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[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Mass Effect 2]]
* AngstWhatAngst:
** Appears to be played straight, but ultimately subverted by Garrus. He appears to take his new scars well, but by speaking to Kelly or Garrus himself, you'll find out he's in serious pain (emotionally and physically) and just putting on a brave face for the sake of the mission. When you're romancing him, when he tries to dissuade Shepard, he says: "Look, Shepard, I'm not--" He stops there, but his hand is touching the scarred side of his face for a moment before he drops it. His Lair of the Shadow Broker dossier also reveals that he won't go on video chat with his sister since he was injured. In the third game, however, Dr. Chakwas mentions that she's discussed dermal regeneration with him, but he refused, as he seems to like his scars.
** The amount of trauma Tali is put through is almost comical, yet she remains outwardly optimistic, polite, and helpful through it all. Ultimately subverted, as demonstrated when Shepard speaks to her on the ''Normandy'', saying that Tali deserved better. Tali will state that life isn't about what you deserve -- and that she thinks [[spoiler:her father would have found it fitting that she mourned him by [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge blowing up a lot of geth]]]]. In addition, if you read Tali's dossier on board the Shadow Broker's vessel, it reveals that Tali [[spoiler:tried to write to the families of the quarian soldiers that died on Haestrom, but put her email aside for the moment when she was unable to think of how she could justify their sacrifices]]. She also downloads a book on grief and loss, although whether its about the loss of her [[spoiler:father]], [[spoiler:squadmates on Haestrom]], or [[spoiler:Shepard during the original Normandy's destruction]], or some combination thereof, is up to the fandom's interpretation.
** Played very straight by Jacob. It's pretty telling that after his loyalty mission, he's more bewildered by [[spoiler:Miranda's involvement in the distress signal being brought to his attention]] rather than [[spoiler:the actual circumstances behind his father's disappearance]].
*** [[spoiler: Jacob does state that in regards to his father he's "buried everything but a body".]]
** Samara also has a case of this trope, due to her determination in following her justicar Code to the letter in spite of the price being her obligation to kill [[spoiler:her own daughter]].
* AntiClimaxBoss
** The FinalBoss, [[spoiler:The Human Reaper Larva]] is fairly easy though it's somewhat of a relief considering all the crap you went through to get to it.
** At the end of Grunt's loyalty mission, killing Uvenk and his minions is quite easy compared to killing or surviving against a [[ThatOneBoss Thresher Maw.]]
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Ask about Mordin's [[CrowningMomentOfFunny singing career]]. Although it ''is'' completely in character for Mordin.
* ComplacentGamingSyndrome:
** The Reave power is considered by many to be the best bonus talent in the second game, period. There is thereby no point in using any of the others.
** The DLC weapons outclass all of the ingame weapons or are on par with the InfinityPlusOneSword weapon of choice found halfway in the game. There is no reason to even pick up any of the other weapons like the Tempest and Vindicator when you already have the Locust and Mattock for example.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: Some of the Renegade interrupts are hilarious in their sheer audacity.
-->'''Random Mercenary''': (After Shepard has been interrogating him) I've got nothing more to say to you. If you-
-->(Shepard ''[[DestinationDefenestration shoves him out of the window behind him]]'')
-->'''Shepard''': [[BondOneLiner How about "goodbye"?]]
-->'''[[AxCrazy Jack]]''': Damn, I should be taking lessons from you.
* DemonicSpiders: Scions. Their shockwave attack can instantly deplete your shields and prolong your regeneration, it can hit you even if you are ''behind cover'', and it has very long range. On top of all that, Scions can take a ''lot'' of damage before going down. Scions are the reason that the Reaper IFF mission has become ThatOneLevel for many players.
** The various Pyros also qualify, as the flamethrower mechanics and the game's lack of MercyInvincibility means that if they get close to Shepard and score a hit, Shepard will likely end up trapped in the hit animation as the Pyro roasts him/her to death. Not that it takes them long to do that in any event, as their flamethrowers can cause a ''lot'' of damage. The only saving grace is that Pyros only have a basic health bar (except, of course, on Insanity), although even then they can take more punishment than most mooks.
*** Unless you have access to Incinerate or Overload, in which case they're less "challenging" and more "LudicrousGibs".
* EvenBetterSequel: This is considered amongst the fandom to be ''TheEmpireStrikesBack'' of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' trilogy. It even ends the same way, with Shepard looking out at the galaxy and the cliffhanger that the Reapers are now ''very'' close.
* FanNickname: The Space Hamster has been dubbed "[[BaldursGate Boo]]" by the fanbase, since it was obviously included as a ShoutOut.
* FauxSymbolism:
** A ''Shepard'' dies and and is resurrected by the Lazarus Project. Shepard must go to Omega and then a bar called Afterlife to recruit an Archangel. Later, Shepard must go to another bar named Afterlife and a prison named Purgatory. With all the downloadable content, Shepard will have twelve followers he/she receives help from in order to save humanity.
** There's also a gun called the Revenant.
** Go ahead and pick the Renegade ending in the ''Overlord'' DLC. Does that final image look familiar at all?
* FunnyAneurysmMoment:
** During [[spoiler:his mini mission]], Joker wonders if he's dooming the galaxy by [[spoiler:hooking up EDI]]. At one point, he mutters, "...now I have to spend all day computing pi because Joker plugged in the Overlord." Then comes the [[TearJerker Overlord]] [[NightmareFuel DLC]]...
** A Website/YouTube user made a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQvPFNjxxU0&context=C4045cc8ADvjVQa1PpcFPlCObhVG4znLyTaB8NJUflIkyZAeYoiRQ= video]] that depicted the series ending like ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. It was meant to be a joke, but it turned out to be prophetic when the third installment came out and the fans' reaction towards the endings being similar to ''Evangelion'''s 16 years earlier.
** One of Jack's lines is "If I die, I'm haunting you, Shepard," a typical BadassBoast that shows her HiddenDepths that she believes in that sort of thing. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', those who have died haunt Shepard.

