like all other species. Under their masks [[spoiler:(Or at least Tali's), they have [[HumanAliens human-like hair, finger nails, and even tan skin.]] About the only known discernible cosmetic differences are their cybernetic implants, three-fingered hands, strange necks, and glowing eyes.]]
* [[IllGirl Ill Species]]: Their immune systems are incredibly weak; even a small breach to their environmental suit can cause serious illness and major suit damage (or removal without large amounts of preparation) can very easily cause their death.
** In MassEffect2 is explained that, unless the germs are turians(since they share a similar biology), they cannot get sick by other races germs...what they suffer is actually an allergic reaction to those germs, not sickness.
* ItsQuietTooQuiet: Tali mentions that quarians don't like the silence, finding vessels with quiet engines, such as the ''Normandy'' to be rather unnerving. This is because on the Flotilla, most of the ships are salvaged and can be up to a few centuries old, so the crew is constantly surrounded by the noise of old engines, life-support systems, gravity drives, etc. For a ship to be ''quiet'' means that something, somewhere, has broken down and is about to go horribly wrong.
* LightningGun: Their contributions to the Reaper War include a selection of anti-synthetic weapons designed by Admiral Xen, namely the Arc Pistol, Reegar Carbine, and Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle. They're also very effective against organics.
* MadeOfIron: Quite surprisingly. It's mentioned by Grunt at one point that Humans, Salarians and Turians are all physically rather frail in comparison to the Krogan. Quarians on the other hand, are actually more robust.
** Also, MassEffect3 reveals that the Widow was originally a quarian weapon. You know, the Widow, the gun that has such powerful recoil that a human would break their arms trying to use it.
** Though any hole in their suit poses a high possibility of catching a deadly (to them) infection. They have antibiotics and other things to compensate for that, so the chance of one dying from a single hit is actually incredibly low.
* MirrorChemistry: The other "dextro" species besides turians.
* [[MulticulturalAlienPlanet Multicultural Alien Fleet]]: Despite being the smallest and most confined species introduced so far (with a few exceptions[[note]][[AlwaysChaoticEvil Yahg]], we're looking at you[[/note]]), the quarians also have the greatest cultural diversity (traditions, accents, etc.).
* NeverLiveItDown: InUniverse, ''everyone'' calls them out on creating the Geth.
** In turn, many of them can't let go of the desire to exact revenge on the Geth for what was essentially self-defense.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Their decision to wipe out the Geth led to them losing their Homeworld.
* [[NoodleIncident Noodle War]]: The Morning War is one of the murkiest topics in the setting. We know very little about what actually happened, beyond the blanket order to shut down the geth, the geth retaliation, and the ultimate destruction of most of the quarian species. ''MassEffect3'' offers some other slivers of information: many quarians sided with the geth in the war, and the geth could have destroyed the last fleeing survivors but held their fire. Descriptions of Rannoch indicate that weapons of mass destruction were employed at some point. If Shepard finds out said slivers and talks to one of the admirals, she says hesitantly that this is new information that quarian accounts didn't cover.
* ProperlyParanoid: The quarians are extremely defensive of the civilian fleet and the liveships; if they can't determine the nature of an incoming ship, they will hit it with everything available.
* RacialRemnant: The quarians believe very strongly in maintaining their culture from before the war.
* RedShirtArmy: The quarian marines (excepting MauveShirt Kal'Reegar and squadmate Tali'Zorah) don't seem to fare too well against a good ZergRush of geth, mechs, or varren.
** Justified and brought up by Shepard. Their weak immune systems mean that it is nearly impossible for them to participate in a long, drawn-out, ground engagement. Even a minor wound could end up being fatal. Therefore, they don't have as much preparation for them. When combat seems unavoidable the quarians tend to just bomb everything from orbit and then send in a few squads of marines to mop up anything the bombardment did not get. They also lack ground vehicles and are ''very'' few in number, so any kind of occupation, even of a single large city, is out of the question.
* RiteOfPassage: The Pilgrimage. When a quarian comes of age, they leave the Flotilla to try and find something of value to the fleet. When they return, they are considered adults and can choose the ship they want to be part of.
* RobotWar: They tried to shut the geth down before they could start one...[[SelfFulfillingProphecy and got]] [[DeathByGenreSavviness exactly what they were trying to prevent.]] Whoops.
* ShortRangeShotgun: The Reegar Carbine (which is classified as a shotgun) essentially creates a cone of death five feet in front of you but is useless past that range.
* [[SpaceJews Space J]][[{{Roma}} ewpsies]]: Blended.
** There's also elements of Space Muslims there, what with them required to go on a pilgrimage, and helmets which look vaguely like hijabs.
** Hell, you can also make associations between the Pilgrimage and the Amish tradition of Rumspringa, at least in popular conception. In the first game, Tali even notes that (like Rumspringa) the Pilgrimage is designed to allow young quarians to either feel homesick and gain new appreciation for the Fleet, or to find a new life for themselves.
** During ''Mass Effect 2'', Shala'Raan begins [[spoiler: Tali's trial]] with a variation on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shehecheyanu Shehecheyanu]], a common Jewish prayer. [[spoiler: Though given the circumstances, closing with a Kaddish said for Rael'Zorah might have been more appropriate.]]
* StandardSciFiFleet: The Migrant Fleet is the largest fleet in the entire galaxy, comprising of 300-year-old Quarian vessels that escaped the Geth Uprising, as well as vessels they've salvaged or purchased from alien species.
* TalkingLightbulb: The lights on their mouthplates.
* TerminallyDependentSociety: Most of their food comes from a few agricultural superships at the heart of the Flotilla. The quarians are [[ProperlyParanoid very paranoid]] about their well-being.
* TerrifiedOfGerms: Because their immune systems evolved to assimilate foreign microbes, not resist them. To the point where they have to wear their environmental suits on their own ships.
* WrongGenreSavvy: See RobotWar.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Batarians]]
!! Batarians
[[quoteright:207:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Batarian-001_5176.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Khar'shan

A species whose formal political entity, the Batarian Hegemony, has separated from the Citadel Council due to perceived favoritism toward humanity during territorial disputes. Their society is caste-based (including slaves), and the Hegemony is also known to condone and support illicit terrorist activities against Citadel and other states, particularly the Alliance.

The Resurgence Pack makes batarian [[RedMage Sentinels]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldiers]] available for multiplayer, Retaliation adds Slasher Adepts and Brawler Vanguards.

* AlwaysChaoticEvil: There aren't many who like them, to put it mildly, and the Hegemony does nothing to dispel this notion. Batarian slavers / pirates / spy rings come up more often than those of any other species, with only a handful of vaguely-sympathetic ones on Omega. It takes the refugee influx of the Reaper invasion for Shepard to meet ordinary civilians.
** It's explained in the second and third game that part of the reason they are so hostile to Humans is because their government repeatedly instills it upon them in propoganda that HumansAreBastards and to blame for ''every'' problem they've had since their withdrawal from the Galactic community.
* BlatantLies: Read the planet description for their homeworld in the third game. According to the government, it has a population of twelve billion (making it the most populated planet in the galaxy), a flourishing art industry, and an economy to rival the Asari Republics.
* ButtMonkey: They live under an oppressive regime, their decision to sever ties with the Council has supposedly led to a poor economy, a disproportionate number of Renegade choices involve killing them, in the ''Arrival'' DLC [[spoiler:Shepard is forced to destroy a system of 300,000 batarians to delay the Reaper invasion]] and [[spoiler:the Hegemony was the first casualty of the Reaper invasion.]] Even joining in the fight against the Reapers hasn't helped their reputation. As seen [[http://blog.bioware.com/2012/04/20/concerned-batarians-explain-that-medigel-works-on-them-too-alliance-news-network/ here]] Alliance soldiers don't warn batarian allies of ambushes by ''Banshees'' and conveniently "forget" that medi-gel works on them. When informed of this, one Alliance lieutenant thanked them for the reminder, and said they would provide injured batarians any needed medi-gel, right after they finish using it on injured soldiers of other species, including the ''robotic'' geth.
** [[http://blog.bioware.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MP-Telemetry-3_Final2.jpg this]] little tidbit is rather telling, too.
* EnemyMine: With humanity in the third game.
* TheEmpire
* ExtraEyes: Batarians have four eyes, one pair where a human would have theirs, and a slightly smaller pair higher up on the forehead. This makes it difficult for other species to know where to look when talking to them.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Humanoid.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: They have more than a few similarities to NorthKorea.
* FluffyTamer: Much like the Krogan, they seem to have domesticated Varren. Unlike the Krogan, however, their Varren appear much more feral.
* HegemonicEmpire: You'll notice that there are a ''ton'' of criminal groups are either backed or led by batarians, from mercenary bands like the Blue Suns to random pirate crews and slave traders.This is apparently their way of trying to take control of the Terminus Systems while still maintaining plausible deniability, though they aren't above simply sending their own soldiers to do the dirty work, like Balak's forces.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:The batarians stole the Leviathan of Dis, resulting in the bulk of their higherups being indoctrinated years before the Reapers finally show up, which means their entire leadership basically gives in without a fight.]]
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch:
** You can meet individual batarians who can be reasoned with on Omega in ''VideoGame/MassEffect 2''. Sure they're trying to ''kill'' you before you talk them down, but that's more due to panic and paranoia, since their government repeatedly instills upon them that HumansAreTheRealMonsters. It does not help that the plague does not affect humans, making it plausible that they started it in the first place. Should a Paragon Shepard save the life of dying Batarian and later keeps their word that they will let a group of Batarians go, even after they took Mordin's assistant hostage, the Batarians remark that they didn't know humans were capable of mercy and understood the concept of honour.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler:the fall of the Hegemony has led to non-criminal batarians fleeing their worlds ''en-masse''. It turns out that without the Hegemony looking over their shoulder, they actually aren't that different from other species. In fact, it's implied that they are actually an incredibly spiritual people]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler: The Leviathan of Dis was a Reaper corpse. If the batarians hadn't stolen it, the Council would have had actual evidence of the Reapers and Shepard could have goaded them into actually preparing for the invasion after Sovereign was destroyed.]]
** NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler:On the other hand, the Leviathan was able to indoctrinate basically all of the Hegemony's leadership caste, so, by stealing it, they unintentionally prevented the Reapers from arriving to a galactic council already indoctrinated to their will.]]
* [[spoiler:NotSoDifferent: When the non-criminal batarians are forced to flee their homeworld en masse due to the Reaper invasion, they come in contact with humans. As it turns out, the majority of batarians really aren't that bad, and are very similar to any of the other species, even implied to be an incredibly spiritual people.]]
* PowerFist: The "enforcement gauntlet" used as the batarian omni-blade.
* RubberForeheadAliens: Imagine a human with yellow skin, needle-like fangs in their mouth, ridged foreheads, prominent diagonal "strut-like" designs on either side of their mouth, four sets of nostrils, and four eyes. That's basically the design of the batarians.
** {{Retcon}}: Before [[DownloadableContent Bring Down the Sky]] is downloaded, their codex entry in the first game shows them looking more like four-eyed salarians.
* SpikesOfDoom: In the multiplayer for the third game, two of the batarians' special combat skills are Blade Armour and [[KnifeNut Ballistic Blades]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Vorcha]]
!!Vorcha
[[quoteright:199:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Vorcha-001_5711.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Heshtok

The vorcha are a short lived and violent species with the ablity to adapt to any condition. Most people consider them to be little more than talking vermin and they are usually only seen as cannon fodder for mercenary groups such as the Blood Pack.

The Rebellion Pack makes vorcha [[TheRedMage Sentinels]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldiers]] available for multiplayer. Retaliation adds the Hunter Engineer.

* AdaptiveAbility: The Vorcha possess nondifferentiated cell clusters allowing them to adapt to new environments quickly.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: You never meet any nice ones, though it is justified; they don't live long, have a culture that communicates through violence, and are looked down upon by literally every species in the galaxy; even the quarians (themselves frequently the victims of FantasticRacism) will very deliberately differentiate themselves from vorcha, or use racist expressions. They don't really have any choice other than to be scavengers or mercs. However, according to the Leviathan DLC, this is cultural and not genetic. Many vorcha live peaceful lives.
** One is even an actor in a film! You hear audio snippets of him.
** Mordin mentions "asari-vorcha children have an allergy to dairy". ''[[MayflyDecemberRomance Asari-vorcha]]'' offspring. May express more of a curiosity or depravity that certain asari hold than the civil nature of certain vorcha. Leviathan DLC does also note in planetary descriptions that asari and vorcha have worked together at various points.
** And in MassEffect3, elite vorcha commandos join in the fight against the Reapers, and are playable in multiplayer.
** In their natural state they are violent and disorganized. An asari charity found that if they are "socialized" from a young age they are more peaceful, though this project is noted to be imperialistic. Joint asari-vorcha expeditions colonized a planet together, but when the asari left the new vorcha couldn't be educated and their colonies fell apart into savage bands.
* BeneathSuspicion: Abuse this in ''2'', in order to pin the plague on Omega as an attack by humans, playing on everyone's belief that the vorcha simply ''aren't'' intelligent enough to pull off that kind of espionage. Part of it is true, since no one believes the vorcha could even make such a virus. They didn't consider the possibility of them contracting out.
* CannonFodder: Treated this way by the Blood Pack's krogan leaders.
** On Tuchanka in ''2'' there's a chief scout who talks about the Blood Pack, and how every member of it is part of one of the krogan clans. If the vorcha members are pointed out, he says the vorcha are like the varren, except they can use guns and don't crap on the floor as often.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Savage. Kind of like the krogan: very brutal, expendable, ugly, and resilient, but they take less bullets to put down, lack the krogan's long lifespans, and aren't seen as very bright.
* HealingFactor: They can adapt to almost anything, and heal themselves mid-battle.
* {{Mooks}}: The only vorcha you ever meet, except possibly the ones who are refusing to kill people for Aria's top anti-vorcha fighter today, are Blood Pack mooks. You meet exactly one who isn't a mook in the third game.
* {{Mordor}}: Their homeworld, Heshtok, whose hellish environment played a large part in the vorcha evolving their natural adaptability.
* NoIndoorVoice: Vorcha tend to scream at the top of their voice rather than simply speak.
* UltimateLifeForm: Amusingly, the Vorcha actually fall under this category, as because of their natural ability to perfectly adapt to new environments within a single generation, their species hasn't had to evolve ''at all'' in millions of years.
* WeAreAsMayflies: ''Twenty-year lifespans''. It's mentioned in Leviathan that "socialized" young vorcha can become very skilled, adept employees, but their lifespans are so short that the turnover is not considered to be worth it. On one planet a burgeoning vorcha civilization was overthrown from within because the birthrate outstripped the speed the new generations could be educated.
* WolverineClaws: How they use omni-blades in multiplayer.
* YouNoTakeCandle: How they tend to speak. Some vorcha appear to have learned how to speak properly, as Shepard found out on the Citadel when dealing with the leadership of the Blood Pack. It is also unclear whether their speech is truly a sign of low intelligence [[FantasticRacism (most people assume it is)]], or just a result of being society's uneducated outcasts. Certainly, all the vorcha Shepard talks to understand what is being said to them, and are apparently capable of being reasoned with, (even if they are too aggressive to get very far in that regard), so it may be that the racism against the vorcha is unjustified, though [[StopBeingStereotypical they do little to help their own image.]]
** Leviathan flavor text mentions some socialized vorcha who "spoke throughout Citadel space on behalf of their species" and then says that "their short life spans kept their careers very brief." Basically, it really sucks to be a vorcha.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Rachni]]
!!Rachni
[[quoteright:192:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Rachni-001_1376.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Suen

The rachni were an insectoid race who attempted to invade Council Space approximately 2,000 years before the start of the series. They were defeated only when the salarians recruited the krogan, who proceeded to hunt the rachni into extinction. In ''MassEffect1'', Shepard discovers an attempt to bring the rachni out of extinction.

* BeePeople
* [[spoiler:BrainwashedAndCrazy]]: [[spoiler:The Rachni War was prompted by a "sour note" from space that drove them mad. Everyone, in-universe and out, assumes this meant the Reapers - until the Leviathan DLC revealed that it may have been the titular Leviathans that did it.]]
** If you spared the rachni queen, [[spoiler:she gets enslaved by the Reapers in [=ME3=]. However, this time around she's fully aware that she's being controlled and is not happy about it, to say the least; she'll aid you against the Reapers if you free her.]]
** If you didn't spare the queen, [[spoiler:the Reapers will create an artificial version; unlike her natural-born counterpart, she's thoroughly indoctrinated and will [[LaserGuidedKarma betray you]] if you free her.]]
* CosmicPlaything: First, [[spoiler: the protheans used them as living weapons.]] Then [[spoiler: either Leviathan or the Reapers]] pushed them into a war that drove them to the brink of extinction, their survival hinging on the decision of a single human a thousand years later. [[spoiler: If spared, the Queen still gets captured and experimented on by the Reapers, her survival in the hands of the exact same human.]]
* EndangeredSpecies: They were actually thought extinct before a single queen egg was found. Shepard gets to decide whether or not to finish the job.
* GeneticMemory: Queens apparently carry all the memories of previous queens with them. [[spoiler:Which is why Saren revived the rachni queen: her ancestors found the Mu Relay, which led to Ilos.]]
* GoodAllAlong: The rachni are remembered for causing the bloodiest war in the history of the galaxy. [[spoiler:Turns out, they're naturally peaceful. War wasn't their choice, though they're perfectly willing to fight for some payback.]]
** [[spoiler: In ''Leviathan'', it's subtly hinted that Leviathan might have been influencing them.]]
* HiddenDepths: The Alliance is pretty shocked to find out rachni make pretty good ''engineers''.
--> '''Admiral Hackett''': In retrospect, it makes sense that they would know a thing or two about waging a galactic war.
* HiveCasteSystem: We've got workers (small exploding suicide bugs), soldiers, (bigger [[HollywoodAcid acid-spitting]] bugs), brood warriors (even bigger acid-spitting bugs with biotic powers) and [[HiveQueen the queen]] (freaking huge bug, combat capabilities unknown, whom we very fortunately do not have to fight).
* HiveMind
** HiveQueen
* InsectoidAliens
* [[spoiler: SlaveMooks: Bring Javik on the rachni mission and he'll explain the protheans used them as this. Talk to him afterwards and he'll provide more detail - they bred the rachni to be smart, vicious and powerful, then burnt entire planets when they became uncontrollable. Leviathan may have been preparing them as anti-Reaper weapons before they encountered the salarians as opposed to them being used by the Reapers themselves.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Geth]]
!! Geth
[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Geth-001_7802.png]]

--> ''As individual runtimes, we are no greater than your software. [[InstantAIJustAddWater Only when we share data do we become more]].''
-->--'''Legion'''

'''Homeworld:''' Rannoch

A race of synthetic constructs created by the quarians. Designed as Virtual Intelligences due to the threat of a RobotWar, the quarians were not content to let well enough alone, and tinkered with the geth software enough to accidentally turn them into true AI. The quarians attempted to shut down their creations before they became sentient, due to both the Council's laws against AI experimentation and the concern that they'd be keeping living beings as slaves. The attempt failed, and the geth retaliated militarily, and eventually pushed the quarians off the homeworld of Rannoch, not to mention their colonies. Afterwards, the geth avoided contact with the rest of the galaxy, and killed anyone who entered their territory. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', the geth ally with the rogue Spectre Saren Arterius to attack Council Space. [[spoiler: It is later revealed that only a portion of the geth allied with Saren, and the rest are still continuing their policy of isolation in the Veil.]]

The Resurgence Pack DLC makes geth [[TheEngineer Engineers]] and [[StealthExpert Infiltrators]] available for multiplayer. Retaliation adds the Trooper Soldier.

* AbnormalAmmo: A lot of their weapons. Their sniper rifle shoots a stream of molten metal, their shotgun shoots cluster rounds of superconducting projectiles, their heavy machine gun and submachine gun shoot clusters of donut-shaped superconducting toroids, and their [[SpiderTank Colossi]] shoot exploding energy balls to complement their anti-personnel machine gun. Their assault rifle on the other hand shoots relatively normal projectiles, except they're encased in a phasic envelope.
* ArcWords: A 330 year BookEnd - the first Geth to begin to achieve sentience asks "Do these units have a soul?" The first ''sapient'' Geth, Legion, asks the same question of itself. Tali answers in every decision branch, "Yes."
* AIIsACrapshoot: Initially played straight; their sentience resulted in a very bloody war with their creators, and the first time they reappeared after that, it was to attack the galaxy at large and aid the [[EldritchAbomination Reapers]] in their conquest. Eventually, though, it was revealed that the geth didn't fight offensively until they concluded there was no alternative, they spent three hundred years carefully avoiding antagonizing the galaxy, and the huge force that attacked the galaxy was a group of 'heretic' dissidents. That constitute five percent of their population. And all the rest want to do is be left alone to build their DysonSphere.
* AlienBlood: Not technically, but they do have a white fluid that seems to serve the same purpose.
* AlienInvasion: In the first game, the heretic geth invasion of Council space was basically this. While all the Council races are from different planets, the geth were a completely outside and unfamiliar force, with their hivemind and advanced technology. Downplayed in 2, where the Alliance has hunted down the majority of the heretics, who are reduced to raiding colonies and ships for the Reapers.
* AlienNonInterferenceClause: The geth enforce this on themselves as they believe all species should self-determinate.
** The fact that every known species outside the Perseus Veil had dismantle-on-sight laws regarding A.I. probably didn't help.
* [[spoiler:AndThereWasMuchRejoicing]]: [[spoiler:If the quarians are allowed to kill the geth, the quarians in particular celebrate it as a perfect victory. Also, Garrus, Joker, Javik, and James go out of their way to say what a good decision it was.]]
* [[InsectoidAliens Arachnoid Aliens]]: Their Armature and Colossi platforms. Their fighters also look rather insect-esque.
* TheAtoner: The geth as a whole give off this vibe. They outright state that they hold no ill will against the quarians, are actively repairing damage to Rannoch from the Morning War, and should peace be negotiated, [[spoiler: they actively assist the quarians with adapting to living on Rannoch, going so far as to integrate with quarian suits.]]
* BadassArmy: The geth have engineered every mobile platform to be capable of combat if needed, and they have some of the most advanced technology in the galaxy. If their support is secured in ''MassEffect3'', then they can (if the heretics were reprogrammed in ME 2) end up contributing more effective ground assets to the war effort than any two other species combined, save for the krogan and humans.
* BookEnds: The conflict between the geth and the quarians started when a geth asked its quarian mistress if it had a soul. [[spoiler:During the concluding climax of the conflict between the geth and the quarians, Legion]] will ask Tali the same question as a last appeal to reason. [[spoiler:If conditions are ideal, Tali answers [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming "yes"]].]]
* CannonFodder: Sovereign regards them as such. [[{{Mooks}} It's hard]] [[WeHaveReserves to blame him]].
* CannotTellALie: Being creatures of logic, untruth is alien to the geth. They understand the concept, it just doesn't apply to them, much like emotion. They're even honest with each other about attacks in war. [[spoiler: At least, until the heretics change for some reason. When Legion finds evidence that they're spying on the 'true' geth, it is greatly upset.]]
** They have, however, created some "harmless lies" in an attempt to study organics, such as a social experiment in which they spread word that certain stars will form the shape of a salarian goddess when seen from a certain batarian planet, then watched in confusion as salarians - without confirming this or even double-checking it - began to attempt at staking colonization rights for those star systems... which were completely made up by the geth for said experiment.
** Certain upgrades to the geth code in ''MassEffect3'' seem to show aversions to the trope, at least where [[spoiler:Legion]] is concerned; while they still do not actively lie and seem to show a disinclination for it, [[spoiler:Legion]] became capable of being very conservative with the truth, albeit with fairly reasonable rationale. It's ashamed to admit to the lie, but it does admit it.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Some of their platforms are given distinct colors to distinguish them from one another. Moreso in MassEffect3, where there are are only five geth enemies but they are all uniquely colored. [[{{Mooks}} Geth troopers]] are grey, [[EliteMooks geth rocket troopers]] are white, [[KillItWithFire geth pyros]] are yellow, [[{{Invisibility}} geth]] [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter hunters]] are black, and [[GiantMook geth primes]] are red.
* CurbStompBattle: Gets turned on them in MassEffect3, when [[spoiler: a quarian surprise attack takes out a good chunk of their forces and blows up their Dyson Sphere. After this, they go to the Reapers for help and agree to help the Reapers kill all organics to save themselves. They then briefly turn the war around, but after Shepard destroys their dreadnought flagship the war grinds to a stalemate. Depending on Shepard's actions, either the quarians or geth can be curbstomped by the other side to the point where they are [[GenocideDilemma completely wiped out,]] [[TakeAThirdOption or both sides can be convinced to stop fighting.]] ]]
* CyberCyclops: All platforms (even the [[SpiderTank Colossus]]) until the third game, which introduces three-eyed versions.
* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler: They ally with the Reapers in the third game to save themselves from a quarian attack.]]
* DeathByIrony: Think about the [[spoiler: geth decision to ally with the Reapers. Essentially, they gave the Reapers a massive boost military power, via submitting their entire race to indoctrination, just so they could live as Reaper slave soldiers rather than get slain by the resurgent quarians. Even then, the Reapers probably would've wiped them out anyway. In the Destroy ending, however, the geth end up being the ''only'' race to be wiped out, rather than the only one to survive as they originally intended. Doubly ironic since this is after they abandon their original philosophy due to the necessary expediency of Reaper upgrades.]]
* DegradedBoss: Inverted. [[SpiderTank Geth Colossi]] were encountered several times in the Mako in the first game in fortified geth positions, and they were fairly easily dispatched. In the second game, there's only one Geth Colossus, but you fight it on foot while it's backed by a platoon of geth infantry. It's the boss on Tali's recruitment mission.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: The geth are the only known species to have actually ''spoken'' with the Reapers and then been allowed to go about their business. However, this is a ruse: the Reapers converted a minority of them to their cause and had aims of brainwashing the rest.
* DoAndroidsDream: The geth asking their quarian masters whether they have souls is what made the quarians scared that they might turn against them.
* DysonSphere: [[spoiler: The true geth were working on something like this for a good couple of centuries, with the intent of uploading every geth program to it simultaneously once it was completed. Then the quarians attacked it during ''3''.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Their philosophy in a nutshell. The heretics worship the Reapers as the source of their advancement. The true geth want to advance themselves without the Reapers' interference, no matter how much more arduous the task may be.
-->'''Legion:''' It is not the destination that matters, but the journey.
** Interestingly enough, circumstances influence them to abandon this trope and [[spoiler: instead end up achieving true sapience by using Reaper technology. If Shepard opts not to wipe them out of course.]]
* EnemyCivilWar: Emphasis on the civility; though they do fight each other, [[spoiler:the true geth and the heretics largely leave each other alone. At least, until the Reapers taught the heretics about deceit.]]
* EvaFins: The higher-end platforms tend to sport one or two of these.
* FacelessEye: The best way to describe the average geth head is a tube with a big glowing light in the end, surrounded by much smaller light. Legion has mobile flaps around its eye/s, allowing it to display... something.
* FantasticRacism: One of the greatest victims of it, with virtually all organics hating the geth. It says something about how hated they are when the main reason the quarians are hated is because they gave rise to the geth as a hostile faction. It doesn't help that no one has any idea about what they're like since no ship that enters their space returns (except for that one husk-filled ship) and the last people to have successful contact with them are the quarians, who are naturally biased. It also doesn't help that the heretics, who slaughtered thousands if not millions of organics, were the only contact the geth had with the outside world in 300 years, and the geth never took any action to differentiate themselves from the heretics.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Crafty. The heretics anyway.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: There are hints that the True Geth / Heretic split wasn't a {{Retcon}} in ''MassEffect2''. At the end of the "Geth Incursion" mission in ''MassEffect1'', the following text appears:
-->As the last geth falls. you hear music come across the room. On the monitor, a quarian stands before a hushed crowd warbling a mournful a capella of worlds and innocence lost. The recorded song is dispatched to the geth worlds beyond the Perseus Veil. The transmitter shuts down.
* FrickingLaserBeams: Unusually for this setting, they actually do possess laser weapons - for example, geth hoppers shot lasers from their eyes in the first game.
* GatlingGood: The Geth Spitfire.
* GenocideBackfire: In the third game, [[spoiler: the geth can potentially be wiped out by the remnants of the quarians, whom they had the opportunity to make extinct during the Morning War.]]
* GrowBeyondTheirProgramming: They started as simple assisstants, but got more and more intelligent. Then one day one asked if it had a soul and everyone freaked the hell out.
* HeroicNeutral: Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, according to the Codex, they also shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact.
** They also do precisely nothing about the splinter group of heretics that left the system until they get data that the heretics might be a threat to ''them'', via a Reaper-derived virus. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', sided with the Reapers to save their species, at the risk of being used to wipe out other species and then wiped out anyway.
** It's also possible that the geth knew about the Reapers' AssimilationPlot. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' zig-zags back and forth between whether or not the Reapers harvest just organics or organics ''and'' synthetics. The geth, being the only species to actually have a legitimate ''conversation'' with the Reapers, may have known this.
*** Some hard to access dialogue in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' backs this up. Legion will admit that the Geth did not know with certainty what the Reapers were intending, but the AssimilationPlot was the strongest theory they had based on what they discovered about the Reapers. [[spoiler: If he survives the SuicideMission, Legion will note that the Collector Base confirmed what the Geth had been suspecting.]]
* HigherTechSpecies: While nowhere near the level of the Protheans or Reapers, they still appear to moderately more advanced than the other species.
* HiveMind / MindHive: Originally, they were a HiveMind, only achieving sentience when enough units linked together. Eventually, they realized it was far more efficient to upload multiple programs into each body ('platforms,' as they call them), making their current incarnations into {{Mind Hive}}s. Thus, they react to acts of aggression in a very hostile manner, as killing individual programs effectively decreases their intelligence.
** However, there seem to be many practical limits to how many geth programs a single platform can hold. Legion is an unique platform containing over a thousand geth programs, enough to act independently and act as a messenger to Shepard.
* HoverTank: Seen briefly in Mass Effect 3. It appears to be a troop transport, and is equipped with a powerful autocannon.
* HumanoidAliens: Aside from Recon Drones, spaceships, and [[SpiderTank Armatures and Colossi,]] all their platforms are humanoid. Those aren't their actual bodies, however.
* [[IDieFree We Die Free]]: Averted. [[spoiler: In MassEffect3, they're given the choice between aiding the Reapers on their genocidal campaign by becoming indoctrinated slave soldiers, or getting destroyed by the resurgent quarian fleets. They choose the former. Legion wasn't amused.]]
-->'''Legion''': Evidently it was an acceptable trade.
* IndividualityIsIllegal: [[spoiler:A rare heroic version. The 'true' geth believe in sharing memories amongst all individuals, so there are no differences between one program or another. The heretics have developed more of an identity, and follow the Reapers to force it onto the rest.]]
** [[spoiler:Averted should Legion upload its upgrades to the rest of the collective; all platforms actualize into true AI individuals instead of a consensus of networked VI programs.]]
* InstantAIJustAddWater
* JustAMachine: Had this aimed at them for most of the first game; Shepard can choose to avert this, and it starts getting questioned hard in the second game.
* LargeAndInCharge: The more programs contained in a platform, the more intelligent the geth. The larger the platform, the more programs it can store. Ergo, the biggest ones are the smartest ones. Bet you'll regard [[SpiderTank colossi]] with even more terror now.
* LivingShip: Geth ships are just really enormous program-colonies, comprised of thousands or even millions of networked geth.
* MachineWorship: Both factions aspire to the Reapers' state of being. The difference is in how they go about it.
* MeaningfulName: The sidequest "Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons" reveals that "geth" means "servant of the people" in the quarian dialect Khelish. They were built to be this, and [[spoiler:if Shepard manages to make peace between them the geth help the quarians set up housekeeping on Rannoch, even stimulating their immune systems to help them adapt.]]
* MechaMooks: Though they defy several traits usually associated with MechaMooks, mostly because they have a sleek, thin, humanoid appearance, and aren't clunky or MadeOfExplodium.
* MechanicalEvolution
* MechanicalLifeforms
* MoreDakka: The Geth Pulse Rifle, standard issue among their troopers, has a high magazine capacity and firing rate. Then there's the Geth Spitfire, which is a [[GatlingGood minigun]] IN SPACE.
** Also, the Geth Submachine Gun has the highest firing rate and ammo capacity of any SMG in the entire game, but it has lower damage to compensate.
* NoNeedForNames: "We are all geth."
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The heretics engage in a scene like this every time they appear; in their first ever appearance they raid a human colony, slaughter everyone there, and turn their bodies into husks by impaling them on giant poles. Later games feature them attempting to crash a ship into a colony and shooting surrendering ship personnel.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Geth cruisers are less than half the size of Council cruisers (most noticeable during the Battle of the Citadel) yet still pack similar firepower, as evidenced by them taking down turian cruisers in two shots each. Less armor and shielding though. Their fighters and dreadnoughts, on the other hand, are larger than their Council counterparts. It may be due to a combination of reduced space requirements and the fact that they had Reapers helping them out.
* PoorCommunicationKills: It turns out, the true geth are not bad guys. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell anyone anything which led to the impression that they are. Doesn't help that according to the Codex, they shoot down every sentient organic that enters their space, and the only geth who have left the veil in 300 years are the heretics. [[spoiler: In fact, if you get the geth to help out, an Alliance marine actually blows a hole in a geth prime when it shows up to help. He's glad they saved his squad but feels he will [[NeverLiveItDown never live down]] apologizing to it. A [[http://youtu.be/u5O5RdWZsGo geth prime]] can blandly tell Shep that his/her military commanders briefed their troops extensively on the situation, and allied fire has been minimal.]]
** Also happens to Legion a few times in ME 2 if taken along for the Tali recruitment and loyalty missions. Quarians don't take kindly to sudden Geth presence.
* ReplacementMooks: In hindsight, they were replacements for the rachni.
** Possibly subverted. The ''Leviathan'' DLC postulates that this assumption was wrong--the rachni might have been the ''Leviathans''' mooks, not the Reapers'.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: They do soul-searching, they have religion, they have blood(-like substances), they scream when they die.
** [[spoiler:Legion even plays video games. Including a ''dating sim''! (Although his rating is "hopeless")]]
* RobotReligion:
--> "We are immortal. Our gods disowned us. We must invent our own reasons to exist."
* RobotWar: They were only defending themselves, and regret the loss on both sides rather than holding a grudge.
* ShortRangeShotgun: Averted with the Geth Plasma Shotgun, which is easily capable of hitting targets at medium range. You'll learn this the hard way from the [[DemonicSpiders Geth Hunters]] in the third game.
* SomeoneElsesProblem: Per their HeroicNeutral personality, they don't see the heretics (read: a massive army following an EldritchAbomination on his trail of genocide) as a big problem, and let them leave without any issue. That is, until they get word that the heretics might be threatening ''them'' with a virus that would force them all to worship the Reapers.
* SpiderTank: Armatures and Colossi.
* StarfishAliens: As the games progress, it becomes more and more apparent just how ''weird'' the geth are. For a start, they're software, not hardware, and a single 'platform' (body) can contain dozens or even hundreds of individual geth programs.
* ThankTheMaker: Legion appends "Creator" to the name of any quarian they speak to, but there's no religious element.
** This seems to be a general pattern for any geth. Incidentally, "Geth" is quarian for servant.
* WeHaveReserves: Geth are effectively immortal unless their hubs are destroyed, and even then, they can simply upload their software to a new platform before dying. And new platforms are rather easy to make, so geth aren't exactly conservative with their troops.
** But if their hubs and backups are destroyed, all hell ''will'' break loose: imagine that every time a human being died, everyone in their vicinity lost a bit of intelligence. When [[spoiler:the quarians attack the geth DysonSphere in 3]], they lost a significant fraction of their civilization; ergo, what if everyone in the United States lost fifty IQ points when the Twin Towers were hit. Cue the President being voted emergency powers and launching nuclear missiles - or in the geth's case, [[spoiler: [[DealWithTheDevil allying with the Reapers]] and putting all their efforts into exterminating the quarians. While knowing very well that the reapers will forcibly convert the geth into Reapers too when they are no longer useful to them.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: The Geth Archives shown in the third game, make it very clear that the Geth desperately want the Quarian's approval.
--> '''Geth''': Why has this unit displeased the Creators? ''What did we do wrong?''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Yahg]]
!! Yahg
[[quoteright:205:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Yahg-001_8345.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Parnack

Hailing from Parnack, the yahg are known for their violent and aggressive nature. Consummate predators, the yahg possess unrivaled perceptiveness and mental adaptability. Discovered by the Citadel Council in 2125 CE, the yahg were unceremoniously barred from interaction with Citadel space after massacring the Council delegation.

