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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 and Deception. He returns as part of the force that the Illusive Man sends against Shepard in the third game.
Voiced by: Troy Baker
- 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.
- Arch-Enemy: He considers himself to be Shepard's. In reality, while Shepard despises him, s/he sees him as more of a cowardly roadblock and attack dog. Certainly not the level of threat as the Reapers, Saren before, or his boss The Illusive Man for his influence.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: They don't get much more arrogant than Kai Leng.
- Backstab Backfire: How his boss fight ultimately ends.
- Badass Baritone: Courtesy of Troy Baker.
- Badass Normal: No biotics, no cybernetics, and still manages to kill a krogan (who, remember, have redundant organ systems and an innate Desperation Attack) in a Bar Brawl with just a knife. And then 6 turians, again with just a knife. Then, in Deception, manages to kill über-biotic Gillian Grayson with a shiv while injured.
- 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.
- Boisterous Weakling: He keeps acting like he's an unstoppable badass right up until the end, even though he's comprehensively lost every fight he's been in and only survived by running away after a save by allies. Shepard actually calls him out on this in their last fight. Mechanically he's the opposite of an Elite Mook; a Cerberus Phantom but not as good.
- 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.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
Shepard: No gunship this time, you son of a bitch!
- His utter slaughter of a squad of six turian soldiers in "Retribution" using nothing but a pistol and a knife is probably the best example. The Illusive Man bares witness to it and is shocked by how easily they go down, describing Leng's decimation of them as a work of art.
- In Leng's introductory cutscene, Shepard will find the body of the Executor and three of his armed and armored bodyguards, having been casually disposed of by Leng seconds beforehand, after which he proceeded on to his actual target.
- On Sanctuary, he runs into Miranda and beats her nearly to death seemingly without getting a scratch in turn, despite her being armed and a powerful biotic. The wounds she sustains will actually kill her unless Shepard jumps through a lot of specific hoops beforehand.
- On the other hand, in the "Foundation" comics, Jack casually one-shots him with a biotic blast when he gets caught out in the open. If not for his cybernetic enhancements (which Jack didn't know about), he almost certainly would've died.
- Gets turned on him in his final clash with Shepard. Leng has the element of surprise and thirteen heavily armed commandos behind him, giving him a nearly 5-1 numbers advantage over Shepard's team. Despite this, the fight does not go well for him; all of his troops end up dead with him heavily wounded, and neither Shepard nor his/her squadmates are even breathing hard or showing signs of injury in the subsequent cutscene. This culminates in Shepard dealing the Coup de GrÔce to a wounded Leng after breaking his sword with a backhand. The fight is considered to be one of the easiest final battles in the game.
- 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, even being able to put the monomolecular blade through several layers of armor. He can't do any of that in-game. Notably, generic Elite Mooks can. Even in cutscenes he's only a threat because his enemies suffer from Cutscene Incompetence.
- Cyborg: In Mass Effect 3, he's been physically augmented with Reaper cybernetics. According to the dossier Anderson sends Shepard, he was given "Phantom-class implants".
- 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.
- Dirty Coward: For all his smugness and boasting, he's either forced to retreat or rely more on overwhelming force than anything else in combat. The main reason he is not beaten on Thessia is he calls in a Gunship Rescue for himself, keeping Shepard's team pinned down and finding difficulty to strike back, and he just runs away as soon as he can anyway. Shepard calls him out on this in their last fight.Shepard: I'm only slow because I'm not running. You ran away at the Citadel, on Thessia, all you can do is run!
Kai Leng: Shut up!
- And it doesn't help his case when all he really has nothing to say to it.
- A Pre-Mortem One-Liner Shepard may give Leng is "No gunship this time, you son-of-a-bitch!"
- Empowered Badass Normal: Likely because of the grievous injuries he sustained at the end of Retribution, Kai Leng sports some serious cybernetic upgrades in ME3. These grant him abilities including, among others, low level Super Strength, an Invisibility Cloak, Super Toughness, a spherical power-blocking barrier, and Power Palms.
- 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.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Not by him, but the others applied to him, in that even before ME3 he was regarded by other Cerberus agents such as Miranda and Maya Brooks as TIM's pet psycho.
- 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 the canonically suspect 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.
- Taken over the top when Fridge Logic sets in to make that email he likely had to use a real asari military command computer, so at the end of that mission he had to stop and take the time to hack into a computer to effectively do some internet trolling.
- 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.
- 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. Due to the fact that Shepard doesn't interact with him outside of boss fights with limited dialog, it's more of an Informed Attribute in 3.
- 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 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.
- Hate Sink: The Reapers are implacable beings dedicated to wiping out all life, but are more akin to forces of destruction than actual characters, and even their master has understandable motivations, while the other Big Bad, the Illusive Man, still retains some grandiosity and Well-Intentioned Extremist goals. Kai Leng, however, is completely unlikeable by being a cruel, cowardly, petty, racist Smug Snake who spends most of his screen time either being a douchebag or potentially killing fan favorite characters. The prompt where Shepard guts him like a fish with an Omni-Blade is widely considered to be one of the most popular in the series.
- 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 canonicality is disputed though) in Deception, Kai Leng can potentially end up killing any combination of Kirrahe/Thane/the Salarian Councillor and/or Miranda, and he will kill at least one of them. If he kills Thane it's subverted, the latter will mock him for barely beating a terminally ill Drell and failing to kill his target. However, in the worst case for him he still kills Thane, nearly kills Miranda in a Curb-Stomp Battle, kills the new Executor and his two bodyguards off-screen, and puts up a decent fight against Shepard.
- Hypocrite: If Thane thwarted his assassination attempt, he later rather tastelessly mocks him of dying like a coward. Then, come the end of the final fight against him...
- 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.
- Informed Ability: Supposedly ridiculously dangerous, and he does do some impressive things during cutscenes, but he was getting his ass kicked against a very sick and dying Thane before getting a shot in, he does more running than fighting during combat, and the Phantoms he keeps around are more dangerous during the final fight than he is. His only actual achievement in the game was to steal a data disc and skedaddle, and he needed gunship support to manage that.
