Characters: Mass Effect 2 Party Members
This page is for listing the tropes related to party members who first appeared
in the second Mass Effect
For the pages listing tropes related to NPCs, Antagonists and Party Members who first appeared in other games in the trilogy, see the Mass Effect Character Index
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I am pure krogan; you should be in awe.
"Grunt is... not a stabilizing element, Commander."
A young lab-grown krogan with a violent attitude who believes that might makes right.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: During the Citadel DLC for 3, Grunt decides to celebrate his "birthday" by having a wild night out on the Citadel. Much property damage and hilarity ensues.
- Appropriated Appellation: He took the name "Grunt" from one of Okeer's last words. It's noted that there were some more impressive words to use as a name, but he liked "grunt" for its simplicity (and because it has no greater meaning).
- Asskicking Equals Authority: How Grunt asserts his command of Aralakh Company (essentially a collection of the best warriors from every krogan clan on Tuchanka) in Mass Effect 3.
- Ax-Crazy: Subverted. As prone to violence as he is, Grunt makes a point of saying that he requires meaning in his life, and seeks to challenge and fight strong enemies. Its the fighting and glory he's after, not the death.
- Badass: If you manage to kill off the entire rest of the team, Grunt can be rearguard on his own.
- Become a Real Boy: The goal to secure his loyalty.
- Beehive Barrier: His Fortification power◊.
- Blood Knight: Even more so than normal for a krogan.
- The Berserker: Eventually matures into a relatively stable (by krogan standards) blood knight.
- The Big Guy: Personality of a Class IV with the intelligence of a Class V. Definitely one of the strongest combat specialists. Just a wee bit unpredictable.
- Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: His mission in 3 is a perfect example of this, down to him saying "I'll hold them off," but it's subverted if you completed his Rite of Passage.
- Blue Eyes: Seems to be a rare trait in krogan.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Any time there's a fight in the offing, Grunt will be all but jumping up and down with glee.
- Born as an Adult: Or a teenager, anyway — he's designed to look younger than other krogan (e.g, his head-crest hasn't merged into a single plate yet, his skin is lighter-colored than other krogan).
- Buffy Speak:
- When he talks, if it's not Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, it's this.
Grunt: See, now we're having fun! Me remembering good deaths and you, with your... funny human thing.
- On getting into cover:
Grunt: We should hide behind... stuff.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: If Shepard throws a wild party in the Citadel DLC, Grunt ends up passed out on the floor of his/her shower before the night is half over.
- Child Soldier: By krogan standards, but he revels in it.
- The Chosen One: Okeer created him to be a perfect krogan. Grunt eventually gets the mindset as well, as the character quote shows. The Urdnot Shaman seems to think this too, sending an email to Shepard demanding that s/he not get him/herself and Grunt killed.
- Cloning Blues: Somewhat. He stops angsting about it once he's accepted by other krogan.
- Coming-of-Age Story: His loyalty mission.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He tries to kill Shepard until he/she demonstrates his/her worthiness to command him.
- Does Not Like Spam: Doesn't like ramen, apparently, though he will eat almost damn near anything else—see below.
Grunt: This what passes for food out here? My tastes run more along the lines of "edible". Looks like worms. Dead ones. This a Human thing? Ugh. I'll pass. I'll eat almost anything, but I stress 'almost'.
- Do Not Go Gentle: If he dies in 3, he's going out the way Krogan were meant to: in combat. He'll rack up a serious body count in the process too.
- Dummied Out: Audio files indicate he can get into an argument with Mordin once you have both their loyalties, although only the lines for regaining his or Mordin's loyalties are available.
- Enemies Equals Greatness: This is why he follows Shepard so loyally. Anyone who has made the kind of enemies that Shepard has made has earned his respect.
Grunt: This is why I follow you Shepard. BIG THINGS!
- Establishing Character Moment: Bursting out of his tank and demanding some kind of purpose to Shepard. Then giving a small laugh of amusement when Shepard either reveals s/he's been secretly holding a gun to Grunt's stomach all this time or actually shoots Grunt in the armor a few times to get him to back up.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: His Shadow Broker dossier shows that he went on extranet searches for "Urdnot Wrex" to "tyrannosaurus wrex" to "Earth lizard wrex" to "dinosaurs". One can presume Grunt would have been all geared up to go test his mettle against such dangerous, deadly and massive creatures on Earth, only to be disappointed upon learning he was 65 million years too late.
- Good news for him: a dinosaur can be cloned. And krogan can ride them. Bad news? It's an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, and Grunt is not involved.
- Evil Laugh: When things are about to get/already are violent, he has this low-pitched slow "Haa haa haa" laugh, as if he is giddy with anticipation in his own little way at the prospect of a fight.
- Extreme Omnivore: Gets hungry at certain scenes of violence, to the disgust of his teammates. In Citadel he even ate a lamp while drunk.
- Big Eater: The reason his "birthday celebration" in the Citadel comes to an end is because he gets hungry and raids a noodle house allowing C-sec to catch him. The noodles he ate? Ramen.
Shepard: So... How were the noodles?
Grunt: A little spicy.
Shepard: You're my hero.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: In the 3rd game, while his squad is pinned down, you get to watch him charge a Ravager, pick it up and throw it off a cliff.
- A short time later, he does it to cover Shepard's escape, killing half a dozen Ravagers in seconds before tackling one off a cliff. And if you have his loyalty? He survives it.
- Genius Bruiser: He had the military knowledge of several krogan warlords imprinted into him while he was being created. He's also a fan of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, although he's rather young and doesn't always have the words he needs to describe things.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Uses pieces of the Reaper-enhanced Rachni as weapons while buying time for Shepard and the Rachni Queen to escape in 3.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Every other teammate has gone through various forms of hell to be worthy of joining the team — Grunt is actually born in the Normandy SR-2's cargo bay ready to kick ass alongside them. He's actually kind of bothered by this, mourning his "thousand weaker brothers" who were sacrificed to make him an Uberkrogan.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the third game. He stays behind to fight off the indoctrinated rachni and falls down a cliff with one. And, if he's loyal, it's subverted. As the team gets ready to head out to their next assignment, Grunt comes out, covered in rachni-husk blood, and asks a simple question:
- Hold the Line: In 3. Whether he survives or not depends on if you completed his loyalty mission.
- Incendiary Exponent: Mentioned, though not seen, in the Citadel DLC. During his drunken night out on the Citadel, he mentions that riot foam didn't stop him because he was on fire due to stealing a burning C-Sec squad car.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Turians, I guess you have to work the blade. I don't see much point to it, though." Beat "Heh, much point... oh, never mind."
- In Love with Your Carnage: He's very appreciative of Jack's escape from Purgatory if you take him with you, specifically the bodies she's leaving behind.
- The Knights Who Say Squee: Thinks highly of both Shepard and Wrex.
- Laser-Guided Tykebomb: Okeer created him to lead the krogan against his personal enemies. However, his "programming" failed and Grunt could not care less about Okeer's goals.
- Last Stand: In 3. Though he'll survive if loyal.
- Late to the Punchline: Grunt finally starts giggling when he figures out some his imprinted memories, like the image of a dead turian disfigured horribly (specifically, a krogan prying off the turian's face plates with a claw hammer). He thinks of it as hilarious because he "finally gets it": turians suck. When he tries to explain why it's funny, Shepard is nonplussed.
- Lightning Bruiser: The most durable squadmate, and with the Claymore shotgun, he deals out a ton of damage. Even capable of doing the infamous krogan charge. And the charge? If he does it to another krogan, he'll push them back. This includes the considerably larger warlord on his loyalty mission. Also, Scions.
- Lonely Piano Piece: During his Last Stand.
- Meaningful Name: Despite choosing his name for the fact it doesn't have any greater meaning, Grunt endures a lot in order to prove himself worthy of the respect of other krogan, who look down on him for the manner of his birth. In that respect, he does indeed start out as a Grunt.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Blood Knight standard procedure.
- Neural Implanting: The "imprints" he was given by Okeer when he was being grown in the tank. This is how he knows how to breathe, walk, talk, and kick ass. Unfortunately, the imprints were often without context.
Grunt: Like holding a book for a child. Just "remember this," picture after picture. No help with finding a reason to care.
- Not So Different: From Miranda. Both are genetically-engineered Super Soldiers who angst about not feeling as though they've earned their strength.
- One-Man Army: Specifically designed by Okeer to be a krogan "lance" as opposed to their regular horde-based tactics.
- Only Mostly Dead: In the third game, if you earned his loyalty. After said cliff-dive, he shows up just as the shuttle's about to leave, limping and covered in gallons of blood, but alive (and wondering if anyone has something to eat).
- Optional Party Member: While his recruitment mission is mandatory, you don't actually have to release him from his tank.
- Parental Substitute:
- Playing with Fire: He, like Jacob (and possibly Shepard) has regeneration-stopping Incendiary Ammo.
- Precocious Crush: Given his actual age and frequency to behave like a child, and some things he says about Liara in the Citadel DLC, he may have one of these on her.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Eventually. Being accepted into the Urdnot clan really heals his tattered ego.
- Psychopathic Man Child: Many of his mannerisms come across as rather child-like at times. He also plays with action figures on his spare time when he's not busy killing stuff, eating and reading Hemingway. Make sense since he's less than a year old. His actions in the Citadel DLC (and Paragon Shepard's response to them) also point in this direction.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: I. AM. KROGAN!
- Really Was Born Yesterday: As stated, you essentially witness his birth when you release him from his tank.
- Replacement Goldfish: For his "father" Warlord Okeer, who was originally meant to be recruited on the Suicide Mission, but sacrificed himself to ensure Grunt's survival.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: He's tank-bred, so he was actually created in the "can" rather than being initially sealed in it. When his tank is obtained, it's left up to the player when to open the can and let the Badass out. He even plays the "neutral" part of the trope straight; he doesn't care much about morality, only asskicking.
- Sociopathic Hero: He couldn't care less about saving humanity. He just wants a good fight. And he laughs quite maniacally as he's tearing into your opponents.
Kelly Chambers: I don't know what to feel about Grunt. My psych reports were for Okeer. We have no guarantees that Grunt is mentally stable. I get the feeling he just doesn't care about anything, including who lives or dies.
- Smarter Than You Look: On top of being a krogan, a race not exactly known for its smarts, trailers made him seem quite basic in personality, but in fact he's conflicted, knowledgeable, and can talk with surprising eloquence on both these things and his frustration with the former.
- Smug Super: He was designed to be the perfect krogan and is very self-assured about this. Although, several conversations imply that deep down he doesn't really see him as such, leading him to overcompensate as a result.
- Stone Wall: He can become this if you level him right; maxing out his Fortification power and giving him the Krogan Pureblood power can increase his health and defenses to the point where he will almost never die, but he won't do as much damage.
- Super Soldier: Grown in a vat to be the "perfect" krogan.
- Part of his loyalty mission involves killing a Thresher Maw on foot. Alliance handbooks tell you to take on a Maw with a few tanks and even then: expect losses.
- This Cannot Be!: If taken to the plague-infested part of Omega (Mordin's recruitment mission): "I do not get sick!"
- Trailers Always Spoil: The recruitment mission was clearly intended to make the player think they were getting Warlord Okeer as a squadmate. Getting Grunt instead was supposed to be a minor twist, but it was ruined by the pre-release trailer. Averted with Grunt's personality, however. Until the game was leaked, there was no indication that he was anything other than a typical krogan Blood Knight.
- Uberkrogan: He was created to be one, although he has little interest in it.
- Ultimate Life Form:
- Undying Loyalty: Even before his mission, he seems to have nothing but respect for Shepard, his "Battlemaster". He even threatens Uvenk for spitting on Shepard's name. This is because he loves to fight, and Shepard brings him along to fight "BIG THINGS".
Grunt: Shepard is my battlemaster. S/he has no match.
- Unstoppable Rage: Constantly. Apparently this is the default state for his species. The Rite of Passage was devised simply to help teenage krogan get a handle on it — kind of like a young human's father taking him to a strip bar, except with guns and monsters. The sex comes afterward if a female is suitably impressed by the display. The Codex notes, however, that the rage only became so commonplace after the krogan devastated Tuchanka in nuclear war (before that, it was extremely rare and regarded as pathological). Admittedly, the Codex is an in-universe resource.
- Warrior Poet: According to the Shadow Broker's dossier on him, he's become a fan of Hemingway.
- Heck, even his dialogue from the beginning. His word choice is exquisite. This appears to be intentional on Okeer's part. Okeer similarly is surprisingly eloquent, even poetic, when speaking to Shepard upon their first meeting. It's entirely possible he programmed Grunt likewise.
- We Have Reserves: He was engineered by Okeer to be an aversion to this trope; were Okeer to cure the genophage, the krogan would go back to spawning like mad and covering the galaxy with their hordes. Okeer believes the true future of the krogan is to have superior, elite warriors rather than cannon fodder, hence why he made the Super Prototype, Grunt, and threw away the thousands that did not meet his standards.
- Worthy Opponent: One of the first indications that he views Shepard as one is the little smirk he gives when he realizes Shepard had quietly pulled a gun and had it trained on Grunt the entire time Grunt had him/her pinned against the wall.
Grunt: Hah! Offer one hand, but arm the other. Wise, Shepard.
- Younger Than He Looks: He's The Big Guy and a damned good one, but he's a Designer Krogan grown in a Krogan Jar and trained by Neural Implanting. You don't recruit him so much as "inherit" his Krogan Jar. When you crack it open and start chatting, you're basically witnessing his birth.
- You Shall Not Pass: During his mission in 3 — whether you choose to save his team or the rachni, he has to escort you out of the caves and hold off a wave of Ravagers. He survives if you completed his loyalty mission.
Jack, AKA Subject Zero, (nee Jennifer)
Turns out, mess with someone's head enough, you can turn a scared little kid into an all-powerful bitch.
"I'm not saying anything about Jack. I'm not stupid."
Voiced by: Courtenay Taylor
A powerful and unstable human biotic with a chequered past. Formerly a biotics test experiment of Cerberus. Romance option.
- Abnormal Ammo: She gains Warp Ammo after you earn her loyalty, which increases damage against armor, biotic barriers and health, and does double damage to anything under the effects of a biotic power, like Pull or Shockwave.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with. She admires Renegade Shepard's bloodlust and cruelty, but the Renegade version of her romance is not treated as a serious thing by either one, but rather just a one-night stand. The Paragon romance with her is much more lasting and heartfelt.
- Ambiguously Bi: She mentions that one of the first criminals she ran with was a woman and her boyfriend who "shared their bed" with her. However, if you keep talking to her as female Shepard, she says she doesn't play for that club. The dialogue for both lines is pretty ambiguous, but then, she's a pretty messed up girl who might not have her own feelings straight.
- In the Citadel DLC, she says she finds drunken Tali adorable, and says "If I were a little drunker and knew how to unzip that suit..." If the party takes a different turn, however, she gets pissed at the implication that her animosity with Miranda is just thinly-veiled sexual tension. She also tells Miranda that she has "fantastic tits".
- Anti-Hero: Strongly of the Nominal Hero kind. Shows signs of moving up the scale towards Pragmatic Hero with even a hint of a Knight in Sour Armor under the influence of Paragon Shepard. Lampshaded by her students, who lovingly call her "The Psychotic Biotic."
- And I Must Scream: If you don't rescue the students from Grissom Academy in Mass Effect 3 in time, Jack will end up being turned into a Phantom.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Subverted. Her extensive list of crimes includes piracy, theft of a military craft, destruction of a space station, and vandalism. When asked, she clarifies that vandalism is what the hanar called it when she added a new crater to one of their moons by dropping the space station on it.
liked that moon.
- The Atoner: With some Freudian Excuse tossed in. It's not a coincidence she's happy being the teacher of biotic children, considering what Teltin Facility was doing with biotic research.
- Ax-Crazy: Even Grunt and Zaeed are impressed with her bloodlust. She grows out of it, becoming more of a mild Blood Knight in 3. If captured by Cerberus however, she becomes this again, and this time irreversibly so.
- Badass Boast:
- One of her lines when a new wave of enemies come onto the field is "Hello, dead people!"
- Here's another: "If I die, I'm haunting you, Shepard."
- She also gets one from Warden Kuril, who refers to her fearfully as "The meanest handful of violence and hate I've ever encountered. Dangerous, crazy and very powerful."
- "I will destroy you!" would be this if the first game hadn't ruined this line for the players.
- Badass Biker: One of her alternate DLC outfits in 2. Her new look in 3 also gives off this image.
- Badass Teacher/Cool Teacher: In Mass Effect 3.
- Bald of Evil: Shaved her head for a cult, and kept it that way. While she's still a squadmate for you, she remains violent and generally psychopathic. By the third game, she's ascended to Bald of Awesome.
- Bald Women: Though she's growing her hair out by the third game. Well, sort of. Her hairstyle appears to be a mohawk with a ponytail.
- Because You Can Cope: If you side with Miranda in the Jack/Miranda loyalty conflict, the "Intimidate" option for regaining Jack's loyalty has Shepard explain that Jack is tough when she's angry, and Shepard needs Jack's "edge." Besides, Jack would've reacted badly if Shepard had kissed her ass.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil
- Berserk Button: Being referred to as Subject Zero.
- The Big Damn Kiss: If romanced, Shepard can kiss her at the end of their game together in the Arena, while an Atlas mech blows up in the background.
- The Big Guy: Not necessarily in physical size, but she definitely fits in personality.
- Blood Knight: She was conditioned to feel most alive while fighting, and it shows. Even after she Took a Level in Kindness in 3, she still clearly loves being in a fight.
- Book Ends: You first meet her at a prison named Purgatory in Mass Effect 2. In Mass Effect 3, not counting the Citadel DLC, the last place you can interact with her is in a bar with the same name.
- Boxed Crook: You were originally just going to borrow her from max security space prison/slave ship to finish a mission, but certain events have left her quite a bit less constrained.
- Brainwashed and Crazy:
- She was given euphoric drugs as a kid while fighting to condition her to equate killing with pleasure.
- Will be programmed to fight for Cerberus if you don't do her ME3 quest; you fight her at the Cerberus base.
- Broken Bird: To say she's got issues is putting it lightly.
Jack: I feel like... I'm pissed off. I'm a dangerous bitch. But then, I'm a little girl again. Shit, it's complicated.
- Buffy Speak: If you bring her to the Collector ship.
Jack: I'm not gonna let [the Reapers] turn me into some fucked up... bug thing.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Pre-Character Development.
- Character Development: Her loyalty mission forces her to acknowledge that she wasn't the only biotic kid to suffer at that facility, as well as to accept the fact that the entire facility was built around her abilities in the first place. Depending on how you treat her, she can either stay a Dark Action Girl or show a softer side. This is shown in the two possible culminating scenes for a romance with her, one of which is just about sex, the other of which is far more tender.
- It's worth noting that while assaulting the Collector base, if you choose her to man the biotic barrier through the Seeker Swarm room and she's loyal, she'll refer to you as "Commander" like she means it. For as violently psychotic and unruly a character as Jack is, that's speaking volumes about her development under Shepard's command. More than that, she phrases the word Commander around appropriate statements. That is, instead of being snarky, she uses more short and to the point phrases that you'd expect from more disciplined crew members.
