Characters: Mass Effect 3 Antagonists And Npcs
This page is for listing the tropes related to Antagonists and NPCs who first appeared in the third Mass Effect
For the pages listing tropes related to Party Members, NPCs and Antagonists who first appeared in other games in the trilogy, see the Mass Effect Character Index
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Cerberus thanks you for all your hard work.
A Cerberus assassin who had a run in with David Anderson during the events of Retribution
. He returns as part of the force that the Illusive Man sends against Shepard in the third game.
- Actor Allusion: As mentioned below, Kai Leng has an ouroboros tattoo on his neck, a possible shout out to Troy Baker's work on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
- All There in the Manual: Most of his background is covered in the books, where playing just the game you would think he's just another baddie. His backstory is alluded to if you dig, but not in much detail.
- Backstab Backfire: How his boss fight ultimately ends.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: They don't get much more arrogant than Kai Leng.
- Blood from the Mouth: Happens when he's finally killed by Shepard.
- Blood Knight: He enlisted in the army at 16 using a false ID, only to be discharged for murdering a krogan the same year he was made N7. Hints of social darwinism aside, he just loves violence, and relishes the idea of going up against Shepard.
Shepard: Three-on-one, pal. It's over.
Kai Leng: No. Now it's fun.
- Boxed Crook: The Illusive Man recruited him when he was imprisoned for the aforementioned incident with the krogan.
- Braggart Boss: With the sole exception that his actions and behavior aren't played for laughs, he fits this almost exactly, right down to the fancy flashy outfit.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: It's implied on Thessia that he's indoctrinated. If true, then it doesn't seem to have changed his personality much.
- But Not Too Foreign: According to the novels, he has both Chinese and Russian/Slavic heritage, with the Chinese being the dominant of the two.
- Canon Immigrant: First appeared in the Retribution and Deception novels.
- Climax Boss: He's the game's final proper boss.
- Combat Pragmatist: He's more than happy to call in reinforcements to help him or even have a gunship cover him while he "recharges".
- Contractual Boss Immunity: He's immune to Stasis, even when other enemies would be affected.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: In cutscenes, he displays many nifty abilities, like Tactical Cloak, a bullet-proof barrier, and the ability to kill anyone with a single backhanded stab from his sword. He can't do any of that in-game. Notably, generic Elite Mooks can.
- Death by Irony: Shepard guts him with an omniblade. Four of the six classes will use the omniblade once in the entire game just to invoke this.
- Determinator: Near the end of Retribution, Anderson shoots him in both legs to slow down his escape while he and Kahlee tend to a wounded boy. Kai still manages to get away by using his arms to climb up a ladder and swinging from bars along the ceiling to get to his shuttle before security can find him. And yes, dropping from the ceiling onto legs that are bleeding out is painful as hell. Also, after being beaten by Shepard at the Cerberus HQ, he will muster up all his remaining energy to try and stab Shepard while s/he's busy looking through the Illusive Man's files, though Shepard will simply counter him with an omniblade stab to the gut that finishes him off for good.
- The Dragon: To the Illusive Man.
- The Heavy: To the Illusive Man's Non-Action Big Bad. Kai Leng is a greater threat in combat than the Illusive Man and is the one who shows up in person to carry out his orders.
- Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Due to being "an adrenaline junky", as described by the narration, he not only bugs Anderson's apartment, he eats Anderson's cereal.
- Establishing Character Moment: In Retribution, personally killing Liselle for being an asari.
- Evil Counterpart: Shepard and Leng are both former N7 operatives and the best fighters of their respective organizations (the Alliance/Council for Shepard and Cerberus for Leng). Also, while Leng hates aliens, the fate of the galaxy hangs on Shepard's ability to rally the other races to fight together against the Reapers. His cybernetic upgrades further parallel them. Lampshaded by the Illusive Man in-game.
- Evil Gloating: He is not above rubbing his enemy's failures in their faces, even when it comes off as unwarranted (for example, claiming that Shepard can never defeat him, to which Shepard responds that Leng runs from every fight he's in).
- Evil Is Petty: In Deception, he sneaks into Anderson's house to plant some bugs. Before he leaves, he sits down, takes out a bowl, and eats Anderson's cereal.
- In the game proper, he sends an email taunting Shepard about the fall of Thessia under the guise of Asari Military Command, with the subject "Evacuating Thessia". The first thing it says is "Good, you opened this message. This isn't actually asari military command." You can almost hear the smug laugh that would follow that sentence.
- Evil Sounds Deep: It's Troy Baker, after all.
- Fan Nickname: Called the "cereal killer" by many fans. See Evil Is Petty directly above for how he got it.
- Fantastic Racism: He really doesn't like aliens to the point of being physically repulsed by their presence. In Retribution he considers the Asari "whorish" and regularly gets urges to "teach (the alien/s) a lesson" whenever they try and lord it over a human. It's not quite as emphasized in his appearance in the series however.
- Fatal Flaw: His pride.
- Foil: To Miranda. The scenes in which they are introduced are very similar and they're both among the most talented Cerberus operatives TIM ever employed. Whereas Miranda ends up being fairly heroic by the time the Reapers show up, Kai Leng is solidly villainous.
- Final Boss: Of the Cerberus plot arc. In fact, he's arguably the last traditional boss fight in the entire game.
- Final Boss Preview: The first fight with him during Priority: Thessia, which overlaps with Heads I Win, Tails You Lose.
- Flash Step: He can leave after-images behind him too.
- Flunky Boss: During the second fight.
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: No matter what you hit him with during the fight on Thessia, he's unharmed and has his gunship blow up the temple while he steals the Prothean VI you're after.
- Hero Killer: Along with killing Gillian with a sharpened toothbrush (its canon is disputed though) in Deception, Kai Leng can potentially end up killing any combination of Kirrahe/Thane/Salarian Councillor and/or Miranda.
- I Shall Taunt You: After the fall of Thessia at the hands of the Reapers, you receive an email from him telling you about how your failure has caused millions to die and that he looks forward to killing you next time you two meet.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How he ends up fatally wounding Thane (but not Kirrahe, who takes a bullet instead). And then the climax comes, wherein Shepard kills him the exact same way.
- Implacable Man: Gets the drop on Shepard's team by landing on top of their Flying Car. A car that Shepard is driving. While shooting at him. He manages to disable it and escape.
- Improbable Weapon User: He killed the most powerful human biotic alive with a shiv fashioned from a toothbrush.
- Invisibility: Has an Infiltrator/Kasumi-style tactical cloak.
- Jerkass: Let's see... killing Thane/Kirrahe, and calling them cowards, relying on a gunship for assistance against Shepard, ordering the gunship to level the building you're in, so he can get what he needs, sending Shepard a message mocking him/her, potentially killing Miranda, and generally running from battles where the odds aren't in his favor? Yep, he definitely fits.
- Katanas Are Just Better: With a Hand Wave as to why it's effective in a game where kinetic barriers are standard. Subverted in his final appearance in ME3. You can take a Renegade interrupt in order to break it before delivering the coup de grace.
- Kick the Dog:
- Shepard is emotionally devastated after the loss of Thessia, putting the blame on him/herself entirely. Kai Leng rubs it in by sending a message to Shepard afterwards telling him/her that Thessia fell because s/he simply wasn't good enough.
- During the fight with him on Thessia, he'll trash talk whoever he got a chance to kill previously when they met on the Citadel. The reactions of your squaddies say it all.
Javik: If I kill no one else but him, it will be worth it!
- King Mook: He's basically a powered up Cerberus Phantom with enhanced durability and some additional abilities. But he lacks many of the Phantom's normal abilities outside of cutscenes.
- He's almost a subversion, due their One-Hit Kill melee attacks, more powerful Power Palms (due to the fact that they're using biotics, rather than just a normal handgun like Leng), Artificial Brilliance, and cloaking abilities, a single Phantom is arguably a bigger threat than Leng himself.
- Knife Nut: It's what he used to kill six turians and a krogan. And as of Deception, an incredibly powerful biotic... although technically he used a shiv made from a toothbrush.
- Laser-Guided Karma/Karmic Death: After fatally wounding at least one of Thane, Miranda & Kirrahe; Shepard winds up killing Leng in the same way, running him through with an omniblade.
- Made of Iron: Takes no damage whatsoever from whatever shots manage to hit him in his Heads I Win, Tails You Lose encounter (he also benefits from shields that recharge almost instantaneously, so it's unlikely that much of anything will hit him at all). However, during his actual boss fight, when his shields come down, he goes down easily due to only wearing light armor. Plus his shields aren't substantially stronger than shields used by other bosses in the last game, they just recharge quicker.
- Meaningful Name: "Leng" means "cold" in Chinese.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Well, he's a racist cyborg ninja come ME3.
- Oh Crap: Hard to catch, but he makes one right after Shepard shatters his sword and right before s/he fatally stabs him in the side.
- One-Man Army: Almost certainly, seeing as he killed six turians with a knife and, in a separate incident, killed a krogan singlehandedly with a knife. As a boss fight, however, he has no problems with calling a gunship for cover fire while he recharges his shields or summoning mooks to his side.
- Power Palms: Most likely due to his cybernetic nature.
- Recurring Boss: Twice. First is a Hopeless Boss Fight, though.
- Reverse Grip: With his sword, like the Cerberus Phantoms, with whom he shares a lot of combat animations.
- The Social Darwinist: He firmly believes in the Illusive Man's vision of "uplifting" humanity via Reaper tech.
- Smug Snake: Believes himself to be completely superior to Shepard, underestimating him/her at every turn and even berating the Illusive Man for saying that Shepard is to be admired for his/her skills and danger. He learns the hard way that underestimating Shepard is asking for a quick and painful death.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Type 2. Started off with looting medals from enemy corpses and eventually escalated to premeditated murder, which caused the Alliance to discharge and imprison him. Then he joined Cerberus and was allowed to run amok while completing his objectives.
- Sword and Gun: His preferred weapons in the books, as befitting an assassin, are a knife and silenced handgun. In-game, he uses an actual sword and utilizes Power Palms.
- Sword Beam: The horizontal crescent-wave version.
- Tattooed Crook: Sports an ouroboros tattoo on the back of his neck.
- Tempting Fate/Underestimating Badassery: He severely underestimates Shepard at several points.
- Troll: To the point that he sends spam emails to Shepard.
- With This Herring: Kills a squad of six turian commandos with a knife, and kills the most powerful human biotic in the galaxy with a shiv fashioned from a toothbrush.