- Insult Backfire: He taunts Shepard frequently in their final battle, but he flies off the handle when Shepard responds in kind.Leng: Even if you win, you're too late to stop what's coming!Shepard: Maybe, maybe not...but YOU won't be there to see it!
- It's Personal: Shepard invokes this trope when they finally kill Leng by stating the deed is in the name of all their compatriots who Leng has killed.Shepard: [running Leng through] That was for Thane/Miranda/Kirrahae, you son of a bitch!
- 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.
- Karmic Death: After fatally wounding at least one of Thane, Miranda, Kirrahe & the salarian councilor, along with the new Executor and his bodyguards; Shepard winds up killing Leng in return, running him through with an omniblade.
- 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:
Javik: If I kill no one else but him, it will be worth it!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Super Strength: Subtle but present. The dossier Anderson emails to Shepard credits any superhuman prowess of his to "Phantom-class implants", meaning that Phantoms have this too, even if they don't really show it.
- In his introductory scene, he casually leaps over ten feet vertically despite being fully armored. The world record for an unassisted vertical jump is five feet.note A jump like this is directly translatable to a 1,600-1,700 lbs squat. The world record for a raw squat is 1,005 lbs, done with enormous effort by a man twice Leng's size.
- He overpowers Thane in their brief grapple and punch-up with relative ease. Thane being strong enough to casually snap a muscular man's neck with no mechanical leverage or kill a man in plated body armor with one punch to the chest.
- Super Toughness: In his final battle against Shepard, he takes a full-force front kick to the chest from the Super Soldier without injury. That may not seem like much at first, but note that in earlier scenes Shepard is able to kill (or at least incapacitate) an armored soldier with a single quick jab to the chest, a feat s/he repeats later. A kick is many times more powerful than a jab.
- 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.
- Sword Drag: Reduced to this after being beaten by Shepard in their final fight.
- 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.
- Underestimating Badassery: 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.
- Virtue Is Weakness: As mentioned above, he scoffs at the Illusive Man's admiration towards Shepard and never considers him/her to be his equal. He's right. Shepard surpasses him.
- 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.
- 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.Leng: You're still slow, Shepard!Shepard: I'm only slow because I'm not running!Leng: SHUT UP!
Dr. Eva Coré
Dr. Eva Coré
- Voiced by: Laura Bailey
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: During her escape, she doesn't don any kind of breathing apparatus. Justified, as she's not even organic.
- 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.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: EDI ends up wearing her robotic body after it's recovered, and is a party member, but she never displays the kind of physical strength that EVA does in her cutscenes, instead relying on firearms and tech attacks.
- Dark Action Girl: Kicks the crap out of Ashley/Kaidan on Mars.
- 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.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: The Chase Scene at the beginning of her boss fight. Shepard is allowed to shoot her or fire off powers to his/her content, but they won't do more than Scratch Damage to her shields.
- 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.
- Painted-On Pants: Literally painted on. This trope is so ubiquitous in the setting that nobody notices.
- 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.
Few people have the stomach to do what it takes to survive.We finally meet Miranda's ego-maniacal father in person. He's not as bad as she made him out to be, because he's worse. Much, much worse.
Voiced by: Alan Dale
- Abusive Parents: He takes it Norman Osborn levels.
- Archnemesis Dad: To Miranda.
- Arc Villain: Of Miranda's loyalty mission in the second game, having hired a small army of mercenaries to kidnap Oriana. Though he doesn't show up on-screen until the third.
- Asshole Victim: See Destination Defenestration.
- Bad Samaritan: They don't get much worse than disguising a research factory into husks and indoctrination as a refugee camp, using refugees as bulk test subjects.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Averted. You'd figure being surrounded by Reaper tech supplied by Cerberus would turn the guy into another one of their pawns but nope. He's perfectly in control of his actions, which just makes him all the more horrible.
- Control Freak: Miranda is incapable of having children due to a neoplasm he likely engineered, just to maintain total control of his "legacy."
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: One of the wealthiest businessmen in the galaxy, though we don't know what field he's in when he's not manufacturing Designer Babies. Or running a husk factory disguised as a refugee camp.
- Destination Defenestration: Miranda biotically throws him through a window to his death.
- Disney Villain Death: Courtesy of Miranda.
- Evil Genius: To the Reapers' Big Bad and the Illusive Man's Dragon. He manages to find a way to control husks independently of Reaper influence, to a limited extent.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: By the time you catch up with him, his base has been trashed by a Reaper attack that caused all of the husks that he thought he had under control to go berserk. He's still alive, but probably wouldn't have lasted much longer if you hadn't shown up.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Big time.
- The Ghost: In Mass Effect 2.
- Glory Seeker: Unlike most of the others in Cerberus, who truly want to make the galaxy better for humanity, he only does what he does to save himself and so future generations will idolize him.
- Gone Horribly Right: Definitely happened with Miranda, who became a constant thorn in his side.
- Hand Cannon: When you finally confront him, he's holding Oriana hostage with a Paladin pistol. Which makes sense, since the Paladin is a very expensive pistol, and Henry is one of the richest men in the galaxy.
- It's All About Me: Obsessed with his legacy.
- Lack of Empathy: As opposed to his daughter who suffers from guilt over many past actions, he shows absolutely no regret for anything.
- Karma Houdini: Only if Miranda died at the Collector base and you decide to let him walk.
- Karmic Death: If Miranda's alive, he's killed by the very woman he created and abused for years as his child, in the very facility where he committed his greatest atrocity.
- Mad Scientist: He used a refugee camp called Sanctuary as a front for a husk facility.
- Narcissist: When you create Designer Babies based solely on your DNA, you definitely qualify.
- Necessarily Evil: "I will be regarded as the savior of the human race!" Uh-huh.
- Offing the Offspring: He's really not too concerned about Miranda's welfare. He's also "discarded" the Designer Babies that didn't live up to his expectations. If you can't talk him down or miss the Renegade interrupt, he'll shoot her in the stomach before she kills him.Miranda: I wasn't the first [child] he made. I was only the first one he kept.
