open/close all folders
Mass Effect 2
- That One Boss:
- Tela Vasir. If having her use the same Charge power as Vanguards wasn't enough, she can also knock you out of cover with a Shockwave power, and can use a Barrier power to make her even more of a Damage Sponge than she already is. Plus, she can summon Rocket Drones and Shadow Broker Engineers, making her a Flunky Boss.
- In Arrival, the Object Rho battle if you are going for the Last Stand achievement. Luckily, this one's optional; the game will continue even if you fail.
- The Praetorian. The potential of being hit by its Death Choir drop attack has every player, regardless of class, desperately scuttling away whenever it drifts too close for comfort. Which is to say, constantly.
- The geth battleship cannon in Overlord. It fires automatic One Hit Kills. And it has a very wide area of effect.
- The Shadow Broker, to Adepts. With only Liara to help you, biotic powers are all you have to throw at him, which are all negated by his shields and armor.
- That One Level:
- The disabled Collector ship can be this, especially the first room. The problem is, you hardly ever get anything other than low cover, which Harbinger excels at knocking you out of, which results in you getting cut apart by Collectors and Scions unless you get back in immediately. It doesn't help that the Illusive Man forces you onto it, and that he's leading you into a trap because you're taking too long.
- Horizon. Horizon. Horizon. Horizon. If you pick the wrong team or class it may be easier to just begin the game from scratch.
- That One Sidequest: Aria's side mission to retrieve the crates. It's an incredible amount of effort to go through (three freaking YMIR Mechs!) for the three or four surviving crates. Given how early this mission is given, it's one of the hardest fights in the game.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In the first game, it was revealed that Cerberus was behind the Thresher Maws that killed a Sole Survivor Shepard's squad. Shepard works with Cerberus in this game, but is never given a chance to call anyone in Cerberus out for the events on Akuze or the background-specific sidequest from the first game (in which it's revealed that there was another survivor, Corporal Toombs, who was captured and used as a test subject by Cerberus scientists). All you get is a very angry email from Toombs calling Shepard out for working with Cerberus, much like everyone else in the game.
- Uncanny Valley:
- The Unreal Engine 3's age is starting to show with its inability to handle flowing water without significant modification; PC Gamer's review wondered why the characters cried "oil slicks".
- A lot of the faces just don't look quite right. Much of it has to do with the lighting.
- Miranda's face sometimes leans more towards a lumpy potato than her voice actor's face (Yvonne Strahovski). She also looks the worst in bad lighting, but on the other hand looks better in softer and warmer lighting.
- Dr. Chakwas's face is particularly frightening in the brief moment when she swivels in her chair to face you before a conversation.
- Shepard himself. It's not much better if Shepard is female.
- The Illusive Man may be this deliberately. According to one dev diary, they deliberately made him perfectly symmetrical. Combine that with the normal mapping on his skin, and he's deep in the valley.
- Jacob's face model looks fine when his mouth is closed, but the width of his lips makes too many of his teeth show up when he's talking.
- Morinth and Samara, despite being modeled on the same woman, have different animations. Samara looks a lot more normal than Morinth and her creepy square teeth and her creepy smile. Considering who Morinth is, this may very well be intentional.
- Many of the female character's proportions just look wrong, particularly Miranda's (a realistic head on a spindly, very thin body but with big breasts and buttocks). In fairness to this one though, this is par for the course for many female video game characters.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: Eyes are very hard to animate well. Samara's eyes look stunning.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
- C-Sec has instituted new security and travel rules, including seemingly random no-fly lists and item confiscations, as a knee-jerk reaction to a massive attack. They're so ineffective they label a pair of asari as geth infiltrators and fail to notice the geth in your party. Anyone familiar with post-9/11 airport security in the US will recognize the system and the common criticisms of it.
- Also, a great deal of the background dialogue in the planet of Illium appears to be an elaborate satire of extreme anarcho-capitalist political beliefs.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Is she a Jerkass Woobie or simply a Jerkass? Part of that might depend on whether fans play as female (whom Jack is not as horrid with) or male (who is a Bastard Girlfriend) Shepard, and how a romance is handled.
