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[[center: [- [[Characters/MassEffect Main Character Index]] | [[Characters/MassEffectCommanderShepard Commander Shepard]] | [[Characters/MassEffect1PartyMembers Party 1 Members]] | [[Characters/MassEffectKaidanAlenko Kaidan Alenko]] | [[Characters/MassEffectAshleyWilliams Ashley Williams]] | [[Characters/MassEffectGarrusVakarian Garrus Vakarian]] | [[Characters/MassEffectLiaraTSoni Liara T'Soni]] | [[Characters/MassEffectTaliZorah Tali'Zorah]] | [[Characters/MassEffectUrdnotWrex Urdnot Wrex]] | [[Characters/MassEffect1Antagonists Mass Effect 1 Antagonists]] | [[Characters/MassEffect1Npcs Mass Effect 1 NPCs]] | [[Characters/MassEffect2EarlyPartyMembers Early Party 2 Members]] | [[Characters/MassEffect2LatePartyMembers Late Party 2 Members]] | [[Characters/MassEffect2SecretPartyMembers Mass Effect 2 Secret Party Members]] | [[MassEffect2AntagonistsAndNpcs/MainAntagonists Mass Effect 2 Main Antagonists]] | [[MassEffect2AntagonistsAndNpcs/SecondaryAntagonists Mass Effect 2 Secondary Antagonists]] | [[MassEffect2AntagonistsAndNpcs/NormandyCrew Normandy Crew]] | '''Mass Effect 2 Council Space [=NPCs=]''' |[[MassEffect2AntagonistsAndNpcs/NonCouncilSpace Mass Effect 2 Non Council Space NPCs]] | [[Characters/MassEffect3PartyMembers Party 3 Members]] |[[Characters/MassEffect3AntagonistsAndNpcs Mass Effect 3 Antagonists and NPCs]] | [[Characters/MassEffect3MultiplayerCharacters Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Characters]] | [[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaPathfinderRyder Pathfinder Ryder]] | [[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaPartyMembers Party Andromeda Members]] | [[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaCrewOfTheTempest Crew of the Tempest]] |[[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaTheAndromedaInitiative The Andromeda Initiative]] | [[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaTheKett The Kett]] |[[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaTheAngara The Angara]] | [[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaOtherCharacters Andromeda Other Characters]] | [[Characters/MassEffectAndromedaMultiplayerCharacters Multiplayer Characters]]]]-]

This page is for listing the tropes related to {{non player character}}s in council space who '''first appeared''' in the second ''[[VideoGame/MassEffect2 Mass Effect]]'' game.

[[folder:The Illusive Man]]
[[WMG: The Illusive Man, AKA Jack Harper]]

->''"Salvation comes with a cost. Judge us not by our methods, but what we seek to accomplish."''

-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/MartinSheen

The enigmatic leader of Cerberus. He seeks to protect humanity, regardless of the cost. He gets Shepard to investigate the disappearance of human colonies. He is the protagonist of the tie-in comic ''ComicBook/MassEffectEvolution''.