- Older Than They Look: When you meet him, aside from slightly greying hair, he really doesn't look like someone who has a 35-year-old daughter. Of course, given the state of medical technology in the 22nd century, his talent for genetic engineering, coupled with his extreme narcissism, you can see why he doesn't look his actual age.
- Truly Single Parent: His "daughters" were made by mixing his genes with specifically chosen female DNA to produce "perfect" children for his dynasty.
- The Unfought: The only time he shows up personally is in a cutscene, near the end of the Sanctuary mission. He can be killed by Miranda via a biotic blast if she's alive, be shot by Shepard, killed by Oriana sacrificing herself or escape.
- Villains Want Mercy: The guy tricks people of multiple species into coming to "Sanctuary", a place where they will be safe from the Reapers only to slaughter them all and/or turn them into husks, and send the ones that fall in between off to become Cerberus mooks. And he wants Shepard to just let him walk.
- Would Hurt a Child: Entire families went to Sanctuary. There was no discrimination in that regard. There's also the fact that he kills any child of his that doesn't meet his expectations.
General Oleg Petrovsky
- Voiced by: Brian George
- 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.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: As Aria is strangling him at the end of the DLC he panics and says he can give information on the Illusive Man to the Alliance and that he deserves mercy for sparing Aria once. Depending on Shepard's actions, Aria will either spare him or slowly choke him to death.
- Antagonist in MourningPetrovsky: 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.
- Boom, Headshot: If Aria doesn't kill him, Shepard can execute him at the end of the DLC, just as Petrovsky confidently states Shepard wouldn't kill an unarmed prisoner.
- 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.
- The Determinator: Aria implies that once Petrovsky sets his sights on something, he'll stop at nothing to achieve it.Aria: He's like his boss, in that no matter the consequences, he stops at nothing.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Shepard usually just calls him "the General".
- Evil Genius: Cerberus's chief strategist.
- Expy: Could be seen as one to Grand Admiral Thrawn. He wears a very similar outfit, has a similar high-culture approach to villainy, and plays a similar role to the Illusive Man as Thrawn plays to Emperor Palpatine.
- Fantastic Racism: No matter as to how honourable he presents himself, he still willingly instigated a plot to basically turn every alien citizen of Omega into the horrible Adjutants. Once he realized how that backfired, he sealed off an entire district to be slaughtered by them and then put draconic restrictions on the alien population, like being shot on sight if they carried a weapon.
- 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: He tells Shephard that 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'll probably 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 with 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.
- Shoot the Dog: In the Invasion comic, shoots Ashe when he's about to turn into an Adjutant.
- 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's the Illusive Man's top strategist.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Insists that Ashe call him "General" and respect him as such in Invasion.
- 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)
- Wicked Cultured: In Invasion, he not only likes chess, but he's also a history buff, and he likes reading Tolstoy in the original Russian text.
- 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.Nyreen: He's an adversary worthy of respect, and he's got a code, one that's a lot different than the Illusive Man's.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: If Aria spares him, Petrovsky comes off as rather smug about the whole thing, saying that he's heard Alliance prisoners are well cared for. However, Shepard can take a Renegade interrupt telling him that things might not go the way Petrovsky believes. Petrovsky will confidently say that Shepard wouldn't shoot an unarmed captive, and they'll be his Famous Last Words if the player takes the second Renegade interrupt.
SPOILER Character (Citadel DLC)
Mysterious Figure/Clone Shepard
- The cult of Shepard ends today.
- Alas, Poor Villain: The clone of Shepard realizes s/he's all alone when Brooks abandons him/her to die while the real Shepard is rescued by his/her friends. This leads to either Shepard killing the clone, or the clone committing suicide after realizing s/he has no friends and no purpose.
- 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.
- Cannon Fodder: This is how s/he sees the mercs under his/her command. Notably lampshaded when she specifically orders said mercs to "Slow [Shepard] down", not expecting them to survive. The real Shepard notes this as the difference between them. The clone has disposable minions, whereas Shepard has loyal friends.Shepard: A team? You have minions! And you're running 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.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Whereas Vanguard Shepard's use of Nova depletes his/her shield, the clone has no such issue. On the flip side, Charge doesn't replenish them either.
- 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 Hammy: Male or female, s/he can absolutely devour the scenery at times.
- Evil Is Petty: When s/he takes over the Normandy, s/he dumps Shepard's pets and ship models in the trash for disposal. At the sight of this, the real Shepard declares "Oh, now it's personal!"
- 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: Clone Shepard 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.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Normally calm and collected, there are a few points on the radio and in front of Shepard where s/he will explode into a fit of childish anger.
- 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: Clone Shepard has developed a major case of this towards the original Shepard.
- Insistent Terminology: While fully admitting to being a clone, nonetheless wants people to call them the "Real" Shepard.
- Jerkass: A complete asshole to enemy and ally alike.
- 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 Clone Shepard 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: During their final battle, the clone uses the same class abilities as Shepard. They also trade in their CAT-6 merc suit for Shepard's iconic N7 Armor, only in white with a blue arm stripe instead of red. note Shepard (Paragon): Well, that's creepy...Shepard (Renegade): Unacceptable!
- 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.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Your squad mates usually do a pretty good job at keeping the clone on their toes, often depleting their entire medi-gel reserves in seconds if the clone gets caught in an armor-piercing crossfire, but no matter how much overkill they throw at Bad!Shep once the medi-gel count hits zero, it won't put them down for good - the killing blow always has to be dealt by the player and, by extension, Shepard.
- 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.
- Psychopathic Man Child: Comes off as this, which makes sense, since the clone really is just a child.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Notice how, like Shepard (minus the spoilers), s/he is never referred to with gender-specific pronouns outside of spoiler tags.
- Schr÷dinger's Gun: During their introduction scene, The Figure 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.
- Shout-Out: The climax of the arc is very reminiscent to The Mummy Returns when Imhotep was abandoned by Anck-Su-Namun, just as Brooks did to him. Bonus points for both the clone and Imhotep dangling over a lethal fall.
- 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 fraternization 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. Hence, the entire folder is marked.
- 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.
