Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Cycles Upon Cycles

Go To

Taking place after StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the combined forces of the Terran, Zerg, and Protoss armies manage to vanquish Amon. However, immediately after, the ghost of Tassadar warns them that there is another threat just as bad on the horizon. In the face of this grim prophecy, the three races put aside their differences (mostly) and focus their efforts towards rebuilding and preparing for this new, mysterious threat. Two years later, they discover a mysterious alien device no one has seen before. And then they find a whole slew of alien races on the other side, not all of whom are friendly....


Cycles Upon Cycles is an in-progress crossover fic between StarCraft and Mass Effect by The Incredible Muffin. The first several chapters explore the various interactions between the two franchises without any particular protagonist, but it eventually settles on Commander Shepard as the story rolls into the first Mass Effect game.

Descriptions below may contain unmarked spoilers for both series.

This fanfic includes examples of:

  • Acid Attack: In addition to the normal acid-spewing monsters that the Zerg employ, they've also developed two new Nydus Worm variants: the Aggressive, which sprays the area around itself with acid to soften up the enemies before releasing their payload, and the Destroyer, which hoses down the area with acid at the cost of its own life. Both were developed after the Swarm assimilated the essence of a Thresher Maw.
  • Advertisement:
  • Adaptation Distillation: Mordin, Thane and Samara's first appearances in this universe are all in the same place: the Bahak System.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The Reapers, now named the Harvesters to differentiate them from the Starcraft unit.
    • Scions are instead called Hunchbacks because the Strikers think the former name sounds too much like "psionics".
  • Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed version with Liara, who is a simple scientist and archaeologist, and worked with a team before they got killed by Saren's men, leaving her traumatized (the author even states to not expect her to "get into a suit of armor and start fighting"). Compare to canon!Liara, who worked alone and apparently had run-ins pirate gangs and hostile wildlife in unexplored systems during her travels before you meet her.
  • Adapted Out: The entire subplot from the first Mass Effect about Saren's cure for the genophage, due to the fact that that situation had already been handled by Wrex finding a solution in the Zerg.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Jath'Amon, Batarian ambassador turned High Governor after the Hegemony seceded from the Council, may have hated the Alliance for driving them to near-extinction and the Council for turning their backs, but after Saren's own cloned Batarians rebel and cause civil war, he's perfectly willing to accept the Alliance and Council's demands and surrender to their judgment if it means getting their help to protect his people.
  • The Alliance: The Terran, Zerg, and Protoss banded together into this at the beginning of the story. Later on, the quarians, the krogan, and the geth are brought in as their respective protectorates.
  • All There in the Manual: Most chapters ends with one or two Codex entries relevant to the events of the chapter. Recently the Codex entries have been replaced by brief dossiers of Shepard's crew.
  • Always Second Best: Despite being 3 years older and having 3 years more experience, Miranda found herself subsequently surpassed by Shepard in almost every category once he joined the Ghost program.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Saren gets his arm bitten off by a Zergling while invading a Zerg colony.
    • In chapter 24, Shepard also loses his arm after using his powers in his fight against Saren.
    • Tarquin Victus loses his arm after the battle with Samara.
  • And This Is for...: Kasumi's Pre-Mortem One-Liner to Admiral Daro'Xen.
    Kasumi: This is for what you tried to do to Tali, you bosh'tet.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Zeratul to Kasumi as he knocks her out during the Protoss' betrayal.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When the geth collective ask a newly arrived Protoss observer what it wants, they freeze for 0.32215 seconds upon learning it wants to help them negotiate peace with the quarians. Given that both sides are computer programs, that's an exceedingly long time.
  • Ascended Extra/Adaptational Badass: Corporal Richard Jenkins. Sacrificial Lamb in canon, promoted to Sergeant Major and leader of their Piranha mounted infantry detachment in this story.
  • Ate His Gun: Jath'Amon shoots himself after the clone army he built with Saren's army turns on his people and starts slaughtering them, and his role in their creation is exposed.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Vespene gas is a potent poison especially against turians and asari but is considered too valuable as fuel to be used as such.