- There's also the Suicide Mission: if you choose to have her lead a team during it, her final words will be "Too many... tore me up. How'd you talk me into this? Heh... I wasn't supposed to care." Apparently, being around a Messianic Archetype long enough can make even Jack give a damn about everyone else.
- If she's still alive in 3, she's become a teacher with a very strong bond with her pupils, due mostly to Shepard's influence, thus sticking it to the Illusive Man by protecting biotics from people like him.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- Constantly. In fact, she drops all but two or three of the game's F-bombs — mainly because she's the only character who uses the word in regular conversation.
- If you start to romance her and then push her away at the end (either to pursue a different partner or just For the Evulz), or if you side with Miranda in their conflict, all she will ever say to you from then on is, "Fuck off!"
- Toned down a bit in 3 when she becomes a teacher at Grissom. Gotta set a good example for the students, after all.
- Until Joker provokes her, that is. But see Curse Cut Short below.
- And in the Citadel DLC she's back in form.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Subjected to it by Cerberus during her childhood, hence why she is the way she is.
- And if you don't save Grissom Academy in the third game, Cerberus captures her and inflicts this on her again, turning her into a Phantom that you will have to kill.
- Colony Drop/Deface of the Moon: She committed "vandalism" by smashing a space station into the hanar's favorite moon.
- Cooldown Hug: A romanced Shepard gives her one just when she starts breaking out in tears about how worried she is to lose him in Citadel.
- Curse Cut Short:
Jack: (to her students) Cover your ears, kids. (to Joker) Hey, Joker, f— [loading screen]
- Cutscene Power to the Max: When she first appears, she tears through three YMIR mechs like they were made of wet cardboard. In normal gameplay, you're usually popping in and out of cover and gradually whittling them down and she's probably the weakest of any party member against them, since her two active powers, Shockwave and Pull, both have next to no effect on an YMIR.
- In Citadel she uses Shockwave to blow up an Atlas mech from across the arena. In actual gameplay, Shockwave has very short range and has very little effect on an Atlas' shields and armor.
- The Cynic: Given her past, it's not surprising. Paragon Shepard helps get her out of this a little bit and into Knight in Sour Armor territory, but it's a slow process.
- Dare to Be Badass: Her general tone to teaching her students in 3. Her lighthearted berating of her students does well to inspire them to succeed.
- Dark Action Girl: Becomes an Action Girl in 3.
- Destroy the Abusive Home: Her loyalty mission. Being Jack, she uses a bomb planted right in her old cell - and the explosion not only takes out the facility but a good chunk of the surrounding forest.
- Does Not Know How To Say Thanks: Pre-Character Development.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jack's pet from Mass Effect 3's Citadel DLC, Eezo the varren, is a short-tempered biotic animal that Jack had to rescue from an animal shelter. Initially it was extremely hostile, but Jack showed it lots of love, patience and trust, and now while it's still Bad Ass, it's become a "big softie" at heart. Shepard can see the parallels, but Jack apparently can't.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: As one of Grissom Academy's instructors in the final game. Remarkably, she gets high praise and respect from both her students and superiors for it. She's a little milder than some examples, though; she admits to Shepard that the students are like her family and they need her to believe in them, and puts up with it when they cheerfully mock her.
- Embarrassing Tattoo: If romanced by Shepard, she jokes in 3 that she's gotten an N7 tattoo on her ass.
- Establishing Character Moment: When she's released from cryo-stasis, Shepard's team is shocked that the Jack they've been hearing so much about is actually a small young woman. She proceeds to awaken and destroy three YMIR Mechs and then start tearing up the station.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She is slightly troubled by Shepard urging Niftu Cal, the "Biotic God," to get himself killed, even though she admits it was kind of funny.
Jack: That was mean... but damn funny.
- Evil Counterpart: While not pure evil, she's basically a dark reflection of Kaidan Alenko from the first game. Only replace the Alliance-run BaAT bootcamp with a rogue Cerberus facility, being surrounded by friends with solitary confinement, where the other children are afraid of you, and the grueling training with surgical experimentation and outright torture.
- Evil Feels Good: At least that's what she would most likely tell you. And it turns out that she was conditioned to feel that way.
Jack: I still get warm feelings during a fight.
- Evil Is Petty: Her fight with Miranda in a nutshell. Cold as Miranda acts, Jack was still looking for a fight there and was only causing trouble because she wanted to hear Miranda admit that what Cerberus did to her was wrong. And if Shepard chooses not to take her side, you lose her loyalty (though the same is also true of Miranda if you side with Jack).
- Expository Hairstyle Change: You see her again in Mass Effect 3 with her hair on top grown out long enough for a short pony tail. She still keeps her temples shaved.
- Fantastic Drug: Red sand in dummied-out content.
- Fluffy Tamer: Shows up with a biotic varren from Thessia in the Citadel DLC.
- For the Evulz: Her motivation a lot of the time. She grows out of it.
- Freudian Excuse/Monster Sob Story: She's got a particularly dark and grisly one for her backstory that explains her bloodlust and extremely antisocial nature. And also her Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Cerberus.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Started out as a normal little girl. Years of being tortured and used has turned her into one of the galaxy's most notorious criminals.
- Gender-Blender Name: Lampshaded when she is first seen, and then never mentioned again. Subverted, however, by her real name, Jennifer.
- Glass Cannon: She's very powerful offensively, but she's very frail in combat, second only to Kasumi.
- Gone Horribly Right: Cerberus got what they wanted.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The tattoos mask them from a distance, but she's covered in surgical scars from Teltin.
Jack: You see the scars, Rodriguez? Come on, take a good look. Cerberus did this to me when I was half your age.
- Heel-Face Turn: A very gradual process that isn't fully completed until after 2.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Both her loyalty and alternate Badass Biker DLC outfit in 2.
- Wears a studded leather jacket in her new job as a Badass Teacher in 3. According to Kahlee Sanders, it's as far as Jack is willing to compromise on the dress-code required for Grissom Academy's faculty members.
- Hidden Depths: A Paragon Shep will peel away her layers, and even her voice will reflect this, as it goes from rough and masculine to soft and feminine by the time a romance is completed. At the end of the game, if she survives, no matter what her loyalty is, she'll give Shepard a determined nod, which is tantamount to a salute — and this was a woman who had no interest in anything or anyone but herself.
- The Shadow Broker DLC also reveals that she writes poetry in her spare time under the pseudonym "Jacqueline Nought".
- Hideous Hangover Cure: Averted. She reveals in the Citadel DLC thanks to her conditioning, she never feels any sort of morning-after hangover effects. She's exercising when she's first met up with after the party.
- Incompletely Trained: The Pragia facility was shut down long before they could finish. With no one to fill in the gaps in her biotic abilities, Jack trained herself to use weapons instead.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: In the Citadel DLC, if Shepard suggests to Jack that she and Miranda should kiss and make up.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Summed up in this borderline Adorkable line from the Citadel DLC:
Jack: [after blowing up an Atlas mech] If there's a God, that's what it sounds like. Just a big, deep "BWOOM!" to let you know everything's gonna be okay.
- Institutional Apparel: Her starting outfit is the remains of her Purgatory uniform.
- Intimate Marks: Everything below the neck is covered in ink, including her breasts.
- In-Universe Catharsis: Pretty much the entire point of her loyalty mission. The achievement for gaining her loyalty is even called "Catharsis."
- Jerkass: Pre-Character Development, and she knows it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In 3.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: In ME3, her eyes turn blue when she uses her biotics.
- Kick the Dog: A favorite past-time of hers pre Character Development, including but not limited to mass murder, destroying a moon, being a Jerkass, and being such a Troll that she's been banned from the extranet (among other places) several times. And most of this behavior is done For the Evulz.
- Lack of Empathy: Initially. She gets better.
- The Lad-ette: Her behavior isn't even remotely feminine.
- Lady Swears A Lot: In ME3, Joker asks if she has a swear jar, because emptying it would buy another cruiser.
- Last Girl Wins: MaleShep meets her last out of the women who give the Paramour achievement.
- Last-Second Word Swap: At the end of the Grissom Academy mission.
Jack: Screw you, f—flight lieutenant.
Joker: Uhh, what the hell was that?
- Loveable Sex Maniac: In the Citadel DLC if you romance her. If you dance with her, she asks you to not tire yourself out because "We're gonna be doing in on the table later". The morning after she says she's horny, but contemplate that other people are already awake. She also makes several comments on Miranda's figure.
- Love Redeems: The Paragon ending to her romance.
- Mama Bear: Towards the students of Grissom Academy.
- Meaningful Name: To Jack London, who's famously quoted from Call of the Wild: "Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, was the law; and this mandate, down out of the depths of Time, he obeyed." Also like London, Jack became quite the traveler.
- Megaton Punch: She's fond of using biotics to create these.
- Mildly Military: From the sound of things, she has some manner of provisional officer's rank in the Alliance Navy, judging from banter with Joker, and the fact that she's administrating her students' operations once they go into the field. Although it's given her purpose, she's still Jack, as most readily evidenced by her choice of attire.
- Mind over Matter: Considered to be the most powerful human biotic.
- Mini-Boss: If you don't do the Grissom Academy mission before a set time, or not at all, she gets indoctrinated and works for Cerberus, becoming a mini-boss in the Cerberus HQ.
- Morality Chain: Paragon Shepard becomes this to her. Acknowledged in 3 when she notes that some of Shepard's speeches rubbed off on her. Even she seems a little surprised by this.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: As should be obvious by this point.
Shepard: What is it about killing that fascinates you so much?
Jack: I figure every time someone dies and it's not me, my chances of survival go up. Simple.
- Mythology Gag:
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Inverted. Also, it would be too late for you to run anyway.
- The Nicknamer: Refers to Miranda as "the Cheerleader" and Paragon Shepard as "King of the Boy Scouts" or "Queen of the Girl Scouts" depending on his/her gender.
- Noodle Incident: While it doesn't get nearly as much attention due to being brought up in the same conversation as the "vandalism incident," all she says about stealing a military craft is, "Shouldn't have left the thing unlocked. Besides, parades are boring. I helped."
- Not So Different: From Miranda. Both are powerful biotic women with potential for greatness who had their gifts turned into curses by others (Miranda's father and Cerberus respectively) and the ensuing traumatic childhoods has made them both cold, bitter, and ruthless until when or if Shepard gets them to move past their pain and become happier (and better) people. Sadly, all of these similarities are lost on them both.
- Odd Friendship: Particularly with a Paragon Shepard, who she sarcastically refers to as "King/Queen of the Boy/Girl Scouts" in the third game. Nonetheless, it's clear that Jack owes a lot of her character development to Shepard's influence and she admits that all their speeches clearly rubbed off on her.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Judging by the confrontation between them, she seems to think this way about Miranda; she says she'll keep Miranda alive so she can tear her apart herself after the mission. Fortunately, she buries the hatchet with her later.
- Person of Mass Destruction: And she revels in it.
- Power Perversion Potential: Biotic powers can be unstable during the act, but can also have "benefits." Mordin, as always, is the man to see.
- Psycho for Hire: An incredibly rare protagonist example. She may develop beyond this if you gain her loyalty.
- Rape as Backstory: It says something about her past when the multiple times she's been sexually assaulted count as some of the least traumatic memories.
- It's a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming that if the player remains romantically interested in Jack, she'll openly kiss him in front of everyone, even her students, no longer afraid to show open affection.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Miranda and Paragon Shepard's Blue.
- Retired Monster: Though she ultimately becomes a genuinely good person, she also never regrets any of her past misdeeds, including murdering dozens of people with little justification and crashing a space station into a moon.
- Reforged into a Minion: If you skip Grissom Academy, she's captured and turned into a Cerberus Phantom.
- The Reveal: Taking Liara along to Grissom Academy in 3 reveals that Jack's birth-name is actually Jennifer, though Liara hasn't been able to discover her surname yet.
- Revenge by Proxy: A variation. Jack snipes at Miranda a lot, (leading to quite a bit of animosity between them) likely because Miranda (being a Cerberus agent) is the easiest and most convenient outlet for her rage, even though Miranda wasn't even with Cerberus when they tortured Jack for years. She also takes issue with Miranda's "cheerleading" and excuses for the things Cerberus has done, including Pragia.
- The Rival: To Miranda, complete with an The Only One Allowed to Defeat You mentality. This reaches its peak in during a catfight that Shepard has to head off, possibly also losing the loyalty of one or the other. Fortunately, as of the Citadel DLC, they've smoothed things over a bit.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Apparently a recurring event for her. You add her to the crew right after she finishes one of these. And you get her loyalty by blowing up the facility that made her who she is.
- Samus is a Girl: Basically, everyone, including the Warden holding her in cryo, shudder at the very mention of her and portray her as the ultimate force of destruction... and then you see this apparently small young woman break out of metal restraints and wipe out three heavy mechs with nothing but her biotics.
Grunt: That's Jack? Jack is tiny. [Jack starts wrecking the place] Let's get down there, I wanna see!
- Satisfied Street Rat: Although she's hardly "satisfied" unless she's in a fight. Not only that, but she is extremely pissed off at Cerberus for using her as a lab rat; while Shep can say "You enjoy the power they gave you," she's damn sore that "they didn't give (her) a choice".
- Sex Equals Love:
- Averted. Kelly mentions that Jack pushes people away, but approaches sex casually, and warns that having a one-night stand with her is a bad idea. Having sex with Jack is an option fairly early into the game. If the casual sex option is chosen, she's really into it, but says that she doesn't want to play if you try and talk to her again. If you refuse sex with her and show interest in her as a person, she'll eventually come out of her shell and begin to actually love Shepard.
- During the final love scene between Jack and Shepard in 2, they don't have sex. Rather, Jack snuggles with Shepard contently. Considering her Rape as Backstory. she probably needs affection more than sex.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: On the receiving end if Shepard romanced her when the Grissom Academy mission finishes. Shep grabs and kisses her before she gives too many details about her "N7 Tattoo".
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: If romanced in 2, the first thing she does to Shepard in 3 is deck him. note Then give him a passionate kiss.
- Sociopathic Hero: "Heroic" is very much a stretch for her. At first.
- So Proud of You: Some cut content from 3's endgame includes her reassuring her squad.
- Stealth Pun: She once used "Jacqueline Nought" as an alias, with "nought" being the British term for the American "zero." So she is "Jack Zero". If she died in 2, this is her listed name on the Normandy cenotaph.
- Stern Teacher: She's tough on her students and receives their adoration in return. A bit crazier than most examples though.
- Stripperiffic: Her first costume is essentially a strap across her breasts and a pair of pants; her alternate costume is a bit more modest. In Citadel she explains that it was a deliberate attempt to make her breasts look as small as possible, since showing off her rack in a prison ship would have been a bad idea.
- The third DLC outfit makes her a Badass Biker with a leather jacket, pants and shades, so everything is hidden, including tattoos.
- Her outfit in 3 is more conservative, but it still shows quite a lot of skin.
- Super Soldier: Cerberus wanted to make her a powerful biotic warrior... and they succeeded.
- Survivor Guilt: One of the reasons she pushes everyone away is that the last person who cared about her ended up dying in order to save her instead of betraying her as she'd expected he would. This made her even more violent and reclusive.
- Can get taken Up to Eleven in 3. If you chose to send her students to the front lines and romanced her, by the end, they'll all be dead as shall Shepard (in most endings). After all her major character development, everyone closest to her still dies.
- Tattooed Crook: Up to Eleven. The art book shows just how much detail and thought went into them, including tally marks for people she’s killed, including a skeleton tattoo with marks over each bone she killed a person by breaking. Needless to say, she's got a lot of tally marks.
- Tattoo as Character Type: They're a way to reassert control over her body and remind her of the colorful life she's led since since escaping Pragia.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With everyone in 2, but especially Miranda.
- There Was a Door: Justified: After being released from cryo, she has to escape somehow, and the quickest way is to break through walls with her biotics.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Quite a few of her battle cries. She's fond of the B-word in conversation as well.
- Token Evil Teammate: Even after recruitment, she remains a barely contained ball of homicidal rage. She can grow out of it eventually.
- Tomboyish Name Though in the third game, Liara reveals that her real birth name is Jennifer.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Sports one in Mass Effect 3.
- Took a Level in Kindness: A bit in 2, much more if romanced. Quite a bit in 3, where she's become a full-fledged Mama Bear and Badass Teacher who has left her Ax-Crazy nature behind. The Citadel DLC takes it even further, showing her to now have a pet biotic varren named Eezo that she got from a rescue group who she is extremely affectionate towards (and the parallels to her own life she is completely oblivious about). She also no longer wants to kill Miranda.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Within the game, all you're told is that you're picking up a dangerous biotic named Jack; it's left as a surprise that she's a female until you see her the first time. The surprise is completely ruined by the fact that the character was introduced in promotional material prior to the game's release, including a personal character trailer. Although her name is only given as "Subject Zero" in this material, enough detail is given about how she's recruited that the only way her sex can come as a surprise is if the player goes into the game completely blind.
- Transhuman: Possibly the most powerful human biotic yet.
- Troll: She was banned from the Citadel News Net forums for excessive and repeated swearing, derogatory comments, inflammatory comments, and circumventing work-safe filters. She lasted 15 minutes in an online poker community before being banned for the same reasons.
- She also gets vanned a lot. You are actually supposed to get her out of the proverbial space van in her recruit mission.
- Tsundere: If Shepard coaxes her out of her hostility and helps her find some personal closure, she displays a softer and more vulnerable side.
- Tykebomb: The Shadow Broker's dossier indicates she was actually taken by Cerberus shortly after birth. Her mother was convinced the child had died from horrible element zero-induced seizures.
- The Unfettered: Gets better in 3.
- Ungrateful Bitch: In her recruitment mission, Shepard not only frees her, but saves her by shooting a Blue Suns trooper just before he shot Jack. Her response is to loudly insult Shepard.
Shepard: This ship's going down in flames. I've got the only way out. I'm offering to take you with me. And you're arguing.
- Arguably Subverted. The fact that she doesn't kill Shepard on sight (Which would make a lot of sense, all things considered) could be considered a massive display of trust for her. Especially after her Freak Out when she saw the Cerberus insignia.
- Unreliable Narrator: She wasn't in the best position to figure out just what was going on in the Teltin facility.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Miranda in the Citadel DLC, for given value of "best buds".
- What Could Have Been: A cut sidequest in ME2 originally had Shepard forced to find some red sand for Jack, due the fact that Cerberus experimentation meant that red sand was the only thing that could help her sleep without levitating everything in the room.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the third game, she punches Shepard in the face, saying that Shepard should never have trusted Cerberus. If you romanced her, it turns into Anger Born of Worry, as she punches you for turning yourself in after the events of Arrival.
- What Would X Do?: If she survives the second game and you make it to Grissom Academy in time in the third, you'll find her teaching a batch of young biotics and defending them from Cerberus. She even admits that some of Shepard's leadership rubbed off on her, what with "all those damn speeches."