- Jack even lets a female Shepard down lightly if the latter tries to keep talking to her.
- Base Breaker: Whilst possessing her share of fans due to sympathizing with her past and Character Development, many dislike Jack for her overly-brazen tomboyishness. Some guys like that, though...
- And then there are the people who have no problem with overly-brazen tomboyishness, but are extremely put off by her psychopathic, misanthropic, and generally Ax-Crazy tendencies. Although that might have been okay, if she was at least somewhat personable about it.
- Quite a number of fans found her too abrasive to spend much time with. She is constantly abusive no matter how nice you are to her, if you turn down the casual sex scene she seems to get even worse and you had better be sure you want to be in a romance with her, if you get fed up with how much of a Jerk Ass she is (easy to do) you can try and break it off, and the game makes it seem like this is the right option, but then she snaps. High maintenance, severe emotional turmoil and an attitude that'll have you running to the nearest Dark Action Girl for comfort as Jack makes them soft and cuddly in comparison.
- Fan Nickname: SuZe was her nickname before people knew it was "Jack". Short for "Subject Zero". It's fallen out of use now, probably because hardly anyone in the game calls her "Subject Zero." For good reason.
- Jerkass Woobie: As revealed by her loyalty mission, Jack was constantly tortured by Cerberus in order to turn her into the ultimate weapon. When she was a kid, she would be thrown into an arena to fight to the death against wild animals and other biotic kids, in addition to the brutality she had to endure from the scientists and guards.
- Les Yay/Foe Yay: With Miranda, at least as far as some fans are concerned. Mocked and Lampshaded in the Citadel DLC where Shepard can "helpfully" suggest that the two get laid, even claiming that all of their supposed sniping must surely indicate hidden feelings.
- Angst? What Angst?: The strongest complaint fans have is that he is "boring." Even after his loyalty mission where Shepard and company find out that Ronald Taylor has forced his crew to eat toxic food, driven off or murdered the males, and kept the women as sex slaves, he merely shrugs it off (and becomes offended if Shepard insists that he should express anything otherwise). This becomes Fridge Brilliance when Shepard gains access to the Shadow Broker's dossiers and finds Jacob was placed on the team because he's a "stabilising element." He's supposed to be this way, and with good reason, considering how screwed up the rest of Shepard's squaddies are.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In 3, Jacob voices his skepticism when Shepard mentions that they'd eventually like to settle down. Over the course of the game, there is reoccurring implication that Shepard is Resigned to the Call and is slowly becoming a Death Seeker because of it.
- Memetic Molester: Jacob wants his prize.
- Memetic Mutation: Heavy risk... But the PRIIIIIZE.
- Narm Charm: His romance path is not known for being especially well-written, though it did provide a nice meme, as shown above.
- Ron the Death Eater: Most of Jacob's criticism comes from cheating on Shepard in his romance, which leads to demonization.
- The Scrappy: In the second game Jacob got hit with this for being The Generic Guy in comparison to the more colorful squadmates and for being very opinionated (notably towards Thane.) The third game open an entire different can of worms to players with a Female Shepard who romanced him. He ends up cheating on Shepard and was indifferent about it when confronted.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: He has a slightly more lively personality in the Citadel DLC and feels less flat.
- Tier-Induced Scrappy: Jacob was the unfortunate victim of having mediocre utility as far as abilities go and buggy A.I.. Wile Incendiary Ammo and Pull can be useful for classes like Adept and Sentinel, there was a bug in the system that caused Jacob to Auto-cast Barrier making him next to useless. Future DL Cs helped to repair the damage; giving the player the ability to remove the Barrier ability and gave Jacob access to a long range shotgun.
- Base Breaker: Quite possibly one of the biggest examples in the entire trilogy. Most fans either love Miranda or absolutely loathe her. Its hard to find a fan who has a neutral opinion of her. Some find her hot, while others find her blatant status as Fanservice (complete with many a shot of her ass) annoying. Some feel sorry for her, while others think she's whiny and arrogant. And then there are some who don't like her for her loyalty to Cerberus.