* GeniusBonus:
** The ship that Morinth left Illium on is the ''Demeter''. In Greek mythology, Demeter was an extremely powerful goddess who lost her daughter Persephone to the underworld and walked the earth endlessly searching for her. Sounds a bit like a certain justicar... which makes this a [[IncrediblyLamePun literal]] MythologyGag. For bonus points, the Demeter was also the name of the ship the Count traveled on in Dracula.
** Does the name of Jacob's father's ship (the ''Hugo Gernsbeck'') sound familiar to you? If you're a sci-fi buff, it should. Hugo Gernsbeck is generally considered the father of modern science fiction and founder of the ''Magazine/AmazingStories'' magazine. It's who the HugoAward is named after. Although considering that the ship named after him is populated in the game by a bunch of self-centered jackasses who routinely perform MindRape on their crew, it's not the ''best'' tribute they could have given the father of modern science fiction...
** One of [[spoiler:Legion's]] random comments when hacking geth rocket turrets during their loyalty mission is "Executing sudo command." "Sudo," short for "superuser do," is {{Linux}} syntax that allows an admin to give other users temporary admin privileges. [[StealthPun "Geth do not use windows"]] indeed...
** Another thing from the [[spoiler:Legion]] loyalty mission, you are told that the Geth virus affects the AI decision making process by changing the result of one calculation to be out by a very small amount. In real artificial neural networks, each artificial neuron has an activation threshold. If all its inputs add up to be equal to or greater than the threshold, the artificial neuron will fire, otherwise it wont. A small error in the sum can influence whether a given neuron will fire or not when it normally should, and if it fires in error it will have a knock-on effect on all the downstream neurons. If geth use artificial neural networks of the sort understood by current computer science then a small maths error is a plausible way of getting a geth to reach a different conclusion than it normally would.
** This remark from Shepard when commiserating with the tech store clerk on the Citadel for a discount:
---> '''Shepard:''' "You wouldn't believe how often I hear 'Why is the ship turning around? [[SpaceFriction We're only halfway there]]!'"
** Jack's dossier in the ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'' DLC includes a poem she penned under the pseudonym Jacqueline Nought. One of the lines goes, "This is not a place of honor[=/=]No esteemed dead are buried here". This is a reference to [[http://www.damninteresting.com/this-place-is-not-a-place-of-honor/ a warning to be posted on top of a nuclear waste disposal facility]] to dissuade future societies from breaking the seal and exposing themselves to radiation.
* GeniusProgramming: ''Mass Effect 2'' runs much more smoothly on the same PC configuration compared to the previous game, despite having better graphics.
* GoddamnBats: Husks, on any difficulty. They don't use guns, they just run up to you and start whacking you. Mowing them down before they can get to you can be hard because they move ridiculously fast. They also tend to swarm you while you're focused on trying to shoot down something else. They have a few {{Weaksauce Weakness}}es (biotics, [[KillItWithFire being set on fire]], [[KillItWithIce being frozen]], being shot in the legs), but these tend to not be particularly useful if you're facing [[ZergRush ten at once]]. Excepting Soldiers with a Revenant machinegun and Adrenaline Rush.
** Or a single Vanguard (or Jack, which is really the same thing) with a well-leveled Shockwave. At that point, the difficulty shifts from "shoot them before they rip you to shreds" to "get them to line up for maximum awesome points."
* GoodBadBug:
** Hitting melee halfway between the Claymore's reload animation causes it to auto-complete, and you can fire instantly with it. The Claymore is the single-shot uber-tier shotgun, and turns into a semi-automatic.
*** This trick actually works on any non-heavy weapon in the game... even the Widow. The key is hitting the melee button once the ejected thermal clip is visible.
** There was also a button trick that allowed a character as early as level 6 to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZAq7wcweUQ max out every ability]]. This was removed by a patch on May 17, 2010.
** The save file transfer doesn't properly import your handling of Conrad Verner. It defaults to the Renegade response, which has you "shoving a gun" in his face and inadvertently making him go "hardcore". There are hex fixes that allow one to see [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATxE9JlSOlg the ''[=ME1=]'' Paragon Flagged start.]]
** If certain conditions are met while Charging as a Vanguard, Shepard's shield will shoot through the roof, going from between 150-325 to somewhere close to 4000. It only lasts for a single mission but you could essentially go through the rest of it meleeing things to death; and yes, charging would indeed refill it to max.
** There's a sound glitch (triggered by certain biotic powers, like Pull) that can result in dead/incapacitated enemies [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-FjEF1p_G4 screaming nonstop due to a looping voice file]]. This is particularly amusing/appropriate (and, apparently, easier to trigger) in ''Arrival'', because of the indoctrinated troops you fight on the asteroid (quite fitting despite being unintentional).
** Every weapon's firing rate slows down tremendously during Adrenaline Rush... except the DLC Mattock.
* GuideDangIt: Good luck getting everyone through the suicide mission alive on your first playthrough. You're given the knowledge on how to do that throughout the game, and hints are dropped on preparations you should make, but there is still a possibility that, even if you get all the upgrades, all members are loyal, and you send them for right job in the endgame area, one of them might die at the end due to the way the game calculates each member's "defense" score during the HoldTheLine portion. Inversely, if you want more than one or two ''specific'' characters to die in order to change the next game, it requires making the "wrong" decisions very precisely. It's almost impossible to kill everyone, or as many as you can get away with while still keeping Shepard alive, if you so much as ''recruited'' Zaeed.
** [[spoiler:When the crew is kidnapped]]. It comes out of nowhere, and if you don't handle it immediately, you can get a significantly [[MultipleEndings worse ending]]. For added fun: there's a very good chance that your party won't be fully loyal at that point, which can lead to [[AnyoneCanDie even more problems...]]
** Suffice to say, if a character isn't loyal, odds are they'll die, regardless of your actions to protect them during the suicide mission. It's possible to keep non-loyal characters alive, but that generally requires a knowledge of the underlying systems governing the mission that a first-time player isn't going to have.
* HilariousInHindsight: During Kasumi's loyalty mission, she mentions that part of the cover story she put together for Shepard was an article on him/her in ''Badass Weekly''. This reference was part of the reason the author of BadassOfTheWeek wrote [[http://www.badassoftheweek.com/shepard.html an article for Shepard]] after completing the trilogy. In a way, Kasumi ''did'' get that article on Shepard written.
-->'''BadassOfTheWeek Writer''': ''[about the video clip where Kasumi mentions the article]'' Scroll ahead to 0:20 to witness what is either a cruel coincidence or the single greatest moment of my writing career.
* HolyShitQuotient: Gets taken UpToEleven. Especially in the loyalty missions.
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt: Subverted. Shepard dies ten minutes into the game, and is brought backů but can potentially [[KilledOffForReal die for real]] at the end of the game, so, yes, they ''would'' really do it. Then subverted ''again'', in that save games where the entire team dies won't carry over to ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''.
* MemeticBadass:
** Niftu Cal, the biotic god. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2ttQ5diSA4 Fear his great biotic wind!]]
*** Despite not actually appearing in the third game, Niftu Cal being in London and performing a [[OneManArmy single Volus smackdown]] of a ''Reaper'' has become a popular signature on the BioWare forums.
** Also, Sir IsaacNewton. '''THE DEADLIEST SON OF A BITCH IN SPACE!!!'''
* MemeticBystander: The turian groundskeeper, the Alliance drill instructor who gives the Sirc IsaacNewton speech, and the "techno turian" who is seen dancing in Thane's loyalty mission.
* MemeticMutation: See [[Memes/BioWare here]].
* MostAnnoyingSound[=/=]LimitedSoundEffects:
** If you've offered celebrity endorsements to every shop on the Citadel: '''"I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite store on the Citadel!"'''
** '''"LAUNCHING PROBE!"'''/'''"PROBE LAUNCHED!"''' resource mini game.
** The music ''constantly'' playing while you explore will drive you to madness.
*** ''So'' worth it when you get to the solar system and try to probe Uranus.
----> '''EDI''': [[WhatTheHellHero Really, Commander?]]...Probing Uranus.
** If you do something to enemies (such as [[KillItWithFire set them on fire]]), they will let out a scream that goes on for about thirty seconds (sometimes even ''after'' they're dead, due to a bug) before they shut up.
** '''Assuming control. Shepard, if I must tear you apart, I will. This hurts you.''' During combat, BossInMookClothing BigBad Harbinger is painfully able to spray comments about you and your teammates at about the same rate as his weapon.
** The screams of the VI during the Overlord DLC seems designed to make you jump out of your seat and tear off your headphones. During the trek through the inert geth ship, the designers go out of their way to blurt out the noise at just the right time to scare the crap out of the player--they even lampshade it with a crew log about Halloween.
** And this time, instead of the enemies using the same lines [[OverlyLongGag over and over and over and over]], it's your teammates. But they are right, though--[[GravitySucks gravity is one mean mother]].
** The "whooshing" noise that the doors on the Normandy make when they open and close, especially since they do so automatically whenever Shepard is within five feet of them, so you hear a chorus of that sound every time you walk down the hall.
* MostWonderfulSound:
** The "Mission Accomplished" track. It sounds so...[[BuffySpeak accomplishing.]]
** Ironically enough, "assuming control" becomes this when [[spoiler: Legion]] says it on [[spoiler: its]] loyalty mission.
** Using Slam is the grinding sound of using biotics couple with bones breaking. Oh yes.
** The Widow. Boom. Headshot. And you're probably hearing it in slow motion, since if you HAVE it you're either an Infiltrator and get BulletTime when you look down the sight, or a soldier and using Adrenaline Rush to help conserve ammo.
** The kill-confirmation comments your teammates make are also very satisfying; more so when they're complimenting you, usually during a headshot kill.
** Miranda's battle quotes. For some reason, Yvonne Strahovski's tone of voice makes Miranda sound less like she's fighting for her life and more like she's actually playing a game.
** The mix between a chime and a whoosh that plays right before you perform a Biotic Charge. Something is about to lose a few teeth, and your shields automatically recharge from it.
* {{Narm}}: Jacob's famous "Heavy risk... but the priiize..." line.
* NarmCharm: All of the Harbinger's combat lines.
* OneSceneWonder: Several of the celebrity-voiced and[=/=]or returning characters.
** Kal'Reegar, the RPG-wielding quarian near the end of Tali's recruitment mission, is voiced by Adam Baldwin. [[spoiler:Unless you take the Paragon interrupt and keep him away from the succeeding fight, or kill the Geth Colossus fast enough with his assistance]], he definitely fits this trope.
** "The Council thought that Blasto, the first hanar Spectre, would play by the rules..." Luckily, you can hear this more than once if you wander around on Illium long enough.
** Niftu Cal. "But then, I began to smell my greatness!"
** The hapless merc standing near a window during Thane's recruitment mission. "I've got nothing more to say to you--"
* ParanoiaFuel:
** See those cameras in Overlord? They track you. ''Everywhere.'' (At least you can shoot them.)
** The ads on the Citadel, which seem to know ''EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU'', right down to who your LoveInterest is.
** "Nine out of ten Tupari drinkers recommend Tupari to their friends! '''''The last one is on my list."'''''
*** "I know you're weakening. Tupari is on your mind! ''Give in.''"
* PlayerPunch:
** The destruction of the ''Normandy''. Being reunited with Ashley/Kaidan. Seeing [[spoiler: your crew get kidnapped when the Collectors attack the second Normandy.]] Seeing what happens [[spoiler: to the people abducted by the Collectors, especially if it happens to your crew because you didn't get to them in time.]] Plenty more. ''Mass Effect 2'' likes this trope.
** A good chunk of the loyalty missions are also this. You have a ''really'' [[DysfunctionJunction messed up squad]].
** Project Overlord may as well be entitled "Player NoHoldsBarredBeatdown" after you reach the end and find out [[spoiler:the ''[[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil real]]'' reason why David went AxCrazy]]. PistolWhipping the person responsible is the '''''Paragon''''' response.
** If anyone was actually thinking or hoping they would find all of the abducted colonists from Horizon alive at the end and be able to save them, they were tragically mistaken. The sight of what happens to one trapped in a Collector pod is not an image you'd easily forget.
** The ending of "Arrival" DLC is an enormous punch in the gut for both player and Shepard. [[spoiler:Shepard is forced to destroy a solar system and its 305,000 batarian inhabitants in order to prevent an imminent Reaper invasion. Hackett notes that even though he knows Shepard did the right thing, the Alliance ''will'' force him/her to pay for this and that the batarians will attempt to do the same thing.]]
* [[ReplacementScrappy Replacement]] ScrappyMechanic: The Mako planet-roving gets replaced with two: The Hammerhead (in DLC only), and planet scanning. Even [=BioWare=] admits that, in retrospect, planet scanning was handled poorly in ''Mass Effect 2''. On the official forums at least one [=BioWare=] employee has said that "nobody liked" it, and as a result the planet scanning system has been completely overhauled for ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' so that it's less tedious and time-consuming.
* RewatchBonus: Keep an eye out for someone who has [[MemeticMutation assumed direct control]] when watching the surveillance footage on Freedom's Progress.
* ShipsThatPassInTheNight: Kolyat (Thane's son) and Oriana (Miranda's younger sister) are fairly popular for a couple who've never even been on the same planet at the same time.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: Despite being a visually sound game, it does fall into this on a few occasions. Most common are issues with clipping, which, if you tried to list them all, could probably get a whole page all to themselves.
** Miranda's physical features sometimes verge on this trope. See UncannyValley below.
** During the first conversation with Garrus on the ''Normandy'', Shepard is meant to be leaning on a railing, but ends up leaning on thin air.
** During the meeting with the Council, Udina's eyes notably clip through his character model when he walks in.
** When you wake Grunt up and he pins Shepard against the wall, his shoulder armor visibly clips through his upper body, and Grunt's upper arms ''always'' clip through his armor.
** Mordin's eyes often clip through his eyelids, and Miranda's neck tends to clip through her collar.
** Because there's [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters twelve party members]], and they're largely interchangeable during missions, cutscenes often use the same animations for each character. This works fine for the most part, but can get strange if you have Garrus and/or Grunt in your party--their models are noticeably larger than the rest of the characters', meaning that an animation or pose which works for the other ten characters ends up...not working for Garrus or Grunt. For example, bring Garrus on Tali's loyalty mission--during [[spoiler:Tali's trial]], check the background. Garrus is sitting in the stands...with his arms clipping through his legs.
** Bringing Zaeed to Garrus' recruitment mission triggers an extra conversation between him and Tarak. At the end, there's a closeup of Tarak's face--''[[http://i39.tinypic.com/23hqdu1.png with his head clipping through the camera]]''.
** During character customization the player can select a variety of eye shapes for either Shepard. It's possible to pick eyes for Fem!Shep which ''are incapable of fully closing'' because her eyelids have a fixed size.
* SurprisinglyImprovedSequel: Sort of ''TheEmpireStrikesBack'' of the trilogy.
* TaintedByThePreview: The first teaser for the game was met by quite the reaction, as was [[TattooedCrook Jack's]] reveal.
%%* TakeThat: Tela Vasir, at the cheapness of Vanguards.
* ThatOneBoss:
%%** Tela Vasir.
** In Arrival, the Object Rho battle if you are going for the LastStand achievement. Luckily, this one's optional; the game will continue even if you fail.
** The Praetorian. The potential of being hit by its Death Choir drop attack has every player, regardless of class, desperately scuttling away whenever it drifts too close for comfort. Which is to say, constantly.
** The geth battleship cannon in ''Overlord''. It fires automatic {{One Hit Kill}}s. And it has a very wide area of effect.
* ThatOneLevel:
** The disabled Collector ship can be this, especially the first room. The problem is, you hardly ever get anything other than low cover, which Harbinger excels at knocking you out of, which results in you getting cut apart by Collectors and Scions unless you get back in immediately. It doesn't help that the Illusive Man forces you onto it, and that he's leading you into a trap because you're taking too long.
** [[EliteMooks Horizon.]] [[DemonicSpiders Horizon.]] [[GoddamnBats Horizon.]] [[ThatOneBoss Horizon.]] If you pick the wrong team or class it may be easier to just begin the game from scratch.
* ThatOneSidequest: Aria's side mission to retrieve the crates. It's an incredible amount of effort to go through (three freaking [[BossInMookClothing YMIR Mechs]]!) for the three or four surviving crates. Given how early this mission is given, it's one of the hardest fights in the game.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: In the first game, it was revealed that Cerberus was behind the Thresher Maws that killed a SoleSurvivor Shepard's squad. Shepard works with Cerberus in this game, but is never given a chance to call anyone in Cerberus out for the events on Akuze or the background-specific sidequest from the first game (in which it's revealed that there was another survivor, Corporal Toombs, who was captured and used as a test subject by Cerberus scientists). All you get is a very angry email from Toombs calling Shepard out for working with Cerberus, much like everyone else in the game.
* UncannyValley:
** The Unreal Engine 3's age is starting to show with its inability to handle flowing water without significant modification; PC Gamer's review wondered why the characters cried "oil slicks".
** A lot of the faces just don't look ''quite'' right. Much of it has to do with the lighting.
*** Miranda's face sometimes leans more towards a lumpy potato than her voice actor's face (Yvonne Strahovski). [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71cxSdFEXqU She also looks the worst in bad lighting]], but on the other hand looks better in softer and warmer lighting.
*** Dr. Chakwas's face is particularly frightening in the brief moment when she swivels in her chair to face you before a conversation.
*** [[http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/105/index/2247010/1 Shepard himself]]. It's not much better if Shepard is female.
*** The Illusive Man may be this ''deliberately''. According to one dev diary, they deliberately made him perfectly symmetrical. Combine that with the normal mapping on his skin, and he's deep in the valley.
*** Jacob's face model looks fine when his mouth is closed, but the width of his lips makes too many of his teeth show up when he's talking.
*** Morinth and Samara, despite being modeled on the same woman, have different animations. Samara looks a lot more normal than Morinth and her creepy square teeth and her creepy smile. Considering [[TheSociopath who Morinth is]], this may very well be intentional.
** Many of the female character's proportions just look wrong, particularly Miranda's (a realistic head on a spindly, very thin body but with big breasts and buttocks). In fairness to this one though, this is par for the course for many female video game characters.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Eyes are [[UncannyValley very hard to animate well]]. Samara's eyes look ''stunning''.
%%** This trope shows up quite often besides.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical:
** C-Sec has instituted new security and travel rules, including seemingly random no-fly lists and item confiscations, as a knee-jerk reaction to a massive attack. They're so ineffective they label a pair of asari as geth infiltrators and fail to notice [[spoiler:''the geth in your party''.]] Anyone familiar with post-9/11 airport security in the US will recognize the system and the common criticisms of it.
** Also, a great deal of the background dialogue in the planet of Illium appears to be an elaborate satire of extreme anarcho-capitalist political beliefs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Squadmates]]