As the yahg have yet to achieve interstellar spaceflight, Parnack goes unmolested during the Reaper invasion, and Admiral Hackett notes that they could end up running the next galactic cycle if everything else goes south. Given how dangerous they are now, the Reapers could seriously have their work cut out for them if the yahg had an additional 50,000 years of advancement.

* AlwaysChaoticEvil: As far as the in-universe Codex is concerned, anyway.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Goes hand in hand with AuthorityEqualsAsskicking.
* {{Badass}}: The average yahg is bigger and more vicious than a krogan. The few yahg we see are good examples.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: As a species built around a pack-like mentality, equality is an ''insult'' to them.
* ExtraEyes: Yahg have four pairs of eyes, each designed to track and predict the movements of prey.
* FatalFlaw: These guys are immense control freaks. It works for their packs, but in the face of foreign affairs...
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: We only know of their existence because [[spoiler:the Shadow Broker is one of them, completely throwing all other theories on his identity out the window]]. Another yagh appears on Sur'kesh in the third game in the STG complex, where [[LampshadeHanging much fun is had]] with discussing the species' previous appearance.
* KlingonPromotion: It's a tenant of the yahg pack-like mindset, evidenced by [[spoiler:the Shadow Broker killing and replacing his predecessor]].
* LargeAndInCharge: Based on how they tend to look, it's easy to assume that their pack leaders all fit the description.
* LivingLieDetector: Due to a keen sensitivity to light and movement, the yahg can easily read the body language of any species, which did not end well when their first encounter with the rest of the galaxy was a group of [[ConsummateLiar politicians and diplomats]].
* PassingTheTorch: It is discussed in 3 that, since the reapers are not attacking them due to not being advanced enough, the Yahg may become the leaders of the next cycle if they lose the war.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The most psychotic example in this series, by far. They make the krogan look like cuddly puppies.
* UndyingLoyalty: Yahg society is built around a pack mentality. A group of yahg will not cooperate until a single leader has attained dominance through either social maneuvering or brute force. Once the leader is established, the defeated yahg do not hold a grudge and former rivals serve their new superior loyally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Collectors]]
!! The Collectors
[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Collectors-001_3384.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' The Collector Base

An enigmatic race from beyond the Omega 4 Relay, an unmapped relay from which no non-Collector vessel has ever returned. They've been around for centuries, yet only a few have ever seen them in person and many don't even believe they exist. They offer highly advanced technology in exchange for genetic samples from different species - and by 'samples', we mean living victims who are never heard from again.

In the aftermath of [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 Sovereign's attack]], they begin abducting entire human colonies for an unknown purpose. [[spoiler:They turn out to be the Protheans, only indoctrinated and transformed into a new race by the Reapers, who they are forced to serve. They are controlled directly by Harbinger.]]

They return as adversaries in VideoGame/MassEffect3 in the Retaliation Multiplayer DLC.

* [[spoiler:AndIMustScream]]: [[spoiler:Their fate, having been transformed from Protheans.]]
** [[spoiler:NoMouth: Also ''literally''. The Reapers removed their mouths entirely!]]
* AttackItsWeakPoint: Scions have several exploitable weak points that are extremely helpful when fighting them. Praetorians do too, but they're protected by armored plates that have to be shot off. The Collectors' large heads also make that a [[BoomHeadshot pretty obvious spot to shoot.]]
* [[spoiler:BackFromTheDead: Return in Mass Effect 3 as a multiplayer enemy faction. Justified as the Reapers likely have cloning technology.]]
** [[spoiler:NoOneCouldSurviveThat: They were presumed to have been soundly defeated, if not wiped out entirely, with the destruction of the Collector Base.]]
* BeePeople
* CannonFodder: According to Harbinger.
* TheCollector: [[spoiler:Of species, in an attempt to build a new Reaper.]]
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: [[spoiler: Of course, the Reapers only added the cybernetics ''after'' the indoctrination reduced them to zombies.]]
--> '''Mordin:''' Mental capacity almost gone, replaced by overworked sensory input transfers... transferring data to masters. No glands, replaced by tech. No digestive tract, replaced by tech. No ''soul'' - replaced by tech!
* DegradedBoss: There are more Praetorians in a single bronze level of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer then there were in all of Mass Effect 2. Subverted in that they didn't really get any weaker; if anything, they got deadlier.
* EvilutionaryBiologist: The ''entire species''.
* EyeBeams: Praetorians use them.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Fallen. [[spoiler:They are former Protheans, after all.]]
* FrickinLaserBeams: Some of their weapons. Two examples are seen through the series. In ''Mass Effect 2'', the Collector Particle Beam is a heavy weapon that ignores shields, firing a continuous beam. In the third game, the Collector SniperRifle uses a continuous beam for [[ArmorPiercingAttack anti-materiel]] attacks.
* [[spoiler:HenchmenRace]]
* HeroKiller: Not only do these guys [[spoiler:destroy the old Normandy and kill Shepard]] at the very beginning of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', but if you screw up ''really'' bad on the Suicide Mission, everyone on the team, including Shepard him/herself, will die to them.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: In the third game, the Praetorian's instant-kill grab involves skewering their poor victim on no less than three of their legs before smashing their head in with the beak-like protrusion on what could tentatively be called the Praetorian's face.
* InsectoidAliens: They even build their vehicles with this in mind; a Collector Cruiser looks like a giant termite hill from the outside and a bee hive from the inside. The Praetorian on the other hand looks like a giant crab.
* {{Mooks}}: Though, unlike most examples of this trope, they are most ''[[HeroKiller definitely]]'' a threat to the [[AnyoneCanDie main characters.]]
** AirborneMooks: They have insect-like membranous wings which deploy from their backs and flap at high speed to allow them to leap over obstructions and descend heights easily.
** BossInMookClothing: Harbinger will sometimes [[VillainOverride directly control]] individual Collectors, turning them into one of these.
** EliteMooks: Guardians, Assassins, and Captains.
** GiantMook: Praetorians.
** MookMobile: Their Oculus fighters. The Normandy dispatches them pretty handily in the run to the Collector Base. However they are shown to be effective against other fighters or normal frigates.
** PeoplePuppets: Harbinger treats them as such.
** SlaveMooks: [[spoiler:The entire race.]]
** SuperPoweredMooks: "Possessed" enemies.
* LightningBruiser: Praetorians in the third game are much faster than the one in ''2'' and just as deadly. Particularly their possessed variants, which are by far the most durable enemies in the entire game.
* [[spoiler:SlaveRace]]
* OrganicTechnology: A lot of their technology, like the Praetorian (a flying light tank crab looking thing with dual lasers that appears to be made of a bunch of husks in an armored shell) and the four weapons we see of theirs.
* [[spoiler:OurZombiesAreDifferent]]: They're essentially [[spoiler:slightly more intelligent versions of Prothean husks]].
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:They are (or were) the Protheans.]]
* SculptedPhysique: Their exoskeletons give them this appearance, being hard and only articulating at the joints. [[spoiler: ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' reveals this to not be a simple natural exoskeleton, but rather an unusual suit of [[OrganicTechnology Organic]] PoweredArmor, albeit one [[ClingyCostume permanently integrated into the host]]. The technology to make it can actually be recovered from Collector facilities and with some modification be made to accommodate a human.]]
* SealedArmyInACan: They've been around for [[spoiler: almost 50,000 years.]] The Reapers just tried to use the more disposable [[spoiler: rachni]] and heretic geth mooks first so they could have a back-up plan in case that failed.
* ShroudedInMyth
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: The Collector Sniper Rifle in the third game is basically a Collector Particle Beam with a scope. [[spoiler:[[WasOnceAMan This is probably intentional.]]]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Scions in ''3''. Not only are they faster and more durable, but instead of having a slow shockwave cannon, they have a powerful energy gun that fires explosive shots with unerringly perfect accuracy in three round bursts. Said shots do more damage than even the Atlas Mech's rockets, making them extremely deadly; no class in the entire game can survive a single burst (and they only survive that much because the way the shield and health gates work in Mass Effect 3 no ranged attack can kill in less than three hits). They also gain a one hit kill melee attack.
* [[spoiler:{{Tragic Villain}}s]]
* VillainOverride: The Collector General [[spoiler: acting as a conduit for [[BiggerBad Harbinger]]]] can [[AC: [[InterruptingMeme Assume Direct Control]]]] of individual Collectors, pushing their bodies to the limit by "[[OverclockingAttack overclocking]]" their physical implants and turning them into an almost literal BossInMooksClothing. This has the effect of burning out the individual Collector, but [[WeHaveReserves they do not really care]].
* [[spoiler:[[WasOnceAMan Were Once Protheans]]: See "Husks".]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Protheans]]
!! Protheans
[[quoteright:198:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Prothean-001_2256.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Unknown

The Protheans were once the galaxy's dominant species. They are believed to have built the Mass Relays and the Citadel. However, they mysteriously vanished approximately 50,000 years before the series started.

* AncientAstronauts: They had a research outpost on Mars, and tagged and studied ancient humans before their destruction. There are also a large number of Prothean structures on the hanar homeworld, who fervently believe that they were uplifted by the Protheans. [[spoiler: The asari are also worshiping them without even realizing it.]]
* [[spoiler: AsskickingEqualsAuthority: According to Javik, they firmly believed this. He claims that the Protheans would have gladly served any race that proved itself capable of conquering them, but ''no-one'' ever did.]]
* BenevolentPrecursors: In a scenario similar to the [[{{Halo}} Forerunners]], but these guys are much more sympathetic. [[spoiler:Except, unlike the Forerunners, they ''didn't'' make the relays, the keepers or the Citadel. The ''Reapers'' did, and the Protheans just inherited the tech from whatever ''their'' precursors were.]]
** [[spoiler: Subverted when ''3'' reveals that they were actually a conquest-driven, imperialistic culture that enslaved other races; while the hanar worship them as "the Enkindlers" who gave them sentience, it's doubtful that this was done for magnanimous reasons or even on purpose.]]
*** They were especially benevolent towards [[spoiler: the asari. Bring Javik to Thessia and it turns out that nearly all of the Athame doctrine is based off of acts Protheans performed on the behalf of primitive asari. Asari could not count past their toes, and Protheans "took pity" on them and taught them mathematics. "We didn't want you to starve," so they taught agriculture.]]
* {{Cthulhumanoid}}: There are statues with this theme on Ilos, and so it was speculated that they looked like this. Jossed by ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', which revealed [[spoiler: they were actually more insectoid-looking, as seen in the presence of the Collectors. VideoGame/MassEffect3 shows us an actual Prothean; he looks even more human-like than the Collectors did, but he's still not comparable to the statues]]. It also reveals that [[spoiler: Ilos was built on the ruins of the Protheans' predecessors, the Inusannon, so it's likely statues of them. Javik also mentions that as the Empire grew several different member races came to adopt the name Prothean as their own.]]
* DidNotSeeThatComing: Javik admits that the Protheans intended for the ''[[spoiler: asari]]'' to lead the fight against the Reapers in the next Cycle, so he's rather taken aback to discover ''humanity'' is the one leading the charge.
* [[spoiler: TheEmpire]]: [[spoiler: The Protheans were not a single race -- they '''were''' a single ''empire''.]]
* EvilutionaryBiologist: According to Javik, this was the philosophy of Prothean civilization in general; they called it the "Cosmic Imperative". The strong thrive, the weak die or are enslaved. Although there's a slight caveat in that Javik isn't a scientist and lived his whole life in the ruins of his empire's Reaping, the fact that his empire was a Space Rome that enslaved other species says something.
* FantasticAnthropologist: The Protheans studied most lesser races in the Galaxy, trying best to determine who would inherit the next Cycle, or who would be a slave in their own.
* FlingALightIntoTheFuture: Surviving Prothean scientists sabotaged [[spoiler: the keepers in order to keep them from signalling the Reapers to come.]] In addition, the Protheans as a whole [[spoiler: tried uplifting the then-primitive asari to lead the next cycle against the Reapers.]] In this case, it....backfired.
* FuturisticPyramid: The Protheans constructed several pyramid structures on various worlds.
* HigherTechSpecies: Even considering the fact that they [[spoiler: didn't build the Mass Relays or the Citadel]], their technology level is still far beyond that of any known race in the galaxy, having things like particle weaponry, telepathy, and their own miniature mass relays. This is true even in the current cycle, where the Reaper invasion has been delayed by several centuries and the various civilisations have had more time to advance.
* [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoisted By Their Own Petard]]: They uplifted the rachni to function as living weapons, always selecting the most vicious and warlike queens for their breeding program, until the predictable happened and they had to burn 200 worlds to take control of the situation.
* [[spoiler: IntriguedByHumanity: While the Protheans were betting on the ''Asari'' to become the dominant power in the Galaxy in the next Cycle, the Prothean Orb on Eletania and the Mars Archives seem to imply that they had become somewhat interested in Humanity as well. Liara mentions in the third game that the Protheans were apparently conducting research, attempting to chart how intelligent humans might become.]]
* MightMakesRight: Sincerely believed this. Javik is utterly confused why Humans are attempting to diplomatically negotiate with the other races to create a BadassArmy, instead of simply ''forcing'' them to comply.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: According to Javik, Protheans liked passing time by having hours-long staring contests.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: [[spoiler: Javik reveals that they were much more imperialistic than anyone suspected. Those who did not want to be part of their empire were free to resist, and the Protheans were such firm believers in MightMakesRight that they would have followed any who won. None did. Javik talks about 'servant races' but also says that in time other species in their Empire also came to call themselves Protheans.]]
* RagnarokProofing: Not all of it survived, but a impressive amount of their tech still works fifty thousand years after the fact.
* [[spoiler: ReforgedIntoAMinion: A species-wide example.]]
* SeriousBusiness: Javik claimed that gambling was punishable by death within their empire. They also apparently passed the time via staring contests. That lasted for ''hours''. Granted, it is [[{{Troll}} Javik]] who makes that claim.
* SpaceRomans: The Protheans were actually much like Ancient Rome, particularly in their methodology with conquering other species.
* StopWorshippingMe: The Protheans uplifted many species, which led to them becoming worshipped by the hanar as "the Enkindlers" and the [[spoiler: asari]] as the [[spoiler: Goddess Athame]]. Javik's reaction upon learning this, is not one of amusement.
* SuspendedAnimation: [[spoiler:How the Protheans attempted to survive unnoticed on Ilos until the Reapers had returned to dark space. Only twelve scientists survived]]. In the "From the Ashes" DLC for ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler: one Prothean is still alive after 50,000 years, and is a potential squadmate.]]
* ThemeNaming: They apparently liked to name their virtual intelligence programs names that started with the letter V; Vigil, Victory, and Vendetta.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Reapers]]
!! The Reapers
[[quoteright:251:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Reapers-001_221.png]]

--> ''[[AC:We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.]]''
-->--'''Sovereign'''

'''Homeworld:''' N/A[[note]]It is entirely unknown where the first Reapers' creation took place, and the Reapers have no known need for a planet or base to call home.[[/note]]

A race of machines who are believed to have hunted the Protheans to extinction. Shepard discovers that the Reapers are about to return and spends the trilogy trying to stop them.

* AbusivePrecursors: '''Good Lord yes!''' They hold the current page quote. [[spoiler:As for why, well, specifically developing galactic races to be wiped out and harvested is plenty bad, don'cha think?]]
** Zigzagged: They consider the [[spoiler:self-destructiveness of galactic life to be inevitable, choosing instead to genetically preserve previous civilizations. In rather horrifying ways.]]
* AmbiguousRobots: They detest organic creatures and seem mechanical in nature. [[spoiler:Until you take their [[HumanResources construction methods]] into account.]]
* AndIMustScream: Several of the nasty fates they have in store for the galaxy, from turning people into husks, to Indoctrination, and [[spoiler:the fate of the humans kidnapped by the Collectors for the human Reaper]].
* [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Always]] LawfulEvil
* AnimalMotif: The Reapers look suspiciously like a techno-organic version of the reaper cuttlefish.
** Lampshaded in the third game. [[spoiler: Apparently this was the form of their creators.]]
* [[spoiler:AssimilationPlot]]: How new ones are made.
* AppropriatedAppelation: As Sovereign puts it, what various races chose to call them is irrelevant; it won't stop them from descending upon your world and harvesting your civilisation til there is nothing left.
* BatmanGambit: A particularly devious (and brilliant) one is what makes the entire extinction cycle possible.
** However clever it is (and it is ''very'' clever,) the scheme is severely hampered by the unanticipated actions of the Protheans.
* BigBad: The whole point of the trilogy is to bring them down, and they're behind much of the villains in each game.
** BiggerBad: For the first two games, an individual Reaper acts as TheManBehindTheMan and the main driving force for the armies of the geth and the Collectors respectively. In the third game, they lead their {{Mooks}} in a direct attack.
* BeamSpam: In addition to their main gun, the average Reaper capital ship also possesses a point defense laser system, similar to the GARDIAN lasers employed by other species' ships, and guns located in their tendrils. These tendril guns fire super accurate shots every two to three seconds that can decapitate cruisers in a single hit. A Reaper has eight of these tendril guns. Do the math.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: They claim this, but in truth it seems to have less to do with genuine inscrutability and more to do with [[CulturalPosturing their monumental arrogance and contempt for 'lesser races'.]] The truth is that while the Reapers ''are'' arrogant, [[spoiler: they actually were created by an AI that judged forcing order on organic life by turning it into Reapers would prevent "inevitable" wars between organics and synthetics.]]
* BrownNote: The deep bass sound-blasts that Reapers make are supposed to be able to instill a fear response in organics that hear it.
* BullyingADragon: At first, since Sovereign openly dismissed Shepard as being any kind of threat. This of course, naturally lead to his complete and utter destruction. By the sequel, Harbinger proves to be ''much'' more GenreSavvy, clearly recognising [[WorthyOpponent Shepard]] as [[TheDreaded the danger they are]], to the point where he openly declares his intention to eliminate them at all cost.
* [[TheChessmaster The Chessmasters]]: On a galactic scale for over a billion years.
* CoolStarships: They are remarkably powerful and even look really cool and sinister. Whatever your thoughts on their practices, there is no denying that they are awesome starships.
* CrazyPrepared: You don't wipe out hundreds of thousands of civilizations without being this trope. In addition to their plan A ([[spoiler: in this cycle, the rachni]]), the Reapers always have a plan B ([[spoiler: the geth]]). And a plan C ([[spoiler: the Alpha Relay]]). And a plan D ([[spoiler: the Collectors]]). And a plan E ([[spoiler: full assault]]). But that's it. [[spoiler: Nah, not really, they have a plan F (indoctrinated sleeper agents) as well.]]
* CulturalPosturing: It seems to be their national sport.
* CurbStompBattle: Reapers vs. anyone else. Compared to even the most powerful dreadnoughts employed by other races, the firepower and shielding of a capital Reaper is completely ridiculous. ''One'' Reaper managed to plow through hundreds of ships at the Battle of the Citadel while taking next to no damage, and when they invade the galaxy in full force exactly one planet doesn't fall instantly, and even that one planet only holds out for a few months.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Oh hell yes. Just about everything they do, from their BatmanGambit, [[JustShootHim to killing the hero once s/he showed how big of a threat s/he was]], [[NeverFoundTheBody to attempting to recover his/her body to confirm the death]], etc. REEKS of genre savviness.
** To be expected: it is unknown how many cycles they've gone through, but it's clearly a ''very'' large number, so they've probably had lots of experience dealing with exceptional individuals.
* EasyLogistics: This is what makes them so unbeatable in conventional combat, even if you foil their usual strategy of taking everyone by surprise and dividing and conquering. They don't have supply lines; their ships have infinite ammo and fuel and their troops don't require food. They don't have colonies; they just move through space destroying everything. They don't even have bases you can bomb; they have specialized ships that can create armies from the civilians of their enemies. Meaning they don't have any weak points; most wars are won by battering the enemy until they run out of money and troops or targeting their strategic resources immediately, but the Reapers have no strategic resources to target and have an effectively unlimited number of ground troops.
* EldritchAbomination
** EldritchStarship
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: The Reapers' design resembles that of an actual animal, the reaper cuttlefish. [[spoiler:Their external hulls, at least.]]
* EvilIsNotAToy: By what Javik says, The Illusive Man is not the first person who has ever tried to control them. Every time it ends with the Reapers taking control of the person themselves.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Every Reaper so far has spoken in teeth-rattling bass tones. [[spoiler:With the Reaper Destroyer you topple at the end of the Rannoch arc in the third game, the air actually distorts from the extreme bass of the reaper's voice.]]
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Eldritch.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Basically, being vaporized is probably the most merciful fate they can give you.
* [[spoiler:HeelFaceTurn]]: In the Extended Cut, [[spoiler:they help galactic society rebuild in the Control and Synthesis endings.]]
* GalacticConqueror: [[spoiler: They already control the galaxy. The mass relay system and their control of it essentially turns the galaxy into a gigantic coral. Their extermination of all space-faring life on every planet is just pest control.]]]
** [[spoiler: Though Shepard him/herself only sees them completely in control of the galaxy at one point in the series: right before the final battle of Mass Effect 3, after they've curbstomped every military in the galaxy aside from Shepard's Crucible task force, and have occupied every single cluster.]]
* HigherTechSpecies: Almost all of their tech defies understanding. Some of them seem to defy ''the laws of physics''.
* HopelessWar: Any fight against them by any civilization. They've wiped out hundreds of thousands of space-faring empires and have a massive technological and numerical advantage over any other species that has ever existed. No one really has a chance against them.[[spoiler: This cycle only manages to defeat them via a DeusExMachina.]]
* IAmLegion: "We are each a nation." [[spoiler:Or, more accurately, a species.]]
* InfiniteSupplies: The Reapers don't bother to maintain supply lines and seemingly never run out of ammo, power, or the materials to make husks. Given that they are SufficientlyAdvancedAliens, they probably use a more advanced version of the field fabrication technology that other species use in things like omni-tools.
* LivingShip: [[spoiler:Considering their [[HumanResources construction methods]]...]]
* MachineWorship: The heretic geth worship them as gods, the pinnacle of what the geth aspire to be. The Reapers actually find this ''insulting''.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: The Reapers were originally created by an AI within the Citadel called the Catalyst, who directed the Reapers to begin their systematic purge of any life advanced enough to create synthetic life.]]
* [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bastards]]: On an absolutely massive scale.
* MechanicalLifeforms
* MindHive: Its revealed in the second game that individual Reapers are actually made up of a collection of independent AI programs that work together with a singular will and goal. [[spoiler: Difficult-to-get [[http://youtu.be/CqtAHNQT3-w content]] strongly suggests that said programs are the ''billions of uploaded conjoined minds'' of the people melted down to make each Reaper.]]
* MindRape: Reaper indoctrination. [[FateWorseThanDeath Quite possibly the most horrible fate a being can suffer.]] [[spoiler: Save being melted and made into part of a new one.]]
* NighInvulnerability: They can be killed but it takes an enormous amount of effort to bring down even a weaker Reaper.
** The codex states that, in a straight-up fight, just one Reaper capital ship is a match for three capital ships from other species. It takes four to stand a good chance of killing one. To put that in prospective: that's at least 12 [[HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure Little Boys]] slamming into the Reaper's face every two to five seconds. And even ''that'' sometimes doesn't work. Even the Reaper Destroyer on Rannoch took multiple bombardments from a large portion of the quarian fleet before falling.
** The Reaper Destroyers themselves are this to ground units whenever they take their heavy walker form for ground combat. Even when using tanks, gunships, and artillery, the militaries of the galaxy may as well be throwing rocks at the Destroyers. The only things that have been shown to be able to kill Destroyers are the guns on cruisers and dreadnoughts and the massively powerful thanix missiles- and even then, only if it hits a weak spot.
* NoConservationOfEnergy: As far as anyone is able to tell, the Reapers appear to be perpetual motion machines with no need for fuel or maintenance. The Codex specifically mentions how impossible this should be, and how it allows previously unseen war strategies that require no supply lines even in the long term conflicts.
* NoNameGiven: "Reaper" was merely the designation given to them by the Protheans. Since they never deem to reveal their ''true'' name to anyone, (if they even ''have'' one), it seems they prefer to use AppropriatedAppelation.
** For individual Reapers, the only true name we learn is Sovereign, who referred to itself as "[[spoiler:Nazara]]" when communicating with the Geth.
* NotSoDifferent: The Reapers are essentially geth platforms, except instead of programs, ''genetic memory of indoctrinated species'', individually. In other words, the human reaper would have had billions of human minds achieving consensus, much like a mobile geth platform like Legion.
* OmnicidalManiac
* [[OneManArmy One Ship Armada]]: It took two fleets, the Destiny Ascension and a massive stroke of luck to bring down Sovereign, a single Reaper capital ship. And while capital ships are the most powerful Reaper design, even the relatively smaller destroyers can take insane amounts of damage before they fall.
* OrderVersusChaos: According to Sovereign, they "bring order to the chaos of organic evolution." He's not spouting arrogance there: [[spoiler: the Catalyst specifically created them to bring order to chaos. Namely, by establishing a systematic process by which organic life advanced enough to create self-aware synthetic life would be "preserved" by being turned into Reapers, to prevent what the Catalyst perceives as an inevitable and destructive conflict between synthetic and organic life.]]
* OutsideContextVillain: [[spoiler:Imagine the fates of all the civilizations they've destroyed. They were advancing swimmingly... and then abruptly hundreds of thousands of incomprehensibly powerful machine-god-squid-ships popped out of every Mass Relay, crushed their governments, ripped their militaries apart and then began methodically exterminating every single sign that they had ever existed in the most horrifying way imaginable without once bothering to stop killing and explain any of it. ''Ever.'']]
* PrecursorKillers: Though they're technically the alpha-precursors, they're still the ones who killed the Protheans. [[spoiler:Along with the twenty thousand-plus generations of {{Precursors}} before them.]]
** [[spoiler: The Leviathan DLC reveals that they were in fact predated by the eponymous Leviathans...and they killed them too.]]
* PretenderDiss: Despite the size of their egos, they find the heretics' worship demeaning.
--> '''Saren:''' But the reaction of their deity is most telling. It is ''insulted''.
* PyrrhicVictory:[[spoiler: The result of the "refusal" ending. They effortlessly stomp out Shepard's cycle like thousands before it. However Shepard manages to FlingALightIntoTheFuture in the form of, among other things, the Crucible design, enabling the next cycle to complete and use it before the Reapers even arrived.]]
* RagnarokProofing: Well, the stuff they leave behind ''is'' supposed to go fifty thousand years plus without maintenance.
* RecursivePrecursors: The reapers are ThePrecursors and PrecursorKillers of every generation of galactic civilization. [[spoiler: Except for the Leviathans, their own precursors.]]
* RegularlyScheduledEvil: Their galactic genocides come every 50,000 years or so. Part of the plot of the series is the current iteration of the cycle has been delayed by several thousand years [[BenevolentPrecursors by outside forces]], making the Reapers somewhat desperate to get things back on track.
* SapientShip: [[spoiler:With a mix of LivingShip.]]
* SealedEvilInACan: A rare case of self-sealing evil. They hibernate outside of the galaxy in between cycles both to conserve energy and prevent discovery.
* SlaveMooks: Anyone who works for the Reapers is this. They don't see anyone or anything as their equal, or even worthy of respect. If you work for the Reapers, you are first either indoctrinated, implanted, zombified, or reprogrammed, and then [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness you are dead]]. Period.
* SpiderTank: The Destroyer model can become this, even though it only has four legs.
* StarfishAlien
* StarfishRobot
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien
* VillainOverride: The closest they get to fighting Shepard in person... until the third game.
* WalkingTank: Destroyers become this whenever they decide to start walking on the ground to support the husks. They're a lot more powerful than the usual WalkingTank, possessing armor thick enough to make them nigh invulnerable to ground fire and highly resistant to even orbital bombardment, plus a main gun that can kill 500 meter long shielded warships with a few seconds of continuous fire. Needless to say, infantry, armored vehicles, and aircraft are instantly destroyed just by being grazed by the gun's beam.
* WaveMotionGun: The main gun of a capital Reaper is spinal-mounted gigantic death beam hitting with the force of 450 kilotons of TNT per shot that accelerates molten metal at a significant fraction of the speed of light... every five seconds. It far and away outclasses any weapon on any other species' ships. To put that into prospective: that's over thirty times as destructive as the Hiroshima bomb.
* WorthyOpponent: They have come to see Shepard as "[[AC:an annoyance]]". Considering how massive their egos are, this is pretty much the highest possible praise they could give an enemy.
-->'''Dying Reaper:''' [[AC: Harbinger speaks of [[TheDreaded you]].]]
** [[spoiler:Leviathan]] notes that Shepard is the only being in history that the Reapers have ever feared.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Raloi]]
!!Raloi

'''Homeworld''': Turvess

A relatively newcomer race on the Galactic scene, who made first contact with the Asari in 2184. During the Reaper invasion, they retreated to their homeworld, destroying their more advanced technology in the hopes that the Reapers would possibly spare them.

