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Normandy Crew

    Jeff "Joker" Moreau 
Flight Lieutenant Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Sometimes I get the urge to turn off the internal compensators and pull a Crazy Ivan, you know?

"I'm not good. I'm not even great. I'm the best damn helmsman in the Alliance fleet."

Voiced by: Seth Green

The pilot of the Normandy. While he is handicapped by Vrolik's Syndrome (brittle bone disease/ Osteogenesis imperfecta), he's an essential member of the team, serving as Mission Control and all-around piloting badass.

  • The Ace: A clear Ace, being the "best damn helmsman in the Alliance fleet", top of his flight class, commendation after commendation, all in spite of a crippling disease. He even claimed to have been better than the instructors by the end of flight school.
  • Ace Pilot:
    • Claims at least to be the best pilot in the Alliance. His Academy performance bears that out; even the Illusive Man seems to agree. The Normandy is the most expensive and advanced ship the Alliance has ever built, and they chose Joker to pilot it. That should tell you something.
    • During the mission to Ilos, Joker is able to angle the Normandy so that he can airdrop the Mako into a twenty-metre section of open terrain. According to Executive Officer Pressly, the chief of navigation, the minimum amount of terrain to safely do this (presumably due to the vehicle's mass and its resultant stopping distance from needing to apply the brakes) is a hundred metres. Not only does he successfully airdrop the Mako, but the Mako manages to slam on the brakes and come to a full stop before it hits the near impenetrable door of a bunker.
    • He's at the head of the Alliance fleet when it arrives to save the Citadel, and not only does the Normandy weave its way through the battle unscathed, but he also becomes the first human being to kill a Reaper. In a frigate, no less. Granted, it was Shepard's actions that gave him the opening, but it's still proof of his skill.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You take control of him during a brief segment in the second game while the Normandy is being invaded by the Collectors. It's the only time in the first trilogy that you play as someone other than Shepard in the single-player campaign-unless one counts a brief hack of a Loki mech in the Arrival DLC.
  • Ascended Extra: Joker goes from being effectively part of the scenery in the first game (never once seen outside of his pilot's chair) to having a much larger role (most notably the one referenced in the spoiler-protected entry just above this one) in the second.
  • Batman Gambit: The tie-in comic Mass Effect: He Who Laughs Best tells the story of how he came to be the pilot of the Normandy. He applied for the position, but one of its turian commanding officers refused due to his illness. Joker then proceeded to steal the frigate from under them, maximizing its mobility to avoid the troops trying to stop him, completing the test course for its shakedown run before returning it and immediately getting arrested. A short while later, before he is about to stand trial before the Alliance, the turian officer insists on making him the Normandy's pilot.
  • Berserk Button: He gets irrationally enraged when the Normandy is put in danger; Shepard has to drag him kicking and screaming off the SR1 when the Collectors destroy it at the beginning of 2, and he spends the final mission of 3's "Citadel" DLC raging about how the Shepard clone is trying to steal his ship.
  • Best Friend: A contender with Garrus, Tali and Liara for being this to Shepard, as Joker is the only character in the trilogy absolutely guaranteed to be at Shepard's side through all three games.
  • Bring News Back: What Shepard tasks Joker with doing in the bad ending of Mass Effect 2. Before being killed.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: It is revealed in Mass Effect 3 that he risks breaking his bones even if he just engages in some "light over-the-clothes action." He can be caught asking Mordin how to manage it anyway. It's unclear if he can't have sex with anyone, or just EDI, since her robot body is significantly stronger than a human., or if he's playing up the fact of his bones being brittle, seeing as how he fired an assault rifle in Mass Effect 2.
  • Character Development: He is noticeably less... jokey in the first game. It's even in his backstory that he got the nickname because his flight instructor found him so serious while working hard to become the best pilot in the fleet. In the second game, he's doling out jokes and banter like his namesake. In the third game we discover this is probably due to the fact that he feels guilty that Shepard died saving him in 2, and joking is his way of keeping Shepard's morale up (as ordered to by Anderson), which he confirms in 3.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Mass Effect 1, Joker makes it clear that he earned the right to pilot the Normandy by being "The best damn helmsman in the Alliance fleet." His record spoke for him. Years later, Joker's origin story comic reveals he took the Normandy on the joyride, and risked his own career to prove he was the best.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Shit! Shit! Shitshitshit! What the SHIT?! Shitshitshitshitshitshit!"
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Right at the very beginning.
    "Yeah, that is the official story. But only an idiot believes the official story."
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: For all he goofs off and jokes around, he's still the pilot who fired the shot that killed Sovereign.
  • Cultured Badass: Is a scholar of classic cinema, and as for the badass, he is capable of getting into shootouts with the Collectors when pushed to the brink.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite "Joker" originally being ironic, he can lay down snark with the best of them (not surprising, given who voices him).
    "I guess the geth aren't all bad, huh? They're like EDI's ex-con uncle we don't talk about."

    "I'm glad that mess is over for Tali, Commander. Some of those quarians... I guess living aboard a ship can really mess with your priorities? Not that I would know... ah, I just burned myself. Great."

    "Two years and everything hits the crapper. That'll teach you to die on me."
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: This is the guy who actually landed the final blow on Sovereign.
  • Disabled Snarker: His bone disease makes him extremely cynical.
  • Does Not Like Spam: After Therum, if Shepard denies Joker a medal, Joker retorts that he at least deserves a cake. Hold the coconut, though. He hates that crap.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Ironically, Citadel reveals that for all of Joker's talent at the helm of a warship, his skill in an actual car leaves a lot to be desired. Maya Brookes complains about Joker almost crashing the taxi they commandeered on the way to pick up Shepard, and Cortez is quite adamant that Joker not be the one to drive when they have to keep the Normandy from escaping.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. Though Shepard usually just rolls their eyes at his jokes, his crack about the asari after the fall of Thessia is one of the few moments where Shepard will tell him to shut up. As in, no dialogue option will have Shepard let Joker off easy for that ill-timed wisecrack. (Oddly enough, some asari are overheard making similar complaints.)
  • Escalating War: He winds up engaged in one of these with EDI, with him muting her until his thumb breaks, her making his chair spin unexpectedly, him putting grease on her camera lenses which all turns out to be a simple case of Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave:
    • Happens when EDI asks Joker to flush out the ship atmosphere to eject the invading Collectors. "What about the crew?" "They are gone, Jeff. The Collectors took them."
    • Joker is literally the only person to survive the events of the second game in the worst ending. Said ending counts as a Non Standard Game Over and cannot be imported into Mass Effect 3, for obvious reasons.
  • Expy: Very similar to Hoban "Wash" Washburne. Both are Ace Pilots, Non Action Guys (although this is by necessity for Joker), are known for their sense of humor, and are called by their nicknames over their real names. Also, given the Action Girl / Non-Action Guy romance that optionally develops between him and EDI in Mass Effect 3, he also fulfills Wash's role in his marriage to Zoe Washburne. An important distinction between them, however, is that Joker survives his story, unless you get a low-EMS Destroy ending.
  • Fake Static: When he lets slip about Shepard hanging up on the Council to Liara, he quickly claims they're "going through some dark matter".
  • Famed in Story: Nowhere near the extent as Shepard, but when he and Garrus exchange some good-natured speciesist jokes in ME3, Joker is indirectly the subject of one of Garrus's, who claims he heard it from a private on Palaven (why does the Alliance hire pilots with brittle bone disease? So their marines can beat someone in hand-to-hand drills).
  • Fantastic Racism: He has no problem with aliens and is considerably more tolerant than just about anyone else in the galaxy when it comes to artificial intelligence. Regardless, he still hates the geth. If Shepard chooses to let the quarians destroy the geth rather than helping the geth to destroy the quarians or making peace between the two, Joker is fully in favor of the decision. EDI being despondent results in possibly the only time he gets angry at EDI in the entire game.
    EDI: (passive-aggressive) I can understand [Shepard's] rationale. When given a decision, you immediately side with the familiar.
    Joker: That's a load of crap EDI! The geth weren't turned into husks, they chose to join the Reapers. Special circumstances, sure, but still. A lot of geth saw the Reapers as gods, so don't act like we're the bad guys for not trusting them.
    Javik: Your "Joker" pilot seems quite pleased with your decision. He told me: 'buckethead aliens: 1, crazy robots: 0'.
  • Fan of the Past: He regularly makes references to movies from the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Gaussian Girl: Joker cheerfully claims he was trying to invoke this when he smeared EDI's optics with grease.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Brittle boned, but he can fly.
  • Gunship Rescue: Uses the Normandy to pull people out of dangerous situations on multiple occasions.
  • Handicapped Badass: Joker has Vrolik's Syndrome, also known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta or brittle bone disease. Basically, he can barely jog, and the slightest injury can break bones. Despite this, he repeatedly proves himself to be a bona-fide badass Ace Pilot when the situation calls for it.
    • At the end of Mass Effect 1, he leads the 5th Fleet into battle to save the Citadel. It's especially awesome if you pick the option to save the Council, turning him and the Fleet into Big Damn Heroes. Even more badass is how Joker manages to give the final killing blow on Sovereign in a puny frigate. Notable too is that during said sequence, the normally talkative Joker is completely silent. Beware the Silly Ones indeed.
    • At the end of Mass Effect 2, the Normandy arrives to rescue Shepard and their team. The airlock opens to reveal Joker hefting an assault rifle and taking potshots at Collectors. He even takes a couple down. Note that he is doing so on two broken legs and with several broken ribs.
    • Uses the Normandy to deliver air strikes on several occasions in Mass Effect 3, particularly during the first mission.
  • Hiding the Handicap: He keeps the fact that he has Vrolik syndrome hidden from most people because he doesn't want anyone to think he's had any special favors to earn his current position.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": In the Citadel DLC, Joker makes up a story about how he single-handedly wiped out a Cerberus platoon in an Atlas mech in an attempt to get a discount for drinks.
    story!Cerberus Trooper: Ahh! We were fools to underestimate Joker! Oh, nooo!
  • Hope Spot: From Mordin.
    Mordin: Working on cure for Joker's Condition. A simple treatment would... No would cause liver failure. Start over.
  • I Can't Dance: Can't and won't, because of the brittle bones. EDI has to pester him mightily to convince him to give it a try during the party in the Citadel DLC.
  • Iconic Item: His SR1/2 cap.
  • I Call Him "Mister Happy": An extremely sozzled Dr. Chakwas will inform you that Joker named his "Admiral Winky." That's right, Admiral, meaning Shepard is outranked by Joker's penis.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: "It takes skill to bank a ship in vacuum -- don't think it doesn't!"
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Bears more than a passing resemblance to Seth Green. Amusingly, this is also unintentional. Casey Hudson confirmed on Twitter that Joker's face was modeled from someone other than Seth Green.
  • Insufferable Genius: Players fresh to the series might scoff at his early claims in the original Mass Effect that he's the best pilot in the Alliance. However, he demonstrates the validity of his bragging again. And again. And again.
  • Insult Friendly Fire:
    • Inflicts this upon himself after Tali's loyalty mission. Living aboard a ship your whole life really screws with your priorities - uh, wait...
    • And again in the Citadel DLC. He, EDI, Miranda, Jacob, and Shepard are talking about how Cerberus used to be Incompetence, Inc.. EDI points out that she is a Cerberus product.
      Joker: Aw, crap.
  • Ironic Nickname: Joker took flight school very seriously, and he was given the nickname by an instructor who constantly needled him for being so grim. After he graduated with flying colors, he let the nickname become a conventional one.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Gets up out of his chair to give Shepard one final salute and tells them to be careful right before the final battle on Earth.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: He initially refers to EDI as "it", viewing her as simply a tool Cerberus is using to spy on the crew. He switches to "she" once she proves she can be trusted.
    Shepard: Notice you're calling EDI "she" now.
    Joker: Huh, I didn't notice that. EDI, should I have noticed that?
    EDI: No, Jeff. It is not worth noting.
  • It's All My Fault: In the third game, Joker reveals he has been secretly blaming himself for Shepard's death, feeling that because he refused to leave the Normandy, it was his fault that Shepard had to come rescue him, got spaced, then had to be rebuilt by Cerberus.
  • It's Personal: Joker has shades of this against the Collector Ship in the second game. It destroyed the first Normandy and dared to do the same to its successor. When Joker opens fire during the suicide mission with the upgraded cannons, he makes it perfectly clear why no one gets away with laying a finger on his baby.
    Joker How do you like that, you sons-of-bitches?! Give them hell, girl!
  • Killed Off for Real: If the "Destroy" ending in Mass Effect 3 is chosen with a very low EMS, he'll die when the Normandy explodes and crashes, along with the rest of the crew.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • Near the end of the first game, the Normandy is trying to land on a planet that contains the Conduit they and Saren have been looking for. While dodging air defenses and desperately looking for a way to get down, Pressley insists they can't drop the Mako because they're too close to the ground to successfully deploy it. Joker fixes his gaze and states "I can do it." No jokes, no bravado. The best pilot in the Alliance has a job to do, and by God he's going to do it.
    • Near the end of the second game, Joker leaves the seat of his pilot's chair, and grabs an assault rifle to hold off Collectors chasing after Shepard, showing grim determination and not saying a word.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: With EDI, from 2 onwards. Kasumi even quotes the trope near-verbatim. Once EDI is unshackled and saves the ship from the Collectors, their relationship deepens; EDI even stops calling Joker "Mr. Moreau," and starts referring to him as "Jeff." And this is before EDI even gets a body.
  • Moment Killer: Cheerfully so in the first game.
  • Must Have Caffeine: At the end of Jacob's loyalty mission, Shepard can threaten to punish Joker for not getting out of the system fast enough by making him switch to decaf. Joker mutters that if that's the case, Shepard might as well throw it out the airlock.
  • My Greatest Failure: His initial refusal to leave the first Normandy when it was being destroyed directly led to Shepard's death, and he reveals in the third game that he has never quite gotten over his guilt for this. For this reason, he signed up with Cerberus once he heard that they were resurrecting Shepard and does whatever he can to keep Shepard safe, physically and mentally.
  • Never Bareheaded: He's always wearing a cap. The one exception is during the opening cutscene of the mission to Ilos, which is the only time in the first game where the action is focused on him.
    Joker: You want luck on your side? Never wash your hat. Dad told me that. I think.
  • Non-Action Snarker: Doesn't take direct part in the action, but one of the snarkiest members of the crew.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
  • Overly-Long Gag: In the Citadel DLC during Shepard's party, when Shepard offers to dance with EDI in place of him. Cue 30 uninterrupted seconds of Joker laughing at the idea of Shepard dancing.
  • Perma-Stubble: He once joked about Shepard recommending him for a medal after saving them from "swimming in molten sulfur," but is convinced he doesn't want one since he'd have to deal with the ceremony for receiving it.
    Joker: Yeah, they'd probably make me shave, too. I just spent the last seven weeks working on this baby. No medal's worth that.
  • Plucky Comic Relief:
    • While other characters also have their funny moments, conversation with Joker are almost entirely optional and serve no other purpose than to be a source of comedy.
    • Though as we find out in 3, his constant joking does have a purpose. Basically, it's to keep Shepard from going completely off the deep end, after all the hell they go through.
  • Porn Stash: According to EDI, he has a few zettabytesnote  of the stuff hidden away in the Normandy computers. She flooded Cerberus with it after they tried to shut her down remotely. And no, she wasn't joking about that. At least, not about the size of the porn stash. Oh and by the way, a zettabyte is a sextillion bytes.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: In "Citadel", he tries to convince a bartender to give him free drinks by claiming that he fought off the Cerberus coup with an Atlas mech. During the fake flashback:
    Joker: It's joking time!
  • Promoted to Playable: He's an NPC in Mass Effect 1, and in Mass Effect 2 you assume direct control of him when the Collectors attack the Normandy SR2.
  • Promotion, Not Punishment: He was assigned his role as the Normandy's pilot after hijacking it during a test flight and showing his skills were better than the intended pilot.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Is the first to rejoin Shepard's crew and clearly wants to try to reunite as many of his former comrades from the first Normandy as he can.
  • Quizzical Tilt: His reaction to EDI's "humans on their knees" comment.
  • Robosexual: Joker is a little too attached to the Normandy. It almost gets him killed, and does get Shepard killed, at the start of 2. This is taken to its logical conclusion in 3, where Shepard can convince him to pursue a relationship with EDI, once she takes over Dr. Eva Coré's mecha body.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Being one of Shepard's most loyal followers doesn't stop him from snarking to them constantly.
  • Scotty Time: Joker apparently deliberately pads his estimates to make himself look good when he pulls off whatever his tasks are in under that. EDI calls him out on this, and Shepard can either agree or let it slide.
  • Sole Survivor:
    • He is the only crew member to avoid being abducted by the Collectors when they come calling.
    • He is the only character to survive the Suicide Mission at the end of 2 in the worst ending, and takes Shepard's place in reporting what happened to the Illusive Man.
    • NPC dialogue in 3 would seem to indicate that most, if not all, of his immediate family (definitely his younger sister, at least) died when the Reapers invaded the farming colony where they lived.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    • His reaction in the intro of Mass Effect 2, being the first to realise that the Collector Warship has locked weapons because they can see them.
    • While he never actually says it, his facial expression and worried "Aw, shit!" definitely fit when the Collectors board the Normandy, and Joker finds out he has to make it all the way from the cockpit to a maintenance shaft all the way at the opposite end of the deck, then make his way to the AI core from there, all the while trying to not get dragged off or killed.
    • During the run to the Collector Base, Joker does this if one of the vital Normandy upgrades hasn't been applied.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Downplayed in the climax of Mass Effect 2. When pushed to the brink, he picks up an assault rifle and personally provides covering fire for Shepard's escape from the Collectors, powering through several broken bones in the process.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • He will follow Shepard to hell and back, like so many other characters. Joker has the honor of being the only character guaranteed to be alongside the Commander through all 3 games, and is basically Shepard's sidekick. Which is why getting him on board was one of the very first things the Illusive Man did to get Shepard invested in working with Cerberus in 2.
    • So much so that Anderson, worried about Shepard physically and mentally, asked Joker to take care of them.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite their frequent spats, he and EDI work best when together.
  • We Were Your Team: He names the trope in the second game, explaining to Shepard that the original squad drifted apart without them.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Gives a quick one to Shepard, blaming them for not being on the ship when the Collectors attacked and abducted the crew. He even threatens to leave but given his Undying Loyalty to Shepard, it's just emotions. EDI points that out as well.
    • Is on the receiving end by Miranda when the Collectors kidnap everyone from the ship, even though it's partly her fault (along with Shepard and EDI) for not properly scrubbing the IFF chip.
    • In the Citadel DLC, he's not happy when he realizes that Shepard used him as live bait to distract the mercenaries while they got the drop on them and stole a gun. He lightens up about it however, after Shepard ends up exiting the club by falling through the fish tank.

