Literature: Mass Effect: Retribution
Mass Effect: Retribution is a novel within the Mass Effect universe.
Mass Effect: Retribution provides examples of the following tropes:
- And I Must Scream: One of the main plot elements of the book is Reaper indoctrination.
- Kai Leng. The man can wipe out squads of heavily armed opponents using nothing but a knife and a pistol. He was recruited into Cerberus because he was able to kill a krogan, a species with incredible physical strength and regenerative abilities, with a knife (note that the way he killed it is not supposed to be possible In-Universe, meaning the writer did not do the research; in addition, it is in the largely-dismissed novel Deception). It should be noted that, until he killed said krogan and was subsequently recruited by Cerberus, he had served as an N7 special forces operative, just like Shepard and Anderson, making him among the biggest human badasses since only they can even attempt to qualify to become an N7.
- Body Horror: What happens to Grayson when he's implanted with Reaper tech. The cybernetic implants slowly replace his flesh and the tissue looks like its dying. Anderson even compares him to the Husks.
- Boldly Coming: Grayson's relationship with Liselle. He enjoys it so much he even wonders at one point "How can (he) ever go back to humans?"
- Bowdlerise: A minor example. The narration states that the number one rule of Omega is "Don't cross Aria T'loak". Everyone who's played Mass Effect 2 will know that her description of the rule is a bit more colorful.
- Continuity Nod: The friendly elcor ambassador from the first game, Calyn, makes a brief appearance while having lunch with Anderson. He's still complaining about the volus ambassador Din Korlak.
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Averted. Kai Leng is bleeding by the time he manages to get out of his restraints from where Anderson tied him up.
- Cutting Off the Branches: For the first time in the series (not counting the Canon Discontinuity of Shepard's second death in Mass Effect 2), no matter how the player makes it, Anderson in this book is an Admiral while Udina is Councilor.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Reaper/s controlling Grayson.
- Driven to Suicide: Subverted. Grayson tries to do this, but the Reapers won't let him.
- Dying as Yourself: After Grayson's body is too badly damaged, the Reapers release control and he seems to be this in his final moments.
- Faking Amnesia: When a rescue squad recovers a kidnapped character and asks for his name, he is unable to answer and claims that amnesia is the cause. As it turns out, he, Grayson, has been implanted with alien tech by Cerberus, allowing his body to be remote-controlled by the Reapers. The claim of amnesia was used by the Reapers to avoid the question as they were at that time unable to learn his name by reading his mind. It works horrifyingly well.
- Fantastic Racism: Kai Leng really doesn't like aliens.
- Fighting from the Inside: Grayson
- Guns Akimbo: Thanks to his Reaper enhancements, Grayson is able to effectively and accurately dual-wield assault rifles.
- Humanoid Abomination: Grayson, but not by choice.
- Humorless Aliens: Anderson, while having lunch with Calyn, jokes about attacking Din Korlak (Calyn's office mate, about whom he had been complaining) and "watching the butterball roll out the door". Calyn finds this joke disturbing, and notes that he's unsettled by humanity's sense of humour.
- Karma Houdini: Kai Leng. Then again, he appears in Mass Effect 3 and gunning for Shepard. You know how that ends...
- Mauve Shirt: Liselle
- More Than Mind Control: Part of what makes Reaper indoctrination so effective.
- Naked People Are Funny: Averted with Grayson, who is naked when rescued by the turians from the Cereberus facility, especially due to Body Horror.
- Raging Stiffie: Happens to poor Nick not thirty pages into the book, who probably advances one trope and narrowly subverts another while he's at it.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Liselle is murdered by Kai Leng in order to cast suspicion upon Grayson. Considering that she was Aria's daughter, Aria is pissed when she arrives at the crime scene.
- Sadistic Choice: Kai Leng gives Anderson the choice of either arresting him or letting the fifteen-year-old Nick die from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Anderson tries to Take a Third Option by shooting Leng in both legs then going to help Nick, but Leng barely escapes.
- Token Romance: Subverting the one in Mass Effect: Revelation; Kahlee and Anderson are still close despite not having worked together after twenty-one years.
- Tragic Monster: Grayson