In ''Mass Effect 3'', he makes his most ambitious move yet -- attempting to gain control of the Reapers and their technology rather than defeating them conventionally.
* TheAdjectivalMan: Obviously. And his real name is never revealed in the actual games.
* AffablyEvil:
** To Paragon players. According to ''Retribution'', this is a facade he uses to make it difficult to tell when he's lying.
** If Shepard dies he seems genuinely remorseful in private, regardless of what s\he did to the Collector Base.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:No matter how he dies, his death is given a great deal of emotional weight. If Shepard convinces him of his indoctrination, he becomes horrified at what he's done and shoots himself to end it. If Shepard is the one to shoot him, he takes one last look at his beloved homeworld and comments how beautiful and perfect Earth is in his eyes.]]
* AmbitionIsEvil: He, alongside Cerberus as a whole.
%%* AntiVillain: [[spoiler: When he first shows up, at least]].
* AppropriatedAppellation: His anti-alien manifesto was derided by Alliance command after first contact as "survivalist rhetoric written by an illusive man". He kinda rolled with it.
* BadBoss: Don't betray him. Just ask [[spoiler:Paul Grayson, who gets Reaper technology implanted into him]]. In the third game, [[spoiler:he uses Reaper technology to create an army of slaves, among other atrocities]].
* BatmanGambit:
** He pulls off quite an impressive one in order to eliminate his rivals in between the second and third games. [[spoiler: He plays Liara and the Shadow Broker against each other, resulting in the latter's death. After that, his Cerberus forces sweep in and force Liara to destroy the resources she gained as the Shadow Broker (the original plan was to obtain them but Liara made sure this didn't happen; it's still a win in their favor, just not as much), and are only unable to kill Liara herself because of Shepard's intervention. In addition to that, he pulls a ploy to divide Omega (depicted in the tie-in comic ''Mass Effect: Invasion'') by luring Aria and her best forces away by unleashing an army of Adjutants on the station and feigning friendship, knowing that she was the only thing keeping the various mercenary groups on Omega from tearing the station apart. After that, Cerberus once again swept in and eliminated any remaining resistance]].
** His plan to revive Shepard as-is through the Lazarus project is one of these, and it is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] at the beginning of the game by Miranda. [[spoiler:His gambit pays off big in the Renegade ending, but he winds up [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hoisted by his own petard]] in the Paragon ending and undergoes a VillainousBreakdown]].
** [[spoiler:Attempts an enormous one against the Reapers in 3, in order to take control of them to subdue other species and put humanity on top. However, his plan fails because he doesn't fully anticipate just how out of his league his own (very strong, but only human) mind is in the face of an EldritchAbomination and ends up being indoctrinated. Worse, it's even implied that he wasn't the first one with that [[SarcasmMode brilliant]] idea; other extinction cycles had their own Cerberus[=/=]Illusive Man equivalents]].
* BenevolentBoss: He will do everything in his power to help out his subordinates... so long as they remain loyal and useful.
* BigBadDuumvirate: [[spoiler:Subverted, despite what the characters believe. While Harbinger and Cerberus largely ignore a direct confrontation throughout most of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the Illusive Man took great steps to control the Reapers in the meantime -- he ordered Henry Lawson to study indoctrination, buffed Cerberus to NGOSuperpower status and modified himself with Reaper tech so he could use the Crucible. Once Harbinger finds out, the Reapers storm Sanctuary in a brief moment of EvilVersusEvil. However, that research ultimately led to the Illusive Man himself becoming indoctrinated (or strengthening it, since his eyes ''are'' Reaper tech). By the final confrontation, it's made clear that TIM was little more than TheStarscream.]]
* BigBadEnsemble: He's the second most recurrent antagonist throughout the Mass Effect series, including the comics and books.
* BigBadWannabe: In the end, the Reapers are just the greater threat than him, and he ends up being their UnwittingPawn.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: In ''3'', it is revealed that he had the ship crew of the second team put together with the explicit goal to allay Shepard's suspicions, putting only {{Naive Newcomer}}s and {{Token Good Teammate}}s into it, as well as assembling parts of Shepard's old team to make him/her feel more comfortable.
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler:His cybernetic implants during the final confrontation, which have [[EvilMakesYouMonstrous twisted and warped most of his visible skin and cause him to look sorta like a Husk]].]]
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: In the third game, he gets just a ''little'' too close to Reaper tech and [[spoiler: gets indoctrinated]]. Luckily, Shepard can snap him out of it and [[spoiler:[[DrivenToSuicide get him to kill himself.]]]]
* ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes: His creepy glowing eyes are even commented on in-universe.
* CallBack: [[spoiler: TIM's suicide is Saren redux. Not as gory, though]].
* TheCasanova: His dossier in the Shadow Broker {{DLC}} reveals this.
-->Sexual liaisons (past week):\\
Sani Shelani, Illium Entertainment's [[MarsNeedsWomen Sexiest Human Alive]]\\
Brooke Karrigar, Skyball Champion\\
Vela Vicious, Fornax Dream Girl 2185\\
Staci and Stephi Strong, the "[[TwinThreesomeFantasy Terra Firma Twins]]"\\
[[BoldlyComing Matriarch Trellani]] (twice)
* TheChessmaster: He pretty much ''is'' Cerberus, ensuring that he's personally involved in all of their operations. Considering how intricate and far reaching their influence is, that's a lot of pawns.
** He also successfully manipulates the galaxy's most skilled soldier into working with him by making it so s/he really didn't have much of a choice in the matter, completely boxing him/her in. Add on the fact that for all of ''Mass Effect 2'', he was responsible for pretty much everything that happened and even out-thought the Collectors a few times.
** Strategically leaking Shepard's return and association with Cerberus, perhaps while Shepard was still unconscious, ensured that the Alliance and the Council would deny any effort on Shepard's part to get them to help, leaving Shepard only with Cerberus and anyone else the Illusive Man allows to have access. It helps that the Council are in denial about the whole Reaper business anyway, and that the Collectors are focused on the Terminus systems whose inhabitants have a fraught relationship with the Council.
** He strategically leaks information to both the Alliance and the Collectors to get a human colony assaulted by the Collectors, and then directs Shepard to the location of the attack. This actually serves multiple purposes:
*** Directly studying the Collectors' tactics and behavior, as they attacked a colony of his choosing, and thus he had the ability to intercept them.
*** Confirming his theory that the Collectors had taken a new-found interest in humanity as a result of Shepard's actions by selecting a colony that Kaidan/Ashley just ''[[ContrivedCoincidence happened]]'' to be stationed in.
*** Removing any chance of Kaidan/Ashley's interference by either getting them abducted by the Collectors, or forcing Shepard to confront them regarding Shepard's newfound allegiance to Cerberus, which very likely looked worse than it actually was. Either Kaidan/Ashley will cut all ties with Shepard, or begrudgingly accept the decision as a [[IDidWhatIHadToDo necessary one]]. [[XanatosGambit All three outcomes work out for the Illusive Man.]]
** The Illusive Man is visibly conflicted over whether he should allow Shepard near any of the original squad. In addition to what he did to Kaidan/Ashley:
*** He claimed that Liara couldn't be trusted because she was working for the Shadow Broker, when that couldn't be farther from the truth (she was trying to take revenge against the Broker). However, he later goes back on this and actually provides Shepard with intel that results in the Shadow Broker's downfall, giving him the opening to try to take Liara down once she was no longer useful.
*** Garrus was only allowed to join because the Illusive Man didn't know that Garrus was Archangel. Once that was discovered, it was impossible to remove Garrus without jeopardizing Shepard's loyalty to Cerberus. He even says in the mission report that he hopes Garrus will keep Shepard invested in the fight against the Collectors.
*** Tali was only allowed to join because the chance encounter with her on Freedom's Progress was enough to convince the Illusive Man that she was a factor that could be controlled.
** In the third game, the player can see retroactively how much he controlled during the second game. He rejects the highly-skilled crew already selected, stating that he wanted both relatable faces Shepard would be comfortable with (tapping Dr. Chakwas and Joker) as well as sympathetic faces like Kelly Chambers, Ken Donnelly, and Gabby Daniels.
* ConsummateLiar: It's nearly impossible to tell when he's being truthful or lying. Aria T'Loak notes that his very body language is cultivated to be just as inscrutable as his words. He's one of the few people capable of successfully lying to Aria's face.
* ContemplativeBoss: He spends an awful lot of time staring at that star.
* CreepyBlueEyes: And they ''glow''. What's especially noteworthy is that they look similar to Saren's eyes from the first game, possibly to hint that [[spoiler:both have been touched by Reapers]].
* CunningLinguist: Apparently can speak the asari and turian dialects unaided by universal translator, although this is seemingly because of [[spoiler:the Reaper tech he was implanted with]].
* CutsceneBoss: [[spoiler:At the end of the third game, you will either be able to [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath convince him to kill himself]], [[CallBack like with Saren in the first game]], or you'll have to take him out using one of two [[QuickTimeEvent Renegade interrupts]]. Not taking either of them results in a NonstandardGameOver.]]
* DevilInPlainSight: Doesn't matter whether Shepard is Paragon or Renegade; you always get dialogue options about whether or not the Illusive Man is trustworthy, and whether he knows more than he lets on at the end of several missions (in both cases, often to his face). Granted, a lot of this is to do with Cerberus's reputation and the player's experience of them in the previous game, but even so, it's clear that Shepard and other characters are wary of him and his organization, especially as the game goes on and it becomes more and more obvious that they are still up to no good.
%%* DiabolicalMastermind: Manipulates everyone to get humanity above.
* DrinkOrder: Bourbon, as revealed by Ken Donnelly in ''3''.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:If Shepard can make him realize that he's being indoctrinated during their last conversation, he will choose to shoot himself.]]
* DyingAsYourself:
** [[spoiler:If Shepard shoots TIM, his final words are: "There... Earth. I wish you could see it like I do, Shepard. It's so... perfect."]]
** [[spoiler:If Shepard helps him realize he has been indoctrinated, he says "I... tried." in regards to controlling the Reapers. He then kills himself to prevent them from using him any more.]]
* ElectronicEyes: [[spoiler: A sign that he's already undergoing indoctrination.]]
* EmpathicEnvironment: His office, after the Suicide Mission. [[spoiler:If Shepard made the Paragon decision at the end of the mission, the star will turn blue. Otherwise (i.e., the Renegade decision) it will turn red]]. Averted if Shepard doesn't survive. Regardless of what became of the Collector Base, the star will remain its normal color (orange with hues of blue).