    Karin Chakwas 
Doctor Karin Chakwas
Or maybe I'm just happily drunk.

"I've lived a full life — no regrets. I'd like to make sure the crew gets the same opportunity."

Voiced by: Carolyn Seymour

The chief medical officer stationed aboard the Normandy. When Joker joined Cerberus, she went with him, ostensibly to keep an eye on his Vrolik's Syndrome, but really to keep an eye on him.

  • Ascended Extra: In the first game, she is there for a bit of exposition early on, and then doesn't have much in the way of new dialog later on. In ME2, she becomes the de facto Team Mom of the crew.
  • Cool Old Lady: She's lived a full and adventurous life, and is happy to reminisce about it with Shepard. If the player keeps her alive in 2 and picks her in 3, she's also the chief medical officer of all three of the Normandy's most important missions.
  • Demoted to Extra: The player can choose to do this in 3 by picking Dr. Michel and leaving Chakwas if she's alive on the Citadel.
  • Fantastic Racism: In 3, an overheard argument between her and Adams reveals that she doesn't consider any artificial intelligence to be a true form of life.
  • In Harm's Way: After the destruction of the SSV Normandy, Chakwas was given a post at the Mars Naval Medical Center. A pretty sweet deal actually, but she couldn't stand being in one place for too long:
    Dr. Chakwas: I've spent most of my life on warships, never knowing what the next mission might bring. I'm used to the hum of engines, the creaking bulkheads, the subtle vertigo when the momentum dampeners kick in. Life planetside is too static, too boring.
  • Insistent Terminology: In the second game, if Shepard asks her about why she is working for Cerberus;
    Chakwas: I'm not working for Cerberus, Commander... I'm working for you.
  • Just a Machine: Gets into an argument over whether synthetics are "alive" with Adams later in the third game, providing another either/or support choice for Shepard. Chakwas takes the stance that they're machines, Adams that "machine" doesn't necessarily mean "non-sapient".
  • Killed Off for Real: If you don't send an escort with her in the suicide run of 2, she's killed by Collectors.
  • Lady Drunk: Shows subtle hints of having become this by 2 and 3, due to stress and the death of various friends. This also may be due to getting royally wasted with Shepard, once a year.
  • Last-Name Basis: Right up until the third game, where Shepard can call her Karin over another bottle of wine. She feels that using Shepard's first name would be a disservice to what they're fighting for. Or it's just her prerogative as a lady.
  • Loophole Abuse: The only member of the Normandy crew in ME3 to avoid having formal charges pressed against them for working with Cerberus, since she had cleared her leave of absence with the Alliance beforehand, and because she did not accept any payment for acting as the ship's doctor, she cannot legally be considered to have been under their employ. She does acknowledge that she likely only avoided an accessory charge thanks to Earth being attacked before Shepard could actually be found guilty of anything.
  • Mildly Military: She's quite possibly the least "military" member of the Normandy crew that is part of any species' military. Ironically, the Codex in 3 reveals that she holds the rank of major, which means she outranks Shepard.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: If you turn down her medical services in 3; she'll become a War Asset instead, and you can then invite Dr. Michel aboard in her place.
  • Noble Bigot: Not towards aliens, but 3 shows that she point-blank refuses to accept artificial intelligences as truly alive. Engineer Adams, who is clearly a good friend of hers, argues the point with her; Shepard can join in on either side. She dismisses the arguments, and maintains that they are just machines. This does not change the fact that she is, overall, a good person. However, when Adams snarks the geth are more deserving of equal rights than Cerberus troops who are endangering the lives of everyone in the galaxy by interfering with the mission, the only thing she can say in response is a rather weak argument that at least the Cerberus troops are human.
  • Obviously Not Fine: In a conversation with Adams in 3, she claims she's not carrying any baggage over being abducted by the Collectors. It doesn't take long for this facade to crumble and her admit, in tears, that she is very definitely not fine.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: 3 reveals that she actually outranks Shepard; she's an Alliance Major. She's also quite demure, and genuinely cares about the soldiers she's treating - so much so that she gave up a cushy post on Mars to work aboard the rebuilt Normandy.
  • Older Than They Look: While it's mentioned repeatedly that medical advances have slowed aging in humans, Dr. Chakwas is probably the most telling example.
  • Parental Substitute: Frequently acts a mother-figure towards Shepard. She also has to remind Joker to look after himself.
  • Put on a Bus: Shepard can convince her to work on the Crucible Project instead of coming back to the Normandy in 3. She will then become a War Asset and not be seen anymore for the rest of the game.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Jumps at the chance to come back to the Normandy in both 2 and 3.
  • Significant Anagram: Her name is an anagram of "hacksaw."
  • Silver Vixen: She's up there in years, but still quite beautiful.
  • Sole Survivor: If Shepard delays in saving the crew from the Collectors, Dr. Chakwas will always be the last one alive to call them out for not hurrying. If she's sent back without an escort then she'll die for good.
  • So Proud of You: Tells Shepard that she's very proud of them before the assault on Earth.
  • Sore Loser: Mildly. If Shepard takes Adams' side against her in their argument, she makes a shot that both Shep and Adams are "practically machines" themselves.
  • Team Mom: Dr. Chakwas is definitely the most nurturing person on either of the Normandys, and often takes it upon herself to look out for the crew. Even mentions this in ME3 when asked about her family.
    "I am the last of a prestigious line of medical professionals. The Alliance is my spouse and you are all my children."
  • To Absent Friends: One of the toasts Chakwas and Shepard can share during the brandy drinking cutscene.
  • Undying Loyalty: From 2 onwards. She isn't working for Cerberus. She's working for Shepard. This insistence is one of the only things that keep her out of jail when the Normandy SR-2 is impounded in Mass Effect 3.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If the player doesn't enter the Omega 4 relay fast enough, Chakwas will chew Shepard out, and it's obvious she's chewing the player out for Take Your Time.

    Charles Pressly 
Navigator/Executive Officer Charles Pressly
"I know we'll all be court-martialed if this doesn't work out, but part of me loves this!"

Voiced by: Dwight Schultz

The navigation officer of the Normandy who is later promoted to XO once Shepard has been given command of the ship by Anderson. He enlisted to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, then received his officer's commission after participating in the Skyllian Blitz.

  • Character Development: A bigot against aliens in 1, we learned in 2 that the time spent with Tali and Liara, as well as Garrus and Wrex if present, convinced him that his bigotry was foolish. Then he was killed by the Collectors.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: He is unceremoniously killed in the attack on the Normandy at the beginning of Mass Effect 2.
  • Fantastic Racism: A little more than Ashley, especially where turians are concerned, but Shepard can help him to see past this point of view, and his datapad found at the Normandy's crash site indicates that he had grown to respect his otherworldly comrades, even stating that he'd die for them.
  • Foreshadowing: His death is the first hint we get that Anyone Can Die in the sequel, even the crew.
  • Former Bigot: His diaries in Mass Effect 2 reveal that his xenophobic views on the aliens made a complete U-turn after tackling the Sovereign crisis shoulder-to-shoulder with themnote , and he notes that reading the older entries makes him feel ashamed. Too bad he was killed soon after.
  • Mauve Shirt: He gets a few conversations and some characterization in the first game and he's the first person to die during the Collectors' attack on the Normandy at the beginning of the second game.
  • The Navigator: His role before becoming XO.
  • Number Two: In the first game, Pressly served as the XO of the Normandy, acting as Relief-Captain whenever Shepard was ashore, which was Shepard's job when Anderson was Captain.
  • Plotline Death: He dies in the beginning of Mass Effect 2, knocked out by a support beam during the Collectors' attack.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He is the first character from the original game to die in the sequel.
  • Undying Loyalty: He's right behind Shepard's decision to steal the Normandy from Udina's grounding.
    I know if this doesn't work out, we'll all get court-martialed, but part of me loves this!
  • Vice President Who?: He has absolutely minimal impact on the story, to the point that it's possible to play through the entire game without Shepard actually talking to him more than once when they steal the Normandy to go to Ilos.

    Gregory Adams 
Lieutenant Gregory Adams
"You've got an eye for talent, Commander."
"If you name a class of Alliance ship, I've probably served on it. Everything from dreadnoughts and carriers right down to frigates like the Normandy."

Voiced by: Roger L. Jackson

The Chief Engineer aboard the Normandy. He's reassigned to a new post following Shepard's death in the beginning of Mass Effect 2, but he's back under Shepard's command in Mass Effect 3.

  • Big Brother Mentor: Seems to have been one to Tali; she'll note in the second game that she's been having difficulty getting used to his absence. He becomes one to Gabby and Kenneth in 3.
  • The Bus Came Back: He returns in ME3 and is back under Shepard's command once again.
  • The Engineer: He's incredibly talented at what he does, and in ME3 reveals he was was put in charge of the team tasked with bringing the second Normandy up to Alliance-spec, something that took months to complete. While he is impressed with the second Normandy for having several innovative features and advantages over the original, he berates Cerberus for being lazy and cutting several corners they could find in its safety systems.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Apparently the only Alliance technician who wasn't fooled for a minute that EDI was "just a VI" program. After she reveals the truth to him, he admits he was genuinely impressed with the way she kept counteracting his attempts to secretly disconnect her.
  • Military Brat: Both of his parents serve on an Alliance agricultural vessel under Admiral Hackett's command.
  • Mr. Exposition: Exists primarily in the first game to explain the Normandy's stealth system and engines.
  • Out of Focus: He doesn't participate in shore leave activities in the Citadel DLC.
  • Put on a Bus: Aside from a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo during the intro and a few mentions, he is nowhere to be seen in ME2.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Has no problems with taking Tali under his wing in ME1, despite her being a very young quarian, and readily admits he's impressed by her knowledge and skill. He does the same for both Ken and Gabby in ME3, despite their previous service with Cerberus. He makes a similar comment about Gabby's brains, though he considers Ken Brilliant, but Lazy.
    • He also proves to be one of the most open-minded about synthetic life on your entire crew. He takes to EDI and is keen to debate whether she "is" the Normandy or a separate entity, and is quick to assert that any geth just minding its own business has more rights than (the now likely Indoctrinated) Cerberus. All without any cajoling or persuade checks on Shepard's part.
    • He also becomes a mentor to two engineers who technically are traitors to the Alliance. But he trusts Shepard and notes both are extremely talented (especially Gabby), and says Shep has an impeccable eye for talent.
  • Shout-Out: Engineer Adams and the Tantalus Drive Core? What about Dr. Adams and the Tantalus Penal Colony?
  • Survivor's Guilt: If the rest of the Normandy crew died in 2, Adams feels guilty about not being there, wondering if he could've done something.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • He's completely unperturbed at Shepard's decision to steal the Normandy from Udina's grounding.
    • Subverted in a conversation Shepard can have with him on the Normandy — he was approached by Chakwas to come back during Mass Effect 2, but didn't trust Shepard due to Cerberus. Shepard can forgive him for it, though he's still shown having regrets about it during a conversation with Chakwas.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Legendary Edition version of the first game changes his hair color... but his model for 3 remains unchanged.

Council Space

    The Citadel Council 
The Citadel Council

"Ah yes, "Reapers"...We have dismissed that claim."

Voiced by: Alastair Duncan (Sparatus), Jan Alexandra Smith (Tevos), Armin Shimerman (Valern)

The ruling group of most of the known Milky Way galaxy, consisting of representatives of the three dominant species - Sparatus (turian), Tevos (asari), and Valern (salarian). They can be left to die in two of the three endings of the first game. If they live, humanity gains their trust. If they die, they are all replaced by successors and remain aloof to humanity.

  • Break the Haughty: Implied in 3. Despite being as unhelpful as ever for much of the game, nobody is calling Shepard crazy or deluded about the Reapers anymore, none of them are giving Shepard any kind of insults - casual or otherwise - and all of them make compromises they wouldn't have before. Valern lets curing the Genophage slide despite his mistrust of the krogan, while Tevos puts more stock in Shepard's word than fellow Councilor Udina during the Cerberus coup - she even flat-out admits that their doubting Shepard has only ever bitten them in the ass. Sparatus is by far the biggest change though, as he's actually the first of the three to offer Shepard help and give info - a stark contrast to when he'd always criticized Shepard before.
  • Character Tic: When two Councilors look at one, they're about to reach a consensus. Notably, when Valern and Tevos stared down at Sparatus just before they enlisted Shepard as a Spectre.
    • If they look at one who shakes his head, their subsequent decision will negatively affect Shepard. First was with Sparatus — they denied that Saren was responsible for the attack on Eden Prime. Second was with Valern — they rejected to help Shepard take Earth from the Reapers.
  • Catchphrase: Valern typically tends to chime in with "the mission comes first".
  • Commander Contrarian: No matter what you do, even to the point of completely opposite behaviors, Councilor Sparatus will be a jerkass. Until Mass Effect 3, when he's the first councilor who provides a means to get support.
  • Dirty Coward: In the first game, they all make a beeline for the asari dreadnought Destiny Ascension, but all the ambassadors of the "lesser species" are left to fend for themselves.
  • Divided We Fall: In the second game, Shepard is not particularly happy to learn that during the two years they were dead, the Council preferred to discredit their warnings about the Reapers as the rantings of a delusional madman/woman, rather than face the truth and the multitude of evidence that was staring them smack in the face.
  • Doomed Contrarian: If you allow them to die in the ME1 ending.
  • Fantastic Racism: Sparatus, against humans. Valern shows himself to be quite anti-krogan in 3.
  • The Federation: This is how the council system effectively works.
  • The Ghost: If the Council dies, their replacements are never met until ME3.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Sparatus has some over his left eye, at least in the third game.
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: Appears as though they are indulging in this throughout the second game. Revealed to be true in the third game's Citadel DLC, when Shepard and team are exploring the ultra secret Citadel archives.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Sparatus calls Shepard out either way after Noveria, regardless of whether the Rachni Queen was spared or killed.
    • Valern states that humanity should assist the other Council Species with their problems, but when the subject of human colonies going missing comes up and the human councillor asks for help? Mankind's on their own on that one.
    • If Shepard saves the colony on Feros, Sparatus claims that there was never any doubt Shepard would save it because it is a human colony. (Implying that Shepard would have made less of an effort, or perhaps none at all, to save a non-human colony) This despite the fact that when Eden Prime, another human colony, suffered an unprovoked attack, the Council’s response was to victim blame the humans and refuse to lift a finger to help.
    • One of the supposed requirements for a Council Race is to lend aid and relief to other species in times of great need or catastrophe. The asari, salarians, and turians all have fleets, tremendous resources, plenty of colonies, and the ability to project their influence all over Council space. This is the rationale why the humans are allowed to join the Council if Shepard saves the Destiny Ascension at the end of Mass Effect 1, because the Alliance has proven that they are willing to sacrifice human lives to save non-humans ones. When Mass Effect 3 rolls around and the Reapers begin their assault on Earth, the only other Council race that doesn't immediately abandon humanity is, ironically, the turians (the species the humans have the most tense relationship with).
    • For all their talk about basing their decisions on facts and evidence, once the threat of the Reapers becomes apparent, including Sovereign showing up at their doorstep and almost ushering in the next cycle, they're quick to deny said evidence of their existence and write it off as ridiculous hearsay.
  • I Believe That You Believe It: One of the ways they claim the Reapers don't exist; the galaxy only has your word for it.
  • Insane Troll Logic: A low key example with them blaming the Alliance for the attack on Eden Prime for founding a colony so close to the Terminus Systems. They act like this is something humanity should have seen coming even though a geth attack (the geth had almost never ventured beyond their home worlds in centuries until that point) is something nobody could have seen coming. The Council treats the Eden Prime attack like something along the lines of the Skyllian Blitz when it is really an Outside-Context Problem.
  • Jerkass:
    • Sparatus takes every opportunity to deride Shepard, no matter how the player acts. The other Councilors are decidedly less judgmental.
    • Also, if the Council die, their replacements are evidently this. The original Council was at least nice enough to hear Shepard out and offer to reinstate them. The new Council won't even see them, with the exception of Anderson or Udina. And we all know how nice Udina is.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Councilor Sparatus. While he's often an ass about it, Shepard does frequently do erratic things and make decisions of galactic importance without bothering to consult the council first.
    • Also when you consider that turians are taught to value discipline, self-responsibility and their government is based on hierarchical meritocracy, it makes sense why he's irritated by Shepard's maverick attitude and insubordinate nature to authority.
    • Also when he is the only council member who believes that it is plausible that Benezia would order Liara's death: "Or maybe we don't know her - we never expected she could become a traitor." Because of indoctrination, he's dead right - they don't know her, and she does try to kill Liara.
    • A subtle moment. In 3, when Shepard states Earth was attacked by the Reapers, Sparatus takes a step forward. He's prepared to help immediately before Shepard asks.
    • Tevos gets a turn in Mass Effect 3. While it was a dick thing to say, she did have a point when she said that negotiating an alliance with the krogan wouldn't end well, because of millennia old grudges. If Wreav is the krogan leader, he has never forgiven the council for the genophage and intends to at the very least, use the threat of the krogan hordes to extort accommodations from other races. The Citadel archives contain a transcript of how badly the last council negotiations with a krogan warlord ended. She also probably knew that Dalatress Linron would reject anything a krogan rep would ask for.
  • No Name Given: Until Mass Effect 3, Sparatus and Valern were known only as the turian and salarian Councilors respectively. Tevos is namechecked in Mass Effect 2, though it's not clear she's the asari councilor until Udina reveals the council's names in 3. The Legendary Edition retroactively updates the subtitles in the first and second games to refer the councilors by their actual names.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: We rarely get to see the Council being proactive.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The Citadel DLC in 3 reveals the Council knew all along, as one of the Archives switches from the standard "geth attack on the Citadel" to "Reaper attack on the Citadel". Why did they pretend to doubt Shepard and others when they already knew? Perhaps they also knew about Indoctrination and didn't want anyone to know they were aware.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: No matter what Shepard brings to their view, they will never believe them about the Reapers. They actually do believe Shepard's accusations against Saren once they're brought proof, but even then they refuse to believe Shepard's claims that Saren is merely a pawn of a greater threat.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ironically, Sparatus of all Turians becomes this in 3. He quickly becomes a critical ally to Shepard and the Systems Alliance, and is ultimately the only councilor who doesn't make your life harder. Tevos, and the Asari government in general, are concealing the existence of a fully-functional Prothean Beacon on Thessia. Valern is complicit in the Salarian sabotage of the Genophage Cure, and Udina is complicit in an attempted Cerberus coup.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Sparatus loves using this against you. Kill the rachni: "Do you enjoy committing genocide?" Release the queen: "How long before they wipe us out?"
  • The Spock: Valern always supports the coldly rational decision that gets the job done, unlike the much more emotional Sparatus.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: If the original Council died in ME1, the replacement Councilors in ME3 have pretty much the same dialogue, with minor modifications highlighting their distrust in Shepard for sacrificing their predecessors. Udina mentions personality differences, but they are mostly an Informed Attribute. It's also still a multi-species Council no matter what, even if Udina decides to appoint an all-human Council at the end of ME1.
  • Team Mom: Tevos spends about half of her time in any conversation trying to calm things down between Sparatus and Shepard or Udina.
  • Theory Tunnelvision: They're so freaked out by the very notion of the Reapers that they'd much rather believe Saren managed to cook them up and has somehow convinced the geth and Shepard of this, all as part of some fiendish plan to assassinate them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Sparatus was never exactly nice, but he did start off reasonable and actually made some good points. Then Shepard became a Spectre and all bets were off - even though he gives reasons for each criticism, there will almost never be any choice Shepard makes that he will endorse nor agree with. This is most obvious post-Noveria; spare the rachni and he'll accuse Shepard of unleashing a horror on the galaxy, but kill the rachni and he'll accuse Shepard of genocide . He takes another level in the sequel, where he essentially tells Shepard that he thinks they're completely insane, easily manipulated and an idiot.
    • Inverted, surprisingly, in 3; while Valern coldly shoots down any help for Shepard, Sparatus is the first to help out - though this might have more to do with the fact that his homeworld is being actively ransacked by the same ancient sentient spaceships he'd spent years denying the existence of; between shattered pride and desperation to save his species, he can't exactly play the jerkass routine anymore and expect it to work. However, when Shepard flatly announces Earth was attacked by Reapers, he immediately takes a step forward reflexively; his first instinct to a fellow species being assaulted is to help fight.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Less a level in kindness and more polite to your face. Sparatus, who spent the majority of 1 and 2 constantly insulting and belittling you, becomes much more friendly and helpful in 3.
    • This may have something to do with the small fact that both Earth and Palaven are currently undergoing Reaper invasions and in both cases, have parts of the planet where the fires can be seen from orbit. That he spent the past two games claiming Shepard was mentally unstable and the Reapers a myth only to be proven wrong on both counts also leaves him very much without a leg to stand on.
    • Indeed, if you import a game in which the council was killed, Sparatus's replacement Quentius is MUCH less antagonistic towards Shepard. He even admits the knowledge he's giving Shepard (get the Primarch for the war summit) is technically information he shouldn't be sharing with the Spectre. The turian Councilor is sneaking behind his colleagues' back to help humanity because of as right now both their worlds are under the heaviest assault.
    • Sparatus's Fatal Flaw is that he requires absolute proof. He's unwilling to believe Saren's a traitor til brought proof. Shepard has no proof about the Reapers, which unfortunately doesn't come til they're actually attacking Earth. The man doesn't have a big ego and he's flexible to changing situations — he's just unwilling to take anything on faith.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In the first game, they are certain that they are taking part in a political thriller about a Rogue Agent attempting to take down their government with his loyal army of machines, despite their top agent's repeated protests that this is actually a Cosmic Horror Story with the Reapers as the true threat to all life in the galaxy. It takes until the third game and an galaxy-wide invasion by said race of Eldritch Abominations, before they finally get on the same page. However, the Citadel DLC reveals the Council knew that Shepard wasn't wrong about the Reapers, and it's implied that the turians did take it seriously, as Garrus went to his father who went to the Primarch to establish a group that focused on the Reapers; Garrus feels it was probably an empty gesture, but it could have been more, as unlike Thessia, Paleven holds off the Reaper's initial attack.