    • The Normandy herself to an extent; she's built to slip in undetected and destroy or disable enemy ships before they have a chance to fire at her, but since she's so specialized in her construction, any damage she sustains can take three times as long to repair as a standard line battlecruiser.
    • Gorgon class Battlecruisers are insanely powerful and durable but cost twenty times as much as the smaller Minotaur class.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Executor Pallin certainly is no slouch in combat despite spending most of his time according to Garrus 'filling out forms'.
  • Batman Gambit: Alarak reveals to Shepard that the attack on Ulnuar was to draw out the remaining Tal’Darim who were still loyal to Amon, and have them die in a suicide mission.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After Joker's boast that he could make the Normandy dance, Shepard tells him to be careful about saying such things as he just may need to do that someday. Anderson gives him the order when the Collector ship attacks the Normandy.
  • The Beastmaster: The Beastmaster krogan, who are able to temporarily buff nearby Zerg.
  • The Berserker: The Berserker krogan. Jenkins has shades of this as well.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jenkins, as mentioned above. Kaidan Alenko as well; his dossier notes that he has a reputation for being thorough in eliminating his enemies.
    Psych evaluation suggests minor sociopathic perfectionism during combat.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Element Zero exposure has been scientifically established to suppress psionic potential and grant the surviving recipients biotics instead. So how can the asari Morinth, a natural biotic, have psionic powers as well?
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Jenkins saves Ashley's life when she is attacked by a Geth Prime.
    • Repeatedly by Shepard's Strikers and the Golden Armada during the attack on the Citadel.
    • Mira Han's forces arrive just as the Normandy is about to make a Last Stand against the Collector ship.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Shepard gains the ability to project a psi-blade from his prosthetic arm.
  • Bling of War: Legion, after the geth becomes a protectorate of the Protoss, gains itself a shiny gold platform.
  • Blood Knight: A few of Shepard's crew: Zaeed, Jack, and Grunt.
  • Body Horror: Just about all of Daro'Xen's attempts to create quarian-geth Cyborgs.
  • Boldly Coming: Defied. An attempt by a number of asari maidens to seduce the crew of a battlecruiser nearly causes a diplomatic incident.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: After the defeat of Saren and Sovereign, the Alliance breaks up Shepard's Strikers and sends them on different duties. They eventually realize this was a rash decision, and quickly reunite them.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: After Shepard tells Joker he may actually need to make the Normandy dance, Joker says, "Then you'd better have a change of pants ready!"
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: As opposed to the First Contact War in Mass Effect, (where the turians referred to first contact with the Humans as the 'Relay 314 Incident' and the Humans refereed to it as 'The First Contact War') the Korprulu Contact War is simply known as the Backyard Skirmish to the Starcraft races. Considering the Crapsack Galaxy that Starcraft is a part of, a conflict of that scale isn't even worth deploying Loki Battlecruisers or Motherships for.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Invoked by Admiral Daro'Xen and then defied; once Shepard subdues her and she tries to claim her usefulness in knowledge, Shepard simply reads her mind and gives her to Kasumi to execute.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: Artanis and his Protoss warp into the Council Chambers once Sovereign!Saren is dead, knocking out the surviving Strikers and taking Shepard.
  • Car Fu: The Piranha is deployed for the first time without any ammo, so Shepard just rams Saren with it.
  • Clone Army: Saren resorts to cloning to quickly build an army of fearless, perfectly obedient drones.
  • Compensating for Something: James finds himself on the receiving end of these jibes from the rest of the officers after he brings out his new weapon: the Cain.
  • Cool Car: The Piranha. Originally a Hellion chassis, it swaps out the flamethrower for a dual auto-cannon scavenged from a Goliath, has had its frame and engine modified to be whisper-quiet, and has a sensor suite that allows it to detect cloaked enemies. It can hold two normal-sized people, or a single Marine in full armor.