* EnemyMine:
** ''Mass Effect 2'' revolves around an uneasy alliance between him and Shepard. Previously, he had one with Liara to secure Shepard's body from the Shadow Broker.
** He seems to consider cooperating with non-humans as this kind of arrangement. Which is ironic, considering that he helped save the entire turian race from indoctrination back when he was still a mercenary.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** The Cerberus facility that created Jack was actually a rogue facility outside his approval, and he ordered ''all'' of the surviving scientists from the project executed once he learned precisely what they were doing. Furthermore, his e-mail responses to both the Paragon and Renegade endings of the [[{{DLC}} Project Overlord incident]] give further credence to the idea that he still tries to maintain ''some'' ethical standards in his research projects.
** However, his response to "Overlord"'s Renegade ending claims that while he thought the experiments went too far, he's happy that Shepard decided to keep the research subject within Cerberus. For the Paragon ending, he complains that "Though your decision is understandable, it has set our efforts to understand the geth back several years." (This makes even less sense if Shepard already has Legion as a squadmate, though this could be an oversight on the author's part.) It's possible that while the Illusive Man would happily reap the fruits of even the most unethical projects, he values Shepard's loyalty enough to go along with what s/he chooses to do.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: He believes that Shepard will always understand what he hopes to accomplish, [[spoiler:even when it means using a base where hundreds of thousands of humans were liquefied as fuel for a human Reaper prototype]]. He also fails to see Miranda ever betraying him because he thought she was completely loyal to him.
* EvilCounterpart:
** Serves as one for Admiral Hackett in ''3'', where they both are described as leaders of humanity (Cerberus and the Alliance respectively), both are gathering resources and intel to defeat the Reapers and both have sent Shepard on black ops missions in previous games.
** His backstory in the comic ''ComicBook/MassEffectEvolution'' also makes him one to Shepard. Both were soldiers who received visions from an alien artifact that would lead them on the path to become major players in galactic civilization.
* EvilIsNotAToy: [[spoiler:As [[MagnificentBastard magnificent]] as he was, he was still way out of his league attempting to take control of the Reapers.]]
* EvilMentor: Tries to be one to Shepard in ''Mass Effect 2'', though it's entirely up to the player whether or not Shepard actually follows him.
* {{Expy}}: The Illusive Man's development in ''3'' is rather parallel to Saren's from the first game: they both are [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]] who cross the MoralEventHorizon to deal with the Reaper threat. [[spoiler: While Saren feels that he can work with the Reapers to save all organic life, TIM decides to try to find a way to control them and uplift humanity. They both even justify their actions with the ''exact same'' argument; "the Reapers never truly wiped out all organics". Both of their paths lead to them getting Reaper implants, making them easier to be indoctrinated. In the end, they both can also die in the same exact way, committing suicide if Shepard manages to convince them that the Reapers are controlling them.]]
* TheExtremistWasRight: His conviction that the Crucible can be used to control the Reapers is taken as simply further evidence of his rapidly-advancing insanity by Shepard and his/her allies, but [[spoiler:not only does he turn out to be right, but there's an argument to be made for it being the most moral (or, at least, least immoral) resolution to the war. The one thing he was mistaken about was his own ability to control the Reapers, since he'd already been indoctrinated]].
* FaceFramedInShadow: Although his facial features can occasionally be seen.
* FantasticRacism: Sort of; at the same time he does express respect for the achievements of others, and he did save the turians from being enslaved by Desolas (Saren's brother) back before he founded Cerberus.
* FatalFlaw: His {{pride}}. He's so convinced that the ends justify the means, [[spoiler: it leads to himself and the entirety of Cerberus getting indoctrinated by the Reapers]].
* FelonyMisdemeanor: In the third game, [[spoiler:his reaction to seeing Shepard after s/he storms his base]]:
-->''Shepard, [[spoiler:you're in my chair]].''
* {{Fiction 500}}: He was able to get a multi-billion credit project to ''bring a person back from the dead'' together on fairly short notice. And build an improved version of the most advanced experimental starship in the galaxy while he was at it. And this didn't really impede any of his other operations.
* FightingFromTheInside: [[spoiler: A Paragon Shepard can help the Illusive Man realize he is indoctrinated. He starts to noticeably struggle more and more to justify his actions almost as if he is in physical pain. Continuing this path can finally help him break their control long enough for him to kill himself.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}. In ''2'', TIM mentions his eyes are enhanced by Reaper technology. You don't say.[[note]]Reaper technology, however, doesn't indoctrinate. Contact with Reapers, even ''dead'' ones, does, so it's probable TIM could have investigated the Leviathan of Dis or his experimentation in creating Husks got him ''too'' close to the Reapers' influence.[[/note]]
* FromNobodyToNightmare: It's mentioned that he was once an average man with a family.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: [[spoiler:Even if you've finished the game depriving him of Reaper tech, he'll still go out of his way to get Kasumi in your team even though they've already finished their mission. The same goes for the Overlord mission, begging the question of why he'd request your aid in stopping his project after you blew up the Collector Base. In addition, you still get Cerberus funding when completing missions.]]
* GlowingMechanicalEyes: Bizarrely, almost ''nobody'' comments on them.
--> '''Joker:''' The Illusive Man has some ''crazy'' eyes for a guy trying to lay low.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: We ''never'' see him without a cigarette. Made fun of in the Shadow Broker DLC: He smokes at least four a day and has seven drinks a day.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: How did he raise such a huge army in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''? [[spoiler:Indoctrination. Unfortunately, indoctrination based on Reaper tech. He wasn't just playing with fire, he was playing with randomly spontaneously combusting thermite. And naturally, he succumbed himself.]]
* TheHeavy: His actions guide a significant chunk of the plot of the second and third games.
* HeelRealization: Like Saren before him, can be talked into having one, [[spoiler:both into realizing that he's indoctrinated and how much his actions have hurt humanity, causing him to commit suicide]].
--> '''The Illusive Man:''' [[spoiler:''"I'm sorry, Shepard... I tried." (BANG)'']]
* HiddenAgendaVillain: He's trying to make humanity dominant in the galaxy. Beyond that, not even Miranda, his most loyal agent, has any idea what he wants. [[spoiler:In the third game, he shows a solidly-formed one: looking for a way to control the Reapers.]]
* {{Hypocrite}}: Despite being the leader of a pro-human organisation, according to his Shadow Broker dossier, he has had [[BoldlyComing numerous sexual liaisons with aliens]].
* IAmTheTrope: [[spoiler:''[[VillainousBreakdown CERBERUS]] '''[[VillainousBreakdown IS]]''' [[VillainousBreakdown HUMANITY!]]'']]
* InkSuitActor: He resembles Martin Sheen. It's also fairly obvious that [[http://images.wikia.com/masseffect/images/a/a4/Codex_Illusive_Man.png the photo of him in the Codex]] is a photoshopped picture of a younger Sheen.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Whatever his research ethics were like before, it becomes clear in the third game that he's thrown off any remaining restraints, to the point of attempting to institute a [[spoiler:''second'' Project Overlord, which disgusts even the head of the original project. And this is before the big reveal of the atrocity factory known as Sanctuary.]]
* KnightTemplar: He believes that everything he does will be justified later on.
* LargeHam: Normally, he's not like this. But in ''3'', [[spoiler: during his VillainousBreakdown, he starts channeling [[Franchise/StarWars Palpatine]] when Shepard points out the fact he's indoctrinated and his plan to control the Reapers will not work]].
* LastSecondChance: Paragon Shepard will keep offering this. The only reason TIM doesn't accept is that he's indoctrinated.
-->'''The Illusive Man:''' Your idealism is... admirable, Shepard.
* TheMan: Shades of this: always shown in dim light, smoking a cigarette, a very rich and powerful fellow manipulating events from the shadows.
* ManipulativeBastard: Although he is not as manipulative as he wants to think, what with trying (and failing) to persuade Paragon Shepard to [[spoiler:save the Collector Base]].
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Martin Sheen has gone on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSFMZ1nWVv8 record]] saying that he finds the Illusive Man "horrible" and untrustworthy.
* MeaningfulName: Everything, ''everything'' related to this man is covered in layers upon layers of meticulously planned deception.
* MotiveDecay: [[spoiler: Indoctrination can do that. If every Paragon response is chosen, you can see him visibly struggling against his indoctrination during the Thessia mission, where he falters for a moment when Shepard asks him [[ArmourPiercingQuestion how he can possibly justify betraying humanity]] by fighting them, instead of the ''Reapers?!'']]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: If you convince him that [[spoiler:he's been indoctrinated]] and that his actions have brought humanity to the brink of destruction, he shows great regret [[spoiler:before committing suicide]].
* MysteriousEmployer: None of his subordinates know anything about him and the smart ones know better than to attempt to rectify that. In fact, many who work under his agents have no idea they're following his orders. Doubles as a MysteriousBacker in general.
* NecessarilyEvil: His stance on some of his actions in ''2'' and just about everything he does in ''3''.
--> "You think because I'm willing to use the enemy's tactics, that they're no longer my enemy?"
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: He vetoed Miranda when she suggested implanting Shepard with a control chip, when it would've undoubtedly made his job much easier in the long run. Shepard even [[LampshadeHanging comments]] on this when told by Miranda in ''3'', saying that s/he figured it would've saved the Illusive Man a lot of trouble.
* NonActionBigBad: In every appearance with him as an antagonist. He never takes to the battlefield himself in these appearances, instead sending his lackeys to do all the heavy lifting. Justified because his real strengths are [[TheCharmer his charisma]], [[Fiction500 his vast monetary resources]] and [[TheChessmaster his ability to manipulate people]], and with a number of powerful specialists and a whole army of EliteMooks at his disposal, there's no reason to take to the field himself.
* NotSoDifferent: ''3'' starts to show that he and [[spoiler:Saren]] are frighteningly similar. ''ComicBook/MassEffectEvolution'' hammers it all the way by revealing their actions served as each others StartOfDarkness.