    Nihlus Kryik 
Nihlus Kryik
Not all turians resent humanity. Some of us see the potential of your species.
Voiced by: Alastair Duncan

A turian Spectre trained by Saren, Nihlus was selected to assess whether Shepard was qualified to join the Spectres and mentor them if that was the case. During the attack on Eden Prime, he's betrayed and killed by his old mentor.

  • Dark Is Not Evil: As a Spectre, he's willing to use some pretty brutal methods, but he is ultimately working toward galactic peace.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Killed by a shot to the head from Saren, his mentor.
  • Expy: At least visually, Nihlus' name and outward appearance resembles Darth Nihilus from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the sequel to a previous Bioware game.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He might have been a Council Spectre, but he clearly wasn't above shadier methods. Samara notes the whole reason she was hunting Nihlus was because he killed an unarmed civilian.
  • Guile Hero: His response to having asari justicar Samara corner him into a little village? Turn her own Code against her and have her choose between killing him and the innocents or let everyone live peacefully. Well he survived all the way to ME1 so...
  • I Work Alone: Invoked by Nihlus. It gets him killed, unfortunately.
  • Meaningful Name: Nihlus to "nihilism". It's a strong hint he's not going to last long.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Before he got to do any mentoring, even.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Subverted. His name is very similar to "nihilism", but he's a good guy through and through.
  • Noodle Incident: Samara attacked Nihlus because from her perspective, he had just murdered an innocent person. It's possible that Nihlus did, since Spectres are above the law when it comes to getting the job done, but it's hard to believe Nihlus would casually kill an innocent person.
  • Oh, Crap!: Subtle, but his mandibles twitch in a baffled mix of discomfort and horror as he, Anderson and Shepard gaze upon a recording of the first Reaper sighting in its attack on Eden Prime, none of them remotely aware of what it even was at that point in time.
  • Red Herring: Very briefly, and more prominent in a Renegade playthrough. He's got a red and black color scheme, face-paint that is somewhat remeniscent of a skull, some vaguely threatening lines, and his name just sounds pretty sinister. It's possible to mistrust Nihlus throughout, and you can question the survivors of the Eden Prime assault about his whereabouts and possible involvement. One of them even claims to have seen a turian before the attack, though your party doubts it's Nihlus since he was aboard the Normandy at that time. Since he's off on his own during the mission, it's left ambiguous whether or not he had anything to do with the assault, before Saren's introduction makes it abundantly clear that Nihlus was completely innocent of any wrongdoing.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: He has no issue with humanity taking a greater role in the galaxy and thinks they have great potential. He also fully supports Shepard candidacy to be inducted into the Spectres. It's not out of character for turians, who run on a meritocracy:
    Nihlus: I don't care that you're human, Shepard. I only care that you can do the job.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Mere minutes after Jenkins.
  • Sound-Only Death: Saren pulls his gun on Nihlus, and the cutscene ends before he can pull the trigger. Just as gameplay resumes, the player hears a gunshot off in the distance.
  • Walking Armoury: According to Kaidan. We only actually see him holding an assault rifle and a shotgun.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He is killed within an hour of the first game.
  • Worthy Opponent: Samara considers him one.

    Din Korlack 

Din Korlack

Voiced by: Lex Lang

"You humans are new to the Citadel, and yet the Council has granted you great favor."

The volus ambassador to the Citadel. He takes a dim view of how the other species view his, and feels that their power should be greater than it is.

  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Is very rude to anyone who's not a volus.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returned in 3 after being absent in 2.
  • Cultural Posturing: A fairly minor case, but will still bend Shepard's ear about how they are vital to the galactic economy while humans are upstart newcomers.
  • Dirty Coward: Knows of a planned attack on a turian colony, but is afraid that revealing this will jeopardize his safety, and will withhold the support of the Volus Bombing Fleet if he's made to reveal the attack unless Zaeed can persuade him.
  • Jerkass: Why he's an "Ass" in Ambassador.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he's a jerk about it, he does have a point that the Volus are treated like Butt Monkeys despite being around far longer than the humans.
  • The Mole: Becomes one for Cerberus, feeling that they are the best chance to beat the Reapers after they helped stop the Collectors. Once he realizes how wrong he is, he cuts all ties with them.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Between Mass Effect and Mass Effect 3 he apparently came to realize the galaxy was in danger from the Reapers and Collectors, and decided to do his part to help. This lead him to become an informant for Cerberus, which put the Turian Empire in danger during the Reaper War when Cerberus decided to go to war with everyone.
  • Proud Merchant Race: He feels that the volus should have a seat on the Council because they basically run the galaxy's economy.

Captain/Major Kirrahe
In the battle today, we will Hold the Line!
"Our motto at STG is to always expect trouble... and failing that, create trouble for someone else."

Voiced by: George Szilagyi

The Captain in charge of the Special Tasks Group on Virmire. Worked with Mordin. Sends a request to the Council for backup upon finding Saren's base but gets garbled into static so only Shepard and the Normandy comes to investigate. Returns in Mass Effect 3, now a major, provided you saved him on Virmire.

  • All There in the Manual: The Shadow Broker's files on Mordin show how he worked with him on the modified genophage mission.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Bring Javik with you on Sur'Kesh assuming Kirrahe is still alive, and you will see what Kirrahe thinks of living Protheans.
    Kirrahe: Amazing what they can do with genetic modification these days. And what are you, really? Drell? Turian?
    Javik: Prothean.
  • The Captain: Has the rank and the personality for it.
  • Catchphrase: Mordin reveals that Kirrahe is very fond of "Hold the Line!" in his speeches.
    Mordin: Good captain. Bit of a cloaca. Loved his speeches. "Hold the line!" Personally prefer to get job done and go home.
    • Lampshaded in the third game, when he wistfully repeats it when encountering Shepard again on Sur'Kesh.
  • Character Witness: If you take Virmire before doing all the story missions, Udina will state he only believes Shepard's story about what went down there because of Kirrahe's report.
  • The Comically Serious: In 3. He does not think the salarian troops can handle Wrex; he thinks their medbay is not large enough for all the ensuing casualties.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Part of his rousing speech to his troops on Virmire.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: His appearance in the third game's demo (which features the Sur'Kesh) mission, is this for PS3 players. Both a fresh start on the second game, and one performed with the Genesis mini-comic assume that he's killed on Virmire. As a result, until the platform got the first game sometime after the third game's release, this was the earliest that PS3 players would see him alive.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: His opinion of STG work. Nobody except their direct superiors will ever know what they do, but they do it anyway, storming through gunfire if necessary, because it's their duty.
    We would be legends, but the records are sealed. Glory in battle is not our way.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He'll end up Taking the Bullet for the salarian Councilor in Mass Effect 3 if Thane is not around to stop Kai Leng.
  • Hold the Line: The basis of his Rousing Speech; without assistance from Shepard, he can die doing so.
  • Killed Off for Real: He will not survive if Shepard doesn't take out the Geth flyers.
    • See the Heroic Sacrifice entry above for what happens if you don't get Thane's help or he isn't alive in the third game.
  • Large Ham: He doesn't hold back when he gives his speeches.
  • Majorly Awesome: If he lives through Virmire, he gets promoted to this by 3.
  • Meaningful Name: Named after Currahee Mountain, a mountain used during WW2 to train Paratroopers.
  • Rousing Speech: A fan of these. Mordin somewhat exasperated with them, preferred to get the job done instead of wasting time with "chest-pounding."
    • His "Hold the Line" speech in 1 is particularly great given that it's impressive to the (obviously human) player, despite him referring to events that the player had never heard of before.
    • In 3, if the krogan aren't on Earth, Kirrahe will be giving one to his troops, though this time with a Dare to Be Badass theme.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: If he survived Virmire, you'll meet him again on Sur'Kesh, where he promises to lend the STG's support to retaking Earth regardless of what deals you have going with the dalatrass. Should you help Mordin or Padok cure the genophage, he makes good on that promise.
    Hackett: These STG guys know the score. They're not going to jeopardize the entire Salarian Union just because some dalatrass didn't get her way.
  • Sticky Bomb: When you meet him again in the third game he's carrying a Scorpion as his sidearm. The Scorpion is a salarian pistol that launches blue sticky grenades, which he helpfully demonstrates on a couple of Cerberus mooks. Garrus complains about it... But after the mission, you can buy it and ease his (and your) gun desires.
    Garrus: How do I not have one of those?
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Mordin. Referred to as a "bit of a cloacanote " by Mordin in the present, even if Kirrahe is dead. Mordin's Shadow Broker dossier includes an STG report that reveals that on the mission to distribute the modified genophage on Tuchanka, the two of them spent most of the time flinging cloaca-based insults at one another, with Mordin poking fun at Kirrahe's insistence on following the plan to the letter and suggesting that he "has foreign object in cloaca", "suggests foreign obstruction in cloaca is Kirrahe's cranium" and Kirrahe losing temper at constant jibes and Mordin incessantly asking about shifting mission parameters and calling Mordin a "walking cloaca." However, when Mordin was injured in battle and refused to obtain medical attention until his work was finished, Kirrahe admiringly called him "one tough cloaca." Furthermore, cut content from Mass Effect 2 includes an email from Kirrahe (assuming he survived Virmire) in which he admits that he's been exchanging friendly emails with Mordin over special equipment requirements, and remarks that he's "a good agent. Nervy for a tech. Bit of a cloaca, though."

Executor Venari Pallin

The turian head of Citadel Security, Executor Venari Pallin acts as the liaison between C-Sec and the Citadel Council. He has an office on the Presidium near the embassies. Unlike Garrus Vakarian, Pallin is extremely "by-the-book" in his work.

  • By-the-Book Cop: Disapproves of the Spectres as they operate outside the law. This causes much friction with Garrus, who is a Cowboy Cop. Despite this, Pallin actually thinks Garrus is a good officer, when he's not railing against the rules.
  • Fantastic Racism: He believes humanity's meteoric rise is due to humans being favored by the Council, and doesn't approve of the amount they've been given.
  • Malaproper: An example of turians not having the best grasp of human colloquialisms, as he mangles "fingers in every pie".
  • Noble Bigot: Despite his general distrust of humans, he seems fine with many of them joining C-Sec and it's implied human officers are treated fairly under his command.
  • Series Continuity Error: He's no longer head of security by Mass Effect 2. The "Mass Effect: Inquisition" comics shows that he was killed by Bailey when Bailey catches him seemingly working for the Council's enemies, and Bailey confirms this to Shepard in the third game. For some reason, the codex states that Pallin was still alive until Mass Effect 3, where he helped foil the Cerberus Coup and was killed by Kai Leng.

Systems Alliance

    David Anderson 
Captain (later Admiral) David Edward Anderson
You did good. I'm...proud of you.

"I know Saren. I know his reputation, his politics. He believes humans are a blight on the galaxy. This attack was an act of war."

Voiced by: Keith David, Patrick Seitz (Paragon Lost)

Former commanding officer of the Normandy, now advisor to Shepard from the Citadel. Was once in the running to be the first human Spectre until his efforts were sabotaged by Saren.