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds/Tragic Villain: Because seriously — after a life of physical torture, emotional, and sexual abuse, Jack really deserves a little bit of happiness. And a Shepard hug.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: How Paragon Shepard prompts her Heel-Face Turn.
- You Need to Get Laid: Inverted; see Sex Equals Love above.
- Your Makeup Is Running: During her romance scene.
Somebody's got to take down the bad guys. Cerberus keeps that line, I'm on their side.
"Jacob is way too nice a guy for the number of ways he knows how to kill people."
Voiced by: Adam Lazarre-White
A biotic and former marine who joined Cerberus to protect humanity, although he dislikes their extreme methods. He's also the protagonist of the iPhone game Mass Effect Galaxy
. Also one of ME2's romance options for the female Shepard.
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: He and Dr Brynn Cole are together in 3 whether or not you romanced him.
- Anti-Hero: Either a Knight in Sour Armor or Pragmatic Hero.
- The Atoner: In 3 for his time with Cerberus.
- Bald of Awesome: In his younger years.
- Badass Beard: Grew one after Galaxy.
- Beware the Nice Ones: One of the most non-confrontational, baggage-deprived guys on your squad, but check out his loyalty mission's Renegade ending for what he's capable of when pushed.
- Black Dude Dies First: Potentially. He does volunteer for an assignment he's not geared towards, but it's possible to have already lost up to three people at that point. It really comes down to the player.
- Broken Pedestal: His father.
- Brutal Honesty: Similar to Ashley, Jacob is fairly direct with his opinions when asked. This will extend to Shepard as well.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Was pretty pissed to find out what his father had been doing for the past 10 years.
- Canon Immigrant: From Mass Effect Galaxy.
- Chick Magnet: He's had a past history with Miranda, Kasumi totally digs him, and he can possibly romance a Female Shepard. Continues into the third game, where he has a new girlfriend regardless of whether he was with Shepard in the previous game or not.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments, particularly in the Citadel DLC where he effortlessly trades banter with Shepard and ribs him/her quite a bit.
- Demoted to Extra: Went from being the main character of Mass Effect Galaxy to a party member in Mass Effect 2 to an NPC in an optional mission in Mass Effect 3.
- Derailing Love Interests: In 3, if you previously romanced him, he's already moved on to another woman he plans to settle down with.
- Determinator: Early in his mission in 3, Jacob gets shot in the stomach protecting some Ex-Cerberus Scientists. While he gets briefly treated, Jacob continues to power through the mission while injured.
Shepard: You should get that wound looked at.
Jacob: I'm good. I mean, I will.
- Disappeared Dad: For 10 years and counting... at least, until his loyalty mission.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Inverted — female Shepard has to work to get him to open up to the possibility of a romance.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: He doesn't want anyone thinking of him as a "baggage guy" or trying to "figure me out". You can actually convince him to break off the romance if you keep pushing him.
Jacob: Even if you were right, how small would my problems be if you could 'fix' them with grad-school psych and a crying jag?"
- Female Gaze: There's a point early in the romance in which the camera seems to switch to Shepard's POV, and pans up from his groin to his face.
- Forgot About His Powers: A relatively minor example in 3: He still handles guns well when Cerberus attacks the defectors' safehouse, but apparently completely forgets he has biotic powers, specifically Barrier, which would have prevented him from receiving the wound that puts him out of action for most of the mission.
- The Generic Guy: While intended to be the Only Sane Man in the second game, the fact that he rarely interacts with other crew members instead makes him come off as simply uninteresting in comparison to the others rather than the Straight Man.
- The Heart: Jacob and Miranda serve as the foils/voice-of-reason towards Shepard. Jacob generally support actions that tend to be morally right, and is the paragon-voice point.
- Hero of Another Story: Literally, with Mass Effect Galaxy. This put him in the rare position of a previous player character stuck as second-fiddle to another one.
- Hidden Depths: Apparently he's good at arcade games if the Citadel DLC is anything to go by.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: He seems rather surprised when female Shepard tries to start a romance with him, but eventually runs with it.
- I Have No Son: Inverted. He disowns his father after discovering what he did.
- I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: When Grunt starts talking about how appetizing the smell of burning plague victims is.
- Insecure Love Interest: With both Shepard and Miranda, he doesn't believe he's good enough for them.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Implies this towards Miranda. "She... requires a better man than I."
- Knight in Sour Armor: He's generally a nice guy, but displays a lot of cynicism regarding the Alliance and Citadel governments after the events of Mass Effect Galaxy which led him to join Cerberus in disgust. Not that he's altogether fond of them, either.
"Saved the Citadel, but... what's the saying? A good deed's like pissing in dark pants. Warm feeling, but no one notices."
- The Knights Who Say Squee: He's a bit of a Shepard Fanboy.
- The Lancer: A position he shares with Garrus and Miranda, hence why he and they are the only ideal candidates for leading the fireteams on the Suicide Mission.
- Leave Behind a Pistol: At the end of his loyalty mission, the Renegade conclusion is to give a gun to his father to kill himself rather than face a court-martial or be killed by males driven to violence by the local flora.
- Magic Knight: Both a capable soldier and a powerful biotic.
- Man Hug: How he assures Shepard he's ready to go post-loyalty mission.
Jacob: I'm good, Shepard! Ready for anything. We live, we'll get loud, spill some drinks on the Citadel!
- Military Maverick: He left the Alliance because he couldn't handle all the Obstructive Bureaucrats. Having said that, he also gets the prize for the other half of the trope: of all the party members, he holds himself to the strongest level of military behavior, and is the only person on the ship aside from Kelly (and a loyal Miranda, once if not romanced) who actually salutes Shepard.
- Mind over Matter: Jacob is the closest Shepard's squad gets to an average human biotic.
- Mr. Exposition: Early in 2. Justified because he's the only person around Shepard can talk to, and Shep's been dead for two years.
- Mr. Fanservice: Why, hello there, Mr. Unneccessary In Camera Focus Shirt Removal Ripped Guy. His abs are rendered with more detail than some character's faces. Shadow Broker info shows that he's earned those abs with an insane workout schedule. His taut ass is also prominent in some shots (the same camera angle as Miranda's Ass Cam, no less.)
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest members of Cerberus Shepard meets.
- Not So Different:
- If a female Shepard who romanced him calls him out on leaving her during the Citadel DLC, he'll say that maybe he's not so different from his father after all.
- Additionally, if Shepard romanced someone before him, Jacob will call Shepard out on the previous relationship she'd abandoned.
- Oblivious to Love: Not only does Shepard pretty much have to explicitly state her interest in him for it to register, but, by all accounts, he also doesn't seem to realize that Kasumi wants to jump his bones. Of course, since she's a downloadable character, he has no dialog related to her so it's hard to tell.
- Only Sane Man: The Illusive Man placed him on Shepard's team for relative emotional stability as much as skill. In-practice however, he's viewed as The Generic Guy.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Miranda and a Female Shepard who befriends him but doesn't romance him.
- Playing with Fire: Aside from Grunt and Shepard themselves, he's the only one with Incendiary Ammo.
- Precision F-Strike: An "S-Strike", to be more accurate. Shortly after the cutscene where Shepard releases Jack from cryo, as the squad enters a wrecked room with a few Blue Suns enemies fighting off escaped prisoners, Jacob will blurt out "Holy shit!" in face of all the chaos and destruction.
- Privateer: A former member of the Corsairs, a black ops unit that the Alliance could disavow knowledge of if they were caught.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Miranda's Blue.
- Static Character: His character changes the least throughout the story. This is deliberate; he's supposed to be the most emotionally-stable crew member. Everyone else's loyalty mission involves some form of baggage from their past, while Jacob has to actually be brought into his loyalty mission by an outside actor.
- The Stoic: He tends to express less emotion than most of the characters.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Bring him along to the Derelict Reaper and you'll learn that he hasn't gotten over Eden Prime as much you initially thought. During the Citadel party, he'll mention that he still has nightmares about the Collector base.
- That Man Is Dead: His opinion of Ronald Taylor; no matter how the mission plays out, you'll hear some variation of it. "I've already mourned the man he used to be."
- Token Good Teammate: Of Cerberus along with some of the Normandy crew (including Kelly) and, to a lesser extent, Miranda. And he knows it.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In 3, if romanced previously he is shown to have cheated on a Shepard with Dr. Cole in the six months they were incarcerated. Even he admits he was a bastard for doing so if Shepard chooses to call him on it (though in a fairly casual manner).
- Transhuman: Par for the course when one is able to project mass effect fields from your body.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He does a good job of not showing it though.
- What the Hell, Hero?: It's downplayed, but he'll show discomfort if you go out of your way to be vindictive (even if the "victim" is an intel trader who once sent Jacob into an ambush). Played for laughs in the Citadel DLC; pick James's side in the "physique vs biotics" argument, and he'll call it the first questionable decision he's ever seen you make.
- What You Are in the Dark: His backstory is full of this. He doesn't mind so much.
Jacob: Good deed's like pissing yourself in dark pants. Warm feeling, but no one notices.
- Working with the Ex: In his words, his previous work with Miranda "got a little close — then it got really far apart." They're still on good terms, and she gives him the plot hook for his character mission to keep a promise. If he could only remember which promise...
- And in 3, with Shepard, if you romanced him in the last game.
I'm the best thief in the galaxy, not the most famous. Need to watch my step to keep it that way.
"I like Kasumi, but why do I feel like I need to check the Citadel for parts she may have pawned?"
Voiced by: Kym Lane (credited as Kym Hoy)
A Classy Cat-Burglar
who is available in the Kasumi - Stolen Memory
DLC pack for Xbox 360 & PC, and included on disc for PlayStation 3. She is so skilled that few are aware that she even exists.
- Affectionate Nickname: She calls Shepard "Shep."
- Anti-Hero: Despite being a shameless career kleptomaniac, she was willing to place herself in severe danger to protect a young artist purely on principle. She has a caring side, often showing concern for the rest of the squad. Of course, given that you have a squad of mercs, terrorists, Knights Templars and berserkers, her thieving seems pretty benign in comparison.
- In Mass Effect 3, she helps the salarian Spectre agent assigned to hunt her down stop an indoctrinated hanar diplomat from dooming his entire species.
- In the Citadel DLC, she's robbing a casino and intends to give the loot to the war refugees.
- Ascended Fangirl: In-universe; describes herself as a fan of Shepard when she first meets him/her.
- Backstab: Her signature ability, called Shadow Strike. Less of an actual Backstab, but more "bop people with the omni-tool".
- Calling Card: In her early career, she left a rose in place of what she stole. Her partner eventually made her realize how unproductive this is for a thief.
- The Caper: Her activity of choice. Naturally, her loyalty mission is one.
- Covert Pervert:
- Dark Is Not Evil: Wears mostly black but is in fact one of the nicest and friendliest of all the party members.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Demoted to Extra: While most of the Mass Effect 2 squadmates have smaller roles in 3, Zaeed and Kasumi suffer the most from it, likely due to being DLC characters. At the very least, having both of them keeps you from choosing between war assets.
- Does Not Like Spam: the Citadel DLC reveals that she's slightly Lactose Intolerant, having mistaken the milk in Shep's fridge to be made of Soy.
- Downloadable Content: She does not appear in the vanilla game at all.
- Establishing Character Moment: Unlike the other squad members, who meet you face to face, Kasumi insists on talking to you through a hacked Citadel advertisement. She then reveals she's been watching the whole time, and leaps off a railing above Shepard to introduce herself in person.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Aside from the glint of her eyes, we never see the top half of her face.
- Faking the Dead: In Mass Effect 3, after helping you (and another Spectre who's trying to arrest her), she "activates an explosive failsafe" on a terminal and collapses in a bloody heap. The Spectre is fooled, but Shepard sees right through it. A good way to introduce the new Decoy ability.
- Fangirl: "Good to finally meet you, Commander Shepard. Kasumi Goto. I'm a fan."
- Friend to All Children: She's a nice person in general, but she seems pretty fond of children in particular — the quickest way to get on her bad side is to injure or traumatise a child. One of her anecdotes involves a rare wholly charitable act, which was to rescue a child from slavery, and seeing what Jack and other biotic children went through on Pragia is enough to reduce her to tears.
- The Gambling Addict: The only time she's not sneaking around at the party is if you host a card game, where she'll finally settle down and join Liara and James for a hand of poker.
- Genki Girl: She's very enthusiastic.
- Genre Savvy: From the second she sneaks up on Shepard in the third game she is dead-set against being recruited to fight the Reapers. She was happy to take the Illusive Man's money before, but will not begin to allow Shepard to talk her into fighting. She still helps him/her though, she just won't come back to the Normandy. Unless Jacob is there.
- Glass Cannon: She's excellent at incapacitating enemies up close, but she has low health and shields while her main ability often puts her in dangerous situations. Very inconvenient especially on her loyalty mission, where she is your only squadmate.
- Gossipy Hens: If Shepard talks to her on the Normandy, she gossips about the other crewmembers and talks about rumors.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: In her loyalty mission, she strolls right up to Hock's estate in her Spy Catsuit, not even bothering to take her hood down, and seems surprised when Hock turns her away in a brief stroke of Genre Savvy. She then uses her invisibility to get into the building anyway.
- Hypocritical Humor: During the Hock heist, she notes that his password, "Peruggia", refers to Vincenzo Peruggia, the man who stole the Mona Lisa back in the 1880's. The Shadow Broker DLC reveals that she has also stolen the Mona Lisa, but is offering it for sale. As well as the Koh-i-Noor Diamond and a number of other alien artifacts that are presumably as valuable.
- In the Hood: Kasumi wears a hood at all times so no one can ever really see her face.
- Invisibility: Uses the same invisibility device as the player Infiltrator.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She has a crush on Jacob, but will support Fem!Shep if she decides to romance him. Dump him though and you get this.
- Just a Machine: Subtle but present.
Kasumi: Sometimes [EDI] seems like a person, but when it comes down to it, I can't get past her being a computer.
Kasumi: (on the heretics) Killed or remade, what's the difference? They're only synthetics. Just fancy security mechs.
- Just Like Robin Hood: In "Citadel", Shepard can walk in on her about to pull a heist on the Silver Coast Casino. She's not doing it for the money or the fun. She plans on giving the loot to refugees, since she feels that they need it more than the Casino owners.
- Killed Off for Real: If you didn't go on her loyalty mission at all, her death's not fake. Shepard simply looks on and then walks away. Of course, maybe she's faking her death towards Shepard too, but she certainly doesn't join your list of war assets.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: One quality she definitely shares with Shepard.
- Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: Literally. You can catch her snooping through Shepard's intimates during the party in Anderson's apartment!
- Knife Nut: You never see her using them in-game, but she gets very...enthused over a selection of knives on Tuchanka, and contemplates "borrowing" them sometime later.
- Lampshade Hanging: When commenting on female Shepard's romance with Garrus, she notes that many people want them to be together.
- Le Parkour: Briefly shows off some moves in her loyalty mission.
- The Lost Lenore: She never completely gets over Keiji's death. It actually gets worse in ME3 if you allowed her to keep the greybox. And then proceeds to get much, much better if you choose the Synthesis ending, as Keiji's greybox is affected and he returns to life.
- Loveable Rogue: She's very endearing for a self-admitted kleptomaniac.
- Magikarp Power: She starts out very weak. With the right allocation of skill points, she becomes a devastating Glass Cannon.
- Meaningful Name:
- Kasumi is a Japanese name that means simply "mist". KASUMI is also the name of a cipher used in electronic security.
- The Japanese word "goto", the same word as her surname and which is pronounced mostly the same, also means "robber" or "robbery."
- Meet Cute: When examining one of the paintings in her quarters, she'll tell you how she acquired it. She was hired to steal it, and when she went to take it, it had already been stolen. As she was leaving, she saw another thief with the painting, chased him down and tackled him. The other thief was Keiji, and he and Kasumi ended up as partners in crime as well as lovers. Neither of their clients ever did get the painting, because they kept it as a memento.
- Nice Girl: Minus the whole "stealing everything in sight" thing, Kasumi is one of the most openly friendly members of your crew.
- The Nicknamer: She calls Shepard 'Shep' on a variety of occasions and designates the Illusive Man as 'Mr. Illusive.' The first may be something of an Ascended Meme as (Fem/Male)Shep is a common Fan Nickname for Shepard.
- Not Me This Time: If you set off the scanners on the Citadel on your first visit with her in your party.
Kasumi: I swear to God, I didn't touch anything.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: In 3, she's not interested in putting her life on the line to fight the Reapers. Her mind can be changed by simply stating she doesn't need to be on the front lines — her computer skills are a big enough asset... that and there is a lot on the Crucible for her to steal.
- Odd Friendship: As a Spectre, Shepard technically is a galactic lawman, while Kasumi is a galactic master-thief.
- Optional Party Member: A DLC character (although her DLC is included with the PS3 version, and she can thus be considered a canon character for the PS3 version).
- Outlaw Couple: With her former partner, Keiji.
- Perky Goth: Her outfit is of a design normally associated with dark, brooding characters, but she's actually usually pretty cheerful and playful.
- The Pollyanna: She always reflects that things could be worse... even when trapped inside a derelict Reaper with dozens of husks that's slowly crashing into a star. Hey, at least it's not full of rats!
- But take her with you on Jack's loyalty mission, and the thought of children being experimented on horrifies her beyond words.
- Phantom Thief: She's one of the galaxy's best thieves/hackers, but has no criminal record. On her loyalty mission, Kasumi even says that no one knows what she looks like.
- Playful Hacker:
- She greets Shepard by taking over one of the Citadel's advertising terminals. Her hacking skills are actually on-par with both Legion and Tali.
- If Shepard ignores her, she has half a dozen humorous comments from being a credit agency for help with collector agents to the offer of a sweet Japanese girl, before getting mad if Shepard doesn't bite.
- She even starts helping the Spectre sent to arrest her with one of his investigations just because.
- For that matter she plays around with this at the party in Citadel, from imitating Jacob doing crunches to helping him win a push up contest against James to raiding Shepard's underwear drawer.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Cerberus seeks her out to use her skills against the Collectors.
- Shipper on Deck: She ships Ken/Gabby and Shepard/Any of the ME2 love interests (if applicable). But she especially ships Tali and Garrus with Shepard for their respective genders.
- The Smart Guy: Along with Tali and Legion, she's an ideal choice for the Tech Expert during the suicide mission.
- The Sneaky Guy / Stealth Expert: "Now you see me..."
- Spy Catsuit: Her outfit is as form-fitting as Miranda's.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Her special ability involves this.
Kasumi: Now you see me...
- Stepford Snarker
- Trademark Favorite Food: She loves ramen, and regrets not having stolen her grandmother's recipe.
- The Trickster: She spends the entire party in Citadel messing with the rest of the crew. She's far more lighthearted and fun than Jack being a nasty Troll, making Kasumi this.