* NotSoStoic: For most of the two games he's in he maintains a calm demeanor. However, during the final confrontation, if you use the persuasion options he starts to sound increasingly angry and desperate, culminating in him [[spoiler:trying to shoot Shepard or taking his own life]].
* NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist: He claims he wants the best for humanity, but humanity and Cerberus are the same thing in his mind. Even though he is very sincere in leveraging Shepard's talents to combat the Reaper threat, and has a knack for drawing in genuinely honorable and talented people, he fails to truly appreciate the severe downsides of his ethically compromised operations. By ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the reputation of Cerberus has decayed to the point that even some of his most dedicated and talented employees want nothing to do with him, and his goal has shifted from ''combat the Reapers'' to ''controlling their power''.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: He remains extraordinarily calm and coolheaded in basically all of his scenes, even in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' when the Reapers have invaded and [[spoiler:Cerberus is completely falling apart]]. He only gets upset in two very specific scenes: [[spoiler:the Paragon ending of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', in which he chews out Shepard for destroying the Collector Base, and the ending of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' when he's confronted by Shepard and Anderson on a Reaper-occupied Citadel]]. Both are extremely important character moments for him.
* PeoplePuppets: [[spoiler:He gains this power after getting Reaper implants. He uses it to hold Shepard and Anderson in place as he monologues, and also forces Shepard to shoot his/her mentor.]]
* PersonalityPowers: He's a skilled manipulator and chessmaster who [[spoiler:gains the ability to control people's bodies. Ironically, he only gains these powers because he himself is being manipulated.]]
* PragmaticVillainy: He complies with his employees' requests and is willing to work with aliens so long as it suits his goals.
* PsychoticSmirk: [[spoiler:Give him the Collector Base at the end of the game, and he'll have a rather creepy one of these]].
* ReallyGetsAround: According to his Shadow Broker dossier, he's something of a [[ThePornomancer pornomancer]], though [[EmpoweredBadassNormal there could be one]], maybe [[RuleOfCool two reasons for that]].
* RedRightHand: Creepy, synthetic, glowing eyeballs.
* ShutUpHannibal:
** [[spoiler:What Paragon Shepard does to him after destroying the Collector Base. Bonus points for Miranda doing it too, when asked to convince him/her not to do it. Extra bonus points for "Shut up" being the actual dialogue option that shows up on screen]].
---> '''Shepard:''' Sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you. I'm getting a lot of bullshit on this line.
** [[spoiler: The whole of the final confrontation with him in the third game consists of this combined with a healthy dose of KirkSummation and TheReasonYouSuckSpeech]].
* SlouchOfVillainy: He sits rather casually in his lounge chair most of the time.
* SmugSnake:
** Not as bad as Leng (being voiced by Creator/MartinSheen helps), but prevalent in ''3''. Constantly giving arrogant lectures to Shepard whenever they meet, never truly explaining his motives beyond human supremacy, and never willing to admit there could be a better option. As with most smug snakes, many of his arguments are [[LogicalFallacies full of holes]]. A number of his remarks are also often accompanied by an annoyingly smug grin. [[spoiler:Of course, indoctrination has the effect of making even the best MagnificentBastard into a SmugSnake. A telltale sign he's indoctrinated is when he politely tells Shepard not to interfere anymore, as if that's supposed to deter them. Both Saren and Amanda Kenson before him had done the same, and all three ultimately devolved into child-like whining when the indoctrination became most severe and when their plans started to fall apart]].
** This is also very much present in ''2'', though hidden more because [[ButThouMust the game seldom lets Shepard explicitly call out his fallacies]]. Several of the operations he funds result in [[EpicFail hilarious failures]] causing him to beg Shepard to clean up said messes. Though he is fully aware of the adversarial past between Shepard and Cerberus, he nonetheless goes out of his way to disavow all knowledge regarding the more contemptible practices of Cerberus, even if evidence indicating otherwise is found. However, this trope truly reaches its head at the Collector Base, where he's utterly ''shocked'' (and enraged) if Shepard chooses to blow up the base rather than hand it to him. Even if Shepard had spent the whole game as a Paragon whose every word to TIM dripped with contempt.
* TheSocialDarwinist: Develops shades of this in ''3'' (an attitude Kai Leng embraces wholeheartedly). In this case, "evolution" = [[spoiler: becoming Reaper-tech transhumans]].
* SpannerInTheWorks: Part of how Cerberus operates in ''3''. [[spoiler:Attacking Sur'Kesh to kill the fertile females, and attempting to set off a turian bomb on Tuchanka in order to prevent races from uniting. And if Shepard is diligent, Shepard spanners them right back every time.]]
* StartOfDarkness: The events of ''ComicBook/MassEffectEvolution'' detail his.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: To [[spoiler:Saren]] in ''Mass Effect 3''. [[spoiler:Both seek to use the Reapers as a means to secure the dominance of their race, and end up indoctrinated and implanted with Reaper tech for their efforts. Shepard can even talk the Illusive Man into suicide in an almost exact replication of Saren. According to a Prothean VI, every cycle has groups like these that emerge.]]
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: [[spoiler:You can convince him to kill himself at the end of ''Mass Effect 3''. However, unlike with the encounter with Saren in the first game, which just requires a bunch of points in the Charm or Intimidate skills, the dialogue option to do this with the Illusive Man is ''very'' [[GuideDangIt difficult to unlock]]; you have to have a completely full Reputation bar, ''and'' have to have taken all of the Persuade options in ''every conversation you have with him during the game''.]]
* TouchedByVorlons: [[spoiler:Before becoming the Illusive Man, he was exposed to a Reaper artifact that had an effect on him and is strongly implied to be the reason behind some of his personal abilities.]]
* TheUnfought: In ''Mass Effect 3''. This is slightly justified since he is a NonActionBigBad. [[spoiler:A battle with him was originally intended, but they decided that going OneWingedAngel and turning into an unrecognizable monster didn't fit someone whose weapon had always been his mind[=/=]ideals. Or because it was "too videogamey."]]
* TomTheDarkLord: His FanNickname is essentially TIM, while his real name is [[spoiler:Jack]]. Go figure.
* TotalitarianUtilitarian: It's quite telling how he tends to refer to his employees as "resources".
* TheUnfettered: Is willing to allow any manner of ''horrible'' experiments happen to people in order to secure human dominance, even if those experiments are on other humans.
* UngratefulBastard: Cerberus will oppose Shepard in ''Mass Effect 3'' regardless of whether s/he [[spoiler:decided to destroy the Collector Base or not]], [[spoiler:though it later becomes clear that this is largely due to indoctrination]].
* UnwittingPawn: To the Reapers. He thinks he is working against them, but is unwittingly indoctrinated by them. He also serves as a case of HistoryRepeatsItself, as during the Prothean cycle, there was also a faction who tried to control the Reapers instead of destroying them and only helped them divide the galaxy to make the harvest more easy.
--> '''Shepard:''' So the Illusive man was right after all?
--> '''The Catalyst:''' Yes but he could never have taken control, because we already controlled him.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: His grand Utopian vision is that of galaxy where humanity is in charge and never has to fear being threatened or dominated by another race ever again. There are very few (if any) lengths he'll not go to in the name of realizing that vision.
* VillainousBreakdown:
** [[spoiler:If you destroy the Collector Base]]. He doesn't rant and rave, but he's clearly ''not pleased'' that [[spoiler:Shepard basically gave him the middle finger and told him they're doing things Shepard's way from now on, or he can sod off]]. His last words before being cut off are even a pathetic "Think about everything Cerberus has done for you!"
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', he has a pretty epic one when [[spoiler:confronting Shepard and Anderson at the endgame, especially if Shepard keeps pointing out that his plan to control the Reapers is failing because he himself is indoctrinated and playing into their hands]]. It ends with him either [[spoiler:ranting violently at Shepard and trying to shoot him/her and Anderson, or fighting off his indoctrination and committing suicide]].
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: While he's painted as a terrorist by the Alliance, he does get an ambiguous portrayal in the second game that makes it possible for Shepard to ally with him. [[spoiler:In the third game, it turns out he's worked very hard on that facade by carefully selecting the Cerberus operatives that Shepard comes into contact with while never letting them get close to his more traditionally villainous schemes or henchmen. This is why the ''Normandy'' SR-2 is staffed by people like [[WideEyedIdealist "Cerberus is not anti-alien, it's pro-humanity" Kelly Chambers]] rather than [[FantasticRacism "Only a dead alien is a good alien" Kai Leng]] and why Shepard's technological assets are an uprated version of his/her old ship and a fairly benign AI rather than whatever husk-related crimes against sapience Cerberus cooked up in its atrocity factories.]]
* VillainRespect: The Illusive Man has a great deal of respect and admiration for Shepard, even after they become clear enemies. He is always attempting to make him/her see his point of view and bring him/her to his side, and even when s/he doesn't, he still admires his/her will and idealism. He tries to get Kai Leng to show this respect, but it doesn't work.
* VisionaryVillain: Designed to be the best and worst of humanity all at once.
* WickedCultured: Has pretty high class tastes and is a NecessaryEvil at best.
* WorthyOpponent: In ''3'', he views Shepard as one, respecting them as an adversary despite their ideological differences.
-->'''Illusive Man:''' Your idealism is... admirable, Shepard.
** Also shown when he chastises Kai Leng for ''clearly'' underestimating Shepard.
* WouldntHurtAChild: He approves of a lot of extremely shady and unethical scientific experiments to advance Cerberus' cause, but apparently [[spoiler:took action to shut down the Teltin facility on Pragia, which was running brutal experiments on children like Jack to create super biotics]]. Later [[AvertedTrope averted]] when [[spoiler:he uses the refugees, including entire ''families'', on Horizon as test subjects in his experiments into indoctrination]]. Though at that point [[spoiler:he's pretty deep into being indoctrinated himself.]]
* YouCouldHaveUsedYourPowersForGood: Shepard outright tells him he had the power, intelligence, knowledge (his information network nearly rivals the Shadow Broker's), and charisma to stand a significant chance of defeating the Reapers. [[spoiler:Too bad his {{pride}} led to him getting too close to Reaper tech and becoming one of their biggest assets against Shepard.]]
* YouHaveFailedMe: More than one of his project leads have engaged in [[TooDumbToLive reckless]], [[EvenEvilHasStandards truly unethical]], or [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs recklessly unethical]] methods in their efforts to avoid this when their deadline was coming close.