* BizarreAlienBiology: Are an Avian species, who have to wear environment suits to interact with aliens, ever since it was discovered they accidentally spread a form of the [=H7N7=] avian flu-virus (a reference to "Bird flu") to one of the diplomatic delegations they were invited to.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: Eighteen months after they first discovered alien life in the Galaxy, the Reapers invade. The Raloi immediately throw up their hands and say this is ''not'' their fight, retreating back to Turvess, where they destroy all their advanced technology.
* TheUnseen: They are mentioned in both the second and third game, but never actually seen.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never learn their fate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Leviathan]]

'''Warning: WalkingSpoiler'''

!!Leviathan

[[quoteright:230:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ME3_Leviathan_Creature2_6513.jpeg]]

'''Homeworld''': Unknown

Mysterious creatures, one of which is apparently powerful enough to kill Reapers. They're eventually revealed to be the creators of the Catalyst, and by proxy the Reapers.

* AdmiringTheAbomination: Inverted. The Leviathan are EldritchAbominations who admire ''Shepard'' for being the first thing in ''any'' Cycle that the Reapers have actually been afraid of.
* AGodAmI: Definitely consider themselves to be God-like, referring to themselves as the "Apex of Organic Evolution".
* AlwaysABiggerFish: Leviathan represents this to the Reapers.
* BadassBystander: The Leviathan clearly have a lot of power at their disposal, but have not intervened during any of the previous Cycles, due to not believing it possible to stop the Reapers, nor caring enough about the "lesser races" to try.
* BiggerBad: Even more so that the Catalyst, whom they created. They have every intention of regaining their control of the galaxy once the Reapers are defeated.
* {{Brainwashed}}: Evidently, the Reapers didn't pull indoctrination out of thin air. Leviathan indoctrination needs a constant transmission to maintain control over their victims, channeled through odd spheres. Destroy the spheres and the victims regain their minds. Until they come near another sphere. On the other hand, it's apparently powerful enough to override the Reapers' control of the husks. It seems less harmful to the indoctrinated subjects than the Reaper version, assuming Leviathan doesn't decide to kill them or put them in comas, but it's noted of one scientist who was indoctrinated that she "retains ''most'' of her mental faculties."
** The Codex says, after Shepard speaks with them, that they are having the Citadel races spread those sphere-things deep in Reaper territory, so they can use their mental domination on Reaper forces and sabotage them.
* EldritchAbomination: To an even greater extent than the Reapers.
* EnemyMine: With the entire galaxy. The Leviathans are helping the galactic effort not because they are turning over a new leaf, but because they were there ''first'', and the Reapers took what they deemed to be rightfully theirs.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: People who were controlled by the leviathan describe a sensation of being somewhere dark and cold. It's likely a side-effect of the Leviathan physically residing in the deepest reaches of Ocean worlds.
* HappinessInSlavery: What they see enthralling lesser species as. As long as they pay "tribute", the Leviathans will "care for them".
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: They created an AI to preserve their slave species, with absolutely no restrictions on how (ultimately resulting in the creation of the Reapers). As a direct result of this [[AbusivePrecursors self-centered attitude,]] they found themselves to be the first species to be harvested.
* ItsAllAboutMe: The Leviathans still believe that, being the first, 'apex' society, the galaxy belongs to them.
* [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice Job Breaking It, Creepy Aquatic Apex-Race]]: They built the intelligence that built the Reapers due to concerns about difficult synthetic-organic relations. Said intelligence promptly turned on them, built Harbinger, and started the Reaper cycles.
* NoNameGiven: Even if they do agree to help out, they are reluctant to share any information about themselves with the other species, including whatever the true name of their race is. The galaxy seems to have settled on calling them "Leviathans" for lack of any other name.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: They make it ''very'' clear that the only reason they're joining the fight is for revenge. They'd personally prefer to have remained staying hidden, but unfortunately that's no longer an option.
* NotSoDifferent: They have a ''lot'' of similarities to the Reapers, except they demand "tribute" from lesser races instead of harvesting them. Indeed, the Reapers' physical shape came from them (though the Leviathans are huge, they aren't nearly as gigantic as Sovereign-class Reapers).
* OrwellianEditor: The Leviathan periodically use their thralls to erase any evidence that might lead the Reapers to learn of their continued existence.
* {{Precursors}}: They kind of straddle the line between AbusivePrecursors and NeglectfulPrecursors: On the one hand, they enslaved pretty much the entire galaxy in their heyday and are responsible for the Reapers, but on the other hand, according to them, their subjects were granted a fair amount of autonomy so long as they paid "tribute" to the Leviathans and properly venerated them. The fact that enough of their slave races ended up building artificial intelligences that would ultimately wipe them out for the Leviathans to notice supports their side of the story somewhat, but that doesn't make the prospect of them ruling the galaxy again any less sinister. They also created the Catalyst to try and solve this issue for them, so their tributes wouldn't be disrupted. Unfortunately, their creation decided they were part of the problem, and was true to its directive to preserve organic life at any cost.
* {{Pride}}: Their belief that they were superior to the extent that they believed that the problems of the "lesser races" could never harm them directly has led to much of the series' conflict.
* RacialRemnant: Shepard only sees three of them.
* TheRemnant: They once ruled a powerful empire that covered the entire galaxy. After the Catalyst turned on them, what's left of them is now in hiding at the bottom of an ocean.
* RecursivePrecursors: The Leviathans were the first spacefaring species in the galaxy, if not the universe.
* {{Revision}}: Not a hint of their existence was alluded to before the ''Leviathan'' DLC came out, yet they actually fit quite snugly into the canon. Their existence revamps things such as the Rachni Wars (though this is only ever a theory in-universe) and the Leviathan of Dis, but without contradicting anything other than in-universe theories that were, for obvious reasons, incomplete.
** Considering they are actively using their thralls to [[OrwellianEditor erase any evidence of their existence]], no ''wonder'' we've had any hints of their existence beforehand. Then again, maybe we ''[[ParanoiaFuel did]]'' and we just don't ''[[BrainwashedAndCrazy remember]]'' anymore!
* [[SpaceWhale Space Squid]]: Subverted in that they still live in oceans.
* UltimateLifeForm: Consider themselves to be such, with their "apex of organic evolution" opinion of themselves. It is not without some justification, considering their power and the fact that they have survived this many cycles at all.
* VestigialEmpire: Averted. They had one, but have been having thralls slowly disassemble it over the eons to conceal traces of their existence. Thanks to the memory blackout feature of their mind control, this is supremely effective.
* WalkingSpoiler: Hell, even giving them ''their own entry'' is spoileriffic, since everyone assumes the Leviathan is just another Reaper until Shepard actually finds them. And once they start talking, well, then it's no holds barred revelations. This actually opens plot-holes depending on where in the game you play the DLC, since it means Shepard is desperately trying to find answers the Leviathans already gave him and acts surprised when the Catalyst gives much of the same information.
** Shepard's confusion on meeting the Catalyst is mitigated if the Extended Cut is installed and Shepard has finished the Leviathan quest already. When the Catalyst brings up who created it and why, Shepard will immediately make the connection to the Leviathans and the Catalyst will confirm it. Little other than that is changed though.
* WhatTheHellAreYou: Leviathan initially states their intention to keep Shepard for study, having become interested in finding out ''why'' the Reapers are so terrified of this PunyEarthling.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Virtual Alien]]

!!Virtual Alien

'''Homeworld''': Unknown

A race of one billion individuals who downloaded their conciousnesses onto a starship in order to escape their race's destruction from their system's star going supernova. Discovered by the salarians when their starship entered one of their systems in search of a new power source for their systems.

* AllThereInTheManual: They were only mentioned in the Cerberus Daily News.
* BrainUploading: What they did to themselves and others can do.
* {{Cyberspace}}: Created an entire virtual world to live in to save themselves.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Their real names are unknown.
* TheGhost: Never seen in the games proper.
* GhostShip
* SymbioticPossession: They communicate with other species by using a host to download their conciousness into.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never find out what's become of them outside of the article that reveals them.

[[/folder]]

!Non-Sapient Creatures

[[folder:Husks]]
!!Husks
[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Husk-001_7436.png]]

--> '''Thane:''' There are tales about such things among my people - devices buried on distant worlds that turn the finders into abominations.

'''Homeworld:''' N/A

Non-sapient synthetic creatures that are created using the bodies of organic beings. They are of Reaper origin. Husk is both the name of the 'generic' human zombie enemy and a general term for Reaper-fied organics.

* ActionBomb: Abominations.
* ArmCannon: Scions in 2. Cannibals, batarian-human hybrids from 3. Adjutants from Invasion.
* BodyHorror: All of them, often mixed with MixAndMatchCritters, as mentioned below.
** Husks and Abominations are formed from humans who have had their internal organs all replaced by cybernetics by [[SpikesOfVillainy dragon's teeth]], with the latter exploding upon getting close to foes. [[spoiler:Cerberus troopers in 3 are much the same, but more intelligent.]]
** Scions are combinations of three human Husks fused together around a single biotic ArmCannon. A blue sac over the same shoulder as the cannon holds redundant organs and element zero sources for their weapon.
** [[spoiler:Collectors are Protheans that had a complete genetic rewrite, including three fewer chromosomes, reduced heterochromatin structure, and elimination of useless "junk" sequences. Due to the extensive amounts of cybernetics, they lack many of their organs, and are essentially clones, with whether or not they even have any remaining gender unknown.]]
** Marauders are husks of turians with armor plates grafted on and lenses embedded in their faces.
** Brutes are formed from Krogan, but with a turian head attached for intelligence. Due to the aversion of NoBiochemicalBarriers, the krogan levo-DNA clashes with the turian dextro-DNA, meaning that the entire creature would die very painfully if the cybernetics were not in place.
** Banshees are naked, asari Husks of those who are or have a predisposition to be [[DeathBySex Ardat Yakshi]]. Due to the nature of asari sex, their creation could technically be considered a whole new meaning of MindRape.
** Cannibals are batarian husks (with an ArmCannon made out of a human corpse) who eat their allies to regain health.
** Synthetic Harvesters are, as their name implies, Huskified Harvesters, though they also have added head-mounted cannons.
** Ravagers are mobile turrets formed from rachni. Notably, concept art included a human husk corpse on the back, but BioWare decided [[EveryoneHasStandards that was too disgusting]].
** Swarmers appear to be spider-type robots made from rachni workers.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: To create a husk, organics are impaled on spikes which converts organic materials into synthetic ones. Usually though, they're already dead.
** Zigzagged if [[spoiler:the Synthesis ending is used, since they become sapient, possibly ''immortal'' beings again. Hopefully, the human Husks in such creatures as the Praetorians and Scions (and the arm cannons for Cannibals, which are fused to a human husk) are extricated, or it'll be a double dose of BodyHorror on the level of ''TheHumanCentipede''.]]
* {{Cthulhumanoid}}: Adjutants
* CyberneticsWillEatYourSoul: Luckily, most Husks are already dead pre-Huskification.
* GlowingMechanicalEyes
* GrenadeLauncher: The Cannibal's ArmCannon, in addition to shooting what appears to be red flechettes in the place of bullets, can also fire frag grenades. Unlike most examples of this trope, the grenades still take a few seconds to detonate after they land.
* ImAHumanitarian: Cannibals replenish health by eating their own dead (er, dead-er) allies.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: How they are made, and how Banshees will kill anyone within arm's reach.
* {{Mooks}}: In all three games.
** BossInMookClothing: Banshees, husked Ardat-Yakshi, in Mass Effect 3. They have Biotic barriers and armor instead of health which makes them immune to a lot of biotic effects, they can FlashStep, and they also have the ability to grab people and subsequently [[{{ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice}} impale them with their hands]], resulting in [[{{OneHitKill}} instant death]]. Sometimes they will stand still and briefly appear to charge up, after which they will scream and release an attack that covers a surprisingly large area. Finally, they throw powerful projectiles that move slowly but track their target. [[{{SarcasmMode}} Have fun.]]
** EliteMooks: Marauders. Husked turians, they have kinetic barriers and a turian assault rifle, and also tend to buff nearby foes as well.
** GiantMook: Scions. Also a BossInMookClothing. In VideoGame/MassEffect3, Brutes fill this role; they're huskified krogans with a turian head for higher intelligence. Scions, however, return in [[DownloadableContent Retaliation]] for multiplayer.
** HeavilyArmoredMook: Marauders are capable of turning husks and cannibals into these.
** KungFuProofMook: Banshee barriers are capable of negating powers.
** MiniMook: Swarmers.
** NightOfTheLivingMooks
** SlaveMooks
** SmashMook: Brutes.
* MixAndMatchCritters: It's not uncommon for certain husk variants to be comprised of more than one individual, sometimes not from the same species. Scions are 3 human husks fused together. As noted above, cannibals are batarian-human hybrids while brutes are krogan-turian hybrids.
* OminousWalk: Banshees will engage in this when not [[FlashStep teleporting around]].
** PowerFloats: Before you take down their biotic barriers.
* TheReveal: In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', it's learned the Geth didn't create husks - the Reapers did.
* TheVirus: Adjutants are capable of turning victims into more of them.
* ZergRush: When you consider that the Reapers can produce essentially unlimited numbers of these things, their use of this tactic is not surprising.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: Well, they're mechanical, for one thing. The creation process is taking (preferably living) organic beings and impaling them on spikes, which slowly replaces tissue with machinery. They start out as somewhat standard zombies (albeit with [[ActionBomb electrical attacks]]), but VideoGame/MassEffect2 and especially VideoGame/MassEffect3 features tons of varieties with neat abilities like exploding, having guns built into their arms, and being very durable.
* [[WasOnceAMan Were Once Men]]: Or whatever other species ([[MixAndMatchCritters plural or singular]]) they came from.
* VillainOverride: When the Collectors return in 3, Harbinger has extended his control to their unique husks. Possessed Scions fire grenades, while Abominations explode with about three times the force.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Thresher Maw]]
[[quoteright:244:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Thresher-001_66.png]]

--> '''Zaeed:''' Standard operating procedure when you get a thresher maw is [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere run the hell away.]] [[RunOrDie Pick up sticks.]] Move the hell out! Krogan don't know any better.

'''Homeworld:''' Unknown, possibly Tuchanka

[[DeathWorld Tuchanka's]] ultimate predator, thresher maws are enormous subterranean creatures that spend their whole life eating or searching for something to eat. Thanks to their method of reproduction (spores that can survive in space), they've made it to plenty of other planets. In the Sole Survivor background, Commander Shepard was the SoleSurvivor of a thresher maw attack triggered by a particularly nasty Cerberus cell.

* DegradedBoss: Inverted. In the first game you killed almost a dozen of them in various sidequests. In the second, there's only one Thresher Maw, but you don't have the [[TankGoodness Mako]] to help you fight it, so it's a boss fight.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The first time one is encountered in the first game can be like this.
* HorseOfADifferentColour: Javik regrets that in this Cycle, they are now too big to ''[[{{Dune}} ride]]'' anymore.
* {{Kaiju}}: Kalros especially
* MonsterProgenitor / MotherOfAThousandYoung: The legendary Kalros, said by Eve to be the mother from whom all thresher maws spawn. This is *probably* an exaggeration, but [[spoiler: she sure made mincemeat out of that Reaper Destroyer. From the sound of things, Our Heroes seemed to just expect it to ''distract'' the Reaper, not outright kill it.]]
* SandWorm: Javik's line about riding them seems to be a ShoutOut to ''{{Dune}}''.
* TimedMission: On Grunt's loyalty mission in the second game, you have to survive a thresher maw attack for five minutes. [[BadAss Or you can just kill it]].
* WormSign
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Virtual Intelligences (VIs)]]
--> ''Thank you for using Avina! Have a pleasant day.''

'''Homeworld:''' N/A

Not a "species" in and of themselves, [=VIs=] are complex quasi-intelligent (but not truly sentient) computer programs often used to drive user interfaces; the ones most commonly seen throughout the franchise are humanoid, although Avina is asari in appearance, and Vigil is of Prothean origin. They can play a number of roles, usually serving as information access points, data analyzers, system monitors and optimizers, and distress beacon maintainers/interface points. True [=AIs=] are highly regulated or illegal in Citadel space; a VI might ''seem'' intelligent or sentient, but it's an illusion of clever programming.

* BrainwashedAndCrazy: There's several instances of [=VIs=] being hacked, given a virus, or otherwise just subverted somehow to the point they become a serious threat to their users using the systems under their control. [[spoiler:David Archer of Project Overlord is a much more literal example.]]
* CannotTellALie: Relative to what information it has access to, that is (see UnreliableNarrator). If the user has the clearance for the information they request, that information will be dispensed to the VI's best ability with no trickery or deception.
* CasualDangerDialog: A VI's enforced etiquette will often invoke this if circumstances around them are abnormal.
* DoAndroidsDream: In this case, no. They're specifically made to be limited, and said limits are usually found very quickly if they're treated like sentient beings. In ''2'', Jarrahe Station's VI becomes infected with a virus that makes it treat everyone like threats, and some of the station residents hope that maybe by doing nothing they can convince her that they're not dangerous. [[spoiler:It fails, and it's clear when Shepard visits that 'she' has no understanding of the situation at all.]] Vigil, the Prothean VI on Ilos, seems to be more sophisticated and it ''does'' seem to have a grasp of the situation, but outside the situation it has no use or knowledge whatsoever - it wasn't programmed to. Several times a VI will bluntly respond to sapient reactions or questions with something along the lines of "I am incapable of [giving that information/feeling that emotion/making that judgement/accessing such data]. Do you have any other requests?"
* JustAMachine: This is the legal extent to which the Council races permit an artificial intelligence of any sort to develop. One VI explicitly has no feelings one way or the other if its database is wiped [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness after it's served its purpose]], and says so; "In order for me to be 'killed', I would need to be alive."
* MagicalDatabase: Subverted, as [=VIs=] can't access any information which is outside of their reach, and there's at least one point where you need to re-establish a VI's connection with outside servers for it to provide more information to you.
* NiceGuy: Programmed to be such; [=VIs=] are impeccably polite and incapable of making qualified judgements about the decisions of organics.
* ProjectedMan: Avina provides the trope picture.
* RoboSpeak: Thoroughly averted. The vocal synthesisers employed in ''Mass Effect'' are evidentially very sophisticated.
* TronLines
* UncannyValley: Deliberately invoked at one point. After [[spoiler:Sovereign's attack on the Citadel]], Avina starts malfunctioning, causing her to glitch and act erratically when accessed.
* UnreliableNarrator: In the same way the Codex is written in-universe, so are the available information stores in a VI.
* ViewerFriendlyInterface: Can't get much more user-friendly than a person you just talk to.
* YouNoTakeCandle: Usually averted, but a VI can occasionally slip into it when it's not addressing the user, such as when it's parroting status messages.
[[/folder]]

----
<<|CharacterSheets|>>

to:

This page is for listing the tropes related to the many species in the ''VideoGame/MassEffect'' universe, [[PlanetOfHats each with their own]] ([[AvertedTrope often averted]]) tropes. For simplicity's sake, they are categorized as characters.

For the pages listing tropes related to specific characters in the trilogy, see the [[Characters/MassEffect Mass Effect Character Index]].

As with all character pages, this page includes ''significant'' spoilers, and some are by their nature unmarked. Read at your own discretion.

[[foldercontrol]]

!Citadel Council Races

[[folder:Turians]]
!! Turians
[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Turian-001_1262.png]]

->''If you want a problem [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy shot]], ask a turian...''
-->--'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Palaven

The third race to join the Citadel Council. The Turian Hierarchy is a very organized and militant society. Every physically and mentally-sound turian is either a soldier, a retired soldier or training to be a soldier. This has resulted in the Turian Hierarchy having the largest military force in the galaxy. Turians were the first alien species that humanity encountered. Unfortunately, this encounter took the form of the First Contact War. Although the other two Council Races managed to end the war diplomatically, human-turian relations are still rocky.

Turians are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheRedMage Sentinel]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldier]] classes. The Retaliation DLC also adds [[StealthExpert Ghost Infiltrators]], [[JetPack Havoc Soldiers]], and Saboteur Engineers.

* AlienBlood: Blue.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Their homeworld, Palaven, has a weak geomagnetic field, meaning it gets bombarded by more solar radiation than comparable planets like Earth or Thessia. How did Palaven's life adapt? It evolved a semi-metallic carapace.
* BadassArmy: They have extremely disciplined armies, the largest fleet of warships (well over 10,000), the most dreadnoughts (39), and a proud military tradition. They also have by far the largest military in the known galaxy, except for maybe the geth.
** They were able to hold their own against the krogan empires in a decades-long war of attrition at a time before the genophage when the krogan were actually breeding faster than the other races. They also manage to take down the fleets of krogan dreadnoughts with cruisers and frigates, which required a lot of expertise and production capability.
** "Reaper troop transports have dumped hordes of husk to capture Palaven's inhabitants, but met with little success. Reaper capital ships are destroying city after city. But much of the turian fleet is still operable, and the citizenry is heavily armed. The turians refuse to be intimidated." To put this perspective, the turians are holding their own (even if it's just barely) against the largest part of the Reaper fleet assigned to any individual planet, which they sent in knowing the power of the turian fleet. They even managed to destroy a few Sovereign-class capital ships in the opening attack (contrast the humans and asari, who didn't take out a single capital ship and got completely curbstomped in a few hours). They are the only race who actually manage to fight the Reapers on even terms; the Reaper attacks on Earth and Thessia quickly turn into routs.
** Of note is that every turian who is of age and is of sound mental capability is a soldier. Military service is mandatory across the entirety of their space. If that turian can walk and talk, that turian is trained to fight.
** Of particular note is the Armiger Legion. Every member has a PowerFist, consumable packs that grant borderline invincibility, the best weapons in the empire, and a ''jetpack''.
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: Though many aliens seem to have trouble with human metaphors, turians in particular struggle with the concept fullstop. Even Garrus has a problem with 'em.
** This actually leads to some rather clever [[FridgeBrilliance Fridge Brilliance]] when you consider that they are primarily a military-based culture, so making sure that their orders were given clearly is the best way a Turian can count on their subordinates to properly do their job. In comparison, Humans have a tendency to give orders while using slang, shorthand and metaphor whilst on the battlefield, which would naturally be ''very'' confusing for an outsider try to figure out. Add to the fact that Humans seem to be the ''only'' culture in the setting who developed non-verbal hand signals to give commands, you could argue that the Turians have every ''right'' to believe the way Human's communicate is completely insane!
* BottledHeroicResolve: The DLC turian classes have a "Stimulant Pack" power that boosts shields and weapon damage.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Humans and turians fought a war that led to humanity's entering the greater galactic population. Humans call it the First Contact War. Turians call it the Relay 314 Incident.
* ColonyDrop: The turians frequently employ this tactic as a solution to deal with ground-forces, notably seen in the First Contact War and casually suggested by Garrus to take out the enemy geth on Rannoch, much to Tali's horror.
** They were also frequently the victims of this during the Krogan Rebellions, the krogan had a habit of smashing moons into turian planets. [[TheDeterminator It just made the turians angry.]]
* CombatByChampion: One of the traditional ways turians can resolve large-scale conflicts: a duel between chosen representatives of each party. Parodied during a certain CerberusDailyNews story covering the War on Taetrus. A turian general and a leader of the rebel group Facinus got into a sword fight to decide the fate of Taetrus. When the rebel leader lost, very obviously photo-shopped images started surfacing the next day showing the general cheating in the duel. Facinus used these images as an excuse to declare war anyway.
* CombatPragmatist: In a way. In their culture, every turian serves in the army for a while after they reach puberty. Therefore, any population center with adults is considered a military installation. They are... reluctant to abandon this mindset when facing other species. To give an example, during their siege of Shanxi, the turian fleets bombed entire city blocks [[ColonyDrop from orbit]] simply to take out ''individual fireteams.''
* {{Conscription}}: At 15, Turians begin a compulsory term of military service for an unknown length of time, at the end of which they decide whether to remain with the military or become a civil servant.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: The turians absorb any conquered enemies (both turians and other races) into their ranks as supplementary units. While these units are rarely treated as anything more than infantry or cavalry, at the conclusion of a successful term of service, they are then granted full turian citizenship, with all rights and responsibilities thereof.
* {{Determinator}}: A popular saying goes: "You will only see a turian's back when he's dead."
** [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness This is why their retreat from Palaven near the end of the game shows how serious the situation is against the Reapers.]]
* TheEmpire: Some random turians even call it TheEmpire by name, but it's far more benevolent than usual.
* FacialMarkings: See TribalFacePaint.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: They're about halfway between space Prussians and space Romans with some Confucianism thrown in for flavor.
** Literally in this last case - since making peace with the humans, a small but growing number of turians have ''taken up Confucianism''.
* FighterMageThief: They're the fighter to the asari mage and the salarian thief.
* FourStarBadass: ''Many'' examples. The Cerberus Daily News brought turian General Partinax to the fore, who dueled Facinus leader Kihilix Tanus. His record is surviving seven duels, 5 to first blood and 2 to the death. The codex also references Admiral Coronati, who managed to defeat the ''Reapers'' in a fight above Palaven using relatively primitive dreadnoughts by using the Reapers' massive size against them.
-->"Knowing that the Reapers' weapons had a longer effective range than any of his own, Coronati made a short, daring FTL jump--landing his dreadnoughts in the middle of the Reaper fleet. The dreadnoughts then turned to line up their main guns on the Reapers, which also needed to turn to fire on the turians. This ploy used the Reapers' size against them--because they could turn faster, and their concentrated firepower downed several Reaper capital ships."
* HonorBeforeReason: Turians are noted to have very heavy social stigma against lying; a turian may choose not to advertise that they committed a crime, but would likely admit to it if directly questioned.
** WillNotTellALie
* HoverTank: They have one, the Jiris. It can traverse any terrain, has powerful kinetic barriers, and has a cannon that shoots homing missiles accurately for over 20 kilometers. Unfortunataely, it never comes up in the game, only being referenced in Cerberus Daily News. It saw heavy use during the War on Taetrus.
* HumanoidAliens
* HumorlessAliens: Compared to most other species, anyway. Turians take discipline and protocol very seriously. Most of the funnier turians (like Garrus) are considered atypical of the species. The fact that turians are uptight fighting machines is one of the reasons the First Contact War was considered one of the ''worst'' ways for the human race to become introduced to Council Space.
** Although they are just as likely to be [[TheComicallySerious Comically Serious]] {{Deadpan Snarker}}s. There's a reason why [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWYUiVfZo9k a certain dancing Turian]] is so hilarious and memorable. And they ''do'' have jokes.
--> ''"[[LightbulbJoke How many humans does it take to activate a Mass Relay?]]"''
** Wrex once said, regarding Garrus, that it was just his luck he happened to know the one turian in the galaxy who thinks he's funny.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Turians take the most direct approach to a problem. They won't hesitate to shoot someone or commit genocide if that's what it takes to end a threat ''permanently''.
** See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.
* GoodRepublicEvilEmpire: Subverted. The turian government is an interplanetary empire, yet it's not evil at all and is a well respected ally of many republics.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Often come across as this. Despite all their friction with humanity, after Earth is invaded by the Reapers, they are the first to step up in ''3'' to offer military aid.
* LawfulStupid: In-Universe, their adherence to following rules lead to their brief war with humanity. Part of the resentment felt by humans is because, while they understand that they were simply enforcing galactic law, the turians never bothered to fire a warning shot or even explain that activating dormant Mass Relays was a felony, before they opened fire on them and proceeded to occupy one of their colonies.
* MasculineLinesFeminineCurves: Perhaps to [[{{Foil}} give them contrast]] with species like the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe asari]], the turians tend to favor more straight lines in the TheAestheticsOfTechnology, their ships and weapons being particularly angular. Even the Turians themselves have a kind of "edged" look to them, with their thin frames and semi-rigid plates on their skin.
* TheMcCoy: To the [[TheKirk asari Kirk]] and [[TheSpock salarian Spock]].
* MirrorChemistry: The majority of the galaxy is based on levo-amino acids, whatever other differences they have. The turians and quarians are the only ones with dextro-amino-based biology. This caused them a lot of trouble during the First Contact War. Since the food on the human colonies they conquered were levo-amino-based, they had to ship in their supplies from the Hierarchy, eventually making their position untenable.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: Turian philosophy is entirely based around this. The turian species as a whole always comes before the turian individual.
* NotSoDifferent: Fought a war with humanity when the two species first met and were the most anti-human of the three council races, but compare the stories of how the two races got their council seats...
* [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Species]]: During the Reaper invasion, they're the only ones who aren't unhelpful [[spoiler: (asari and salarians)]], fighting one another ([[spoiler:quarians and geth, krogan with themselves]]), hindering the war effort ([[spoiler:hanar, the salarian government]]), or decimated ([[spoiler:asari, batarians, rachni]]).
** And it makes perfect sense given their strong militaristic culture mixed with incredible discipline in contrast with the krogan's strong warrior culture with no discipline.
** That said, [[spoiler:they keep a bomb in Tuchanka secret and send in a squad to discreetly remove it rather than face krogan backlash. If Shepard doesn't do the mission to remove it, krogan war assets take a significant hit]].
* PlanetOfHats: Turians are renowned for and proud of their strict adherence to duty and protocol, and the fact that ''every'' member of their species has once served in the military. However, every turian is an outlier. Some turians are funny, laid back, pacifists, hate red tape and everything in between.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Inverted. They're the most militaristic Council race by far, but they place heavy emphasis on discipline, so it's more accurate to call turians a Proud ''Soldier'' Race. It offers a {{Deconstruction}} of the trope as well: the much more proud, physically dangerous and violent krogan were defeated bfy the much-better organized, no-nonsense turians. It also provides an extra nuance to the issue of the Genophage: if it wasn't deployed, the turians would've had to commit genocide.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Subverted, most of the societal values and attitudes detailed for turians seem to be based off old school Prussian values rather than Nazi influence.
* ReligiousBruiser: They named the standard assault rifle of their military the Phaeston, after the turian spirit of creation.
* ShootTheDog: The salarians developed the genophage, but struggled with the moral dilemma of whether to use it to end the Krogan Rebellions. The turians unleashed the genophage instead, ending the Rebellions.
* SpacePolice: The fact that they have the largest fleet in the galaxy (that includes the geth) make them the official peacekeepers of Council Space.
* SpaceRomans: Their species name was derived from "Centurion" in story design phases of the franchise, and their names tend to sound like a cross between roman and alien.
* SuperDrowningSkills: Apparently turians are poor swimmers, according to Garrus in ''MassEffect3''. Makes sense considering the metal skin and apparent lack of body fat.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: See a ColonyDrop as a perfectly legitimate form of warfare. Humanity vehemently disagrees.
* TribalFacepaint: The markings on a turian's face is meant to signify the tribe that he/she belongs to. Tribes that no longer technically exist thanks to a [[CivilWar unification]] in the past, but hey, tradition's tradition. The term 'barefaced' has come to mean someone who is untrustworthy in turian society. [[AcceptableTargets It also means politician.]]
* {{Utopia}}: A right wing, militaristic version. The economy is booming, being the second largest in the galaxy despite their rampant military spending (though they needed the volus to do that), everyone has high standards of living, everyone is a willing civil servant (though the existence of turian mercenaries and rebels indicate that the people who don't want to play by the rules leave), there is full religious and species/racial toleration, and, despite there clearly being classes in the empire, no one is ever abused unfairly. No high ranking general or politician is ever corrupt, and no one powerful ever picks on someone weaker; they all work towards the glory of the empire and the advancement of the common good (it helps there are steep penalties for screwing this sort of thing up, so people who do engage in this sort of thing are quickly dealt with, and the people responsible for putting corrupt/incompetent people into those positions where they can do harm are penalized worse). [[spoiler: They also don't have a bunch of skeletons in their closet, like the asari and salarians.]]
** Not to mention that the turians are so incorruptible that if you ask one point blank if he committed a crime, he'll probably just admit to it right there.
* VitriolicBestBuds: While there is still some tension with humanity due to the First Contact War, both races seem to actually get on with each other far better than they do with the salarians or asari. Both governments also are mentioned as having worked together quite well when building the original ''Normandy'', and nowadays the turians see humans as [[WorthyOpponent worthy opponents]] (see below), despite the fact that only 3% of the population serve in the Alliance Navy. The turians know that if more humans served in the military, they'd be practically unstoppable.
** Potentially become this with the krogan in the ''3'', though the krogan are naturally still bitter about the Genophage.
* WorthyOpponent: What they (grudgingly) consider the humans. The First Contact War (which they refer to as [[ButForMeItWasTuesday the Relay 314 Incident]]) gained the respect of the turians due to the resourcefulness and unconventional tactics of humanity. This has become FriendlyEnemy with some TeethClenchedTeamwork by the time of MassEffect1, and by MassEffect3 the two races are basically VitriolicBestBuds.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Asari]]
!! Asari
[[quoteright:229:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Asari-001_8964.png]]

->''....if you want a problem [[ProudScholarRaceGuy talked to death]], ask an asari....''
-->--'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Thessia

One of the two founding races of Citadel Space alongside the salarians and the most powerful and widespread race in the galaxy, the asari often take the role of diplomats. They are a long lived mono-gendered race, but are seen as female to other species. Asari reproduce by linking their nervous system to another sentient being of any race, and partnerships of two asari are looked down upon by most of the species now, as they believe it restricts genetic diversity (not to mention that Asari born from such a relationship can be "Ardat-Yakshi", a very dangerous mutation) . Their government is a loose federation of nation-states collectively known as the "Asari Republics". All asari have biotic ability, but require training to use it effectively.