- What the Hell, Player?: Ignore Kasumi on the Citadel when she's pretending to be a station advertisement, and she'll drop the Spy Speak and call Shepard out to meet with her already, dammit.
- Worthy Opponent:
I have every respect for your abilities, Shepard. It's your motivations that concern me.
"I would never say anything against Miranda. And expect to survive the reprisal."
A human biotic and tech specialist, "born" on Earth. Her father genetically engineered her for perfection, but couldn't have cared less about what she wanted. When she ran from him, Cerberus offered her protection, gaining her loyalty in the process. She first appeared in Mass Effect Galaxy
, as well as in the comic Mass Effect: Redemption
. Romance option for a male Shepard.
- Abusive Parents: Let's just say Daddy is worse than what she says. And what she says ain't positive about Mr. Lawson.
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: In her loyalty mission where she debates whether or not to talk to her sister.
- Action Girl: Designed to be, indeed. Those biotics probably didn't come cheap. Especially since, officially, humanity had no idea what biotics were at the time.
- Always Someone Better: If you choose to earn her friendship, she reveals she feels somewhat inferior to Shepard. She was designed to be perfect and easily accomplish impossible tasks she is set. Shepard is just a regular person but somehow manages to succeed in doing impossible tasks anyway and often completes them with results beyond what she could have done. It's also implied that she feels a bit jealous of how much faith the Illusive Man places in Shepard.
- Anti-Hero: For most of 2 she's veering into (and occasionally entering) He Who Fights Monsters territory and is generally both a Knight Templar and Good Is Not Nice. From the end of 2 onward though she becomes more of a Classical Anti-Hero. She has no Kick the Dog moments, her entire quest arc in 3 is about her trying to protect her sister from her father, and along the way, she tries to save refugees of all races from a husk facility masquerading as a refuge.
- Arch-Enemy/The Rival: Jack sees her this way, complete with an The Only One Allowed to Defeat You mentality. This reaches its peak during a catfight that Shepard has to head off, possibly also losing the loyalty of one or the other. Fortunately, as of the Citadel DLC, they've smoothed things over a bit.
- Archnemesis Dad: The reason she joined Cerberus in the first place was to gain protection from her father. Her dad actually had close Cerberus ties before this, but the Illusive Man valued her abilities over his resources. Until the third game, that is. Besides, she's left Cerberus by that point (dead or alive).
- The Atoner: In 3, for her work with Cerberus and other things. To the point that she apologizes to Shepard for something she almost did to him/her.
- Awesome Aussie: By extension of being voiced by and face-modeled after one.
- Badass Boast: Early in 2.
- The Baroness: Sexpot variety, albeit a much less evil example than most.
- Barrier Warrior: Citadel replaces Slam with the redesigned Reave.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Played with. She's incredibly beautiful and while, initially, not the most morally inclined member of Shepard's crew, she's far from evil and is also one of the better members of Cerberus.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In Mass Effect 3, after she gets the crap beaten out of her by Kai Leng, she doesn't appear to have any visible wounds on her body aside from a few scratches on her face. This is especially weird if she actually dies from her wounds. Then again, she easily could've had severe internal injuries from blunt force trauma.
- Because You Can Cope: If you lose her loyalty by siding with Jack, you can regain it by saying that you did it because she's more understanding than Jack is.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Paragon Shepard can cause her to resign from Cerberus, likely due to Shepard being the first person with authority over her to actually ask what she wants, not attempt to control her, and seeks her friendship with no ulterior motive for doing so.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With a male Renegade Shepard, their First Kiss pretty much comes about after he mercilessly teases and taunts her about her insecurities and is generally rude and challenging, which seems to be pushing all her buttons... with Miranda being flabbergasted and asking "Okay, what the hell was that?!" afterwards.
- Berserk Button: Do not attempt to bring harm to her sister or get the idea of returning her to their father.
- Big Sister Instinct: She will go the ends of the galaxy and risk everything to protect Oriana.
- Birds of a Feather: Shepard can use this to argue for or against a relationship with her.
- Bond One-Liner:
- Once Shepard escapes the Lazarus facility, his/her first encounter with Miranda has her killing Wilson in cold blood.
Wilson: Miranda? But you're—
[Miranda kills him]
- Then there's her loyalty mission:
Miranda: Goodbye Niket, I'm gonna miss you...
Miranda:...not literally, of course.
- In the third game, at the end of the Sanctuary mission if she's still alive:
: [after releasing Oriana]
Alright, take her. But I want out alive, deal?
''[Miranda uses her biotics to throw him out the window
- Brainy Brunette: She was the head scientist of the Lazarus Project.
- Broken Ace: Beautiful, intelligent, competent... and consumed with self-doubt and self-loathing.
- Broken Bird: See Freudian Excuse.
- Broken Pedestal: To the Illusive Man and Cerberus at the end of 2.
- Buxom Is Better: As the engineers put it...
Daniels: I've got green across the board. The forward tanks are buoyant and elevated.
Donnelly: Are ya talking about the Normandy or Miranda?
Daniels: I'm talking about the one that's covered and protected, not bouncing in the breeze.
- Even Jack concurs in the Citadel DLC. The first genuine compliment she gives? "I still really hate you, but you have fantastic tits."
- Canon Immigrant: From the Mass Effect Galaxy iPhone game and the Mass Effect Redemption comic. Notably, in the latter, she did not yet look like Yvonne Strahovski.
- Canon Sue: In-universe. BioWare uses Miranda to explore the entire concept of the perfect human. She's unbelievably gorgeous, brilliant and skilled. She is those things because her father, an egotistical prick, designed her that way in a lab. Miranda is tortured by all of those gifts, seeing in them constant evidence of her father's influence. Other companions belittle her for being too perfect, and she laments that her engineered skills means she owns nothing about herself.
Miranda: The only thing I can take credit for are my mistakes.
- Character Development:
- Cloning Blues: See Canon Sue above, and add the fact that A: She is a female clone of her father and B: Her father is a massive jerk. She can get over it provided with enough time, and even trolls Shepard during Citadel by asking him/her if he really is the original Shepard.
Miranda: I wasn't even the first one he made. I was only the first one he kept.
- Combat Stilettos: Wears them for no explicable reason. Her DLC outfit removes them.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Begins to show a little after her Loyalty Mission, particularly with a Paragon Shepard. While she has been extremely loyal to Cerberus for her entire adult life and a Paragon Shepard opposes Cerberus ideals in almost every way, Shepard also risked a great deal to help her keep her sister away from their father, without any strings attached. In the end, when she is forced to choose between Cerberus and Shepard, she chooses Shepard without hesitation.
- Control Freak: One of her main character flaws. She initially wanted to implant Shepard with a Control Chip, but was vetoed by the Illusive Man, since it could impair Shepard's abilities and the idea was to bring them back exactly as they were. She later regrets this, since she realizes that her attempt to control Shepard almost made her be just like her father.
- Oriana's grateful email to Shepard after s/he rescued her during Miranda's loyalty mission, has a secondary postscript addressed to Miranda, where it turns out that Oriana is both perfectly aware of, and subsequently orders, Miranda to stop reading Shepard's private mail!
- Cool Big Sis: To her (genetically identical) little sister Oriana Lawson, occasional Control Freak moments notwithstanding. Especially if she allows herself to be known to Oriana.
- Crazy-Prepared: She plants a tracer on Kai Leng, giving Shepard the exact location of the Illusive Man's base on Cronus Station, just because she had a feeling it'd be useful. Shepard is both relieved and grateful — before that, s/he was grasping at straws.
- Cultured Badass: Enjoys classical music, particularly the Danish composer Carl Nielsen.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as many of the other characters, but she has her moments, particularly when flirting with Shepard if romanced.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: If you romanced her in ME2 but break up with her in order to rekindle your ME1 romance in ME3, she will die regardless of the help you give her.
- Defector from Decadence: Paragon Shepard can cause her to resign from Cerberus. Also part of Niket's argument against letting Miranda take Oriana with her on her loyalty mission — when she accuses him of being bought by her father, he calls her out on the luxuries she enjoyed before she left.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Becomes notably less unpleasant as the story progresses — at least to Shepard. She's also generally nicer to Jacob as well, due to their past relationship. By 3, she's completely defrosted and is one of the nicest people in the entire game.
- Designer Babies: She was specifically designed by her father as part of his "dynasty" and really, really wishes she hadn't been.
- Did Not See That Coming: Said almost verbatim after Niket betrays her during her loyalty mission.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: One of her possible death scenes in Mass Effect 3 has her dying in Shepard's arms, reconciling with Oriana, and making Shepard promise to keep fighting, no matter what the cost. This earns her a name drop when Shepard kills Kai Leng.
- The Dragon: To The Illusive Man, at least until the end of the second game. She's been replaced by Kai Leng as of Mass Effect 3.
- This role of hers is also referenced by Shepard's clone in the Citadel DLC, with regards to Maya Brooks.
Mysterious Figure: You had Miranda, I have her. Mine has more bite.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first time she's actually spoken to, she guns down Wilson and follows it up with a sarcastic quip. She proceeds to ignore all of Shepard's counterarguments to simply executing someone in cold blood, state "I'm always right", and then leave the rest of the Cerberus personnel behind in a base infested with mechs, stating that their lives are expendable and she doesn't care if they die. Also conveniently serves as one for Cerberus in general, for those who didn't play the first game.
- Face Palm: Her reaction when Shepard suggests that she sleep with Jack and get over their sexual tension.
- Fantastic Racism: Averted, despite her status as a Cerberus agent. She specifically states, and the game backs up, that she's more pro-human than anti-alien and also laments how so many people join Cerberus for no other reason than xenophobia. She also has a certain respect for the asari.
- Fatal Flaw: Her inability to comprehend that people will react other than the way she believes they will. She also seems to have the mindset of handing out as little information as possible, with complete disregard for how others will react to her doing so.
- Faustian Rebellion: Paragon Shepard can push her into performing one against the Illusive Man. Also part of her backstory before joining Cerberus.
- Femme Fatale: Beautiful, seductive, and utterly ruthless at first.
- Foil: To Ashley. One is extremely loyal to the Alliance, the other Cerberus. One is fiery but can be made to show a softer side, the other starts out as an Ice Queen who defrosts. One is very close with her sisters, the other prefers to observe her from afar. Not to mention that in 3, Ashley now resembles Miranda a little more with let-down hair and a more form fitting outfit.
- Miranda is also one to Jack. Miranda is calculating and measured, believes in following orders, keeps an ice queen demeanour and is fiercely loyal to Cerberus. Jack is brash and reckless, has very little respect for authority and hates Cerberus' guts. Mass Effect 3 showcases their respective character growths and once again they're opposites. Miranda has become a kind woman, but if you romanced her and decide to break up with her, she absolutely shatters, as while she used to have Cerberus around as a form of family, she is now pretty much alone (her sister aside, who is in danger). Meanwhile Jack has become a lot kinder too, but if you break up with her she's completely fine with it, as she has a new family in her students.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Although this seems to be the go with almost all types of wardrobe in the 'verse, including many of the armors and regardless of sex. Played straight that since her outfit is done to make it look leather-like, not to mention quite shiny, it gives the illusion of more skin-tight and, say, alluring.
- Freudian Excuse: Much of her behavior makes more sense in light of her loyalty mission and the Shadow Broker dossier. Before meeting Shepard, only three people have never betrayed her to her knowledge: a childhood friend, the Illusive Man, and Jacob. By the end of the game, it's entirely likely that only Jacob and the Illusive Man remain from that list. With the Shadow Broker dossier, it's clear that part of her affection for her sister comes from being unable to have children of her own, and despite being in a dating service, she ruthlessly cuts off one candidate who makes the mistake of trying to be interested in more than just sex. Since she cannot bear children, she's less interested in romance. Though these are played more subtly than most Freudian Excuse examples, once they're revealed, most of Miranda's personality is clearly defined by these.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: "Nobody" is an overstatement, but her hardline pro-Cerberus stance does alienate her from the others somewhat. This is why someone always argues against making her the fire-team leader. Jacob has known her the longest, Samara respects her determination, and Kasumi seems to like her. Once Character Development sets in and she takes a level in kindess in 3, this changes, noticeably in "Citadel".
- Genius Bruiser: A very capable combatant and extremely intelligent as well, having led the Lazarus Project to bring someone back from the dead.
- Good Is Not Nice: As cold, bitter, bitingly critical of others, and occasionally ruthless as Miranda can be sometimes, she is still a good person deep down. She genuinely believes that Cerberus is pro-human and only wants to help further humanity's agenda.
- Good Is Not Soft: After Character Development the "not nice" part disappears and the "good" part becomes more prominent. She becomes genuinely friendly and caring, expresses regret over what she wanted to do to Shepard, unlike other characters doesn't ask for help when trying to protect her sister, and upon discovering Cerberus has set up essentially a Nazi death camp makes efforts to warn people away. Then she kills her father, who was responsible for said death camp.
- Guide Dang It: Keeping her alive in the 3rd game requires meeting a very specific set of criteria. To summarize: she needs to be loyal from 2, and you need to have warned her about Kai Leng, and/or Charm her father during the standoff, and give her access to Alliance resources earlier in the game. Additionally, if you romanced her in 2, you need to break up with her before importing your save, because if you start with an active romance but don't continue it further, she'll die no matter what you do.
- Heel-Face Turn: She's one of the Illusive Man's most loyal agents, yet Paragon Shepard can end up causing her to resign from Cerberus and hang up on the Illusive Man, basically delivering the verbal equivalent of flipping him off to his face. The third game reveals that he did not take this well.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Possibility in the third game. She finally sees the error of her ways, condemns Cerberus, then tries to repent by warning people about them and helping to take down one of the facilities where they kidnap people to make husks... then she gets stabbed by Kai Leng.
- Also possible in the second game. If she's in the final stretch of the suicide mission and the base is destroyed, she will agree with Shepard and resign from Cerberus on the spot. But if she is not loyal, she will die in the subsequent escape.
- Hero of Another Story: While Shepard is building alliances in 3, s/he can meet with Miranda a few times, where she discusses a mission she's currently on involving her sister and father, and later Cerberus. Their stories eventually coincide, however.
- Horrible Judge of Character: She claims to be an "excellent judge of character" but it's clear with her views on Cerberus and in particular the Illusive Man that this isn't always the case. She gets her eyes opened at the end of 2.
- Hypocrisy Nod: She apologizes in 3 for intending to put a control chip into Shepard during the Lazarus project, noting that it was a hypocritical plan for someone who has had her life defined by her struggle with her control freak father.
- Ice Queen: Explicitly called that by a soon-to-be-former Cerberus employee.
- Immortality Begins at Twenty: This can be inferred, given that the genetically-identical Oriana was raised by civilians without raising any eyebrows.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Albeit with dyed hair.
- Insufferable Genius: At first, although dialog shows her pride is largely a security mechanism she uses to deal with her insecurity about being a Designer Baby.
- Jack of All Stats: As a Sentinel-style "Cerberus Officer", she's probably the closest Shepard's team has to this, being somewhat capable in combat, a decent biotic, and good at using tech to disable enemies. Her passive skill also provides bonuses to the entire squad's health and weapon damage, making her a good tactical choice for any player class or squad makeup.
- With a bit of Glass Cannon as well. She has low health (lower than Garrus's) and all three of her skills are geared towards offence.
- Jerkass Façade: This seems to be the case. It appears that she's a cold professional to everyone she meets until she spends time around them and decides that she can trust them. At the start of the game, she'll shut down any attempt at personal conversation, but in her office aboard the Normandy she's more open with Shepard. This is most obvious regarding Jack. If Shepard asks her about what Cerberus did, she'll say without hesitation that it was a mistake and was rightfully shut down as soon as the Illusive Man found out. But when Jack calls her out on it directly, she'll refuse to apologize.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She really does want humanity to succeed and will do what she can to keep those she cares about safe at any cost. By 3, the Jerk part is pretty much completely gone.
- Despite her cold exterior she seems to genuinely care for Shepard even before being revived. When s/he begins waking up Miranda bitches out Wilson then helps Shepard stabilize with a warm smile.
- Kick the Dog: She has a few moments.
- In her very first appearance, if you try to get her to go back and save survivors in the overrun Cerberus lab, she'll scold you for being shortsighted and refer to all of the workers as "expendable".
- On Freedom's Progress, she'll recommend taking Veetor for "interrogation" (possibly including Cold-Blooded Torture) rather than letting Tali take him back for medical care, though she'll back down if Shepard says no. She's also less than sympathetic about the bad blood between the quarians and Cerberus, listing Cerberus' grievances against the quarians (including mass murder) as "nothing personal". Granted, she also claims Prazza's account is "not how she would have explained it" suggesting she may have been fed false information, but either way its callous, since all the dead quarians were apparently seen by her as acceptable losses.
- Her fight with Jack. Confrontations between Party Members tend to be small Kick the Dog moments for all parties involved, even though they do have pretty justifiable reasons for being mad. What makes her fight with Jack in particular stand out though is the line "Clearly, you were a mistake". Ouch. And while it's true that Jack was looking for a fight there, Miranda's response is still cold. She will admit to Shepard in private that she believes what was done to Jack was wrong, but she never admits it to Jack herself.
- Right after the Normandy gets attacked by the Collectors, and Joker, the sole survivor of the attack watches all his friends be dragged away by various cosmic horrors, the first thing she does upon getting back the ship is scold Joker for losing the crew and unshackling EDI (which saved the ship). Keep in mind that it was her brilliant idea that all the capable fighters aboard abandon the ship, leaving it wide open for attack.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch/Pay Evil unto Evil: Many consider her shooting Wilson in cold blood to be pretty ruthless, but it should be remembered that he betrayed her and tried to kill her, Shepard, Jacob, and everyone else on the facility. He succeeded on the latter, too.
- Knight Templar: When with Cerberus, though still quite light compared to others in the organization.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: She keeps extremely detailed records on all her sister's potential boyfriends. Even her sister finds that a little creepy.
- The Lad-ette: Not as much as Fem!Shep, but she also can't think of a single traditionally feminine interest to talk about when they try to act more normal.
- Lady in Red: In the Citadel DLC, she wears a red dress when she and Shepard head to the Silver Coast Casino for some fun.
- The Lancer/Number Two: She's Shepard's executive officer, although she shares the overarching Lancer role with Jacob and Garrus. Which is why Miranda is a good choice for Fire Team Leader during the suicide mission, just like both aforementioned squadmates.
- Last Kiss: If she dies in 3 and is romantically involved with Shepard.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Judging from Liara's files on her, she's been trying really hard to get pregnant. Sadly, she has a benign neoplasm that makes her unable to conceive. It's subtly implied this was either yet another way Henry Lawson meant to control his daughter, or the "imperfection" that led to the creation of Orianna.
- Like Father, Like Son: Subverted; they turn out to be very different people in the end. Both are highly talented scientists who use their intelligence to do the extraordinary. Miranda brings Shepard back to life, and Henry manages to control husks independently of the Reapers. However, while Miranda's only ethical quandary was whether to implant Shepard with a control chip (which she later regrets even considering) and she becomes a genuinely heroic person, Henry sacrifices thousands, if not millions of innocent people to indoctrination in order to make his breakthrough, and never regrets a thing.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Henry Lawson created her to be perfect in every way, using his own DNA as a template, for reasons that had as much to do with satisfying his own ego as securing an heir for his dynasty. Naturally, Miranda had other plans.