- Worthy Opponent: Averted. As opposed to the Illusive Man and despite his warnings, Kai Leng refuses to show any respect for Shepard as a dangerous and very skilled enemy and even takes being compared to him/her by the Illusive Man as an insult. This ends up being his undoing. Despite this however, he does at least rely more on superior firepower/manpower when fighting Shepard's team rather than simply personal skill.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Engages in this with Shepard, especially during their final showdown. He doesn't take kindly when Shepard does it right back.
Dr. Eva Coré
A Cerberus infiltration unit the Illusive Man uses to take over the Alliance facility on Mars. Shepard's team narrowly prevents it from escaping with the information on the Crucible they need, although it still manages to hospitalize Ashley/Kaidan.
- Canon Immigrant: Subverted; this Eva Coré is not the Eva Coré from Evolution (the fact that the Eva Coré from Evolution dies at the end of the comic should be a pretty big hint). She was named after her by the Illusive Man.
- Dark Action Girl: Kicks the crap out of Ashley/Kaidan on Mars.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Look closely at her skin. It's lacking the subsurface scattering shader effect present in everyone else's skin - because it's fake.
- Dark Chick: Fills this role in regards to Cerberus.
- Evil Counterpart: To EDI.
- Fembot: As seen in her Robotic Reveal.
- Femme Fatale: Built to be one.
- Get Back Here Boss: At first.
- Grand Theft Prototype: When EDI starts scanning for the Prothean info it downloaded, Eva comes back online and tries to attack. EDI spends the rest of the game "wearing" her body.
- The Mole: She arrives at the Mars Archives science team a week before the Reaper invasion, but is actually working for Cerberus.
- Out of the Inferno: Steps out from the flaming wreckage of a shuttle in a manner reminiscent of the Terminator.
- Replacement Goldfish: For EDI (Cerberus synthetic minus self-awareness) and her namesake (one of two friends the Illusive Man lost before founding Cerberus).
- She's also a replacement for Miranda in some respects; she wears similar clothes before they're burned off, was designed and created to be attractive, powerful and intelligent, and acts, as Miranda did, with nothing but complete loyalty for Cerberus in mind.
- Robotic Reveal: When she emerges from the shuttle crash with her synthetic skin burnt away, revealing her metallic body and glowing eyes.
- Rush Boss: For the second part of the fight, you only have to shoot at her with your pistol for a few seconds, but she'll kill Shepard in one hit if you don't kill her before she gets to you. Certain pistols, either carried over via New Game+ (Paladin, Scorpion) or from DLC (Acolyte, Executioner), can't deal damage fast enough to kill her during this time, making the fight unwinnable.
General Oleg Petrovsky
Voiced by: Brian George
Petrovsky lasted weeks against a turian assault back when he was a corporal. Now he's one of the Illusive Man's most trusted agents, and the man behind Cerberus's successful invasion and occupation of Omega. No word on whether he's any relation to that widow and her brother-in-law on the Citadel that Shepard keeps running into.
- A Father to His Men: In the Invasion comic.
- Affably Evil: When finally confronted, he's polite and forthcoming, complimenting Shepard for his/her success and offering to use his knowledge to aid the Alliance against Cerberus. He also tells Shepard that he respects his/her accomplishments. On the other hand, he turned Omega into a prison camp and used hundreds of civilians in Adjutant experiments.
- Antagonist in Mourning
Petrovsky: Nyreen Kandros was a good soldier. It's a shame she had to die for Aria's petty ambitions.
- Arc Villain: For the Omega DLC.
- Beard of Evil: As seen in the above image.
- Break Them by Talking: Delivers one to Shepard for working with Aria. He makes a lot of good points, namely that Aria doesn't have any moral superiority over Cerberus.
- It's possible for Shepard to shut him up. What's unique about the situation is that Shepard has to be an Engineer to do it: the only time in the series where Shepard's class has an impact on the plot.
- Canon Immigrant: From the Invasion comic to the Omega DLC.
- The Chessmaster: Just to drive the point home, he's repeatedly shown playing on a holographic chessboard. Which Shepard gets to keep in their cabin post-DLC.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Shepard usually just calls him "the General".
- Evil Genius: Cerberus's chief strategist.
- Graceful Loser: Once it becomes clear that he's gonna lose, he calmly surrenders, orders his soldiers to surrender so the conflict doesn't get dragged out and result in more pointless deaths, and offers to give Shepard information about the Illusive Man. Granted, this is because he knew he had a decent chance of survival.
- Hypocrite: Gives Shepard a Hannibal Lecture as Shepard's trying to fiddle with the reactor powering the plasma force fields while Nyreen and Aria are still trapped. "This is who you're working for, Shepard. She doesn't care who gets hurt." "She'd just throw thousands of lives away..." The same could be said to Petrovsky himself about his associates.
- Karma Houdini: To an extent if he lives. High ranking Alliance prisoners are given very good treatment and his War Asset entry mentions that he is probably going to be granted asylum. Though you can take a Renegade interrupt to inform him that if he's not completely forthcoming with his information, Shepard will hand him to Aria.
- Know When To Fold Them: At the end of the Omega DLC, he surrenders after Shepard and Aria kill all of his defenders.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Oleg bears a strong resemblance to Tom Selleck.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Potentially, if Aria kills him. Aria will openly admit that Petrovsky let her go during the initial conquest of Omega, yet she still strangles him to death after he surrenders.
- Out-Gambitted: Did this to Aria before the events of the Omega DLC. Almost did it again three times over during the DLC itself; Aria would certainly have died trying to retake the station if Shepard wasn't there to intervene, either in space, due to underestimating Petrovsky's defenses, on the streets, due to walking right into Petrovsky's force field, and/or in Afterlife, due to literally jumping into Petrovsky's electric containment prison.
- Palette Swap: His uniform comes off as this, being the uniform worn by Alliance leaders like Anderson and Hackett, only in Cerberus colors. Makes sense, as Cerberus is, of course, very human-centric.
- Pet the Dog: Several of these are shown to demonstrate that he's more deserving of respect than any of his Cerberus colleagues. He doesn't pointlessly endanger civilians, keeps his word, showed mercy to Aria when she was fleeing the station, shows respect to his enemies, despised the Illusive Man's plan to release the Adjutants, and repeatedly calls Shepard out on working for a criminal like Aria.
- Remember the New Guy: Shepard invokes this trope by lampshading how s/he's never heard of Petrovsky prior to Omega despite the General supposedly being the Illusive Man's top strategist. According to Aria, this is because the Illusive Man prefers to keep Petrovsky's identity a secret. Despite this lampshading and trope invoking, Petrosky isn't actually an example, as he appeared in the Invasion comics and there was a passing reference to Cerberus having a General in the first game.
- Retired Badass: As mentioned above, he took on hundreds of turian troops in the First Contact War, and didn't stop fighting until the war was over.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: After Petrovsky lures Aria and Shepard into a trap:
Shepard: It's a shame you're on the Illusive Man's side, Petrovsky.
Petrovsky: I'm on humanity's side. You're the one who's trying to start a war for the glory of Aria.
- Smart People Play Chess: He has a chessboard which is frequently used to indicate his status as The Chessmaster.
- Smug Snake: Comes across as one at times, particularly when taunting Shepard throughout the Omega missions and mentioning that Alliance prisoners with leverage such as he has are generally treated quite well. He muses that he and Shepard may even become friends.
- The Strategist: He is the Illusive Man's top strategist.
- Token Good Teammate: The only decent-ish member of Cerberus encountered that doesn't defect in Mass Effect 3.
- Villain Has a Point: In his lecture towards Shepard; Aria really isn't much better than Cerberus.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In addition to the usual Cerberus doctrine, he honestly believes he's a better ruler for Omega than Aria.
- What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: After he traps Aria, Nyreen, and Shepard in a force field and urges them to give up, Aria starts trying to tear open the force field:
Petrvosky: Stop it, you're forcing my hand! Fine, we'll do it your way. (unleashes dozens of Rampart Mechs on them)
- Worthy Opponent: Aria, Nyreen and Shepard all admit to viewing him as this. Petrovsky in turn views Nyreen and especially Shepard the same way.
Shepard: It's a shame you're on the Illusive Man's side, Petrovsky.
Aria: He's not like other Cerberus operatives I've seen. He's smart, he thinks outside the box, and he's very hard to predict.
SPOILER Character (Citadel DLC)
Mysterious Figure/Clone Shepard
The cult of Shepard ends today.
The leader of a mysterious conspiracy with a vendetta against Shepard. They make their move while the Commander's on shore leave, prompting retaliation from the entire squad. They're actually a clone of Commander Shepard created by Cerberus just in case Shepard needed an extra organ. S/he was awoken from a coma by Brooks and is now trying to take over Shepard's life.
- Arc Villain: For the "Citadel" DLC.
- Bad Boss: Constantly threatens their mercenaries with death and flat out tells them that they have no chance against Shepard.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: "I should go." The best part? All this time, the real Shepard had no idea they sounded like that.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Given how different any iteration of Shepard can be, Brooks really did a number on the clone.
- Brick Joke: As Wrex is quick to note about the first game, his hypothetical fights of Shepard versus random teammates finally pans out.
- Cloning Blues: Originally created by the Illusive Man to serve as "spare parts" for Shepard during the Lazarus Project. Thus they have none of real Shepard's memories and weren't meant to even wake up.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Although it can be argued that Brooks is actually the one pulling the strings.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- The clone wants to replace Shepard, but s/he has only the most superficial idea of who Shepard is. The clone is intensely xenophobic when several of Shepard's closest allies and potential love interests are alien. The clone is very much a Bad Boss who has no interest in preserving the lives of their followers, an attitude which would have gotten Shepard killed in the Suicide Mission. The clone mocks Shepard for being "worn-out Cerberus tech", but said cyborg implants have carried and will continue to carry Shepard through near-death of all types and ultimately allow him/her to activate the Crucible, saving the galaxy.
- There's also the fact s/he has Traynor thrown off the ship for "fraternisation and conduct unbecoming" and orders Shepard's space hamster destroyed, simply because they were not in line with Alliance military protocol. The clone also displays a rather narrow-minded world view in contrast with Shepard's outside-the-box style of thinking, forgetting that Shepard's unorthodox methods are part of the reason they are so successful. This was the reason why Shepard accepted aid from Cerberus when it became clear they were the only ones willing to fight the Collectors and why Shepard often recruits from alien races, recognising talented individuals regardless of their species, who would contribute to the success of the mission.