  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: If he becomes the human Councillor.
  • Badass Normal: While he lacks biotic powers or cybernetics, he's still a badass nonetheless. Particularly noticeable in the prequel novel "Revelation", where he surprises, injures, and drives off the krogan battlemaster Skarr with nothing more than a heavy pistol, quick reflexes, very good aim, and some luck. Skarr, by the way, is a 500-pound alien who can bench press a car and toss an APC with his mind.
  • Beehive Barrier: Fortification is one of his powers during the intro to 3 — in his admiral's uniform, to boot.
  • Big Good: While not officially leading the Alliance, he's the only authority figure other than Admiral Hackett that Shepard consistently respects. When he's promoted to Admiral by 3, he, Admiral Hackett, and Commander Shepard share this role, with Shepard acting as a military ambassador getting species together, Hackett being the man behind the joint species fleet while Anderson is the leader of the Earth resistance troops.
  • Butt-Monkey: Played for Drama. He has to take crap from Saren, who ruined his chances to become a Spectre by blaming the destruction of an element zero refinery on him in Revelation; Udina, who belittles Anderson and complains about everything he says in addition to shafting him mid-game, forcing him to step down and hand over the ''Normandy'' to Shepard. When he overrides the lockdown, you can either get him shot by C-Sec or have him punch out Udina (funny how he'll always choose the latter if you leave the decision up to him).
  • Cool Old Guy: Zigzagged. He's 49 by the third game, which is pretty old for an active duty military man in our time, but human life expectancy and quality of life has increased dramatically by Mass Effect to the point where living to 150 is considered lucky. So it's unclear if the same military retirement standards would apply.
  • Continuity Cameo: You get to meet Anderson's old flame, Kahlee Sanders (from Revelation), in a Mass Effect 3 side mission. If you manage to rescue her, Anderson hopes to hook up with her after the war is over. The Citadel DLC also implies that they do meet up occasionally at his Citadel apartment.
  • Cosmic Plaything: The universe just piles on the crap for this guy. He still gets up and does his job though.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The tie-in prequel novel Mass Effect: Revelation, which elaborates on how he used to be in the running for first human Spectre before Saren screwed him over.
  • Demoted to Extra: He only has one scene in the second game.
  • Desk Jockey: What he's demoted to when Shepard is given command of the ship. You can decide whether he stays like this or gets promoted to Councillor at the end of the first game. He shucks this role in Mass Effect 3, when he becomes the leader of the remaining human forces on Earth resisting the Reapers.
  • Doomed Hometown: According to the first Mass Effect novel Revelation, Anderson was born and raised in London. Guess where one of the main targets for the Reaper invasion of Earth is?
  • Easily Forgiven: If you let the Council die at the end of 1, Udina's actually pretty calm about Anderson punching him out.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Anderson is a member of the N7 special forces and served with honor in the First Contact War against the turians.
  • A Father to His Men: Especially when it comes to Shepard.
  • Four-Star Badass: Gets some admirals' stars in Mass Effect 3, and if he was Councilor, he has retired from that post to return to the military. Takes charge of the Resistance on Earth once Reapers start reapin'.
  • Friends with Benefits: Heavily implied to be this with Kahlee Sanders in the Citadel DLC. Her overnight bag (containing massage oils) is found in Anderson's apartment on the Citadel and a recording mentions her as being present while Anderson relates some life stories for the biography being written about him.
  • The Good Captain: Probably Shepard's most reliable authority figure.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Fights with Shepard directly during the intro level of Mass Effect 3. Breaks the trend set by the first two games, in that he survives this role. For the time being.
  • Hero of Another Story: Of Revelation and Retribution. Again in the third game.
  • I Choose to Stay: Anderson refuses to leave Earth with Shepard in 3, wanting to help with the war effort against the Reapers there.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In the two years between Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2, apparently. The Shadow Broker's dossier on him shows that he's two steps from becoming a full-blown alcoholic due to all the booze he's had to down to ignore all the stupidity he's been exposed to. His tab at Dionysus Imports: 2 bottles white wine after viewing "Saren: A Hero Betrayed", 1 bottle Gargle Blaster after viewing a documentary on what really happened behind the Citadel attack, 2 bottles Vodka Drunkenski after watching "Path of Lies: A History of the Alliance Military" and a documentary on the airquotes "Reapers" back-to-back. Followed by a call to Kleen Sweep Home Maintenance.
  • Killed Off for Real: On the Citadel in the endgame of 3; after the Illusive Man forces Shepard to shoot him, he succumbs to the wound and dies peacefully.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He knows full well the galaxy is run by idiotic politicians and bureaucrats. He does not like this. He gets up and does his job anyway.
  • Like a Son to Me: How he views his beloved protege, Shepard. His final words are calling them son/child (depending on gender) and telling them how proud he is of them.
  • The Men First: Why he stays behind on Earth in 3, because someone has to lead the resistance.
  • The Mentor: To Shepard.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Interestingly enough, he actually makes it to the very end of the trilogy before dying.
  • Mildly Military: At least with Shepard by Mass Effect 3 who he jokingly reprimands for referring to him formally.
    Shepard: Good to see you too, sir.
    Anderson: "Sir?" I may have reinstated you, but that doesn't give you permission to get all formal on me.
    Shepard: Then I'm glad you managed to keep your ass alive, Anderson.
    Anderson: [chuckles] That's more like it.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: He really doesn't sound like a Londoner. Revelation explains this to be because of cross cultural exposure through electronic schooling, the internet, and pan-global entertainment.
  • Obsolete Mentor: Subverted. Despite being surpassing their Old Master, Shepard still answers to Anderson as their superior and throughout the trilogy, consistently will turn to him for advice on what to do.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Usually, he's pretty calm. Asking him about Banes in 1 is one of the few times he snaps at Shepard for anything.
  • Opt Out: Whether you choose him to be the Councilor or not, Anderson opts to quit his position in Retribution, leaving Udina as Councilor.
  • Papa Wolf: To humanity and his protege, Shepard, in particular. If he was made Councillor in the second game, one reason you can imagine that he stepped down for was because he couldn't legally defend Shepard's actions in the Arrival as the representative of the human race. However, as a member of the Alliance, once he was promoted to the Admiralty, he could.
  • Parental Substitute: Three guesses for whom.
  • Passing the Torch: Was meant to be the first human Spectre until Saren ruined his candidacy. It's implied that he chose Shepard as his protege, because he saw in them the potential to take up where he left off.
  • Quickly-Demoted Leader: Udina forces him to step down as Captain of the Normandy after Shepard becomes a Spectre. Subverted when he becomes an authority figure once more in the other two games, (potentially) becoming a Councillor in 2 and an Admiral in 3. Though he does Opt Out of being the human Councillor before 3, in the tie-in novel Mass Effect: Retribution.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: According to Revelation, though he doesn't have the accent.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: One of the two human authority figures Shepard can actually count on throughout the entire series, (the other being Admiral Hackett). In the third game, Anderson has apparently having repeatedly gone out on a limb for Shepard during their time in the Alliance brig. Despite Shepard's trial being interrupted by the Reaper invasion without coming to a verdict, Anderson promptly drops the charges and reactivates them back into service, as Earth needs the person most experienced at fighting Reapers in the fight.
  • Rebel Leader: During Mass Effect 3, he decides to stay on Earth and lead La Résistance during the Reaper occupation.
  • Retired Badass: In a manner of speaking. When the truth comes out about Saren, Shepard inquires if he has thought about reapplying to become a Spectre. Anderson admits that he's "too old" to go chasing about the galaxy and he trusts Shepard to pick up where he left off.
  • So Proud of You: After you stop the Illusive Man from killing him, his last words in the entire series are how proud he is of his protege. This is also the name on the soundtrack of the Mood Motif during this scene when he dies.
  • The One That Got Away: Seems to feel this way about Kahlee Sanders. The feeling is mutual and it's alluded to multiple times in 3 that both of them wish to renew their relationship once the war is over.
  • Undying Loyalty: He will always be there to support Shepard. The feeling is mutual with Shepard as well.

    Donnel Udina 
Ambassador Donnel Udina

"You went to the Council behind my back? Do the words "political shitstorm" mean anything to you?"

Voiced by: Bill Ratner

A human diplomat at the Citadel struggling to give humans a say in intergalactic politics. And a real jerk about it. He's initially supportive of Shepard's attempts to expose Saren as a traitor, and plays his part in getting Shepard appointed as a Spectre, along with making them captain of the Normandy. He promptly turns on Shepard after realizing his relationship with the Council is being jeopardized by their persistence, and throughout Mass Effect 2, he remains a self-concerned jerk. In Mass Effect 3, he has become the human Councilor regardless of Shepard's previous decisions, although the stress of the Reaper War is starting to cloud his judgement.

  • Ambiguous Situation: The codex entry for the Cerberus coup wonders if he was a high-functioning victim of Reaper indoctrination, or just desperate. Said entry notes that his actions would have played right into the Reapers' hands if they succeeded, but that there was no obvious opportunity for them to sink their claws into him.
  • Asshole Victim: He assists the Cerberus coup in 3, and is shot by either Shepard or the Virmire Survivor for his efforts.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: In spades. The turians describe him in the second game as "a diplomatic incident waiting to happen." Despite his high rank, Udina comes off as having barely a shred of political tact.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning:
    • Can be given a Council seat at the end of the first game.
    • In Retribution, the novel sequel to Mass Effect 2, Udina is the Councilor regardless of your choice. Anderson opts to quit his job.
  • Badass Boast: At the end of 1, if suggested as human councillor, he'll make a genuinely badass speech about "driving the Reapers back to dark space", complete with fist clench. Undercut in 2 by his and the Council's belief that the Reapers were a lie by Saren.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat:
    • While the Renegade ending of the first game leaves no doubt as to the kind of person he is, Udina sometimes seems as tired of politics as everyone else, but he has to deal with it because it's his job. This is most obvious if you talk to him after Feros.
    • In Mass Effect 3, he'll tell Shepard he has more power than any human ever had in history - and it's almost worth nothing.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Frequently utters just why "This is an OUTRAGE!".
    • In 3, he states his PR campaign for Earth to get alien support is "Help the humans, help yourselves."
  • Demoted to Extra: Like Anderson, he only has one scene in the second game.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He clearly crosses it after Earth is attacked. Speaking to him, he will talk about how he was on First-Name Basis with all of the Alliance bigwigs before they were killed in the attack.
  • Divided We Fall: When he grounds Shepard as opposed to letting them go after the Conduit because he's afraid of losing the Council's favor.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: More like co-workers than loved ones, but Udina does show grief over the fact his colleagues in the Systems Alliance Parliament were all killed when the Reapers destroyed their headquarters at Arcturus.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In 3. Not that he wasn't already slipping in that direction to begin with, though.
  • Fantastic Racism: Udina is okay with Shepard killing the last rachni queen because, as he puts it, he doesn't want "a bunch of bugs" running around the galaxy.
  • Hate Sink: Particularly in the first game where Udina is a thoroughly unlikable, smug and obstructive politician who second guesses Shepard at every turn and stabs them in the back when it's politically convenient. His one brief scene in the second game reminds players that he's still an Ungrateful Bastard to Shepard. The third game is the only point where he becomes at all sympathetic, working his ass off to rally support for the Reaper-invaded Earth. And even then, this one redeeming quality ultimately drives him to perform a Face–Heel Turn and join Cerberus, plotting to murder the rest of the Council so he can claim ultimate power on the Citadel to better help save Earth.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: He's a hell of a step (or possibly a whole flight of stairs) down from Goyle, his predecessor as Earth's ambassador (mentioned once in the first game, and who has a major role in Revelation).
  • Jerkass: Ambassador Udina seems to enjoy his job a little too much, especially when foiling Shepard.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk:
    • If you give him the position on the Council, does he serve as a "true advocate" for humanity? Balls no. He goes right back to being an Obstructive Bureaucrat and may even completely deny the existence of Reapers.
    • In Mass Effect 3, it is eventually revealed that Udina was outright working with Cerberus to engage in a coup against the Council. Strangely, this is perhaps the most sympathetic he gets; his entire motivation for working with Cerberus was to force the Council to send support for his besieged homeworld. Before that, too, he's unusually dedicated and not as harsh towards Shepard as usual.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: If Shepard goes out of their way to make things difficult for him or refuses to exercise any kind of diplomacy in dealing with the Council, he's within his rights to call them out on it.
    Udina: [Upon being told that Shepard has rudely refused reinstatement into the Spectres] Are you trying to start an interstellar war? What the hell is wrong with you?!
  • Kick the Dog: He was responsible for Executor Pallin's death in Inquisition, where he tries to use the fact there could be enemies in the Council to further a pro-human agenda.
  • The Mole: He is this in 3. It is unknown how long he was working with Cerberus, but he was the one who helped them get to the Citadel.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Though he's fairly helpful at first. But not for long.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • If you convince the Alliance to return Nirali Bhatia's body to her husband, Samesh, or save Chairman Burns from biotic extremists, Udina is nice enough to supply them with Shepard's e-mail address so that they can properly thank Shepard in Mass Effect 2. Udina will do this even if Shepard recommends Anderson to the Council.
    • In Mass Effect 3, he puts forth a motion to the Citadel Council to transform the embassy docking bay into a refugee camp.
  • The Quisling: In Mass Effect 3, he has joined in with Cerberus, and plots to assassinate the other Councillors and stage a coup with their aid. It's left ambiguous whether he was indoctrinated, idiotically ambitious or just plain desperate and scared when he went with this plan.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Was Udina indoctrinated or just desperate?
  • Slave to PR: More concerned with making sure humanity looks good than anything else, though it's more "looks good to the Council" than actual PR.
  • Too Dumb to Live: His collaboration with Cerberus can only be defined as fatally stupid, considering that, as the Human Councilor and thus a high-level official, he would have known very well that Cerberus was directly undermining the Alliance war effort, using Reaper-augmented soldiers, and attacking civilian targets. The leap in logic required to see this Obviously Evil enemy as a source of backing is enormous.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: It's easy to forget, but at the beginning of the first game, while he was not the friendliest guy, he at least would give Shepard the benefit of the doubt. But then he started basing his judgement purely on PR.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Mass Effect 3, in a way. He's much less abrasive towards Shepard; it helps that he's visibly beleaguered and worried about the state of Earth in the wake of the Reaper invasion, and he apparently took steps to accommodate the growing refugee population. Though he and Shepard aren't always in agreement, they're on the same side. Or so it would seem; it later turns out he's working for Cerberus.
  • Tragic Villain: He worked with Cerberus in a bid to get support to save Earth.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm:
    • If you kill off the Council and put him in charge of the human one, he'll start restricting Spectre positions because he doesn't want anybody to operate outside of his authority. Even though the last person who did so saved the freaking galaxy.
    • In 3, he's apparently changed his mind since he backs and appoints the Virmire Survivor as a Spectre only to manipulate them against Shepard when he's about to be exposed as a collaborator in the Cerberus coup.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even if you recommend him to be on the Council, don't expect him to give you a warm welcome in the sequel.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Works with Cerberus to engage in a coup against the Council. He did it to get support for Earth.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Has elements of a British and Irish accent; the latter is much more prominent in 3, particularly in the conversation Shepard can have with him in his office after the Council meeting. His last name, "Udina", is Egyptian.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Pulls this card when siding with the Council against Shepard near the end of the first game.

    Steven Hackett 
Admiral Steven Hackett
"When Earth calls, you be there with your dress blues on, ready to take the hit."

Voiced by: Lance Henriksen, Bruce Carey (Paragon Lost)

Commanding officer of the Alliance Navy's Fifth Fleet. A veteran of the First Contact War and the voice of authority and giver of sidequests. Often heard, but never seen in-game (until Mass Effect 2's Arrival DLC, that is).

  • Ascended Extra: Goes from being just a voice telling you about side-missions, to being arguably Shepard's most frequent and trusted contact in the Reaper War.
  • Big Good: A large number of the side missions in the original Mass Effect come from him. He will always express surprise and delight with Paragon Shepard's ability to avoid causalities.
    • In Mass Effect 3, Shepard reports directly to him and he is, for all intents and purposes, the leader of the entire human race.
    • Mass Effect 3 essentially makes him part of a Big Good Ensemble along with Shepard and Anderson. The humans on Earth look up to Anderson, Shepard looks up to Hackett and the rest of the galaxy looks up to Shepard.
  • The Cape: Subtle, but even though Hackett won't expect Shepard to find peaceful resolutions to difficult missions, he'll be extremely pleased when he does, saying most people would take the easier route.
  • The Cavalry: Epically at the climax of the first game.
  • Character Narrator: He narrates the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue for the high-EMS "Destroy" ending and the low-EMS Bittersweet Ending (with heavy emphasis on the "bitter").
  • Clint Squint: Seems to be the neutral state of his eyes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He is this thanks to being The Stoic.
    Hackett: All I know is I sent you out there to break Amanda Kenson out of prison, and now an entire system is destroyed. I hope you can fill in the leap of logic between those two events.
  • Demoted to Extra: Only appears in the second game if you have the Arrival DLC, though he'll still offer you side missions and send you messages via the Private Terminal.
  • Father Neptune: Serves as this for the Alliance Navy.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Hackett wears the classic mirror universe goatee and mustache combination, but he's definitely a good guy.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a very prominent scar on his right cheek, and his right eye looks like it's taken its fair share of right hooks.
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: As an Admiral, Hackett is naturally concerned with maintaining the law; however, following Shepard's promotion to Spectre, he has Shepard perform more "under the table" missions to maintain Alliance confidentiality.
  • Guile Hero: Some of his missions (such as sending a Renegade Shepard to possibly assassinate Lord Darius) edges him closer to this territory.
    Shepard: You put Darius in power, but he was getting greedy. You wanted me to kill him.
    Hackett: The Alliance does not condone assassination. We would never give that order. Killing Darius was your decision alone — and because you're a Spectre, we couldn't reprimand you if we wanted to.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Hackett's face has more than a passing resemblance to Lance Henriksen's.
  • Ironic Echo: "You've done a hell of a thing." note 
  • Nerves of Steel: Probably the calmest and most unflappable human leader in the series. Even when Reapers tore the Alliance a new one. Pointed out by Jacob in the third game.
    Jacob: They make old guys any tougher than that, I'd like to see it.
    • Case in point: in the Low EMS final battle there's a scene of a Reaper destroyer landing on a Dreadnought, presumably his flagship. We're treated to a scene inside of the CIC with fires breaking out, panels exploding, alarms blazing and Alliance personnel screaming and running in horror, while the admiral just stands there calmly, gritting his teeth and holding on to railing.
  • Old Soldier: Hackett's age doesn't diminish his badassery in any way.
    Jacob: If they make old guys any tougher than [him], I'd like to see it.
    • Four-Star Badass: He's an admiral, after all.
    • He's been with the Alliance for a very long time. He doesn't let it slow him down.
  • Precision F-Strike: In a new cutscene added in the Extended Cut, during the final battle, once Hackett is notified that Shepard has reached the Conduit and boarded the Citadel.
    "Holy shit, they did it."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He uses Shepard's loyalty to the Alliance to get them to take on some sensitive missions. However, he does at least acknowledge that they are doing him a favor and acts appropriately. At the end, he defers to Shepard as the (wo)man in the field, despite his much higher rank.
    • In Lair of the Shadow Broker, his dossier reveals that he denied an Alliance desk jockey's request to have Shepard detained and interrogated for a few months due to their ties to Cerberus, and with style.
    Hackett's entire response to a lengthy request email: Request denied.
    • Later in the same DLC, Liara reveals that Hackett was the one who gave her Shepard's dogtags, and confirmed that Shepard was still alive before they actually met, wishing Shepard well.
    • In the Arrival DLC, after Shepard is forced to kill 300,000 batarians, Hackett notes that he will do what he can to protect Shepard and delay any fallout that they will have to face as long as possible saying that they did what they did for the right reasons. He even tells Shepard to keep his report because he doesn't need it to know that they did the right thing.
  • Rousing Speech: He gives one during the endgame of 3.
    "Never before have so many come together - from all quarters of the galaxy. But never before have we faced an enemy such as this. The Reapers will show us no mercy. We must give them no quarter. They will terrorize our populations. We must stand fast in the face of that terror. They will advance until our last city falls, but we will not fall. We will prevail. Each and every one of us will be defined by our actions in the coming battle. Stand fast. Stand strong. Stand together. Hackett out."
  • Shoot the Dog: A lot of his missions seem to revolve around this trope. After the events of Arrival, Hackett tells Shepard that they have to be (metaphorically) sacrificed to the batarians to avoid a war, after they kill over 300 000 of them to blow up a mass relay the Reapers were minutes away from using.
  • Supporting Leader: He leads the charge against Sovereign in the final act of the first game.
  • Unexpected Successor: Following the Reapers' initial assault on human space, and the destruction of Arcturus Station, Hackett essentially becomes the de facto leader of the human race, particularly after the death of Udina. By the end of the game, as the leader of the multi-species alliance, he is arguably the single most powerful organic being in the galaxy.
  • Up Through the Ranks: He spent four years as an enlisted man and volunteered for several high-risk exploration assignments beyond the Charon Relay before receiving a commission as a second lieutenant in 2156. He's now the fleet admiral of the Alliance Navy.
  • The Voice: Until the second game DLC Arrival.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: In the first and third games.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He's restrained about it, but he's vexed when Shepard comes back from a mission to rescue a single person to blowing up a mass relay and killing 300,000 colonists in the process.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In a particularly poignant moment, when Shepard is expressing doubts about their ability in the war, he sums up why they are so important and deserving of their position. They have the ability to inspire such confidence in troops, that they will literally follow any order given simply because they believe in them.
  • You Are in Command Now: A strange case: He's already the highest ranked flag officer in the Alliance Navy, but with the death of the entirety of Alliance Parliament, and subsequent treason and death of Udina in the third game, Hackett is the de facto leader of what's left of the Systems Alliance.
  • Younger Than They Look: He is about 52 in Mass Effect 3. You'd be forgiven for thinking he is in his 70s.