- Male Gaze: The in-game camera spends a lot of time focused on Miranda's rear, including at rather inappropriate times (one example occurs while she's asking for help regarding her sister — the dialogue wheel appears just as her rear end comes into focus). This has also gotten ire from some fans.
- Mind over Matter: She has biotic powers. Not, however, on the same level as Jack and Samara; picking her for the biotic bubble will result in the death of one squadmate. Curiously, she's a year older than the biotics who were exposed in the original Singapore incident.
- Morality Chain: A Paragon Shepard can become this to her.
- Jacob also shares this role, being one of the few people that Miranda actually will listen to for advice.
- Morality Pet: Her (much younger) twin sister, Oriana.
- Ms. Fanservice:
- My God, What Have I Done?: She feels terrible guilt for even considering installing a control chip into Shepard and basically turning him/her into a mindless slave. Even more so as it is exactly what she tries to keep her father from doing to her and her sister, almost becoming just like him.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: While Miranda doesn't agree with everything Cerberus does and acknowledges that they cross the line, she stays on with them anyway until the end of 2.
- Narcissist: Inverted. She initially appears to be this, but upon getting to know her better, it turns out that she is in fact self-loathing and feeling that she does not deserve credit for her accomplishments. Part of her Character Development is learning to get over this.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Conversed by Miranda. She feels all her accomplishments were made possible by her father's genetic influence, and the only things she can take credit for are her mistakes. Of course, Shepard can tell her that she was the one who decided what to do with her gifts.
- Nice Girl: Post-defrosting, and even before that she's very friendly and polite when speaking to Shepard on the Normandy.
- No True Scotsman: Those guys that tortured Jack? They're not really Cerberus, according to her. Neither were the guys who orchestrated the deaths of entire Alliance platoons. She stops using this trope by the third game though, as she has realized how wrong she was, and has dedicated herself to taking the organization down.
- Noble Demon/Noble Top Enforcer: When with Cerberus, though the "noble" part isn't immediately obvious.
- Not So Different: From her father. For all her resentment over his domineering attitude and how he attempted to control her entire life, she herself veers dangerously to falling into this territory when trying to protect her sister Oriana. Not to mention, initially wanting to install a control-chip in Shepard's brain to keep them in line.
- Ultimately subverted because her controlling nature towards her sister is motivated by genuine love and a desire to protect her (as opposed to her father just wanting to control Miranda because he feels like he owns her). It is also a sign of her character development that she does come to recognize just how dangerously close she came to becoming like her father. In the third game she has a minor breakdown over the lingering guilt she feels about the control-chip, realizing that it's exactly what he would have done. Shepard can of course, forgive her and assure her that she is better than her father.
- Also from Jack. Both are powerful biotic women with potential for greatness who had their gifts turned into curses by others (Miranda's father and Cerberus respectively) and the ensuing traumatic childhoods has made them both cold, bitter, and ruthless until when or if Shepard gets them to move past their pain and become happier (and better) people. Sadly, all of these similarities are lost on them both.
- Finally, she tries to convince Shepard of this concerning Cerberus. And if it's a Renegade Shepard we're talking about, she's kind of right.
- She's also very similar to Grunt - both are engineered to be the perfect [thing], and both feel insecure over how much of their strength they were given through the actions of others rather than earning it themselves.
- Not So Stoic: Miranda's Ice Queen demeanor frequently crumbles throughout the course of the games, not the least of which would be during her loyalty mission, interactions with her sister, and her romance with Shepard.
- Not What I Signed Up For: When the Illusive Man makes clear his plan to keep intact a base that liquefied millions of innocent people alive, Miranda finally realizes that he's nuts and resigns from Cerberus.
- Older Than They Look: Thanks to her genetic enhancements, she'll easily live to half again the age most humans will reach. By now, this is 150 — she's 35 right now.
- Opposite-Sex Clone: Subverted. Her father intended her to be this, but she ended up becoming a very different person from him.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: If befriended, she admits to feeling somewhat insecure around Shepard. She explains that because she was designed to be "perfect", all of her victories are simply products of genetic engineering that allows her to excel at everything. Shepard on the other hand, is simply a normal human being, who somehow manages to achieve the impossible due to sheer willpower, because that is who they are!
- Perpetual Smiler: Though likely a case of Special Effects Failure it's worth nothing that she wears a happy face a lot. Even when gunning down a traitor early in the game, or laying into Joker after the Collectors invaded the Normandy, or when Shepard steps in when she fights Kai Leng.
- Even her battle quotes sound more like she's playing a game rather than fighting for her life.
- Pet the Dog: To her credit, Miranda pets as many dogs as she kicks.
- If present when Tali makes clear her intentions to sabotage the suit of a volus who's being a racist Jerkass, Miranda, though viewing it as "juvenile" also says that it's "certainly deserved".
- After her loyalty mission is completed, Miranda apologizes to Shepard for her earlier Jerkass attitude towards him/her. If Shepard also stopped her from shooting Niket, she accepts that her trusting him wasn't so much of a bad thing, even if it backfired on her.
- If not romanced, Miranda will tell Shepard before they go through the Omega-4 relay that it has been an honor to serve with him/her. She even salutes!
- Her interactions (and general relationship with) her twin sister Oriana.
- When asked by Shepard what she thought of Jack's torture at Cerberus' hands, she does not hesitate to say that it was without question a mistake. Of course, she also refuses to admit this to Jack herself and maintains that it wasn't really Cerberus.
- She concludes on her own that keeping the Collector Base intact is wrong and wholeheartedly supports Shepard's decision to blow it to hell.
- She apologizes to Shepard for wanting to put a control chip in his/her head and also says that she's always regretted it, realizing how close she came to becoming her father.
- She warns people about her father's husk facility on Horizon and tries to save as many people as she can.
- By Citadel, she seems to have mended her rift with Jack and is even capable of laughing, acknowledging that some of Jack's ribbing toward her is Actually Pretty Funny, and sharing a drink with her.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Jacob and a male Shepard who befriends her but doesn't romance her.
- Playing with Fire: Citadel adds Incinerate to her power set.
- Plot Armor: In 2, she can only die during the suicide mission if she's disloyal and you bring her to the final boss fight, or if she's disloyal and you get very, very unlucky when she's holding the line. If she is chosen as second squad's commander and gets shot, she will shrug it off, even if she's not loyal. This is mostly because she is depicted speaking in cutscenes at several points in the mission, and having her dead likely would've messed with the game's script.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: And it helps that her default outfit is black and white.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Jack and Jacob's Red.
- Redemption Equals Death: If she dies in 3.
- Rule of Symbolism: A subtle case in conversations with her. As Shepard keeps talking with her, the setting of the conversation goes from sitting in front of her desk, sitting beside her desk, on a sofa further inside her room, to her sitting on her bed. The location correlates with how close Shepard is to her.
- Sexy Walk: Natch. Even her idle pose looks like she just stopped in front of a catwalk.
- Shock and Awe: Overload.
- Self-Made Orphan: If she survives to the end of 3, she finally kills Henry Lawson along the way. Whether she lives past that depends on whether you warned her about Kai Leng, whether or not you charmed Henry, whether or not you gave her Alliance resources, and whether or not you romanced her and then broke up with her. Very much a Guide Dang It situation.
- Shoot the Dog: Jacob and Miranda serve as the foils/voice-of-reason towards Shepard. Miranda tends to support more ruthless actions that are beneficial to the mission as a whole; she's the mouthpiece of Cerberus and its mission statement.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Literally. She's done her share of high profile internet dating. Hidden logs reveal her turning down many high profile suitors for some surprising and... not so surprising reasons.
- Has this relationship with a Paragon Male Shepard, if pursued.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss/Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Her relationship with Renegade Shepard, if one is pursued.
- Smug Super: Played straight then deconstructed and inverted.
- Space Clothes: Except in her alternate appearance pack armor.
- Spy Catsuit: Particularly her loyalty outfit. It is worth noting that the second appearance pack DLC takes pains to avert this; instead of form-fitting fabric and high heels, Miranda now wears armor very similar to the Medium armor from the first game, complete with combat boots and notably less emphasis on her curves. However, consider the fact that the Mass Effect 1 armors to which it emulates were still quite form-fitting.
- Starcrossed Lovers/Dating Catwoman: Her romance with Paragon Shepard until she resigns from Cerberus. She and Shepard are the first one again in 3 due to not seeing each other much but still loving and remaining faithful to one another. The extended cut even has an image of Miranda looking out at the stars if she was romanced.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Miranda starts off as very cold and standoffish, and is called an Ice Queen by Wilson, but she warms up to Shepard considerably during the course of the game, especially if romanced. And of course there's the relationship she has with her sister, Oriana and also her good working relationship with Jacob, all of which suggest she is “sugar” to people who have gotten her trust, respect, and (possibly) love.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Jack in 2 and also Paragon Shepard initially.
- Tempting Fate: She introduces herself by saying she's "an excellent judge of character" and that she's "never wrong". Between her loyalty mission and the suicide mission, the universe seems to be keen on proving she's, in fact, far from perfect.
- Although her opinions in the suicide mission zig-zag between being this trope and subverting it. She's wrong about being a good candidate to hold up the biotic barrier, tempting fate, but she turns out to be right about being a good candidate to lead the fire team both times, despite Jack's or Garrus' objection.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: If Shepard stops Miranda from killing Niket, he'll have a Heel-Face Turn, only to be killed in cold blood by Enyala. This earns an angry "You'll pay for that, BITCH!" exclamation from Miranda, giving her a blast of biotic energy.
- Token Good Teammate: Of Cerberus, albeit not as much as Jacob and Kelly.
- Too Clever by Half: As Miranda and her sister were Designer Babies engineered by their megalomaniacal Truly Single Parent to be Born Winners, Instant Expert TV Genius barely begins to describe her capabilities. Lawson drops in on Shepard's resurrection without any knowledge of the process and becomes the project's leader through sheer ability in less than a week. Of course, being unfamiliar with failure, she never sees her mistakes coming: her statement that "any biotic could be a Barrier Warrior" is technically true but without using either Jack or Samara will get an ally killed because only they aren't exhausted by the end and able to blast away Swarm and Collectors following them. She's actually cursed with being aware of this trope, resulting in an inferiority complex — she attributes all her successes to her father's design, and only takes credit for her failures.
Shepard: Sounds like you were designed to be perfect.
Miranda: Maybe, but I'm not. I'm still human. I do make mistakes. And when I do, the consequences are severe.
- Took a Level in Kindness:
- A bit by the end of 2, more so if romanced. A lot by the end of 3, where she tries to warn as many people on Horizon as she can about a Husk facility masquerading as a refugee camp, and goes to extraordinary lengths to save her sister. A pretty far cry from the human supremacist from the start of 2.
- Can even bury the hatchet with Jack in the Citadel DLC for 3... and not in her back!
- Truly Single Parent: She doesn't have a mother. She was designed from her father's chromosomes mixed with a mishmash of female DNA.
- Transhuman: Without the biotics, she may just qualify for "peak human". But glowing misty blue and smashing people to and fro against bulkheads with a flick of the wrist puts her in this trope.
- Undying Loyalty: Ultimately subverted in 2 where she resigns from Cerberus after at last realizing that they go too far. Eventually played straight with Shepard though, despite the initial tension between the two.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jack in the Citadel DLC, for given value of "best buds". Neither of them would ever admit to liking each other, but neither seems too eager to seek out other company, either. Miranda even (albeit somewhat sarcastically) refers to her and Jack as being "the best of friends".
- We Have Reserves: Her first Kick the Dog moment in a nutshell. Averted later during the Suicide Mission if anyone dies though. She sounds choked up when she tells Shepard that they have to keep moving and even Jack's death seems to sadden her.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A bit of one when with Cerberus.
- We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: Miranda's projected lifespan is 50% longer than the already-enhanced human norm. She could conceivably hit her 200s.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Her romance with Shepard seems to suggest this, as if kissed she will say afterwards "what the hell was that?", and later, when struggling with her feelings for Shepard, confesses that she doesn't know why she feels the way she does for him, and attempts to rationalize it before Shepard convinces her that it's more.
Miranda: What idiotic bunch of hormones thought that now would be a great time for love?
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Concerning Cerberus she's almost as bad as Kelly. Her views of the group is extremely idealistic, and she even claims that the Illusive Man is humanity's best advocate, almost making one wonder just how aware she is of the atrocities Cerberus tends to commit. Fortunately she gets her eyes opened at the end of the second game.
- Particularly notable is her claim that the Husks at the Cerberus facility you can shut down in 1 were "already dead"...except they were that way because Cerberus killed them all. Since Shepard knows this, it's unlikely Miranda was lying to him/her, suggesting she may have been lied to herself.
- Possibly regarding the experiments on Pragia. It's very vague what the Teltin facility was hiding; it could have been the nature of the experiments, or it could have been something completely different. Miranda quick to conclude that they were shut down on ethical standards when the IM learned the truth, but Jack isn't convinced. Given the IM's tendency to be extremely involved in every ongoing project, her scepticism that he wasn't aware they were experimenting on children is probably justified.
- Woman in Black: In her alternate appearance pack armor. Subverted with her loyalty outfit though, which is actually a very dark blue upon close inspection.
- Woman in White: Her default look.
- Working with the Ex: She headhunted Jacob for Cerberus, and it's suggested they had something at one point, but there's not much tension.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: What Shepard can ultimately convince her of. Both in terms of her ability and morality.
Shepard: Your spirit and personality are what make you great. It's what makes anyone great.
Miranda: That's kind of you. I'm not sure I believe you, but thanks for saying it.
Lots of ways to help people. Sometimes heal patients; sometimes execute dangerous people. Either way helps.
"No surprise, Mordin acts superior to everyone. Like he's got tenure at FU."
Voiced by: Michael Beattie (2), William Salyers (3)
Salarian doctor. Former member of salarian Special Tasks Group. Recruited by Shepard to combat Collector technology.
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Personal mission involves one. In which Mordin considers actions. Reasons for becoming Atoner also stated. Done fairly well.
- Affectionate Nickname: Referred to by Urdnot Wrex as "Pyjak". Don't know whether to be insulted or honoured...
- Amazing Freaking Grace: Recording of him singing this on his Citadel DLC datapad. "Still prefer patter songs."
- Angst? What Angst?: Heavily affected by loyalty mission, fine by return to Normandy. Salarians possess short lifespans, learn to deal with emotional burdens efficiently. Came to terms during shuttle ride. Concern appreciated, however.
- Asexuality: Salarian. No sex drive. Gives Shepard The Talk anyway.
- The Atoner: Upgraded genophage. Perfect reason to atone for.
- Ultimately zigzagged. Considers act inexcusable. Also considers act inevitable and necessary.
- In Mass Effect 3, Fight to save female krogan. Cure the genophage. Do what needs to be done. *sharp inhale* Proud posthumously.
- On other hand, personal guilt may be causing rash decisions. Wreav dangerous and without Eve to stabilize him, likely to repeat Krogan Rebellions. *sharp inhale* Trick krogan, fake death, get salarian support, help with Crucible. Cure genophage when Reapers dealt with.
- Badass Bookworm: Salarian doctor. Among smartest ever. Also highly skilled killer.
- Badass Grandpa: Elderly by salarian standards. Chronologically same age as Shepard. Find this amusing.
- Badass Labcoat: Wears labcoat over commando gear. *sharp inhale* Awesome.
- Bald of Awesome: Salarians have no hair. Also quite awesome.
- Because You Can Cope: Paragon solution if loyalty lost in Dummied Out material.
- Beige Prose: Naturally.
- Berserk Button: Playing with Syringes. Hates reckless science. Especially pointless wastes of life.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ran clinic on Omega. Mercs tried to extort a protection racket. They all ended up dead. Was gone five minutes. Hung their bodies on display. *Sharp inhale*. Never bothered again.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Salarians need little sleep. Have almost perfect recall of any learned information. Egg-laying, have little understanding of romantic interaction.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Averted. Salarian eyes black, but not evil. Merely ruthless.
- Bond One-Liner: Non-lethal example, since victim was merely obstinate STG agent, not actually an enemy.
- The Cast Showoff: Voice actor musical. Most fans approve, moment hilarious.
- Catch Phrase: "X is/likely to be...problematic."
- "Had to be me. Someone else would have gotten it wrong."
- Celibate Hero: Inherent to salarian biology. Quite knowledgeable regardless.
- Combat Medic: Technically. Performs medical research on ship, on ground Shepard provides in-game medic abilities.
- Completely Missing the Point: Gilbert and Sullivan's Modern Major General song describes individual skilled universally except chosen profession.
- Cool Old Guy: 30 years old. Salarian life expectancy forty. Roughly same age as Shepard. Find this amusing.
- Crazy-Prepared: Ready to give The Talk for any kind of interspecies romance. Ran clinic on Omega — advice likely necessary there. Many species, many tastes.
- Crisis of Faith: Studied many religions as means to atone. Looked for answers. Found questions. Declares Reincarnation popular with salarians. Deeply spiritual still. Shepard expresses surprise.
Shepard: I didn't expect spirituality from you, Mordin.
Mordin: Genophage modification project altered millions of lives. Then saw results. Ego, humility, juxtaposition. Frailty of life. Size of universe. Explored religions after work was completed. Different races. No answers. Many questions.
Shepard: Sounds like you were trying to deal with a guilty conscience. The doctor who killed millions.
- Cultured Badass: Believes culture needs art. Otherwise not culture. Actively fears Creative Sterility. Uses as evidence for Collectors not being... alive. No art, no expression. No expression, no soul.
- Deadly Doctor:
- Thought harmless, did you?
- Subversion, actually. Has killed many times, but never with medicine (says so himself during loyalty mission). Shepard can challenge whether upgraded genophage killing with medicine or not. Likely asked question himself.
- Deadpan Snarker: Found several surveillance bugs. Destroyed some. Returned expensive one to Miranda.
- Death Faked for You: If Wrex and Eve dead, can be convinced to fake genophage cure and help with Crucible project. Wreav too dangerous as leader without Eve to stabilize him. Pretend to have died in explosion.
- Dead Man Writing: From Citadel. In event of death, STG colleagues to deliver datapad to Shepard. Contains greatest hits. Hope Shepard finds them informative, amusing, educational...
- Determinator: If Shepard forced to shoot him. Manages to crawl toward console despite lethal wound. Almost reaches console before collapsing.
- Dirty Business: Guilt for actions major part of character.
- Dummied Out: Argument with Grunt, likely about genophage.
- Dying Moment of Awesome:
- If deploying genophage cure, quietly hums Scientist Salarian while going about work. Facility collapsing around. *sharp inhale* ...Exhilarating.