- Furthermore, if the Clone had managed to successfully steal Shepard's identity and the Normandy, what exactly was their plan to save the Galaxy from the Reapers? Did they even think that far ahead?
- Disney Villain Death: Falling a very long way from a very fast moving ship into the Wards, possibly slamming into a skyscraper. That is... if the lack of oxygen and exposure to the vacuum of space didn't kill them first. note
- Driven to Suicide: After Brooks abandons him/her while Shepard's teammates save them, s/he refuses a Take My Hand.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Shepard had previously mused in the beginning of the second game whether or not they had been brought back to life as a clone. Turns out Cerberus really did clone them, but they were the original, not the clone.
- Evil Is Petty: When s/he takes over the Normandy, s/he dumps Shepard's pets and ship models in the trash for disposal.
- Evil Knockoff: It was originally intended simply as spare parts for the main Shepard.
- Evil Twin: Shepard's appearance, powers and skill without the comrades, experience or morals.
- Fantastic Racism: The Figure hates aliens more than any other character in the game (except Kai Leng, but that's only depicted in the EU novels). S/He actually chews out Shepard for saving more alien lives then human lives, accusing them of having forgotten about their own species. EDI gets singled out for being "nothing more than electrons pretending to be alive".
- Felony Misdemeanor: Attempting to throw away his/her hamster is what makes it really personal for Shepard.
- Freudian Excuse: Being created merely for spare parts and living in Shepard's shadow.
- Human Resources: Their original purpose. They weren't even supposed to wake up.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Heavily implied that the real reason s/he is doing everything is because s/he is unable to handle the fact that as long as Shepard is around, they will always be stuck in their shadow.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: The sudden realisation that Shepard's friends are part of what makes them special, is what causes him/her to refuse Shepard's hand and fall to their death.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: The Clone has developed a major case of this towards Shepard.
- Insistent Terminology: While fully admitting to being a clone, nonetheless wants people to call them the "Real" Shepard.
- Kick the Dog: Seems fond of doing this.
- When first encountered, a different insult is fired at one of the squadmates that's with Shepard at the time. For example, in the case of the Virmire Survivor, it's a quite simple "I would have saved the other one, Kaidan/Ashley... Something."
- Tries to throw away Shepard's space hamster. The fiend!
- It gets so bad at times that even a Paragon Shepard will say "I'm looking forward to killing myself."
- Kill and Replace: His/her goal. S/he's so bad at it one would think s/he didn't even look at a copy of the Shepard VI for some idea.
- Imposter Forgot One Detail: The real Shepard is 30% Synthetic and has numerous cybernetic implants strewn throughout their body. Even with the clone hacking their file to update it with their own biometrics, you'd think someone would notice Shepard not being part-Cyborg anymore?
- Knight of Cerebus: Inverted Trope. While the Mysterious Figure is a genuinely dangerous villain, the Citadel DLC is pretty lighthearted when compared to the rest of the series. S/He's actually defeated less than half-way through it.
- Mirror Boss: They are the same class as Shepard. They also trade in their weird suit for Shepard's basic N7 armor, only in white with a blue stripe instead of red. Except if you're using a customized suit. If so, the stripe will be red. "Well, that's creepy..."
- No Cure for Evil: Averted. You have to exhaust their supply of medi-gel before you can go for the kill. So that's how it feels for enemies! And at the same time played straight. There's an infinitely refilling pallet of medi-gel refills on the deck that they appear completely oblivious to.
- Pet the Dog: When stealing the Normandy, elects to fire Traynor for "fraternisation and conduct unbecoming" and kick her off the ship, instead of simply killing her. Of course, one wonders if they'd have been so merciful if Traynor wasn't human.
- Playing with Fire: Has a number of fire abilities regardless of Shepard's class. This also contrasts with Shepard's own numerous ice abilities.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Notice how, like Shepard (minus the spoilers), s/he is never referred to with gender-specific pronouns outside of spoiler tags.
- Schrödinger's Gun: During their introduction scene, the clone mocks one of Shepard's squad mates. If you bring the Virmire Survivor along, they can mock them by saying they would have chosen their dead counterpart. The clone says this regardless whether you chose Ashley or Kaidan, and goes so far as to not remember the dead character's last name in both situations.
- Smug Snake: Very, very smug, enough to make Renegade Shepard look downright charming in comparison.
- Save the Villain: Paragon Shepard repeatedly attempts this, but it doesn't work.
- Stalker with a Crush: Despite repeatedly dismissing Shepard and their accomplishments, a lot of their dialogue, and indeed their entire goal, make it obvious that they have somewhat of an unhealthy obsession towards them.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Downplayed Trope. When the clone takes over the Normandy, it seems that s/he takes Alliance regulations much more seriously then Shepard does. S/he fires Samantha for fraternisation and tries to throw out Shepard's space hamster. Of course, the clone isn't trying to take over Shepard's crew, just steal the Normandy.
- Underestimating Badassery: The latest in a long line of people who make the mistake of underestimating Shepard. As a clone of Shepard, you'd really think they'd be aware of this and have done their homework first.
- The Unfettered: And proud of it.
- Villainous Breakdown: "I'm Shepard! Do you hear me, bastard/bitch?! I'M SHEPARD!"
- Walking Spoiler: There's really no way to talk about him/her without spoiling that they're a clone of Shepard.
- What Could Have Been: During the scene where they insult the various active party members, the one for Wrex was apparently written, but sadly cut.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Despite being a clone of Commander Shepard, s/he seems to forget that s/he's dealing with Commander Shepard. S/he also doesn't truly realise what makes Shepard, Shepard.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Paragon Shepard repeatedly invokes this.
- Younger than They Look: The clone is physically Shepard's age, but is actually only a few years old. Makes sense, since they're just a clone.
I can do this, Commander. Remind me to tell you about the time I made an elcor cry.
Wars can be won or lost in the editing room, and this war needs to be won.
A reporter who can join Shepard aboard the Normandy
in Mass Effect 3
. Voiced by and modeled on IGN's Jessica Chobot.
- Actor Allusion: Allers and Chobot are both television reporters.
- Bi the Way: A romance option for both male and female Shepard.
- Doomed Hometown: She mentions in passing that her homeworld is the colony of Bekenstein. Towards the end of the game, her colony is razed and her family killed, because the Reapers target industrial areas and her hometown had a factory that made binoculars.
- Dropped A Bridge On Her: If you refuse her, she puts herself on another ship, which is blown up, and she dies.
- Don't Like, Don't Read: Her attitude regarding her opinion piece about abandoning Terra Nova in her argument with Copeland. Shepard can choose whom to support.
- Dull Surprise: Her facial expressions are rather limited, and even when she's dismayed, her vocal tone doesn't change.
- Gay Option: For female characters.
- Girly Girl: To female Shepard's tomboy, if you so choose. Deliberately cultivated after focus group testing; asari identify more with women than men, salarians respond well to higher voices, and turians are fans of any war programs and send the creepiest fan mail.
- Hot Scoop: Invoked to bring in ratings.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Her appearances are based on her voice actress.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her outfit is a form-fitting dress that accentuates her features. Invoked for her show, purely because Sex Sells.
- Promoted Fangirl: Chobot is a fan of the series.
- Secret Relationship: In her final romance scene, she says no one else can find out about their relationship or else her career will be jeopardized.
- Tagalong Reporter: She's a report who tags along on the Normandy.
Lieutenant Steve Cortez
Anything for you!
I seem to remember getting shot at the whole time and everyone coming back in one piece, Mr Vega.
Voiced by: Matthew Del Negro
One of the people responsible for retrofitting the Normandy
SR-2. His talent for flying led him to become the Normandy
's shuttle pilot after the Reaper invasion began. He is an old friend of James. Like many members of the crew, he has a personal stake in the fight against the Reapers: his husband was killed during the Collector attack on the colony of Ferris Fields.
- Ace Pilot: A former fighter jock who spends nearly as much time tinkering with his birds as flying them. He's not so attached to them that he'll risk pissing off an 800-pound krogan with a shotgun, though. His skill at flying is further highlighted in Citadel, where he reveals that he prefers flying with the inertial dampeners off and pulling a few G's, even doing a barrel-roll.
- Falling into the Cockpit: He has experience flying and obviously does a fine job, but on paper he is actually your logistics officer, and ended up running the shuttles because no one else on the Normandy could. Further, like Samantha Traynor and Those Two Guys guarding the doorway to the War Room, he was de facto kidnapped by EDI and Joker when they took the Normandy, so he segued from retrofitting the Normandy to maintaining and flying the shuttles and managing requisitions.
- Anger Born of Worry: Shows this a few times, though with a snippy tone rather than something more drastic. He sees Shepard step out of that shuttle and into hell a lot. In Citadel he admits that this is because while on the battlefield Shepard is invincible, the moment they step into the evac shuttle, they are vulnerable and it's his responsibility to get them out of there alive.
- Badass: Even though he's a pilot, he has no trouble keeping up with Shepard's squad when the situation calls for it.
- Badass Gay: In addition to being an Ace Pilot, has proven himself perfectly capable of participating in firefights during the events of both Leviathan and Citadel.
- Cartwright Curse: Possible to inflict on him by romancing him and choosing an ending where Shepard dies.
- Covert Pervert: James jokingly accuses this of Steve. "You know you love the show!"
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: If you didn't befriend or romance him, he dies when his shuttle is shot down during the last level.
- Gay Option: For male Shepard.
- Lampshade Hanging: The first retrofit he did was move the armory back down to the shuttle bay like the original Normandy ("I'm not sure what Cerberus engineers were thinking"). He also indirectly explains Space Is Noisy by bringing up audio emulators (he likes to mute them while watching Cerberus ships get cut in half). If flirted with, he will refer to the large number of women players waiting for a proper Gay Option have had to fend off.
- Last Guy Wins: If romanced. For a male Shepard, he's the last new romance option to be introduced in the series.
- Not Afraid to Die: He's not actively trying to kill himself, but his husband's death effectively wiped out his self-preservation instinct. Shepard can knock him out of this, but if s/he doesn't...
- Romancing the Widower: His husband Robert died during the Collectors' abduction of Ferris Fields.
- Palette Swap: Blink and you miss it, but at the conclusion of his romance, Steve and male Shepard have the same body model; the freckles on the back are in the exact same places.