[[folder:Captain Armando-Owen Bailey]]
[[WMG: Captain (later Commander) Armando-Owen Bailey]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Not too old for this shit just yet.]]

->''"I'm with them [formalities] up until they keep people from doing their jobs."''

-->'''Voiced by''': Michael Hogan

A human Captain of C-Sec, he unofficially acts as a liaison during Shepard's time on the Citadel. He's not big on formalities, but nevertheless gets promoted to Commander by the start of ''Mass Effect 3''.
* AntiHero: He is mostly a good guy, but he is more than willing to bend the law and work with criminals if it helps keep the peace.
* ADayInTheLimelight: ''Mass Effect: Inquisition'', where it's revealed that [[spoiler:Bailey ended up killing Pallin while investigating him under Udina's orders. Of course, he believes that Pallin's innocent of whatever he was accused of despite evidence to the contrary]].
* CanadaEh: Michael Hogan's northern Ontario accent comes through pretty strongly.
* CommandingCoolness: Gets promoted to this by the time you meet him in ''3''. He hates it.
-->'''Shepard:''' [[DeadpanSnarker ...Congratulations?]]
* DaChief: For Zakera Ward in ''2'', then moves up into even higher echelons in ''3''.
* DeskJockey: He complains about being one of these after being KickedUpstairs in the third game.
* DirtyCop: A ZigZaggingTrope. Bailey is obviously crooked, as he's willing to torture suspects and makes under-the-table deals with thugs, but at the same time he's more of a PragmaticHero; he's actually a good person since he's doing these things because adhering the inflexible rules wouldn't get the job of keeping the peace done in the gritty life of the Wards. He's also not obstructive in any way to Shepard, Paragon or Renegade.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Will bargain with crooks if it ultimately means it'll keep peace on the Citadel.
* {{Foil}}: Towards Executive Pallin. Unlike Pallin, who was a by-the-book cop and deeply distrusted Spectres because of their disregard for rules, Bailey is willing and able to bend the rules if he feels it gets the job done, and is perfectly willing to request and use a Spectre's authority granted to him to move things along.
* FriendOnTheForce: Acts as one to Shepard.
* HiddenHeartOfGold: Willing to engage in dirty business to keep the peace, but he's anything but a thug -- see below.
* KnightInSourArmor: His divorce, estrangement from his children, and the things he's seen on the job have made him pretty sour. Still does his best on the job though.
* MadeOfIron: During [[spoiler:the Citadel coup]] in ''3'', he takes a shot to the gut and just shrugs it off.
* OldFashionedCopper: On your first trip to the Citadel, you overhear him encouraging a younger officer to "make [the suspect] scream a little" to extract a confession, and then offers to do it himself if she can't handle it.
* OddFriendship: With Paragon Shepard. Shepard might disapprove of his style and methods of policing, but nonetheless it's clear the two have nothing but an honest respect for each other.
* NobleBigot: Subverted. Although this trope often goes hand in hand with OldFashionedCopper, Bailey is one of the few [=NPCs=] in the series to avoid this. During Thane's quest he shows empathy towards the alien population's fear of humans, observing that many of them have lived on the station since before humanity discovered space travel. All the more impressive given that many of the C-Sec officers throughout the game are very openly speciesist, including (at first) Garrus.
* ParentalAbandonment: He considers this the root of many of the Citadel's social problems, which is why he jumps at the chance to help Thane and Kolyat. He'll eventually admit, albeit implicitly, that he's been in Thane's shoes himself -- "You think he's the only man who ever screwed up raising a son?"
* PragmaticHero: He does whatever he needs to for the job to get done, but he is unfailingly just.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Perfectly willing to help Shepard out, even when it involves breaking the law.
* RetCon: An accidental one regarding his name. A background news report in the second game refers to him as Owen Bailey, but the [[{{DLC}} Lair of the Shadow Broker]] archives refer to him as Armando Bailey. A later Cerberus Daily News report patched up the mistake by giving him the rather unwieldy first name "Armando-Owen."
* {{Retirony}}: Defied. He tells you he wants to retire to a nice place in the foothills on Earth, but then quickly adds that he won't be doing so any time soon.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: His excuse for being a dirty cop.
* YouKillItYouBoughtIt: [[spoiler:Basically how he got his job, though unintentionally]].

[[folder:Detective Anaya]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Nice guns. Try not to use 'em in my district.]]
->''"You're free to go, justicar. It's been an honor having you in my station... and it's nice you didn't kill me, too."''

-->'''Voiced by''': Creator/CindyRobinson

Anaya is a cop on [[CrapsaccharineWorld Illium]] that Shepard meets when looking for Samara. She is quite helpful, as Shepard's cause might draw Samara away from Illium -- and therefore keep Anaya from having to arrest and be subsequently killed by the justicar.
* BullyingADragon: Though [[SubvertedTrope not by choice]], only by proxy: her superiors ordered her to detain Samara, even though Samara's code would force her to kill Anaya to avoid it. Fortunately, both of them are willing to be reasonable about it.
* ByTheBookCop: She only accepts your evidence against Pitne For because Samara vouches for you.
* DaChief: To the cops in her district.
* DeadpanSnarker: Very much so.
-->'''Shepard:''' You're not going to lock her up?\\
'''Samara:''' Any attempt to put me in a [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness passive restraint system]] will be regarded as a hostile action, and I will be forced to attack.\\
'''Anaya:''' Yeah, that.
* FriendOnTheForce: Will follow up on some of Shepard's leads if you go to her.
* HeroWorshipper: Like most asari, is in total awe of a justicar like Samara, even if that justicar will [[LawfulStupid probably end up eventually killing her.]]
--> "It's a great honor to have her here, but I could do without the honor of having her kill me."
* HonorBeforeReason: She'll follow orders even if it's guaranteed to get her killed by a Justicar.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: She makes it very clear that she will follow her orders to detain Samara if Samara does not leave Illium, even knowing that her odds of survival are close to zero.
-->'''Anaya:''' I'm a cop and I know my duty.
* NobleBigotWithABadge: At the end of Samara's recruitment mission, Anaya admits that she didn't expect so much from a human.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: She's willing to work with Shepard and Samara to make sure they can do what they need to.
* ShoutOut: After the mission, she sends you an e-mail titled [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Still Alive]]

[[folder:Niftu Cal]]
->"I am a biotic ''god''! I think things...and they ''happen''!"

-->'''Voiced by''': Creator/MarkMeer

Yeah. ''This'' guy. A member of Pitne For's trade group, he ran afoul of the Eclipse sisters after Pitne neglected to tell them the red sand he sold them was potentially lethal. Niftu wound up pumped full of his own product and left to wander Nos Astra, stoned out of his gourd, while Pitne scrambled to get off-world.

Has a higher "meme-per-character" count than anyone short of Harbinger.
* AGodAmI: A ''biotic'' god, to be exact.
* AscendedMeme: So popular that he spawned a number of in-jokes in the VideoGame/MassEffect3 multiplayer. The biotic challenge group rewards you with the banner "Biotic God" with a picture of a biotic volus. There's also a volus adept character called, you guessed it, a biotic god.
* BattleAura: Unfortunately, it's the most impressive trick he has.
* CurbStompBattle: The victim of one if he faces Wasea.
* IntoxicationEnsues: The reason for his odd behavior. If he is spoken to afterwards, he is rather embarrassed.
* LargeHam: His "biotic god" speech is quite over-the-top.
* NoYou
-->'''Shepard:''' You need help.\\
'''Niftu:''' ''You'' need help! You stand before the mightiest biotic ever!
* ShapedLikeItself: "I am a great wind that will sweep all before me like... a great wind! A great biotic wind!"
* SuicidalOverconfidence: Tanked-up merchant with no combat experience versus the leader of a murderous AmazonBrigade. "I shall toss Wasea about like a rag doll!" He does not. You can knock him out to prevent this or...
-->'''Shepard:''' Charge...\\
'''Jack:''' That was mean. But damn funny
* TalkingToHimself: If you're playing Male Shepard.
* WizardDuel: He fires a tiny Warp field that 'pops' an inch from Wasea's nose, then turns and walks away. She unceremoniously one-shots him, knocking him into the air and behind a few barrels just as Shepard and co. walk in.

[[folder:Matriarch Aethyta]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Sorry. My father was a krogan.]]
->"What can I get ya, babe? Sorry, no sex. I just cleaned the bar."