- Inverted if Shepard shoots in back. Crawl to workstation. Die before temperature change ruins cure. Senseless death. Even Shepard disgusted with self.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Hates unnecessary waste of life. Only kills problematic people. Always careful with medicine. Never carries out research on species capable of calculus unless subject volunteers. Protege... *sharp inhale* not so principled.
- If taken on Jack loyalty mission, repeatedly disgusted by surroundings. Experimenting on children not acceptable.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Subverts trope. Generally well-intentioned. Strong ethical guidelines. Fairly ruthless regardless.
Mordin: No testing on species capable of calculus. Simple rule. Never broke it.
- Faking the Dead: Third game. If Eve dead and Urdnot Wreav sole krogan leader, can be convinced krogan not yet ready for cure. Will disappear to work on Crucible. Shepard lets krogan believe everything went as planned.
- Famous Last Words: Has spoken alternative dialogue to Killed Mid-Sentence entry, during final moments, after successfully releasing genophage cure:
Mordin: Genophage cured. Krogan free. New beginning... For all of us...
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Incinerate, check. Cryo Blast, check. Neural Shock? Close enough!
- The Fettered: Believes strongly in scientific ethics, refuses to experiment on sapient life.
- Film Noir: Authored novel in this style. Protagonist, lone STG operative on a mission. Broke number one rule on Omega... in more ways than one. Semi-autobiographical? Leave up to audience to decide.
- Gibbering Genius: Dictates thought processes in real time. Avoids infinitives. Irrelevant if heard saying inconvenient thought out loud.
- Glass Cannon: Three skills, purely offensive. Also low defence rating. Death during suicide mission likely. Preferable choice for escorting Chakwas and other crew members back to Normandy.
- Heroic BSOD: Upon discovering pupil performed tests. Dangerous and reckless, even if misguided.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Third game, salarian sabotage to Shroud revealed. Stay behind to fix it. Die in the process. *sharp inhale* Conscience clear.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Subverted. Insists this repeatedly during loyalty mission. Obviously trying to convince self, not companions.
- Still resolute it was right action. Even against Shepard's best arguments. Invokes Grey and Gray Morality. Actions not unjustified.
- Worth remembering alternative was genocide. "Save galaxy from krogan. Save krogan from galaxy."
- Also made peace with self after mission. Mind clear. Hands washed. No guilt. Free to focus on task at hand.
- Until sequel. True guilt revealed... and again overcome.
- Ironic Echo: If survived ME2, can die while curing genophage in ME3. Uses same lines about how others would have gotten it wrong.
- If It's You, It's Okay: No interest in Shepard romantically. If ever explored, Shepard optimal. Either sex. Ahem.
- It's Personal: Deliberately invoked in order to anthropomorphize fight against Collectors and Reapers.
Mordin: Hard to imagine galaxy. Too many people. Faceless. Statistics. Easy to depersonalize. Good when doing unpleasant work. For this fight, want personal connection. Can't anthropomorphize galaxy. But can think of favorite nephew. Fighting for him.
- Keet: Described as being like hamster on caffeine. Salarian metabolism much faster than most other species', but fast even for salarians.
- Kick the Dog: Questions Paragon Shepard's willingness to spare batarians who threatened assistant, sketchy asari neurospecialist as well. Second chances noble, not pragmatic, open possibilities for future betrayals. Correct about Rana Thanoptis. Should have killed her.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: " I am the very model of a-- BOOM
- Kill It with Ice: Uses omnitool to freeze enemies solid. Thaw quickly, but bodies fragile!
- Kill It with Fire: Uses omnitool to incinerate enemies. Incredibly deadly. "Flammable! Or inflammable? Forget which. Doesn't matter!" (Same thing. Really doesn't matter.)
- Lampshade Hanging:
- Light Is Good: Wears white. In keeping with doctoral nature. Also good. Help people. Cure genophage.
- Mad Scientist: Not mad. Usually irritable. Sometimes affable.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: Granted personal lab on Normandy. Cerberus spared no expense. Removed by Alliance during Normandy retrofit. Pity. Medical Bay will have to suffice. Proves convenient by that time, however. After all, working on genophage cure.
- Major General Song: "I am the very model of a scientist salarian."
- Man in White: Wears primarily white. Makes sense. Doctor.
- Measuring the Marigolds: Planned to walk on beach, collect seashells on retirement. Shepard asserted would go crazy within hour. Amended plans to run tests on seashells.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Good but conflicted. Did what had to do. Necessary, but still regrets.
- Motor Mouth: "For the love of God, take a breath!"
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Mission important. Talking takes too long. At least one way to help people.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Horrified by personal work on genophage. Still feel it had to be done.
- My Greatest Failure: Treats work on genophage as this, though not failure, strictly speaking. Justifies it incessantly. Had to be done. No other option. Only correct and logical course of action...
: I made a MISTAKE!
Focused on big picture. Big picture made of little pictures. Too many variables!
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Cross-species body language awkward; makes for easy misunderstandings. Movements of Shepard's lower eyelids suggestive by salarian standards. Good to clear air.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Some fans confused initially. Felt Fight For The Lost trailers implied Mordin Clint Eastwood style lone ranger. In game, quickly proven wrong.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Narrowly averted. Had cure ready for Joker's Vrolik Syndrome. Luckily double checked in middle of night. Discovered that humans do not have two livers! *Sharp inhale* Turns out would have caused liver failure if implemented. Imagine this would have been... problematic.
- Paragon Shepard repeatedly insists this case with the genophage modification project. Vehemently disagree! Had to be done!
- Noodle Incident: Lethal proficiency with farming equipment. Never explained until discovery of Shadow Broker database; Skinny salarian doctor killed charging krogan by driving pitchfork through head. Disappoints fans, who imagined combine harvester
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Make no mistake. Brilliant scientist. Not perfect, though. Seeker swarm countermeasure developed hastily. Tested only on Horizon.
Shepard: We're groundside. Mordin, you sure those armor upgrades will protect us from the seeker swarms?
Mordin: Certainty impossible. But in limited numbers, should confuse detection, make us invisible to swarms. In theory.
Squadmate: In theory?
Mordin: Experimental technology. Only test is contact with seeker swarms. Look forward to seeing if you survive!
- Odd Friendship: With genophage-immune krogan female. Call her Eve. Part of reason wish to cure genophage.
- Also eventually establishes one with Wrex. Is mourned by Wrex after dying for genophage cure
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Primary focus biomedical. Constantly forays into other sciences. Mechanical expertise surprising. He is the very model of a scientist salarian.
- One exception: limited experience with security systems. Assignment as Tech Specialist unwise.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Pausing while speaking. Short succinct statements. Both likely indicators of serious topics.
Mordin: I made a mistake!
- The Other Darrin: Only major character to switch voice actor between games. Few notice difference.
- Pet the Dog: Loyalty mission. Packed with these moments. Notably absolutely horrified at dead female krogan test subject. States that species doesn't matter. Acknowledges work as a cause.
Shepard: I didn't expect you to be disturbed by the sight of a dead krogan.
Mordin: [surprised] What? Why? Because of genophage work? Irrelevant. No, causative.
- The Professor: Nature of mission irrelevant. Know something about strange thing.
- Retired Badass: Formerly served in special forces. Now doctor. Return to combat not a problem.
- "Would have liked to run tests on the seashells."
- In Extended Cut, if alive, spends final years finding the time to cure the genophage.
- Sacrificial Lion: In third game. End of first story act, first major character to die. Clear sign no-one else safe. *inhale* No-one. If killed by Shepard, good sign of how far s/he has fallen.
- Science Hero: Uses vast scientific knowledge to help Shepard against both Collectors and Reapers.
- Seen It All: Has encountered much in the galaxy. Little surprise. Reaction to Javik: "Ah, a Prothean. Excellent."
- Self-Demonstrating Article: Terse talker. Speaks in sentence fragments. Emulated in this character trope list.
- Sherlock Scan: Good at analysis. Displayed when first met Shepard. Deduces Cerberus affiliation even if not explicitly stated. Recognizes EDI as AI just as quickly.
- Shipper on Deck: Ready to offer medical advice for Shepard and their romantic partner. Available to offer gels and instruction manuals for possible cross-species intercourse.
- Admits worries about implications of Joker/EDI however.
- Knew that krogan females find scars attractive. Tried to set "Eve" up with Garrus Vakarian. Apparently she wasn't interested. Will do this even if Shepard in relationship with Garrus. Awkward.
- Shoot the Dog:
- Has no problem killing one person. To save ten others, of course. Even created new strain of genophage. Krogan adapted to previous one. Does feel regretful about the latter. Started clinic to atone. All life precious.
Mordin: Lots of ways to help people. Sometimes heal patients; sometimes execute dangerous people. Either way helps.
- Also at end of loyalty mission. Discover former STG agent curing genophage. Must be killed. Can be stopped with Paragon interrupt.
Mordin: No! Not a murderer. Thank you, Shepard.
- Possibly on receiving end in third game. If not convinced to go along with sabotage, Renegade Shepard forced to shoot him to stop genophage cure.
- The Smart Guy: Runs tech lab. Cannot purchase upgrades without him aboard.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Noted in Shadow Broker Dossier. Example adequate;
"Specialist Solus suggests Commander Kirrahe has a foreign object in his cloacanote [...] suggests that cloacal obstruction is in fact Kirrahe's cranium.note "
- The Spock: Usually goes with more logical path. Belief in killing those who present themselves as threat. Deconstructed during Loyalty mission. Genophage involvement becomes source of conflict.
- Squishy Wizard: Skills quite useful in combat, but shields and health quite weak. Survival requires support.
- The Talk: Shown here, on Interspecies Romance. Try not to "ingest". Offers for all romances. Promises to "probe" Jacob/Miranda. Cerberus could have bugs anywhere...
- Third game takes this step further. Offers Joker advice on proposed robosexual liaison with EDI. All part of profession.
- Technobabble: Constantly. Combines with Terse Talker, Motor Mouth. Some complain of difficulty understanding. Get doctorate! Have real conversation!
- Terse Talker: Talks fast and short. First part natural to salarians. Second part peculiar to himself. Likes Techno Babble dialogue. Always Thinking Out Loud. Reading Self-Demonstrating Article right now. *sharp inhale* May help you understand.
- Thinking Out Loud: Constantly. Annoying to krogan female in 3.
Mordin: Who's that?
Pilot? No. Synthesized voice. Simulated emotional inflections. Could it be... no. Maybe. Have to ask. Is that an AI?
- Unwanted Harem: Found attractive by many species. Bemused at this. Saved many lives. May be desire for Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex with savior.
- "If wanted to try human, would try [Shepard]." Shepard's sex irrelevant.
- Verbal Tic: Talks in sentence fragments, thinks aloud, Techno Babble, answers own questions, One-Liner, No time to breathe, Salarians Are As Mayflies, entire race Workaholics, *sharp inhale*... work even harder.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Mutual respect, mutually derogatory banter with Kirrahe evident in STG mission report, spent whole time referring to the other as a cloaca. Mocks Kirrahe's constant "Hold the line" speeches, nevertheless has deep respect for former captain.
- Friendship with Shepard has aspects of this. Mutually respect each other. However, recognise Shepard often becomes exasperated with salarian thought process. Permit them to interrupt when they've heard enough.
- We Are as Mayflies: Inverted. Salarian lifespans much shorter than human ones. He himself already 30. Human equivalent 116. Will die soon, even if survive suicide mission.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Believes past actions necessary. Feels guilty regardless.
- What Could Have Been: Initially intended to be biotic. One correct choice for maintaining Biotic Barrier during suicide mission. Dummied Out content lampshaded by Jack in ME3. Claims Mordin could have protected party from seekers by incessant babbling. Also, initially would have come into conflict with Grunt. The two have next to no problems with each other.
- In-story: "Would have liked to run tests on the seashells."
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the third game, realizes that genophage cure was sabotaged. Also that Shepard knew, said nothing.
- The Wonka: Thinks out loud. Mental processes seemingly random. Techno Babbles constantly. Described as "Hamster on coffee".
- X Marks the Hero: Apparently received scar from krogan killed with pitchfork. Ruined right cranial horn.
- You No Take Candle: Obviously highly intelligent — infinitives waste time!
Find peace in the embrace of the goddess.
"I feel like Samara could shoot me in a very tranquil way, which doesn't make me feel any better about it."
Voiced by: Maggie Baird
A member of an ancient cult of asari warrior monks
who give up all personal property and spend their lives righting wrongs. They rarely leave asari space, but Samara is found on Illium, on the scent of a murderer she's spent centuries hunting.
- Absolute Cleavage: Her suit is kept partially unzipped to expose her breasts.
- Action Mom: She has three daughters and had to imprison two and hunt down the other because they're Ardat-Yakshi — basically asari succubi.
- All Crimes Are Equal: Although she has been shown to offer other alternatives than death to criminals, and she states during her talks that "if a justicar is involved, a peaceful solution has long passed." In other words, she wouldn't chase after, say, a jaywalker with the same zeal that she would for a slaver or axe murderer. Just don't resist arrest.
- Ancient Astronauts: In Dummied Out content from her Shadow Broker dossier, she was a crewmember of an asari ship that crashed on Earth in the Elizabethan era, was possibly responsible for the destruction of the Spanish Armada, and inspired none other than William Shakespeare to write a romantic sonnet about her.
- Anti-Hero: Due to the fact that the code basically requires her to kill anyone who gets in her way and does not remove themselves promptly. She once says that many asari admire her, but she would kill them all if she had to. As a mercenary maiden she may have been softer, but she's always been interested in the "hero" part to the point of violence.
- The Atoner: The Action Mom spoiler mentions why.
- Barrier Warrior: The third game redesigned her iconic Reave power, turning Samara into one of these.
- Big Damn Heroes: If Shepard doesn't have enough Paragon/Renegade points to resist Morinth, Samara comes in to save him/her.
- Bullying a Dragon:
- Catch Phrase/Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Find peace in the embrace of the Goddess." Usually followed by a sick, splattering CRUNCH.
- Celibate Hero: After becoming a justicar, she put her mission before everything else. Her code does not forbid romance or sexual relations, but she remains celibate due to her personal choice. The fact that all three of her daughters are Ardat-Yakshi, with two of them Locked Away in a Monastery and the other who operates much like a Serial Killer may have something to do with it.
- Combat Stilettos: She puts them to good use in her opening scene.
- Death Seeker: A mild example but she outright states that she has no plans for retirement and expects to die in battle.
Samara: I will fight and struggle all my life. That is my fate. When I die, it will not be in bed. I am at peace with that.
- Disco Dan: Samara, and by extension, all Justicars, follow a philosophy that's seen as outdated and dangerous, even by their fellow asari. The unfettered pursuit of justice and retribution brings them into conflict with more conventional law enforcement, who have changed drastically in the thousands of years since the Justicar Code was the norm.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Somewhat likely to break your neck for stealing an old lady's purse, but she might just offer you a lesser punishment first.
- Dissonant Serenity: Samara discusses horrific kills, contemplates her own death, and even crushes her own daughter's head with a super-powered biotic punch, all while talking in a calm, peaceful tone like she's lying on a beach. Lampshaded:
Anaya: It's a great honor to have a justicar here, but I could do without the honor of having her kill me.
Samara: I would like to avoid killing you, detective. Unfortunately, the moment my code dictates that I must, I will. There is only the Code.
Anaya: She says this kind of thing like she's talking about what to eat for dinner.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: "I do not want your pity, Shepard. I do not accept it."
- The Dreaded: Like all Asari Justicars. Her simple presence on Illium puts the police forces on the edge.
- Driven to Suicide: Potentially in 3, rather than kill her one remaining daughter, Falere, and break her code, but you have a Paragon interrupt that can be used to stop her.
- End of an Age: Samara states in the Citadel DLC that "my way of life is dying."
- Establishing Character Moment: Dispatches a small squad of Eclipse mercs, coldly executing the last one with a stomp and a blessing.
Samara: May you find peace in the embrace of the goddess. [steps on the merc's throat]
- First Kiss: If you stay utterly committed to her throughout Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 and invite her to your apartment in the Citadel DLC, she is finally persuaded to live for the moment surrounded by so much loss and hardship, and she and Shepard will kiss if the right dialogue option is taken. Shepard even gives the aforementioned line a callback.
- Former Teen Rebel: Her current life is hardly mild, but it is extremely disciplined and solitary. She'd happily drag Paragon Shepard to the floor if she were still a maiden.
Samara: I sometimes miss my younger days. Centuries and centuries of carefree sex.
Garrus: And now we know something about Samara we didn't know a minute ago.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Seems to be the preferred armor of the Justicar order.
- Glowing Eyes: Sometimes her eyes glow white when she is using her biotics. See here for an example◊.
- Good Is Not Soft: An extreme case given how justicars work.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We don't get a direct view when she kills the Eclipse merc when you first meet her, nor when she crushes Morinth's head with one biotic punch (if you side with her over Morinth).
- Has Two Mommies: Samara's father was an asari.
- Intrigued by Humanity:
- Knight Templar: Though she considers herself a Knight Errant. Mixed with a bit of Samurai.
- Lady of War: Very deadly and very refined.
- Lawful Stupid: Zigzagged. Samara is thoroughly devoted to the Code and will not waver from it, even when she encounters a morally gray situation. If put into a situation where she has to, for example, shoot her way through a police station of honest officers to carry out her mission, she will do so - not gladly, but she will still do so. On the other hand, she's smart enough to use every loophole in the Code to get around these problems.
- Life Drain: Reave, which restores your health if it hits an unprotected organic enemy (it damages armor and barriers too, but without the health boost).
- Loophole Abuse: The code says that she must give up her ties to her family...but it also says she must check often on her surviving daughter now that the monastery is destroyed. That's the only reason.
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Inverted. Before she was a Justicar, Samara was married to another asari. They got hit hard by the results.
- Mama Bear: The Code demands that she forsake all ties to her family. When the Ardat-Yakshi monastery is attacked by the Reapers, however, she immediately goes there in search of her daughters with the full intent of slaughtering anything and anyone who gets in her way. Once Falere is rescued, she is even willing to protect her from the Code by choosing to kill herself rather than Falere.
- Married to the Job: She is so into her role as a justicar that she rebukes any possibility of romance, even when she's sure she would find nothing but happiness with Paragon!Shepard. When she committed to becoming a justicar, she also had to give up all ties to her family, and has not spoken to two of her daughters since.
- Meaningful Name: Samara is Hebrew/Arabic and means "guardian (protected by God)."
- Mind over Matter: She is an extremely powerful biotic and — aside from perhaps Jack's escape from Purgatory — performs the most spectacular onscreen feats, from slowing falls to smashing people's heads to wrenching a skycar out of the air as its drivers try to escape. And all without losing her lady-like poise and gracefulness.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: A rare heroic example; thanks to her Code, anyone who opposes her is a criminal, and therefore should not be allowed to live.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Although it is possible to recruit Morinth, you can only do so after Samara's death at the hands of her daughter.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: It's left deliberately ambiguous whether she takes certain actions because she wants to, or because she has to. Some dialogue indicates it's highly likely that she takes no pleasure in a lot of things she has to do as a justicar, but the rules and the code are more important than her personal feelings. In fact, she may have sworn the code to get as far away from her personal feelings as possible.
