Galactic Terran Alliance
- Badass in Distress: In "As Lighting Falls" mission, where saving him is main goal of the player.
- Fake Defector: He is undercowered GTVA Special Operation Command officer who allegedly defected to NTF.
- Shoot Your Mate: He and Alpha 1 are forced to open fire on Vasudan ships who compromise their mission in "Rebels & Renegades".
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: While they seem more interested in separation and isolation from Vasudans than conquering them, they commit atrocities to reach that goal.
- Defiant to the End: Few NTF commanders seem to have this attitude, like admiral Koch, who instead surrendering to GTVA tries to ram the Colossus with his flagship NTD Repulse, or commander of rebel corvete Belisarius, who declined surrender demand from GVD Psamtik and died because of it.
- Evil Counterpart: Of the GTVA.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards Vasudans.
- Humans Are Bastards: Xenophobic, villainous faction guilty of war crimes against Vasudan civilians.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Their modus operandi.
- Villainous Valour: Many rebels seem to be really dedicated to their cause and ready to die for it.
- You Have Failed Me: Way too eager to execute their officers for incompetence.
- Fallen Hero: He is old veteran of the Great War who is also a leader of xenophobic Neo-Terran Front. It is revealed during Freespace 2 campaign that xenophobia against Vasudans is not his motive at all.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: All his crimes and betrayals are motivated by his hope of ensuring survival of humanity by allying with a Shivans.
- What Happened to the Mouse??: As almost everything in Freespace 2 ending, his final fate remains a mystery, but according to Word of God his story didn't conclude with Happy Ending.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Vasudans are that for humanity in the aftermath of Freespace 1. Unfortunately, at the time of Freespace 2 not all Terrans share the sentiment.
- Proud Warrior Race: Downplayed. While they are proud civilisation and they do respect combat martyrdom and heroism, they are not more warlike than humans. They are very good at war nethertheless.
- Starfish Language: It looks like even their names are unpronoucable for any human, because Terrans use ancient egyptian names as codenames for prominent Vasudan individuals, instead of oryginal ones.
Parlamentary Vasudan Empire
- Enemy Mine: They are still at war with Galactic Terran Alliance when the series starts. When Shivans arrived, they almost instantly allied themselves with humanity.
Hammer of Light
- Big Bad Ensemble: While not even in tenth as manacing or powerfull as Shivans, their actions at the end Freespace 1 story, when they ambush Terran-Vasudant task forcess persuing Lucifer, almost result in human and Vasudan extinction.
- Evil Counterpart: Of the PVE
- Friend or Foe: The Hammer of Light just love to pose as your reinforcement, and then turn on you as soon as you turn your back.
- Religion of Evil: Dangerous doomsday cult that believes in Shivans being a race of redeemers. Their actions endanger both Terran and Vasudan war effort during Freespace 1 campaign.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens
- Spanner in the Works: Almost became that at the end of Freespace 1. They are a minor nuisance for the most of campaign, leaving the Shivans as more prominent adversary. Untill "The Great Hunt" mission, where their involvement could pottencially derail GTA plan of destroying Lucifer.
- Too Dumb to Live: They believe that Omnicidal Maniac race that glassed their own homeworld and attack them on every occasion are a great redeemers.
Emperor Khonsu II
- Big Good: He was the main proponent of joint Terran-Vasudan project Colossus, which aimed in both building mutual superweapon program against Shivans as well as strongering friendly bonds between former adversaries.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A very competent ruler who supports establishement of Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He is heared only in one cinematic cutscene, yet he is one of the founding fathers of GTVA and author of Project Colossus.
- The Good King: During his reign Vasudan economy prospered, they forged steady alliance with humans and were capable of rebuilding their military might.
- The Voice
- Absolute Xenophobe: They are extremely hostile to anything that is not Shivan.
- Abusive Precursors: Of the worst possible sort.
- Big Bad: While there is no shortage of villainous factions in this series, Shivans remain the most diabolical and menacing one.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: Shivan ships seemingly shaped to make them look like fearsome creatures. However, they are still "normal" ships otherwise in term of functions.
- Inscrutable Aliens: Very little is known about the Shivans other than their talent for blowing things up en masse. In fact, as the series goes on, they actually get more mysterious the more that gets revealed about them. The best that can be theorized is that they operate smaller scouting fleets and destroy societies at a certain point of advancement and military aggression, then a demolition fleet arrives to destroy their very stars. Perhaps to create new subspace portals back to their home systems, perhaps for resources, or to use the energy to return to their own dimension. But none of these are confirmed motives, further adding to their menace.
- Omnicidal Maniac: The entire Shivan race suddenly comes out and tries to kill everybody non-Shivan.
- Some of the story does imply the Shivans may only target genocidal races, the only races confirmed to be attacked by the Shivans were the Ancients, Terrans, and Vasudans. The Ancients were confirmed to be genocidal in the cut scenes, and the Terrans and Vasudans were fighting one another.
- With the story being incomplete, it is very difficult to assess the Shivan motives. If they were purely genocidal, they should not have bothered to abduct the command crew of the NTF Iceni, and with their fleet of juggernauts they could have easily wiped out the GTVA instead of blowing up the Capella star and hyperspacing away to parts unknown. The story seems like it was intended to be further developed in a third installment that was never made.
- Confirmed by the Word of God in another link. Shivans send out a scouting party, then send in a main group, create a gate by collapsing a star, then...um...they hadn't figured the next step out, but probably port in the REAL armada.
- Precursor Killers: They have at least 1 civilisation on their kill count. Admiral Bosch speculates that extermination of the Ancients was not their first time.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over
- Starfish Aliens: They more closely resemble giant five-legged spiders than anything else, having apparently evolved in (or designed for) a zero-G environment. Among other interesting quirks about them are: nearly bulletproof exoskeletons, multiple red Glowing Eyes of Doom, and the ability to survive prolonged exposure to vacuum. Don't forget the integrated laser beams.