- You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: Paragon Shepard tries to claim that they should be on the same side. It doesn't fly.
- You Fight Like a Cow: The real Shepard points this out during their final fight.Clone Shepard: I am Commander Shepard!Shepard: Are you kidding? Conrad Verner is a better me than you!
- 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.
Lieutenant Steve Cortez
I seem to remember getting shot at the whole time and everyone coming back in one piece, Mr Vega.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.
Voiced by: Matthew Del Negro
- 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 but the moment they step into the evac shuttle, they are vulnerable and it's his responsibility to get them out of there alive.
- Badass Gay: In addition to being an Ace Pilot who previously served as a fighter jock he has proven himself perfectly capable of participating in firefights during the events of both Leviathan and Citadel.
- Blood Knight: Despite him being one of the nicest and most reserved members of the Normandy's crew, he's oddly thrilled by the chance to take the Kodiak into a dogfight, and is positively delighted watching a Cerberus cruiser "gracefully and silently disintegrate" during one mission on Tuchanka.James: Sometimes I worry about you man.
- 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!"
- A Day in the Limelight: While the Leviathan DLC far from focuses on him, he receives a more prominent supporting role in it and even gets to pick up a rifle and participate in the battle against the Reapers alongside Shepard once they get stranded at Leviathan's lair.
- 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.
- Romancing the Widower: His husband Robert died during the Collectors' abduction of Ferris Fields, and he can be romanced by male Shepard during the course of Mass Effect 3.
- 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.
- Survivor's Guilt: Feels incredibly guilty over escaping Ferris Fields while his husband was there.
- Sweet Tooth: A self-confessed dessert guy (he also likes fish and chips, and feels sorry that the dextro crew have to miss out on bacon).
- 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.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.
Voiced by: Alix Wilton Regan
- 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."Hi! I'm...trying to socialize. I'm not particularly good at it."
- Ambiguously Brown: At first. In the base game, there was no indication of what her ethnicity was, which would be appropriate for this setting. In the Citadel DLC though, she's confirmed as ethnically Indian, albeit born on a different planet than Earth.
- ...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. Part of this is also implied to be gratitude, as she was on Horizon, visiting her family, when the Collectors hit and when Shepard saved the colony.
- 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.
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.Kenneth: If it works out, be sure to take video.
- Referenced in Ken/Gabby banter.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: She gets into a hot-tub in Anderson's apartment (albeit still in her lingerie—although granted, that bathroom doesn't actually have a door). This ends up leading to a highly awkward conversation with male Shepard.
- I Owe You My Life: One of the reasons she is so loyal and nervous around Shepard is because she was visiting her parents on Horizon when the Collectors hit and Shepard saved the colony.
- Irony: Your communications specialist is socially awkward.
- 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, break up plaque and massage the gums. 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.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe during the Citadel DLC party. EDI is practically Trolling Samantha about her attraction to the AI. Tali would rather be anyone else than listen to the conversation.
- 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).
- Opposites Attract: Traynor and Shepard are like night and day: One is a charismatic nearly invincible front-lines commander who can soldier on even after being hit at point-blank range by a Reaper Beam, the other is a socially awkward, hypochondriac communication officer whose skills shine when she's away from the front-line. From start to finish, their romance looks like an extended honeymoon
- 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 it's revealed she has a thing for organic/synthetic porn, which EDI helps her out with. A suitably hammered Joker tells her that a female Shepard in a romance with her is 30% cybernetic. Samantha is very intrigued to hear it's a full 30%.
- Sexy Secretary: Unlike Kelly, it's entirely coincidental.
- Serious Business: The Kepesh-Yakshi game, in the Citadel DLC.
- Shower of Love: Her romance scene.
- 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. So it's probably like dancing. Traynor openly mocks him/her for this.
- She also is incredibly 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.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Very feminine and only into women.
- 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).
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: Thanks to her limited facial animations and the voice actress' delivery, her tone doesn't change even when she's upset or surprised.
- Flat Character: There really isn't anything to explore in depth about her.
- 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.
- Non-Answer: You have the option to kick Diana off the ship at literally any time just by repeatedly talking to her; if you choose to invoke it, she asks for a reason. Shepard merely replies, "What do you think?"
- Out of Focus: Unlike Cortez and Traynor, Diana does not return for the Citadel DLC.
- Promoted Fangirl: Chobot is a fan of the series.
- Satellite Love Interest: Reciprocating her growing interest in you doesn't lock you out of any other romance options and is treated as an incredibly brief fling, to the extent that her dialogue if you kick her off the Normandy doesn't even change afterwards.
- 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 reporter who tags along on the Normandy.
Westmoreland and 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.
- Everyone Has Standards: For all her distrustful views regarding aliens, Campbell takes exception to being compared to racist xenophobes like Cerberus.Westmoreland: I just thought you'd be more open...you've never been fond of aliens.Campbell: Hell yeah, I joined up to kick ass like everyone else, but I need more of a reason than "It has scales" to go kill someone. And if Cerberus is taking our dishonorable discharges and Cat-6 washouts, that's just another reason why they're not worth a damn!
- 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.
- The in-universe reason given in a segment of Westmoreland/Campbell banter is the Collectors storming the Normandy and abducting the crew in the previous game
- 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.
- On the whole, Westmoreland is far more circumspect, reasonable, and reserved than Campbell.Campbell: When this war is over, I hope we find every race that sat back as we bled and get some payback.Westmoreland: Yeah, that's a great plan. Follow war with more war.
- On the whole, Westmoreland is far more circumspect, reasonable, and reserved than Campbell.
- 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."
- Air Vent Escape: Shepard meets him hiding in an air vent. Deciding to keep hiding in the vent and leaving later instead of escaping with Shepard gets him killed.
- 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.
- No Name Given: There is no information on the child's name in-game or out.
- 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
- Voiced by: Susan Eisenberg (Irissa), Grey DeLisle (Esheel)
- 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
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.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.
Voiced by: Daniel Riordan
- A Father to His Men: Cares deeply about the well-being of his people and refuses to simply leave them to their fates.
- The Chains of Commanding: He and Shepard have quite a few conversations about this.