    Tadius Ahern 
Admiral Tadius Ahern
Don't just stand there looking pretty, kill something!

Shepard: So you run the station and the training here?
Ahern: Last I checked. It's better than a desk job, and a hell of a lot better than retirement.

Voiced by: Charles Dennis

A Systems Alliance officer who commands Pinnacle Station, and is the central character of the Pinnacle Station DLC. He is a veteran of the First Contact War, and provides most of the commentary during the training missions.

  • The Bus Came Back: Sort of. Pinnacle Station and Intai'sei both show up in 3; the former can be scanned to earn some War Assets (Guard Captain Vidinos' spec ops team), and the latter for a sidequest Plot Coupon.
  • Cool Old Guy: As long as you can impress him in the simulations, he'll give you a Big Fancy House on a remote planet with infinite grenades, medi-gel, a big-screen TV and, most importantly, an avenue to purchase the best equipment in the game.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He tends to be very caustic.
  • Fantastic Racism: During the First Contract War he was given a near-suicidal mission against dozens of turian mercenaries. He survived, and to this day carries a grudge.
  • Four-Star Badass: Same as Admiral Hackett, though not with nearly as much political power.
  • Large-Ham Announcer: Uses his commentary during Shepard's matches in the simulator as an excuse to chew the scenery.
  • Not Bad: His initial reaction to Shepard beating the current records.
  • Retired Badass: He's not technically retired, but he no longer participates in war-fighting.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He's not even mentioned in Mass Effect 2, and you can't visit the apartment he gave you on Intai'sei (though you being dead might have something to do with that).

    Hannah Shepard 
Captain/Rear-Admiral Hannah Shepard
"I have to go. But take care of yourself. You're making us proud."

Voiced by: Jane Singer

If Commander Shepard has the Spacer background, Captain Hannah Shepard is Shepard's mother. She helps Shepard with a side mission involving a PTSD soldier friend of hers.

  • Action Mom: What else would you expect from Spacer Shepard's mother?
  • Catchphrase: Though you only have two chances to speak with her, she signs off with "I have to go."
  • Death by Origin Story: If Shepard has either of the two backgrounds other than Spacer, she and Shepard's father were either killed by batarian slavers attacking the colony of Mindoir (Colonist), or died of unknown causes on Earth leaving their child an orphan (Earthborn).
  • The Dreaded Dreadnought: Commands the SSV Orizaba, a Kilimanjaro-class dreadnought, in 2.
  • Four-Star Badass: She's a Captain in the first two games, though it's mentioned in the second that it's only because she keeps refusing to become an Admiral, preferring to continue to serve with her crew instead of behind a desk. By the third game, she's been rapidly promoted to Rear Admiral, in part because of the losses the fleet have suffered, but mostly because she's so badass it's the rank that she honestly should be by this point. She is a Shepard, after all.
  • It Runs in the Family: A decorated Alliance soldier, well respected by her crew, and signs off with "I have to go".
  • The Men First:
    • Gives this reason as why she kept refusing to become an Admiral.
    • Zabaleta recalls that she always stuck up for him when they served together on the Einstein. The only reason he even agrees to go to Veterans Affairs Office to deal with his PTSD is because she told him to.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: She had to experience this between the first and second game. This is part of the reason for her What the Hell, Hero? message below. May have to do so again depending on the ending in the third.
  • So Proud of You: Expressed in the above quote, and through Hackett in 3.
  • The Voice: Presumably because Shepard's mother looks like her child, and the player is the one who chooses what Shepard looks like. She is heard in 1 if Shepard had a Spacer background and contacts her about one of her old shipmates. He calls her again in the Citadel DLC in 3.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sends Shepard an email in 2 asking why she had to learn her child was still alive third hand through Alliance brass. She relents a little, assuming it's a classified thing, but still wants her kid to call.
    So I have to find out my child is alive third-hand from the Alliance brass? Where the hell have you been?

    I figure whatever you're doing is classified, likely part of your Spectre operations. Just stay safe out there, and keep doing your mom proud. And sneak something through a secure channel next time.

"This man deserves to die, Shepard. For you, for me, for everyone else in the unit."

Voiced by: Chris Postle

An ex-Alliance solder, and potential former squadmate of Shepard, if you play the Sole Survivor background. Saw his whole unit wiped out on Akuze by a Thresher Maw.

  • Cassandra Truth: If you gun down the scientist he's holding at gunpoint, then in Mass Effect 2, a news report mentions his claims about Cerberus weren't believed.
  • Driven to Suicide: Depending on how you play his mission.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's Corporal Tombs. Not mister.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Not like you can blame the guy.
  • Sole Survivor: Is the only surviving member of his unit. If Shepard has the Sole Survivor background, they both react with surprise upon seeing the other alive.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If he survives, in Mass Effect 2 he sends Shepard a message tearing them apart for working with the people who tortured him. Just be glad you never have to meet him in person. For his own sake.

    Admiral Kahoku 
Rear Admiral Kahoku

Voiced by: Brian George

A Systems Alliance officer and veteran of several battles against the Batarians, including the Skyllian Blitz. He is encountered by Commander Shepard on the Citadel, where he is trying to find information on a group of his marines that went missing.

  • Character Death: He is captured and executed by Cerberus after uncovering their research facilities on Binthu.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: You find his body in a cage with horrific monsters swarming over it.
    • Surprisingly subverted, as examining his body reveals that, despite being surrounded by horrific monsters, his body is completely unharmed except for a needle mark in his arm, implying that he was killed by lethal injection and then left in a cage with monsters. It's possible Shepard saved him from A Fate Worse Than Death by finding him when they do. Knowing the rachni, they probably ignored it, since they're at least human-level intelligent and had no use for the body, and were focusing on their captors instead.
  • A Father to His Men: He is highly respected by his soldiers, and in turn he is extremely dedicated to them as well.
  • Four-Star Badass: Served with distinction during the Skyllian Blitz.
  • Happily Married: It is mentioned that he has a wife and three children.

    Admiral Mikhailovich 
Rear Admiral Mikhailovich

Voiced by: Charles Dennis

A member of the Fifth Fleet's admiralty, in command of the 63rd Scout Flotilla, which the Normandy was supposed to join after the Eden Prime mission. He's not at all happy about being denied this new ship, and shows up to inspect it.

  • Ambiguous Situation: He only appears in-person during the Snap Inspection assignment in the first game, and is never heard from again...until the third game, where he and his flotilla are a War Asset only if Shepard let the Council die.
    • Uncertain Doom: Given the above, how he is otherwise never mentioned after ME1 and the losses the Alliance fleets take in saving the Council, one could reasonably assume he dies in this scenario.
  • Artistic License – Military: He's technically not in the Normandy's chain of command, and the Normandy's design specs are highly classified and since information is on a need-to-know basis he would get in serious trouble with Alliance brass for demanding to inspect the vessel, and even without Spectre status Shepard would be entirely justified in forbidding him from accessing the ship (which you can actually do), or even outright arresting him on suspicion of espionage.
  • Blood Knight: It's pretty clear he's in it for straight-up fights, grumbling about the Normandy being designed for stealth operations rather than warfare.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • He initially raises some not entirely unreasonable concerns about having aliens onboard what is ostensibly an Alliance vessel, but then sneeringly wonders if Shepard still remembers what color their blood is. As the conversation goes on, he makes it clear he doesn't trust any alien race, nor does he see any reason he should. Surprisingly, the guy never said anything against Tali's presence.
    • Unsurprisingly, he also hates batarians, and in 3 an email can be found mentioning he's all too willing to let the batarians take as many 'heroic sacrifices' as they can against the Reapers.
  • Jerkass: Even without the aliens, he's pretty rude to Shepard, regardless of how polite they are back. He even insults the Normandy! Whether Shepard lets that slide or not is up to the player.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He criticizes the Normandy's CIC layout design, which is a turian design where the commanding officer is in the back rather than surrounding his crew like on Alliance ships. Shepard can handwave it away by saying they can use radio, or Shepard can just shout really loud, and the crew is disciplined enough to minimize idle chatter. But in cutscenes (such as the approach to Ilos in 1 or the approach to the Heretic Base in 2) Shepard is usually in the cockpit next to Joker and not at their designated posting near the galaxy map. Then again, that might just be to make cutscenes look better.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Meets Shepard at the Normandy's berth to demand an inspection of the ship. Shepard can either let him do it or use Spectre authority to shut him out, with Mikahilovich threatening them that his report will reflect this. Of course, since Shepard is a Spectre and on a mission for the council, his report doesn't count for much.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Downplayed; he's the one senior Alliance officer you meet in the first game who isn't in favor of Shepard being given command of the Normandy, mostly because it was supposed to be part of his command. He also dismisses Shepard being made a Spectre as a triviality, and complains that the Normandy cost more to build than a heavy cruiser. However, it's possible with sufficient Paragon and Renegade points to at least convince him that Shepard knows what they're doing with her.


Voiced by: Chris Edgerly

A human spaceport dockworker on Eden Prime. He is encountered by Shepard, Kaidan, and Ashley at the scene of Nihlus' murder, having witnessed Saren murder him just before their arrival. He points Shepard in Saren's direction.

  • Sleepyhead: How he avoided the geth - he needed a nap to get through his shift.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He appears in one scene but is the person who identifies Saren's role in the geth attack, kickstarting Shepard's attempts to bring the rogue spectre down. He's also the one who instructs Shepard to take the cargo train to get to the Prothean beacon in time.
    • And by extension, ruined the plans of a millions year old galactic extinction cycle run like clock by countless machine gods.

    Martin Burns 
Martin Burns

Chairman Martin Burns is head of the Alliance Parliamentary Subcommittee for Transhuman Studies, whose purview most notably covers human biotics. Recently the Subcommittee held a vote on whether or not to pay reparations to L2 biotics with severe health problems, but Burns voted against (and presumably vetoed) the proposal. A group of L2 biotics wrote letters to the Subcommittee asking him to reconsider, but were ignored. Getting desperate and more angry, the L2s kidnapped Chairman Burns, took him aboard the MSV Ontario, and attempted to hide in the asteroid belt of the Farinata system.

  • Character Death: If you fail to save him in Mass Effect 1.
  • Corrupt Politician: By his own admission, he took the job just as a stepping stone to put on his resume.
  • Heel Realization: If you save him from the biotic terrorists in Mass Effect 1, in 2 he admits in a letter to Shepard that he took the job mostly for the power, but now realizes that was wrong, which leads to his:
  • Heel–Face Turn: After seeing the biotics suffering firsthand, he realizes just how wrong it was to use them for personal gain and dedicates himself to making amends.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: If saved in the first game he sends you a letter saying that the L2 biotics received their reparations and that he is going to help humanity reach its full potential with minimum bloodshed. He also mentions that he is receiving considerable political heat for this decision — but no real details either are given, and we never see much followup.

Citadel Residents

    Conrad Verner 

Conrad Verner
Oh, the Commander and I go way back.

"You showed me what it meant to be truly extreme. I learned that lesson well."

Voiced by: Jeff Page

Shepard's biggest fan. Initially appearing on the Citadel in the first game, Conrad wants to be just like Shepard, going so far as to try to ask Shepard is they will help him become a Spectre. He may or may not survive the ensuing reality check. Reappears in Mass Effect 2, this time wearing a replica of Shepard's armor and trying to be a hero. He later appears in Mass Effect 3, where his story is fully culminated, and we discover interesting Hidden Depths about our favorite Butt-Monkey.

  • Badass Boast: Not that anyone takes him seriously. Or that the one making the boast is much of a badass.
    Conrad: Why don't you sit back and let me show you how it's done? I've got some asses to kick.
  • Badass on Paper: How he looks to Jenna from Chora's Den. Yes, he does try to take a bullet for Shepard, but it's his stupidity and ineptitude that put Shepard in danger in the first place. From Jenna's perspective though, he looked like a Badass Bystander.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: "I should go."
  • Bullying a Dragon: Matriarch Aethyta begs you to get Conrad the hell out of her bar before she hits him with a Matriach-level Singularity.
  • Butt-Monkey: He exists for unpleasant but amusing things to happen to.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Several times. Put a gun up to his head to prove he's not ready for what he's proposing and he'll think you were teaching him how to be an extreme badass in the second game. He'll also mention how supportive his wife was and how she even paid for his transportation off world. Cue a facepalm from the asari bartender standing behind him.
  • Continuity Porn: In a series known for its save game bonuses, his story arc takes the cake. He only shows up in Mass Effect 2 if you spoke to him all three times on the Citadel in the first game and didn't get him killed. Then, he will only appear in Mass Effect 3 if you completed his quest and didn't get him killed again. Finally, he will contribute his doctoral dissertation on xenotechnology to the war effort, then get you some helpful specs, but the latter only if Shepard completed the side quest for a minor N.P.C. on Feros in the first game, completed the asari writings collection in the first game, and purchased an Elkoss Combine requisition license in the first game. And then he will only survive his Side Quest if you helped get a minor character named Jenna out of Chora's Den in the first game, who will save him by disabling his Cerberus contact's gun. Damn.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: If Shepard tells him to get lost, a news report says he is killed attempting to stop youths from hitching a ride on top of a bus. It goes on to say he fell from the bus, hit several passing cars, and landed in the power turbine of a bio-mass recycling facility. Ouch.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Happens in the first and second games. In the sequel, Shepard can inspire him to do something other than emulating them. And in the third, Conrad finally gets to be the badass he always wanted to be — and actually was all along.
  • Dumb Blonde: He's often way too naive for his own good. However...
  • Friend to All Children: If Shepard deals with him in a Paragon fashion in the second game, Conrad goes on to found a charity for children orphaned by the Battle of the Citadel named after Shepard. If asked about this in the third game, he states that he spent everything he had in order to get the kids to safety.
  • Genius Ditz: Conrad actually has a doctorate in xenotechnology and wrote a dissertation on dark energy. He'll actually contribute to the war effort in Mass Effect 3 if you ask him.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: You learn in 3 that he either never had a wife, or she's long gone. The line from 2 about her paying for him to leave seems to support the latter. His closest current relationship is apparently his Stalker Shrine to Shepard.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Takes a bullet for Shepard. Can be subverted, if Shepard helped Jenna in the first game; she'll sabotage the shooter's pistol before he can fire and save Conrad's life.
  • Hero-Worshipper: So much so that by Mass Effect 3, Conrad is supporting Cerberus because Shepard worked with them in the second game.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He has a doctorate, and wrote his dissertation on xenotechnology and dark energy integration. That's Doctor Moronic Fanboy to you!
    • Not only this, but he has no money and is a refugee in 3 because he spent everything he owned to get the kids in his orphanage (The Shepards) away from Reaper attack.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Even if Shepard chose the Paragon route in 1 (thereby convincing him to stay with his family), he still shows up as a wannabe mercenary in 2.
  • Ignored Expert: Part of his backstory. Turns out, his ideas on dark energy might just end up helping to save the galaxy.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: He deeply wants to be like Shepard.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: Verner thinks Aethyta's bar is dealing in illegal drugs. Aethyta tells Shepard 1) no, they aren't selling red sand, 2) even if they were, red sand is legal on Illium.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: He's taken to dressing like Shepard in the sequel.
  • It Runs in the Family: Andromeda reveals that Conrad's behaviour isn't limited to him alone. His sister Cassandra claims she had to leave the galaxy because of his Shepard worshipping... and then turns out to be more nuts than him. At least Conrad hero-worships an actual hero, rather than a violent gang boss.
  • Lampshade Hanging: His primary purpose, aside from being a Butt-Monkey, is to make fun of gameplay mechanics as well as standard role-playing game tropes. Observe:
    • Side Quest: In Mass Effect 2 he will say that he has been wandering the galaxy between games, helping random strangers who will share personal problems just by him talking to them.
    • Kleptomaniac Hero: He says he pokes through random crates for extra credits in Mass Effect 2
    • Canon Discontinuity: In Mass Effect 3, he apologizes for accusing Shepard of pointing a gun in his face even if they didn't do that, referencing the save game bug in the second game.
    • Dialogue Tree: He will also ask Shepard the same question twice, because he likes to ask all of the questions he can think of and sometimes repeats himself, and reminds Shepard that they shouldn't be asking him so many questions while people are dying.
    • Warfare Regression: Criticizes the galactic militaries for switching to thermal clips for guns.
    • Catchphrase: Borrows Shepard's "I should go".
    • Old Save Bonus: He'll bring up three unrelated missions from the first game if they were completed - Hossle's data on Feros, Matriarch Dilinaga's Writings, and the Elkoss Combine Armory License - for a bonus to War Assets if he's sent to work on the Crucible.
  • Loony Fan: Goes from mildly misguided, to trying to emulate Shepard, to having a Stalker Shrine.
  • Lord Error-Prone: In the first game, he convinces himself that he can be the second human Spectre. In the second, he buys a set of fake N7 armor and tries to run around the galaxy right wrongs. In the third he joined Cerberus under the delusion that they're a fine group because Shepard once worked with them and tries to convince others likewise.
  • Meta Guy: See Lampshade Hanging.
  • Miles Gloriosus: In the second game.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Potentially towards a Renegade Shepard.
    Shepard: Conrad may be an idiot, but even he doesn't deserve to be manipulated like that!
    • In 3 Shepard can ask how he's holding up with the war going on, seems impressed when he admits he spent all his money to get the kids from his charity to safety and when he tries to take the bullet for them, even comforts him that he "did good". It's implied that, for all of his loony antics and how much he exasperates them, Paragon Shepard genuinely might be fond of Conrad.
  • Never Be a Hero:
    • The point of the second game. Shepard has had intense, high-level specialist military training, and possibly genetic enhancements and pseudo-psychic powers. Conrad has nothing of the sort. Leave the saving of the galaxy to Shepard. Somewhat subverted in the Paragon ending, though, because Conrad finally gets that there's more than just one way to be a hero.
    • In the third game, he finally becomes a hero by Taking the Bullet for Shepard. If he dies, he'll ask if he finally got to help, to which Shepard will reply he did.
  • Old Save Bonus: He only shows up in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 if you completed his quest in the preceding game and saved him from getting killed in a myriad of horrific ways, and you transfer this action into your next game. His quest in Mass Effect 3 also involves an impressive degree of Continuity Porn. See above.
  • Orphanage of Love: Can be inspired to set one up in Shepard's name if you deal with him in a Paragon fashion By Mass Effect 3 it's gone thanks to the Reapers, but Conrad saved the kids by spending his last credits getting them out of there.
  • Pretender Diss: Used as one against Shepard's clone.
    Shepard: Are you kidding me? Conrad Verner is better at being me than you are!
  • Sarcasm-Blind: How we learn about his Hidden Depths.
  • Science Hero: Yes, him.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Becomes one in Mass Effect 2, due to the aforementioned save game bug.
  • Squee: This video is how Conrad would've reacted without the import save file bug. Go to about 2:00 to hear him say that meeting Shepard again is the happiest day of his life, fanboy squee in every word. If you take the Charm option in his quest and lie that he helped expose a dirty cop, he'll reply with a tiny, quivering, pathetic "Really?", as if he can't believe he actually helped you out. Aww, Conrad!
  • Stalker Shrine: When asked in 3, Conrad admits to having a shrine dedicated to Shepard. He claims it's in good taste, though."It's just a poster with a few candles. It's very tasteful."
  • Stalker with a Crush: In Mass Effect 3 he may reveal that he's not actually married, in spite of the many earlier references to a wife who is also a fan of Shepard. He also has a shrine set up for Commander Shepard somewhere.
  • Take That Me: A bug in 2 causes him to tell the asari bartender that Shepard waved a gun in his face in 1, even though only Renegade Shepard did that. Paragon Shepard tells him to go home, because there's more than one way to be a hero. In 3, when Shepard meets him again, he apologizes for accusing Shepard of pointing a gun at him.
  • Taking the Bullet: When he identifies his Cerberus contact, the contact tries to shoot Shepard, and Conrad leaps in the way of the bullet. Can be subverted if you helped Jenna from Chora's Den in the first game, as she Sabotages the gun causing it to make a bang, but the bullet doesn't actually fire.
  • This Loser Is You: Almost everything he says and does in 2 is a Take That! at the player. Conrad is what would happen if a real person were to emulate an RPG character.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In ME3, he starts off being manipulated by a Cerberus agent and being his normal loony self, but then gives Shepard important information on dark energy from his xenotechnology dissertation, indirectly helps Shepard capture the agent, and, depending on the outcome of a sidequest in the first game, either dies saving Shepard's life by Taking the Bullet or survives his attempted Heroic Sacrifice due to a C-Sec officer causing the gun to misfire. If he survives, he even hooks up with the officer in question.
  • We Need a Distraction: Cerberus takes advantage of his overenthusiasm and hero-worship in Mass Effect 3 to have him distract everyone in the refugee camp while a Cerberus agent poisons the medigel dispensers. Once he's told of the error in his ways, he immediately rats out his Cerberus contact.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: At various times he's an academic, a would-be vigilante crime fighter, a caregiver for orphans, and a pilot for a cruise line. This somehow still leaves him plenty of time to enjoy his Loony Fan hobby.