-->'''Voiced by''': Creator/ClaudiaBlack

An asari Matriarch working in the Eternity bar on Illium because she had the ''blue laughed off her ass'' when suggesting her people get their maiden stages doing more productive things, and make the effort to study and build more mass relays. Bothered, but not too worried, about being confronted by [[ButtMonkey Conrad Verner]], and implies she would have dealt with him a lot more violently than Shepard.
* ArtEvolution: She gets a slight redesign in the third game, with more purple skin and older facial features.
* TheBartender: [[spoiler: She only takes bartending jobs to keep an eye on Liara without arousing suspicion.]]
* {{Bouncer}}: Implied to be Aethyta's other job at ''Eternity''.
* BrainBleach: Talks about her mother putting on her old commando leathers for 'special nights with Dad' with embarrassment, and later evokes a similar response from one of her kids while reminiscing about the other parent's breasts.
* CassandraTruth: Whether or not she believes in the Reapers before ''3'', the events of the first game led her to advise her people on Thessia that "art and philosophy and political prowess wasn't gonna cut it", but they didn't want to hear it.
-->'''Aethyta:''' We can't go one asari lifetime without some big war breaking out! We need to get our daughters working earlier, not spending their wild maiden years stripping or in merc bands.
* CoolOldLady: Thanks to being a DeadpanSnarker and DirtyOldWoman.
* DeadpanSnarker: Nearly everything she says includes a sarcastic quip.
* DirtyOldWoman: Says she goes for asses in ''2''. And in ''3'' she waxes poetic about Nezzy's rack.
-->'''Aethyta:''' [[Creator/MaeWest If it's all civilized, you're not doing it right.]]
* DisappearedDad: Well... ''technically.''
* EasterEgg: [[spoiler: If you order a "mystery drink" at the kiosk, then talk to her again, her character model is of a much younger and more attractive asari]].
* FacePalm[=/=]FunnyBackgroundEvent: Her reaction to Conrad's wife paying for his ticket out.
* FlatWhat: Her reaction when Conrad says that he heard the bar is a front for dealing red sand.[[note]]For one, even if the bar ''did'' sell it, it's ''legal'' on Illium.[[/note]]
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Has had sex with at least one elcor.
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: She gives Shepard a barely-veiled threat along these lines if s/he's been [[spoiler:romancing Liara in the third game. Shepard can throw it right back at her once s/he finds out exactly ''why'' Aethyta has been spying on her.]]
* InsistentTerminology: [[spoiler:She insists that she's Liara's father, not her other mother, because she "didn't pop her out. Anthropocentric bag of dicks."]]
* IronicEcho: [[spoiler:If you're romancing Liara, a Renegade interrupt lets you throw "Nobody messes with my girl" back in her face by saying you won't allow any assassination attempts on Liara. She is impressed]].
* GrievousHarmWithABody: Asks Shepard to rein in [[spoiler: Konrad Verner]] before she decides to beat him to death with his own spine.
* JadeColoredGlasses: She's faced a lot of crap.
* TheLadette: To be expected. Her dad was a krogan, after all.
* LamarckWasRight: "Scientists say that stuff about us getting genetic material from our fathers is crap. Seems like I got a bit of his mouth, though."
** NatureVersusNurture: She was raised by a krogan father, so it would have rubbed off, genetics or no.
* MadeOfIron: In one of the Shadow Broker archive videos, Matriarch Aethyta headbutts a krogan... and the ''krogan'' falls to the ground.
* MrsRobinson: She flirts with Shepard quite a bit. [[spoiler:The fact that she's Liara's dad plays it even closer]].
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: Her view towards asari's hat. She believes that they should be doing more constructive things with their Maiden years, and warns that there's a big war every asari lifetime, so they ought to focus less on culture, more on preparing.
* NeverMessWithGranny: As Aethyta herself puts it, she's no commando but she's had a thousand years to learn how to fight dirty and is implied to be a powerful biotic even for an asari. When she worked at Eternity it was implied that she doubled as the bouncer and a video in ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'' shows her taking down a ''krogan'' with a headbutt.
-->'''Aethyta:''' Thanks for taking care of that crazy guy. Saves me having to beat him to death with his own spine. That makes the other customers nervous.
* TheNicknamer:
** Well, she only gives one example rather than tendency, but it's memorable enough to stick to mind: she calls Matriarch Benezia "Nezzy". And refers to Shepard as 'babe' in ''2''.
** [[spoiler: Also inspired Benezia's pet name for Liara, "Little Wing".]]
* NoodleIncident: She uses one from her late-maiden/early-matron years to stress the importance of not eating food from the wrong chirality. Namely, what happened the time she witnessed a krogan drink a liquefied turian on a dare.
-->'''Aethyta:''' Nobody came out of ''that one'' looking pretty.
* OnlySaneMan: Was laughed off Thessia for suggesting that they make a serious effort to study and duplicate the Mass Relays. After the third game [[spoiler:becomes even more so after the relays blow or are damaged in any ending in which the asari species survives]]. In ''3'' it does seem like she has a lot more authority; keeping watch on the Shadow Broker aside, two random sidequests have her namedropped. A commando has her approval to get writings on being a warrior made into required reading, and another asari looking into improved biotic amp interfaces mentions her.
* PapaWolf: Technically falls under this rather than MamaBear since she's the father in the situation. Either way, [[spoiler:she has been making sure nobody messes with Liara. The jobs at both Eternity and Apollo's Café were to keep the other matriarchs satisfied that Liara was under control so they wouldn't order a hit]].
** OverprotectiveDad: She has shades of this [[spoiler:if you are romancing Liara]].
** MamaBear: Presumably played straight in regards to [[spoiler:Liara's [[TheUnseen unseen]] half-hanar sister]].
* ParentalAbandonment: In a hilarious, if a bit twisted, way. Her father fought in the Rachni Wars, while her mother fought in the Krogan Rebellions. Aethyta's mother figured it out very early, but stayed quiet while her husband boasted. When he found out when he was pushing a thousand and she was a matriarch, they told Aethyta, who was barely over a hundred, that they would fight each other to the death, and that she should "love whichever one survived. Turned out to be ''damned easy''! Since neither one did."
* ReallyGetsAround: "You find peace in whatever arms will hold you." Apart from [[spoiler:Benezia]], the lovers she sees fit to mention are a turian, an elcor, and a hanar, [[spoiler: the latter one whom she even had a child with]].
* RedOniBlueOni: The Red to [[spoiler: Benezia's Blue]]. Aethyta is a DeadpanSnarker with a rebellious streak and who's not afraid to solve arguments with a headbutt, whereas [[spoiler: Benezia]] was reserved, traditional and diplomatic.
** Which is possibly why she has concerns about [[spoiler: Shepard's [[LikeFatherLikeSon friendship]] (or [[LikeParentLikeSpouse relationship]]) with Liara, as they are likewise the Red to her Blue. This is also likely the reason why she approves more if Shepard takes the Renegade Interrupt and stands up to her, defending their relationship by using her [[MeaningfulEcho own words]] against her]].
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:She has been confirmed to be Liara's father. Not that Liara didn't already figure it out. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExcPXH3ThzA seen here]].)]]
* SophisticatedAsHell: Uses the terms "anthropocentric" and "bag of dicks" in the same breath.
* TooMuchInformation: [[spoiler:Liara's]] reaction to what she says about [[spoiler:Benezia's]] magnificent rack.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Shep can [[http://youtu.be/b2Zs9_oxnSA ask her]] about what it's like to live for a thousand years. Rather than talk about comparative lifespans, Aethyta says it's violent, good news is the exception, and you take comfort where you can.
--> "Then one day you wake up, your figure's gotten matriarchal, and everyone else is too young to remember how the quarians looked inside those suits."
* WolfWhistle: When fondly recalling [[spoiler:Benezia's]] rack.

[[folder:Pitne For]]

->'''Shepard:''' Why are the mercs after you?\\
'''Pitne:''' [[BlatantLies I have no idea! We're innocent merchants!]]

-->'''Voiced by''': Chris Postle

A volus merchant in the Nos Astra spaceport on Ilium. After his business partner is killed by Eclipse mercenaries, he finds himself involved in Samara's investigation. It's later revealed that Eclipse is after him for selling them a biotic-enhancing drug and mysteriously neglecting to mention its potentially lethal side-effects.
* AffablyEvil: He's awfully polite to Shepard despite being a smuggler and drug-peddeler. If you give him the proof of his criminal activities rather than turn it over to Detective Anaya, he'll compliment your advice to not write it down when he's doing something illegal, and notes that Shepard is a better criminal than him.
* BlatantLies: It's immediately obvious that he's not being straight with Shepard when the latter asks him about his involvement.
* CardCarryingVillain: Well, more like Card Carrying Dirtbag Salesman.
--> '''Shepard:''' It sounds like you're a swindler and your actions have finally caught up with you.\\
'''Pitne:''' True and true.
* CrackingUp: Shep does this to procure Pitne's passcard into the Eclipse base, prompting Pitne to hand it right over.
* DirtyCoward: He's caught trying to escape all the trouble he caused with Eclipse.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: It's hard to feel sorry that the mercs are hunting him when he conveniently withheld information about the drugs he sold them. His partner is also likely one of these.
* VillainHasAPoint: He forewarns you that all members of the Eclipse Sisterhood are cold-blooded killers who commit a murder to earn their uniform. This information becomes pertinent during your encounter with Elnora, an initiate of the Sisterhood who claims not to have understood what they were really like but is pulling a FalseInnocenceTrick on you and was in fact responsible for the killing of Pitne's murdered partner.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Shepard and co. encounter Niftu Cal, a fellow volus who was part of Pitne's trade group, while hunting the mercs. In retaliation for Pitne selling them biotic-enhancing chemicals without telling them how dangerous they were to the user, they pumped Cal so full of drugs that by the time Shepard finds him, he's as high as a kite. Also applies to Pitne's murdered partner, for whom Pitne sheds no tears, insisting that he knew the risks when he took to spacing. Referenced when your squadmates make comments about how Pitne cares more about money than friends.