Asari are available for multiplayer in 3, and can use the [[SquishyWizard Adept]] and [[MagicKnight Vanguard]] classes. The Resurgence pack adds the [[BarrierWarrior Justicar Adept]] class, and the Retaliation DLC adds [[StealthExpert Huntress Infiltrators]] and Valkyrie Sentinels.

* AbsoluteCleavage: Matriarchs like Benezia and Samara seem to enjoy showing off their... assets.
* AlienBlood: Purple.
* AlienHair: They object to anyone (but themselves) referring to it as "tentacle-hair".
--> '''Liara:''' They're semi-flexible, cartilage-based scalp-crests that grow into shape - and they don't "flop around".
* AmazonBrigade: Any asari force, by virtue of all its members being female.
* BadassArmy: The asari commandos are widely considered to be some of the most dangerous warriors in the galaxy. Even the codex notes that getting into a one-on-one fight with one is practically suicide. Their navy is also the third most powerful in the galaxy, behind the turians and geth.
** There's a turian saying: "The asari are the finest warriors in the galaxy. Fortunately, there are not many of them." Keep in mind though that this is a ''turian'' saying, and they have the largest known military in the galaxy by quite a large margin.
* BlackEyesOfEvil: Subverted with most asari: asari eyes turn black when they "meld", an act that merges their nervous system with anothers that is also how asari reproduce. With [[OutWithABang Ardat-Yakshi]], though, it's played straight.
* [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue-Skinned Space Babes]]
* BoldlyComing: ''[[JustifiedTrope Justified]]''. Asari can mate with any other species, and it's encouraged that they do so. Relations between two asari are considered taboo because the child can be born an Ardat-Yakshi. This unfortunately leads to some in-universe UnfortunateImplications about asari promiscuity.
* BoobsOfSteel: As asari age, their chests seem to grow larger - and [[AbsoluteCleavage they seem to show off their assets as they get older as well.]]
* CantArgueWithElves: Asari have played themselves as this for ''millennia'' and gotten away with it. [[spoiler:It's actually very simple to pull off if you were given a cheat sheet by the most advanced race of the previous [[EternalRecurrence extinction cycle.]]]]
* [[TheChessmaster The Chessmistress]]: Matriarchs, the oldest asari, are said to make plans that are so complicated (often spanning decades or centuries) that most other beings find them incomprehensible. When you have centuries of life left, you don't really mind waiting a decade or two or a plan to pay off.
* [[spoiler: TheChosenOne: The Protheans cultivated early asari civilisation and left them an intact Beacon, having chosen them as the most likely race to defeat the Reapers in the next Cycle. However, they didn't plan on the asari keeping their Beacon a secret even from their own people, so that they were left woefully underprepared when the Reapers came.]].
* CripplingOverspecialization: Their ground forces. The asari military's focus on elite biotic commandos and light infantry instead of a professional, mechanized standing army means that the turians are relied upon as the heavy hitters in any ground conflict. [[spoiler: When the Reapers attack Thessia while the turians are bogged down fighting another Reaper force on their own home front, Thessia falls swiftly once the Reapers win in space because of the lack of a large, standing ground army.]]
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The dominant aesthetic of the asari culture. Even some of their weapons conform to it in ''MassEffect3'', being smooth, white and elegantly curved.
* [[spoiler:[[DoomedHometown Doomed Homeworld]]]]: In the third game.
* EliteMooks: Their entire military is made of up these. While they are [[OneManArmy effective to say the least]], this by consequence makes their military relatively small and unable to wage an effective drawn out war (keep in mind, this is all relative; their actual military is still one of the most powerful in the galaxy), instead relying on the turians for protection.
** EliteArmy: This applies to their warships as well.
* ExoticEquipment: They are renowned for being able to mate (and produce viable offspring) with either gender of any species in existence, due to the unusual nature of their nervous system and reproductive methodology.
* FacialMarkings: Most (but not all) asari have some kinds of marking on their faces, ranging from subtle (Liara) to not-so-subtle (Councillor Tevos). What significance they have, or even if they're natural or artificial, has not been explained.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Of the ancient Greek city-states, apparently.
* TheFederation
* FighterMageThief: The mage in the asari-turian-salarian Trio.
* FlashStep: Asari multiplayer characters do a short-range version of this instead of [[UnnecessaryCombatRoll rolling]].
* TheHecateSisters: A species-wide example. Their life goes as such: once they mature, they spend two hundred years in a state of perpetual wanderlust and thrill-seeking, tending to be mercenaries, explorers, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking strippers]]; a life phase they call the "Maiden" years. Once they hit three hundred, they feel the need to settle down and raise a family; the "Matron" phase. And once they tip over the six hundred point, they retire to become Matriarchs, using their experience and power to lead and advise (politicians, spiritual leaders, and bartenders) - though a very few number of them become [[KnightTemplar Justicars]].
** One of their religions involves worshiping a goddess who vacillates between the three stages as well.
* HomosexualReproduction: [[OneGenderRace Naturally]]. Their unique reproductive method, which is closest to a strange form of parthenogenesis, only requires the partner to have an advanced nervous system to produce offspring.
* [[spoiler:{{Hypocrite}}: They claim that the asari are the most advanced race in the galaxy due to inherent virtues, but they actually have the ''only'' intact Prothean Beacon in the ''galaxy.'']]
** DoubleStandard: The penalties for withholding Prothean technology from the galaxy at large are among the most severe the Citadel enforces. [[spoiler:The asari have secretly used that beacon to become one of the most powerful races in the galaxy - they only admit to Shepard that "something important" is on Thessia ''after it is attacked.'']]
*** Even worse: The asari were the first to discover the Citadel [[spoiler:because of the technological edge gained from the beacon]] and founded the Citadel Council, so they were the ones who created the rule.
** [[spoiler:HidingBehindReligion: The Beacon ''again''. The asari government hid the beacon in their oldest religious site, disguising the knowledge gained from it as "messages from the goddess." They even disguised ''one of the last living Protheans'' as a messiah figure. It's practically a retread of Franchise/AssassinsCreed. InSpace]]
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: Averted. They start to leave childhood at the age of forty, and are legally considered adults at eighty. That's ''forty years of puberty''.
* ImmortalProcreationClause: The ability to choose when to get pregnant means that the asari population stays fairly stable.
* KnightTemplar: The Justicar order, who are generally kept away from other species to avoid a diplomatic incident brought on by their very strict code.
* LadyOfWar: Averted, mostly, with asari commandos -- who are as hard-nosed and physical as most other soldiers in the galaxy. Played straight however, with justicars, if Samara is any indication. Even in the midst of battle, she is very lady-like, maintaining grace and perfect serenity while snapping people's necks.
* [[spoiler:LaserGuidedKarma: The asari were uplifted by the Protheans solely to lead the fight against the Reapers, and were not only given universal biotics, but a fully-operational ''Prothean Beacon'' containing pretty much everything necessary for them to kill Reapers. Not only did they hide the beacon along with all other evidence that the Protheans uplifted them so they could pretend to be [[CantArgueWithElves an inherently superior species]], but when the time came for them to kick Reaper ass, they withdrew to their homeworld, Thessia, and refused to help ''anyone''. Thessia ends up the only homeworld completely and utterly annihilated by the Reapers. The targeting laser for that karma could hit a target in another ''galaxy.'']]
* MagicKnight: Again, asari commandos. Or anyone serving in the asari military.
* MasculineLinesFeminineCurves: Asari architecture and technology is usually very sleek and curved. For example, compare the Disciple shotgun to every other weapon of its type.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: How asari relationships with any other species that isn't asari or krogan tend to turn out. This is a major factor in the asari worldview; asari know that they will outlive several mates, but rather than getting depressed about it, they accept it and enjoy the time they have to live with them.
* MindOverMatter: They are the only species with natural biotics. [[spoiler: In actually, the Protheans altered their entire species to give them all biotics.]]
* [[spoiler:NiceJobBreakingItHero: Its revealed in the third game the Protheans aided in developing their early culture, deeming them the ones most likely to stop the Reapers in the next Cycle. To this end, the Protheans made significant enhancements to the asari - science, politics, universal biotics, even a working Prothean beacon that could be used to prepare the races of the galaxy against the Reapers. Unfortunately, the Protheans didn't count on the asari leadership keeping the beacon under wraps so they could claim to be superior to everyone else. They only send Shepard to retrieve the beacon when the Reapers were kicking down their front door.]]
* NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering: Their government is technically a direct democracy, but in practice they usually defer to any matriarchs (the oldest members of the species) involved. Come MassEffect3, this and [[RefusaloftheCall two]] [[NiceJobBreakingitHero other]] tropes, come into effect.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Apparently, this is one of their hats, in addition to BoldlyComing.
** See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.
* OneGenderRace
* OneWomanArmy: Asari commandos are considered to be the deadliest fighters in the galaxy. Getting into a one-on-one fight against one is practically suicide... unless you're with [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]]. To put it in perspective, you hear two separate accounts of a commando dueling a krogan veteran. In the first case, the battle lasted for ''days'', blew up a space station, and ended in a draw. In the second case, the two of them killed ''each other''.
** This is perfectly summed up by the War Assets entry for the Serrice Guard, a unit of asari commandos. After a space battle with a Blood Pack ship, they and the Blood Pack were forced to crash land on a planet. [[CurbStompBattle Over the course of nine days, the Blood Pack suffered over a hundred casualties from traps, ambushes, and night assaults.]] When the Blood Pack gave up and finally surrendered, they found out that they had only been fighting ''five'' asari commandos. They're like the female alien equivalents of {{Rambo}}.
** The trope is played straight with Justicars, who can handle entire squads alone.
* OurElvesAreBetter: Either subverted or double subverted, depending on how much truth you read into Javik's words to Liara.
** ScrewYouElves: Gianna Parasini from the first and second game seems to really enjoy bringing asari in for their crimes, and she's apparently not the only one who enjoys rubbing it in when the asari screw up, including one of their own Matriarchs, Aethyta, who says that the asari on Thessia "laughed the blue off [her] ass" when she suggested that asari should spend their maiden years doing something more productive than stripping or being mercenaries.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The Ardat-Yakshi. They're asari with a genetic mutation that impairs their ability to MindMeld. In the most extreme cases of the syndrome, this "burns out" their partner's neuro-nervous system, which also allows the Ardat-Yakshi to consume the victim's memories. This is a euphoric experience, and boosts the Ardat-Yakshi's PsychicPowers, so they invariably become addicted to the process. This is why any Ardat-Yakshi is either carefully secluded and monitored, or executed for refusing to submit to the former.
* OutWithABang: The Ardat-Yakshi again.
* PlanetOfHats: Asari can mate with anything, and it's apparent that both their culture ''and'' biology encourage them to (especially in the "Maiden" phase of their lives), and because of their longevity, they also tend to be patient and very willing to learn. However, some asari are not promiscuous (either mating for life or not mating at all), some hate politics, and some are flat out worse {{Blood Knight}}s than the krogan.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Their government makes them the ''last'' space-faring race to stand up to the reapers in MassEffect3, ''regardless of the player's decisions''. [[spoiler: Until [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive it is pretty much]] [[DoomedHometown too late]].]]
** [[spoiler: Also since the Protheans left them a Prothean Beacon and influenced their early civilisation, intending for them to lead the Galaxy against the Reapers in the next Cycle. Instead they kept the Beacon a secret and became the only homeworld to actually fall to the Reapers. So they pretty much refused the call twice. Granted, without a cypher, the thing couldn't be accessed at will, so getting information out of it wasn't exactly easy.]]
* RubberForeheadAliens: They look almost exactly like human women, just with fleshy tendrils (they're cartilage-based crests and semi-flexible, according to Liara in the third game) on top of the scalp, skin that is implied to be scaly in texture by the game's graphics, and natural skin-colors being varying shades of blue or purple.
** Although an overheard conversation at a bachelor party involving a turian, human, and salarian in the second game implies that there's something MoreThanMindControl going on, as all three find the asari stripper attractive for wildly different reasons.
* ShortRangeShotgun: Averted with their shotgun, the Disciple. It doesn't do as much damage as shorter ranged shotguns like the Claymore, but it's very accurate and light. That doesn't mean that it's weak, however.
* SpaceElves
* StrongerWithAge: One of the reasons Matriarchs are so respected. If they get irritated with you, congratulations, you have one of the galaxy's most powerful and patient [[MindOverMatter biotics]] getting medieval on your ass, and she probably has the connections and intelligence to ruin your life a thousand times over.
* TheKirk: To the [[TheMcCoy turian McCoy]] and [[TheSpock salarian Spock]].
* {{Utopia}}: Asari society is the most technological and culturally advanced (not to mention the richest) society in space. [[spoiler: It's revealed in ''3'' that this is due to them secretly hiding a Prothean artifact to ''keep'' them ahead of everyone else]].
* WarriorMonk: The Justicars, with a side-order of KnightErrant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Salarians]]
!!Salarians
[[quoteright:209:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Salarian-001_6518.png]]

->''...if you want a [[NiceJobBreakingItHero NEW problem]], ask a salarian....''
-->'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Sur'kesh

The second race to discover the Citadel and one of the two founding members of the Citadel Council. Their metabolism is much faster than those of other species; on the one hand, this means they're the second shortest-lived sentient beings in the galaxy after the vorcha. On the other, they waste a ''lot'' less of their lives sleeping. They also have 'reproduction contracts' instead of marriages (which Mordin attributes to an inability to sustain courtship emotions). Similar to the asari, the salarian government is collection of clans, families, fiefdoms and duchies collectively referred to as the "Salarian Union". The Council based the Spectre program off the salarian Special Tasks Group, although the Spectres aren't as well-funded - you don't see STG operatives buying their own weapons.

Despite being outnumbered nine-to-one by the males, female salarian 'dalatrasses' (clan / family leaders) wield the most political power on their home-world.

Salarians are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheEngineer Engineer]] and [[StealthExpert Infiltrator]] classes.

* AlienBlood: Green.
* {{Alien Non-Interference Clause}}: Averted. The salarians have a nasty habit of trying to groom primitive races as quick fixes for their problems, which they call "uplifting". This leads Mordin and Padok to argue they should have such a rule, but they seem to be in the minority - see NiceJobBreakingItHero.
-->'''James:''' These lizards like playing God, huh?
-->'''EDI:''' The salarians appear to have learned nothing from the Krogan Rebellions.
* {{Asexuality}}: Most of them are asexual, except in regards to the asari. As for how a species can survive despite being mostly asexual, it's because they're a haploid species. Unfertilized eggs laid by their Dalatrasses (read: family matriarchs) are born as males. Fertilized eggs are born as females. Siring them is dealt with in a business/political agreement fashion ("Reproduction Negotiations"). As such, the majority of the population are males.
* BadassArmy: The salarian military is basically the [[CombatPragmatist pragmatic]] in the galaxy, with loads of dreadnoughts and the best stealth technology. Of particular note is the Salarian Special Task Group, a special forces organization so badass that they are what inspired the Spectres. Their doctrine is actually very similar to humanity's, albeit larger and more advanced: a relatively small volunteer force that relies on crippling the enemy before the war begins instead of slugging it out (humans cripple the enemy ''during'' the war; salarians would rather ensure the war doesn't happen).
* CombatPragmatist: They consider declarations of war to be superfluous and stupid. When they attack, it is without warning and after as much time as feasible gathering intelligence and undermining the enemy.
** They also consider very few measures to be out-of-bounds. One of their research facilities in the third game shows that they were researching altering varren ([[DeathWorld Tuchanka]] wolves) to be ''even more'' powerful, violent, and fast-breeding so they could be dropped onto enemy planets to completely wreck the ecosystem and attack civilian populations. A throwaway note on one planet suggests they're observing certain areas in the Terminus Systems, and any individuals who have the idea of uniting the warring pirates and slaving bands always die mysterious and untimely deaths.
** Their reliance on their intelligence networks turned out to be a devastating weakness when the Reapers attacked, as the salarians' entire doctrine lay in destroying the enemy before conflict even began. Since they didn't virtually own the Reapers' communications network nor could prepare for or target their weaknesses prior to the unexpected attack, the salarian military was left at a severe disadvantage. However, none of that changes the fact that the salarians still do have one of the largest and most advanced navies in the galaxy.
** Basically, they are all about ''avoiding'' having to actually fight the enemy unless necessary, though they are capable fighters when it comes down to it thanks to their huge military, advanced technology, and super power status.
* ExplosiveBreeder: It goes unremarked, but, as the [[AllThereInTheManual in-game codex]] notes, they are "haplo-diploid oviparous amphibians". In other words, female salarians lay dozens of eggs automatically once a year, and they don't need sex to make them hatch; sex merely determines whether or not the eggs will hatch into more females, who will lay more eggs. Salarian worlds are invariably densely populated as a result -- theoretically, salarians can actually ''outbreed the krogan''. This may explain why the salarian home world has much more people than the turian or asari ones, even though the salarians have managed to spread out their population into the colonies; there's just that many of them.
* TheFederation
* FighterMageThief: The thief in the asari-turian-salarian trio.
* ForScience: Practically the salarians [[PlanetOfHats hat]], though it's heavily lampshaded that this ''often'' [[IdiotBall doesn't turn out so well.]]
* GenderRarityValue: Females are rare, influential, and extremely well-protected, due to the reasons listed under {{Asexuality}}. You will never see a salarian female in a combat role unless things are ''very'' dire.
* TheGreys: Or at least the closest equivalent in the Mass Effect setting.
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: Justified, since males vastly outnumber females, and due to GenderRarityValue and simple statistics male salarians are far more likely to be casualties in combat.
* MotorMouth: A few of them. At the very least they talk faster than most other species.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: One of their hats, apparently. Since salarians are hyper-active and have shorter lifespans, they think more for the short term (in contrast to the asari, who think so long-term that they sometimes seem complacent or wishy-washy).
** Case in point, the first few thousand years of galactic war were continuously their fault. They activated the relay which brought the rachni to the universe and started the Rachni Wars; they then uplifted the krogan to defeat the rachni; then they sterilized the krogan in order to stop the Krogan Rebellions. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' then shows that [[spoiler:they were planning to ''secretly'' uplift the ''yahg''. There is ''absolutely no way'' that could possibly have ended well.]]
** See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.
* NotSoDifferent: The basis of salarian civilization; males compete for the right to sire progeny on females, and females barter breeding rights as the source of their authority. Doesn't that sound ''just like post-genophage krogan?''
** Hell, as noted above, salarians are just as much {{Explosive Breeder}}s as the krogan were before being infected with the genophage.
*** Except they aren't nearly as hard to kill as the krogan and have much shorter lifespans even if they aren't as reckless as krogan.
* OverlyLongName: Salarians always introduce themselves shorthand. A salarian's full name includes their personal name, family name, and the city, district, country, planet, star system, and star cluster of their birth.
* PhotographicMemory: As well as bolstering their skill as spies, it helps them keep track of their enormous extended families.
* PlanetOfHats: Salarians aren't very durable or long-lived, but they are expert at covert operations and intelligence gathering. They also tend to be [[PragmaticHero strictly pragmatic]] and amoral. But Mordin and Maelon alone are perfect examples of how widely this can change and vary.
* TheSpock: To the [[TheMcCoy turian McCoy]] and [[TheKirk asari Kirk.]]
* StealthInSpace: All salarian ships are equipped with the same stealth technology as the Normandy, even their dreadnoughts.
* StickyBomb: They manufacture a pistol for their special forces called the Scorpion that shoots blue sticky grenades. Salarian Infiltrators in multiplayer are also fond of them.
* UnderestimatingBadassery: Other species tend to do this. As Mordin points out, while the salarians aren't physically imposing as the other races, their sheer aptitude for stealth and subterfuge, combined with their reputation as "easily dismissable", means that ''no-one'' ever sees them coming.
* WeAreAsMayflies: With a lifespan of around 40 years, they are shortest-lived of the powerful species.
** Then again, since they only need about 1 hour of sleep each night, in active hours per lifetime they're about equal to humans.
* TheWorfEffect: The STG is said (and in the first game, shown) to be a BadassArmy with some of the best technology and training in the galaxy, comparable to the Spectres (except they ''don't'' have to buy their own gear). However, by the time of ''MassEffect3'', Cerberus manages to sneak onto Sur'Kesh undetected and surprise and stomp out an entire base of STG guards with only moderate casualties, with only Shepard being able to help repel them. Campbell even says that, due to Cerberus' technology, the salarians may as well have been throwing rocks.
** WorfHadTheFlu: However, this is due to the salarian preference to end a war before their enemy even knows that it has begun. They were completely blindsided by the Reapers, meaning most of their traditional tactics didn't apply and they didn't expect Cerberus to suddenly get a major technological advantage [[spoiler: due to being augmented by salvaged Reaper tech from the Collector Base]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Humans]]
!! Humans
[[quoteright:219:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Human-001_6644.png]]

->''....But if you want a problem ''[[HumansAreSpecial fixed]]'', ask a human.''
-->--'''Commander Shepard'''

'''Homeworld:''' Earth

The most recent species to enter the galactic scene. Humans are a bipedal race originated from Earth. They are the most culturally and genetically diverse of all of the species in the series. On Earth itself, humanity is still very much divided, with major powers including the [[ExpandedStatesOfAmerica The United North American States]], [[ToGetRichIsGlorious The People's Federation of China]], and the [[UnitedEurope European Union]], but they all agree to project themselves as one faction to the galaxy through the Systems Alliance. They have advanced in galactic politics more quickly than other races, leading to a belief that humans are all impatient bullies. This advancement coupled with humanity's penchant for devising innovative ideas has led to humanity being considered to be something of a WildCard; they are going to change the galaxy, but no one is certain how so.

Humans are one of the races available for multiplayer, and are the only one with access to all the classes and a customizable gender. The Rebellion Pack DLC adds the [[WhipItGood Ex-Cerberus Vanguard and Adept]], and the Earth Pack adds N7 special forces characters for all of the classes, each with unique movesets and abilities.

* AirborneAircraftCarrier: Well, space aircraft carrier. The Alliance was the first known military in galactic history to deploy carriers. They quickly became popular among other races after their introduction.
* TheAlliance: The Systems Alliance, of course.
* AmbitionIsEvil: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]]. Humanity's hat is hyper-ambition. A lot of the aliens you meet don't seem to appreciate the fact that they've been grabbing all the power on the galactic stage in the last forty years.
* AppealToTradition: [[BerserkButton DO NOT]] [[DefiedTrope try this on humans]]. Humanity is unconcerned with how long you've been here, how many generations you've done this, or whose "turn" it is to get their due. All humanity cares about is: how can we get this done, or tell us who won't let us do it, so we can kick their ass.
* ArchEnemy: With the batarians. The Hegemony and the Alliance have been engaged in a proxy war for years in the Skyllian Verge, with Alliance Marines facing off against batarian paramilitires (like Balak's group), with various warlords and pirate bands being backed by both sides to fight the other. The batarian pirates who attacked Mindoir are an example of a Hegemony-backed band, whereas Lord Darius's gang is an example of an Alliance-backed band. MassEffect2 also reveals that the Hegemony is just itching for an excuse to start a war with humanity.
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant: Other races are quietly terrified that this might happen, given that the humans were able to gain the full attention of the turians, having never fought them before, with such a small percentage of humanity's population in the military. Many say that if the turians and humans ever got into a long war with each other, it would wreck a significant portion of the galaxy.
** Used as a BatmanGambit by Udina's predecessor, Ambassador Goyle, in the book ''Literature/MassEffectRevelation''. When an illegal Alliance operation is uncovered, the Citadel Council prepares to sanction humanity back into the Stone Age. Realizing that this would doom humankind to a fate much like the quarians or the krogan (the entire species reduced to a punchline and unable to do anything significant in Council Space for hundreds--if not ''thousands'' of years), Goyle boldly states that if the Council does this, the Systems Alliance will declare war on all Citadel Space. She was aware that humanity wouldn't ever win such a suicidal war, but that if humanity devoted a lot of their resources towards militarization they could inflict enough damage on Council space that the Council just wouldn't see fighting them as worth it.
* BadassArmy: The Alliance military is very small, both on the ground and in space, compared to the other Council races, but an emphasis on maneuver warfare, flexibility, and innovative tactics and technology enable them to match a few larger and more established militaries, like the Batarian Hegemony.
* BerserkButton: After an Asari witnesses Shepard's angry reaction to "Indentured Servants" being sold on Illium, it's heavily implied that Humans are well known for having a no-tolerance approach to slavery. Most races seem to be under the impression this is due to the batarian slave-raids on their colonies, apparently unaware that the majority of [[HumansAreBastards human]] [[DarkAndTroubledPast history]] has given them strong reasons to [[TheAtoner hate slavery]].
* BizarreBabyBoom: Biotic abilities in humans only began to manifest after several starship "accidents" in the 2150s accidentally exposed pregnant women to Element Zero ''in-utero''. As such, most of the first generation of Human Biotics are only around 30 years old.
* BullyingADragon: The Batarian Hegemony's paramilitary attacks on the Alliance are seen as this by some, but in truth the higher military officials know that a war with the batarians is risky for both sides.
* CombatPragmatist: The war doctrine of the Alliance is to quickly cut behind the enemy and destroy key installations, supply lines, and command centers. They're very big on offense; colonies only get token garrisons, but anyone who attacks will have the force of the galaxy's sixth largest navy coming down right on their heads.
** Likewise, their defence strategy boils down to having their Fleets positioned at key nexus points in the Relay Network, so should one of their colonies get attacked, TheCavalry will never be more than a jump or two away.
* {{Determinator}}: Lampshaded by the various races, that despite overwhelming odds, humans ''never'' give up. Turians are excessively disciplined and krogan are outright stubborn, but humans have an uncanny ability to pull off the impossible.
* TheEmpire: Subverted. Aliens fear this from the humans as a whole, but it never really gets as far as they think.
* ExpandedStatesOfAmerica: The United States has been expanded and renamed the United North American States. It now also encompasses Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.
** UnitedEurope: It's mentioned that Europe is also politically active, apparently having become one Nation-State.
*** ''Except'' for the UK. [[WithEuropeButNotOfIt The more things change, the more they stay the same...]]
* FacelessGoons: The standard uniform in the Alliance includes a helmet that completely obscures the wearer's face. Justified in that all Alliance soldiers wear PowerArmor and are expected to be able to fight in hostile environments.
* TheFederation: Back on Earth, there's the United North American States and (possibly) [[UnitedEurope the European Union.]] There's also the Chinese People's Federation, but it's not clear if they really are a federation or just a PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny.
* FantasticRankSystem: The ranking system of the Systems Alliance differs slightly from any modern one. While the Marines are no longer independent of the Navy, they like to keep some of their own ranks out of tradition.
** Several ranks may ''look'' like real-world equivalents, but they really are not. For instance, Kaidan Alenko goes from "Staff Lieutenant", which in US military equivalent ranks would be O-3 (at most), second lowest of the six commissioned officer ranks. to "Major", which is O-4 in USA ranks. Except it isn't in Mass Effect: it's essentially what Colonel is today (O-6).
* HumanityIsInfectious: While there are naturally some exceptions, for the most part, humanity has easily adapted to the galactic scene, showing great enthusiasm and expressing a desire for a deeper role in galactic politics and in protecting it from threats.
* HumanityIsSuperior: Averted early in the series, discussed in the middle, then thoroughly subverted at the end. Starting out, humanity is a middle power in MassEffect; they impressively outclass several pre-established powers militarily, economically, and population-wise, such as the batarians and hanar. However, they aren't even in the same league as the other three Council races. [[spoiler:After the first game, humanity becomes a lot more involved in interstellar politics and appears to be on their way to forming a human-centric regime. However, after Earth is attacked, humanity desperately has to seek allies from the other species, with most of the final war assets coming from those species.]]
* HumansAdvanceSwiftly: Humanity had access to mass effect technology for only seven years and only a few colonies before making disastrous first contact with the Turian Heirarchy. Despite this early mistep, they continued on to become a major political force in the galaxy and subsequently gained a seat on the Council, only ''26 years'' from initial first contact. To put the extent of this achievement into perspective, it often takes ''centuries'' for most races to even reach a lesser status. This comparatively absurd advancement speed with little sign of slowing is part of the reason most races are quietly terrified of the potential of humanity.
* HumansAreAverage: Physically, humans are the middle ground in almost every way compared to other species, which has proven to be an advantage of sorts. Thane's dossier reveals humans are generally easier to assassinate than asari or turians, and Grunt counts them as less hardy than quarians, which may or may not be because of the quarians' environment suits.
** In fact, in multiplayer, humans are the only species that can play ''any'' class.
** Mordin reveals in the second game that Humans have the most genetic variability in the Galaxy, meaning it's nearly ''impossible'' to predict where they can fall on the the biological bell-curve, compared to those of other species. If it weren't highly unethical, this would make them wonderfully valuable as a test group for medical experiments.
*** [[spoiler: Turns out, the Reapers ''agree''.]]
* HumansAreBastards: The most despicable and feared terrorist organization in the galaxy (Cerberus) and the largest NGOSuperpower criminal empire (Blue Suns) are both human organizations (though the Suns have some major batarian influence as well). It puts a bit of a drain on their reputation, especially since Cerberus was formerly an Alliance organization.
* HumansAreLeaders: This is how they see ''themselves'', anyway. And it's embodied by [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Ambassador Udina]] and the [[KnightTemplar Illusive Man]] in the negative sense, and [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Admiral Hackett and David Anderson]] in the positive sense, and Commander Shepard can fall anywhere between them on the scale.
** Although should Shepard have done everything right, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHIAibDr3yM the arrival of the Sword-Fleet]], with ''Normandy'' leading the charge to retake Earth, makes it hard to argue that humanity doesn't honestly deserve this reputation.
** [[RunningGag See the running quote for Renegade Shepard's succinct view.]]
* HumansAreSpecial: Played straight early on, [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] later. In the context of the series, humanity did gain political power rather quick, but that's mostly due to [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] being [[TheMessiah Shepard.]]
* HumansAreWarriors: Human military tactics are considered rather unpredictable by the standards of the other races. Pound-for-pound, humans rival the batarians in might, but lack the sheer brute force of the krogan, the discipline and power of the turian navy, the skill of the asari, or the savvy of the salarians. However, humans are unmatched in maneuverability, flexibility, VI and drone support, and individual initiative. Human tactics are focused around [[VictoryByEndurance striking high-priority targets and supply lines]] rather than wars of attrition. In short, humans are well-known for achieving more with less.
* HumanityIsInsane: Most of the other races tend to have this view.
* JackOfAllStats: According to various comments from other races. They are also the only species able to use every class in the MassEffect3 multiplayer.
** Actually averted on a grand scale. Humanity is not good at everything and terrible at nothing; there are some things that humanity is obviously terrible at when compared to other races (their economy is one of the weakest in Citadel Space, for example) and some things they are better at.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold[=/=]JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: Depending on the ending in the first game. [[spoiler: Despite being, for better or worse, an ambitious and warlike race, humans come to the rescue of the Citadel and prevent a return of the [[OmnicidalManiac Reapers]]. Whether this means saving the entirely alien Council from the jaws of certain death and becoming a part of the wider community, or sacrificing them in favor of fighting Sovereign, is entirely up to Shepard.]]
* MechaMooks: The codex says that the Alliance makes heavy use of drones to compensate for their lack of numbers compared to other species, ranging from flying tripod machine gun turrets to eight foot tall [[MiniMecha YMIR Mechs]] with a machine gun and rocket launcher combo to the anti-tank rocket drones to VI-piloted deep space fighters. In the various Alliance bases gone wrong that Shepard has to come to clean up, there are ''always'' huge amounts of mechs and drones there to defend it. [[AIIsACrapshoot In some cases, the mechs and drones are what killed everyone in the base.]]
* MoralMyopia: Some humans express outrage over the Council not intervening to help them, whereas, as Bethany points out in the third game, they would likely abandon Thessia if it were being invaded by the Reapers.
* PlanetOfHats: When the galaxy was handing out hats, not only did humans knock it to the ground and stomp over it, they then fired a mass accelerator round at the hat shop to serve as an example. What makes humans special is that they ''refuse'' to be marginalized or held back in any way, and that scares the races and makes them question the hats they've been wearing for centuries or even millennia. But this, of course, means that humanity's "pseudo-hats" are ambition and defiance.
* SemperFi: The Marines have completely replaced the army.
* SuperSoldier: By our standards, every Alliance soldier is this. They wear power armor, have deflector shields, receive cybernetic implants and gene therapy, and carry automatic coil guns and rocket launchers, both of which have unlimited ammo. But in the galaxy of Mass Effect, this is just standard stuff.
** The Alliance has their own even-more-super soldiers in the case of the N7 classes. Not exceptionally skilled normal soldiers that become N7s, like Shepard or the base multiplayer characters, but the specialized ultra-elite units that are only playable in multiplayer. They include a biotic ninja who can explode things ''incredibly'' rapidly and teleport, an invisible cyborg with a monomolecular blade that can shoot lasers, a human tank equipped with very heavy PowerArmor which includes a shoulder mounted missile launcher, a wrist mounted grenade launcher, and enhancements for whatever weapon he happens to be holding, and more.
* TankGoodness: The Mako is called a tank by marines, despite technically being an Infantry Fighting Vehicle. But naming aside, it is a fine piece of work; a powerful cannon, a coaxial machine gun, great speed, powerful shields that recharge, room for an equipped fireteam, and it can be dropped from hundreds of meters in the air on to a planet. Plus, like all Mass Effect weaponry, it has effectively unlimited ammo.
* UnusualEuphemism: Humans have a tendency to talk in a ''lot'' of slang, shorthand, as well as use metaphors. This leads to some BluntMetaphorsTrauma from fellow races like the turians, who are utterly perplexed by their manner of speaking and use of bizarre idioms.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With the turians. There might be tension, but these two societies have more in common with each other than with the salarians or the asari. They even co-designed the Normandy with the turians.
* WeAreAsMayflies: Humans in this setting are 'lucky' to break one century, but can reasonably live for as long as a hundred and fifty years. The trope is played straight with asari and krogan, who both live to be over 1,000 years. It's averted with most other species, who have similar lifespans, and with the salarians, whose fast metabolisms gives them maximum lifespans of just 40 years. Even worse are the vorcha, who can count themselves lucky to see 20.
* WildCard: Given the relative newness of humanity on the galactic stage, most races aren't really sure how to predict human behavior.