- Frontline General: He's right there on the frontlines on Menae battling the Reaper forces and is extremely reluctant to leave his men when he learns of his promotion to Primarch.
- 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".
- Unfortunate Name: However, it can also mean "conquered" and "defeated".
- Military Maverick: He has this reputation thanks to his unorthodox tactics.
- 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.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His son sacrifices himself to disable a turian bomb planted on Tuchanka.
- 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.
- 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.
- Worthy Opponent: He admits to having a certain respect for the sheer power of the Reaper fleet. This doesn't stop him from being horrified and enraged by what they are doing to his people.Victus: The strategist in me respects their brutality. The turian in me knows I'm watching the destruction of fifteen thousand years of civilization. My civilization.
- 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.
- 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, smarter, 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. (Also, calling a Paragon Shepard a "bully" is a hollow accusation.)
- 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 and Eve dies, 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 (especially if Eve survives as well), and Linron comes off as prejudiced and closed-minded. But if Wreav is the leader (and especially if Eve doesn't survive), 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 make some sense even if Wrex is in charge and Eve is doomed to die. He is just one (admittedly badass, smart and level-headed) man, and the Krogan population (and as a result, possible opposition to Wrex's ideals) would skyrocket if the genophage was cured. The only problem is that she classifies Wrex the same way as she does other Krogan, and either disregards or ignores any possibility of the Krogan actually being grateful for being cured of the genophage.
- Her arguments are incredibly weak, however, if both Wrex and Eve are alive. One wonders what the Dalatrass might have thought had she even had a five minute conversation with Eve.
- Though, even if she did listen to and believe everything Wrex and Eve were saying, there's still a very real possibility that just two Krogan, though extremely smart and capable, may not be enough to quell the cries for war and revenge from the rest of the Krogan race.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Only if Wreav is the Urdnot leader and Eve dies, 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 (especially if Eve survives as well), and Linron comes off as prejudiced and closed-minded. But if Wreav is the leader (and especially if Eve doesn't survive), 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.
- Laser-Guided Karma: She claims that a bully is the last person to have friends when they really need one. If the genophage is cured, she finds herself abandoned by the salarian STG and military, who aid Shepard anyway.
- 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, everyone is tired of her crap and if Kirrahe survives, 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 during 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. If Mordin is alive, Padok is Wrex's second STG mole, and if the genophage is sabotaged and Mordin is killed, he is probably the one who informs Wrex of the betrayal.
- The Atoner: He helps Eve in order to make amends for a career of interfering with the natural order.
- Brain Bleach: Inflicts this upon Shepard and himself. The picture you see is his reaction when pondering exactly how Krogans breed (though Eve simply gives the answer of "Very clumsily").
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: "It's the odd ones - the mutations - who move life forward."
- Call to Agriculture: If he decides not to cure the Genophage.
- Crisis of Faith"We all fracture in different ways. Mordin's conscience haunted him. Maelon crossed the line into barbaric experiments. And myself... I went searching for whatever gods created the rules for this unfortunate universe."
- Demoted to Extra: If he's not taking Mordin's place, his presence in the story is wildly reduced, even to the point of losing 80% of conversation options during your single remaining interaction with him.
- Face Death with Dignity: After fixing the sabotage and allowing the dispersal of the genophage cure, he crosses his arms behind his back, stands tall and waits for death.
- Famous Last Words: "For eternity."
- Go Out with a Smile: Dies with pride as he cures the genophage and restores the future of the krogan.
- For Science!: Why he wants to know how krogan mate.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- He goes out the same way as Mordin.
- You can even prevent the heroic sacrifice the same way as you would for Mordin. Specifically, Wreav has to be the Urdnot leader and Eve must be dead. You can then "Charm" or "Intimidate" Padok Wiks into realizing a cure isn't the best idea for now. However, unlike Mordin, if you save Padok he does not become a War Asset, because instead of going to the Crucible he retires to a farm so he can take the secret of the genophage with him to his grave.
- The Mole: If Mordin died in the suicide mission, he lets the krogan know about the females the STG recovered. It cost him a lot of friends on Sur'Kesh, but it was the right thing to do.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Padok Wiks is even more enthusiastic about curing the genophage than Mordin is, since Mordin is mostly doing it to atone for having modified the genophage previously. But in Padok's case, Padok thinks salarian arrogance didn't begin with the genophage, it began with uplifting the krogan in the first place, since that interfered with natural krogan evolution. Padok is far more critical of his own species than Mordin is due to Padok's own experience in "uplifting"; Mordin was mainly critical of himself and of the dalatrass.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Joker takes to calling him "not-Mordin" until he sacrifices himself, but talking to him reveals that he's more spiritual (and detests Gilbert & Sullivan). He's also slightly less violent than Mordin: in the Sur'Kesh mission, when a staff member refuses to release the "Eve" specimen due to protocol against doing so during emergency lockdown, Mordin decides to electrically shock the staff member into releasing the krogan, while Padok accomplishes the same thing merely by pointing a gun at the staff member's head and telling him that the protocol has been nullified.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Padok and Mordin used to be colleagues, but had severe disagreements about the nature of evolution. Specifically, Padok thought evolution must have had a design in mind, while Mordin insisted that evolution occurred because of random mutation. In a drunken moment Padok punched Mordin in the face, breaking his fingers and giving Mordin a black eye. That's the "Vitriolic" part. The "Best Buds" part is because even after the punch, since they both suffered equal pain they both decided to "call it even" and go right back to drinking.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If Shepard chooses not to tell Wrex/Wreav and Eve about the cure being sabotaged, then just like Mordin, Padok Wiks will intelligently figure it out and call Shepard on it. Padok adds another wrinkle, though: he's convinced that somewhere in the universe our actions are recorded for eternity, and the decision Shepard makes will be no different.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Is utterly convinced that the krogan will prosper and be peaceful after the genophage is cured.
The Admiral's being modest. He's the reason any of us are still alive.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.
Voiced by: Nicholas Boulton
- Action Survivor: 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.
- 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. Specifically an M-29 Incisor in the trailer.
- 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.