    Chloe Michel 
Dr. Chloe Michel
"I was fired by my previous employer for giving out free medical supplies to clinics like this."

A human doctor who runs a clinic in the Wards. Your interactions with her tend to involve saving her from various gangs of blackmailing lowlifes, and she rewards you with free medigel refills. She can be a crew member in Mass Effect 3.

  • Ascended Extra: Was involved in a minor manner in two quests early in the first game. She was not seen at all in the second. In the third game, she shows up running a hospital on the Citadel where you can bring her on board as the Normandy's medic instead of Dr. Chakwas.
  • Blackmail: In the first game, some thugs threaten to reveal why she was fired from her previous job.
  • Buffy Speak: Refers to Mordin's horns as "pokey-things".
  • Distressed Damsel: A mild case.
    Shepard: Every time I come in here, I see someone threatening you.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: She has a very obvious crush on Garrus. In fact, her email in ME2 which is meant to be thanking Shepard for their help in the first game ends up veering off topic and she starts gushing about Garrus instead.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Her email in ME2 indicates a crush on Garrus. This is understandable since he rescued her in ME1. When Tali learns that the doctor sent Garrus dextro-only chocolates "because they reminded her of him", she either warns a Garrus-romancing female Shepard to watch herself or amusedly notes Garrus's obliviousness to Dr. Michel's attraction to him.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: She doesn't actually say anything in French, but she has a heavy French accent, which for some reason becomes heavier in ME3. Justified, since she may mention being from Geneva, which is located on the French-speaking side of Switzerland.
  • Green-Eyed Redhead: She has extremely red hair to go with her green eyes. She's not Irish, however, but from Geneva, a French-speaking part of Switzerland.
  • Just a Machine: She brings this up in an argument with Engineer Adams. Shepard can support her or Adams, who believes the opposite.
  • The Informant: She provides the player with information during several quests. It tends to be information of the sort you wouldn't expect an ordinary clinic doctor to know.
  • Military Brat: Her parents were both Alliance military.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: In the third game, provided that Chakwas is alive, you can reject her offer to become your medic and ask Chloe instead.
  • Rescue Romance: Developed a crush on Garrus after he saves her in the first game.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Not to Shepard but to Garrus, given that she'll lose out to female Shepard or Tali.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In the past, she gave out free medical supplies, which resulted in her firing the aforementioned blackmail.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Dr. Chakwas, if you bring her on board the Normandy. Hell, she even has the same haircut.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: If she's not brought aboard the Normandy, she vanishes without a trace once the Virmire Survivor leaves the hospital.

"You'll dream of a warm place. And when you wake up, you'll be in it." —Shepard

"It hurts when she... when I remember me. But she wants to remember."

A slave taken by batarians from the same colony from which Colonist Shepard escaped when they were sixteen. Shepard is told about how she escaped, but wants to kill herself, and is asked if they can help, having been through the raid.

  • Broken Bird: Due to having spent thirteen years as a slave.
  • Meaningful Name: In The Bible, "Talitha koum" is the phrase Jesus speaks when bringing a young girl Back from the Dead. It means "Little girl, get up" - more or less what Shepard tells her.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She only refers to herself in the first person once Shepard convinces her to come to terms with her enslavement and receive emergency help so she can heal.
  • Rape as Backstory: Strongly implied. Talitha mentions the batarian pirates "doing things to her" in the dark, and she freaks out when Shepard approaches her because she doesn't want to be "handled". This happened when Talitha was six.
  • Shoot the Dog: Talitha will either do this to herself if she feels threatened by Shepard, or Shepard can order a sniper to do so.
  • Shout-Out: To Crime and Punishment, but Shepard's words of comfort are also taken from Aliens.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: She tried to heal the slavers when a woman came along and slaughtered them all.
  • Third-Person Person: How Talitha copes with what happened to her; she sees the trauma she faced as happening to another girl.
  • Title Drop: For the name of the Colonist background quest, "I Remember Me". See her character quote above.

What'd I ever do to you?

"Secrets are like herpes. If you got 'em, might as well spread 'em around."

Voiced by: Roger L. Jackson

A disgraced C-Sec officer known for numerous abuses of power and general disorderly conduct. Used as an obnoxious informant in the first game.

  • The Alcoholic: One of the reasons he was cashiered. The first time you meet him, he's at Chora's Den.
  • Arc Villain: For Garrus's loyalty mission.
  • Dirty Cop: Anderson refers to him as an embarrassment kept in office only because he was one of the first humans in C-Sec and they desperately needed bodies in C-Sec to legitimize their presence in the Galactic politics. He was kicked out the second he was no longer needed politically.
  • Dirty Coward: He does his best to put on a tough guy act, but caves the moment he's faced with a real threat.
  • Fallen Hero: Was praised for being one of the first humans in C-Sec, before he became corrupt.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he may be a disgraced dirty cop, he is somewhat accurate about both Anderson's past and Garrus's Cowboy Cop tendencies.
  • Never My Fault: Complains about being cashiered even though he casually admits to his many misdeeds in Chora's Den, treating it as being an overreaction, when he's had decades of misconduct, from assaulting suspects to outright theft, all piling up.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Particularly towards FemShep, whom he acts like a chauvinist prick towards. Case in point, any interaction with him in both games is one of the few times in the trilogy a dialogue choice will explicitly be confined to one gender. Shepard can threaten to beat the stuffing out of him in 1 for calling her princess, and in 2, if you allow Garrus to shoot him in the leg, you can have FemShep state that she would shoot Harkin somewhere else.

    Khalisah bint Sinan al-Jilani 
Khalisah bint Sinan al-Jilani

"Check the vid. We get it? Great, bull-rushed on my own show."

Voiced by: April Banigan

A reporter who tries to get an interview with you in all three games. The first time, she not-so-subtly accuses you of bending over backwards to please the Council and disregarding humanity and the Alliance; in the second, she'll present your decisions from the previous game in the worst possible light no matter what; in the third, she accosts Shepard about leaving Earth during the Reaper invasion, legitimately (and sincerely) looking for answers this time. You have the opportunity to punch her out in every case, and even if you don't take it, the Shadow Broker videos show that plenty of others are less restrained.

  • Ambiguously Bi: Khalisah is known to have dated an asari at some point, and her voice-over cameo in Citadel indicates that she has something of a crush on Anderson.
  • Badass Bystander: During the Citadel coup, she risks her neck by hiding out near a seized comm tower, trying to get word out via her own broadcast gear to any cut-off C-Sec personnel that they need to retake the comm tower.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: If you never assaulted in the prior two games, Khalisah's value as a War Assest will double in 3. The description will imply that Shepard's advocating for unity ultimately ended up rubbing off on her, and integrating that into her journalism has made it more effective.
  • The Chew Toy: Shepard can punch her in every game. Also, the Shadow Broker videos show her getting punched by a krogan and kicked by a volus.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • She makes it to Top 10 scores at Armax Arena combat simulator in the Citadel DLC. Among such badasses as Aria T'Loak, James Vega, Commander Bailey and Shepard themself. This is how she learned to dodge Shepard's punch if she was never hit at all.
    • Also if you fail the second renegade interrupt when trying to punch her in the third game she will manage to actually knock Shepard to the ground in a single punch to the jaw. Considering this is Shepard we're talking about, that's a pretty impressive achievement all things considered.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In the third game (should she get punched before), she'll actually dodge Shepard's punch, giving her a chance to punch them right back unless you press the Renegade Interrupt button fast enough.
  • Endangering News Broadcast: In Initiation, she happens to run her smear job on Cora Harper right when she was beginning an exfiltration while under a false identity, giving away the ruse and triggering alarms.
  • Evil Counterpart: Compared to the actual Intrepid Reporter, Emily Wong, though "evil" might be a bit of a stretch.
  • Fangirl: Has a pretty obvious crush on Admiral Anderson during her interview in the Citadel DLC.
  • Hate Sink: The whole purpose of her character is to be such an obnoxious, slandering paparazzi vulture that the player finds great joy in punching her. Repeatedly. She grows out of it in the third game.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In 3, if Shepard takes the Paragon interrupt, she stops being an intrusive ass and inspires wide charity support for Earth, becoming a valuable war asset. One that doubles in value if you never punched her.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • She’s on the leaderboard of several games on the Citadel, including combat simulation. This hints she has some experience in self-defense training.
    • Her interview with Anderson shows she can host a good interview when she feels like it.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: One way or another, her efforts to make Shepard look bad often backfire. Paragon Shepard makes her look like a raving bigot, and Renegade Shepard verbally steam-rolls her. All on camera.
    al-Jilani: Did we get that? Great. Bull-rushed on my own show.
  • Hypocrite: Lair of the Shadow Broker reveals that she's apparently in a relationship with an asari despite her reporting being pretty pro-human/anti-alien. Or maybe "everybody loves the asari!"note . Even xenophobes.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Sees herself as this.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: In addition to being punched (three times) by Shepard and the anonymous krogan, she's also kicked by a volus too, just to add insult to injury.
  • Ironic Name: "Khalisah" is Arabic for "sincere." The third game gives her a chance to live up to it.
  • Logical Weakness: Her whole strategy is to get right up in her interview subject's face and confront them with a controversial and emotionally charged topic with no warning and provoke a response. In all three games Shepard can completely defuse her by simply keeping her/his cool and giving a serious answer, which makes a fool of her since she doesn't have any real arguments.
  • Made of Iron: The fact that she managed to survive getting punched into the air by a krogan should make her count as this.
  • Meaningful Name: Khalisah means sincere. When she makes her third appearance, she really is upset about what's happening on Earth and wants to do anything she can to help. Also, bint is an Arabic word meaning woman, but as a loan word in the Queen's English it has a derogatory connotation.
  • Once per Episode: Shepard is presented with the opportunity to physically assault her in all three games, making it (disturbingly) easy to go, as Penny Arcade puts it, "3-for-3" with her.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In 3, she is clearly on the verge of CRYING during the interview, showing genuine compassion for perhaps the first time in her career.
  • Paparazzi: What she really is. At least until the Citadel Coup.
  • Pet the Dog: In Mass Effect 3, she will once again accost Shepard about leaving Earth, this time legitimately distressed and unhappy. While players have the option to do the usual Renegade interrupt, players who wait will get a Paragon interrupt. Hitting it will have Shepard comforting her, telling her that they're doing everything they can to stop the Reapers. Shepard even advises her to keep asking the hard questions, and to keep pressing people to aid Earth. This pays off, as her support becomes a legitimate war asset in the form of charity funding, which doubles in value if the player went the entire series without punching her.
  • Running Gag: The opportunity to punch her.
  • Schmuck Bait: If she is punched out at any point in the series, the player loses war assets. Not enough to make any real difference though.
  • Smug Snake: Especially after any physical beatdown you give her.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After multiple games of being a pretty one-note, sleazy reporter antagonist, 3 not only fleshes her out and gives her a great deal of humanity, but potentially lets Shepherd suggest they always saw her as a good person, inspiring her to become a better reporter. Khalisah bravely also uses her civilian broadcast gear to help C-Sec during a coup in the same title, despite painting a target on herself in the process.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A pretty small one in the grand scheme of things but going from getting knocked out in one punch in the first two games to dodging and potentially turning the tables on Shepard in the third game is still a pretty notable improvement.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: By 3, she actually does become an Intrepid Reporter, and if you take the Paragon interrupt with her, she and Shepard finally bury the hatchet.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The trope below is the last time she's heard from. It's never been established what happened to her afterwards. (It's entirely possible the answer wasn't pleasant: Even if she survives the Cerberus coup, which she might not have given that she was actively trying to rally reinforcements for the defenders, she could have still been on the Citadel when the Reapers seized it.)
  • What You Are in the Dark: During Cerberus's coup attempt on the Citadel, rather than keep her head down and hope for the best (especially since, as a human, she is in marginally less danger from the crazed nationalists), she uses her broadcast gear to help coordinate a response, showing that, under it all, she is a good and brave person capable of heroism.

    Emily Wong 
Emily Wong
"Really? You'd talk to me before anybody else?"
"This is Emily Wong with FCC News."

Voiced By: Anndi McAfee

An actual reporter. You have the option to give her a good scoop on Fist, and later to help her break a story on the working conditions of traffic controllers on the Citadel. The day before Mass Effect 3 was released in North America, she took over BioWare's AllianceNewsNet Twitter account, seen in an easier-to-peruse format here, and chronicled the Reaper attack on Earth.

    Nassana Dantius 
Nassana Dantius
We have trust issues in my family.

"Shepard? But... you're dead!"

Voiced by: Grey DeLisle

A shrewd asari politician and businesswoman. In the first game, she was being blackmailed by her Space Pirate sister, and hired Shepard to "take care" of her. Shepard encounters her again in the second game during the search for Thane Krios, and quickly finds out that she's changed... for the worse.