[[folder:Lantar Sidonis]]

-->''"I wake up every night, sick and sweating. Each of their faces staring at me, accusing me. I'm already a dead man. I don't sleep. Food has no taste. Some days...I just want it to be over."''

-->'''Voiced by''': Jason Singer

A turian former member of Garrus's vigilante crew in Omega who betrayed the team, resulting in the deaths of the entire crew except for Garrus. This makes him the focus of Garrus's rage when the latter finally tracks down Sidonis.
* AntiVillain: Everything he did was only out of fear for his safety.
* BondOneLiner: Garrus delivers one of these if he succeeds in killing Sidonis.
--> '''Garrus:''' Betrayal repaid, Sidonis.
* BoomHeadshot: What Garrus does to him if you don't stop him.
* CruelMercy: When Shepard points out that Sidonis is badly suffering.
--> '''Garrus:''' He still has his life!\\
'''Shepard:''' Look at him, Garrus. He's not alive. There's nothing left to kill.
* DespairEventHorizon: So much so that Sidonis invites death by walking out into view of Garrus, whom he knows is attempting to kill him.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: It's more, "If You Kill Him, You Will Completely Lose Yourself", but Paragon Shepard spends the mission trying to convince Garrus that it's not like him to be so intent on killing his former friend. What truly separates the Paragon approaches for Garrus's loyalty mission and Zaeed's mission are a difference of 20 years. Whereas Zaeed had only recently met Shepard and before that had spent 20 years hunting down the man whom he thought was his friend, Garrus was friends with Shepard before, and had only recently turned to vigilantism. As a result, it's unnecessary to charm Garrus into realizing that he was only out for revenge like it takes with Zaeed, as Garrus knows and trusts Shepard enough that he can let it go on his own.
* MercyKill: With how empty Sidonis' life is, his death can be seen this way.
-->'''Sidonis:''' No more sleepless nights...\\
'''Garrus:''' For either of us, Sidonis.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: He deeply regrets selling out Garrus' team.
* PrecisionFStrike
-->'''Shepard:''' I'm the only thing standing between you and a hole in the head.\\
'''Sidonis:''' ...''Fuck''.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: What Garrus ''thinks'' he's doing.
* SurvivorGuilt: See TragicVillain below.
* ThatManIsDead: When Shepard calls him by his real name, Sidonis angrily retorts with "Don't ever say that name aloud!"
* TragicVillain: Talking to him shows just how guilty he feels over betraying Garrus, and he can't even eat or sleep because of what he's done.

[[folder:Joram Talid]]

-->''"Taking back our ward is only the first step! We must remove the cowards and appeasers on the Council!"''

-->'''Voiced by''': William Salyers

A turian politician on the Citadel campaigning for office. In reality, is extremely anti-human and is affiliated with Blood Pack mercenaries. He becomes the target of Thane's son, Kolyat, when the latter is hired by a pro-human criminal to kill Talid, forcing Shepard and Thane to intervene to prevent Kolyat from becoming like Thane.
* AssholeVictim: It's hard to feel sorry for this guy if Shepard puts a slug in his head. Shepard even states how badly Talid deserved it, and Bailey doesn't even bother to arrest anyone over it, though this likely also has to do with Shepard being a Spectre.
* ArcVillain: While he's technically the target whom Shepard and Thane are trying to prevent Kolyat from killing, it's immediately clear that Talid isn't a morally clean individual.
* CatchPhrase: "It's been wonderful talking to you all! I hope you'll come out on election day!"
* CorruptPolitician: He hires Blood Pack mercenaries to shake down business owners on the Citadel.
* DirtyCoward: Even though one of his talking points is the number of humans in c-sec, he doesn't resist calling them to save his own skin.
* FantasticRacism: The entire point of his campaign.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Naturally. His entire campaign is based around cleaning up organized crime on Zakera Ward, which he preaches to voters before going to extort human businesses. But his hypocrisy is especially noteworthy in that while he complains about the human presence in C-Sec, his first reaction upon being sighted by Kolyat is to call for C-Sec.
* KarmaHoudini: The Paragon ending, though what happens with his campaign once it comes to light that he's working with the Blood Pack to extort human businesses is unclear.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: See AssholeVictim.
* NoTrueScotsman: Like Saren and Warden Kuril, Talid lacks the clan markings that most turians have on their face. This serves a dual meaning, as Talid is both untrustworthy and a politician, with the term "barefaced" being turian slang for politicians.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: The Renegade solution to dealing with him.
* ShootTheHostage: Shepard puts it best.
-->'''Shepard:''' Hostages only work when your enemy cares that they live.\\
'''Thane:''' ...Interesting solution.
* ShoutOut: When asking what the humans have done for any of the other races, a salarian replies that he likes their food in a reference to ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian''.

[[folder:Kolyat Krios]]
->''"What, so you came to get my forgiveness? So you can die in peace or something?"''

-->'''Voiced by''': Creator/QuintonFlynn

Thane's son. After [[MissingMom Irikah's death]] and [[DisappearedDad Thane's disappearance]], Kolyat sets out in his father's footsteps, on his way to becoming a professional assassin. He ends up accepting a contract to kill Joram Talid, a turian [[FantasticRacism anti-human]] politician on the Citadel. Kolyat becomes the subject of Thane's loyalty mission, where Shepard helps them reconnect and tries to stop the assassination before it happens.
* AntagonisticOffspring: Subverted. Kolyat isn't evil, just misguided, nor is he directly after Thane. Shepard can even suggest he's trying to follow in Thane's footsteps on some level. [[EvilParentsWantGoodKids Thane doesn't care for the idea.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: He's really got it out for his father when you show up.
* DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou: It turns out that Thane had set out to [[spoiler:avenge Irikah by hunting down her killers. He left Kolyat for too long, however, causing the rift between them to develop]].
* DueToTheDead: [[spoiler:If you completed Thane's loyalty mission and Thane survived until the Citadel Coup, Kolyat will be there at his side during his death, during which he will say prayers for his father and Shepard to see them to the afterlife. In ''Citadel'', he asks Shepard to hold a memorial ceremony for Thane at their apartment.]]
* FlatWhat: Says one when Thane explains that it was [[spoiler: his fault Irikah died, that her killers went after her to get to Thane]].
* GutturalGrowler: Seems to be part of being a drell.
* HeelFaithTurn: If convinced to turn away from his destructive path, in the third game he mentions spending the last year studying the Drell Religion, with the implication that he's decided to honour his father by becoming a priest, rather than an assassin.
* HiddenDepths: Despite the hatred he's built up for Thane, it's generally implied he doesn't want to. He notes that he used to look up to his father as a child, and Shepard can propose that his attempts to become a ProfessionalKiller are an attempt to feel closer to Thane, which is the latter's greatest fear. If you get him out of trouble, Captain Bailey can get him running vigilante for a time, before he takes a more legitimate job after ''2'' and he cements his positive turnabout by becoming a priest of the Drell Religion, which Thane notes is exceedingly rare among young drell nowadays.
* MoralityPet: Together with his mother, for Thane. Thane's greatest wish as a father is that [[EvilParentsWantGoodKids Kolyat will not follow his path and become a good man]].
* ProfessionalKiller: Or at least, he's on his way to becoming one.
* RebuiltPedestal: This speech from ''Citadel'' sums up his new feelings about his father nicely.
-->'''Kolyat:''' When I was little, I thought my father had it all figured out. He said men must be [[TrueCompanions loyal to their friends]] and [[PayEvilUntoEvil dangerous to their enemies]]. But when he prevented me from... from hurting someone, he had changed. He said enemies and ego are not as important as loved ones. [[CallingTheOldManOut I didn't want to hear it.]] I was... lost. [[ParentalHypocrisy I called him a hypocrite in a thousand different ways]], said that [[VirtueIsWeakness he was going soft]]. Now... I think maybe he did have it all figured out.
* SayYourPrayers: Finishes Thane's prayer [[spoiler:as he lays dying in ''3'']].
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Bears a strong resemblance to his father, albeit with a more bluish skin tone and a recolored set of clothes.
* WhenYouComingHomeDad: He reminds Thane that he was barely around while Irikah was alive, much less when she died.
-->'''Thane:''' You're angry because I wasn't there when your mother died.\\
'''Kolyat:''' You weren't there when she was ''alive''! Why would you be there when she died?!


[[folder:Doctor Gavin Archer]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Even amid chaos there are lessons to be learned.]]
->[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans "If my work can spare a million mothers from having to mourn a million sons, my conscience will rest easy."]]