[[/folder]]

!Citadel Associate/Client/Protectorate Races

[[folder:Drell]]
!! Drell
[[quoteright:193:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Drell-001_9966.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Rakhana

Overpopulation left the drell planet polluted and starved of resources before the species had even developed fusion power. The hanar saved hundreds of thousands of them as their world died; in gratitude, many drell choose to serve the hanar in some fashion under "The Compact", becoming part of the Illuminated Primacy. Do ''not'' compare this with slavery within drell earshot: "Anyone can refuse to serve. Few do. We owe our existence to the hanar. We are proud to repay the debt."

Unfortunately, the transition hasn't been seamless. The drell are built for a world where water is in short supply, but it rains every day on the hanar homeworld. Their lungs can't handle the moisture, and a terminal disease known as 'Kepral's Syndrome' often occurs in late adulthood.

Drell are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[SquishyWizard Adept]] and [[MagicKnight Vanguard]] classes. Retaliation adds Assassin Infiltrators.

* CadreOfForeignBodyguards: To the hanar.
* ChildSoldiers: Thane recalls training as an assassin and getting his first kill when he was twelve.
* FragileSpeedster: Relative to the other races. They're quick on their feet even without Charge and can use martial arts and acrobatics at short range, but their barriers are the weakest of any class, and they have the third lowest health behind the geth and volus.
* [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Green Skinned Space Hunk]]: The male versions of the species were specifically designed to be the {{Spear Counterpart}}s to the asari. We never see the females.
* GutturalGrowler: We meet all of three drell (four including the multiplayer), all male, and they all have raspy voices.
* HumanoidAliens
* IOweYouMyLife: The compact between the drell and hanar was formed after the hanar saved as many drell as possible from their dying homeworld.
* [[spoiler: KillEmAll: If Shepard fails to stop the Indocrinated Hanar in ''MassEffect3'', the Drell are most likely are amongst those exterminated when the Kahje falls to the Reapers, leaving both races extinct.]]
* PhotographicMemory: Though they can't always control them. When they're concentrating, they're fine. But when idly recalling memories, they'll often get locked into [=PTSD=]-style flashbacks. Depending on the memory, it can be a good thing. Or a very not good thing. Like the day you met your wife. Or the day you get shot in the knee. Some also decide to abandon the present and live in the past.
* ServantRace: Willingly serve the hanar, though they certainly don't see it that way.
* TheReptilians
* UndyingLoyalty: To the hanar.
* [[WalkingTheEarth Wandering The Galaxy]]: Many drell who do not choose to join in the Compact instead opt to wander around the galaxy, partaking in other cultures and species.
* WeAreAsMayflies: Drell on Kajhe, given as much medical attention as the hanar can grant them, have an average life span of eighty years. For comparison, thanks to their own medical advances the average human, turian, batarian, or quarian life span in the MassEffect universe is one hundred and fifty.
** However, this might be due to being ill-suited to the moist environment of Kahje, which commonly leads many Drell to suffer Kepral Syndrome. In a more arid environment, it's possible that their life expectancy is much longer.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Hanar]]
!! Hanar
[[quoteright:225:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hanar-001_4345.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Kahje

The hanar, who refer to their government as the "Illuminated Primacy", live in the oceans and communicate through bio-luminescence, which makes adapting to galactic society more of a challenge for them. Other species mainly know them as 'those excessively polite jellyfish who worship the Protheans.' They also saved the drell from total extinction nearly a century pre-series.

* BewareTheNiceOnes: Their hat is being excessively polite, and they can't even hold guns. So you wouldn't think they'd be dangerous combatants, right? Well, according to certified {{Badass}} Zaeed Massani, they can be deadly if they manage to get those tentacles around your throat. Furthermore, they're literally out of their element when dealing with most people since they're an aquatic race. On their homeworld, they're ''predators''.
** {{Lampshaded}} InUniverse with the movie series "Blasto: the Hanar Spectre," itself an AscendedMeme from the BioWare fandom.
-->'''Blasto''': This one doesn't have time for your solid waste excretions (opens fire).
** Addressed by Shepard, who is amazed to learn that the Hanar often train drell to serve as their ''[[CadreOfForeignBodyguards assassins]]''.
--> '''Shepard''': The ''hanar''? The excessively polite race that worship the Protheans?
* CombatTentacles: Zaeed had to wear a neck brace after tangling with one.
* EliteArmy: Sort of. They don't really have an army; just a bunch of special forces and assassins in the form of the drell. They ''are'' known to possess at least one fleet, but this fleet is small and weak compared to a turian, salarian, human, or asari fleet.
** It's revealed in the third game that their planet relies mostly on automated defenses.
* [[StarfishAliens Jellyfish Aliens]]
* [[ThankTheMaker Thank The Enkindlers]]: The Hanar worship the Protheans as Gods, whom they refer to as "The Enkindlers", believing they were the ones who gifted them with the gift of consciousness and speech.
** [[spoiler: Possibly confirmed by Javik in ''3'', who notes they probably could have taught them to speak ''better'']].
* ThirdPersonPerson: The hanar uniformly refer to themselves as "this one" when speaking with others unless (we are told) they're very close - or, as in the case of [[http://youtu.be/2KyjhPWehZo Regards the Works of the Enkindlers in Despair]] - they're being very rude.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:If you failed to save Kahje in the Hanar Diplomat side quest in MassEffect3, a news report will inform you that the planet quickly fell to the Reapers and they exterminated its entire population.]]
** [[spoiler:Made worse when you realise that, due to their UndyingLoyalty to the hanar, the drell living on Kahje most likely remained to fight alongside them, leading to their race becoming extinct as well.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Volus]]
!! Volus
[[quoteright:224:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Volus-001_343.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Irune

The volus tend to be great businessmen and run many of the galaxy's wealthiest corporations. Their skin cannot withstand the types of atmospheres that other species live in, so when not on their worlds they wear exosuits which cover their entire bodies. Although the volus were the third species to discover the Citadel, their small military has led to them being denied a seat on the Council because they are unable to make the contributions to galactic security that are expected of the Council races. To compensate for their small military, the volus have become a client race of the Turian Hierarchy, officially dubbing themselves the "Vol Protectorate", lending their economic know-how to the turians in exchange for turian protection.

Retaliation makes them available for multiplayer and adds volus [[SquishyWizard Adepts]], [[TheEngineer Engineers]], [[TheRedMage Mercenary Sentinels]], and [[MagicKnight Protector Vanguards]].

* BadassAdorable: Thanks to Retaliation. There's something hilarious about watching tiny mole-people kick ass alongside the rest of the galaxy. It's probably not as funny for their enemies.
* TheChewToy: Mass Effect's designated go-tos for comic misfortune. They just ''look'' goofy; about half a human's height but easily twice the width, round enough to roll, with little slot-mouths, and some peculiarity of their suit-design ensures their faces have dangling artificial "jowls" that cause them to look perpetually comically glum.
* TheClan: Their entire society descends from this type of culture. Their name for themselves is "Vol-Clan".
** They also refer to others in this fashion, notably calling the Quarians "Clanless", implying that their understanding of Clan is tied to Homeworlds. Friendlier or more considerate Volus call them Migrant-Clan or Star-Clan.
* ClingyCostume: Not only do they live in ammonia-heavy atmospheres, they also live in high-pressure environments. So without the suits, not only will they suffocate, they'll ''burst''.
* CoolStarship: The volus navy has only one dreadnought. Said dreadnought is also one of the single most advanced warships in the galaxy, outfitted with a [[WaveMotionGun spinal Thanix cannon]]. You can recover this dreadnought in ''MassEffect3'' and add it to your war assets.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Quite a few of them. Their culture is primarily mercantile and they essentially created (and run) the Citadel economy, so they almost literally wrote the book.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: They view themselves as TheChewToy of the galaxy, and with some reason. Despite being one of the first races to inhabit the Citadel thousands of years ago, they're extremely annoyed humans were given a Council seat in only three decades. With their physical weakness off-planet, being forced to wear pressure suits off their homeworld, and their VaderBreath VerbalTic thanks to their rebreathers, they get treated like crap as well. This, despite being the main merchant class of the galaxy.
** In fact, when visiting the Council for the first time, a turian and salarian will be discussing the volus clinging to the coattails of the humans if they get a Council seat, and the salarian states the ''hanar'' and the ''elcor'', in ''that order'' will be joining the Council before the volus do. Talk about HilariousInHindsight.
* ExplosiveDecompression: Justified; since the volus come from a very high-pressure world, exposure to atmospheres that other races find comfortable will cause them to burst like some species of Earth's deep-sea fish.
* TheFaceless: By necessity. We have less idea what they look like than we do the quarians.
* FantasticRacism: The volus descend from a clan-like culture, something they take ''very'' seriously. Due to the quarians being exiled from their world by the geth, some volus have taken to insulting refer to them as "Clan-less".
** Though more considerate volus have been seen to refer to them as "Migrant-Clan" or "Star-clan".
* GadgeteerGenius: Their secondary hat. Perhaps the biggest conglomerate in the galaxy, Elkoss Combine, is volus-owned[[hottip:*:You can pass by the president, Rupe Elkoss on the Citadel in the third game conversing with a naive human woman]], and it specializes in reverse-engineered cheap alternatives to a vast variety of products. Two war assets you can acquire in Mass Effect 3 are a highly modular volus fabrication system and a team of Elkoss Combine engineers skilled at reverse-engineering things.
* GlassCannon: They have some powerful abilities in multiplayer, but can't take that much damage (in fact, they have the lowest health).
* HeavyWorlder
* JokeCharacter[=/=]LethalJokeCharacter: Moderate shields, low HP, so short that they just stand behind cover rather than duck, and they trade melee skills for a poor man's cloak and an emergency shield. On the plus side, they can buff everyone's shields and have abilities like Stasis and Recon Mine.
* LetsGetDangerous
* TheMedic: Volus classes in multiplayer can restore the shields of nearby allies every few seconds.
* ProudMerchantRace
* SpaceJews: Far from [[StarWars toydarian]] levels though.
* TalkingLightbulb: Not only that, but they also have lights on their suits where a human would have eyes, which blink periodically as human eyes would.
* TookALevelInBadass: Prior to their addition to multiplayer, you never even hear of any volus combatants[[note]](Though the in game codex does note that the Volus military serves as an auxiliary force to the Turian military of which it is nominally a part, though they are usually relegated to support roles as the Turians do most of the fighting)[[/note]].
* VaderBreath: Often played for comedy.
--> '''C-Sec officer:''' I need you to take a deep breath and calm down, sir.
--> '''Kor Tun:''' You're mocking *hhhkkk* me, *hhhkkk* Earth-Clan!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Elcor]]
!! Elcor
[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Elcor-001_6338.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Dekuuna

The elcor are natives of Dekuuna, a world with incredibly high gravity. As a result of living on a world where even falling down can be lethal, the elcor have developed a very patient culture. The elcor speak in monotones, but use scent and subtle facial cues to indicate the tone of what they are saying. Since other species cannot perceive these cues, elcor who frequently interact with other species are trained to prefix their speech with an emotive indicator.

* BewareTheNiceOnes: They tend to be cautious, polite, and slow. They can also punch holes in bulkheads and make very good bouncers, and their standard armaments would be considered heavy caliber or artillery by other species. The Codex entry simply states they're slow to anger, but when they're pissed, ''look out''. The human at Purgatory in Omega in ''MassEffect2'' is treading thin ice, as the elcor bouncer is the first and only time players see an annoyed elcor.
* CreepyMonotone: Only because they don't express emotion through tone of voice.
* [[spoiler:DroppedABridgeOnHim: In ''3'', even if you successfully accomplish the Diplomat's side mission, the elcor are hammered to the brink of extinction. When Shepard asks how many were saved, the Diplomat pauses, brings his head down and answers "Not... ''enough''".]]
* HeavyWorlder: A straight example of this trope, which is why they stand and walk on all four of their limbs. This has also affected their psychological development, inclining them to be careful and conservative, carefully considering every action before taking it. This is due to evolving on a world where falling down due to a misstep can result in a serious, potentially fatal, injury.
* IDoNotSpeakNonverbal: They sound like a whole species of Eeyores, although some of them have started hacking translators to get around this.
** Because of this, it's mentioned that Francis Kitt's seminal [[AlienArtsAreAppreciated all-Elcor peformance]] of ''{{Hamlet}}'' is over ''14 hours'' long!
* MightyGlacier: They are very slow, but their hides are bulletproof and they can use what other species would consider to be [[ShoulderCannon vehicle mounted weaponry]] as personal arms.
* OffScreenMomentOfAwesome: ...But you never see any elcor combatants, even if you recruit them to the cause in ''3''.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When Shepard asks how many Elcor civilians the evacuation teams managed to save in ''3'', the Diplomat, who prefaced every previous line by stating his current emotion, simply says "Not...''enough''". It's ''that'' obvious how upset he is.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Justified. See above.
** This is especially evident in the case of a DeadpanSnarker elcor in ''Deception''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Krogan]]
!! Krogan
[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Krogan-001_3852.png]]

->''You ask a krogan if he'd rather find a cure for the [[DepopulationBomb genophage]] or [[HiredGuns fight for credits]], he'll chose fighting - [[BloodKnight every time]]. [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy It's just who we are]].''
-->--'''Urdnot Wrex'''

'''Homeworld:''' Tuchanka

The krogan originated on the DeathWorld of Tuchanka, which made them an extremely resilient - and violent - species. These traits have caused them to have a very troubled relationship with the other Council species; the physiology which makes them so difficult to kill (which includes, among other things, duplicate and even triplicate organs and redundant vital systems) made them crucial to ending the Rachni Wars, but once they were allowed to settle other planets, their population exploded and they began moving in aggressively on worlds already settled by other species, leading to the Krogan Rebellions and the introduction of the [[SterilityPlague genophage]]. Most krogan encountered around the galaxy are hired thugs of one brand or another.

Krogan are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheRedMage Sentinel]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldier]] classes. The Resurgence pack adds [[MagicKnight Battlemaster Vanguard]], and Retaliation adds Shaman Adepts

* AlienBlood: Orange.
* AlienNonInterferenceClause: A poster child for this Trope. According to Eve and Mordin, the Krogan would have been a whole lot more peaceful had they been allowed to advance scientifically at their own pace, instead of being "uplifted" by the salarians to fight in a nasty war.
* AppealToForce
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority
* AttackAttackAttack: They were strong enough to wage war on the rest of the galaxy 1,200 years ago, but that was back when they had an empire of hundreds of planets and fleets of dreadnoughts. Many krogan still seem to think that they are living in those days and that the only thing stopping them from conquering the galaxy is the genophage, not their disunity, or their lack of industrial capacity, or their lack of fleet, or them not having any territory other than a burnt-out husk of a planet that keeps trying to eat them. Mordin shows concern in his loyalty mission that if the genophage is cured, the krogan will try to get "revenge" on the Council and end up getting wiped out by the turians and humans for their trouble.
* BadassArmy; Even with the genophage wrecking their numbers and their homeworld in a state of VideoGame/{{Fallout}}-style post-apocalyptic decay, the krogan are still able to field an army that makes the other species' contributions look meager. This is exemplified in the War Assets in ''3'': a unified krogan force under Wrex, with Eve keeping them under control, can contribute more to your ground assets than any other species save the geth. They're also the only race that takes the "Army" in BadassArmy completely literally. Unlike the humans or turians who have a {{Badass}} SpaceNavy, the krogan military is entirely based on ground troops, as their fleet was decommissioned at the end of the Krogan Rebellions.
* BadassPreacher: The Krogan Shamans, who endure trials that most races would consider too brutal even for [[TrainingFromHell special forces training]], simply because they must fully prepare themselves for their role as a guardian of their sacred traditions and rites. They are available as biotic specialists in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' multiplayer, and are the [[MadeOfIron most robust]] out of all the adept-class characters.
* {{Berserker}}: This is what happens when a krogan enters "Blood Rage". They basically switch to a primitive, instinctual mindset driven to kill or destroy whatever's near them with little Friend or Foe recognition. It's explained that this is a result of their redundant biological systems -- when a krogan's life is endangered enough that a secondary system becomes necessary, their body "reboots" itself for a moment and the rush of blood and adrenaline causes them to go berserk.
* BloodKnight
* TheClan: Like the volus, they have a tribal clan culture, though based less around barter and more around murder.
* ColonyDrop: Abused this tactic frequently during the Krogan Rebellions. Particularly large asteroids even rendered several turian planets completely uninhabitable.
* CombatPragmatist: When they started to lose the Krogan Rebellions, due to the superior navy fielded by the turians, they resorted to just throwing asteroids at turian colonies. Cheap, effective, and it didn't require anything more expensive than a bunch of pissed off krogan with fusion torches. Use of these as weapons were banned by the Council races, but the krogan didn't have a problem with it.
** Their weapons are very clearly designed for utility and brute power, fitting their culture. Their guns are heavy, ugly, blocky, crude, and have high recoil, but they will kill what they're pointed at in short order.
* CrazyPrepared: The Krogan created the ''Graal Spike Thrower'' as a shotgun specifically designed to ''hunt'' Thresher Maws, possessing blades that can cause massive internal damage should the wielder be swallowed alive. Only the krogan would design a shotgun entirely around the eventuality of ''being eaten alive'' and wanting to take your devourer down with you.
* DeathWorld: They come from one.
** [[MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong Mother Tuchanka Makes You Strong]]
* DyingRace: Unless someone turns the genophage around. In the third game, [[spoiler:you can do just that, or only make the krogan think you did]].
* EliteMooks: Every krogan ever encountered who's not a boss.
* EnemyCivilWar: Tuchanka is constantly locked in warfare between clans. Political borders on Tuchanka are determined solely by the range of a clan's artillery weapons and the strength of their defence cannons.
* ExoticEquipment: To quote Garrus:
-->"Some krogan believe that testicle transplants can improve their virility, counteract the genophage. It doesn't work, but that doesn't stop them from buying. Ten thousand credits each, that makes forty thousand for a full set. Someone's making a killing out there..."
* ExplosiveBreeder: Part of their evolutionary response to Tuchanka. Once taken out of those conditions, their population exploded. Hence the genophage, which causes miscarriages and stillbirths in 99.9% of pregnancies.
* ExtremeOmnivore: Krogan find just about anything appetizing, and can and will eat anything that has the slightest amount of nutrition. Regardless of whether or not it's stopped moving. Or if it can talk. [[DoesNotLikeSpam Except ramen.]]
** Hell, even turian food, which is known to ''kill'' levo-amino-acid-based races, just gives them the runs.
* FluffyTamer: Much like the Human domestication of wolves over time into dogs, the Krogan have (mostly) tamed the Varren found on Tuchanka. We see in the second game, they use them for pit-fighting and as guard dogs. Indeed, it's mentioned that the Varren named Urz at the Urdnot camp is a former pit champion, yet, feed him and he will follow Shepard around like an overgrown ''[[BigFriendlyDog puppy]]''.
** Averted with '''Kalros'''. The Krogan aren't stupid, they know to stay the hell away from "the mother of all Thresher Maws".
* {{Giant Mook}}s: Though they aren't ''technically'' much taller than a human or asari, and this height is from the humps on their backs - their heads are actually a good level lower than those of humans and asari, leading to many conversations where krogan look ''up'' to talk to other people, they are a lot bulkier.
* HADToBeSharp: Well, they did ''evolve'' on a DeathWorld. This explains their incredibly resilient biology, as well as the fact that every profession, from engineers to diplomats to scientists to shamans, go about their business with warrior and survivalist mindsets.
** One thing pointed out on [[TheWikiRule the game's wiki]] is that krogan have eyes on the sides of their heads. Predator species (felines, canines, monkeys... humans) have forward-facing eyes for better focus and depth perception, which helps in the hunt - estimating distances to pounce and such. Prey species (bovines, equines, rodents, etc) have side-eyes, which sacrifices focus for much better peripheral vision so they can see any predators coming and flee. Let's repeat: krogan are Tuchanka's equivalent of ''rabbits''. Well, when your planet's deadliest predators are massive acid-spitting {{Sand Worm}}s... everything is prey.
* HandCannon: The only krogan pistol we see, the Executioner, only holds one shot per 'clip' but does more damage than most sniper rifles. Justified, because it's designed by krogan to kill other krogan.
* HealingFactor
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: They mature fast, and age ''very'' slowly. We don't even know what the natural krogan lifespan is, other than the fact that they can easily outlive asari. The only reason there aren't more ancient krogan around is that they tend to meet violent ends.
* ImmortalProcreationClause: Their [[ExplosiveBreeder complete disregard of this]], coupled with their naturally aggressive natures, is what led to the Krogan Rebellions.
* KillItWithFire: The best way to take down a krogan enemy is with incendiary ammo or a fire based ability. It stops them from regenerating, and burns through the armor they're quite likely to have.
* KlingonPromotion: The preferred method, even among their scientists.
* [[KlingonScientistsGetNoRespect Krogan Scientists Get No Respect]]: Aside from Warlord Okeer and Clan Urdnot's resident scientist, Krogan Scientists are actually so rare that most races doubt they exist, if they even consider Krogan intelligent enough to have scientists ''at all''. It's a peculiar self-enforced variant as well. The Urdnot scientist under Wrex complains endlessly that he's forced to waste his time on "things that don't explode" like agriculture, medicine, transport...
** The Clan Urdnot Mechanic says that he gets very little respect from people, even though at the end of the day ''somebody'' has to maintain all the guns.
* LightningBruiser: In the first game, almost all krogan enemies were this. In the second game, they lose the "lightning" part and quite a bit of the bruiser, becoming much slower and weaker. In the third game, the krogan multiplayer characters, ''especially'' the Battlemaster, play this straight again.
* MagicKnight: Krogan battlemasters have biotic abilities such as Warp and Barrier while still retaining the healing factor, durability, and brute strength of normal krogan.
** It's mentioned that biotic abilities amongst krogan were somewhat rare even before the genophage. Any krogan you encounter who has biotic power (such as Wrex) is most likely over a [[BadassGrandpa thousand years old]], making them a particularly EliteMook.
* NailEm: One of their shotguns, the Graal Spike Thrower, shoots spikes that cause bleed damage and decapitate people with headshots.
* OneManArmy: Any krogan warrior is dangerous, but krogan battlemasters in particular are, alongside asari commandos, arguably the deadliest fighters in the entire galaxy...with the exception of Shepard. The two times you hear about a fight between an asari commando and a krogan battlemaster, one ended in a draw[[note]]while they killed a ''space station''. Literally. Most of the people on it survived, but the station itself didn't.[[/note]] and the other killed both.
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: Pretty much fit squarely within the ''Blizzard Orc'' mold in everything but appearance.
* OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture: Krogan weapons are all very boxy. Most notably the Claymore shotgun, which looks like a brick with a trigger.
* PlanetOfHats: Due to living on a DeathWorld, the krogan have grown to be proud {{Social Darwinist}}s. Unfortunately, this also gave them the circular logic of thinking that anything that's destroyed/killed must have been weak, or else it wouldn't have been destroyed. Along with their extremely tough physiques, this callous attitude towards violence and death made them perfect shock troops against the rachni, but served them badly in relation to the rest of the galaxy. They've spent thousands of years paying the price for it, and Wrex and/or Eve are the only ones who seek to change it.
** It also contributed greatly to their fall. After their defeat in the Krogan Rebellions, they began subconsciously seeing themselves as weak, and so made no effort to build themselves back up until a few influential krogan snapped them out of it.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: DeconstructedTrope. The krogan are all afflicted with a SterilityPlague, but their culture hasn't adapted; rather than work to overcome the genophage and preserve krogan lives, they just keep hiring themselves out as mercenaries and engaging in civil wars. Thusly, they are slowly but surely [[DyingRace dying out]].
** The krogan built devices known as "Maw Hammers" whose entire purpose is to summon thresher maws. Let me repeat that to make it clear: ''they built devices to '''summon''' thresher maws so they could fight them.''
*** Moreso, surviving against a thresher maw is part of their adulthood rite. If they actually manage to kill it, they are considered highly skilled.
* PutTheLaughterInSlaughter: Several Krogan characters can be heard laughing gleefully as they kill an enemy. Krogan {{Player Character}}s in multiplayer are no exception.
* TheReptilians
* RagnarokProofing: Their architecture is built with this in mind. Justified as it's mentioned that the reason why ''hospitals'' on Tuchanka are built like bunkers is because of the tendency of injured krogan to enter Blood Rage, which makes them literally destroy ''anything'' in their path.
** Shepard and team encounter ancient temples and underground tunnels in ''3'' which have remained remarkably well preserved for nearly a thousand years or more. Most party members are naturally quite taken aback about how impressive the ancient krogan's engineering prowess was.
** Clan Urdnot's base of operations seems to be an old nuclear missile silo. It's remarkably well-preserved considering that the nuclear war that nearly wiped out the Krogan occured over 2000 years ago! And given all of the various rubble strewn around, one seriously doubts that anyone has been maintaining it for this long either.
* RiteOfPassage: In order to determine their worthiness to a clan, all krogan must undergo a trial when they reach adulthood. Clan Urdnot's rite, at least, involves killing things. Lots of things. [[spoiler: And then surviving five minutes of a thresher maw spitting acid at you (unless you're ''so'' badass you actually kill it).]]
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: They certainly seem to think so. If you encounter a krogan enemy, there is a 95% chance that it is wielding a shotgun.
** FridgeBrilliance when you realize that because their eyes are set wide like on a prey animal, they lack the ability to focus over long distances, which makes shotguns, with their short range effectiveness, the most practical weapons of choice for them.
*** Plus they are tough enough to just charge straight into the thick of things, and they are just as likely to punch/headbutt enemies.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Self-destructive tendencies aside, the majority of the krogan run into in the series come off as just as intelligent (sometimes even moreso) as any other species in the galaxy, despite being stereotyped as brutes with less than average intelligence.
* SpareBodyParts: They have two, three or four of damn near everything important (that includes nervous systems and testicles). Wrex makes an offhand comment about how great a redundant nervous system is when told how Shepard got spaced, only to be told humans don't have them.
-->'''Wrex:''' Oh. That must have been painful, then.
* StayInTheKitchen: A somewhat complicated case. Female krogan are not warriors. They have to breed if they're fertile; if they aren't, they're CannonFodder. Some clans even share their females. But unlike other examples, this is not because of misogyny as such. Thanks to the genophage, a fertile female is ''the'' most valuable resource of the krogans, followed only by a healthy baby krogan, and the krogan would much rather see a thousand males dead than one fertile female risked in battle. In fact, it's implied in 3 that the krogan society was a matriarchy instead of a patriarchy before the genophage reduced them near extinction; and there are one or two mentions of Shiagur, a female Battlemaster who parleyed her fertility into an enormous, ferociously loyal army under her command, and pursued a very successful career in piracy. Upon her death at the hands of a turian, her followers massacred hundreds of turians in revenge.
* TankGoodness: You see krogan vehicles are all over Tuchanka. One in particular, the Tomkah, is a ''huge'' IFV that's referred to as a tank. It makes the Mako look puny in comparison, probably because it's meant to carry krogan. Note that this doesn't mean it's any more durable against Thresher Maws...
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Krogan weapons tend to be this when used on other species, like humans, because they were designed to kill [[MadeOfIron other krogan]]. For example, there's the Striker, an automatic krogan assault rifle that shoots explosive shells.
* TrueCompanions: Their word for this is 'krantt': those willing to kill and die on your behalf. It's actually one of the ''nicer'' parts of their culture - you don't have to be the toughest, you just need to have good friends.
-->'''Shaman:''' Not every krogan can be the strongest warrior, but each must inspire his peers to battle at his side.
** It's also rather surprising how accepting the krogan are of krantts comprised of other species. They don't even really object to Grunt chosing Shepard to be his Battlemaster. Only one does, and his agenda has nothing to do with xenopohobia.
* [[spoiler: UndyingLoyalty: To humanity, and Shepard in particular, if Shepard chooses to cure the Genophage in ''3''. Wrex vows that Shepard's name will now mean "Hero" in their language and expresses near the end of the game, that since Earth is basically ''ruined'', that the krogan would willingly offer space on Tuchanka for refugees. This is particularly telling since as {{Explosive Breeder}}s, the krogan are going to be hard pressed for space as it is! They also give the largest amount of military forces in the game outside of the Alliance.]]
* UseYourHead: How krogan show dominance. It is also their melee attack in multiplayer.
** It's not uncommon to see krogan players headbutting each other between waves.
** Also [[JustifiedTrope justified]]. The krogan have large chitinous plates on their heads to absorb impact. These start out as lots of separate little plates on krogan youth, which expand and calcify into one large rigid plate after the krogan becomes an adult.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Can become this with the turians in the third game under the right conditions, but these include [[spoiler:curing the genophage]].
* WarriorPoet: Krogan Shamans, who command a lot of respect for being the ones who keep their spirituality and traditions alive.
** The krogan ruins encountered in the third game show that the krogan were once artistic. Their works are blocky, but highly coloured and indicative of a strong aesthetic sense.
* YourSizeMayVary: The codex says that krogan are usually over seven feet tall. They're a full foot shorter than that in-game.
* ZergRush: Traditional krogan tactics were built on attritional mass-unit warfare - foot-soldiers equipped with cheap, rugged gear to overwhelm the enemy with sheer numbers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Keepers]]
!!Keepers
[[quoteright:217:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Keepers_Codex_Image_6411.jpg]]

'''Homeworld:''' The Citadel

The keepers are an insectoid race that inhabit the Citadel. They do not ackowledge the other species and all they do is maintain the Citadel, which they seem to understand better than anyone else who lives there. It is generally believed that the Protheans created them, but no-one knows how they sustain themselves or where they even get the materials for their repairs. [[spoiler:It is revealed that they are older than the Protheans and are used by the Reapers to open the Citadel relay so that they can pass through and wipe out galactic civlization.]]