  • Asshole Victim: Nobody cared when Thane killed her. Her own workers even asked Shepard to kill her. Hell, her company's stocks increase after she dies.
  • Bad Boss: Very bad, especially during Thane's recruitment mission in 2, in which she is horrible to the salarian workers under her.
    Salarian worker: And tell that assassin to aim for her head... because she doesn't have a heart!
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Let's just say trust issues are the least of their problems.
  • Cain and Abel: She's on both sides. In 1 one of her sisters, a mercenary and slaver, blackmails her to avoid the bad press and shame of a being known relative of a vile criminal, so she decides to manipulate Shepard into killing her. Then in 2 we learn that a third sister wants her dead.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Arguably in the first game, definitely in the sequel.
  • Developer's Foresight: In the first game, it's possible to complete her sidequest before you ever talk to her. If you do, when you report to her that her pirate sister has been killed, she replies, "Oh! And I was all set to manipulate you into killing her for me!"
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Goes from a manipulative but ultimately reasonable businesswoman in the first game to a psychotic, ultra-paranoid nutcase.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • She decide to kill her harmless workers for no good reason during Thane's recruitment mission.
    • During Thane's recruitment mission, it's mentioned that Nassana has made a practice of killing those who threaten her reputation, which was probably why Thane was sent to kill her, and is paranoid to the bone. One poor salarian worker you meet tells you about how she's sent mechs and mech-dogs to kill everyone, and about how he's seen workers jumping out the windows to escape the dogs. That and if anyone leaves before their contract is up, it's implied she has them murdered as well. Bad Boss indeed.
  • Manipulative Bastard: She needed her sister out of the way, so she put on a show about being worried about Dahlia being held captive so Shepard would kill her.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Manipulating someone into killing her own sister? A hard pill to swallow. Knowing her sister was a thug and a slaver who planned to extort her? Much more digestible. Shepard can concede that Dahlia deserved what she got, which Nassana will agree with.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Someone's killing her guys, so she believes someone wants her dead. She's right about the latter, but it's not related to the former.
  • Smug Snake: At the end of her quest in the first game, she oozes smugness, especially if you accidentally complete it before speaking to her, outright admitting how she was planning to manipulate Shepard.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The worst thing she does in the first game is lie to you. By the second, though, she's done much worse.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Despite Shepard's insistence, she remains utterly convinced that Shepard is the One-Man Army who's slaughtered their way through the building in order to kill her. She isn't entirely wrong—Shepard really was the one killing all her troops. But they weren't sent to kill her, they're searching for the assassin. Then Thane drops from the ceiling behind her.

    Sha'ira (The Consort) 
Sha'ira (The Consort)
She should be able to see you in... oh... three or four months.

"Remember my words, Commander Shepard. They will give you strength."

Voiced by: Gwendoline Yeo

A well-known and influential asari, Sha'ira offers a variety of personal services to her numerous clients, ranging from conversation and advice to sex. She is highly respected and wields quite a bit of political power.

  • Ancient Artifact: She'll hand over a Prothean trinket if you resolve Xeltan's sidequest before hers, allowing Shepard to experience a vision on the planet Eletania.
  • Big Good: She leaves the Citadel to escape slander, but when the galaxy is in danger, she returns because people need her services more than ever — and she doesn't mean sex; she explains that the citizens of the galaxy are panicked and in need of comfort and strength, and she can provide that.
  • Boldly Coming: She will see (or "see") anyone, regardless of species or gender, though there is quite a waiting period. Among her known clients are a volus, a human, a salarian, a turian, and an elcor. In 2, one of the SR-2 crew members excitedly says that he's got an appointment with her in a few months, and objects when another crew member calls her a prostitute. A krogan considers it the height of decadence, likening it to his obsession with eating a fish from the Presidium.
  • Break the Cutie: In 2 and 3, she's gone through a lot. Made clearer in Citadel, where she has a single word of advice for Shepard.
    Sha'ira: Win!
  • Fortune Teller: Regarded by many on the Citadel to be nearly oracular, and she does make predictions for Shepard, both on completion of her quest and in an email. Cut content from Mass Effect has the rumor that she will soon predict the next race to join the Council. What's interesting is that she's still in her Matron life stage — asari Matriarchs are the advisors of the asari race, meaning Sha'ira is just hitting her stride and will be even more insightful.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She and all of her acolytes wear purple dresses. The salarian among them doesn't wear a dress, but he does have the colors.
  • Heroic Seductress: We don't know much about what she does. Only that she helps people, and it sometimes involves sex. Whatever she does, it makes her one of the most powerful women in Citadel Space. She came back from her self-imposed exile when the Reapers attacked "because one does not flee the heart of the galaxy in troubled times", and her old clients needed her.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Emphasis on "high class". Most of her clientele is composed of famous and powerful people, and the Consort's Chambers and her acolytes are appropriately designed to accommodate them. The Consort's Chambers are even located on the Presidium and opposite the Citadel Embassies.
  • Intimate Psychotherapy: She gives "advice to some, comfort to others."
  • Male Gaze: Her introduction scene has the camera linger on her butt as she walks back into her office, swaying her hips all the while.
  • Meaningful Name: "Sha'ira" comes from an Arabic word meaning "poetess", or "female poet". Her name also resembles the name of the hetaerae Neaira.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She gets very... snuggly with Shepard when first asking the Commander for a favour, which is strange since when Shepard first enters the room she tells them "That's close enough" even when they're at quite a distance.
  • The Ojou: Most seem to regard Sha'ira with a kind of reverential awe.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: With absolutely zero warning, at that, beyond the fact that (Renegade) dialogue option on the wheel consists of wanting more than her 'gift of words'. "Uhh, thanks... I guess." Cue player cries of "the Consort raped me!"
  • Platonic Prostitution: Saying that she provides "comfort" to those who seek it is only partially a euphemism. She says she gives them whatever they need, be it verbal reassurance, cuddling or otherwise.
  • Prophecy Twist: Hearing that Shepard was killed in 2 made her doubt her own clairvoyance. She admits to Shepard when meeting him that she was glad he was alive in part because it meant she hadn't lost her touch.
  • Punctuation Shaker: An interesting case, considering no other asari so far is shown to have a given name with an apostrophe. It's possible that Sha'ira is not her real name, however. Since asari surnames often do have apostrophes, its entirely possible that Sha'ira could just be her last name.
  • Sex Goddess: While the asari in general are already considered this, Sha'ira is especially adept at giving pleasure to both mind and body.
  • Sex Tourism: People will visit the Citadel just to see Sha'ira or at least her acolytes, though it should be noted that she's not just a prostitute, and she will sometimes turn down even very influential clients for her own reasons.
  • Shout-Out: During your Optional Sexual Encounter with her, she will press her hand against the glass of her pod as a reference the romance scene in Titanic (1997).

    Helena Blake 
Helena Blake

"Now if you'll excuse me, my men get nervous in the presence of law enforcement agents."

Voiced by: Jane Singer

A member of a criminal syndicate who asks Shepard for help in eliminating two of her associates and allowing her to take over. If she survives, she shows up in the second game, either continuing her ways, or having reformed.

  • Drugs Are Bad: One of her driving motivations in asking for Shepard's help.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Her motivation for killing the other crime bosses are that they condone slavery and selling of red sand, whereas she simply wants to smuggle illegal products.
  • Heel–Face Turn: If you convince her to disband the gang, she shows up on Omega in the second game as a social worker. Shepard is impressed, and is at a loss as to how she could keep up the job on Omega of all places. She replies that a place like Omega desperately needs a social worker, especially one who's been a mob boss before her reformation.
  • Karma Houdini: Any outcome that doesn't result in her death; Shepard convincing her to undergo a Heel–Face Turn may take some of the sting out of that.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Shepard can convince her to quit, through a threat or the reasoning that her organization has been irretrievably tainted. She'll sigh and acknowledge that it makes sense. She's fully aware that she can't defeat Shepard, but that isn't the motivation for it, since she'll attack Shepard if they try to arrest her, even knowing it'll result in her death.
  • Mind over Matter: A biotic.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: She outright tells Shepard she's not going to prison; any attempt to arrest her will result in her death.
  • Noble Demon: Similar to Aria in many ways, which would explain why she's an underboss on Omega if she's allowed to continue running the gang.
  • Suicide by Cop: She'll attack Shepard if they try to arrest her, stating she's Never Going Back to Prison.
  • Younger Than They Look: She looks like an older woman, but the fact that she's a biotic means she can't be older than 32-33 in the first game.

    Charles Saracino 
Charles Saracino

Garrus: What happened at the mass relay was a misunderstanding. If you saw a child about to touch a gun, wouldn't you stop them?
Saracino: I'd pull them away, yes. I wouldn't shoot them dead.

Leader of the pro-human Terra Firma party. Asks for Shepard's endorsement in his political campaign for a spacer seat in the Alliance parliament.

  • Affably Evil: To Shepard, at least. To Shepard's alien team members, he's less than polite, particularly with Liara, although he's more cordial to Wrex, who actually agrees with his assertion that military power brings prestige. Of course, it may have also been because he's not stupid enough to insult a krogan battlemaster to his face.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: On the receiving end of one from Garrus, if he tries bringing up military presence. Garrus may point out in the Turian Empire, everyone serves - even those who are physically invalid will still serve in support capacities. It's one of the few times Saracino can't come up with an immediate response.
  • Beard of Evil: Bearded and a high-level member of a racist political party.
  • Bigger Stick: Discusses and supports this philosophy, believing that Earth should focus on military spending to both keep up with the rest of the galaxy and levy their military power into political clout, so that their opinion will be taken seriously. After all, it worked for the turians.
  • Catchphrase: "Remember Terra Firma on election day, because Terra Firma remembers you!"
  • Corrupt Politician: Sort of. Deleted dialogue in 2 restored for Legendary Edition notes he got busted for tax dodging.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ashley dislikes the party, in spite of her prejudices that may lead you to think otherwise; every point Saracino brings up, she counters coldly and with brutal accuracy. When he mentions Shanxi — the root of Ashley's suspicion of turians especially — she brusquely says that he wasn't there, thus he should shut the hell up.
    Ashley: Were you at Shanxi?! If not, shut your pie hole!
  • Fantastic Racism: The entire point of Terra Firma in practice. They do have a semi-reasonable platform (keeping humanity's unique cultural contributions alive in the rush to advance and discover what lies beyond the Solar System), but it attracts a lot of bare-faced xenophobes.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Despite his politics and his party's racist beliefs, the quote he makes above does make sense.
    • His comments about humanity embracing the Bigger Stick philosophy similarly aren't without precedent, considering their incredible military power was one of the main reasons the turians gained their seat on the Council. Ultimately, he’s proven correct when the Alliance fleet’s role in defeating Sovereign earns humanity their own seat one way or another.
  • Never My Fault: Insists that he's not responsible for the openly racist views espoused by members of his own political party, even though he's the head of it, saying he's not responsible for what they say.... even though they're only there because the Terra Firma party's views drew them in in the first place, and he does nothing to disassocaite the party from these people.
  • The Starscream: Ascension and the Shadow Broker's files show that he became party chairman when his chief rival, Claude Mennau, was assassinated by Cerberus because Mennau was seen as too moderate.
  • Unwitting Pawn: He's one for Cerberus — the Illusive Man believed he'd be easier to influence than Mennau.

Noveria Residents

    Gianna Parasini 
Gianna Parasini

"You have the right to remain silent. I wish to God you'd exercise it!"

Voiced by: Wendy Braun

An oft-undercover internal affairs agent for the consortium on Noveria that Shepard repeatedly encounters through the galaxy, repeatedly enlisting their aid in her investigations.

  • Deadpan Snarker: She has quite a tongue when she's not pretending to be a secretary.
    Parasini: [when asked why she doesn't go through her boss's records for evidence of his wrongdoing] He's a crook, not a moron! He doesn't keep records saying "This month, I stole 3 million credits!"
  • Hates Wearing Dresses: The first thing she does after busting Bel Anoleis is to say she hates having to wear a dress to pose as a secretary.
  • Hidden Depths: She reveals in Mass Effect 2 why she's in Internal Affairs: she originally wanted to be a cop or C-Sec, but she came from a poor background and needed the money a corporate job would bring in. She also admits that dealing with white-collar crime means she doesn't have to investigate "things that make it hard to sleep at night".
  • Internal Affairs: She's the least irritating person who can get you a garage pass on Noveria.
  • The Lad-ette: She gives off this vibe, preferring street clothes and beer to dresses and Illium.
  • Miranda Rights: Invokes this when arresting Anoleis if Shepard helps her.
    Parasini: You have the right to remain silent. I wish to God you'd exercise it!
  • Noble Bigot: Has a racist streak towards asari.
  • The Mole: When you first encounter her, she's posing as Administrator Anoleis's secretary, but quickly reveals herself to be an Internal Affairs agent for some corporate conglomerate.
  • Screw You, Elves!: She really enjoys busting Asari, commenting on how perfect they think they are.
  • Ship Tease: If you help her out in Mass Effect 2, she thanks Male Shepard by giving him a passionate thank you kiss.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Her cameo in 2 implied that she was going to have some future role revolving around dark matter, but she's one of the few minor/supporting characters that doesn't return for the third game.

    Administrator Bel Anoleis 
Administrator Rannadril Ghan Swa Fulsoom Karaten Narr Eadi Bel Anoleis

Voiced by: Roger L. Jackson

The corrupt salarian administer of Port Hanshan, representing Novaria's executive board and managing oversight of the companies located there.

  • Asshole Victim: Shepard can have him thrown in jail or killed in order to get a garage pass, and nobody is crying.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He has his hands in pretty much every dirty deal going on in Port Hanshan. He is also driving up rent prices to line his own pockets, which is making some companies leave Noveria and is what draws the executive board's interest.
  • Cultural Posturing: If Shepard's an Earther, he'll state at least his home planet is environmentally clean, not some over-polluted acid-choked waste.
  • Entitled Bastard: Despite doing everything in his power to obstruct Shepard, combined with flat-out rudeness, he still demands Shepard help him if Parasini arrests him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Anoleis is on the receiving end of this; the Noveria Executive Board want him gone because his corrupt practices are driving away business and driving down their profits.
    Shepard: I thought corruption was the rule of law on Noveria.
    Gianna Parasini: The rule is don't rock the boat. Self-interest is tolerated only so long as it doesn't interfere with business. Anoleis's practices are driving away clients.
  • Fantastic Racism: He is clearly racist against humans.
  • Hate Sink: Authority figures in this series are traditionally obstructive and difficult, but the game makes it clear to players that this guy is going to be an enormous frustration and very unhelpful. Anoleis easily validates the game's expectations, as his refusal to give Shepard a garage pass, along with his incredibly racist demeanor, causes the player to feel immense frustration and annoyance.
  • Jerkass: Easily the most irritating and unpleasant person on Noveria, which is filled with immoral scientists and dirty cops.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: If you avoid busting him in the first game, and Parasini lives through to 2, she reveals she eventually got him anyway, after he was caught having sex with an asari tax inspector.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A large majority of players, even if they are Renegade, choose to help Parasini if only to just get back at him for making Port Hanashan so frustrating.
  • Morton's Fork: There's no version of Shepard's backstory he won't sneer at.
  • Mutual Kill: If informed that Parasini is a internal affairs agent, he will try to kill her, with both of them being fatally injured as a result.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: His corruption has pretty much brought getting anything done in Port Hanshan to a standstill, and his unhelpfulness forces Shepard to jump through a ton of hoops to get a simple garage pass to leave to investigate Peak 15 unless they take a shortcut through a sidequest.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gets one if Renegade Shepard brings him proof of Opold's dealings, then threatens him into giving up the package anyway. It's about the only time his composure slips.
  • Overly Long Name: Par for the course for a salarian.
  • The Scapegoat: Funnily enough, according to the newscasts you can hear, he gets the blame for the Peak 15 incident, which he's only peripherally involved in at best.
  • Stupid Evil: Zig-Zagged. His corruption is past the point of sustainability for Port Hanshan, but he's smart enough to not keep evidence that could incriminate him among his records.
    Gianna Parasini: He's a crook, not a moron! He doesn't keep logs on his computer saying "This month I stole three million credits!"
  • Underestimating Badassery: While he clearly isn't stupid enough to pick a direct fight with a Spectre, making him smarter than a good chunk of people Shepard and co. have to deal with, he clearly doesn't rank Shep high as a threat. If they intimidate him into letting them keep some contraband, he begrudgingly admits he underestimated them.

    Lorik Qui'in 
Lorik Qui'in

Voiced by: Peter Jessop

The turian manager of the Synthetic Insights Noveria branch. He is under investigation for corruption by Administrator Anoleis, but that is just a cover for his efforts to find the evidence Lorik gathered on Anoleis' corruption.

  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably the snarkiest turian in the first game outside of Garrus. He particularly likes taking note of some of the odd human sayings Shepard uses.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: A Renegade Shepard can destroy his career for being reluctant to testify against Anoleis. When he finds out, the poor guy's reaction is "Excuse me, please. I feel the need to order more drinks while I can still afford them."
  • Insane Troll Logic: If Shepard hands over Lorik's evidence to Anoleis, he is stunned and meekly asks why, leading to this potential exchange:
    Commander Shepard: You refused to testify. Obviously, you hate justice and deserve this.
    Lorik: What insane breed of logic is that?
  • Skewed Priorities: After asking Shepard to kill the dirty cops at the Synthetic Insights office and recover his evidence, he requests that they try to avoid getting any blood on the carpet.

    Captain Maeko Matsuo 
Captain Maeko Matsuo

Voiced by: Kim Mai Guest

The human commander of Elanus Risk Control Services detachment in Port Hanshan. She is an ex-Alliance marine.

  • Badges and Dog Tags: She served ten years as a Alliance marine before leaving the service and joining ERCS, who gave her command of the Port Hanshan detachment due to her combat experience.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Refers people as "Parasini-san" "Stirling-san" and "Benezia-sama" but otherwise speaks entirely in English. However, given the universal use of Translator Microbes, she may just be speaking in Japanese and Shepard hears it translated as English.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: She has a zero-tolerance policy on bribery. All well and good. But she also has the blatantly rabid Kaira Stirling as an underling, and despite acknowledging that she's "mercenary", doesn't notice the woman's on the take, along with several other officers.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: If Shepard gets angry at her for pointing a gun at Shepard's party, she responds that she was doing what she thought was correct.
  • Only Sane Woman: She is pretty much the only person in Port Hanshan who doesn't have a hidden agenda, simply preferring to try and keep the peace between the corporations and any offworld visitors.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: If Shepard kills the dirty ERCS officers at Synthetic Insights and tells her about it, she understands completely and doesn't hold it against them since the officers were corrupt. That said, if you lie to her face about what happened she'll call you out on it, and no matter what you say leaves by saying she has to write condolence letters to the families of the officers you killed.

    Sergeant Kaira Stirling 
Sergeant Kaira Stirling

Voiced by: Kath Soucie

A human biotic ERCS security officer in Port Hanshan.