'''Jack'''

* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Is she a JerkassWoobie or simply a {{Jerkass}}? Part of that might depend on whether fans play as female (whom Jack is not as horrid with) or male (who is a BastardGirlfriend) Shepard, and how a romance is handled.
** Jack even lets a female Shepard down lightly if the latter tries to keep talking to her.
* BaseBreaker: Whilst possessing her share of fans due to sympathizing with her past and CharacterDevelopment, ''many'' dislike Jack for her overly-brazen tomboyishness. Some guys like that, though...
** And then there are the people who have no problem with overly-brazen tomboyishness, but are extremely put off by her psychopathic, misanthropic, and generally AxCrazy tendencies. Although that might have been okay, if she was at least somewhat ''personable'' about it.
** Quite a number of fans found her too abrasive to spend much time with. She is constantly abusive no matter how nice you are to her, if you turn down the casual sex scene she seems to get even worse and you had better be sure you want to be in a romance with her, if you get fed up with how much of a JerkAss she is (easy to do) you can try and break it off, and the game makes it seem like this is the right option, but then she snaps. High maintenance, severe emotional turmoil and an attitude that'll have you running to the nearest DarkActionGirl for comfort as Jack makes them soft and cuddly in comparison.
* FanNickname: [=SuZe=] was her nickname before people knew it was "Jack". Short for "''Su''bject ''Ze''ro". It's fallen out of use now, probably because hardly anyone in the game calls her "Subject Zero." [[BerserkButton For good reason.]]
* JerkassWoobie: As revealed by her loyalty mission, [[spoiler:Jack was constantly tortured by Cerberus in order to turn her into the ultimate weapon. When she was a kid, she would be thrown into an arena to fight to the death against wild animals and other biotic kids, in addition to the brutality she had to endure from the scientists and guards]].
* LesYay[=/=]FoeYay: With Miranda, at least as far as some fans are concerned. Mocked and Lampshaded in the Citadel DLC where Shepard can "helpfully" suggest that the two get laid, even claiming that all of their supposed sniping must [[SarcasmMode surely]] [[BelligerentSexualTension indicate]] [[SlapSlapKiss hidden feelings.]]