Voiced by: John Rubinow
- 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.
- Famous Last Words: "Victory... at any cost."
- 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.
- 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.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Apparently salarians become utterly paralyzed if you get them in a chokehold, because that's all it took for Zymandis' goon to stop him, a highly trained Spectre agent. Shepard has to punch the guard to get him out of it.
- 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.
- Non-Action Guy: More of a detective and technician than a straight-up fighter, though presumably he can use a gun well enough. Regardless, he's never seen in a firefight and he's nearly overpowered in hand to hand combat by a regular human thug, requiring Shepard's intervention to survive the encounter.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike the Council, he and his fellow Spectres have always taken Shepard's warnings of the Reaper threat seriously. He's also 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 novels Revelation, Ascension, Retribution and Deception before appearing in Mass Effect 3, where she helps to evacuate the students from the academy when Cerberus attacks.
Voiced by: Grey DeLisle
- A Mother To Her Students
- Action Survivor: Of the Mass Effect novels. She only got relatively basic combat training, as she served in a non-combat role, but she ends up being thrown into several firefights where she holds her own. When she shows up in the games, she's first seen popping up from behind a desk and shooting an Assault Trooper in the face a couple times with a shotgun as he hacks open a door.
- Batter Up!: In Ascension, killed a batarian pirate by swinging a heavy rifle at his head like a bat (she even says the trope name before doing so). She ended up beating his head in so hard that the rifle broke.
- Canon Immigrant: Was a major character in the novels, before having a minor appearance in the third game.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The books specifically mention her natural blonde hair, as such a feature is very rare in the future.
- 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.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She knows how to deal with Jack as her commander. That says enough.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: She's seen wielding a Scimitar shotgun. In the books, she usually uses a pistol.
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.
Voiced by: Vanessa Marshall
- 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.
- 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.
- Overranked Soldier: She'd be this as a Marine even today, but the codex mentions that the Alliance's fictional ranking system places "Captain" as the highest rank below the general/admiral ranks, making it equivalent to a full colonel in the USMC today. She definitely shouldn't be leading a simple 4-man squad on the front lines.
- Training from Hell: She's an N7. 'Nuff said.
Dr. Garret Bryson
- Voiced by: David Sobolov
- 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
- Demonic Possession: By Leviathan.
- Killed Off for Real: Can happen if you don't save her in time.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Once she finishes with finding Leviathan assuming she lives through the experience, she goes to work on the Crucible. The first problem she tackles? Synchronization of the Crucible's energy bursts.
- Parting Words Regret: She laments that her last conversation with her father was an argument over something petty.
- Possession Burnout: If Shepard stops Vega from severing her connection to Leviathan, she dies from the strain.
- Ship Tease: Has some with Vega.
- Shout-Out: From The X-Files: "The truth is out there." It was the show's myth-arc tag-line. Doesn't help that her dad is an Agent Mulder.
- Take Up My Sword: If recruited by Shepard to continue her father's research.
- Willing Channeler: Chooses to be possessed by Leviathan so that EDI can locate its whereabouts.
MelAn 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.
- Badass Bookworm: Her profile reveals that she's an N7 Demolisher Engineer. Her handle is "De-Mel-Isher".
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's pretty eccentric and crude, but she's not an N7 for nothing.
- Covert Pervert: Completely and totally averted. She's very openly perverted.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Though she is a wild partier and extremely crass, interactions with her teammates in Profiles in Courage indicates that she is an N7 Demolisher.
- Deadpan Snarker: Check out her reaction to her male friends being intimidated by her personality because she's a woman."I'm a woman? Holy crap! I'm a woman! Where did these tits come from? Are they infiltrator tits? Could there be more of them hiding?"
- Elites Are More Glamorous: She's an N7, considered an elite among elites.
- Extreme Omnisexual: She really likes asari, especially ones who indulge her commando fetish. Adores all things raunchy, as long as there's a hanar hanging off of it. In Profiles in Courage she gets a date with Thax, a krogan warlord.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: She wants to get smashed, then watch some good asari strippers dance.
- The Lad-ette: She intends to find the raunchiest thing you can imagine and hang a hanar off it.
- One of the Boys: Seeks this honorific amongst her squadmates.
- Screw the War, We're Partying!: She intends to cut loose on shore leave from fighting the Reapers. Really, really loose.
- Semper Fi: A Marine. A dirty minded, Hard-Drinking Party Girl of a Marine, but a Marine nonetheless.
"Eve", aka Urdnot Bakara
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.
Voiced by: Lani Minella
- 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.
- Contralto of Danger: She blasts two Cerberus Mooks away with a shotgun when you first meet her, and she emerges as a leader of the krogan people. She also has a notably deep voice like all krogan. Surprisingly, her voice actress is naturally deep voiced, and was the only VA for a krogan character who didn't need an audio filter.
- 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 property, Wreav.Wrex: (beat) Women.
- Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally. One example if your Shepard referred to her as "too valuable" to lose earlier:Shepard: Are you okay?Eve: Don't worry commander, your "prize" is undamaged.
- 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 herself 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: Krogan men. She has no problem with males of other species. Speak with her further, and she reveals that her dislike is more out of frustration than hatred, and admits that, with the genophage, there is little else for them to do other than shoot someone over a petty grudge. She wishes that they could be more.
- 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: With a shotgun. Given that she's a krogan, she's got the size to support it.
- Hidden Depths: 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. For a Living Macguffin, she's one of the most insightful characters in the series.
- The High Queen: Basically takes this role, as by far the most powerful and influential female krogan on Tuchanka.
- 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.
- Lady of War: If Wreav is the Urdnot leader and the genophage is cured, a healthy "Eve" will command her own army to face off against Wreav. Bad. Ass.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Her above interaction with Wrex has this vibe.
- Living MacGuffin: 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.
- Lysistrata Gambit: This is what she plans for Wreav after the genophage is cured.
- 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 grumbled about by Wrex. Subverted in that, as Wrex adds, they still do have a temper.
- Discusses 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 (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, and one of the best in the whole 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.Eve: ENOUGH! You can stay here and let old wounds fester as krogan have always done...or you can fight the enemy you were born to destroy, and win a new future for our children! I choose to fight. Who will join me?!