- Second Love: With male Shepard, if romanced.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to James' manly man. While he firmly fits as a Straight Gay, he's not afraid to talk about his feelings, his problems letting go of his dead husband, and even cry in front of others. This is all presented in a very serious light, without a hint of camp.
- Straight Gay: Displays no stereotypical mannerisms.
- Survivors Guilt: Feels incredibly guilty over escaping Ferris Fields while his husband was there.
- Sweet Tooth: A self-confessed dessert guy.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the Leviathan DLC, he became one of the few Normandy crew who is not a party member to actively participate in a fight against the Reapers, handing you parts to power up an deep-sea exploration mech in the middle of a firefight and even holding his own against the Reaper ground forces with an assault rifle. In the Citadel DLC, he joins in the big Archive fight and keeps up with your veteran squaddies without any hassle.
- Twofer Token Minority: Gay and Latin American.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and James knew each other before they both ended up on the Normandy, and spend most of their time heckling each other.
- Workaholic: Half of his subplot is just persuading him to take some shore leave when he has the chance. It's his way of distracting himself from his grief.
Comm Specialist Samantha Traynor
It's almost as if you wanted to spare your pawns the indignity of living under my regime.
Voiced by: Alix Wilton Regan
An Alliance Research and Development specialist who aided the retrofitting of the Normandy
SR-2. Her technical skills led to EDI requesting her to remain aboard as a Communications Specialist and taking on the additional role of Strategic Intelligence Officer after the Reaper invasion began. She takes over Kelly's role, informing Shepard of new mail and events that the Commander should know about — but makes a note that she won't feed the Commander's fish.
- Adorkable: Especially in the Citadel DLC. She's allergic to public speaking (and a few other things, at least one of which is psychological), gets distracted by space-chess tournaments, and spends a chunk of the party being embarrassed about the things she wanted to do to EDI's voice. Then inadvertently admits to one that she hadn't said out loud before.
- All Lesbians Want Kids: The conclusion of her romance.
- And That Would Be Wrong: When Shepard asks what's in the turian messages involving the bomb on Tuchanka...
Traynor: Sorry, it's encrypted. Cracking it would take at least a week. And it would be wrong.
- Berserk Button: Kaidan trying to bring her into an argument over curry sends Traynor into a rant over Indian stereotypes, her loathing of curry, and allergies to it.
- Chekhov's Gag: In the Citadel DLC, her toothbrush saves the Normandy. Seriously.
- Covert Pervert: Shy and socially awkward, but that doesn't stop her from attempting to seduce a female Shepard. It's also revealed in the Citadel DLC that she has lesbian fantasies of EDI and is into extranet porn (organic on synthetic, no less. See Robosexual below). She even mentions that she can show Joker, who's anything but covert, how to hide his porn search history (all seven zettabytes of it).
- Crush Blush: If a romancing Shepard compliments her, at some point she can say "And now I'm blushing", and be told "You do that fairly regularly."
- Distracted by the Sexy: Is mortified to find out EDI is actually an AI, quickly apologizing for all the times she commented on her sexy voice.
- Eyed Screen: When she meets Polgara T'Suzsa again.
- Falling into the Cockpit: She happened to be working aboard the Normandy as a Communications Specialist when the Reaper attack hit. Having only ever served in an R&D lab before, takes to the role of shipboard Communications and Strategic Intelligence officer like a duck to water.
- Gay Option: For female Shepard.
- Hero-Worshipper: She's quite nervous around Shepard at the beginning and very eager to prove herself to him/her.
- Hot Scientist: She admits that until she was assigned to refit Normandy, she never thought she'd be let out of the R&D labs.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Unlike Kelly Chambers from ME2, Traynor doesn't exist simply to serve as a Bridge Bunny to inform Shepard when they have mail. From the moment she's aboard the ship, Traynor's immediately sets to work as the Normandy's Communications and Strategic Intelligence officer and manages to save the day on more than one occasion, by discovering key intel that was initially missed.
- Hypochondria: At least one of the medications she's on is actually a placebo. Even if it wasn't, the sheer quantity of the medicines she intakes should be an obvious hint.
- Ill Girl: She's on medication for allergies, asthma and various other mild complaints (that normally would be cured with genetic therapy in the 22nd century).
- Incompatible Orientation: If you try and hit on her as male Shepard. She's still flattered though.
- Referenced in Ken/Gabby banter.
Gabby: And you're barking up the wrong tree, Kenneth. You're not her type.
Kenneth: Ohhh... well, perhaps you should go and talk to her, then.
Gabby: Maybe I should. Nobody's barking up my tree.
- Last Girl Wins: If romanced.
- Ms. Fanservice: Gets a shower scene in the vanilla game, and a scene in the hot tub during Citadel. That, and only female Shepards can romance her.
- Mundane Utility: Her toothbrush. It uses mass effect fields, the miracle technology that makes faster-than-light travel possible, to floss between the teeth. It costs over six thousand credits, so needless to say, Shepard isn't putting in a requisition order to replace the one she lost. For perspective, six thousand credits is about the cost of a military-grade assault rifle.
- Placebo Effect: Her doctor prescribed sugar pills for her. Shepard accidentally reveals the truth, wich pisses Traynor off. Not because they are placebos, but because that now when she knows they won't work anymore!
- Robo Ship: She thinks EDI has a sexy voice, then definitely approves of EDI's new body.
- Robosexual: In the Citadel DLC, a suitably hammered Joker accuses her of having "a thing for robots", then adds that the 30% cybernetic Shepard shouldn't have to worry. Samantha is very intrigued to hear it's a full 30%.
- Sexy Secretary: Unlike Kelly, it's entirely coincidental.
- Serious Business: Kepesh-Yakshi, in the Citadel DLC.
- Shower Of Love: Her romance scene.
- Nipple and Dimed: Apparently Miss Traynor likes to take her showers while wearing her lacy bra and panties. And with the door open (of course, she is trying to seduce a female Shepard).
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: She does it again in a hot-tub in Anderson's apartment, although granted, that bathroom doesn't actually have a door. This ends up leading to a highly awkward conversation with male Shepard.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Polgara T'Suzsa, an extremely condescending asari who plays and teaches asari chess tactics professionally, and keeps knocking Traynor out of tournaments. She's also a very unsportsmanlike winner.
- Smart People Play Chess: Either she is very very good at it, or Shepard plays chess about as well as s/he dances.
- According to the dialog afterwards, Shepard couldn't get out of thinking like a soldier and tried to use real-world tactics, like using an infantry line to break a charge, since it's what would have worked in reality. Traynor openly mocks him/her for this.
- She also is incredible skilled at the asari version of chess.
- Sorry, I'm Gay/"You're Not My Type": How she rejects male Shepard if he hits on her. Somewhat inverted on Sorry, I'm Gay if female Shepard refuses to join her in the shower.
- Straight Gay: Displays no stereotypical mannerisms.
- Teach Her Anger: During the fight with the Reaper Destroyer on Rannoch, she states that for the first time, she felt angry. She didn't want to simply defeat that Reaper, she wanted to kill it. Shepard congratulates her on finding her fight-or-flight response. A romanced Traynor is much more furious after Sanctuary, to the point where Shepard is actually a little concerned. Very much justified though- Sanctuary and the atrocities committed within the facility is located on Horizon, her home planet.
- Twofer Token Minority: Lesbian and Space!Indian (She was born on another planet but identifies as ethnically Indian).
Westmoreland and Campbell
Privates Bethany Westmoreland and Sarah Campbell
A pair of Alliance soldiers who were assigned to keep watch on Joker during the Normandy's retrofits. When the Reapers came to Earth and the Normandy was hastily pressed back into service, they were re-assigned to guarding the entrance to the War Room instead because, in the words of Joker, it just didn't feel right throwing them out the airlock, even with his name cleared. They have frequent back-and-forths on the previous mission and the state of the war.
- Blood Knight: Campbell expresses some pretty bloodthirsty views. Shoot an ex-friend? No problem, the bastard joined Cerberus, so he's dead to her anyway. She'd put a bullet in his head if she saw him. Other species ignored Earth's initial pleas for help? Once the Reapers are gone, let's declare war on them for revenge. Of course, one has to wonder how much, if any, field experience she actually has, and how much of it is just bluster.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very much so; they'll usually toss banter about like Cerberus throw frags about the previous mission.
- Falling into the Cockpit: They were Joker's guards (in the "legal custody" sense, not the "Very Important Person" sense) before the Reaper attack, keeping watch over him while he worked with EDInote during the Normandy's retrofit. When the Reaper attack happened, they accepted Joker and EDI's offer of a ride. Now they guard the War Room, evidently for lack of anything else to do with their skills.
- Greek Chorus: They provide commentary as Shepard goes in and out of the war room.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted. They evidently check everybody before allowing them in or out of the War Room, including Shepard, the ship's commander. Ever time s/he walks through. The Doylist explanation is that they keep the player still as the next area loads, since Shepard is scanned even if they turn back around immediately after entering. The Watson one is due to fears of indoctrination and sabotage.
- Moral Myopia: They discuss this regarding the Council refusing to help Earth. Sarah is outraged but Bethany says that if Thessia were in this position, the Alliance would look to their own interests first.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Campbell and Westmoreland, respectively.
- Revenge Before Reason: Campbell shows shades of this, stating that she wants payback for all the races that "sat back as [humans] bled". Westmoreland shuts her down immediately.
- Those Two Guys: They pass the time by idly bantering about whatever mission Shepard has just returned from.
- With Us or Against Us: Campbell states that she's totally fine with killing one of her ex-friends, simply because he joined Cerberus.
"You can't help me."
A young boy Shepard encounters during the escape from Earth, hiding in an air vent. He refuses to come with Shepard and is killed when the Reapers fire on his shuttle.
- Air Vent Escape: Shepard meets him hiding in an air vent.
- My Greatest Failure: Shepard sees the boy as a symbol of all the people he/she could not save, and has nightmares in which he/she runs after the boy while hearing the voices of the dead.
- Shepard seeing the kid as symbol of the people they couldn't save does actually make a lot of sense. Shepard's room in Alliance headquarters is shown to overlook the Kid's house, where the Kid can be seen happily playing at the start of the game. One can imagine over the 7 months Shepard spent under house-arrest, that kid became a familiar sight whenever Shepard would happen to look out of the window.