  • Always a Bigger Fish: Her coworkers refer to her as their secret weapon because Stirling is a biotic. Shepard's squad has multiple biotics that are way above her level.
  • Asshole Victim: Should Shepard kill her, even the other cops don't seem terribly broken up about it. The only one that does is implied to be a fellow Dirty Cop.
  • Dirty Cop: She is on the take, and confronts Shepard if the player raids the Synthtic Insights office to get evidence that Administrator Anoleis is dirty. Stirling is pissed off that Shepard killed her fellow dirty cops who were guarding the office for Anoleis and calls them a cop killer, but Shepard and the current party members simply point out they were dirty and then kill her.
    Stirling: You know what we do to cop killers on my world?
    Tali: You're here off duty for bribe money and you expect us to feel guilty for stopping you?
    Wrex: You're breaking the law for bribe money. You know what we do to dirty cops on my world?
  • Jerkass: Aside from being a dirty cop, she is intensely hostile towards Shepard when they arrive on Novaria, and seems to want to pick a fight with Shepard.
  • Mind over Matter: She is a biotic, and can use barrier and lift in combat.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Spoiling for a fight with a person who may or may not be travelling with a krogan, but definitely is armed to the teeth is one thing. Doing so even after learning they're a Spectre, who have carte blanche to kill is another. Continuing to try and threaten them even after Shepard's already shot their way through several guards by that point... killing Stirling probably is a favor to the universe.

    Han Olar 
Han Olar

"Are you going to give me a 'you know too much' speech?"

Voiced by: Gord Marriott

A volus scientist at the Peak 15 research station on Noveria. Suffers severe survivor's guilt over letting a co-worker be killed by the rachni to save himself. Shepard runs across him while looking for Benezia.

  • Creepy Monotone: He describes the death of his co-worker in gory detail, with no emotion in his voice. Even for a volus, he sounds really cold.
  • Deadpan Snarker: See the above quote. To the asari commando holding him at gunpoint, no less.
  • It's All My Fault: He blames himself for being part of the research team that was responsible for bringing the rachni back, and also for shutting the door on the tram when one of his collegues was trying to board it, causing her to be killed by the attacking rachni. He's well aware that leaving the door open would have just led to his death as well as hers, but he feels no less guilty about it.
  • Only Sane Man: When a couple of fellow scientists tell him if he's going to be crazy, to be the quiet kind.
    Han: Crazy? I'm sane. God, am I sane!
  • Sole Survivor: If you go to the hot labs first, then Han says that he's the only civilian left, Ventralis having killed the rest under Benezia's orders.
  • Survivor's Guilt: To such an extreme that in his message to Shepard in the second game, he practically wishes that he had been killed instead of his friend. At the very least, he's not ungrateful to Shepard.

Feros Residents

    Fai Dan 
Fai Dan

"I tried to fight it, but it gets in your head. You can't imagine the pain. I was supposed to be their leader. These people trusted me."

Voiced by: Armin Shimerman

Leader of the Zhu's Hope colony on Feros. Secretly, he's under the control of the Thorian like the rest of the colonists.

  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Though not to the extent of Reaper victims, given that the Thorian's mind control is different from indoctrination.
  • Death Before Dishonor: Despite having been in symbiotic cooperation with the Thorian like the rest of Zhu's Hope up until now, Fai Dan draws the line at killing people and opts instead to shoot himself.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Not being able to protect the colonists.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kills himself when the Thorian attempts to make him kill Shepard.
  • Everything Fades: One of the few exceptions. While most bodies fade quickly, Fai Dan's body stays. There's also a noticeable pool of blood, one of only two times in the game.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera cuts away just before he shoots himself.
  • Mind Control: As with all of the colonists, he is being used by the Thorian.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: More like, My God, What Did I Let Happen?, but he blames himself for what happened to the colonists, and is likely part of the reason for his suicide.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Him committing suicide out of fear of harming Shepard makes sense... Unless you still have anti-Thorian gas grenades in your inventory, in which case you could simply have tossed one in his direction to solve the problem while saving his life in the process. Even if Shepard's move incited him to shoot, the Commander's armor and shields would barely have been scratched by the shot.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Part of the Zhu's Hope control group used by ExoGeni to study the Thorian.

    Other Feros Residents 

The other colonists who live on Feros. Their official job was to dig up tech for ExoGeni. However, they come under the control of the Thorian.

  • Action Girl: Greta Reynolds and Arcelia are trained soldiers. But all of the women fight when controlled by the Thorian.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Lizbeth Baynham. She shot Shepard without looking, and feels really bad about it, even in Mass Effect 2.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Like all of the people under the Thorian's control.
  • Broken Record: Any time they're asked stuff, they tend to get evasive and say something along the lines of "talk to Fai Dan". And if you do talk to Fai Dan, he's just as evasive.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Ian, who enjoys "invoking the master's whip" when he is controlled by the Thorian. Others mention he is unstable.
  • Determined Homesteader: They want to make their home work, and think they should be self-sufficient. They say this even when not controlled by the Thorian. Except for Hana Murakami, who wants to leave.
  • Happily Married: There are two married couples: Hollis and Calantha, and Davin and Greta. They are all in stable, happy relationships.
  • Hive Mind: A side effect of the Thorian spores after the creature dies. Most of the colonists can sense each others thoughts. Fortunately, they can use this to resist indoctrination, and, later on, turns them into effective soldiers since they can coordinate telepathically and teach skills to make even the weakest member move like a commando.
  • Jerkass: Arcelia is pretty blunt and hostile.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Arcelia can state that she only thinks Shepard and co. have shown up because of the geth, and don't care about them. Depending on the player's choice of action, including immediately asking about the geth, she's right.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: If Shepard keeps them alive, they turn into a dangerous crew when the Reapers attack in Mass Effect 3.
  • The Medic: Hollis Blake. He handles Zhu's Hope's medical problems after the previous doctor was killed in a geth attack.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Arcelia laments that she was only supposed to be a security guard keeping kids from spraying graffiti on the walls and instead found herself fighting off geth and mind-controlled by a giant sentient plant.
  • Small Steps Hero: What they ask for from Shepard: They need to get their water systems back online, some old power cells, and go hunting to supplement their rations.
  • Token Minority: Ledra, who is the only salarian at the colony. If you spare her, Shiala is the only asari.

Other Characters

    The Rachni Queen 
The Rachni Queen
What will you sing? Will you release us? Are we to fade away once more?
"We are the mother. We sing for those left behind. The children you thought silenced. We are rachni."

Voiced by: Kath Soucie

The Rachni Wars ended with the complete and utter annihilation of the rachni, or so the galaxy thought. Thousands of years later, the Binary Helix corporation discovered a cache of rachni eggs in cryogenic suspension. To their pleasant surprise, one of these eggs was a queen and, once hatched, many interested parties sought to use her to breed an army of rachni soldiers. Shepard encounters the Rachni Queen on Noveria and is presented with a choice: To kill her and end the rachni threat once and for all, or release her so that she can follow her dream of rebuilding her race.

  • Bizarre Alien Biology: She contains the genetic material of her predecessors, which allows her to lay fertile eggs without mating. In addition, rachni communicate through whalesong-like sounds (which may be partially telepathic, since they can be heard in a near-vacuum) that they refer to as "singing". They also seem to have synethesia, describing the singing of the Reapers as "a sour yellow note", and so on.
    • Their method of communication is stated to be an organic version of quantum entanglement communication in the Leviathan DLC of 3. This is the technology that allows galaxy-wide communication in the series.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Asks Shepard to exterminate the remaining Rachni on Noveria, as they were born without her influence to shape their minds, leaving them completely feral. She admits it's regrettable, but it has to be done.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Mass Effect 1 and 2, it is claimed that the rachni were a peaceful race that were manipulated against their will into war with the rest of the galaxy. In 3, they were still manipulated, but it's indicated that they were pretty hostile anyway and were in fact bred to be vicious and cunning. The queen herself is also presented as being more alien than before, partially achieved by having her speak using numerous krogan dead simultaneously to achieve a choir-like effect rather than the impression of speaking to a single entity.
    • On the other hand, her rather abrasive temperament in the third game might be due to having been restrained, tortured and forced to give birth to children that were then turned into huskified abominations for several months. One can only begin to imagine how utterly pissed off she was by the time Shepard rescues her.
    • Also, if you compare the voice acting with that of her replacement, the Rachni Breeder, you will realize just how much gentler she sounds. Furthermore, if you refuse to help her this time, she won't hold it against you and accept your decision peacefully, unlike the Breeder who will flip out and scream for Shepard's blood.
    • Given that the queens possess Genetic Memory, you can understand why their offspring would naturally be inclined to be hostile; considering the last time the rachni encountered sentient life in the Galaxy, the Protheans tried to turn them into shock-troops and tried to exterminate them when it didn't work!
  • Chekhov's Army: If Shepard spares her life, she will send a messenger in the second game in order to pledge her support against the Reapers when the time comes. She delivers, though not in the way as you think. Her children aid building the Crucible instead of being combatants. It makes a lot of sense considering the Rachni have had enough of being shock troops and would rather show off their brains than their brawn.
    Hackett: I wouldn't believe it, but the rachni are helping us build the Crucible.
    Shepard: You're kidding!
    Hackett: Turns out they have a knack for weapons of mass destruction. In hindsight, I guess they'd know a thing or two about waging a galactic war.
  • Cloning Blues: If you killed the Queen in 1, the one you encounter in 3 is a clone made by the Reapers.
  • Creepy Good: She's a giant, completely inhuman insect queen that communicates through others telepathically...but she's ultimately entirely benevolent and genuinely doesn't want to hurt anyone. She comes to help Shepard in 3 if saved and aids in building the Crucible.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Shepard has the option to do this twice to her, once in the first game and again in the third. If you choose this option in the first, in the second game an asari who's been in contact with them delivers a personal message from the Queen herself thanking you and offering her support against the Reapers, and if you play your cards right she keeps her word and helps you build the Crucible in the third game, leading to an amusing incident mentioned in an email where the rachni's presence freaks out most of the staff as yet another example of this trope.
  • Distressed Damsel: At least, if the term "Damsel" can even apply to a giant insect. Regardless, the Rachni Queen gets captured in both 1 and 3, both times with Shepard being the only one to rescue her if they so choose.
  • Face Death with Dignity: If you decide to kill her in the first game, her asari thrall tries to stop you. If you leave her to die in the third game, she accepts it as a release from the Reapers' torture. Her breeder replacement, by contrast, screams at her children to kill you.
  • Gentle Giant: Is clearly a caring mother to her children, and given that she saved an asari's life, she shows that the rachni are more peaceful than the Codex says.
  • Genetic Memory: Appears to be the case, at least between generations of rachni queens.
  • Genocide Dilemma: On one hand, everybody and their grandma tells you about how dangerous the Rachni Wars were. On the other hand, she's done nothing wrong and swears to live in peace. It's up to Shepard to decide how it goes.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Averted in the second game; if you spare her, it seems she's held to her promise not to cause trouble, and pledges to aid you in any way that she can when the Reaper war begins.
    • In Mass Effect 3, she is found strapped to Reaper machinery and forced to give birth to Husk versions of the rachni. However, she still remains defiant and vengeful against the Reapers, and will aid you in the war effort if you choose to save her again. Possibly her genetic memory keeps her free will intact, even though the same doesn't apply to her children.
    • Played straight with her Reaper-created clone, if you killed the original. If you spare her this time around, she and her children will ditch you in revenge, after massacring most of the Alliance engineering corps.
  • Hive Queen: One of the few good examples.
  • I Am the Trope:
    We are the... mother. We sing for those left behind. The children you thought silenced. We are rachni.
  • Last of Her Kind: She is the only remaining rachni queen, which means the rachni race will die with her if she is killed.
  • Mama Bear: The Rachni Queen is utterly livid that the Reapers are using her to breed children only for them to be condemned to a Fate Worse than Death, and pleads with Shepard to release her so she can avenge them.
    • When speaking to Shepard on Noveria, the Queen's tone is notably more hostile when referring to her children being driven insane by Binary Helix's wrongdoing.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If the Queen is asked on Noveria about why the rachni went to war, the Queen says "I do not know what happened in the war!". In all other times she refers to herself, she uses the Royal "We", instead of the personal pronoun I, emphasizing that she had no idea why her race became hostile. It is the only time she does this.
  • People Puppets: Although she can do this, she only does it to communicate with Shepard and even then only because the person she's controlling is already (nearly) dead.
    • Depending on dialogue choices, Shepard can show concern that she is doing this in the second game. However, the one that Shepard's worried about is happy to help the rachni.
    • Some of the backstory clearly hints that those rachni who fought in the Rachni War were controlled by the Reapers. Sort of a parallel there with the heretic geth. The third game's Leviathan DLC, however, suggests that the Leviathans may have been the ones controlling them.
  • Red Herring: Your Codex entry, and the fact that all the rachni attack you on sight seems to set up the Queen as a possible villain along with Matriarch Benezia. As it turns out, the Rachni Queen is completely innocent, she is shown to be peaceful, and the rachni attacking you are insane due to Binary Helix's meddling.
  • Royal "We": Though as a Hive Queen who uses telepathy to calm and control her offspring, you could consider it a plural "we" as well. Her Reaper-created clone, on the other hand, does not use this, which is an indicator that something is very wrong about her.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Done almost whole-cloth (right down to the Queens killing the daughters that didn't share "harmonious" views) from the bugs in Ender's Game.
    • Both interactions with her have a lot of Shout Outs to the Alien franchise. Her discovery, and being used by a shady corporation, resembles Alien, while meeting underground in Mass Effect 3, with dead bodies pinned to the wall and being atop a makeshift throne is a direct reference to Aliens.
  • Starfish Alien: Doesn't resemble anything remotely human.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Shepard, if they decide to let her go on Noveria. Before departing, she pledges to sing to her children of Shepard's mercy and in the second game, sends an envoy offering the rachni's support when it comes time to fight against the Reapers.
  • Voice of the Legion: In 3, she uses about fifteen dead krogan puppets to speak with Shepard's squad.

My name is Vigil. You are safe here for the moment, but that will change. Soon, nowhere will be safe.
"You must break a cycle that has continued for millions of years. But to stop it, you must understand, or you will make the same mistakes we did."

A virtual intelligence on Ilos that is the last voice of the Protheans, who remained active just long enough to give Shepard critical information about the Reapers, and how the Protheans made one last ditch effort to warn future species about them.

  • Cold Equation: In the several hundred years it took the Reapers to finish off the Protheans and clean up all the evidence, the cryogenic systems of the bunker Vigil was maintaining started to falter. Faced with a choice of letting some of the frozen Protheans die or all, Vigil started diverting power from less essential personnel. Subverted in that it was a failsafe programmed into Vigil, and not a real decision made by the software. If Shepard agrees that it was a necessary choice, they net some Renegade points.
  • Cozy Voice for Catastrophes: Understandable, since it's a virtual intelligence.
  • Do Androids Dream?: Vigil has far more nuance and ability to comprehend things than any other VI you meet in the series. It's highlighted since soon after meeting him you get a chance to talk to the Citadel VI, Avina, again, and she is so clearly more limited. Maybe it can be credited to superior programming or personality imprints, and his leitmotif probably helps, but Vigil evokes an emotional response.
    • It's later learned in Mass Effect 3 that Prothean VI's contain the total imprints of a specific Prothean, as was the case of Vendetta, the VI at the Thessian temple of Athane. So, Vigil is the actual personality of the overseer Ksad Ishan, and bordering on, if not totally, an actual artificial intelligence. However, Vigil does flatly state that he can't discuss anything outside of his core purpose: stopping the Reaper cycle.
  • Foreshadowing: Liara states that Vigil was the inspiration for her own plan in case things go wrong. In the Refusal ending, it works.
  • Leitmotif: Vigil's theme is not only the menu music for the first game, but in Mass Effect 2, it's the music played when you and Kaidan/Ashley meet again on Horizon, when you get a hearty welcome from Wrex, and when you have the "date" with Liara on the Normandy after she assumes the Shadow Broker mantle. In Mass Effect 3, it plays after curing the genophage and/or after ending the geth-quarian war, in The Stinger, is also faintly playing on the menu screen, and is beautifully hidden in the machine hum of the Normandy's War Room.
    • In the Citadel DLC, "Liara's Theme" is a piano version of this song.
  • Meaningful Name: In the most literal sense, considering its purpose.
  • Mr. Exposition: Vigil fills Shepard in on what will happen with the Reapers, along with a few other details while he's there. Such as the fact that the Protheans weren't the first civilisation to fall prey to them.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: In the sequel, apparently once Vigil powered down it could not be reactivated again, making it an even riskier Gambit Roulette by the Protheans. It's possible this was so the Reapers wouldn't be able to retrieve anything from its databanks even after it powered down, but that meant they left the fate of all future civilisations — sentient beings in numbers beyond counting — suspended by a single, slim thread. Even if it was a thread they'd never had before. Justified Trope when you remember that he's been doing this for a very long time... He didn't power down naturally, he ran out of power completely. Mass Effect 3's "From Ashes" DLC subverts this by revealing that the Protheans had several alternate plans, which makes sense considering the remnants of their society had no way of contacting each other and made their own plans. For example, Javik was supposed to lead a million-man army of cryogenically-suspended Protheans in rebuilding the Empire after the Reapers left. Another attempted to covertly uplift the proto-asari as they were deemed the most apt to lead the next cycle of all the "primitives".
  • Omniglot: Learned English merely by studying Shepard's radio chatter. Considering the Protheans were extreme Omniglots themselves who could learn an entire species's history just by touching them, this makes a lot of sense.
    • Also counts as somewhat ironic. An earlier interaction with a damaged VI shows that because of the Cipher, Shepard was implanted with a subconscious understanding of the Prothean language, so learning English to communicate wasn't actually necessary at all.
    • Vigil addresses this. At first, only Shepard understands any of the Prothean communiques. By the time Shepard arrives, Vigil has learned English. And it was necessary in that it would be useful for Shepard's two squadmates, especially if one is Liara, to communicate with it as well.
  • Power Echoes: There's a bit of an echo to Vigil's voice.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Somewhat averted. After 50,000 years, just enough to remain functional through the next cycle, Vigil's data is corrupted, and it finally gives out just after speaking to Shepard between the first and second games.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Vigil only appears for one conversation in the final quest of the game, but it provides a lot of context to the Reapers and their genocide of the Protheans, and his actions were instrumental in ensuring the next galactic civilization had a chance at stopping the cycle.
  • Theme Naming: The Prothean VIs have all been named with a "V" word: Vigil, Victory, and Vendetta.