- Mass Effect 3 shows one thing that she flat-out refuses to do: killing her last living daughter, because said daughter is not a twisted sociopath. Thought technically, she is fulfilling the code, as the code demands that a justicar who fails to fulfill the code pay for it with her life to atone.
- Near Kiss: "Another time, another life."
- Never Mess with Granny: She's nearly 1000 years old, and even most asari would have settled down by her age.
- Offing the Offspring: Her primary goal as a justicar is to put down one of her daughters, due to being an Ardat-Yakshi.
- The Not-Love Interest: She'll actively reject any attempt at romance. The interest is quite welcome, however.
- Optional Party Member: None of the post-Horizon squadmates are necessary to finish the game.
- The Paladin: A religious warrior who lives to serve her code and dispense justice.
- Principles Zealot:
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Paragon Shepard's red. While both are members of elite organisations dedicated to dispensing justice throughout the galaxy, they have radically different approaches to how they accomplish their goals.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's over 1000, old even for an asari, and she really doesn't look it.
- Rules Lawyer: To become an asari justicar, one must first memorise every single line of The Code. While Samara will always follow the Code, it is flexible enough to allow multiple precedents that can allow her to temporarily stay her hand in exacting justice, or even allow her to find a reasonable compromise that still adheres to the tenets of The Code.
- Sadistic Choice: The Code requires that she kill any Ardat-Yakshi not confined to a monastery. Her daughter is an Ardat-Yakshi, and the monastery had just been levelled. If a justicar fails in her duties, the Code requires to kill herself to make amends. Guess what she does if you don't stop her. Fortunately, Falere will stay in the ruins to help rebuild, and if Samara hears about this, then the Code will be satisfied, but to make sure that she doesn't get any ideas about escaping, Samara will visit her when she can to keep an eye on her. Just like a justicar should. That is the only reason.
- In 2, Nihlus gets a post-mortem backstory where Samara once encountered him killing a civilian. She chased after him until he cornered her into choosing whether to continue hunting him or to save the lives of other civilians he put at risk in the process. She reluctantly decided to let him go, but not without acknowledging his brilliance as an opponent.
- Senseless Sacrifice/Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Shepard can make her suicide a pointless one. Shepard at his/her most pointlessly cruel.
- Shadow Archetype: She's very similar to Thane. Both are a Religious Bruiser atoner type who have killed many evil people to make the galaxy a better place, are recruited on Illium, and have troubled relationships with their children. The big differences are that Thane is an assassin and Samara is a Warrior Monk paladin, so in effect they are on opposite sides of the law.
- Slave Liberation: If talked to enough she tells Shepard about her time as a mercenary. When she found out that her band was taking a cargo of slaves to sell to the Collectors, she disagreed with them to the point of having to kill all of them, at which point she freed the slaves, lectured them on the values of self-defense, distributed the band's arms and money among them, and released them on the Citadel.
- Squishy Wizard/Glass Cannon: Like most of the Adept class, her physical durability isn't extremely high, but she can put out a lot of damage very quickly (she's also the only biotic teammate able to use assault rifles).
- Standard Female Grab Area: How Shepard subdues the opponent of whoever s/he chooses to recruit at the end of Samara's loyalty mission. Subtly appropriate, in that arm and hand movements are needed to use biotics in an offensive capacity.
- The Stoic: The only time she shows emotion is when her daughters are involved.
- Statuesque Stunner: She is quite tall with very chiseled features.
- Strong Family Resemblance: With psychotic sex-vampire daughter Morinth.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Her speech tends to be this.
Shepard: You're not going to lock her up?
Samara: Any attempt to put me in a passive restraint system will be viewed as a hostile action and I will be forced to attack.
- Take a Third Option: Her occasional way of working around her code. In fact, her primary reason for joining Shepard in the fight against the Collectors was so she wouldn't be forced to kill innocents.
- In ME3, when forced to make a, for her, impossible choice between her innocent daughter's life and the demands of her code, she chooses the third option — suicide. Shepard can intervene and allow her daughter to give her a fourth option.
- Training from Hell: The Path of the Justicar is, by her own admission, a difficult one. This includes the training it takes to become one. Many fail to survive it.
- Vague Age: More vaguely contradictory age. She says that she's nearly a thousand, but later states that she still has centuries to live, and the description of one of her abilities from the second game mention that she isn't in the matriarch life stage yet. Call her around eight hundred if you want to reconcile it.
- Warrior Monk: Though it's noted that other cultures would see her as a vigilante.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Samara was married to another asari before becoming a Justicar, but her bondmate's fate, reaction to their daughters' condition, and thoughts on Samara's career choice is never explored.
- Worthy Opponent: According to her, Nihlus. After seeing him kill an unarmed civilian, she spent a fortnight tracking him through the wilderness. He escaped by forcing her to choose between going after him or letting more innocents die.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If the player chooses Morinth over her. Shepard even says "Morinth is more useful." Which can be interpreted as either ruthless practicality or simple self-preservation. Morinth, after all, is a known quantity by this point and only an idiot would die at her... hands. Samara explicitly says she would kill a Renegade Shepard if she hadn't already sworn an oath.
An assassin is a weapon. A weapon doesn't decide who it kills. The one who wields it does.
"Thane seems like the strong, sensitive, murdering type. You know those are always great to have around. A real cuddler."
Voiced by: Keythe Farley
A drell assassin who is said to be the best in the galaxy. He used to take contracts for credits, but is spending his last days trying to right wrongs. A romance option for female Shepard.
- Affectionate Nickname: If romanced, he calls female Shepard "siha". He will call female Shepard "siha" without the romance being initiated, but he drops it — and doesn't explain what it means — if she doesn't reciprocate.
- Anti-Hero: He shows no hesitation to take down evil people like Nassana, but is very strict about his methods, shown in his absolute focus on protecting civilians and his disapproval towards Renegade Shepard's rough interrogation techniques.
- The Atoner: Wishes to make the galaxy a better place before he dies and considers his assassinations of horrible people merely "removing the bad" rather than "making things better".
Thane: The universe is a dark place. I'm trying to make it brighter before I die.
- Back for the Dead: If he survives the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2, his only role in the third game is to be killed by Kai Leng during Cerberus' attempted coup on the Citadel.
- Badass: He's a very skilled assassin, to say the least.
- Badass Baritone: Actually hints at his illness. A good deal of the extra vibration in his voice is just drell physiology (judging from what we hear of Kolyat's voice), but anyone who's talked to a relative suffering from emphysema will recognize certain sounds in his voice.
- Badass Bookworm: Aside from his work, all that interested him was his family and reading. He even quotes Hobbes regarding the fate of his homeworld.
- Badass Longcoat: Well, waistcoat. In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, his file reveals he wears the outfit not because Armor Is Useless, but because covering up his chest would worsen his illness.
- Bizarre Alien Biology:
- Drell have perfect recall of anything they've ever done, though they can't always control it. Thane notes that with the ability to recall bad memories as well, this isn't always a good thing. And since the drell came from an arid world and are now living on a planet that's 90% ocean, they suffer from a degenerative illness that causes their lungs to eventually fail.
- If he is romanced, Mordin tells FemShep that oral contact with drell skin can cause hallucinations in humans.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Has some unusual beliefs about his career as an assassin, as shown by his picture caption.
- Book Ends: Shepard meets him saying a prayer for the wicked — meant not for his victim, but for himself. In the third game, he dies after Shepard prays over him — a prayer that Kolyat reveals to be intended not for him, but for Shepard.
- Child Soldiers: Trained as an assassin from the age of six and carried out his first hit at twelve.
- Click Hello: Keep him alive for 3, and Kai Leng's assassination attempt on the salarian councilor doesn't quite go as planned.
- Closet Key: For one of the salarian workers he saved on Illium, who sends Shepard an email saying that he has decided to quit his job and try to find some way to capture the grace and beauty he saw when Thane took out a merc who was threatening him.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: While he is normally a clean and efficient killer, he notes that he took extra time with his wife's killers.
- Cold Sniper: A highly trained sniper who rarely expresses emotion.
- Cool Shades: His DLC outfit comes with these, along with piercings and chest armour.
- Cradling Your Kill: When he takes down Nassana Dantius during his introduction. After shooting her at point-blank range, he calmly and gently places her body on her desk in a peaceful repose.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Shredder Ammo, his Loyalty Power, gives him one of the most massive damage boosts in the game even at low levels. It's also considered one of the least useful ammo powers because it only applies to Health damage, meaning Thane can get over 60% power on unprotected enemies, but his ammo power is useless for penetrating enemy defenses compared to even the "basic" ammo enhancers. This is especially useless since an enemy that's stripped down to their health is considered to be almost dead anyway, making the damage boost irrelevant.
- On the other hand, on Normal difficulty, it makes him an absolute beast in any level where you fight Collectors and Husks.
- Crusading Widower: In his backstory. After his wife's murder, he spent the next few years hunting down her killers. Emphasis on hunting.
- Cultured Badass: He quotes Thomas Hobbes when explaining the fate of the drell homeworld.
- Dead Man Walking: In 2, he says that he'll "be fine for another eight to twelve months." In 3, which takes place half a year after 2, he states that one of his doctors gave him three months to live — nine months ago.
- Dead Man Writing: If he's female Shepard's Love Interest, his Shadow Broker dossier includes a love letter intended to be delivered to her after his death, and is delivered in 3 when he dies.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not to the level of, say, Garrus, but he gets his moments.
Thane: [after Shepard offers to help him with his disease]
Thank you, but if the best minds the hanar Illuminated Primacy have to offer can't fix my problem, I doubt your ship's medic can. Thane: [after Mouse is startled by both his own presence and that of the Back from the Dead Shepard]
Be still, Mouse. You may change your pants in a moment.
- Dead Person Conversation: At the end of the Citadel DLC, if you romanced him. It even makes Female Shepard cry.
- Death Seeker:
Thane: I accepted the Dantius commission because I didn't know what else to do. Looking back, it's clear I resigned myself to death. I would have fulfilled my contract.
- Determinator: When you meet him in 3, he was given three months to live... nine months ago.
- Disappeared Dad: Left his son Kolyat to be raised by relatives after his wife died. In his personal mission, he attempts to stop him from following his footsteps.
- Dummied Out: Much like Kaidan from the first game, he was originally intended as a bisexual romance option. Some dialogue from his romance with Male!Shep is still floating around the Internet.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: After doctors judging that he'd die from his disease six months ago, he still manages to not only fight off, but humiliate Kai Leng. As he remarks on his deathbed, Leng should feel ashamed for the rest of his life for failing his mission because of a terminally ill drell.
- Establishing Character Moment: Stealthily drops in from the ceiling and dispatches five mercenaries with his bare hands, before executing Nassana Dantius with a pistol, and then praying over her corpse.
- Even the Guys Want Him: After his recruitment mission, you can receive a very admiring email from a salarian construction worker he saved while going after Nassana. Bonus points considering that salarians don't even have sex drives.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: While he holds the hanar in esteem, he admits that he didn't know any better when they started training him. He's deeply concerned at the idea of Kolyat following the same path as him.
Thane: Kolyat, I've taken many bad things out of the world. You're the only good thing I ever added to it.
- Face Death with Dignity: He passes away from complications of late stage Kepral's Syndrome, abdominal trauma and blood loss. He dies having made peace with himself and his son, knowing that others consider him a hero. He says a final prayer not for himself but for Shepard.
- Forgot About His Powers: A minor case. In gameplay, he's a biotic; in cutscenes, not so much. Finally averted in the third game, where he knocks down Kai Leng with a biotic punch.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: A very, very, very rare male version of this trope.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: During an interrogation, Thane can either gently rebuke Shepard for beating up the suspect and calmly try to reason with the criminal... or just sit there and not do very much while Shepard beats up the suspect.
- Guns Akimbo: In the Blur trailer.
- Guttural Growler: Has a rather deep and raspy voice, which seems to be something of the norm of his race since his son, Kolyat, has a similarly raspy, if somewhat higher-pitched, voice.
- Hellbent For Leather: It seems to be a popular style among drell men.
- Handicapped Badass: His incurable Kepral's syndrome basically means that he's slowly drowning/suffocating because of the moisture that has built up in his lungs, meaning he is nowhere near as physically capable as he was. Despite this, he helps destroy the Collector base and goes toe to toe with Kai Leng preventing him from killing the Salarian councillor. Though he dies from wounds accumulated in the process.
- Hitman with a Heart: He joins you not for the money, but because he wants make the galaxy a better place before he dies.
- Holding Hands: As part of the romance with female Shepard.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- In 2, not upgrading the Normandy's weapons by default leads to him getting impaled by a bulkhead during the trip through the Omega-4 Relay.
- In 3, he gets stabbed by Kai Leng during the Cerberus coup on the Citadel, which eventually leads to his death.
- Incurable Cough of Death: He's got one of these in the third game, thanks to late-stage Kepral's Syndrome.
- In Love with the Mark: Sort of. His late wife was not his target, but got his attention when she stood in his line of fire to protect his mark from him.
- Kill It with Fire: One of the Shadow Broker's dossiers lists his favorite methods of assassinating various species. One of the options listed for krogan? "Bomb."
- Killed Off for Real: He gets stabbed while fighting Kai Leng, and the blood loss combined with complications from Kepral's Syndrome prove fatal, despite a transfusion from his son.
- The Last Dance: After he learned about his terminal illness, he decided to devote the rest of his life to making the universe a better place. This reaches a climax when he shames Kai Leng, despite a severe handicap.
- The Lost Lenore: The Citadel DLC can optionally turn Thane into this for a romanced female Shepard. During Kolyat's memorial service, the paragon options allow Shepard to say that there will never be another man in her life, and she will continue to love him until the end of her days.
- Love Redeems: His wife made him realize that there was more to his life than assassination. Female Shepard makes him realize the same thing if that romance is pursued.
- Mage Marksman: He makes use of powerful weapons and his bonus power enhances his ammunition, but can still use powers like Throw and Warp.
- Manly Tears: Of frustration more than of the warm and fuzzy kind, but still.
- Meaningful Funeral: Kolyat can be invited to Shepard's apartment in the Citadel DLC to hold a memorial service for Thane.
- Mind over Matter: Apart from using guns he also is a biotic.
- Mr. Fanservice: Repentant assassin with a spiritual side? Check. Soft-spoken and eloquent? Check. Humanoid yet exotically handsome? Check. Kelly's not sure if she finds him scary or sexy. Best part: Reading the notes of the dev team as they tried to engineer him to have this reaction. It was, needless to say, a long and arduous process, and, ultimately, it seems a good deal of it relied on him being a Badass in a Nice Suit.
- Neck Snap: He uses this on Nassana's bodyguards. The Shadow Broker's dossier indicates that this is in fact his preferred method of killing, although, if his target is krogan, he's equally willing to resort to explosives, though this is as much out of necessity as anything else, as krogan are very difficult to kill — not to mention have huge, muscular necks.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Inverted. His confrontation with Kai Leng in the third game sees him with a gun and Kai Leng with a sword. Thane's the one who dies, though to his credit he did do quite well and also kept Kai Leng from accomplishing his goals.
- Noodle Incident: Responsible for an incident known as the "One-Hour Massacre" on Omega.
- One Last Job: His assassination of Nassana Dantius. Then he talks to Shepard and decides to do One More Last Job.
- Optional Party Member: You don't have to recruit him.
- Orbital Kiss: At the culmination of his romance.
- Pet the Dog: In his recruitment mission, he goes out of his way to save the salarian workers from Nassana's goons. No matter who you have in your party, one of them will note how unusual it is for a hitman to protect potential witnesses.
- Photographic Memory: Drell can relive any memory they choose. Counts as Blessed with Suck for a hitman that has issues with his family.
- Power Perversion Potential: Drell can remember any moment and effectively experience it again. Not so nice if you're remembering getting shot, but if you decided to dwell on, ahem, nicer experiences... points for the fact that Thane mentions it in-game.
- Professional Killer: "You've spent too much time fighting thugs who think custom-painted armor makes them professionals."
- Religious Bruiser: While not a bruiser per se, he's the galaxy's best assassin, and the only person to pray for his victims. And, of course, that scene:
Amonkira. Lord of Hunters. Grant that my hands be steady, my aim be true, and my feet swift. And should the worst come to pass, grant me forgiveness
- Retired Badass: In the third game, he tells Shepard that it's his time to rest from conflict now that his life is almost over. Then the Cerberus coup attempt happens and he has one last rumble with Kai Leng, saving the salarian councilor at the cost of his own life. In the hospital, Thane quips that Leng should feel ashamed that a terminally-ill drell managed to stop him from reaching his target.
- Handicapped Badass: Dying by suffocating slowly and in constant pain because of it counts, right?
- Reverse Arm-Fold: Appropriate for a calm, reflective martial artist and (sort of) soldier.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Went on one after his wife was murdered. He notes that while he usually kills swiftly, he took extra time with her killers.
- Romancing the Widower: If Shepard romances him.
- Sacrificial Lion: His only role in Mass Effect 3, and the first unavoidable case of it in the game. He doesn't go out without a fight, though.
- Say Your Prayers: He's not praying for himself, he's praying for Shepard.
Thane: Kalahira, mistress of inscrutable depths, I ask forgiveness. Kalahira, whose waves wear down stone and sand. Kalahira, wash the sins from this one and set him on a distant shore of the infinite spirit. Kalahira, this one’s heart is pure, but beset by wickedness and contention. Guide this one to where the traveller never tires, the lover never leaves, the hungry never starve. Guide this one, Kalahira, and s/he will be a companion to you as s/he was to me.
- Second Love: Female Shepard can become this to him.
- Shadow Archetype: He's very similar to Samara. Both are a Religious Bruiser atoner type who have killed many evil people to make the galaxy a better place, are recruited on Illium, and have troubled relationships with their children. The big differences are that Thane is an assassin and Samara is a Warrior Monk paladin, so in effect they are on opposite sides of the law.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: If he was romanced in Mass Effect 2, Shepard can give one of these to him during their one conversation in the third game.
- So Happy Together: His romance ends this, expedited by Kai Leng.
- Springtime for Hitler: He was going to his last mission to be killed in action, until Shepard showed up. Subverted because he decides that joining Shepard is a much better plan.
- Stalker with a Crush: Subverted. After his future wife threw herself in front of his targeting laser to stop one of his missions, he became obsessed with finding her. Instead of going down the usual path of this trope, he fell on his knees in front of her and begged for forgiveness. Eventually, it worked.
- Stealth Hi/Bye:
- He does this during his loyalty mission, but, unlike most instances of this trope, he does this in plain sight in the middle of an open lobby. When two people walk in front of him.
- Drell seem to have this as an innate ability - during the Shadow Broker DLC, the power blinks off in the ship for a half-second, and Feron is gone from his restraints in that time. Then again, the entire drell race was actually conceptualized around Thane in the first place.