- 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.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: How he became the leader of Aralakh Company.
- 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.
- Enemies Equals Greatness: Like most krogan, a firm believer in this. This is why he has so much respect for Shepard, despite the fact that s/he is a soft human. Anyone who has enemies as powerful as the Reapers has earned it without question.
- 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 Love with Your Carnage: Knowing Shepard's reputation and the enemies that s/he has made, he is very enthusiastic about fighting alongside him/her, and is even a little jealous of that reputation.
- 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.
- Stupid Evil: For all of Wreav's many flaws, he at least has the rationality to set aside the grudges he plans to avenge until the giant metal squid monsters are all gone. Thurak doesn't even have that going for him.
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.
- Cool vs. Awesome: She fights a freaking Reaper. And wins.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Yes she did.
- The Dreaded: Even krogan try to stay out of her way. Garrus puts it best:Garrus: When the krogan name a thresher maw, you know you're in trouble. They don't think anyone's going to kill it.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Wrex invokes this.Wrex: If Tuchanka has a temper, Kalros is it.
- Kaiju: It's simply enormous. The surfaced part of its body alone towers over the Reaper Destroyer, putting that section of its body at about 200 meters long. Most of it is still underground!
- Let's You and Him Fight: Let's sic the mother of all thresher maws on a Reaper.
- Monster Progenitor/Mother of a Thousand Young: She's said to be the mother from whom all thresher maws spawn. This is probably an exaggeration. We thinknote . It may be true for all the ones on Tuchanka though; the place is apparently crawling with them.
- Nominal Importance: See The Dreaded above.
- Sand Worm: The biggest one we've ever seen.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Eve's response to finding a Reaper on Tuchanka? Suggest that Shepard summon all the fury of the planet Tuchanka in the form of a gargantuan acid-spewing sand worm to deal with it. The best part? It works.
- 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 other organics, and by extension Shepard, were misplaced.
- 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: 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. Then again, it is pretty different in some very important ways, since there can't be any peace when it is present.
- Butt-Monkey: "I always get the crap details."
- Deadpan Snarker: How he copes with his crap details.
- The Dragon: To Aria, from the look of it.
- Nice Guy: Easily the friendliest, most laid-back batarian you'll ever meet. He even gets along well with Shepard, who blew up an entire batarian system and potentially had some bad blood between him/her and the batarians already during the Battle of Torfan if given the Ruthless service record."Just remember that there's at least one batarian in the galaxy who doesn't want you dead."
- Punch-Clock Villain: Like most of Omega's lawless citizens involved with Aria.
AhzAria's salarian hacker who helps direct her forces during the Omega DLC.
Captain JarralAria'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
- Asskicking Equals Authority: As an asari commando who founded the organization.
- Ax-Crazy: Very much so, as shown in 3. According to Commander Bailey, time in jail has only made her even worse.Bailey: She was a ruthless sadist before she got caught. Imprisonment has only cracked the nut off the shell.
- Dark Action Girl: As a former asari commando.
- Enemy Mine: Very, very reluctantly with Shepard.
- Eviler Than Thou: Aria knows that she's insane.Aria: (via mail) Sederis is one crazy bitch. Fortunately, she's our crazy bitch.
- Smug Snake: She openly threatens Shepard via vid-screen, convinced their only option is to release her and that Sayn doesn't have the guts to defy her. In reality, it costs you absolutely nothing to leave her in jail or have her killed; there's only one disadvantage — that Shepard has to do a little more running about, which is an inconvenience at worst.
SaynA 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". Aria doesn't mind - she likes having an easily-controlled puppet.
- 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.
SPOILER CHARACTER (Leviathan DLC)
The darkness cannot be breached.An aquatic alien race as elusive as they are powerful, the Leviathans were all but unknown until, in the eve of the Reaper invasion, a scientist started poking around. After said scientist is murdered in front of Shepard, the commander follows the thread until they find the Leviathan hideout.One of the (if not the) oldest race in the universe, the Leviathans used their indoctrination powers to enthrall several races all over the galaxy, protecting and caring for them in exchange for "tribute" and worship. After realizing their thralls ended up always going to war with the synthetic lifeforms they created, the Leviathans built the Catalyst to prevent said wars. The Catalyst deduced that organic lifeforms were to blame and should be wiped out, including its masters. Most of the Leviathans were killed when the Catalyst rebelled and, after witnessing the creation of Harbinger from Leviathan remains, the survivors went into hiding and spent every Harvest observing what the Repaers were doing and carefully eliminating everyone and everything that could lead to them, until now...
Voiced by: Anthony Skordi
- Abusive Precursors: They claim to be (and most likely are) the first and most powerful organic species ever to evolve in the Milky Way. That and their prodigious mind control abilities went to their head and led to them enthralling countless civilizations and entire "lesser" species all across the galaxy, demanding tribute and worship while giving nothing in return. The Leviathan Shep talks to mentions that those species were "cared for", but only because tribute does not flow from a dead race, and it doesn't go into detail how exactly their alleged care looked like. Well, and then they got this brilliant idea of creating the Catalyst to stop their servants from wiping themselves out, something that turned into the most horrible backfire in galactic history by giving rise to the Reapers. So, the whole mess the galaxy's currently in (and has been for at least one billion years, costing lives beyond counting) is essentially the result of their overblown god complex.
- A God Am I: They don't outright call themselves such, but the signs are clearly there, considering how they view all other species as nothing but tools, demand tribute and worship, alledgedly "bent the galaxy to their every will" and even created their own version of the Devil that eventually and royally kicked their asses. On the other hand, they really are immensely powerful, even in their current state and with their species reduced to a handful of survivors hiding out in remote corners of the galaxy.
- Always a Bigger Fish: When they decide it's Reaper-killing time, they take down one of them and a small band of husks in a single attack. While not moving from the oceanic trench where they hide.