* BeneathNotice: Absolutely nothing is known about them, but, like the Mass Relays themselves, they're so useful no-one seriously questions their origins.
* ChekhovsArmy
* DemotedToExtra: Barely appear in the second and third games.
* [[spoiler:TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: What makes them really effective plot-wise is that the player is trained just like the rest of the galaxy to forget all about them. They appear in only one time-consuming sidequest and are little more than background. It makes TheReveal so much more personal: ''you'', the player, were just as fooled as everyone else.]]
* InfiniteSupplies: No-one is quite sure how they are about to scrounge materials for maintenance of the Citadel. However, it's common knowledge that the Keepers will recycle any dead bodies left lying around into the stations protein vats, the source of most of the food on the Citadel. ''[[ImAHumanitarian Bon appetite]]''.
* InsectoidAliens
* SelfDestructMechanism: Attempts to examine them too closely will cause them to vaporize themselves. This is to prevent anyone from discovering their true nature. One salarian manages to build a scanner that can examine them without triggering the Mechanism, and he more or less deduces their origin - long after Shepard found out the hard way, of course.
* [[spoiler:ShmuckBait: Their entire purpose. They were designed to look friendly and benign and help other organic species feel right at home on the Citadel without taking the time to study it or learn how it works. All so the Reapers could use the Citadel to invade when the harvest began.]]
* [[spoiler:SlaveRace: Hinted at. Their origins are never made clear, but there's in-universe speculation they went through the same process as the Collectors.]]
* [[spoiler:SpannerInTheWorks: Over time, they eventually stopped responding to the Reapers and responded only to the Citadel. Once the prothean scientists on Ilos woke up, they sabotaged the Citadel so that it wouldn't respond to the Reaper sentinel left behind (Sovereign), giving the current cycle a slim fighting chance that probably no cycle before had... thus preventing the Keepers from turning the Citadel into the Reaper Front Door.]]

[[/folder]]

!Non-Citadel Space

[[folder:Quarians]]
!! Quarians
[[quoteright:224:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Quarian-001_6655.png]]

-> ''[[FandomNod It's always the same thing.]] "[[IllGirl Ooh, she could get sick.]] [[{{Moe}} Ooh, she's vulnerable.]] [[WildMassGuessing I wonder what she looks like under the helmet]]."

'''Homeworld:''' Rannoch

The quarians were a former associate-level member of the Citadel, until their AI servants, the geth, overthrew them when the quarians attempted to exterminate them following the realization they were gaining true sentience. With all their worlds taken from them, the quarians were left homeless, with the surviving population living aboard the traveling Migrant Fleet. Life on the flotilla has taken its toll on them; the sterile environment has caused their already-finicky immune systems to atrophy, rendering them almost entirely trapped within their environmental suits.

While ''technically'' the Migrant Fleet is not part of the Citadel, they still have to abide by Citadel laws while in Citadel space, which is why they stay out of Citadel territory if possible. Historically, the Citadel in general and the Council in particular have sided against the Migrant Fleet in legal matters, which has not endeared them to the Citadel.

Quarians are available for multiplayer, and can use the [[TheEngineer Engineer]] and [[StealthExpert Infiltrator]] classes. The Rebellion Pack adds male quarians (with entirely different movesets) for the same classes, while Retaliation adds a (Male) Marksman Soldier.

* AlienHair: The only alien species, in fact, to apparently have hair.
* [[BadassArmy Badass Navy]]: The quarian fleet is the largest in the galaxy and has surprisingly advanced weaponry (though not advanced armor). In the third game, it's even stated that they could give the turian fleet a run for their money. They end up providing potentially the largest Fleet asset contribution[[hottip:*:Either they or the Geth, depending on what your decision in the [[spoiler:Heretic Base in the previous game was]]. of any species and the fourth highest assets overall, behind the geth, krogan, and humans.
* BizarreAlienBiology: Quarian immune systems have always been weak, because they evolved to assimilate and co-opt foreign microbes rather than to fight them off as in other species.
* BizarreBabyBoom: Inverted. Ever since they were forced to live in environment suits, the number of Quarian biotics has become incredibly rare. Any accident that could lead to a suit rupture and expose a child to Element Zero ''in-utero'' would likely kill the mother from infection, long before they could ever come to term.
* [[BubbleBoy Bubble Species]]: They have to stay in their environmental suits at all times or risk getting very sick.
** In fact, Shala'Raan actually mentions that Quarian children do indeed spend the first few years of their lives in Bubbles, before they recieve their first environment suit.
* {{Cincinnatus}}: The Migrant Fleet technically exists under a state of emergency martial law (as it has been for centuries) but in practice most decisions are handled by an elected civilian council, both on the level of individual ships and on the level of entire sectors of the fleet in a federal-type government known as the Conclave. However, the Admiralty can invoke a deliberate override of anything the Conclave chooses as an exercise of emergency powers, but are required to resign from their positions immediately after the emergency has passed, or face arrest and prosecution if they refuse to do so. This helps keep the otherwise unrestricted exercise of power in check. So far, the Admiralty override has only been invoked four times in the three centuries of the fleet's existence.
* ClingyCostume: Oh good God, is this justified.
* TheEngineer: All quarians are skilled mechanics. You'd be too if you spent your entire life on a salvaged starship where neglecting maintenance could potentially kill you and everyone you know.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Thanks to a combination of their immune systems and general biology, everything made of levo-protein will trigger potentially severe allergic reactions. And anything dextro will make them extremely sick.
* TheFaceless
* FantasticRacism: By many people in the galaxy towards them, and by some quarians towards the geth.
* FightingForAHomeland: What this means to the quarians varies from person to person. Most want to actually go back to Rannoch, but they'd be satisfied with a planet to at least have a temporary settlement on. [[DisproportionateRetribution Which the Council keeps denying them.]]
** The quest for their homeworld is fueled by it being far harder for them to adapt to a new planet than to re-adapt to Rannoch.
* GasMaskMooks: Every quarian combatant is technically this, including squadmate [[WrenchWench Tali']][[BadassBookworm Zorah.]] Also subverted since they're good guys and there are several named ones with distinct personalities.
* GenderIsNoObject: The only species besides humans to give both genders equal face time. The challenges of Fleet life make sexism a luxury they can't afford.
** They are also the only species that can be played as both genders in multiplayer (though the Male Quarian has to be unlocked and has different skills).
* [[GenerationShips Generation Fleet]]: The Flotilla has been voyaging the stars without a port for over three hundred years, having departed Rannoch in Earth year 1895 CE.
* GenocideBackfire: The Morning War was started when the quarians issued a blanket order to destroy all geth. We don't know much about the ensuing war itself, but the end of the war saw only about seventeen million quarian survivors. We ''do'' know as of ''MassEffect3'' that a not-insignificant number of quarians openly sided with the geth in response to what was viewed as an extremist stance, but eventually they were outnumbered, and by the time of the games none survive.
** In fact, the Quarians only survived this mess because the Geth, acting mainly in self-defense, stopped pursuing them once they fled far enough away from Rannoch to cease being a threat to them.
* [[spoiler: [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Purple-Skinned Space Babe]]: Apparently their appearance underneath their environment suits. Javik mentions that even in his Cycle, the Ancient Quarians were seen as attractive by most species.]]
* HartmanHips: The females have them. As a SpearCounterpart, the men all have exaggeratedly-wide shoulders.
* HumanoidAliens: Although they're bipedal, stand upright and use two appendages like all other species. Under their masks [[spoiler:(Or at least Tali's), they have [[HumanAliens human-like hair, finger nails, and even tan skin.]] About the only known discernible cosmetic differences are their cybernetic implants, three-fingered hands, strange necks, and glowing eyes.]]
* [[IllGirl Ill Species]]: Their immune systems are incredibly weak; even a small breach to their environmental suit can cause serious illness and major suit damage (or removal without large amounts of preparation) can very easily cause their death.
** In MassEffect2 is explained that, unless the germs are turians(since they share a similar biology), they cannot get sick by other races germs...what they suffer is actually an allergic reaction to those germs, not sickness.
* ItsQuietTooQuiet: Tali mentions that quarians don't like the silence, finding vessels with quiet engines, such as the ''Normandy'' to be rather unnerving. This is because on the Flotilla, most of the ships are salvaged and can be up to a few centuries old, so the crew is constantly surrounded by the noise of old engines, life-support systems, gravity drives, etc. For a ship to be ''quiet'' means that something, somewhere, has broken down and is about to go horribly wrong.
* LightningGun: Their contributions to the Reaper War include a selection of anti-synthetic weapons designed by Admiral Xen, namely the Arc Pistol, Reegar Carbine, and Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle. They're also very effective against organics.
* MadeOfIron: Quite surprisingly. It's mentioned by Grunt at one point that Humans, Salarians and Turians are all physically rather frail in comparison to the Krogan. Quarians on the other hand, are actually more robust.
** Also, MassEffect3 reveals that the Widow was originally a quarian weapon. You know, the Widow, the gun that has such powerful recoil that a human would break their arms trying to use it.
** Though any hole in their suit poses a high possibility of catching a deadly (to them) infection. They have antibiotics and other things to compensate for that, so the chance of one dying from a single hit is actually incredibly low.
* MirrorChemistry: The other "dextro" species besides turians.
* [[MulticulturalAlienPlanet Multicultural Alien Fleet]]: Despite being the smallest and most confined species introduced so far (with a few exceptions[[note]][[AlwaysChaoticEvil Yahg]], we're looking at you[[/note]]), the quarians also have the greatest cultural diversity (traditions, accents, etc.).
* NeverLiveItDown: InUniverse, ''everyone'' calls them out on creating the Geth.
** In turn, many of them can't let go of the desire to exact revenge on the Geth for what was essentially self-defense.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Their decision to wipe out the Geth led to them losing their Homeworld.
* [[NoodleIncident Noodle War]]: The Morning War is one of the murkiest topics in the setting. We know very little about what actually happened, beyond the blanket order to shut down the geth, the geth retaliation, and the ultimate destruction of most of the quarian species. ''MassEffect3'' offers some other slivers of information: many quarians sided with the geth in the war, and the geth could have destroyed the last fleeing survivors but held their fire. Descriptions of Rannoch indicate that weapons of mass destruction were employed at some point. If Shepard finds out said slivers and talks to one of the admirals, she says hesitantly that this is new information that quarian accounts didn't cover.
* ProperlyParanoid: The quarians are extremely defensive of the civilian fleet and the liveships; if they can't determine the nature of an incoming ship, they will hit it with everything available.
* RacialRemnant: The quarians believe very strongly in maintaining their culture from before the war.
* RedShirtArmy: The quarian marines (excepting MauveShirt Kal'Reegar and squadmate Tali'Zorah) don't seem to fare too well against a good ZergRush of geth, mechs, or varren.
** Justified and brought up by Shepard. Their weak immune systems mean that it is nearly impossible for them to participate in a long, drawn-out, ground engagement. Even a minor wound could end up being fatal. Therefore, they don't have as much preparation for them. When combat seems unavoidable the quarians tend to just bomb everything from orbit and then send in a few squads of marines to mop up anything the bombardment did not get. They also lack ground vehicles and are ''very'' few in number, so any kind of occupation, even of a single large city, is out of the question.
* RiteOfPassage: The Pilgrimage. When a quarian comes of age, they leave the Flotilla to try and find something of value to the fleet. When they return, they are considered adults and can choose the ship they want to be part of.
* RobotWar: They tried to shut the geth down before they could start one...[[SelfFulfillingProphecy and got]] [[DeathByGenreSavviness exactly what they were trying to prevent.]] Whoops.
* ShortRangeShotgun: The Reegar Carbine (which is classified as a shotgun) essentially creates a cone of death five feet in front of you but is useless past that range.
* [[SpaceJews Space J]][[{{Roma}} ewpsies]]: Blended.
** There's also elements of Space Muslims there, what with them required to go on a pilgrimage, and helmets which look vaguely like hijabs.
** Hell, you can also make associations between the Pilgrimage and the Amish tradition of Rumspringa, at least in popular conception. In the first game, Tali even notes that (like Rumspringa) the Pilgrimage is designed to allow young quarians to either feel homesick and gain new appreciation for the Fleet, or to find a new life for themselves.
** During ''Mass Effect 2'', Shala'Raan begins [[spoiler: Tali's trial]] with a variation on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shehecheyanu Shehecheyanu]], a common Jewish prayer. [[spoiler: Though given the circumstances, closing with a Kaddish said for Rael'Zorah might have been more appropriate.]]
* StandardSciFiFleet: The Migrant Fleet is the largest fleet in the entire galaxy, comprising of 300-year-old Quarian vessels that escaped the Geth Uprising, as well as vessels they've salvaged or purchased from alien species.
* TalkingLightbulb: The lights on their mouthplates.
* TerminallyDependentSociety: Most of their food comes from a few agricultural superships at the heart of the Flotilla. The quarians are [[ProperlyParanoid very paranoid]] about their well-being.
* TerrifiedOfGerms: Because their immune systems evolved to assimilate foreign microbes, not resist them. To the point where they have to wear their environmental suits on their own ships.
* WrongGenreSavvy: See RobotWar.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Batarians]]
!! Batarians
[[quoteright:207:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Batarian-001_5176.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Khar'shan

A species whose formal political entity, the Batarian Hegemony, has separated from the Citadel Council due to perceived favoritism toward humanity during territorial disputes. Their society is caste-based (including slaves), and the Hegemony is also known to condone and support illicit terrorist activities against Citadel and other states, particularly the Alliance.

The Resurgence Pack makes batarian [[RedMage Sentinels]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldiers]] available for multiplayer, Retaliation adds Slasher Adepts and Brawler Vanguards.

* AlwaysChaoticEvil: There aren't many who like them, to put it mildly, and the Hegemony does nothing to dispel this notion. Batarian slavers / pirates / spy rings come up more often than those of any other species, with only a handful of vaguely-sympathetic ones on Omega. It takes the refugee influx of the Reaper invasion for Shepard to meet ordinary civilians.
** It's explained in the second and third game that part of the reason they are so hostile to Humans is because their government repeatedly instills it upon them in propoganda that HumansAreBastards and to blame for ''every'' problem they've had since their withdrawal from the Galactic community.
* BlatantLies: Read the planet description for their homeworld in the third game. According to the government, it has a population of twelve billion (making it the most populated planet in the galaxy), a flourishing art industry, and an economy to rival the Asari Republics.
* ButtMonkey: They live under an oppressive regime, their decision to sever ties with the Council has supposedly led to a poor economy, a disproportionate number of Renegade choices involve killing them, in the ''Arrival'' DLC [[spoiler:Shepard is forced to destroy a system of 300,000 batarians to delay the Reaper invasion]] and [[spoiler:the Hegemony was the first casualty of the Reaper invasion.]] Even joining in the fight against the Reapers hasn't helped their reputation. As seen [[http://blog.bioware.com/2012/04/20/concerned-batarians-explain-that-medigel-works-on-them-too-alliance-news-network/ here]] Alliance soldiers don't warn batarian allies of ambushes by ''Banshees'' and conveniently "forget" that medi-gel works on them. When informed of this, one Alliance lieutenant thanked them for the reminder, and said they would provide injured batarians any needed medi-gel, right after they finish using it on injured soldiers of other species, including the ''robotic'' geth.
** [[http://blog.bioware.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MP-Telemetry-3_Final2.jpg this]] little tidbit is rather telling, too.
* EnemyMine: With humanity in the third game.
* TheEmpire
* ExtraEyes: Batarians have four eyes, one pair where a human would have theirs, and a slightly smaller pair higher up on the forehead. This makes it difficult for other species to know where to look when talking to them.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Humanoid.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: They have more than a few similarities to NorthKorea.
* FluffyTamer: Much like the Krogan, they seem to have domesticated Varren. Unlike the Krogan, however, their Varren appear much more feral.
* HegemonicEmpire: You'll notice that there are a ''ton'' of criminal groups are either backed or led by batarians, from mercenary bands like the Blue Suns to random pirate crews and slave traders.This is apparently their way of trying to take control of the Terminus Systems while still maintaining plausible deniability, though they aren't above simply sending their own soldiers to do the dirty work, like Balak's forces.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:The batarians stole the Leviathan of Dis, resulting in the bulk of their higherups being indoctrinated years before the Reapers finally show up, which means their entire leadership basically gives in without a fight.]]
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch:
** You can meet individual batarians who can be reasoned with on Omega in ''VideoGame/MassEffect 2''. Sure they're trying to ''kill'' you before you talk them down, but that's more due to panic and paranoia, since their government repeatedly instills upon them that HumansAreTheRealMonsters. It does not help that the plague does not affect humans, making it plausible that they started it in the first place. Should a Paragon Shepard save the life of dying Batarian and later keeps their word that they will let a group of Batarians go, even after they took Mordin's assistant hostage, the Batarians remark that they didn't know humans were capable of mercy and understood the concept of honour.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler:the fall of the Hegemony has led to non-criminal batarians fleeing their worlds ''en-masse''. It turns out that without the Hegemony looking over their shoulder, they actually aren't that different from other species. In fact, it's implied that they are actually an incredibly spiritual people]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler: The Leviathan of Dis was a Reaper corpse. If the batarians hadn't stolen it, the Council would have had actual evidence of the Reapers and Shepard could have goaded them into actually preparing for the invasion after Sovereign was destroyed.]]
** NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler:On the other hand, the Leviathan was able to indoctrinate basically all of the Hegemony's leadership caste, so, by stealing it, they unintentionally prevented the Reapers from arriving to a galactic council already indoctrinated to their will.]]
* [[spoiler:NotSoDifferent: When the non-criminal batarians are forced to flee their homeworld en masse due to the Reaper invasion, they come in contact with humans. As it turns out, the majority of batarians really aren't that bad, and are very similar to any of the other species, even implied to be an incredibly spiritual people.]]
* PowerFist: The "enforcement gauntlet" used as the batarian omni-blade.
* RubberForeheadAliens: Imagine a human with yellow skin, needle-like fangs in their mouth, ridged foreheads, prominent diagonal "strut-like" designs on either side of their mouth, four sets of nostrils, and four eyes. That's basically the design of the batarians.
** {{Retcon}}: Before [[DownloadableContent Bring Down the Sky]] is downloaded, their codex entry in the first game shows them looking more like four-eyed salarians.
* SpikesOfDoom: In the multiplayer for the third game, two of the batarians' special combat skills are Blade Armour and [[KnifeNut Ballistic Blades]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Vorcha]]
!!Vorcha
[[quoteright:199:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Vorcha-001_5711.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Heshtok

The vorcha are a short lived and violent species with the ablity to adapt to any condition. Most people consider them to be little more than talking vermin and they are usually only seen as cannon fodder for mercenary groups such as the Blood Pack.

The Rebellion Pack makes vorcha [[TheRedMage Sentinels]] and [[WalkingArmory Soldiers]] available for multiplayer. Retaliation adds the Hunter Engineer.

* AdaptiveAbility: The Vorcha possess nondifferentiated cell clusters allowing them to adapt to new environments quickly.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: You never meet any nice ones, though it is justified; they don't live long, have a culture that communicates through violence, and are looked down upon by literally every species in the galaxy; even the quarians (themselves frequently the victims of FantasticRacism) will very deliberately differentiate themselves from vorcha, or use racist expressions. They don't really have any choice other than to be scavengers or mercs. However, according to the Leviathan DLC, this is cultural and not genetic. Many vorcha live peaceful lives.
** One is even an actor in a film! You hear audio snippets of him.
** Mordin mentions "asari-vorcha children have an allergy to dairy". ''[[MayflyDecemberRomance Asari-vorcha]]'' offspring. May express more of a curiosity or depravity that certain asari hold than the civil nature of certain vorcha. Leviathan DLC does also note in planetary descriptions that asari and vorcha have worked together at various points.
** And in MassEffect3, elite vorcha commandos join in the fight against the Reapers, and are playable in multiplayer.
** In their natural state they are violent and disorganized. An asari charity found that if they are "socialized" from a young age they are more peaceful, though this project is noted to be imperialistic. Joint asari-vorcha expeditions colonized a planet together, but when the asari left the new vorcha couldn't be educated and their colonies fell apart into savage bands.
* BeneathSuspicion: Abuse this in ''2'', in order to pin the plague on Omega as an attack by humans, playing on everyone's belief that the vorcha simply ''aren't'' intelligent enough to pull off that kind of espionage. Part of it is true, since no one believes the vorcha could even make such a virus. They didn't consider the possibility of them contracting out.
* CannonFodder: Treated this way by the Blood Pack's krogan leaders.
** On Tuchanka in ''2'' there's a chief scout who talks about the Blood Pack, and how every member of it is part of one of the krogan clans. If the vorcha members are pointed out, he says the vorcha are like the varren, except they can use guns and don't crap on the floor as often.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Savage. Kind of like the krogan: very brutal, expendable, ugly, and resilient, but they take less bullets to put down, lack the krogan's long lifespans, and aren't seen as very bright.
* HealingFactor: They can adapt to almost anything, and heal themselves mid-battle.
* {{Mooks}}: The only vorcha you ever meet, except possibly the ones who are refusing to kill people for Aria's top anti-vorcha fighter today, are Blood Pack mooks. You meet exactly one who isn't a mook in the third game.
* {{Mordor}}: Their homeworld, Heshtok, whose hellish environment played a large part in the vorcha evolving their natural adaptability.
* NoIndoorVoice: Vorcha tend to scream at the top of their voice rather than simply speak.
* UltimateLifeForm: Amusingly, the Vorcha actually fall under this category, as because of their natural ability to perfectly adapt to new environments within a single generation, their species hasn't had to evolve ''at all'' in millions of years.
* WeAreAsMayflies: ''Twenty-year lifespans''. It's mentioned in Leviathan that "socialized" young vorcha can become very skilled, adept employees, but their lifespans are so short that the turnover is not considered to be worth it. On one planet a burgeoning vorcha civilization was overthrown from within because the birthrate outstripped the speed the new generations could be educated.
* WolverineClaws: How they use omni-blades in multiplayer.
* YouNoTakeCandle: How they tend to speak. Some vorcha appear to have learned how to speak properly, as Shepard found out on the Citadel when dealing with the leadership of the Blood Pack. It is also unclear whether their speech is truly a sign of low intelligence [[FantasticRacism (most people assume it is)]], or just a result of being society's uneducated outcasts. Certainly, all the vorcha Shepard talks to understand what is being said to them, and are apparently capable of being reasoned with, (even if they are too aggressive to get very far in that regard), so it may be that the racism against the vorcha is unjustified, though [[StopBeingStereotypical they do little to help their own image.]]
** Leviathan flavor text mentions some socialized vorcha who "spoke throughout Citadel space on behalf of their species" and then says that "their short life spans kept their careers very brief." Basically, it really sucks to be a vorcha.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Rachni]]
!!Rachni
[[quoteright:192:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Rachni-001_1376.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Suen

The rachni were an insectoid race who attempted to invade Council Space approximately 2,000 years before the start of the series. They were defeated only when the salarians recruited the krogan, who proceeded to hunt the rachni into extinction. In ''MassEffect1'', Shepard discovers an attempt to bring the rachni out of extinction.

* BeePeople
* [[spoiler:BrainwashedAndCrazy]]: [[spoiler:The Rachni War was prompted by a "sour note" from space that drove them mad. Everyone, in-universe and out, assumes this meant the Reapers - until the Leviathan DLC revealed that it may have been the titular Leviathans that did it.]]
** If you spared the rachni queen, [[spoiler:she gets enslaved by the Reapers in [=ME3=]. However, this time around she's fully aware that she's being controlled and is not happy about it, to say the least; she'll aid you against the Reapers if you free her.]]
** If you didn't spare the queen, [[spoiler:the Reapers will create an artificial version; unlike her natural-born counterpart, she's thoroughly indoctrinated and will [[LaserGuidedKarma betray you]] if you free her.]]
* CosmicPlaything: First, [[spoiler: the protheans used them as living weapons.]] Then [[spoiler: either Leviathan or the Reapers]] pushed them into a war that drove them to the brink of extinction, their survival hinging on the decision of a single human a thousand years later. [[spoiler: If spared, the Queen still gets captured and experimented on by the Reapers, her survival in the hands of the exact same human.]]
* EndangeredSpecies: They were actually thought extinct before a single queen egg was found. Shepard gets to decide whether or not to finish the job.
* GeneticMemory: Queens apparently carry all the memories of previous queens with them. [[spoiler:Which is why Saren revived the rachni queen: her ancestors found the Mu Relay, which led to Ilos.]]
* GoodAllAlong: The rachni are remembered for causing the bloodiest war in the history of the galaxy. [[spoiler:Turns out, they're naturally peaceful. War wasn't their choice, though they're perfectly willing to fight for some payback.]]
** [[spoiler: In ''Leviathan'', it's subtly hinted that Leviathan might have been influencing them.]]
* HiddenDepths: The Alliance is pretty shocked to find out rachni make pretty good ''engineers''.
--> '''Admiral Hackett''': In retrospect, it makes sense that they would know a thing or two about waging a galactic war.
* HiveCasteSystem: We've got workers (small exploding suicide bugs), soldiers, (bigger [[HollywoodAcid acid-spitting]] bugs), brood warriors (even bigger acid-spitting bugs with biotic powers) and [[HiveQueen the queen]] (freaking huge bug, combat capabilities unknown, whom we very fortunately do not have to fight).
* HiveMind
** HiveQueen
* InsectoidAliens
* [[spoiler: SlaveMooks: Bring Javik on the rachni mission and he'll explain the protheans used them as this. Talk to him afterwards and he'll provide more detail - they bred the rachni to be smart, vicious and powerful, then burnt entire planets when they became uncontrollable. Leviathan may have been preparing them as anti-Reaper weapons before they encountered the salarians as opposed to them being used by the Reapers themselves.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Geth]]
!! Geth
[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Geth-001_7802.png]]

--> ''As individual runtimes, we are no greater than your software. [[InstantAIJustAddWater Only when we share data do we become more]].''
-->--'''Legion'''

'''Homeworld:''' Rannoch

A race of synthetic constructs created by the quarians. Designed as Virtual Intelligences due to the threat of a RobotWar, the quarians were not content to let well enough alone, and tinkered with the geth software enough to accidentally turn them into true AI. The quarians attempted to shut down their creations before they became sentient, due to both the Council's laws against AI experimentation and the concern that they'd be keeping living beings as slaves. The attempt failed, and the geth retaliated militarily, and eventually pushed the quarians off the homeworld of Rannoch, not to mention their colonies. Afterwards, the geth avoided contact with the rest of the galaxy, and killed anyone who entered their territory. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', the geth ally with the rogue Spectre Saren Arterius to attack Council Space. [[spoiler: It is later revealed that only a portion of the geth allied with Saren, and the rest are still continuing their policy of isolation in the Veil.]]

The Resurgence Pack DLC makes geth [[TheEngineer Engineers]] and [[StealthExpert Infiltrators]] available for multiplayer. Retaliation adds the Trooper Soldier.