- One of the Shadow Broker's surveillance tapes shows another example: while walking down a corridor, he steps into the shadow cast by a column and doesn't step out again. He then reappears behind the mook he was approaching, snaps his target's neck, and shoots out the camera.
- Super Senses: It doesn't normally come up in gameplay, but Thane's eyes have been altered to detect ultraviolet radiation, to better let him communicate with hanar.
- There Was a Door: Silly troper, assassins never use doors. They drop from air ducts in the ceiling to kill their targets. With the target's own gun. After beating the crap out of a trio of heavily armed and armored guards with his bare hands.
- Token Religious Teammate:
- Although his religion is like no real-life counterpart; he worships several deities and believes we go across an "ocean", presumably to some form of Elysian Fields, when we die.
- Considering that the original drell homeworld, Rakhana, was a desert planet and their physiology cannot handle too much water moisture, it makes sense that the ocean came to be revered as a far off, unknowable thing and crossing it came to symbolise their passage into the afterlife.
Thane: Consider. The ocean is full of life. Yet it is not life as you and I know it. To survive there, you must release your hold on land. Accept a new way of living. So it is with the death. The soul must accept its departure from the body. If it can't, it will be lost.
- Troubled, but Cute: Carries a lot of baggage from his life as an assassin and very much a male Green-Skinned Space Babe.
- Tykebomb: Was trained to be an assassin since early childhood by the hanar. Killed his first target at the age of twelve. Mind, drell do live shorter lives — eighty years to humanity's hundred and fifty.
- Vigilante Man: He prefers to take contracts on people that he feels deserve to die.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Trust BioWare to come up with a good way to justify this trope. (Covering his chest could cause moisture buildup in his lungs, worsening his illness.)
- Wall Slump: In the third game, after being stabbed by Kai Leng. He doesn't die right away, but it's pretty clear that he's not going to last much longer.
- Warrior Poet: Especially during flashback sequences, when he speaks almost in white rhyme.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: His relationship with his son, Kolyat, prior to his wife's death. This becomes a Whole Plot Reference to the original song when Kolyat decides to follow in his father's footsteps and become an assassin. His loyalty achievement is even called "Cat's in the Cradle."
- Worf Had the Flu: It seemed that Kai Leng was only able to beat him because he was already in poor physical condition at the time. Thane was suffering from the advanced stages of Kepral's Syndrome, which makes every breath painful, and is roughly 6 months past his best doctor's expected projections. Had Thane been at his peak, Leng would not have survived the fight, or at least would have ran with his tail between his legs much earlier. Plus, Kai Leng was trying to kill the salarian councilor, but because Thane interfered and distracted Kai Leng, the salarian councilor escaped with his/her life, so Thane succeeded in accomplishing his goal, while Kai Leng failed.
- And Thane STILL kicked his ass. Kai Leng had his katana and a huge number of cybernetic implants. All Thane had on his side was a pistol, biotic powers and his sheer unadulterated badassery, and could barely breathe. It's doubtful Leng would have even seen a Mass Effect 2-era Thane coming before his head was facing the opposite direction. Thane even notes that a true assassin should be ashamed of being defeated by a sick drell.
- You Are The Translated Foreign Word:
- You Are Worth Hell: The romance for female Shepard — the love scene starts with Thane's frustration that now that he has something to live for again, he's started to fear death once more. Additionally, his Shadow Broker dossier contains a romantic letter in which he expresses his wish to protect and be with her, even if it means he will die a slow, choking death on a hospital bed. The trope isn't directly invoked to its full extent, however.
- Your Days Are Numbered/You See, I'm Dying: "This was to be my last job. I'm dying."
Rage is a hell of an anesthetic...
"Zaeed is like you, but takes checks. As long as it's not my money, we're good."
A character who is only available through the Cerberus Network DLC
content, free with every new copy of the game. He is the best bounty hunter in the galaxy and has been hired to help Shepard.
- Actor Existence Failure: Technically subverted and averted. Robin Sachs passed away in February 2013, but he had recorded for Zaeed's final appearance, in that of the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 before he died.
- Anti-Hero: A Nominal Hero in Mass Effect 2. Becomes an Unscrupulous Hero in Mass Effect 3; he's started restricting his ruthlessness to Cerberus, who definitely deserve it.
- Artificial Limbs: He was originally meant to have a robot leg.
- Badass: Shepard even calls him a badass, albeit not on his/her level, though.
- Bad Boss: It's hinted that his willingness to sacrifice anyone and his lack of charisma was a major factor in the Blue Suns betraying him.
- Badass Grandpa: He's such a hardass that Javik suspects he's a Prothean in disguise, and the two of them discuss conquering the galaxy once the Reapers are gone. Subverted in that he's actually only 40, but still really badass. Though this age may be a mistake, unless he managed to pull off all of his accomplishments in a ridiculously short time.
- Berserk Button: Don't call his fixation with taking Vido down a 'grudge' or imply that he needs to let go.
- The Big Guy: He, Grunt and Garrus have the highest "hold the line" scores. Their base value is higher than any other loyal squadmate — with loyalty, they're each worth two.
- Bounty Hunter: Best in the business.
Warden Kuril: I got sick of seeing prisoners escape justice. Bounty hunters... aren't reliable.
Zaeed: Then you aren't hiring the right ones.
- Catchphrase: The man likes to say "Goddamn", that's for sure.
- The Character Died with Him: Inverted. Zaeed's possible deaths were done before Robin Sachs passed away. The DLC ''Mass Effect 3: Citadel'', which Zaeed can appear in, was released a month after Robin's death.
- A multiplayer weekend challenge, Operation: Tribute, was named in his memory; Zaeed is the character on the banner.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Goes into this when playing an arcade game. A claw machine to be precise. While trying to win a plushie toy. For an asari girl.
- Cool Old Guy: In casual conversation, he´ll tell stories about his previous adventures.
- Crack Pairing: In-Universe, he tries and fails to hook up with Samara.
- Deadpan Snarker: Kind of a default way of stating things for him. Among other things, he can say an asari ex-girlfriend selling him out to the Blood Pack mercenaries "put a sour note on the whole relationship".
- Demoted to Extra: While all of the Mass Effect 2 squadmates suffer from this in 3, Zaeed and Kasumi suffer the most from it, likely due to being DLC characters.
- Determinator: He credits his survival of a headshot to this.
Zaeed: A stubborn enough person will survive just about anythin'.
- The Dog Bites Back: After negotiations with a Cerberus contract go sour post-2, he starts taking jobs which disrupt their operations.
- Downloadable Content: Zaeed makes no appearance in the vanilla game.
- Dummied Out: Apparently, it was planned so it would be possible for him be taught proper squad tactics in the suicide mission, allowing the specialist to live and surviving the long walk if he's the fire team leader.
- Establishing Character Moment: When you first meet him, he's roughing up a batarian who repeatedly claims to be innocent for the crime Zaeed is capturing him for. After you're done talking to him, the batarian tries to run, so Zaeed casually shoots him in the leg.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- He's hardly a pleasant man, but what ethics he has are largely responsible for his "leaving" the Blue Suns (he disapproved of their hiring of batarians, whom he saw as terrorists), and he expresses disgust at Cerberus' imprisonment of biotic children if taken along on Jack's loyalty mission. He also dislikes corporate security, preferring to work for his contracts and care who he's killing, and doesn't find torture worth it. Also, take him with you whenever the Collectors are involved and he is clearly disgusted and horrified by what he sees.
"Cheaper labor," he said. "Goddamn
terrorists," I said.
- Speaking of Cerberus, this is all he has to say on how Cerberus offered him a new contract just as they went off the deep end between 2 and 3.
- If brought to Jacob's loyalty mission, upon seeing what Ronald Taylor has done, Zaeed states that anyone who does this to their own men deserves a knife to the spine. Though if you talk to him afterwards on the ship, he's less judgmental.
- In 3, apart from working against Cerberus, he's also very disgusted when Din Korlack tries to bargain when lives are at stake and he has barely anything to gain.
- Evil Counterpart/Foil/Shadow Archetype: To Thane Krios and Urdnot Wrex.
- According to Joker, Zaeed is Shepard if they were Only in It for the Money.
- Zaeed is also one to Garrus, with their loyalty missions almost being perfect mirrors of each other. Both are searching for the men who wronged them and left them for dead, both suffered facial wounds as a result of that betrayal and both are willing to put Revenge Before Reason, unless Shepard either talks them down or chooses to let them indulge in it.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: Pulled off during his loyalty mission, although it isn't quite as successful as he'd hoped.
Zaeed: Burn, you son-of-a-bitch!
- Friend to All Children: See Pet the Dog.
- Get a Room!: Zaeed's reaction when FemShep and Garrus start flirting while he and Garrus are boobytrapping Shepard's apartment during the Citadel DLC.
Zaeed: Oh, go get a room. God knows this place has enough of them.
- Glass Eye: One green, the other one a replacement cybernetic prosthesis for the eye that (likely) got blown out when he was shot in the head.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His extensive scars make it immediately clear he's not a morally squeaky-clean individual.
- Guttural Growler: Zaeed's voice is very rough.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Paragon Shepard actually punches him and holds a gun to his head in order to hammer this point into Zaeed. By wanting to let innocents die in order to satisfy his need for vengeance, he's become no better than Vido.
- Heel-Face Turn: In Mass Effect 3, after some "bad negotiations" with Cerberus, he's been actively taking jobs working against them.
- Hidden Depths: In the Citadel DLC, if part 1 of the party was calm and part 2 was lively, and Samara is also invited (who he is also trying to put moves on), he says something surprisingly poetic about an... abstract piece of art in the dining room. Samara more or less labels him with this trope.
- In the same DLC, if he's the only one invited, he'll tell a FemShep that he always thought she was beautiful.
- I Call It "Vera": Jessie, his old rifle. His attachment to it is quite strong, despite the fact that it 's been broken beyond repair for five years.
- A message on Liara's information terminal in the third game shows that he's bought a parts kit for a discontinued assault rifle, indicating that he knows the Reaper War is going to be so bad that he'll need the most reliable weapon he ever owned by his side again.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Resembles his voice actor Robin Sachs◊.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: He describes the best way to get a krogan to talk: Stick a knife behind his forehead plate in just the right spot and pry it right off. The thought of it apparently drives them mad. In the Renegade end of his quest in 3, you can suggest he try this on Korlack. All he actually has to do is crack his knuckles.
- The Jinx: He seems to have an unnatural tendency of getting people around him killed. Works as a subtle warning against choosing him as a fireteam leader on the Suicide Mission.
- Karmic Death: If Shepard leaves him to die on his loyalty mission, mostly because Shepard doesn't even kill him, just refuses to help him as he burns in the fire. The irony is noted by Shepard as well.
Shepard: You started this fire, Zaeed. It makes sense that you'd burn in it.
- Kick the Dog: His loyalty mission is basically just one long kick the dog moment, to the point that many fans view it as a Moral Event Horizon Crossing. In particular this line:
Zaeed: Let these people burn! Vido dies whatever the cost!
- Kill It with Fire: He gets powerful Inferno Grenades when you earn his loyalty.
- Lack of Empathy: Big time during his loyalty mission.
- Made of Iron: Survives a point-blank headshot.
- The Mean Brit: "Walk it off. A little poison never hurt anyone."
- Murder Is the Best Solution: His first solution to pretty much everything is violence. It backfires on him.
- The Neidermeyer: His stories and the Shadow Broker's info on him indicate that Zaeed was a horrible leader who was all too willing to let others die and not particularly well-liked by those he leads. This is a pretty big indicator that he's a poor squad leader in the endgame.
- Never My Fault: Somewhat implied from his war stories. On seeing a familiar weapon on the Citadel, he claims that the weapon was so good that its wielder took out half his squad. In general, most of his stories end with him noting the casualties nonchalantly, even when he was supposed to be the squad leader. Of course, it's still up to you whether you want a guy with this attitude leading your squad on the suicide mission.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: He survived getting shot in the head at point-blank range purely by sheer determination.
Zaeed: A stubborn enough person can survive just about anything.
- Odd Friendship: He and Garrus bond over booby-trapping Shepard's apartment of all things!
- Slightly less odd when you consider how Garrus spent the two years after you stopped Sovereign (Becoming a vigilante on Omega who pissed off all three of the mercenary groups) and the pride they take in their work
- Javik thinks he's a Prothean in disguise and they discuss conquering the galaxy together after the Reapers are gone. Note that Javik's interactions with most people of this cycle is to call them primitives and complain endlessly about their shortcomings.
- Old Soldier: He practically embodies this trope.
- One Last Job: The money he received from Cerberus as payment for joining Shepard's squad has made him seriously consider retirement. Either that or suicide via blowing his ship up near Omega.
- Optional Party Member: He's a DLC character, if you didn't get a new copy of the game. Otherwise he's a free download.
- Pet the Dog: In the Citadel DLC, he reveals what got him addicted to a skill crane game was trying to make a crying kid happy by winning her a toy.
- Psycho for Hire: Albeit a much more subdued and refined version than most.
- He even gets a bit self-referential — he claims that the only people not to piss themselves when having a gun next to their heads are psychotic maniacs and trained killers. And they can be hard to discern sometimes.
- Rebel Relaxation: In his room on the ship and during the pre-suicide mission briefing; he's the only one not standing at the table, opting to slouch against a wall near the end of the room. His ending in the Extended Cut also shows him relaxing on a lawn chair after the war is over.
- Redemption Equals Death: Possible in 3 if Zaeed wasn't loyal in 2. He dies saving ambassador Din Korlack from the other mercs who had been duped into thinking Din was still a Cerberus sympathizer.
- Retired Monster: He was once a very vicious merc and co-founded the Blue Suns. Though he hasn't stepped down too far — now he's a Bounty Hunter.
- Retirony: Played with. The Shadow Broker's intel reveals that Zaeed is contemplating retirement after finishing Shepard's mission and he is so annoyed by the thought that the best plan he came up with so far is invoking the trope himself, by committing a Suicide Attack on Omega.
- Retired Badass: If he makes it to the end of 3, his personal slide in the Extended Cut shows him kicking back on a deckchair somewhere, beer in hand. Guess he found someplace he could stand after all.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His real motivation during his character quest, despite his initial claim that he's in it to liberate a factory of workers from the Blue Suns mercenary group, which he co-founded. It's possible for a Paragon Shepard to not only allow the target to escape in order to save the workers, but gain Zaeed's loyalty anyway in a scene that proves good is most definitely not soft and indecisive. As a bonus, he never brings it up again in the third game; presumably, he's learned to let that go, or at least get his priorities straight.
- Say My Name/Skyward Scream: If he's left to die on his loyalty mission.
- Serious Business: In the Citadel DLC, believe it or not, a claw-machine.
What could be more important than Zaeed Massani not getting bested by some fucking
- Shouting Shooter: In his loyalty mission, if you pick Paragon.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Not as much as Jack, but occasionally. Especially in the Citadel DLC after failing at a skill crane for too long.
- Sociopathic Hero: He has some amusing war stories, but during his loyalty mission, it becomes apparent that he's chillingly ruthless in his pursuit of vengeance. Hell, a lot of his stories are rather horrifying, which gets amplified by his even and detached manner of delivering them.
- Sole Survivor: All of his stories usually result in everyone in his squad but him dying, though rather than a testament to his skills, most of this seems to be more out of his ability to get others killed, either through bad luck or just tossing them under the fire. Keep this in mind when choosing fire team leaders during the suicide mission.
- In the second worst version of the Extended Cut version of the destroy ending in Mass Effect 3, several planets in the galaxy lies torn and barren from the war and several species are skirting on the edge of extinction. Meanwhile Zaeed is shown to be only one having a somewhat comfortable outcome, having apparently retired to a somewhat untouched, sunny corner of Earth.
- Tattoo as Character Type: He has a tattoo on his neck, visible when you recruit him. Like other members of that organization, it's a Blue Suns tattoo.
- Token Evil Teammate: Less than a freshly-recruited Jack, but more than Grunt or loyal Jack. In contrast to Tali, it's considerably more difficult to win his loyalty with the Paragon approach, which requires a persuade check.
- Acknowledged enough that his name will not be inscribed on the Normandy's memorial wall if he dies.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Nowhere near to the extent of Jack or Miranda, but he's noticeably far more pleasant in 3, particularly in "Citadel".
- Unflinching Walk: During his loyalty mission (if you chose the Renegade path).
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets this from Paragon Shepard in his loyalty mission. The first is a straight-up punch to the face. The second is pointing a gun at him and threatening to leave him to burn for being willing to do the same for civilian factory workers. This will actually earn his respect enough so that he'll still be loyal in the end.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: There's at least one official source claiming he was born in 2145 and founded the Suns in 2160. That seems unlikely even for him. The same source mixed up Mordin's age too.
- However, if one thinks of the Blue Suns being a small street gang started by a bunch of young Delinquents before becoming what it is now, the age makes a lot more sense.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shepard can leave Zaeed to die during his loyalty mission if the player chooses. However, this requires 1) waiting until after the suicide mission to do his loyalty mission and 2) having at least two other surviving squadmates in addition to Zaeed.
- Younger Than They Look: You wouldn't believe this by looking at him, but according to the official website, he is only 40 years old.
Secret Party Members
The two secret party members have gotten their own page. Don't go there unless you don't care about spoilers. To find it, go to this page
Guest Party Members
Don't get too attached.
One of the Cerberus medical officers working on the Lazrus Project. After everything goes to hell, he helps you out after you heal him. When you finally meet up with Miranda, she guns him down for being the traitor who caused this mess in the first place, thus continuing the Bioware tradition of early game sacrificial party members.
- Asshole Victim: Of Miranda.
- Bald of Evil: Being a member of Cerberus is bad enough, but he's also working for the Shadow Broker to sabotage Project Lazarus.
- Beard of Evil: He's willing to sabotage Project Lazarus for money.
- Boom, Headshot: How he dies, courtesy of Miranda.
- Death by Materialism: When checking logs on the medical station, Wilson constantly complains that Cerberus pumped 4 billion credits into resurrecting Shepard, and he implies that he isn't getting paid enough. It makes it kind of clear why he betrays Cerberus and Miranda. Or not. It turns out it was because he was working with the Shadow Broker.
- Dirty Coward: Even when in your party, this is very apparent.
- The Engineer: One of his jobs with Cerberus.
- Guest Star Party Member: He's killed at the end of the first mission. At least you get to see him in action, unlike poor Jenkins.
- Killed Mid-Sentence:
Miranda? But you're... [Bang!] Miranda: Dead?
- Oh, Crap: His reaction to hearing that Shepard was still alive after sabotaging the Mechs.
- He gets an even bigger one after running into Miranda again. Unfortunately for him, it was also a very short one.
- The Mole: He started the disaster that led to Shepard's early awakening, but you don't know who he was working for at first. He was working for the Shadow Broker.
- Playing with Syringes: He helps bring someone back from the dead.
- Turncoat: He betrays Cerberus for the Shadow Broker.
- Too Dumb to Live: He had no reason to think Cerberus would let him live after he betrayed them.
Dr. Amanda Kenson