- Jerkass Woobie: She's tortured over the manner in which she was "created", had to spend her early childhood having to live up to her father's crazy high expectations, (and its also heavily implied that he murdered Miranda's older "siblings" for not meeting said expectations) and worst of all, is incapable of conceiving a child, something she desperately wants (as the Shadow Broker files on her clearly show). Needless to say, when one takes all that into consideration, its easy to see why she can be so cold and nasty sometimes.
- It also makes it unsurprising that either Paragon or Renegade dialogue choices acknowledging her flagellation over not having a single good aspect of hers to take credit for can start a romance with her. Paragon Shepard will compliment her service record, and more pointedly, her body; Renegade Shepard will try to push her buttons further until she claims Shepard himself as an example of her "damned good work".
- Les Yay/Foe Yay: With Jack, at least as far as some fans are concerned. Mocked and Lampshaded in the Citadel DLC where Shepard can "helpfully" suggest that the two get laid, even claiming that all of their supposed sniping must surely indicate hidden feelings.
- Memetic Mutation: DAT ASS (Effect).
- Ron the Death Eater: Miranda gets this badly from some fans, who are unable to understand that in spite of her being a part of Cerberus she is not in fact a heartless sociopath who would commit genocide if the Illusive Man told her to.
- Strawwoman Has A Point: "Typical Alliance attitude. So focused on hating Cerberus you're completely blind to the Real threat." She makes other fair arguments to, namely how the Council SHOULD have listened to Shepard a long time ago and also being qualified to lead the fire-team during the Suicide Mission both times despite Jack (or Garrus)'s objections.
- Uncanny Valley: Her face looks a little...off at times. Fridge Brilliance comes in when it's meant to be perfect, thus looks a little off. Frequently she comes under criticism for Special Effects Failure (not helped by the fact that her face often doesn't look too good in cold hard lighting) but her face looks a lot prettier in softer and warmer lighting.
- Wangst: The main reason she's reviled by certain fans is the accusation that she fits this. It's not that she doesn't have a reason to be upset, it's because as far as many are concerned she drones on and on about how much it hurts her to be perfect and how her father was emotionally distant, whereas every other character besides Jack has bigger or equal problems that they don't complain about. The fact that she says that she was always given what she wanted and grew up in wealth has not helped matters, though she also makes a point of mentioning that there was always a catch to getting what she wanted. Still, if you play the "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC and read the file on her it turns out that Miranda's pain goes deeper than she lets on. She wants to be a mother but cannot conceive, and even worse, it's implied that this is just one of many ways her father has tried to control her.
- Too Cool to Live: He is likely to die in the suicide mission and he will die in the third game if he has not already.
- Cargo Ship: This video ships Zaeed with his rifle, Jessie.
- Memetic Badass: Zaeed has a lot of badassey facts about him, that he's slowly being considered as the metaverse's equivalent to Chuck Norris.
- Moral Event Horizon: Letting the refinery and everyone inside burn to make sure he kills Vido. It's a bit more debatable in the Paragon resolution though, since for all his wanting to kill Vido, he does help Shepard save the refinery workers if Shepard decides to save them, and Shepard can still get his loyalty with a high enough Paragon score. And finally, he is shown to be better in 3, restricting his brutality to Cerberus, who definitely deserve it.
Secret Characters *SPOILERS*
- Crack Pairing: It and Admiral Xen get shipped a lot, likely because of her Foe Yay when she calls it a "marvelous machine"
- Values Dissonance: A lot of Legion's dialogue involves it explaining how the geth operate in terms both Shepard and the player can understand. During its loyalty quest, Legion will agree with Renegade Shepard's point that organic and synthetic moral values are fundamentally different when the other teammate questions the moral ramifications of rewriting the programming of the heretics, explaining that organics are individuals and that consensus takes time and effort whereas there are no individuals among synthetics and that communication between them is instantaneous. Legion will even go as far as saying that it would be racist to think otherwise.