- Sacrificial Lamb: His main purpose is to die so that Shepard has something to feel bad about.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Anderson calls out to Shepard. A moment later, when Shepard turns back, the boy is gone.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Shepard's only interaction with him in-game is in the beginning. That is until The Catalyst takes the kid's form somehow.
The New Council
The New Council
If the Destiny Ascension was destroyed in the climax of the first game, the replacement Council refused to meet with you in the second due to your Cerberus ties. This is the first time you meet the other races' new representatives - Quentius (turian), Dalatrass Esheel (salarian) and Irissa (asari).
- Jerkass Has a Point: They bring up the fact that Shepard sacrificed the old council when pondering whether to trust him/her. Their mistrust of Shepard thus has some basis, especially if Shepard sacrificed their predecessors to advance humanity's interests. Dalatrass Esheel does off-handedly point out, however, that she wouldn't have her job if Shepard hadn't sacrificed the previous council, so she can't be too indignant with their actions overall.
- No Name Given: Until 3.
- Two Girls and a Guy: Albeit having one of the "girls" from a One-Gender Race.
Primarch Adrien Victus
I'm not really a "by the book" kind of guy...and I piss people off.
Decisions like these weigh heavy on me. When I was a general I could pass them up the chain of command, but now I'm all I've got.
Voiced by: Daniel Riordan
A turian general leading the defense against the Reapers attacking Palaven. General Adrien Victus is rescued from Palaven's moon, Menae, by Commander Shepard after the initial attack killed Primarch Fedorian. The line of succession in the Hierarchy is very clear: Victus is to be the new Primarch and must lend the might of the turian fleet in Shepard's battle against the Reapers.
- A Father to His Men: Cares deeply about the well-being of his people and refuses to simply leave them to their fates.
- Military Maverick: He has this reputation thanks to his unorthodox tactics.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: By far the most cooperative ally Shepard has in the first act of the game. That said, he has a tendency to be very conservative with information at the worst times, leading to a situation where his son dies defusing a planet-buster on Tuchanka.
- Reluctant Ruler: Not particularly happy about being Primarch. Not in the least bit because he's not very high up on the chain of command, meaning he had to step over the corpses of a lot of people, including ones he liked and respected.
- The Chains of Commanding: He and Shepard have quite a few conversations about this.
- The Kirk: Along with Paragon Shepard to Linron's Spock and Wrex/Wreav's The McCoy.
- The Men First: He's hesitant to leave his men behind when his presence is needed on the Normandy to coordinate an alliance.
- Meaningful Name: Victus in Latin means "living" and "survive".
- Not So Different: He's not a "by-the-book kind of guy" and he has a tendency to piss people off but also cares deeply about the people under his command. Sound familiar, Shepard? Fittingly, both of them play The Kirk between Dalatrass Linron and Wrex or Wreav, particularly if Shepard is a Paragon.
Victus: You never asked to be a leader, yet your people will die if you don't step forward. We find ourselves in similar circumstances.
- Unexpected Successor: He is undeniably skilled and loved by his men, but his unorthodox methods lead to him being held back promotion-wise by the very conservative Turian hierarchy. He finds himself as the leader of the entire Turian people due to the deaths of everyone who outranked him in the opening days of the war.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Garrus. The two trade friendly snark back and forth on the battlefield.
- You Are in Command Now: His predecessor and all between the two in the line of succession were killed not long after Palaven was besieged. He's actually very bitter about the promotion, stating that he hates politicians.
A leader of the salarian people. Shepard has to negotiate an alliance between her, Primarch Victus and Wrex/Wreav during the first act of the game, a task made no easier by her feelings regarding the krogan.
- Fantastic Racism: She refuses to believe that the krogan can be anything but brutish thugs. If Wreav is leading them, there's at least some reason for her to be worried, but keeping Wrex alive makes her attitude come off even worse. Eve makes Linron sound even more foolish.
- Hate Sink: Except in one very specific circumstance (see below), she just exists solely to be wrong and act as another example of a space racist oppressing the krogan.
- Hypocrite: She preaches that Shepard is repeating the salarians' mistake of using the krogan to fight a war, ignoring the inevitable fallout that will follow an unchecked krogan population boom. We then learn that the salarians are planning on secretly uplifting the yahg, who are stronger, more brutal and more vicious than the krogan.
- There's also her quote from above - her veiled threats and disdainful approach towards the krogan paint her as a bigger bully than them, especially given how she's willing to let the krogan die, which would, by extension, result in the deaths of millions of turians on Palaven and leaving the turians unable to fight for Earth, all because of her Fantastic Racism.
- I Gave My Word: If you do go through with her plan to sabotage the genophage, Linron fully lives up to her promise. She will also provide falsified data that says the genophage cure was flawed from the get-go in case the krogan start to ask questions.
- Jerkass: Hides the fact that she's holding the cured female krogan, constantly impedes the alliance peace talks, and to top it all off, asks you to sabotage the genophage cure. Never shows a second of remorse for anything that she's done. One has to wonder why there wasn't a "Screw you, dalatrass" dialogue option when she calls you.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Only if Wreav is the Urdnot leader, but it still counts. The source of Linron's jerkass behavior is that she's worried that after the krogan help fight the Reapers, they'll turn on the rest of the galaxy next just like they did after they helped beat the rachni. If Wrex is the leader, this worry turns out to be unfounded since Wrex is too smart to allow that to happen again, and Linron comes off as prejudiced and closed-minded. But if Wreav is the leader, Wreav has been threatening to get "payback" for the krogan the entire game. Guess what happens in one of the slides in the Extended Cut DLC if the genophage is cured with Wreav as the leader? Wreav gathers a humongous krogan army just like he threatened he would. In that scenario, and only then, does Linron suddenly come off as prescient.
- Her arguments makes sense even if Wrex is in charge. He is just one (admittedly badass, smart and level-headed) man, and the Krogan population would skyrocket into the extreme and risk to become uncontrollable due to shear overpopulation. The only problem is that she classifies Wrex the same way as she does other krogan.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: She puts Udina and the Citadel council to shame in this category.
- Smug Snake: And how. She clearly thinks she's a magnificent bitch, but by the end of Act I, if the genophage is cured and Wrex and Eve are alive, everyone is tired of her crap and the entire STG goes AWOL to fight Reaper forces despite the genophage being cured. In addition, if you manage to save the salarian Councillor's life literally the mission right after Tuchanka, the Councillor pledges a salarian fleet to the war effort anyway.
- The Spock: Compared to Wrex/Wreav's The McCoy, and Victus and Paragon Shepard's Kirk. Not that they necessarily take her opinion seriously.
In the interests of science, how do krogan mate?
The scientist in charge of the secret base on Sur'Kesh where you meet Eve. If Mordin died in the suicide mission, Wiks then joins you on the Normandy
and takes over his role in the story, synthesizing a genophage cure from Eve's tissue.
The Admiral's being modest. He's the reason any of us are still alive.
Voiced by: Nicholas Boulton
The soldier in London from the very first trailer appears at the end of the game, complaining about spending three days trapped in Big Ben. He helps Anderson co-ordinate the final push.
- Actor Allusion: This is not the first time Nicholas Boulton has played a badass marksman.
- Badass: He spent three days holed up in the Westminster clock tower while Reapers were landing around him, sniping at any husk that moved. He survived that, and in most endings manages to survive the entire Reaper invasion of Earth.
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly in the trailer, where inbetween scopin'-and-dropin' husks from Big Ben, he's half-complaining that Shepard hasn't shown up with The Cavalry yet.
- Fan Nickname: Since he was unnamed in the trailer fans took to calling him Big Ben pre-release.
- Friendly Sniper: Very friendly with Shepard in what little interactions they have. He spent three days in Big Ben sniping husks left and right.
- Majorly Awesome: A major in the Alliance.
- The Mean Brit: Subverted. He's a little on the snarky side but he's clearly a good bloke.
- Sniper Rifle: His preferred weapon.
- Undying Loyalty: Appears to have this to Anderson, claiming he's the only reason anyone on Earth is still alive.
Lieutenant Tarquin Victus
Victory, at any cost...
The son of Primarch Adrien Victus, Lieutenant Tarquin Victus is leading a squad of turian troops on a mission to defuse a bomb near a major krogan population center. With an alliance between the krogan, turians, and humans in its infancy, it is imperative that Victus complete his mission.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He earns the respect of his troops the hard way: Posthumously.
- Dare to Be Badass: How Shepard can inspire him to gain the loyalty of his troops, reminding him that they are turian, they swore an oath of service and should be willing to give their lives to secure the mission's success. They do not just get to quit. And it works.
- Deader than Dead: No way he survived the explosion, even if he managed to dodge getting crushed by that machine.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Dies disabling the bomb on Tuchanka, redeeming himself in the eyes of his people.]]
- Heroic Sacrifice: Falls to his death to make sure the bomb gets disabled.
- It's All My Fault: He decided to play it safe and take a less dangerous route to safeguard his men, only for it to go horribly wrong when they flew into an ambush, leading to the death of most of his squad. While he had no way of knowing this and arguably was the right call to make at the time, turian military doctrine is very strict on failure from those in command, leading to his remaining men on the verge of mutiny.
- Redemption Equals Death: At least in turian eyes, he needed redemption. And by the spirits, he got it.
And for the record, not everyone doubted your word about the Reapers. I just hope we're not too late.
A salarian Spectre trying to capture Kasumi Goto, until she sends him a tip that hanar diplomats are working for the Reapers. Can be killed by the diplomat's guard or saved by Commander Shepard. If saved, Bau becomes the spokesperson for a Spectre Unit willing to aid Shepard.
- Ambadassador: Approaches it from the opposite direction of most examples; Bau is the official unofficial representative of the Spectres to the Council and the galaxy as a whole, so he becomes involved in politics and managing PR far more often than many of the others.
- Blood from the Mouth: Happens to him if you don't have Kasumi and didn't use the Renegade interrupt.
- Deadpan Snarker: Although it's only apparent if Kasumi is not present.
- Failed a Spot Check: Doesn't notice a cloaked Kasumi hanging around near him waiting for Shepard to show up. Also completely misses the fact that Zymandis/Regards The Works Of The Enkindlers With Despair had a guard.
- This also appears when he doesn't even check to see if Kasumi is really dead. The blast throws her back, she becomes invisible and that's it. He doesn't even bother to wait for her invisibility cloak to power down to confirm her death or touch the floor where she fell to locate her body. Possibly justified in that he might figure that if she's dead, then she died a hero; if she survived, then she's still a hero this time around, and he can simply let her go this once without needing to actually say to Kasumi herself that he's doing it.