- Badass Baritone/Evil Sounds Deep: They have an extremely deep voice similar to the Reapers', and although they're not actively malicious, they consider all races but their own as nothing more than tools to serve their needs and worship them while they're at it. The first thing they do when Shep pays them a visit is try to make him/her their thrall despite of their knowledge that (s)he's an anomaly and probably the first and only chance to stop the cycle of extinction forever.
- Badass Boast: While almost all their lines reflect how powerful they are, they let out this gem after Shepard convinces them to take the fight to the Reapers:Leviathan: We were the first, the apex race. We will survive. And the Reapers who trespass on this world will understand our power. They will become our slaves. Today, they pay their tribute in blood!
- Continuity Nod: For the Leviathan of Dis, an "organic spacecraft" that crashed in batarian space and whose existence is fiercely denied by the Hegemony. It turns out that the Leviathan was a crashed Reaper... And guess who shot it down?
- Eldritch Abomination: They look like organic Reapers and have the same powers and size as them. This is not a coincidence.
- Hidden Elf Village: Their hideout is at the bottom of an oceanic trench on a planet with no natural resources and covered in oceans, in a remote solar system.
- It's All About Me: They consider themselves the apex of all organic life in the galaxy and couldn't care less about the "lesser" species - as long as the latter pay tribute to them, of course. Everything they do, even their reluctant entry into the Reaper War, they do for nothing but their own gain.
- Kaiju: These things are enormous even for marine creatures, measuring several hundred meters in length. Not even Kalros, Tuchanka's titanic Reaper-crushing guard worm, can hold a candle to them due to the Leviathan's sheer physical bulk and size, and that's not even getting into their literally mind-blowing psychic powers.
- Mind-Control Device: Their artifacts, which look like big shiny crystalline balls. Recruiting them as a war asset has the allied forces deploy said artifacts on battlefields to extend their indoctrination powers and enthrall Reaper forces to fight against their own kind. Said asset contributes 400 points to your war score - that's more than the entirety of the united krogan armies, and the single largest asset in the game. It's also stated that there are precious few of these artifacts available, which should give you an idea of how powerful they are... and what the Leviathans could do to the current cycle's species if they get ideas after the war.
- Neutral No Longer: It takes a lot of persuasion, but Shepard can convince them to join the fight against the Reapers.
- Smug Super: They are incredibly full of themselves, but they also can one-shot Reapers just by mildly concentrating on them.
Crucible turns out to be the Citadel itself; the Catalyst is 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 of years.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Takes the form of the kid that Shepard couldn't save at the beginning of the game, whom they've had recurring nightmares about. Exactly how it knew about these things is left unexplained.
- 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."
- Anti-Villain: Sure, it is responsible for eons of atrocities and genocides, but it legitimately wants peace and understanding between organics and synthetics, to the point that the dialogue implies that it really wants you to pick synthesis and make the Reapers obsolete.
- Arc Villain: Of sorts. While we only learn it at the last minutes of the third game, the Catalyst/Citadel has been the mastermind behind Saren, the Heretic Geth, the Collectors and ultimately the Reapers, and so has quite literally been the mind behind all main enemies fought in the series. We've returned to it in each game for missions and whatnot, unknowlingly walking on the physical form of our greatest enemy.
- 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 "Refusal" ending plays with it as well, as the Catalyst gets no resolution and the cycle starts again..
- Big Bad: He is the big driving force behind the Reapers.
- 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.
- Circular Reasoning: Organics always evolve along the lines the Catalyst expects, so it forces them to evolve along the lines it expects. The Catalyst strove to make its solution more efficient, and in so doing eliminated any credible chance of any civilization ever doing something unexpected. Even if they did, the vanguard typically just signaled the invasion early. The Catalyst even tried to stamp out the basic concept of the Crucible, despite theorizing that there was a chance it could provide a superior solution than the Reapers. In short, it placed efficiency and certainty to such a high standard that anything which challenged its reasoning become unthinkable.
- 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.
- Deus Est Machina: 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.
- 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. 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.
- Foreshadowing: EDI goes on and on about synthetics needing morality and to not just follow instructions. Shepard in the Control ending does just that—by becoming/merging with the Catalyst, it becomes the moral code of the Reapers and gives them direction and a conscience.
- 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.
- Four Terms Fallacy: Its logic relies on conflating the "protect from harm" and "pickling" definitions of "preserve".
- 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: 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."
- There also seems to be some traces of bitterness if you take the negative/renegade response to being told you could control the reapers, stating that it doesn't desire to be replaced by Shepard.
- 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.
- Greater-Scope Villain: 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.
- 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.
- I Did What I Had to Do: In the Extended Cut, the Catalyst will admit that harvesting advanced civilizations and turning them into Reapers is not the ideal solution to its mandate of "preserve life at any cost", but every other solution it attempted had failed.
- 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.
- Non-Action Big Bad: It lets the Reapers do everything instead.
- 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; what they tell you about their motives and the cycles directly contradict everything it tells you.
- Power Echoes: Its voice resonates due to how the game channels it: a child's voice overlaid with male Shepard's voice in one speaker and female Shepard's voice in the other.
- Sadistic Choice: It makes it clear that of the three options (four with the Extended Cut) 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 (this is only in the Extended Cut; in the original this part happened no matter what you chose).
- 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 existence. Life itself has greatly advanced in many ways, with the geth and the quarians living peacefully and, depending on your choices, the krogan enjoying a new golden age. However, unlike Destroy (where Shepard might survive) and Control (where Shepard's consciousness survives), in Synthesis Shepard is Killed Off for Real.
- 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. But 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, heeding Liara's warning.
- 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 its original directive beyond its loss.
- Time Abyss: 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.
- Walking Spoiler: It is the one behind the Reapers, and it is the true Catalyst.
- 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.
- You Keep Using That Word: Going by his description of the Synthesis ending, he has no idea what "DNA" means. He seems convinced computers use it.
- 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.
- Voiced by: Buzz Aldrin (Male), Christine Dunford (Female)
- 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 fifth man on the moon.
- 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.
- Unreliable Narrator: Apparently, there are lots of stories about "the Shepard" that the Stargazer tells. It's implied they're all true, and all false, at the same time.
- Walking Spoiler: Doesn't appear until a post credits scene.