- While there are a lot of differences between the geth and organic life, it is still possible to find common ground. The following quote can be Values Resonance for a lot of people:
- Draco in Leather Pants: Some of the fanbase consider her actions to be completely the fault of her genetics, which are in turn Samara's fault, and thus Samara's the monster for hunting down a serial murderer. As awful as her early life may have been, she's spent the subsequent four hundred years developing an addiction to burning out the brains of innocent victims, and there's no reason to believe she'll stop.
- In the third game (provided she survived in 2), she sends a series of emails to her sisters showing that she still cares about them and just wants them to be happy, although her sisters delete them without reading them.
- Evil Is Sexy: As per the vampirism parallel. Also, asari. And the skin-tight black outfit, that too.
- Magnificent Bitch: Samara considers her as such, calling her "The bravest and smartest of [her] daughters."
- The Scrappy: She is not well liked at all due to being a sociopath, and having no relevance to the story at all compared to her mother. Having an unsettling Uncanny Valley even though she almost looks like her mother doesn't help.
The Illusive Man
- Crack Pairing: Admiral Xen and Legion get shipped a lot, likely because of Xen's Foe Yay when she calls Legion a "marvelous machine"
- Moral Event Horizon: Possibly Rael'Zorah experimenting on hacking geth, an act that Zaal'Koris doesn't see as any different from torturing living beings, with the presumed end goal of hacking all the geth into forced obedience.
- Never Live It Down: The name of Zaal'Koris's ship, the Qwib Qwib, so named because it's a repurposed ship that was originally non-quarian and the quarians are unable to format the ship's registration documentation. Tali warns Shepard not to ask about the name, but Shepard can inquire anyway.
- The ensuing dialogue implies that there are quarians toting names that end in vas Defrahnz or vas Iktomi, completely unaware of what they sound like to humans.
- If Rael's above actions get exposed, then they also fit this trope.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: To the degree that some fans wanted him back in ME3 as a squadmate.
- Most people wanted him as a squadmate as early as in ME2 after seeing him for the first time in one of the pre-release trailers. Of course, being voiced by Adam Baldwin doesn't hurt.
- Base Breaker: Yet another polarizing character, due to her "psychological assessments" being generic with no real insight, her apologist attitude, and her memetic status as a complete slut. On the other end of the spectrum, some people like her sweetness and her status as Cerberus' Token Good Teammate
- Player Punch: Remember when you told her you'd get everyone through the mission alive? If you didn't go through the Omega 4 Relay quickly enough after the Collectors invaded the Normandy, you get to watch her disintegrated alive and screaming.
- Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: So, how did the varren scale-itch get on board? Do you really want to know?
- Ensemble Darkhorse: She's at least as popular as some of Shepard's squad thanks to her combination of being a Cool Old Lady and Deadpan Snarker.
- Epileptic Trees: Some believe she's Liara's father. Yep, father, with asari being one sex and all. The game itself seems to heavily imply this, as one of the videos Shepard can watch in the Shadow Broker's archives is footage of Aethyta sitting at home alone, drinking, and staring at a holograph of (what is almost undeniably) Liara. Confirmed in Mass Effect 3.
The Collector General
- Crack Ship: It's mostly a joke, but Harbinger/Shepard, drawing upon such lines as "I KNOW YOU FEEL THIS," is oddly popular.
- Fountain of Memes: Nearly every one of his lines have been subject to Memetic Mutation.
- Memetic Molester: His memetic taunts towards Shepard make him this. See his line on Crack Ship entry.
- Memetic Mutation: Again, almost all of his lines.
- Replacement Scrappy: What many fans considered him to Sovereign. Whereas Sovereign was a cold, stoic, intimidating presence of pure power, Harbinger's constant, repetetive talking and hamming was soon considered to be pretty annoying and not scary at all.
- Moral Event Horizon: Forcing his brother to take part in Project Overlord. That said he is shown to have defected from Cerberus in 3 and has also come to seriously regret what he did. Unfortunately for him, he's a case of Reformed, but Rejected in 3.