- Friend on the Force: Jondum Bau lets Shepard know that unlike the Council, some of the Spectres did listen to their warnings about the Reapers and are ready to offer their help, as well as informing Shepard of some contacts in the STG who might be useful.
- Hero of Another Story: As a Spectre, he has plenty going on offscreen and an enduring rivalry with Kasumi.
- Inspector Javert: Tasked with hunting down Kasumi. He's been after her for years.
- Subverted in that he really admires her. Plus, the feeling's mutual.
- Killed Off for Real: If you don't have Kasumi, you have to choose between saving him or stopping the virus from disabling the hanar homeworld's defenses.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Of great magnitude. If you don't have Kasumi and don't save him, he basically sacrifices his life to prevent the extinction of drell and hanar. If you do save him, the Citadel news report says that the Reapers totally annihilated Kahje's population.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike the Council, he and his fellow Spectres have always taken Shepard's warnings of the Reaper threat seriously.
- He also doesn't seem that bothered when Shepard admits that Kasumi's an old friend, which would mean that Shepard was technically aiding-and-abetting a known thief. Of course, Jondum believes Kasumi's dead at this point, so it's likely a moot issue for him anyway, and Spectres have carte blanche to do whatever the hell they need to do in order to accomplish a goal, short of things like destroying colonies or star systems. Kasumi is simply a thief. A very, very good thief, but she's hardly a threat to galactic stability. It wouldn't be unheard of for Spectres to work with criminals when necessary, so Shepard's friendship with Kasumi most likely wouldn't raise many eyebrows.
- It's worth noting, he's one of the few Spectres that Shepard meets that neither tries to betray or kill them.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: To Kasumi.
- Worthy Opponent: He and Kasumi have this going. She's so good it's "almost salarian", apparently.
- The feeling is mutual: Jondum Bau is so awesome, apparently, that Kasumi is convinced that the galaxy needs more men like him. He's such a worthy opponent that she doesn't even mind him trying to arrest her. "Well, nobody's perfect."
We met — God, what's it been? — 20 years ago. I was there when Saren betrayed him.
A first lieutenant working for the Alliance. She works at the Jon Grissom Academy as part of the Ascension Project, a school for young human biotics, although she isn't a biotic herself. She is an old acquaintance of David Anderson. She appeared in the Mass Effect
before appearing in Mass Effect 3
, where she helps to evacuate the students from the academy when Cerberus attacks.
- Action Survivor: Of the Mass Effect novels.
- Canon Immigrant: Was a major character in the novels, before having a minor appearance in the third game.
- Older than They Look: Kahlee is supposed to be middle aged in Mass Effect 3, but she looks, at worst, in her early 30s, if not her late 20s. Though in the game's setting, humans last longer and age slower due to medical advances, making it justifiable.
- The One That Got Away: Both Anderson and Sanders express a mutual desire to rekindle their former romance after the war is over.
- Friends with Benefits: In the Citadel DLC, it's revealed that while they've never gotten serious, the two have maintained a casual relationship over the years. She was apparently present when Anderson was answering questions for his biography and she left her overnight bag in his bathroom.
Captain Lee Riley
The Reapers seem intent on taking it down. Not on my watch. We will hold the line.
A N7 graduate and captain in the Systems Alliance Navy, Admiral Hackett regards her as one of the best engineers in the fleet. She commands a mixed species squad of soldiers sent to aid Shepard in securing a fuel facility on Cyone.
- Action Girl: Being accepted into the N7 program automatically makes her one.
- A Father to His Men: She cares about the soldiers under her command and has the unquestioned loyalty of her team, which is made all the more impressive considering it's a multi-species squad. She also sacrifices herself to save them if Shepard does not send someone to provide support.
- Badass: Even if it wasn't displayed in the mission itself, the fact that she graduated from N7 automatically qualifies her, no questions asked.
- The Captain: Leads her own engineering team.
- Determinator: She is fully prepared to hold the fuel facility against all hostiles, and while she is realistic about their odds, she is not daunted by them. Considering the amount of hell the Reapers have thrown at her team so far, she's more or less kept her squad together and the plant intact by sheer willpower, because she will be damned if it falls on her watch. This also applies to her squad by proxy.
- The Engineer: A damned good one, too.
- The Faceless: Due to the circumstances of her appearance, the player never sees her without her helmet.
- Hero of Another Story: She's basically a cameo of one the multiplayer characters.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gives her life to save her squad if Shepard does not send a squad member to help them.
- Hold the Line: Word-for-word, even. She will die doing it without Shepard's help.
- The Men First: She is more concerned about her squad's safety than her own.
Dr. Garret Bryson
A Systems Alliance researcher and the head of Task Force Aurora, a group commissioned by Hackett to investigate the Reapers, and father of Ann Bryson. Has spent years studying the truth behind the Reaper-killer known as "Leviathan," only to be killed for it.
- Agent Mulder: His actual job with the Alliance is to discover the truth behind myths and legends.
- Cool Old Guy: Has this vibe.
- He Knows Too Much: Why the Leviathan had him killed.
- Ignored Expert: He'd long-since uncovered numerous evidence that pointed to a race of Precursor Killers, but it was only after Shepard encountered the Prothean Beacon and the attack by Sovereign, that the Alliance brass began to take it seriously.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He's on-screen for at most two minutes before he's killed off.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Ann describes him as being distant and extremely passionate about his work (According to her, he almost missed her high school graduation because he was out on a dig, and showed up at the ceremony still wearing his field gear). However, despite his workaholic tendencies, it's clear that he deeply cared about his daughter.
Dr. Ann Bryson
Voiced by: Fay Masterson
A Systems Alliance researcher and member of Task Force Aurora, a group commissioned by Hackett to investigate the Reapers, and daughter of Garret Bryson.
An Alliance Marine found on the Citadel who is on shore leave with her squad. Despite being a background character at most, she has a number of amusing lines and the fanbase is quite fond of her.
Heh, then maybe we can show the men how it's done.
Wisdom comes from pain, and the genophage has made us very wise.
The sole survivor of Maelon's experiment to cure the genophage, she represents the future of the krogan people. Shepard must protect her from a Cerberus onslaught and safely escort her to Tuchanka.
- Babies Ever After: If Wrex is the leader, and the genophage is cured, then Wrex will let you know Eve is pregnant in an email.
- Damsel out of Distress : She spends most of a mission locked in a pod, being escorted and protected by Shepard and co. But once she gets free, the first thing she does is yank a shotgun out of an ally's hands and blast two Cerberus troopers to kingdom come. She even wields it one-handed.
"Eve": I can handle myself, Wrex./I'm not your thing, Wreav.
- Determinator: The trial for female krogan to become a Shaman involves being sealed in a cave with enough food to last them a week, leaving them to either dig themself out or starve to death. Eve did so using a simple crystal as a chisel to dig her way out, which she gives to Shepard if they befriend her.
"Eve": Take it as a reminder, Commander, in the darkest hour, there is always a way out.
- Does Not Like Men: At least, krogan men but she still says Wrex is the best thing to ever happen to the krogan. Even so, she expresses more frustration with men than true dislike, because she truly believes that the krogan are better than this, and that it's time that they started acting like it.
- The Faceless: About the only part of her you really see are her eyes. The rest is covered up by the robe she wears.
- Firing One-Handed: Apparently how she handles shotguns. Helps that she's a Krogan.
- Hidden Depths: If you're expecting a flat Damsel in Distress, talk to her for five seconds. She's contemplative, philosophical and damn near poetic, with no illusions about why krogan hold the status (or lack thereof) they do in the galaxy.
- Hooked Up Afterwards: Implied to have done so with Wrex, who mentions she's pregnant by the time you take back Earth. Wrex jokes that it's one of the perks of his being clan chief, even if she does want to name the firstborn child after Mordin.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Depending on the choice you make.
- Killed Off for Real: If Maelon's data was not saved in Mass Effect 2, she will die, and if you don't stop the turian bomb, she'll die in the resulting explosion.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Her above interaction with Wrex has this vibe.
- Lysistrata Gambit: Eve turned the genophage into one of these, seeing this as a unique opportunity for females to influence society.
- Macguffin Girl: She is the only test subject of Maelon's to survive, the only krogan to ever be cured of the genophage and live. This makes her insanely valuable, as a cure can be synthesized based on her new-found immunity — which makes her a target for Cerberus, who don't want the krogan to join the battle against the Reapers.
- Meaningful Name: Invoked; because she did not share her true name, Mordin chose to call her "Eve", as he believes that human mythology would be appropriate, considering that she's currently on a human vessel.
- Men Use Violence, Women Use Communication: Played completely straight and lampshaded by Wrex.
- Lampshades this with Female Shepard, noting she's glad to see that humans treat their women with the respect and honor they deserve.
- Morality Chain: If Wrex is krogan leader, he only needs a bit of prodding from her. If Wreav is leader, most of the cast agree she's the only thing keeping him from repeating history. If she dies, leaving Wreav unchecked, you can convince Mordin/Padok to sabotage the genophage cure for the sake of galactic stability.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: She believes that while the genophage was an atrocity, the fact that in its wake, the krogan turned from a once-proud race to a raving band of mercenaries who resort to petty thuggery and barbarism to solve problems and claim 'honor', means she can see why it was done.
- Odd Friendship: With Mordin, and Shepard if you're kind to her. She even says she wants to name her first born child after Mordin, in memory of his sacrifice.
- If Mordin died in the Omega-4 Relay and was replaced by Padok Wiks, she develops an odd friendship with him, too. She even tells Padok how krogan get their names, although she might be joking, we can't be sure: apparently the adult krogan drink a special kind of juice and start belching, and the first belch that actually sounds like a name is then attached to the baby krogan. When Padok asks for clarification, she confirms that yes, indeed, Wrex/Wreav was also a belch and it's not a good idea to tell them that.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: She's the female clan's shaman; like the Urdnot shaman who oversaw Grunt's rite, she explains that she gave up her name the day she took the title. The Normandy team takes to calling her Eve.
- However, complete the Tuchanka arc perfectly (by doing all missions, keeping her alive, and releasing the cure) and Eve will deem Shepard a friend worthy of knowing her true name: Urdnot Bakara.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: By far the most reasonable krogan in the series. Even moreso than Wrex.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Although Wrex is very Blue compared to the typical krogan, he is still Red to Eve. Mordin considers her to be a good moderating influence on Wrex.