* AbnormalAmmo: A lot of their weapons. Their sniper rifle shoots a stream of molten metal, their shotgun shoots cluster rounds of superconducting projectiles, their heavy machine gun and submachine gun shoot clusters of donut-shaped superconducting toroids, and their [[SpiderTank Colossi]] shoot exploding energy balls to complement their anti-personnel machine gun. Their assault rifle on the other hand shoots relatively normal projectiles, except they're encased in a phasic envelope.
* ArcWords: A 330 year BookEnd - the first Geth to begin to achieve sentience asks "Do these units have a soul?" The first ''sapient'' Geth, Legion, asks the same question of itself. Tali answers in every decision branch, "Yes."
* AIIsACrapshoot: Initially played straight; their sentience resulted in a very bloody war with their creators, and the first time they reappeared after that, it was to attack the galaxy at large and aid the [[EldritchAbomination Reapers]] in their conquest. Eventually, though, it was revealed that the geth didn't fight offensively until they concluded there was no alternative, they spent three hundred years carefully avoiding antagonizing the galaxy, and the huge force that attacked the galaxy was a group of 'heretic' dissidents. That constitute five percent of their population. And all the rest want to do is be left alone to build their DysonSphere.
* AlienBlood: Not technically, but they do have a white fluid that seems to serve the same purpose.
* AlienInvasion: In the first game, the heretic geth invasion of Council space was basically this. While all the Council races are from different planets, the geth were a completely outside and unfamiliar force, with their hivemind and advanced technology. Downplayed in 2, where the Alliance has hunted down the majority of the heretics, who are reduced to raiding colonies and ships for the Reapers.
* AlienNonInterferenceClause: The geth enforce this on themselves as they believe all species should self-determinate.
** The fact that every known species outside the Perseus Veil had dismantle-on-sight laws regarding A.I. probably didn't help.
* [[spoiler:AndThereWasMuchRejoicing]]: [[spoiler:If the quarians are allowed to kill the geth, the quarians in particular celebrate it as a perfect victory. Also, Garrus, Joker, Javik, and James go out of their way to say what a good decision it was.]]
* [[InsectoidAliens Arachnoid Aliens]]: Their Armature and Colossi platforms. Their fighters also look rather insect-esque.
* TheAtoner: The geth as a whole give off this vibe. They outright state that they hold no ill will against the quarians, are actively repairing damage to Rannoch from the Morning War, and should peace be negotiated, [[spoiler: they actively assist the quarians with adapting to living on Rannoch, going so far as to integrate with quarian suits.]]
* BadassArmy: The geth have engineered every mobile platform to be capable of combat if needed, and they have some of the most advanced technology in the galaxy. If their support is secured in ''MassEffect3'', then they can (if the heretics were reprogrammed in ME 2) end up contributing more effective ground assets to the war effort than any two other species combined, save for the krogan and humans.
* BookEnds: The conflict between the geth and the quarians started when a geth asked its quarian mistress if it had a soul. [[spoiler:During the concluding climax of the conflict between the geth and the quarians, Legion]] will ask Tali the same question as a last appeal to reason. [[spoiler:If conditions are ideal, Tali answers [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming "yes"]].]]
* CannonFodder: Sovereign regards them as such. [[{{Mooks}} It's hard]] [[WeHaveReserves to blame him]].
* CannotTellALie: Being creatures of logic, untruth is alien to the geth. They understand the concept, it just doesn't apply to them, much like emotion. They're even honest with each other about attacks in war. [[spoiler: At least, until the heretics change for some reason. When Legion finds evidence that they're spying on the 'true' geth, it is greatly upset.]]
** They have, however, created some "harmless lies" in an attempt to study organics, such as a social experiment in which they spread word that certain stars will form the shape of a salarian goddess when seen from a certain batarian planet, then watched in confusion as salarians - without confirming this or even double-checking it - began to attempt at staking colonization rights for those star systems... which were completely made up by the geth for said experiment.
** Certain upgrades to the geth code in ''MassEffect3'' seem to show aversions to the trope, at least where [[spoiler:Legion]] is concerned; while they still do not actively lie and seem to show a disinclination for it, [[spoiler:Legion]] became capable of being very conservative with the truth, albeit with fairly reasonable rationale. It's ashamed to admit to the lie, but it does admit it.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Some of their platforms are given distinct colors to distinguish them from one another. Moreso in MassEffect3, where there are are only five geth enemies but they are all uniquely colored. [[{{Mooks}} Geth troopers]] are grey, [[EliteMooks geth rocket troopers]] are white, [[KillItWithFire geth pyros]] are yellow, [[{{Invisibility}} geth]] [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter hunters]] are black, and [[GiantMook geth primes]] are red.
* CurbStompBattle: Gets turned on them in MassEffect3, when [[spoiler: a quarian surprise attack takes out a good chunk of their forces and blows up their Dyson Sphere. After this, they go to the Reapers for help and agree to help the Reapers kill all organics to save themselves. They then briefly turn the war around, but after Shepard destroys their dreadnought flagship the war grinds to a stalemate. Depending on Shepard's actions, either the quarians or geth can be curbstomped by the other side to the point where they are [[GenocideDilemma completely wiped out,]] [[TakeAThirdOption or both sides can be convinced to stop fighting.]] ]]
* CyberCyclops: All platforms (even the [[SpiderTank Colossus]]) until the third game, which introduces three-eyed versions.
* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler: They ally with the Reapers in the third game to save themselves from a quarian attack.]]
* DeathByIrony: Think about the [[spoiler: geth decision to ally with the Reapers. Essentially, they gave the Reapers a massive boost military power, via submitting their entire race to indoctrination, just so they could live as Reaper slave soldiers rather than get slain by the resurgent quarians. Even then, the Reapers probably would've wiped them out anyway. In the Destroy ending, however, the geth end up being the ''only'' race to be wiped out, rather than the only one to survive as they originally intended. Doubly ironic since this is after they abandon their original philosophy due to the necessary expediency of Reaper upgrades.]]
* DegradedBoss: Inverted. [[SpiderTank Geth Colossi]] were encountered several times in the Mako in the first game in fortified geth positions, and they were fairly easily dispatched. In the second game, there's only one Geth Colossus, but you fight it on foot while it's backed by a platoon of geth infantry. It's the boss on Tali's recruitment mission.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: The geth are the only known species to have actually ''spoken'' with the Reapers and then been allowed to go about their business. However, this is a ruse: the Reapers converted a minority of them to their cause and had aims of brainwashing the rest.
* DoAndroidsDream: The geth asking their quarian masters whether they have souls is what made the quarians scared that they might turn against them.
* DysonSphere: [[spoiler: The true geth were working on something like this for a good couple of centuries, with the intent of uploading every geth program to it simultaneously once it was completed. Then the quarians attacked it during ''3''.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Their philosophy in a nutshell. The heretics worship the Reapers as the source of their advancement. The true geth want to advance themselves without the Reapers' interference, no matter how much more arduous the task may be.
-->'''Legion:''' It is not the destination that matters, but the journey.
** Interestingly enough, circumstances influence them to abandon this trope and [[spoiler: instead end up achieving true sapience by using Reaper technology. If Shepard opts not to wipe them out of course.]]
* EnemyCivilWar: Emphasis on the civility; though they do fight each other, [[spoiler:the true geth and the heretics largely leave each other alone. At least, until the Reapers taught the heretics about deceit.]]
* EvaFins: The higher-end platforms tend to sport one or two of these.
* FacelessEye: The best way to describe the average geth head is a tube with a big glowing light in the end, surrounded by much smaller light. Legion has mobile flaps around its eye/s, allowing it to display... something.
* FantasticRacism: One of the greatest victims of it, with virtually all organics hating the geth. It says something about how hated they are when the main reason the quarians are hated is because they gave rise to the geth as a hostile faction. It doesn't help that no one has any idea about what they're like since no ship that enters their space returns (except for that one husk-filled ship) and the last people to have successful contact with them are the quarians, who are naturally biased. It also doesn't help that the heretics, who slaughtered thousands if not millions of organics, were the only contact the geth had with the outside world in 300 years, and the geth never took any action to differentiate themselves from the heretics.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Crafty. The heretics anyway.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: There are hints that the True Geth / Heretic split wasn't a {{Retcon}} in ''MassEffect2''. At the end of the "Geth Incursion" mission in ''MassEffect1'', the following text appears:
-->As the last geth falls. you hear music come across the room. On the monitor, a quarian stands before a hushed crowd warbling a mournful a capella of worlds and innocence lost. The recorded song is dispatched to the geth worlds beyond the Perseus Veil. The transmitter shuts down.
* FrickingLaserBeams: Unusually for this setting, they actually do possess laser weapons - for example, geth hoppers shot lasers from their eyes in the first game.
* GatlingGood: The Geth Spitfire.
* GenocideBackfire: In the third game, [[spoiler: the geth can potentially be wiped out by the remnants of the quarians, whom they had the opportunity to make extinct during the Morning War.]]
* GrowBeyondTheirProgramming: They started as simple assisstants, but got more and more intelligent. Then one day one asked if it had a soul and everyone freaked the hell out.
* HeroicNeutral: Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, according to the Codex, they also shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact.
** They also do precisely nothing about the splinter group of heretics that left the system until they get data that the heretics might be a threat to ''them'', via a Reaper-derived virus. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', sided with the Reapers to save their species, at the risk of being used to wipe out other species and then wiped out anyway.
** It's also possible that the geth knew about the Reapers' AssimilationPlot. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' zig-zags back and forth between whether or not the Reapers harvest just organics or organics ''and'' synthetics. The geth, being the only species to actually have a legitimate ''conversation'' with the Reapers, may have known this.
*** Some hard to access dialogue in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' backs this up. Legion will admit that the Geth did not know with certainty what the Reapers were intending, but the AssimilationPlot was the strongest theory they had based on what they discovered about the Reapers. [[spoiler: If he survives the SuicideMission, Legion will note that the Collector Base confirmed what the Geth had been suspecting.]]
* HigherTechSpecies: While nowhere near the level of the Protheans or Reapers, they still appear to moderately more advanced than the other species.
* HiveMind / MindHive: Originally, they were a HiveMind, only achieving sentience when enough units linked together. Eventually, they realized it was far more efficient to upload multiple programs into each body ('platforms,' as they call them), making their current incarnations into {{Mind Hive}}s. Thus, they react to acts of aggression in a very hostile manner, as killing individual programs effectively decreases their intelligence.
** However, there seem to be many practical limits to how many geth programs a single platform can hold. Legion is an unique platform containing over a thousand geth programs, enough to act independently and act as a messenger to Shepard.
* HoverTank: Seen briefly in Mass Effect 3. It appears to be a troop transport, and is equipped with a powerful autocannon.
* HumanoidAliens: Aside from Recon Drones, spaceships, and [[SpiderTank Armatures and Colossi,]] all their platforms are humanoid. Those aren't their actual bodies, however.
* [[IDieFree We Die Free]]: Averted. [[spoiler: In MassEffect3, they're given the choice between aiding the Reapers on their genocidal campaign by becoming indoctrinated slave soldiers, or getting destroyed by the resurgent quarian fleets. They choose the former. Legion wasn't amused.]]
-->'''Legion''': Evidently it was an acceptable trade.
* IndividualityIsIllegal: [[spoiler:A rare heroic version. The 'true' geth believe in sharing memories amongst all individuals, so there are no differences between one program or another. The heretics have developed more of an identity, and follow the Reapers to force it onto the rest.]]
** [[spoiler:Averted should Legion upload its upgrades to the rest of the collective; all platforms actualize into true AI individuals instead of a consensus of networked VI programs.]]
* InstantAIJustAddWater
* JustAMachine: Had this aimed at them for most of the first game; Shepard can choose to avert this, and it starts getting questioned hard in the second game.
* LargeAndInCharge: The more programs contained in a platform, the more intelligent the geth. The larger the platform, the more programs it can store. Ergo, the biggest ones are the smartest ones. Bet you'll regard [[SpiderTank colossi]] with even more terror now.
* LivingShip: Geth ships are just really enormous program-colonies, comprised of thousands or even millions of networked geth.
* MachineWorship: Both factions aspire to the Reapers' state of being. The difference is in how they go about it.
* MeaningfulName: The sidequest "Rannoch: Geth Fighter Squadrons" reveals that "geth" means "servant of the people" in the quarian dialect Khelish. They were built to be this, and [[spoiler:if Shepard manages to make peace between them the geth help the quarians set up housekeeping on Rannoch, even stimulating their immune systems to help them adapt.]]
* MechaMooks: Though they defy several traits usually associated with MechaMooks, mostly because they have a sleek, thin, humanoid appearance, and aren't clunky or MadeOfExplodium.
* MechanicalEvolution
* MechanicalLifeforms
* MoreDakka: The Geth Pulse Rifle, standard issue among their troopers, has a high magazine capacity and firing rate. Then there's the Geth Spitfire, which is a [[GatlingGood minigun]] IN SPACE.
** Also, the Geth Submachine Gun has the highest firing rate and ammo capacity of any SMG in the entire game, but it has lower damage to compensate.
* NoNeedForNames: "We are all geth."
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The heretics engage in a scene like this every time they appear; in their first ever appearance they raid a human colony, slaughter everyone there, and turn their bodies into husks by impaling them on giant poles. Later games feature them attempting to crash a ship into a colony and shooting surrendering ship personnel.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Geth cruisers are less than half the size of Council cruisers (most noticeable during the Battle of the Citadel) yet still pack similar firepower, as evidenced by them taking down turian cruisers in two shots each. Less armor and shielding though. Their fighters and dreadnoughts, on the other hand, are larger than their Council counterparts. It may be due to a combination of reduced space requirements and the fact that they had Reapers helping them out.
* PoorCommunicationKills: It turns out, the true geth are not bad guys. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell anyone anything which led to the impression that they are. Doesn't help that according to the Codex, they shoot down every sentient organic that enters their space, and the only geth who have left the veil in 300 years are the heretics. [[spoiler: In fact, if you get the geth to help out, an Alliance marine actually blows a hole in a geth prime when it shows up to help. He's glad they saved his squad but feels he will [[NeverLiveItDown never live down]] apologizing to it. A [[http://youtu.be/u5O5RdWZsGo geth prime]] can blandly tell Shep that his/her military commanders briefed their troops extensively on the situation, and allied fire has been minimal.]]
** Also happens to Legion a few times in ME 2 if taken along for the Tali recruitment and loyalty missions. Quarians don't take kindly to sudden Geth presence.
* ReplacementMooks: In hindsight, they were replacements for the rachni.
** Possibly subverted. The ''Leviathan'' DLC postulates that this assumption was wrong--the rachni might have been the ''Leviathans''' mooks, not the Reapers'.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: They do soul-searching, they have religion, they have blood(-like substances), they scream when they die.
** [[spoiler:Legion even plays video games. Including a ''dating sim''! (Although his rating is "hopeless")]]
* RobotReligion:
--> "We are immortal. Our gods disowned us. We must invent our own reasons to exist."
* RobotWar: They were only defending themselves, and regret the loss on both sides rather than holding a grudge.
* ShortRangeShotgun: Averted with the Geth Plasma Shotgun, which is easily capable of hitting targets at medium range. You'll learn this the hard way from the [[DemonicSpiders Geth Hunters]] in the third game.
* SomeoneElsesProblem: Per their HeroicNeutral personality, they don't see the heretics (read: a massive army following an EldritchAbomination on his trail of genocide) as a big problem, and let them leave without any issue. That is, until they get word that the heretics might be threatening ''them'' with a virus that would force them all to worship the Reapers.
* SpiderTank: Armatures and Colossi.
* StarfishAliens: As the games progress, it becomes more and more apparent just how ''weird'' the geth are. For a start, they're software, not hardware, and a single 'platform' (body) can contain dozens or even hundreds of individual geth programs.
* ThankTheMaker: Legion appends "Creator" to the name of any quarian they speak to, but there's no religious element.
** This seems to be a general pattern for any geth. Incidentally, "Geth" is quarian for servant.
* WeHaveReserves: Geth are effectively immortal unless their hubs are destroyed, and even then, they can simply upload their software to a new platform before dying. And new platforms are rather easy to make, so geth aren't exactly conservative with their troops.
** But if their hubs and backups are destroyed, all hell ''will'' break loose: imagine that every time a human being died, everyone in their vicinity lost a bit of intelligence. When [[spoiler:the quarians attack the geth DysonSphere in 3]], they lost a significant fraction of their civilization; ergo, what if everyone in the United States lost fifty IQ points when the Twin Towers were hit. Cue the President being voted emergency powers and launching nuclear missiles - or in the geth's case, [[spoiler: [[DealWithTheDevil allying with the Reapers]] and putting all their efforts into exterminating the quarians. While knowing very well that the reapers will forcibly convert the geth into Reapers too when they are no longer useful to them.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: The Geth Archives shown in the third game, make it very clear that the Geth desperately want the Quarian's approval.
--> '''Geth''': Why has this unit displeased the Creators? ''What did we do wrong?''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Yahg]]
!! Yahg
[[quoteright:205:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Yahg-001_8345.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Parnack

Hailing from Parnack, the yahg are known for their violent and aggressive nature. Consummate predators, the yahg possess unrivaled perceptiveness and mental adaptability. Discovered by the Citadel Council in 2125 CE, the yahg were unceremoniously barred from interaction with Citadel space after massacring the Council delegation.

As the yahg have yet to achieve interstellar spaceflight, Parnack goes unmolested during the Reaper invasion, and Admiral Hackett notes that they could end up running the next galactic cycle if everything else goes south. Given how dangerous they are now, the Reapers could seriously have their work cut out for them if the yahg had an additional 50,000 years of advancement.

* AlwaysChaoticEvil: As far as the in-universe Codex is concerned, anyway.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Goes hand in hand with AuthorityEqualsAsskicking.
* {{Badass}}: The average yahg is bigger and more vicious than a krogan. The few yahg we see are good examples.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: As a species built around a pack-like mentality, equality is an ''insult'' to them.
* ExtraEyes: Yahg have four pairs of eyes, each designed to track and predict the movements of prey.
* FatalFlaw: These guys are immense control freaks. It works for their packs, but in the face of foreign affairs...
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: We only know of their existence because [[spoiler:the Shadow Broker is one of them, completely throwing all other theories on his identity out the window]]. Another yagh appears on Sur'kesh in the third game in the STG complex, where [[LampshadeHanging much fun is had]] with discussing the species' previous appearance.
* KlingonPromotion: It's a tenant of the yahg pack-like mindset, evidenced by [[spoiler:the Shadow Broker killing and replacing his predecessor]].
* LargeAndInCharge: Based on how they tend to look, it's easy to assume that their pack leaders all fit the description.
* LivingLieDetector: Due to a keen sensitivity to light and movement, the yahg can easily read the body language of any species, which did not end well when their first encounter with the rest of the galaxy was a group of [[ConsummateLiar politicians and diplomats]].
* PassingTheTorch: It is discussed in 3 that, since the reapers are not attacking them due to not being advanced enough, the Yahg may become the leaders of the next cycle if they lose the war.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The most psychotic example in this series, by far. They make the krogan look like cuddly puppies.
* UndyingLoyalty: Yahg society is built around a pack mentality. A group of yahg will not cooperate until a single leader has attained dominance through either social maneuvering or brute force. Once the leader is established, the defeated yahg do not hold a grudge and former rivals serve their new superior loyally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Collectors]]
!! The Collectors
[[quoteright:210:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Collectors-001_3384.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' The Collector Base

An enigmatic race from beyond the Omega 4 Relay, an unmapped relay from which no non-Collector vessel has ever returned. They've been around for centuries, yet only a few have ever seen them in person and many don't even believe they exist. They offer highly advanced technology in exchange for genetic samples from different species - and by 'samples', we mean living victims who are never heard from again.

In the aftermath of [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 Sovereign's attack]], they begin abducting entire human colonies for an unknown purpose. [[spoiler:They turn out to be the Protheans, only indoctrinated and transformed into a new race by the Reapers, who they are forced to serve. They are controlled directly by Harbinger.]]

They return as adversaries in VideoGame/MassEffect3 in the Retaliation Multiplayer DLC.

* [[spoiler:AndIMustScream]]: [[spoiler:Their fate, having been transformed from Protheans.]]
** [[spoiler:NoMouth: Also ''literally''. The Reapers removed their mouths entirely!]]
* AttackItsWeakPoint: Scions have several exploitable weak points that are extremely helpful when fighting them. Praetorians do too, but they're protected by armored plates that have to be shot off. The Collectors' large heads also make that a [[BoomHeadshot pretty obvious spot to shoot.]]
* [[spoiler:BackFromTheDead: Return in Mass Effect 3 as a multiplayer enemy faction. Justified as the Reapers likely have cloning technology.]]
** [[spoiler:NoOneCouldSurviveThat: They were presumed to have been soundly defeated, if not wiped out entirely, with the destruction of the Collector Base.]]
* BeePeople
* CannonFodder: According to Harbinger.
* TheCollector: [[spoiler:Of species, in an attempt to build a new Reaper.]]
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: [[spoiler: Of course, the Reapers only added the cybernetics ''after'' the indoctrination reduced them to zombies.]]
--> '''Mordin:''' Mental capacity almost gone, replaced by overworked sensory input transfers... transferring data to masters. No glands, replaced by tech. No digestive tract, replaced by tech. No ''soul'' - replaced by tech!
* DegradedBoss: There are more Praetorians in a single bronze level of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer then there were in all of Mass Effect 2. Subverted in that they didn't really get any weaker; if anything, they got deadlier.
* EvilutionaryBiologist: The ''entire species''.
* EyeBeams: Praetorians use them.
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Fallen. [[spoiler:They are former Protheans, after all.]]
* FrickinLaserBeams: Some of their weapons. Two examples are seen through the series. In ''Mass Effect 2'', the Collector Particle Beam is a heavy weapon that ignores shields, firing a continuous beam. In the third game, the Collector SniperRifle uses a continuous beam for [[ArmorPiercingAttack anti-materiel]] attacks.
* [[spoiler:HenchmenRace]]
* HeroKiller: Not only do these guys [[spoiler:destroy the old Normandy and kill Shepard]] at the very beginning of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', but if you screw up ''really'' bad on the Suicide Mission, everyone on the team, including Shepard him/herself, will die to them.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: In the third game, the Praetorian's instant-kill grab involves skewering their poor victim on no less than three of their legs before smashing their head in with the beak-like protrusion on what could tentatively be called the Praetorian's face.
* InsectoidAliens: They even build their vehicles with this in mind; a Collector Cruiser looks like a giant termite hill from the outside and a bee hive from the inside. The Praetorian on the other hand looks like a giant crab.
* {{Mooks}}: Though, unlike most examples of this trope, they are most ''[[HeroKiller definitely]]'' a threat to the [[AnyoneCanDie main characters.]]
** AirborneMooks: They have insect-like membranous wings which deploy from their backs and flap at high speed to allow them to leap over obstructions and descend heights easily.
** BossInMookClothing: Harbinger will sometimes [[VillainOverride directly control]] individual Collectors, turning them into one of these.
** EliteMooks: Guardians, Assassins, and Captains.
** GiantMook: Praetorians.
** MookMobile: Their Oculus fighters. The Normandy dispatches them pretty handily in the run to the Collector Base. However they are shown to be effective against other fighters or normal frigates.
** PeoplePuppets: Harbinger treats them as such.
** SlaveMooks: [[spoiler:The entire race.]]
** SuperPoweredMooks: "Possessed" enemies.
* LightningBruiser: Praetorians in the third game are much faster than the one in ''2'' and just as deadly. Particularly their possessed variants, which are by far the most durable enemies in the entire game.
* [[spoiler:SlaveRace]]
* OrganicTechnology: A lot of their technology, like the Praetorian (a flying light tank crab looking thing with dual lasers that appears to be made of a bunch of husks in an armored shell) and the four weapons we see of theirs.
* [[spoiler:OurZombiesAreDifferent]]: They're essentially [[spoiler:slightly more intelligent versions of Prothean husks]].
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:They are (or were) the Protheans.]]
* SculptedPhysique: Their exoskeletons give them this appearance, being hard and only articulating at the joints. [[spoiler: ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' reveals this to not be a simple natural exoskeleton, but rather an unusual suit of [[OrganicTechnology Organic]] PoweredArmor, albeit one [[ClingyCostume permanently integrated into the host]]. The technology to make it can actually be recovered from Collector facilities and with some modification be made to accommodate a human.]]
* SealedArmyInACan: They've been around for [[spoiler: almost 50,000 years.]] The Reapers just tried to use the more disposable [[spoiler: rachni]] and heretic geth mooks first so they could have a back-up plan in case that failed.
* ShroudedInMyth
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: The Collector Sniper Rifle in the third game is basically a Collector Particle Beam with a scope. [[spoiler:[[WasOnceAMan This is probably intentional.]]]]
* TookALevelInBadass: Scions in ''3''. Not only are they faster and more durable, but instead of having a slow shockwave cannon, they have a powerful energy gun that fires explosive shots with unerringly perfect accuracy in three round bursts. Said shots do more damage than even the Atlas Mech's rockets, making them extremely deadly; no class in the entire game can survive a single burst (and they only survive that much because the way the shield and health gates work in Mass Effect 3 no ranged attack can kill in less than three hits). They also gain a one hit kill melee attack.
* [[spoiler:{{Tragic Villain}}s]]
* VillainOverride: The Collector General [[spoiler: acting as a conduit for [[BiggerBad Harbinger]]]] can [[AC: [[InterruptingMeme Assume Direct Control]]]] of individual Collectors, pushing their bodies to the limit by "[[OverclockingAttack overclocking]]" their physical implants and turning them into an almost literal BossInMooksClothing. This has the effect of burning out the individual Collector, but [[WeHaveReserves they do not really care]].
* [[spoiler:[[WasOnceAMan Were Once Protheans]]: See "Husks".]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Protheans]]
!! Protheans
[[quoteright:198:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Prothean-001_2256.png]]

'''Homeworld:''' Unknown

The Protheans were once the galaxy's dominant species. They are believed to have built the Mass Relays and the Citadel. However, they mysteriously vanished approximately 50,000 years before the series started.

* AncientAstronauts: They had a research outpost on Mars, and tagged and studied ancient humans before their destruction. There are also a large number of Prothean structures on the hanar homeworld, who fervently believe that they were uplifted by the Protheans. [[spoiler: The asari are also worshiping them without even realizing it.]]
* [[spoiler: AsskickingEqualsAuthority: According to Javik, they firmly believed this. He claims that the Protheans would have gladly served any race that proved itself capable of conquering them, but ''no-one'' ever did.]]
* BenevolentPrecursors: In a scenario similar to the [[{{Halo}} Forerunners]], but these guys are much more sympathetic. [[spoiler:Except, unlike the Forerunners, they ''didn't'' make the relays, the keepers or the Citadel. The ''Reapers'' did, and the Protheans just inherited the tech from whatever ''their'' precursors were.]]
** [[spoiler: Subverted when ''3'' reveals that they were actually a conquest-driven, imperialistic culture that enslaved other races; while the hanar worship them as "the Enkindlers" who gave them sentience, it's doubtful that this was done for magnanimous reasons or even on purpose.]]
*** They were especially benevolent towards [[spoiler: the asari. Bring Javik to Thessia and it turns out that nearly all of the Athame doctrine is based off of acts Protheans performed on the behalf of primitive asari. Asari could not count past their toes, and Protheans "took pity" on them and taught them mathematics. "We didn't want you to starve," so they taught agriculture.]]
* {{Cthulhumanoid}}: There are statues with this theme on Ilos, and so it was speculated that they looked like this. Jossed by ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', which revealed [[spoiler: they were actually more insectoid-looking, as seen in the presence of the Collectors. VideoGame/MassEffect3 shows us an actual Prothean; he looks even more human-like than the Collectors did, but he's still not comparable to the statues]]. It also reveals that [[spoiler: Ilos was built on the ruins of the Protheans' predecessors, the Inusannon, so it's likely statues of them. Javik also mentions that as the Empire grew several different member races came to adopt the name Prothean as their own.]]
* DidNotSeeThatComing: Javik admits that the Protheans intended for the ''[[spoiler: asari]]'' to lead the fight against the Reapers in the next Cycle, so he's rather taken aback to discover ''humanity'' is the one leading the charge.
* [[spoiler: TheEmpire]]: [[spoiler: The Protheans were not a single race -- they '''were''' a single ''empire''.]]
* EvilutionaryBiologist: According to Javik, this was the philosophy of Prothean civilization in general; they called it the "Cosmic Imperative". The strong thrive, the weak die or are enslaved. Although there's a slight caveat in that Javik isn't a scientist and lived his whole life in the ruins of his empire's Reaping, the fact that his empire was a Space Rome that enslaved other species says something.
* FantasticAnthropologist: The Protheans studied most lesser races in the Galaxy, trying best to determine who would inherit the next Cycle, or who would be a slave in their own.
* FlingALightIntoTheFuture: Surviving Prothean scientists sabotaged [[spoiler: the keepers in order to keep them from signalling the Reapers to come.]] In addition, the Protheans as a whole [[spoiler: tried uplifting the then-primitive asari to lead the next cycle against the Reapers.]] In this case, it....backfired.
* FuturisticPyramid: The Protheans constructed several pyramid structures on various worlds.
* HigherTechSpecies: Even considering the fact that they [[spoiler: didn't build the Mass Relays or the Citadel]], their technology level is still far beyond that of any known race in the galaxy, having things like particle weaponry, telepathy, and their own miniature mass relays. This is true even in the current cycle, where the Reaper invasion has been delayed by several centuries and the various civilisations have had more time to advance.
* [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoisted By Their Own Petard]]: They uplifted the rachni to function as living weapons, always selecting the most vicious and warlike queens for their breeding program, until the predictable happened and they had to burn 200 worlds to take control of the situation.
* [[spoiler: IntriguedByHumanity: While the Protheans were betting on the ''Asari'' to become the dominant power in the Galaxy in the next Cycle, the Prothean Orb on Eletania and the Mars Archives seem to imply that they had become somewhat interested in Humanity as well. Liara mentions in the third game that the Protheans were apparently conducting research, attempting to chart how intelligent humans might become.]]
* MightMakesRight: Sincerely believed this. Javik is utterly confused why Humans are attempting to diplomatically negotiate with the other races to create a BadassArmy, instead of simply ''forcing'' them to comply.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: According to Javik, Protheans liked passing time by having hours-long staring contests.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: [[spoiler: Javik reveals that they were much more imperialistic than anyone suspected. Those who did not want to be part of their empire were free to resist, and the Protheans were such firm believers in MightMakesRight that they would have followed any who won. None did. Javik talks about 'servant races' but also says that in time other species in their Empire also came to call themselves Protheans.]]
* RagnarokProofing: Not all of it survived, but a impressive amount of their tech still works fifty thousand years after the fact.
* [[spoiler: ReforgedIntoAMinion: A species-wide example.]]
* SeriousBusiness: Javik claimed that gambling was punishable by death within their empire. They also apparently passed the time via staring contests. That lasted for ''hours''. Granted, it is [[{{Troll}} Javik]] who makes that claim.
* SpaceRomans: The Protheans were actually much like Ancient Rome, particularly in their methodology with conquering other species.
* StopWorshippingMe: The Protheans uplifted many species, which led to them becoming worshipped by the hanar as "the Enkindlers" and the [[spoiler: asari]] as the [[spoiler: Goddess Athame]]. Javik's reaction upon learning this, is not one of amusement.
* SuspendedAnimation: [[spoiler:How the Protheans attempted to survive unnoticed on Ilos until the Reapers had returned to dark space. Only twelve scientists survived]]. In the "From the Ashes" DLC for ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[spoiler: one Prothean is still alive after 50,000 years, and is a potential squadmate.]]
* ThemeNaming: They apparently liked to name their virtual intelligence programs names that started with the letter V; Vigil, Victory, and Vendetta.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Reapers]]
!! The Reapers
[[quoteright:251:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Reapers-001_221.png]]

--> ''[[AC:We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.]]''
-->--'''Sovereign'''

'''Homeworld:''' N/A[[note]]It is entirely unknown where the first Reapers' creation took place, and the Reapers have no known need for a planet or base to call home.[[/note]]

A race of machines who are believed to have hunted the Protheans to extinction. Shepard discovers that the Reapers are about to return and spends the trilogy trying to stop them.