'''Jacob Taylor'''
* AngstWhatAngst: The strongest complaint fans have is that he is "boring." Even after his loyalty mission where Shepard and company find out that [[spoiler: Ronald Taylor has forced his crew to eat toxic food, driven off or murdered the males, and kept the women as sex slaves]], he merely shrugs it off (and becomes offended if Shepard insists that he should express anything otherwise). This becomes FridgeBrilliance when Shepard gains access to the [[spoiler: Shadow Broker]]'s dossiers and finds Jacob was placed on the team because he's a "stabilising element." He's supposed to be this way, and with [[DysfunctionJunction good reason, considering how screwed up the rest of Shepard's squaddies are]].
* MemeticMolester: Jacob wants his prize.
* MemeticMutation: Heavy risk... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4ze_R3TevE But the PRIIIIIZE]].
* NarmCharm: His romance path is not known for being especially well-written, though it did provide a nice meme, as shown above.
* RonTheDeathEater: Jacob sometimes suffers this as a consequence of being TheScrappy to most of the fan-base.
* TheScrappy: To many, for various reasons:
** His criticism of Thane (and lack of similar scenes with the more obviously objectionable teammates) in his boarding scene and his suggestion to space [[EnsembleDarkHorse Legion]] rather than re-activate it have drawn ire from fans.
** His stoic demeanor, disposition and low-level development makes him come off as one without much of a personality.
** His romance path often invokes StopBeingStereotypical (sneaking into the captain's quarters). It also gives off vibes of being rather forced, by comparison to the other romances.
** In the third game, he cheats on Shepard with Brynn Cole, admitting that he wasn't sure if he'd ever see Shepard again, even though it'd only been six months and Shepard didn't die this time.
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: He has a slightly more lively personality in the Citadel DLC and feels less flat.
* TierInducedScrappy: He is by far the weakest character in the game. His skills are Pull (an okay move, but useless against enemies with barriers), Incendiary Ammo (okay ammo power, but weak compared to others like Warp Ammo and Armor Piercing Ammo and redundant considering that Grunt and Shepard may also have it), and Barrier. His weapon selection could be worse, but he'd have to be able to use heavy weapons, which no one but Shepard can do, in order to make up for his shortcomings.
** What really screws him up is Barrier because the AI keeps auto-casting that even at the most inopportune times for no reason. He is actually a pretty well-balanced character who is good at crowd-control thanks to Pull and Inferno Ammo and won't die as often as most of the other characters thanks to his high HP.
*** The Barrier problem is negated if you have the Lair of the Shadow Broker {{DLC}}, as you can redistribute his talent points entirely and simply choose not to spend the leftover point on Barrier.
** Jacob is very useful, especially in the early game, if Shepard is a Sentinel. The Sentinel has Warp, but not Pull to detonate with it. He's arguably a better choice than Jack, who also has Pull, because his Incendiary Ammo at least functions correctly no matter the situation or difficulty setting. Jack's second power, Shockwave, grows more useless as the difficulty is turned up, because it doesn't work on protected enemies. It also can't set up a biotic combo like Pull does. Unfortunately, Jacob's Pull has no value to a Vanguard[[note]] who has Pull[[/note]] or an Adept[[note]] who has Warp but should be using their own Pull/Singularity to set up a combo and someone else's Warp to detonate it, thus shortening their own cooldown times[[/note]].