- Rousing Speech: Very capable of making these. It's actually quite fascinating and inspiring listening to her dialogue.
- Sexy Walk: Despite being a big bulky krogan, Eve still has quite a bit of wiggle in her walk.
- Sole Survivor: Out of all the test subjects, she is the only one who survived the process.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: She will deliver a speech of this theme to her people on Tuchanka, before the krogan armies hit the Shroud.
- Tsundere: Toward Wrex. The "tsun" part is that Eve thinks Wrex is too arrogant and big-headed for his own good, and Wrex is a "mutant" to boot. The "dere" part is that Eve also thinks Wrex being a "mutant" is a good thing: she thinks Wrex is "the best thing to ever happen to the krogan." But don't tell Wrex she said that (you can tell Wrex that she called him a "mutant", though).
To be hated by ones so powerful speaks well of you. My krogan would destroy anything we face to earn such a reputation.
If Grunt wasn't accepted into Clan Urdnot, wasn't released from his tank, or died in the Suicide Mission
, his role as leader of Aralakh company is filled by this guy.
- Blood Knight: Enough that he assumes Shepard's one as well. In fact, he's jealous that Shepard has Reapers personally looking out for his/her death.
- Foreshadowing: When you can personally overlook a fight between the krogan and rachni, you'll notice that Dagg has a harder time fighting them than Grunt would. This is the clue that he won't survive the mission.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Held off the rachni to keep them off Shepard.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Repeatedly, in the back, by rachni.
- In the Back: How he dies.
- Killed Off for Real: His death is unavoidable.
- Nice Guy: For a Blood Knight. Compare with Wreav who treats Shepard with a grudging respect at best, whereas Dagg is clearly eager for a chance to fight alongside Shepard.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: More or less, for Grunt.
A member of Clan Jorgal who works for the Blood Pack. He appears in Mass Effect 3
, but only if Wrex dies on Virmire.
- Fantastic Racism: He's still bitter about the genophage, so he immediately objects to Padok or Mordin (whichever goes with you) accompanying Shepard once he sees them. He even (subtly) called his boss a dumbass for trusting salarians, even though Padok and Mordin are working to cure the genophage.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He was this close to shooting his own boss before Eve forced him not to.
- Killed Off for Real: He's sucked beneath the earth in his Tomkah by Kalros, the same way Wreav would've if Wrex was in charge.
- Jerkass: Dude's pretty damn unpleasant.
- Jerkass Has a Point: If Wrex and Eve are both dead, you can convince the salarian to dump the genophage cure. That pretty much validates his concerns.
- Smug Super: He thinks his clan has more "wisdom" and "experience" than Clan Urdnot, even though Urdnot is the one in charge.
Kalros, Mother of All Thresher Maws
"If Tuchanka has a temper, Kalros is it. Nobody's ever faced her and survived."
A colossal Thresher Maw that has roamed the wastelands of Tuchanka for more than a thousand years. When the salarians set up the atmosphere-replenishing Shroud tower during the Uplifting, they built it near an arena dedicated to Kalros to discourage any vandals or saboteurs. It worked — even after the Shroud was used to spread the genophage, no-one dared go near it... until Shepard and co. needed it to spread the cure.
A virtual intelligence created by the geth to study the Reapers. It is constructed from a backup copy of Legion, and appears if that character was sold to Cerberus, slain at the Collector Base, or never activated. It is less friendly than Legion at first.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: If you side with the geth against the quarians, the Geth V.I. will finally admit that the geth's suspicions of organics, and by extension Shepard, were ill-founded.
- Fan Nickname: Players who had Legion die in the suicide mission won't actually know that the backup is called the "Geth VI" in playthroughs where Legion was never activated or was sold to Cerberus. If Shepard activated Legion, then the backup will be referred to as Legion in subtitles as well. So some players nicknamed it by its Catch Phrase, "We are not Legion", to differentiate it from the original Legion.
- Heroic Sacrifice: To finish the upload of the Reaper code to the rest of the geth.
- Jerkass: The thing is a lot ruder and colder than Legion.
- Jerkass Has a Point: But if Legion is dead and this thing has replaced it, you can't achieve peace between the geth and quarians, so you're forced to wipe out one or the other. If you choose to wipe out the geth to save the quarians, then the VI will angrily remark (while trying to throttle you) that the geth were right to distrust organics.
- Killed Off for Real: Its death can't be avoided.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Legion's. Depending on your playthrough, it's implied it's the same platform (returned to the Perseus Veil) but different software (or possibly the backup of what was sent) uploaded into it.
Aria's batarian bodyguard and lieutenant. Seems to be her second in command throughout the Omega
Aria's salarian hacker who helps direct her forces during the Omega
- The Cracker: What Aria pays him to do.
- The Evil Genius: Of Aria's command staff, hacking into Omega's systems to aid her and running the logistics parts of the operation.
- Mission Control: Alerts Aria's forces to battle updates and helps guide Shepard and Aria through their missions.
Aria's asari fleet commander who commands Omega's raiding fleet during and after the attack on the station.
- Big Damn Heroes: When heading to rendezvous with an Alliance force after taking back Omega, Jarral was warned to stay away when the human forces came under heavy attack by the Reapers. Instead, she led the fleet in rescuing them and has since earned a reputation for diving straight into battle.
- Blood Knight: Her description in the war fleet's asset entry describes her as "cheerfully ruthless" and she has no problem charging her fleet straight into heavy combat.
- The Brute: Serves as commander of Aria's fleet and her main tactics seem to be attack head on until the enemy dies, which proves surprisingly effective.
- The Captain: Commands Fusion, the flagship of Aria's fleet.
I love holding all the cards. Even in here, you must deal with me - I have all the power!
Voiced by: Susan Eisenberg
The founder and leader of Eclipse. Likely the most Ax-Crazy
of them all. Met via video-conference while she's in a holding cell on the Citadel in Mass Effect 3
A salarian Eclipse officer, and Jona's current second-in-command. Met during Mass Effect 3
on the Citadel orchestrating a means to extradite his boss Jona from C-Sec detention.
- The Dragon: To Jona. Though he can take over at Shepard's persuasion.
- Enemy Mine: As with all of the other mercenary bosses, he and Jona form one with Shepard.
- Extreme Doormat: If anything that both Aria and Jona say are any indication, then Sayn is indeed a "weak-willed toady".
- Glad You Thought of It: A Renegade Shepard who doesn't want a loose cannon like Sederis can get him to "suggest" killing her and taking over.
- Punny Name: Describe her boss if you don't get it.
- The Starscream: Shepard can talk him into taking over Eclipse from Jona.
Homeworld: Unknown, currently 2181 Despoina
The Death by Origin Story
of the Reapers, this race, of which there is only an intentionally-shrinking Vestigial Empire
. However, they are powerful enough to kill Reapers
, and so are the subject of the eponymous Downloadable Content
- Death by Origin Story: Of a sort. They serve as the Origin Story to the Reapers, and most of them were killed as a result, likely many in the creation of Harbinger.
- Eldritch Abomination: Given their power level and organic basis, they fit this even more than the Reapers. They even live at the bottom of an ocean, much like Cthulhu.
- Enemy Mine: Shepard leads them into one with the entire galaxy. They don't help him/her because they want to achieve redemption. Instead, they help him/her because they want to show that, since they were there first, they deserve to have "their" galaxy back by destroying their creation's lackeys.
- Mind Control: Enthrallment, which they can use through their artifact spheres in ways not dissimilar to Indoctrination.
- Monster Progenitor: Of a sort to the Reapers and Husks. They created the Catalyst to stop the destruction of organics by synthetics, which led to the creation of the Reapers and Husks by extension.
- Racial Remnant: Their race once ruled the galaxy, but have been reduced to hiding on the deep ocean worlds.
- Time Abyss: Though we do not know of their lifespan or reproduction, it is likely that they are older than the Reapers, putting the age of their species, if not the ones you meet, at over billions.
- Token Evil Teammate: Among the species fighting for the galaxy's survival, they are decidedly the least moral, even among the vorcha and the batarians. Their method for dealing with Indoctrinated beings is Enthrallment, which, in some cases, led to the death of the subjects, and, in other cases, led to the Deprogramming of the Husk variants, such as Collectors.
- What the Hell Are You?: Their reaction to Shepard, being confused at how one Puny Earthling can be the only thing the Reapers have ever shown fear towards?
The missing component for the Crucible
turns out to be the Citadel itself; the sapient AI that created and controls the Reapers. It was created countless aeons ago to avert the inevitable Robot Wars
that spring up between the created and their creators. Its solution was the forcible transformation of all spacefaring species in Reaper form. It left less advanced ones alone to flourish, essentially hitting the Reset Button
over and over for millions
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Takes the form of the Kid that Shepard couldn't save at the beginning of the game, who they've had recurring nightmares about. Exactly how it knew about these things is left unexplained?
- The most likely explanation is that that in addition to manipulating minds, Reaper tech is capable of reading them, which had been shown in the second game, when two of the science team on the Dead Reaper come to realise they've been sharing each others' memories.
- Affably Evil: During your only conversation, the Catalyst is polite and has no problem answering any of your questions. It explains in detail, good and bad, the effects of the three choices, hastening only when it's clear your time is running short.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Extended Cut reveals that it was created by a society that strongly believed that organic and synthetic life would inevitably go to war with one another. It was created to prevent this from happening. Its solution was to turn its creators, and every sufficiently advanced society that followed them, into Reapers. Its creators were not happy with its solution — they wanted to ensure they stayed on top, but failed to specify that to their creation. It even says that its creators "were too blind to see that they were part of the problem."
- The Bad Guy Wins: In a Bittersweet Ending sort of fashion. Should you go for the Synthesis ending, it will fuse organic and synthetic life, resulting in a final victory from its perspective since organics and synthetics are now one and the same, the Reapers' purpose is meaningless, so they help rebuild using the knowledge of all past cycles. Note that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Catalyst was first designed to facilitate communication between the two lifeforms and preserve them. Until Shepard came around and "altered the variables", the Catalyst just didn't think it was possible as they were; it had been tried before and always failed. In Synthesis, the Catalyst fulfills its purpose at last and its tools are no longer required to be bloodied in conflict. The trope is, however, played much straighter in the "Refusal" ending.
- Bigger Bad: It's not fought, and when Shepard finally encounters it, it surrenders peacefully because Shepard's interaction with it signifies that the Reapers have failed in their purpose, which it acknowledges to be grotesque; it thus leaves the new solution in Shepard's hands.