* AbusivePrecursors: '''Good Lord yes!''' They hold the current page quote. [[spoiler:As for why, well, specifically developing galactic races to be wiped out and harvested is plenty bad, don'cha think?]]
** Zigzagged: They consider the [[spoiler:self-destructiveness of galactic life to be inevitable, choosing instead to genetically preserve previous civilizations. In rather horrifying ways.]]
* AmbiguousRobots: They detest organic creatures and seem mechanical in nature. [[spoiler:Until you take their [[HumanResources construction methods]] into account.]]
* AndIMustScream: Several of the nasty fates they have in store for the galaxy, from turning people into husks, to Indoctrination, and [[spoiler:the fate of the humans kidnapped by the Collectors for the human Reaper]].
* [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Always]] LawfulEvil
* AnimalMotif: The Reapers look suspiciously like a techno-organic version of the reaper cuttlefish.
** Lampshaded in the third game. [[spoiler: Apparently this was the form of their creators.]]
* [[spoiler:AssimilationPlot]]: How new ones are made.
* AppropriatedAppelation: As Sovereign puts it, what various races chose to call them is irrelevant; it won't stop them from descending upon your world and harvesting your civilisation til there is nothing left.
* BatmanGambit: A particularly devious (and brilliant) one is what makes the entire extinction cycle possible.
** However clever it is (and it is ''very'' clever,) the scheme is severely hampered by the unanticipated actions of the Protheans.
* BigBad: The whole point of the trilogy is to bring them down, and they're behind much of the villains in each game.
** BiggerBad: For the first two games, an individual Reaper acts as TheManBehindTheMan and the main driving force for the armies of the geth and the Collectors respectively. In the third game, they lead their {{Mooks}} in a direct attack.
* BeamSpam: In addition to their main gun, the average Reaper capital ship also possesses a point defense laser system, similar to the GARDIAN lasers employed by other species' ships, and guns located in their tendrils. These tendril guns fire super accurate shots every two to three seconds that can decapitate cruisers in a single hit. A Reaper has eight of these tendril guns. Do the math.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: They claim this, but in truth it seems to have less to do with genuine inscrutability and more to do with [[CulturalPosturing their monumental arrogance and contempt for 'lesser races'.]] The truth is that while the Reapers ''are'' arrogant, [[spoiler: they actually were created by an AI that judged forcing order on organic life by turning it into Reapers would prevent "inevitable" wars between organics and synthetics.]]
* BrownNote: The deep bass sound-blasts that Reapers make are supposed to be able to instill a fear response in organics that hear it.
* BullyingADragon: At first, since Sovereign openly dismissed Shepard as being any kind of threat. This of course, naturally lead to his complete and utter destruction. By the sequel, Harbinger proves to be ''much'' more GenreSavvy, clearly recognising [[WorthyOpponent Shepard]] as [[TheDreaded the danger they are]], to the point where he openly declares his intention to eliminate them at all cost.
* [[TheChessmaster The Chessmasters]]: On a galactic scale for over a billion years.
* CoolStarships: They are remarkably powerful and even look really cool and sinister. Whatever your thoughts on their practices, there is no denying that they are awesome starships.
* CrazyPrepared: You don't wipe out hundreds of thousands of civilizations without being this trope. In addition to their plan A ([[spoiler: in this cycle, the rachni]]), the Reapers always have a plan B ([[spoiler: the geth]]). And a plan C ([[spoiler: the Alpha Relay]]). And a plan D ([[spoiler: the Collectors]]). And a plan E ([[spoiler: full assault]]). But that's it. [[spoiler: Nah, not really, they have a plan F (indoctrinated sleeper agents) as well.]]
* CulturalPosturing: It seems to be their national sport.
* CurbStompBattle: Reapers vs. anyone else. Compared to even the most powerful dreadnoughts employed by other races, the firepower and shielding of a capital Reaper is completely ridiculous. ''One'' Reaper managed to plow through hundreds of ships at the Battle of the Citadel while taking next to no damage, and when they invade the galaxy in full force exactly one planet doesn't fall instantly, and even that one planet only holds out for a few months.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Oh hell yes. Just about everything they do, from their BatmanGambit, [[JustShootHim to killing the hero once s/he showed how big of a threat s/he was]], [[NeverFoundTheBody to attempting to recover his/her body to confirm the death]], etc. REEKS of genre savviness.
** To be expected: it is unknown how many cycles they've gone through, but it's clearly a ''very'' large number, so they've probably had lots of experience dealing with exceptional individuals.
* EasyLogistics: This is what makes them so unbeatable in conventional combat, even if you foil their usual strategy of taking everyone by surprise and dividing and conquering. They don't have supply lines; their ships have infinite ammo and fuel and their troops don't require food. They don't have colonies; they just move through space destroying everything. They don't even have bases you can bomb; they have specialized ships that can create armies from the civilians of their enemies. Meaning they don't have any weak points; most wars are won by battering the enemy until they run out of money and troops or targeting their strategic resources immediately, but the Reapers have no strategic resources to target and have an effectively unlimited number of ground troops.
* EldritchAbomination
** EldritchStarship
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: The Reapers' design resembles that of an actual animal, the reaper cuttlefish. [[spoiler:Their external hulls, at least.]]
* EvilIsNotAToy: By what Javik says, The Illusive Man is not the first person who has ever tried to control them. Every time it ends with the Reapers taking control of the person themselves.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Every Reaper so far has spoken in teeth-rattling bass tones. [[spoiler:With the Reaper Destroyer you topple at the end of the Rannoch arc in the third game, the air actually distorts from the extreme bass of the reaper's voice.]]
* FantasyAxisOfEvil: Eldritch.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Basically, being vaporized is probably the most merciful fate they can give you.
* [[spoiler:HeelFaceTurn]]: In the Extended Cut, [[spoiler:they help galactic society rebuild in the Control and Synthesis endings.]]
* GalacticConqueror: [[spoiler: They already control the galaxy. The mass relay system and their control of it essentially turns the galaxy into a gigantic coral. Their extermination of all space-faring life on every planet is just pest control.]]]
** [[spoiler: Though Shepard him/herself only sees them completely in control of the galaxy at one point in the series: right before the final battle of Mass Effect 3, after they've curbstomped every military in the galaxy aside from Shepard's Crucible task force, and have occupied every single cluster.]]
* HigherTechSpecies: Almost all of their tech defies understanding. Some of them seem to defy ''the laws of physics''.
* HopelessWar: Any fight against them by any civilization. They've wiped out hundreds of thousands of space-faring empires and have a massive technological and numerical advantage over any other species that has ever existed. No one really has a chance against them.[[spoiler: This cycle only manages to defeat them via a DeusExMachina.]]
* IAmLegion: "We are each a nation." [[spoiler:Or, more accurately, a species.]]
* InfiniteSupplies: The Reapers don't bother to maintain supply lines and seemingly never run out of ammo, power, or the materials to make husks. Given that they are SufficientlyAdvancedAliens, they probably use a more advanced version of the field fabrication technology that other species use in things like omni-tools.
* LivingShip: [[spoiler:Considering their [[HumanResources construction methods]]...]]
* MachineWorship: The heretic geth worship them as gods, the pinnacle of what the geth aspire to be. The Reapers actually find this ''insulting''.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler: The Reapers were originally created by an AI within the Citadel called the Catalyst, who directed the Reapers to begin their systematic purge of any life advanced enough to create synthetic life.]]
* [[ManipulativeBastard Manipulative Bastards]]: On an absolutely massive scale.
* MechanicalLifeforms
* MindHive: Its revealed in the second game that individual Reapers are actually made up of a collection of independent AI programs that work together with a singular will and goal. [[spoiler: Difficult-to-get [[http://youtu.be/CqtAHNQT3-w content]] strongly suggests that said programs are the ''billions of uploaded conjoined minds'' of the people melted down to make each Reaper.]]
* MindRape: Reaper indoctrination. [[FateWorseThanDeath Quite possibly the most horrible fate a being can suffer.]] [[spoiler: Save being melted and made into part of a new one.]]
* NighInvulnerability: They can be killed but it takes an enormous amount of effort to bring down even a weaker Reaper.
** The codex states that, in a straight-up fight, just one Reaper capital ship is a match for three capital ships from other species. It takes four to stand a good chance of killing one. To put that in prospective: that's at least 12 [[HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure Little Boys]] slamming into the Reaper's face every two to five seconds. And even ''that'' sometimes doesn't work. Even the Reaper Destroyer on Rannoch took multiple bombardments from a large portion of the quarian fleet before falling.
** The Reaper Destroyers themselves are this to ground units whenever they take their heavy walker form for ground combat. Even when using tanks, gunships, and artillery, the militaries of the galaxy may as well be throwing rocks at the Destroyers. The only things that have been shown to be able to kill Destroyers are the guns on cruisers and dreadnoughts and the massively powerful thanix missiles- and even then, only if it hits a weak spot.
* NoConservationOfEnergy: As far as anyone is able to tell, the Reapers appear to be perpetual motion machines with no need for fuel or maintenance. The Codex specifically mentions how impossible this should be, and how it allows previously unseen war strategies that require no supply lines even in the long term conflicts.
* NoNameGiven: "Reaper" was merely the designation given to them by the Protheans. Since they never deem to reveal their ''true'' name to anyone, (if they even ''have'' one), it seems they prefer to use AppropriatedAppelation.
** For individual Reapers, the only true name we learn is Sovereign, who referred to itself as "[[spoiler:Nazara]]" when communicating with the Geth.
* NotSoDifferent: The Reapers are essentially geth platforms, except instead of programs, ''genetic memory of indoctrinated species'', individually. In other words, the human reaper would have had billions of human minds achieving consensus, much like a mobile geth platform like Legion.
* OmnicidalManiac
* [[OneManArmy One Ship Armada]]: It took two fleets, the Destiny Ascension and a massive stroke of luck to bring down Sovereign, a single Reaper capital ship. And while capital ships are the most powerful Reaper design, even the relatively smaller destroyers can take insane amounts of damage before they fall.
* OrderVersusChaos: According to Sovereign, they "bring order to the chaos of organic evolution." He's not spouting arrogance there: [[spoiler: the Catalyst specifically created them to bring order to chaos. Namely, by establishing a systematic process by which organic life advanced enough to create self-aware synthetic life would be "preserved" by being turned into Reapers, to prevent what the Catalyst perceives as an inevitable and destructive conflict between synthetic and organic life.]]
* OutsideContextVillain: [[spoiler:Imagine the fates of all the civilizations they've destroyed. They were advancing swimmingly... and then abruptly hundreds of thousands of incomprehensibly powerful machine-god-squid-ships popped out of every Mass Relay, crushed their governments, ripped their militaries apart and then began methodically exterminating every single sign that they had ever existed in the most horrifying way imaginable without once bothering to stop killing and explain any of it. ''Ever.'']]
* PrecursorKillers: Though they're technically the alpha-precursors, they're still the ones who killed the Protheans. [[spoiler:Along with the twenty thousand-plus generations of {{Precursors}} before them.]]
** [[spoiler: The Leviathan DLC reveals that they were in fact predated by the eponymous Leviathans...and they killed them too.]]
* PretenderDiss: Despite the size of their egos, they find the heretics' worship demeaning.
--> '''Saren:''' But the reaction of their deity is most telling. It is ''insulted''.
* PyrrhicVictory:[[spoiler: The result of the "refusal" ending. They effortlessly stomp out Shepard's cycle like thousands before it. However Shepard manages to FlingALightIntoTheFuture in the form of, among other things, the Crucible design, enabling the next cycle to complete and use it before the Reapers even arrived.]]
* RagnarokProofing: Well, the stuff they leave behind ''is'' supposed to go fifty thousand years plus without maintenance.
* RecursivePrecursors: The reapers are ThePrecursors and PrecursorKillers of every generation of galactic civilization. [[spoiler: Except for the Leviathans, their own precursors.]]
* RegularlyScheduledEvil: Their galactic genocides come every 50,000 years or so. Part of the plot of the series is the current iteration of the cycle has been delayed by several thousand years [[BenevolentPrecursors by outside forces]], making the Reapers somewhat desperate to get things back on track.
* SapientShip: [[spoiler:With a mix of LivingShip.]]
* SealedEvilInACan: A rare case of self-sealing evil. They hibernate outside of the galaxy in between cycles both to conserve energy and prevent discovery.
* SlaveMooks: Anyone who works for the Reapers is this. They don't see anyone or anything as their equal, or even worthy of respect. If you work for the Reapers, you are first either indoctrinated, implanted, zombified, or reprogrammed, and then [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness you are dead]]. Period.
* SpiderTank: The Destroyer model can become this, even though it only has four legs.
* StarfishAlien
* StarfishRobot
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien
* VillainOverride: The closest they get to fighting Shepard in person... until the third game.
* WalkingTank: Destroyers become this whenever they decide to start walking on the ground to support the husks. They're a lot more powerful than the usual WalkingTank, possessing armor thick enough to make them nigh invulnerable to ground fire and highly resistant to even orbital bombardment, plus a main gun that can kill 500 meter long shielded warships with a few seconds of continuous fire. Needless to say, infantry, armored vehicles, and aircraft are instantly destroyed just by being grazed by the gun's beam.
* WaveMotionGun: The main gun of a capital Reaper is spinal-mounted gigantic death beam hitting with the force of 450 kilotons of TNT per shot that accelerates molten metal at a significant fraction of the speed of light... every five seconds. It far and away outclasses any weapon on any other species' ships. To put that into prospective: that's over thirty times as destructive as the Hiroshima bomb.
* WorthyOpponent: They have come to see Shepard as "[[AC:an annoyance]]". Considering how massive their egos are, this is pretty much the highest possible praise they could give an enemy.
-->'''Dying Reaper:''' [[AC: Harbinger speaks of [[TheDreaded you]].]]
** [[spoiler:Leviathan]] notes that Shepard is the only being in history that the Reapers have ever feared.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Raloi]]
!!Raloi

'''Homeworld''': Turvess

A relatively newcomer race on the Galactic scene, who made first contact with the Asari in 2184. During the Reaper invasion, they retreated to their homeworld, destroying their more advanced technology in the hopes that the Reapers would possibly spare them.

* BizarreAlienBiology: Are an Avian species, who have to wear environment suits to interact with aliens, ever since it was discovered they accidentally spread a form of the [=H7N7=] avian flu-virus (a reference to "Bird flu") to one of the diplomatic delegations they were invited to.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: Eighteen months after they first discovered alien life in the Galaxy, the Reapers invade. The Raloi immediately throw up their hands and say this is ''not'' their fight, retreating back to Turvess, where they destroy all their advanced technology.
* TheUnseen: They are mentioned in both the second and third game, but never actually seen.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never learn their fate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Leviathan]]

'''Warning: WalkingSpoiler'''

!!Leviathan

[[quoteright:230:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ME3_Leviathan_Creature2_6513.jpeg]]

'''Homeworld''': Unknown

Mysterious creatures, one of which is apparently powerful enough to kill Reapers. They're eventually revealed to be the creators of the Catalyst, and by proxy the Reapers.

* AdmiringTheAbomination: Inverted. The Leviathan are EldritchAbominations who admire ''Shepard'' for being the first thing in ''any'' Cycle that the Reapers have actually been afraid of.
* AGodAmI: Definitely consider themselves to be God-like, referring to themselves as the "Apex of Organic Evolution".
* AlwaysABiggerFish: Leviathan represents this to the Reapers.
* BadassBystander: The Leviathan clearly have a lot of power at their disposal, but have not intervened during any of the previous Cycles, due to not believing it possible to stop the Reapers, nor caring enough about the "lesser races" to try.
* BiggerBad: Even more so that the Catalyst, whom they created. They have every intention of regaining their control of the galaxy once the Reapers are defeated.
* {{Brainwashed}}: Evidently, the Reapers didn't pull indoctrination out of thin air. Leviathan indoctrination needs a constant transmission to maintain control over their victims, channeled through odd spheres. Destroy the spheres and the victims regain their minds. Until they come near another sphere. On the other hand, it's apparently powerful enough to override the Reapers' control of the husks. It seems less harmful to the indoctrinated subjects than the Reaper version, assuming Leviathan doesn't decide to kill them or put them in comas, but it's noted of one scientist who was indoctrinated that she "retains ''most'' of her mental faculties."
** The Codex says, after Shepard speaks with them, that they are having the Citadel races spread those sphere-things deep in Reaper territory, so they can use their mental domination on Reaper forces and sabotage them.
* EldritchAbomination: To an even greater extent than the Reapers.
* EnemyMine: With the entire galaxy. The Leviathans are helping the galactic effort not because they are turning over a new leaf, but because they were there ''first'', and the Reapers took what they deemed to be rightfully theirs.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: People who were controlled by the leviathan describe a sensation of being somewhere dark and cold. It's likely a side-effect of the Leviathan physically residing in the deepest reaches of Ocean worlds.
* HappinessInSlavery: What they see enthralling lesser species as. As long as they pay "tribute", the Leviathans will "care for them".
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: They created an AI to preserve their slave species, with absolutely no restrictions on how (ultimately resulting in the creation of the Reapers). As a direct result of this [[AbusivePrecursors self-centered attitude,]] they found themselves to be the first species to be harvested.
* ItsAllAboutMe: The Leviathans still believe that, being the first, 'apex' society, the galaxy belongs to them.
* [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice Job Breaking It, Creepy Aquatic Apex-Race]]: They built the intelligence that built the Reapers due to concerns about difficult synthetic-organic relations. Said intelligence promptly turned on them, built Harbinger, and started the Reaper cycles.
* NoNameGiven: Even if they do agree to help out, they are reluctant to share any information about themselves with the other species, including whatever the true name of their race is. The galaxy seems to have settled on calling them "Leviathans" for lack of any other name.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: They make it ''very'' clear that the only reason they're joining the fight is for revenge. They'd personally prefer to have remained staying hidden, but unfortunately that's no longer an option.
* NotSoDifferent: They have a ''lot'' of similarities to the Reapers, except they demand "tribute" from lesser races instead of harvesting them. Indeed, the Reapers' physical shape came from them (though the Leviathans are huge, they aren't nearly as gigantic as Sovereign-class Reapers).
* OrwellianEditor: The Leviathan periodically use their thralls to erase any evidence that might lead the Reapers to learn of their continued existence.
* {{Precursors}}: They kind of straddle the line between AbusivePrecursors and NeglectfulPrecursors: On the one hand, they enslaved pretty much the entire galaxy in their heyday and are responsible for the Reapers, but on the other hand, according to them, their subjects were granted a fair amount of autonomy so long as they paid "tribute" to the Leviathans and properly venerated them. The fact that enough of their slave races ended up building artificial intelligences that would ultimately wipe them out for the Leviathans to notice supports their side of the story somewhat, but that doesn't make the prospect of them ruling the galaxy again any less sinister. They also created the Catalyst to try and solve this issue for them, so their tributes wouldn't be disrupted. Unfortunately, their creation decided they were part of the problem, and was true to its directive to preserve organic life at any cost.
* {{Pride}}: Their belief that they were superior to the extent that they believed that the problems of the "lesser races" could never harm them directly has led to much of the series' conflict.
* RacialRemnant: Shepard only sees three of them.
* TheRemnant: They once ruled a powerful empire that covered the entire galaxy. After the Catalyst turned on them, what's left of them is now in hiding at the bottom of an ocean.
* RecursivePrecursors: The Leviathans were the first spacefaring species in the galaxy, if not the universe.
* {{Revision}}: Not a hint of their existence was alluded to before the ''Leviathan'' DLC came out, yet they actually fit quite snugly into the canon. Their existence revamps things such as the Rachni Wars (though this is only ever a theory in-universe) and the Leviathan of Dis, but without contradicting anything other than in-universe theories that were, for obvious reasons, incomplete.
** Considering they are actively using their thralls to [[OrwellianEditor erase any evidence of their existence]], no ''wonder'' we've had any hints of their existence beforehand. Then again, maybe we ''[[ParanoiaFuel did]]'' and we just don't ''[[BrainwashedAndCrazy remember]]'' anymore!
* [[SpaceWhale Space Squid]]: Subverted in that they still live in oceans.
* UltimateLifeForm: Consider themselves to be such, with their "apex of organic evolution" opinion of themselves. It is not without some justification, considering their power and the fact that they have survived this many cycles at all.
* VestigialEmpire: Averted. They had one, but have been having thralls slowly disassemble it over the eons to conceal traces of their existence. Thanks to the memory blackout feature of their mind control, this is supremely effective.
* WalkingSpoiler: Hell, even giving them ''their own entry'' is spoileriffic, since everyone assumes the Leviathan is just another Reaper until Shepard actually finds them. And once they start talking, well, then it's no holds barred revelations. This actually opens plot-holes depending on where in the game you play the DLC, since it means Shepard is desperately trying to find answers the Leviathans already gave him and acts surprised when the Catalyst gives much of the same information.
** Shepard's confusion on meeting the Catalyst is mitigated if the Extended Cut is installed and Shepard has finished the Leviathan quest already. When the Catalyst brings up who created it and why, Shepard will immediately make the connection to the Leviathans and the Catalyst will confirm it. Little other than that is changed though.
* WhatTheHellAreYou: Leviathan initially states their intention to keep Shepard for study, having become interested in finding out ''why'' the Reapers are so terrified of this PunyEarthling.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Virtual Alien]]

!!Virtual Alien

'''Homeworld''': Unknown

A race of one billion individuals who downloaded their conciousnesses onto a starship in order to escape their race's destruction from their system's star going supernova. Discovered by the salarians when their starship entered one of their systems in search of a new power source for their systems.

* AllThereInTheManual: They were only mentioned in the Cerberus Daily News.
* BrainUploading: What they did to themselves and others can do.
* {{Cyberspace}}: Created an entire virtual world to live in to save themselves.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Their real names are unknown.
* TheGhost: Never seen in the games proper.
* GhostShip
* SymbioticPossession: They communicate with other species by using a host to download their conciousness into.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never find out what's become of them outside of the article that reveals them.

[[/folder]]

!Non-Sapient Creatures

[[folder:Husks]]
!!Husks
[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Husk-001_7436.png]]

--> '''Thane:''' There are tales about such things among my people - devices buried on distant worlds that turn the finders into abominations.

'''Homeworld:''' N/A

Non-sapient synthetic creatures that are created using the bodies of organic beings. They are of Reaper origin. Husk is both the name of the 'generic' human zombie enemy and a general term for Reaper-fied organics.

* ActionBomb: Abominations.
* ArmCannon: Scions in 2. Cannibals, batarian-human hybrids from 3. Adjutants from Invasion.
* BodyHorror: All of them, often mixed with MixAndMatchCritters, as mentioned below.
** Husks and Abominations are formed from humans who have had their internal organs all replaced by cybernetics by [[SpikesOfVillainy dragon's teeth]], with the latter exploding upon getting close to foes. [[spoiler:Cerberus troopers in 3 are much the same, but more intelligent.]]
** Scions are combinations of three human Husks fused together around a single biotic ArmCannon. A blue sac over the same shoulder as the cannon holds redundant organs and element zero sources for their weapon.
** [[spoiler:Collectors are Protheans that had a complete genetic rewrite, including three fewer chromosomes, reduced heterochromatin structure, and elimination of useless "junk" sequences. Due to the extensive amounts of cybernetics, they lack many of their organs, and are essentially clones, with whether or not they even have any remaining gender unknown.]]
** Marauders are husks of turians with armor plates grafted on and lenses embedded in their faces.
** Brutes are formed from Krogan, but with a turian head attached for intelligence. Due to the aversion of NoBiochemicalBarriers, the krogan levo-DNA clashes with the turian dextro-DNA, meaning that the entire creature would die very painfully if the cybernetics were not in place.
** Banshees are naked, asari Husks of those who are or have a predisposition to be [[DeathBySex Ardat Yakshi]]. Due to the nature of asari sex, their creation could technically be considered a whole new meaning of MindRape.
** Cannibals are batarian husks (with an ArmCannon made out of a human corpse) who eat their allies to regain health.
** Synthetic Harvesters are, as their name implies, Huskified Harvesters, though they also have added head-mounted cannons.
** Ravagers are mobile turrets formed from rachni. Notably, concept art included a human husk corpse on the back, but BioWare decided [[EveryoneHasStandards that was too disgusting]].
** Swarmers appear to be spider-type robots made from rachni workers.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: To create a husk, organics are impaled on spikes which converts organic materials into synthetic ones. Usually though, they're already dead.
** Zigzagged if [[spoiler:the Synthesis ending is used, since they become sapient, possibly ''immortal'' beings again. Hopefully, the human Husks in such creatures as the Praetorians and Scions (and the arm cannons for Cannibals, which are fused to a human husk) are extricated, or it'll be a double dose of BodyHorror on the level of ''TheHumanCentipede''.]]
* {{Cthulhumanoid}}: Adjutants
* CyberneticsWillEatYourSoul: Luckily, most Husks are already dead pre-Huskification.
* GlowingMechanicalEyes
* GrenadeLauncher: The Cannibal's ArmCannon, in addition to shooting what appears to be red flechettes in the place of bullets, can also fire frag grenades. Unlike most examples of this trope, the grenades still take a few seconds to detonate after they land.
* ImAHumanitarian: Cannibals replenish health by eating their own dead (er, dead-er) allies.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: How they are made, and how Banshees will kill anyone within arm's reach.
* {{Mooks}}: In all three games.
** BossInMookClothing: Banshees, husked Ardat-Yakshi, in Mass Effect 3. They have Biotic barriers and armor instead of health which makes them immune to a lot of biotic effects, they can FlashStep, and they also have the ability to grab people and subsequently [[{{ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice}} impale them with their hands]], resulting in [[{{OneHitKill}} instant death]]. Sometimes they will stand still and briefly appear to charge up, after which they will scream and release an attack that covers a surprisingly large area. Finally, they throw powerful projectiles that move slowly but track their target. [[{{SarcasmMode}} Have fun.]]
** EliteMooks: Marauders. Husked turians, they have kinetic barriers and a turian assault rifle, and also tend to buff nearby foes as well.
** GiantMook: Scions. Also a BossInMookClothing. In VideoGame/MassEffect3, Brutes fill this role; they're huskified krogans with a turian head for higher intelligence. Scions, however, return in [[DownloadableContent Retaliation]] for multiplayer.
** HeavilyArmoredMook: Marauders are capable of turning husks and cannibals into these.
** KungFuProofMook: Banshee barriers are capable of negating powers.
** MiniMook: Swarmers.
** NightOfTheLivingMooks
** SlaveMooks
** SmashMook: Brutes.
* MixAndMatchCritters: It's not uncommon for certain husk variants to be comprised of more than one individual, sometimes not from the same species. Scions are 3 human husks fused together. As noted above, cannibals are batarian-human hybrids while brutes are krogan-turian hybrids.
* OminousWalk: Banshees will engage in this when not [[FlashStep teleporting around]].
** PowerFloats: Before you take down their biotic barriers.
* TheReveal: In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', it's learned the Geth didn't create husks - the Reapers did.
* TheVirus: Adjutants are capable of turning victims into more of them.
* ZergRush: When you consider that the Reapers can produce essentially unlimited numbers of these things, their use of this tactic is not surprising.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: Well, they're mechanical, for one thing. The creation process is taking (preferably living) organic beings and impaling them on spikes, which slowly replaces tissue with machinery. They start out as somewhat standard zombies (albeit with [[ActionBomb electrical attacks]]), but VideoGame/MassEffect2 and especially VideoGame/MassEffect3 features tons of varieties with neat abilities like exploding, having guns built into their arms, and being very durable.
* [[WasOnceAMan Were Once Men]]: Or whatever other species ([[MixAndMatchCritters plural or singular]]) they came from.
* VillainOverride: When the Collectors return in 3, Harbinger has extended his control to their unique husks. Possessed Scions fire grenades, while Abominations explode with about three times the force.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Thresher Maw]]
[[quoteright:244:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Thresher-001_66.png]]

--> '''Zaeed:''' Standard operating procedure when you get a thresher maw is [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere run the hell away.]] [[RunOrDie Pick up sticks.]] Move the hell out! Krogan don't know any better.

'''Homeworld:''' Unknown, possibly Tuchanka

[[DeathWorld Tuchanka's]] ultimate predator, thresher maws are enormous subterranean creatures that spend their whole life eating or searching for something to eat. Thanks to their method of reproduction (spores that can survive in space), they've made it to plenty of other planets. In the Sole Survivor background, Commander Shepard was the SoleSurvivor of a thresher maw attack triggered by a particularly nasty Cerberus cell.

* DegradedBoss: Inverted. In the first game you killed almost a dozen of them in various sidequests. In the second, there's only one Thresher Maw, but you don't have the [[TankGoodness Mako]] to help you fight it, so it's a boss fight.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The first time one is encountered in the first game can be like this.
* HorseOfADifferentColour: Javik regrets that in this Cycle, they are now too big to ''[[{{Dune}} ride]]'' anymore.
* {{Kaiju}}: Kalros especially
* MonsterProgenitor / MotherOfAThousandYoung: The legendary Kalros, said by Eve to be the mother from whom all thresher maws spawn. This is *probably* an exaggeration, but [[spoiler: she sure made mincemeat out of that Reaper Destroyer. From the sound of things, Our Heroes seemed to just expect it to ''distract'' the Reaper, not outright kill it.]]
* SandWorm: Javik's line about riding them seems to be a ShoutOut to ''{{Dune}}''.
* TimedMission: On Grunt's loyalty mission in the second game, you have to survive a thresher maw attack for five minutes. [[BadAss Or you can just kill it]].
* WormSign
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Virtual Intelligences (VIs)]]
--> ''Thank you for using Avina! Have a pleasant day.''

'''Homeworld:''' N/A

Not a "species" in and of themselves, [=VIs=] are complex quasi-intelligent (but not truly sentient) computer programs often used to drive user interfaces; the ones most commonly seen throughout the franchise are humanoid, although Avina is asari in appearance, and Vigil is of Prothean origin. They can play a number of roles, usually serving as information access points, data analyzers, system monitors and optimizers, and distress beacon maintainers/interface points. True [=AIs=] are highly regulated or illegal in Citadel space; a VI might ''seem'' intelligent or sentient, but it's an illusion of clever programming.

* BrainwashedAndCrazy: There's several instances of [=VIs=] being hacked, given a virus, or otherwise just subverted somehow to the point they become a serious threat to their users using the systems under their control. [[spoiler:David Archer of Project Overlord is a much more literal example.]]
* CannotTellALie: Relative to what information it has access to, that is (see UnreliableNarrator). If the user has the clearance for the information they request, that information will be dispensed to the VI's best ability with no trickery or deception.
* CasualDangerDialog: A VI's enforced etiquette will often invoke this if circumstances around them are abnormal.
* DoAndroidsDream: In this case, no. They're specifically made to be limited, and said limits are usually found very quickly if they're treated like sentient beings. In ''2'', Jarrahe Station's VI becomes infected with a virus that makes it treat everyone like threats, and some of the station residents hope that maybe by doing nothing they can convince her that they're not dangerous. [[spoiler:It fails, and it's clear when Shepard visits that 'she' has no understanding of the situation at all.]] Vigil, the Prothean VI on Ilos, seems to be more sophisticated and it ''does'' seem to have a grasp of the situation, but outside the situation it has no use or knowledge whatsoever - it wasn't programmed to. Several times a VI will bluntly respond to sapient reactions or questions with something along the lines of "I am incapable of [giving that information/feeling that emotion/making that judgement/accessing such data]. Do you have any other requests?"
* JustAMachine: This is the legal extent to which the Council races permit an artificial intelligence of any sort to develop. One VI explicitly has no feelings one way or the other if its database is wiped [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness after it's served its purpose]], and says so; "In order for me to be 'killed', I would need to be alive."
* MagicalDatabase: Subverted, as [=VIs=] can't access any information which is outside of their reach, and there's at least one point where you need to re-establish a VI's connection with outside servers for it to provide more information to you.
* NiceGuy: Programmed to be such; [=VIs=] are impeccably polite and incapable of making qualified judgements about the decisions of organics.
* ProjectedMan: Avina provides the trope picture.
* RoboSpeak: Thoroughly averted. The vocal synthesisers employed in ''Mass Effect'' are evidentially very sophisticated.
* TronLines
* UncannyValley: Deliberately invoked at one point. After [[spoiler:Sovereign's attack on the Citadel]], Avina starts malfunctioning, causing her to glitch and act erratically when accessed.
* UnreliableNarrator: In the same way the Codex is written in-universe, so are the available information stores in a VI.
* ViewerFriendlyInterface: Can't get much more user-friendly than a person you just talk to.
* YouNoTakeCandle: Usually averted, but a VI can occasionally slip into it when it's not addressing the user, such as when it's parroting status messages.
[[/folder]]

----
<<|CharacterSheets|>>
[[redirect:Franchise/MassEffect]]
17th Feb '13 3:01:34 PM Spirit
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder: Virtual Alien]]

!!Virtual Alien

'''Homeworld''': Unknown

A race of one billion individuals who downloaded their conciousnesses onto a starship in order to escape their race's destruction from their system's star going supernova. Discovered by the salarians when their starship entered one of their systems in search of a new power source for their systems.

* AllThereInTheManual: They were only mentioned in the Cerberus Daily News.
* BrainUploading: What they did to themselves and others can do.
* {{Cyberspace}}: Created an entire virtual world to live in to save themselves.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Their real names are unknown.
* TheGhost: Never seen in the games proper.
* GhostShip
* SymbioticPossession: They communicate with other species by using a host to download their conciousness into.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never find out what's become of them outside of the article that reveals them.

[[/folder]]
14th Feb '13 10:04:37 AM Tahaneira
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'''Warning: WalkingSpoiler'''



'''Warning: WalkingSpoiler'''
14th Feb '13 10:03:48 AM Tahaneira
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'''Warning: WalkingSpoiler'''



'''Warning: WalkingSpoiler'''
11th Feb '13 12:04:40 AM Spirit
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* Cthulhumanoid: Adjutants

to:

* Cthulhumanoid: {{Cthulhumanoid}}: Adjutants
11th Feb '13 12:03:57 AM Spirit
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Added DiffLines:

* Cthulhumanoid: Adjutants
9th Feb '13 4:27:15 PM Peteman
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* HeroicNeutral: Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, they also shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact, including a quarian ship at one point according to the novels.

to:

* HeroicNeutral: Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, according to the Codex, they also shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact, including a quarian ship at one point according to the novels.contact.



* PoorCommunicationKills: It turns out, the true geth are not bad guys. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell anyone anything which led to the impression that they are. Doesn't help that they kill every sentient organic that enters their space, and the only geth who have left the veil in 300 years are the heretics. [[spoiler: In fact, if you get the geth to help out, an Alliance marine actually blows a hole in a geth prime when it shows up to help. He's glad they saved his squad but feels he will [[NeverLiveItDown never live down]] apologizing to it. A [[http://youtu.be/u5O5RdWZsGo geth prime]] can blandly tell Shep that his/her military commanders briefed their troops extensively on the situation, and allied fire has been minimal.]]

to:

* PoorCommunicationKills: It turns out, the true geth are not bad guys. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell anyone anything which led to the impression that they are. Doesn't help that according to the Codex, they kill shoot down every sentient organic that enters their space, and the only geth who have left the veil in 300 years are the heretics. [[spoiler: In fact, if you get the geth to help out, an Alliance marine actually blows a hole in a geth prime when it shows up to help. He's glad they saved his squad but feels he will [[NeverLiveItDown never live down]] apologizing to it. A [[http://youtu.be/u5O5RdWZsGo geth prime]] can blandly tell Shep that his/her military commanders briefed their troops extensively on the situation, and allied fire has been minimal.]]
9th Feb '13 2:12:58 PM lrrose
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9th Feb '13 2:12:23 PM CPFMfan
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* HeroicNeutral: Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, second-hand accounts claim they shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact, including a quarian ship at one point according to the novels.

to:

* HeroicNeutral: Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, second-hand accounts claim they also shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact, including a quarian ship at one point according to the novels.



* PoorCommunicationKills: It turns out, the true geth are not bad guys. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell anyone anything which led to the impression that they are. Doesn't help that they allegedly kill every sentient organic that enters their space, and the only geth who have left the veil in 300 years are the heretics. [[spoiler: In fact, if you get the geth to help out, an Alliance marine actually blows a hole in a geth prime when it shows up to help. He's glad they saved his squad but feels he will [[NeverLiveItDown never live down]] apologizing to it. A [[http://youtu.be/u5O5RdWZsGo geth prime]] can blandly tell Shep that his/her military commanders briefed their troops extensively on the situation, and allied fire has been minimal.]]

to:

* PoorCommunicationKills: It turns out, the true geth are not bad guys. Unfortunately, they never bothered to tell anyone anything which led to the impression that they are. Doesn't help that they allegedly kill every sentient organic that enters their space, and the only geth who have left the veil in 300 years are the heretics. [[spoiler: In fact, if you get the geth to help out, an Alliance marine actually blows a hole in a geth prime when it shows up to help. He's glad they saved his squad but feels he will [[NeverLiveItDown never live down]] apologizing to it. A [[http://youtu.be/u5O5RdWZsGo geth prime]] can blandly tell Shep that his/her military commanders briefed their troops extensively on the situation, and allied fire has been minimal.]]
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