'''Kasumi Goto'''

* LesYay: A tiny hint in the intro to her loyalty mission. When commenting on how great female Shepard looks in her LittleBlackDress, the camera angle makes it seem that [[MyEyesAreUpHere Kasumi is staring straight at her boobs]]. [[LittleBlackDress Being]] [[MemeticSexGod Shepard]], [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall who wouldn't]]?


'''Miranda Lawson'''

* BaseBreaker: Quite possibly one of the biggest examples in the entire trilogy. Most fans either love Miranda or absolutely loathe her. Its hard to find a fan who has a neutral opinion of her. Some find her hot, while others find her blatant status as Fanservice (complete with many a shot of her ass) annoying. Some feel sorry for her, while others think she's whiny and arrogant. And then there are some who don't like her for her [[KnightTemplar loyalty to Cerberus.]]
** [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap Rescued From The Polarizing Heap]]: Fortunately, her actions in the third game did help sway former haters around by indirectly helping out the Alliance and [[TookALevelInKindness taking many levels in kindness]] as well as protecting her sister.
* JerkassWoobie: She's tortured over the manner in which she was "created", had to spend her early childhood having to live up to [[AbusiveParents her father's]] crazy high expectations, (and its also heavily implied that he murdered Miranda's older "siblings" for not meeting said expectations) and worst of all, [[spoiler:is incapable of conceiving a child, something she desperately wants (as the Shadow Broker files on her clearly show)]]. Needless to say, when one takes all that into consideration, its easy to see why she can be [[IceQueen so cold and nasty sometimes.]]
** It also makes it unsurprising that either Paragon or Renegade dialogue choices acknowledging her flagellation over not having a single good aspect of hers to take credit for can start a romance with her. Paragon Shepard will compliment her service record, and more pointedly, her body; Renegade Shepard will try to push her buttons further until she claims Shepard himself as an example of her "damned good work".
* LesYay[=/=]FoeYay: With Jack, at least as far as some fans are concerned. Mocked and Lampshaded in the Citadel DLC where Shepard can "helpfully" suggest that the two get laid, even claiming that all of their supposed sniping must [[SarcasmMode surely]] [[BelligerentSexualTension indicate]] [[SlapSlapKiss hidden feelings.]]
%%* MemeticMolester
* MemeticMutation: DAT ASS (Effect).
* RonTheDeathEater: Miranda gets this badly from some fans, who are unable to understand that in spite of her [[KnightTemplar being a part of Cerberus]] she is not in fact a heartless sociopath who would commit genocide if the Illusive Man told her to.
* [[StrawmanHasAPoint Strawwoman Has A Point]]: "[[HeadInTheSandManagement Typical Alliance attitude.]] So focused on hating Cerberus you're completely blind to the [[AbusivePrecursors Real]] [[OmnicidalManiac threat."]] She makes other fair arguments to, namely how the Council SHOULD have listened to Shepard a long time ago and also being qualified to lead the fire-team during the Suicide Mission both times despite Jack (or Garrus)'s objections.
* UncannyValley: Her face looks a little...off at times. FridgeBrilliance comes in when it's meant to be perfect, thus looks a little off. Frequently she comes under criticism for SpecialEffectsFailure (not helped by the fact that her face often doesn't look too good in cold hard lighting) but her face looks a lot prettier in softer and warmer lighting.
* {{Wangst}}: The main reason she's reviled by certain fans is the accusation that she fits this. It's not that she doesn't have a reason to be upset, it's because as far as many are concerned she drones on and on about how much it hurts her to be perfect and how her father was emotionally distant, whereas every other character besides Jack has bigger or equal problems that they don't complain about. The fact that she says that she was always given what she wanted and grew up in wealth has not helped matters, though she also makes a point of mentioning that there was always a catch to getting what she wanted. Still, if you play the "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC and read the file on her it turns out that Miranda's pain goes deeper than she lets on. [[spoiler: She wants to be a mother but cannot conceive, and even worse, it's implied that this is just one of many ways her father has tried to control her.]]

'''Mordin'''

* AngstWhatAngst[=/=]IronWoobie: Loyalty mission greatly disturbing. [[JustifiedTrope However, salarians deal with emotions at highly accelerated rate]]. Fine by return to ''Normandy''. [[spoiler: Or not. [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness I MADE A MISTAKE!!!]]]]
* BrokenBase: Invoked, Genophage morally ambiguous action. Many opinions on matter. Great debate. Believes justified, but still feels guilt. Some fans disagree, others say Mordin correct.
* EarWorm: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXiU6kiq_Ms Singing Mordin.]]
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Sang "Major General's Song". Played for comedy. Then ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' came. Not so funny in replays.
* [[spoiler:TooCoolToLive]]: [[spoiler:Survival during final assault unlikely. Escort assignment recommended.]]
** [[spoiler:If present in third game, dies curing genophage (or killed trying). Also can be convinced to sabotage it. Latter is only available if both Wrex and Eve are dead.]]

'''Samara'''

%%* IronWoobie
* RonTheDeathEater: A lot of Morinth sympathizers blame Samara for Morinth's addictions.

'''Thane Krios'''

%%* StoicWoobie
* TooCoolToLive: He is likely to die in the suicide mission [[spoiler:and he will die in the third game if he has not already]].