- But Thou Must: A sizable portion of the fandom sees the choices it gives you as this. However, the writers appear to imply in supplementary materials that even if you pick Refuse, the next cycle simply rebuilds the Crucible and its incarnation of Shepard chooses Synthesis, rendering your choice to allow your Cycle's destruction meaningless.
- Creepy Child: Its avatar is a dark energy simulacra of that boy who was killed in the escape from Earth. Or, it projected that avatar in a more comfortable form in a failed attempt to avert this.
- Diabolus ex Machina: The Catalyst is introduced in the last minutes of the game, and Shepard only gets to use the Crucible at its mercy, thus ensuring that the Reapers only lose on their own terms.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Inverted. Its voice sounds like a young boy's, and it's definitely the least malevolent of the Reapers.
- Power Echoes: However, its voice does resonate due to how the game channels it: a child's voice overlayed with male Shepard's voice in one speaker and female Shepard's voice in the other.
- Zigzagged in the Extended Cut if you pick "Refuse". It switches to a much more Reaper-esque voice, goes SO BE IT, disappears and switches back to the kid's voice as it narrates.
- Exact Words: The Catalyst's creators programmed it with the belief that organic and synthetic life would always go to war with each other, and then gave it the directive to come up with a solution to this problem: "preserve life at any cost". It does exactly that by periodically uploading all advanced civilization, organic or synthetic, willingly or unwillingly, to ensure they aren't destroyed by conflict. Not quite what the Catalyst's creators had in mind, but it's perfectly within the parameters they gave it.
- The Fatalist: It is of the opinion that organics and synthetics are destined to kill each other forever, even if you have the geth and the quarians make peace. That they had war in the first place (and the difficulty involved in fostering peace) may bear out its theory.
- The Extended Cut ending heavily implies that there has been plenty of temporarily peaceful relations between organics and synthetics in the past, but they have always degenerated into war over time.
- See Freudian Excuse.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Manifests physically as the specter of a young boy Shepard sees killed on Earth. Or, perhaps, presented itself to Shepard as that child to promote comfort should Shepard succeed in reaching it.
- Freudian Excuse: Implied. The Catalyst's reasoning sounds like it's learned from bitter experience. Seeing the same cycle of violence repeat for untold millennia would make you pretty confident about these sorts of things.
- Graceful Loser: See Bigger Bad. No ego-maniacal speeches, no This Cannot Be! — it simply admits its system will no longer work and gives Shepard final say on what to do with the Crucible's power. However, this depends slightly on how well you do. For example, at one point it may say "You have hope/choice. More than you know." But if your EMS is low, it instead says "More than you deserve."
- Glamour Failure: In the Extended Cut, picking Refuse causes it to snap " SO BE IT" at you in a Reaper's voice.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Extended Cut reveals that it was created by an ancient race in order to facilitate interaction and prevent conflicts between organic and synthetic life. Despite this, the conflicts continued to arise, so it decided a new solution was needed, leading it to the idea of uploading a civilisation into a bio-synthetic construct, thus creating the first Reaper. The Catalyst then goes on to explain that its own Creators were the first race uploaded whether they wanted to be or not. The Leviathans themselves acknowledge that it's acting exactly within the parameters they set, and isn't broken in any way; when the Catalyst hears of their involvement, it says it welcomes their return to the galactic community. Its goal is, after all, to foster peace.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Judging from how horrifying its solution is, it's hard to imagine something more monstrous once existed. Nevertheless, in its efforts to prevent wars between organics and their synthetic creations from destroying the galaxy, it, a synthetic created by organics, creates synthetic constructs that kill or harvest all remotely advanced organic and synthetic life.
- This becomes even more apparent in the "Leviathan" DLC. It harvested the Leviathans when it decided that it needed to remove them from power to achieve its goal of peace between organics and synthetics, but then it took to using their methods (indoctrination) to achieve its goal — removing them from power and replacing them with itself. In fact, the exoskeletons of the Reapers themselves look very similar to mechanical Leviathans.
- Even though its entire goal is to stop synthetics fighting organics, the Catalyst's first Reapers were in rebellion against the Leviathans, an example of the very behavior it wants to stop from happening ever again. The reason for this being that everything else it tried failed, so instead of stopping them from fighting, it made sure the essence/knowledge of their cultures survived in a different form, by a very broad definition of the term "survive."
- Its fatalistic outlook is also suspect when you realize it's possible that the cycles never change much because the Catalyst failed to account for its own interference inhibiting change; Sovereign flat-out says Mass Relay technology was invented to expedite harvests while making sure the galaxy wouldn't evolve unexpectedly in the interim. In its haste to optimize its flawed solution, the Catalyst may have sabotaged future cycles' chances of evolving in a way that would render Reapers unnecessary.
- Irony: Its solution to the problem of organics and synthetics going to war with each other is to create an army of synthetics to periodically engage in wars of extermination against technologically advanced organics (and if necessary, their synthetic allies).
- Just a Machine: It doesn't see the Reapers engaging in a war, likening what it does to a fire burning down a forest; indiscriminate destruction clearing old growth to allow new life. It's possible that it's not actually a full AI, simply a really complex VI.
- Literal Genie: It gives its creators a little too much credit when it presents itself as an AI designed to be an ambassador between organics and synthetics. The Leviathans just meant for it to be a mindless tool with the directive to "preserve organic life at any cost"; the Leviathans didn't really understand or care about the organic/synthetic conflicts of their cycle, they just wanted to ensure steady tribute from their slave races. As the surviving Leviathans point out, it still serves its directive in this way; harvested species are very technically "preserved", even if the methodology contradicts the spirit of its directive - as an AI, it could hardly be expected to obey a directive it wasn't given.
- Order Versus Chaos: It describes its system of "order" as being one that basically resets the galaxy every fifty thousand years so that organics and synthetics won't wipe themselves out.
- Orcus on His Throne: Of the extremely hands-off variety. Aside from actually creating the Reapers and establishing the cycle, the Catalyst takes no active part in the conflict. Even when Shepard reaches the heart of the Citadel, the only thing the Catalyst does is effectively stand aside and offer Shepard possible solutions to the Reaper threat. It's not even certain that the Reapers actually know it exists. From their lines, it seems unlikely.
- Sadistic Choice: It makes it clear that of the three options it presents, none of them are clear-cut happy endings:
- Shepard can carry out the mission and shoot a power conduit, destroying the Reapers at the cost of destroying synthetics, including the geth and EDI, and demolishing the Citadel. Unlike the other endings, if you chose to destroy the Collector Base and your EMS was extremely low, the Crucible will back fire and end up destroying the mass relay system instead of damaging it, leading the galaxy to a dark age.
- Shepard can choose to control the Reapers. Shepard dies, but his/her consciousness will live on, controlling the Reapers and repairing the mass relay system. Depending on Shepard's morality, Paragon!Shepard will vow to protect and serve the galaxy whereas Renegade!Shepard vows to act as a strong leader for the galaxy.
- Or Shepard can choose Synthesis, blurring the line between organic and synthetic life, thanks to Shepard's cybernetics. Life itself has greatly advanced in many ways, with the geth and the quarians living peacefully and, depending on your choices, the krogans enjoys a new golden age. However, Shepard has done so without letting the galaxy know, subverting the direction of evolution.
- With the Extended Cut DLC, there's a fourth option, whether through dialogue or shooting the Catalyst: Shepard can refuse to activate the Crucible, with the Catalyst answering "So be it" in a Reaper-like voice. This choice leads to the destruction of all organic life. Thankfully, thanks to Liara's capsules, the next cycle has a chance against the Reapers. An alternate Stargazer scene with a future alien species implies that happens, heading Liara's warning.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: It is portrayed as an almost godlike being, with the capability of rewriting all life in the galaxy with the help of the Crucible and Shepard.
- Deus Est Machina:
- However, given that it uses the word "us" to describe synthetics when outlining the Destroy ending (thereby implying that it's one of them itself), it qualifies for this as well.
- The Extended Cut reveals it's actually just a relatively ordinary AI, still carrying out a fairly simple command given by its original creators.
- The Unfought: Justified as it apparently lacks a physical body. It claims it is the Citadel and the Mass Relays; it's likely its child-avatar exists simply so Shepard can have something to address and converse with. In one ending, you do battle it, sort of — by firing on one component, which, well, breaks. It does end the conflict, and destroys the Catalyst along with the Reapers, but it's hardly a battle.
- Thanatos Gambit: Even though it and the Reapers die in the Destroy ending, all synthetic life dies with them, thus briefly preventing inorganic life from wiping out all organic life. Also in the Control ending, it is overwritten with Shepard as the new Catalyst, ensuring that the Reapers will be preserved - fulfilling it original directive beyond its loss.
- Time Abyss: It started the Reaper cycle, so we can assume it's tens, if not hundreds, of millions of years old.
- The Leviathan DLC reveals that its original creators are at least a billion years old.
- Turned Against Their Masters: It was originally created to prevent this from happening on a big scale, but ironically it ended up doing so itself by turning its own creators into the first Reaper, despite their "disagreements".
- Voice of the Legion: It's voiced by three separate actors; Mark Meer (BroShep), Jennifer Hale (FemShep), and an uncredited third actor. It goes Up to Eleven in the Extended Cut DLC if Shepard refuses its options, where it suddenly throws its best Harbinger impersonation at the player.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Even the Catalyst admits it. In searching for peace, it facilitated war on a scale and waged with a brutality that is impossible to grasp, over and over and over again until an outside agent finally arrived to take the decision out of its hands.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: Was created to prevent the destruction of organics by synthetics. Unfortunately for the Leviathans, it concluded they were part of the problem and converted them into Harbinger. In an odd twist the surviving Leviathans consider this a perfectly valid solution to the parameters it was given, and blame their own arrogance for not catching it.
A nameless man/woman that relates the legendary story of "The
Shepard" to a child ages after the conclusion of the game during The Stinger
- The Cameo: The male Stargazer is voiced by Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. Interestingly, Shepard is named after Alan Shepard, the third man on the moon.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The female Stargazer is voiced by Christine Dunford, who was the voice of Elena in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II. The male version is Buzz Aldrin himself.
- The Storyteller: The implication is that the entire series has been the Stargazer telling the story to a child; the different details of varying playthroughs are handwaved with the explanation that it happened so long ago that the specific details have been lost.