-->'''Voiced by''': Simon Templeman

A Cerberus researcher that was in charge of Project Overlord, a Cerberus project designed to find a way to communicate with and fully control the geth in an attempt to prevent a possible second war with them by linking a human mind to the geth HiveMind via a VI. His younger brother, David, volunteered for the project, but the VI went rogue, leading to disaster.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:He quit Cerberus after the events of ''Overlord'' and is more than willing to help Shepard to defeat the Reapers in Mass Effect 3.]]
* BorrowedCatchphrase: If Shepard never did the Overlord DLC, Gavin will sadly say of having to kill his brother with a nuclear strike, "It all seemed so harmless."
* CrocodileTears: A variation. He makes a seemingly heartfelt plea for Shepard to let him become TheAtoner [[spoiler:and take care of David. If Shepard says no, it slips very quickly and he shouts "No! He's too valuable!" and tries to shoot Shepard.]]
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: [[spoiler: Reveals in 3 that he refused the Illusive Man's demands to restart Overlord by finding a replacement for David and handed in his resignation by telling his employer that if ''"his intention was to deal with the Devil, he only had to look in the mirror"''. The Illusive Man's response was to put a price on Archer's head]].
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:If you fail to save David, just keep quiet about it to make him squirm, or resolve the geth issue without ever doing the DLC, meaning what he did was completely pointless]], he pulls out a pistol and walks away to "escape from this nightmare." [[SoundOnlyDeath You hear a gunshot a second later.]]
-->'''Archer:''' God be with you, Commander. He was never with me.
* FatalFlaw: In ''2'', his desire for vindication. You can already see the signs of him realising how badly things have gone and the horror of his own actions, such as him looking wistfully at a picture of him with his brother David, both smiling, and his comment about "Man's reach exceeding his grasp" at the start of the DLC, but he [[DirtyCoward lacks the moral fortitude]] to be completely upfront about what happened at Overlord and to admit to himself and others that it was not worth it, even if "It all seemed harmless." [[spoiler:Even at the end, when the monstrosity of his actions is screaming at him from his brother's torturous position, he still wants to keep doing what's he's been doing to get something out of it all.]] Later averted in ''3'', [[spoiler:at which point he's all done rationalizing, and if the Paragon ending was picked what he wants most is to know that his brother is alright]].
* HeelFaceTurn: In ''3.'' [[HeelFaceDoorSlam Shepard's still not happy with him.]]
--> '''Shepard:''' I have to go, and I'm not gonna pretend it was nice to see you again.
* HeelRealization: [[spoiler:He eventually realizes the horror of what he did; when the Illusive Man asks him to do a second Project Overlord, telling him that "if he wanted to find the devil, he need only look in the mirror." Subsequently, he quits Cerberus, destroys his research notes and hardware, and is among the ex-Cerberus scientists that Jacob is protecting. If you go so far as to screw with him or let David die or resolve the geth issue without saving David, he commits suicide]].
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: What he claims, but it doesn't come anywhere ''near'' justifying what he did.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: [[spoiler:Him getting his face smashed by ''Paragon'' Shepard was well-deserved]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: A delayed one, but he eventually has this reaction to what he did with Project Overlord.
* PistolWhipping: Delivered to him by ''[[OOCIsSeriousBusiness Paragon]]'' Shepard.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: He callously experiments on and exploits [[spoiler:his autistic brother David]] (one flashback scene shows him using him as a ''dictation device''), which brings to mind all-too-real issues of the discrimination and abuse people with mental illnesses and neurodivergent outlooks suffer.
* ReformedButRejected: While he does attempt to become TheAtoner in ''3'', he's well aware that nothing can make up for his horrific actions [[spoiler:against his brother.]]
-->'''Archer:''' ''[talking to Shepard]'' I know you think I'm a monster, and you're right.
** If Shepard never did the Project Overlord DLC, enough prodding on what happened will make Shepard a little suspicious that Archer did something far worse than he's letting on.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: His project turns into this. Almost everyone associated with the project gets killed. [[spoiler:Legion reveals the majority of the geth have no interest in another war, and Legion himself is perfectly happy to communicate voluntarily with humans. So in the end, everything that Gavin put David through was pointless]]. This is especially evident if you play the mission ''after'' recruiting [[spoiler:Legion]].
* SympathyForTheDevil: Averted. Gavin fully understands why Paragon Shepard views him as a monster and admits that even he knows that nothing he does can make up for what he did [[spoiler:to his brother]].
* ThisIsUnforgivable: Shepard's stance on his actions by ''3'', [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone Archer doesn't think any better of himself]].
-->'''Archer:''' Not a day goes by where my dreams aren't haunted by what I did to [[spoiler: David]]. All I can do is hope that one day he forgives me.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler: In the Paragon ending, when Shepard declares his intention to free David, Archer pulls a pistol- probably not the wisest move to use on a man/woman with ''infinitely'' more combat experience who doesn't need another excuse to kill him. Fortunately for him, Shepard merely settles for kicking his ass]].
-->'''Archer''' [[spoiler: Leave him! [[ForScience He's too valuable!]]\\
'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler: ''[pistol-whips Archer, then jams the Carnifex pistol under his nose]'' You even ''think'' about coming after your brother, and [[ImpliedDeathThreat this bullet will be waiting for you]]. ''Then'' we'll see who's valuable]].
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: In this case, it doesn't.
* WalkingSpoiler: Aside from the fact that he's a scientist working for Cerberus, nearly everything else about him would constitute a spoiler for ''Overlord''.
* VillainousBreakdown: Has a brief one in ''Overlord's'' Paragon ending.

->"This one does not share top billing!"

--> '''Voiced by''': Mark Meer

The fictional star of ''Blasto the Jellyfish Stings'", a popular hanar ExploitationFilm. By the third game, his series has expanded to six movies, and in the Citadel DLC, in production of a seventh and pre-production of an eighth.

* AntiHero: In his movies.
* AscendedMeme: Started out as a joke on Bioware forums, and then was incorporated into the games as a fictional character.
* BigNo: Gets a completely flat one after his elcor partner Bubin is shot.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: He's a hanar who also happens to be a ''Spectre''.
* TheCasanova: ''"He's got a lover in every port..."''
--> "Did someone mention an Enkindler? This one is familiar with enkindling. It has enkindled multiple females across the galaxy."
* CastingGag: Blasto is voiced by Mark Meer (Male Shepard), while his LoveInterest in Blasto 6 is voiced by Jennifer Hale ([=FemShep=]).
* CowboyCop: Plays one.
* DayInTheLimelight: He got an official tie-in comic called "Blasto: Eternity is Forever".
* DullSurprise: He's a hanar, so this comes naturally.
* ExpospeakGag: "This one has grown tired of your solid waste excretions."
* GunsAkimbo: ''"...and a gun in every tentacle."'' Exemplified in the ''Citadel DLC'' where he brandishes his '''''[[HandCannon Carnifex Pistols]]''''' to Shepard.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Blasto may be a CowboyCop, but he genuinely cares about Bubin and Bubin's sister, honey.
** {{Jerkass}}: His actor, on the other hand, just comes across as this.
* MemeticBadass: InUniverse.
* MySisterIsOffLimits: Invoked by Bubin, who's naturally furious when he find Blasto in bed with his sister.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: Both his character and his actor.
** The Council thought that Blasto, the first hanar SPECTRE would play by the rules. They were wrong.
** The hanar are well known for being ceaselessly polite, but Blasto's actor is smugly dismissive to Commander Shepard, the Hero of the Citadel, and Javik, an individual whom the hanar revere as ''gods''. The only other hanar that's a jackass is the one who's indoctrinated, and he's not even as big a jackass (though he is evil and needs to be stopped).
* NarmCharm[=/=]SoBadItsGood: Blasto 6 and the cheap production values of Blasto 7 imply that this is the large reason it's so popular in-universe.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: In-universe, he takes a lot of Shepard's traits. He's a badass Spectre who doesn't play by the rules, tried to warn the Council about the Reapers and killed Sovereign in the Battle for the Citadel. His next movie involves him curing the genophage. Shepard does not find this amusing.
* ThePrimaDonna: His actor appears to be [[{{Jerkass}} one]] in the ''Citadel DLC'', immediately insulting [[TheChosenOne Shepard]] and [[{{Precursors}} Javik]] by refusing to share top billing for ''Blasto 7'' with them. Even Paragon Shepard, who seemed willing to go along with it at first, eventually finds it too hard to put with him. To emphasize this, it's the Paragon interrupts that cause you to intercede and tell him to stuff it.
** The size of [[SmallNameBigEgo his ego]] is also shown when he's downright dismissive of Javik, a member of the race the hanar revere as ''[[LikeAGodToMe Gods]]''.
* PrimalScene: In Blasto 6, between Blasto and Bubin's sister. As they are a hanar and elcor, it consists of ridiculously polite, monotonous "dirty talk", that is as hilarious as it sounds. The fact that they are voiced by Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale only makes it even more hilarious.
* ShowWithinAShow: One of the most popular film series in the ''Mass Effect'' universe.
* VerbThis: "Enkindle this."