'''Zaeed Massani'''

* CargoShip: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9-dLzzQuVM&feature=related This]] video ships Zaeed with his rifle, [[ICallItVera Jessie.]]
* MemeticMutation: Zaeed once went out to dinner with his family. He was the only survivor.
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler:Letting the refinery and everyone inside burn to make sure he kills Vido. It's a bit more debatable in the Paragon resolution though, since for all his wanting to kill Vido, he does help Shepard save the refinery workers if Shepard decides to save them, and Shepard can still get his loyalty with a high enough Paragon score.]] And finally, he is shown to be better in 3, restricting his brutality to Cerberus, [[AssholeVictim who definitely deserve it.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Secret Characters '''*SPOILERS*''']]
'''Legion'''

* CrackPairing: It and Admiral Xen get shipped a lot, likely because of her FoeYay when she calls it a "marvelous machine"
%%* UglyCute
* ValuesDissonance: A lot of Legion's dialogue involves it explaining how the geth operate in terms both Shepard and the player can understand. During its loyalty quest, Legion will agree with Renegade Shepard's point that organic and synthetic moral values are fundamentally different when the other teammate questions the moral ramifications of rewriting the programming of the heretics, explaining that organics are individuals and that consensus takes time and effort whereas there are no individuals among synthetics and that communication between them is instantaneous. Legion will even go as far as saying that it would be racist to think otherwise.
** While there are a lot of differences between the geth and organic life, it is still possible to find common ground. The following quote can be ValuesResonance for a lot of people:
--->'''Legion:''' The geth believe all intelligent life must [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination self-determinate]].

'''Morinth'''

%%Do not add Complete Monster back per the cleanup thread's decision.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Some of the fanbase consider her actions to be ''completely'' the fault of her genetics, which are in turn Samara's fault, and thus ''Samara's'' the monster for hunting down a serial murderer. As awful as her early life may have been, she's spent the subsequent four hundred years developing an addiction to burning out the brains of innocent victims, and there's no reason to believe she'll stop.
** In the third game (provided she survived in ''2''), she sends a series of emails to her sisters showing that she still cares about them and just wants them to be happy, although her sisters delete them without reading them.
* EvilIsSexy: As per the vampirism parallel. Also, asari. And the skin-tight black outfit, that too.
* [[MagnificentBastard Magnificent Bitch]]: Samara considers her as such, calling her [[BrokenAce "The bravest and smartest of [her] daughters."]]
%%* MemeticMolester
* TheScrappy: She is not well liked at all due to being a sociopath, and having no relevance to the story at all compared to her mother. Having an unsettling UncannyValley even though she almost looks like her mother doesn't help.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: [=NPC=]s]]

'''Quarian Admirals'''

* CrackPairing: Admiral Xen and Legion get shipped a lot, likely because of Xen's FoeYay when she calls Legion a "marvelous machine"
* MoralEventHorizon: Possibly [[spoiler:Rael'Zorah experimenting on hacking geth, an act that Zaal'Koris doesn't see as any different from torturing living beings, with the presumed end goal of hacking all the geth into forced obedience]].
* NeverLiveItDown: The name of Zaal'Koris's ship, the ''Qwib Qwib'', so named because it's a repurposed ship that was originally non-quarian and the quarians are unable to format the ship's registration documentation. [[TemptingFate Tali warns Shepard not to ask about the name,]] but Shepard can inquire anyway.
** The ensuing dialogue implies that there are quarians toting names that end in vas Defrahnz or vas Iktomi, completely unaware of what they sound like to humans.
** If Rael's above actions get exposed, then they also fit this trope.

'''The Illusive Man'''

* DracoInLeatherPants: [[StrawmanHasAPoint While not completely wrong all the time]] and also doing some genuinely good things for Shepard, the Illusive Man is still a ruthless KnightTemplar and the leader of an amoral terrorist organization, and yet inevitably some people focus far more on the former than the latter.
* InternetBackdraft: ''Any'' topic about the Illusive Man will eventually devolve to whether or not he's NecessarilyEvil. This also by the way pertains to Cerberus as a whole.
* MagnificentBastard: Until the final major choice of the game, ''everything'' that happens in the story is driven by the Illusive Man.
* MoralEventHorizon: He's got a few candidates, both in 2 and [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope especially in 3.]]

'''Kal'Reegar'''

* EnsembleDarkhorse: To the degree that some fans wanted him back in ''[=ME3=]'' as a squadmate.
** Most people wanted him as a squadmate as early as in ''[=ME2=]'' after seeing him for the first time in one of the pre-release trailers. Of course, being voiced by Creator/AdamBaldwin doesn't hurt.

'''Kelly Chambers'''

* BaseBreaker: Yet another polarizing character, due to her "psychological assessments" being generic with no real insight, her apologist attitude, and her memetic status as a [[MyGirlIsNotASlut complete slut]]. On the other end of the spectrum, some people like her sweetness and her status as Cerberus' TokenGoodTeammate
* PlayerPunch: [[spoiler:Remember when you told her you'd get everyone through the mission alive? If you didn't go through the Omega 4 Relay quickly enough after the Collectors invaded the Normandy, you get to watch her disintegrated alive and screaming.]]
* PoisonOakEpilepticTrees: So, how did the [[http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/105/index/1506800/1 varren scale-itch]] get on board? [[BestialityIsDepraved Do you really want to know?]]

'''Aria T'Loak'''

* EnsembleDarkhorse: [[MemeticMutation Memetic]] PrecisionFStrike. JerkWithAHeartOfGold. {{Badass}}. WorthyOpponent to one of the most popular characters in the fandom ([[EpilepticTrees probably]]). Her popularity ''far'' overshadows [[OneSceneWonder her screen time]].
* EpilepticTrees: There are more than a few involving her, one being that she's acquainted with Wrex, [[spoiler:which is heavily hinted at, yet never explicitly stated, in-game.]]
* EvilIsSexy: Okay, Aria may not be straight-up evil, but she is a crime lord, and she's sexy even for an asari.
* MemeticMutation: Once more: "Don't ''[[PrecisionFStrike fuck]]'' with Aria."

'''Urz'''

* EnsembleDarkhorse: Quite a few players have expressed the desire to [[ImTakingHerHomeWithMe take Urz back to the Normandy with them]] after watching him follow Shepard adoringly around Tuchanka.
* UglyCute: [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100220175819/masseffect/images/f/f5/Varren.png Just look at that face]]. ''Good varren''.