- What an Idiot: Yeah, go ahead and shoot your gun at a supremely pissed off PARAGON COMMANDER SHEPARD. That will end well. In the end, probably the only thing that saved his life was that Paragon Shepard was more worried about helping his brother than killing Archer.
- Best Boss Ever: Vasir is an asari Spectre. An asari Spectre Vanguard. Especially awesome if your Shepard is also a Vanguard. If so, biotic jousting can ensue
- Draco in Leather Pants: The reason she works for the Shadow Broker is Not So Different from why Shepard works for Cerberus. She has no choice, because the Council gives SPECTREs squat. The Commander would be going nowhere fast without the intelligence and funds Cerberus provide, funds that always match or better what credits you can scrounge. She has much less to work with.
- While her situation is understandable, she takes way more enjoyment in what she does than she needs to. She has a worryingly sadistic grin when threatening her hostage, her troops shot down civilians who were wounded, and she killed a lot of security guards at the hotel, even though she could have gotten them on her side by pointing out she was a Spectre. Her racism against purebloods also makes her motivation for targeting Liara very suspect.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: For such a short amount of screen-time, she's quite a popular character. Possibly due to an awesome boss fight, her being a total Badass, and a remarkable Shut Up, Kirk! speech.
- Hell Is That Noise: QWEEGHPRRZZMZZKKKSKKKTTTPPP! Rendered by the subtitles as "Unintelligible", but if you know what it is, it's unsettlingly clear. "QUIET PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!"
- Not only is it a horrific sound in itself, but the volume for it is incredibly loud. At a normal volume, on a normal TV, the scream is downright earsplitting. If you're wearing headphones or have a surround sound system, it'll blast your brain out of your skull.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
- The Woobie: Born with autism, exploited by his own brother, turned into a machine against his will, and insane from the strain of being in charge of a computer network. This guy's life is just one heartbreak after another. Unfortunately, he's incredibly unstable and dangerous, and become so withdrawn and broken he doesn't realize the harm of his actions.
- Alternative Character Interpretation/Base Breaker: Were they ungrateful and overly paranoid about Shepard, or was their reaction a natural one to their former commander (and possible lover) coming back into their life after two years of being dead as part of a terrorist organization? The former cause some who didn't have a problem with them in the first game to hate them with a passion while those who thought of the latter, even to those that hate them in the first game, felt that they were unfairly spat on in favor of the love interests in this game and Liara. In the end arguments for and against their reaction can be presented, and it's caused one heck of an Internet Backdraft (even on this site!)
- Fan Nickname: The Virmire Survivor, which is typically used by fans to refer to the role the surviving one of the two plays in 2 or 3, unless talking about a specific one.
- Fourth Wall Myopia: More than any other character in the series.
- Internet Backdraft: Just try to have a conversation about either one of them without it devolving into the Alternate Character Interpretation listed above. Even this very site is not immune.
- Jerkass Has a Point/Strawman Has a Point: If you're playing a Renegade Shepard (who is a total Cerberus Fanboy in 2) then they are kind of right to say that you've betrayed the Alliance and thrown your lot in with a terrorist organization versus a Paragon or Neutral Shepard's doing it only because its necessary. Whether or not they fit these tropes in general very, very hotly debated. So let's not debate it.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: The reason Liara rescues Shepard's body? Because she "couldn't let him/her go." This sound like it makes sense...if you romanced her in the first game. Notably, she still says this even if you treated her badly, barely interact with her, or if Therum was the last planet you visited in the first game. Counting the fact that she kept a piece of Shepard's old N7 armor in her apartment in a display case and didn't tell any of the other squadmates even if Shepard was in a relationship with one of them, this causes quite a few fans to assume that she is either a Stalker with a Crush or secretly a Yandere. Liara's comment if she and Tali were both romanced about having a vested interest in not adding to the competetion has caused some fans to interpret her Poor Communication Kills as a calculated attempt to drive away her romantic rivals.
- Moral Event Horizon: After being stranded, he killed most of his male crew and used the females as slaves. That's bad enough, but then there's him knowing about the distress signal the entire time, but never telling anyone or activating it until he finally wanted to leave.