'''Matriarch Aethyta'''

* EnsembleDarkhorse: She's at least as popular as some of Shepard's squad thanks to her combination of being a CoolOldLady and DeadpanSnarker.
* EpilepticTrees: Some believe she's Liara's father. Yep, father, with asari being one sex and all. The game itself seems to heavily imply this, as one of the videos Shepard can watch [[spoiler: in the Shadow Broker's archives]] is footage of Aethyta sitting at home alone, drinking, and staring at a holograph of (what is almost undeniably) Liara. [[spoiler: Confirmed in Mass Effect 3.]]

'''Harbinger'''

* CrackShip: It's mostly a joke, but Harbinger/Shepard, drawing upon such lines as "I KNOW YOU FEEL THIS," is oddly popular.
* FountainOfMemes: Nearly every one of his lines have been subject to MemeticMutation.
* MemeticMutation: Again, almost ''all'' of his lines.
* ReplacementScrappy: What many fans considered him to Sovereign. Whereas Sovereign was a cold, stoic, intimidating presence of pure power, Harbinger's constant, repetetive talking and [[LargeHam hamming]] was soon considered to be pretty annoying and not scary at all.

'''The Collector General'''

* EnsembleDarkhorse: Mostly on the account of being a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds.

'''Gavin Archer'''

* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler:Forcing his brother to take part in Project Overlord. That said he is shown to have defected from Cerberus in 3 and has also come to seriously regret what he did. Unfortunately for him, he's a case of ReformedButRejected in 3.]]
* WhatAnIdiot: [[spoiler:Yeah, go ahead and shoot your gun at a supremely pissed off [[GoodIsNotSoft PARAGON]] [[{{Badass}} COMMANDER SHEPARD]]. [[SarcasmMode That will]] [[PistolWhipping end well.]] In the end, probably the only thing that saved his life was that Paragon Shepard was more worried about helping his brother than killing Archer.]]

'''Tela Vasir'''

* BestBossEver: Vasir is an asari Spectre. An asari Spectre ''Vanguard.'' Especially awesome if your Shepard is also a Vanguard. If so, ''biotic jousting'' can ensue
* DracoInLeatherPants: The reason she works for the Shadow Broker is NotSoDifferent from why Shepard works for Cerberus. She has [[WithThisHerring no choice, because the Council gives SPECTREs squat]]. The Commander would be going nowhere fast without the intelligence and funds Cerberus provide, funds that always match or better what credits you can scrounge. [[TragicVillain She has much less to work with]].
** While her situation is understandable, she takes way more enjoyment in what she does than she needs to. She has a worryingly sadistic grin when threatening her hostage, her troops shot down civilians who were wounded, and she killed a lot of security guards at the hotel, even though she could have gotten them on her side by pointing out she was a Spectre. Her racism against purebloods also makes her motivation for targeting Liara very suspect.
*** [[NotSoDifferent Though a lot of this loses weight when you compare this to how Renegade!Shepard acts]]. Tela Vasir herself lampshades this. Of course, given that Renegade Shepard also gets the DracoInLeatherPants treatment, perhaps it's not surprising.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: For such a short amount of screen-time, she's quite a popular character. Possibly due to an [[AwesomeBosses/VideoGames awesome boss fight]], her being a total {{Badass}}, and a remarkable ShutUpKirk speech.

'''Overlord'''

* HellIsThatNoise: '''QWEEGHPRRZZMZZKKKSKKKTTTPPP!''' Rendered by the subtitles as "Unintelligible", but if you know what it is, it's unsettlingly clear. [[spoiler: "QUIET PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!"]]
** Not only is it a horrific sound in itself, but the volume for it is ''incredibly'' loud. At a normal volume, on a normal TV, the scream is downright earsplitting. If you're wearing headphones or have a surround sound system, it'll blast your brain out of your skull.
* NightmareFuel [[NightmareFuelStationAttendant Station Attendant]]
* TheWoobie: [[spoiler: Born with autism, exploited by his own brother, turned into a machine against his will, and insane from the strain of being in charge of a computer network. This guy's life is just one heartbreak after another. Unfortunately, he's incredibly unstable and dangerous, and become so withdrawn and broken he doesn't realize the harm of his actions.]]

'''Kaidan/Ashley'''

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation[=/=]BaseBreaker: Were they ungrateful and overly paranoid about Shepard, or was their reaction a natural one to their former commander (and possible lover) coming back into their life after two years of being dead as part of a terrorist organization? The former cause some who didn't have a problem with them in the first game to hate them with a passion while those who thought of the latter, even to those that hate them in the first game, felt that they were unfairly spat on in favor of the love interests in this game and Liara. In the end arguments for and against their reaction can be presented, and it's caused one heck of an InternetBackdraft (even on this site!)
* FanNickname: The Virmire Survivor, which is typically used by fans to refer to the role the surviving one of the two plays in ''2'' or ''3'', unless talking about a specific one.
* FourthWallMyopia: More than any other character in the series.
* InternetBackdraft: Just try to have a conversation about either one of them without it devolving into the AlternateCharacterInterpretation listed above. Even this very site is not immune.
* JerkassHasAPoint[=/=]StrawmanHasAPoint: If you're playing a Renegade Shepard (who is a total Cerberus {{Fanboy}} in 2) then they are kind of right to say that you've betrayed the Alliance and thrown your lot in with a terrorist organization versus a Paragon or Neutral Shepard's doing it only because its necessary. Whether or not they fit these tropes in general [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation very, very]] [[BrokenBase hotly debated.]] [[InternetBackdraft So let's not debate it.]]

'''Liara T'Soni'''

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: The reason Liara rescues Shepard's body? Because she "couldn't let him/her go." This sound like it makes sense...if you romanced her in the first game. Notably, she still says this even if you treated her badly, barely interact with her, or if Therum was the last planet you visited in the first game. Counting the fact that [[spoiler:she kept a piece of Shepard's old N7 armor in her apartment in a display case]] and didn't tell any of the other squadmates even if Shepard was in a relationship with one of them, this causes quite a few fans to assume that she is either a StalkerWithACrush or secretly a {{Yandere}}. Liara's comment if she and Tali were both romanced about having a vested interest in not adding to the competetion has caused some fans to interpret her PoorCommunicationKills as a calculated attempt to [[RemovingTheRival drive away her romantic rivals.]]

[[/folder]]

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