  • Cool Starship: The Normandy. It's a souped-up Battlecruiser with a stealth cloak and a rapid-fire Yamato Cannon, among other things.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Due to the Koprulu Alliance's actions, by the time the events of the first Mass Effect game rolls around, Saren's army not only consists of geth like in canon, but also Batarians who resent the Alliance for nearly eradicating them for attempting a slave run during First Contact and krogan remnants who despise the Zerg for assimilating the majority of their race (willingly, mind you), viewing the new krogan as abominations.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A big problem with the Citadel races. All their tech is completely dependent on element zero and built for other element zero users. The Starcraft technology is far more varied and innovative, likely because they built it themselves rather than just copying it off others. This results in kinetic barriers, a staple defense in the Mass Effect universe being completely outclassed in direct combat compared to the far more universal Battlecruiser armour as some Starcraft weapons can bypass, and in some cases completely ignore Mass Effect shields. It's a sign of how outclassed they are that the Koprulu Contact War was a Curbstomp Battle in favour of the Korprulu alliance despite the fact the fleet they sent was outnumbered five to one.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The battle between the Citadel and the Terrans and Protoss. The Citadel's forces stand absolutely no chance. Ditto for the Batarians who are on the receiving end of one courtesy of the Zerg.
    • Sovereign!Saren delivers one to the Strikers; Shepard (with a boost from Amon) promptly returns the favor.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Kasumi when around Tali whom she finds adorable.
  • David vs. Goliath: Ashley's bio states that she solo-killed an Ultralisk without psychic powers or specialized equipment, the only human to do so. On Eden Prime, her subordinate Jenkins follows in her footsteps by soloing a Geth Prime with the aid of a stimpack.
  • Dead All Along: Shepard as it turns out. When Amon was destroyed, a shard of his being latched onto Shepard, effectively killing him and creating essentially a new being from what was left of his personality.
  • Death by Adaptation: Urdnot Bakara, Jondum Bau and Admiral Daro'Xen. Tela Vasir's death also occurs a lot sooner than it did in canon...and is a lot messier.
    • Neither Morinth nor Samara make it out of the Bahak System alive.
  • Death from Above:
    • Reapers will use their jump packs to land on an enemy's head when they want to save ammo.
    • Brooks and Kei Leng are killed when Legion hacks a gravity tether and uses it to drop one of Cerberus' Xel'Naga ships right on top of them.
  • Defiant to the End: The Batarians fight tooth and nail when the Zerg invade Khar'Shan, but ultimately lose.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Council never even considered that the Koprulu Alliance's attempts to negotiate peace between the geth and the quarians would work.
  • Dissimile: Shepard's thoughts when comparing Thane to Miranda.
    Shepard: He's like a less-bitchy, less-conceited Miranda. So, not like Miranda at all.
  • Doom Magnet: As Garrus notes when they're reunited on Omega, whenever Shepard arrives somewhere, things go From Bad to Worse.
  • The Dreaded: Nova to Shepard; the latter says he'd rather have Miranda, whom he dislikes, as his XO rather than someone who scares the crap out of him.
    • After their "war" against the Batarians, nearly everyone in Citadel space is terrified of the Zerg.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: While normally Sergeant Rock, Ashley slips into this when it's time for some additional training.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After the Battle of the Citadel and Shepard being spirited away by the Dominion, Kasumi retreats to Dead man's Port to drink herself into a stupor after all her attempts to locate him fail.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: As the events of ME1 unfold, just about all the human Normandy personnel in all three games show up as members of Shepard's Strikers, from Kaidan, Adams and Pressly to James and Traynor. The squad members in particular show up as officers of each different infantry type.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Strikers end up teaming up with Aria and her forces when the Collectors invade Omega.
    • In chapter 36, Shepard finds himself working with Alarak to fight the Hybrids and Kai Leng.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Shepard's Strikers," the name that the media gives Shepard's crew. Shepard himself doesn't care for it and Emperor Valerian is dubious, though everyone else seems to like it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The mercenaries on Torfan are noted as being the kind of scum even the Terminus systems won't deal with.
  • Eviler Than Thou: What Amon is basically to Sovereign and the Harvesters
  • Exact Words: Mordin returned the data the STG collected on the Zerg, but noted nothing said he couldn't keep a copy of it.
  • Eye Scream: Saren gets his eyes burned out with acid while invading a Zerg colony, the same assault that cost him his arm.
  • Fantastic Racism: The renegade quarians not only despise the geth, but see themselves as a Master Race above all other species.
  • A Father to His Men: Shepard obviously.
    • Jack to a lesser extent. She keeps a tally of how many men she's lost, with the intent of killing ten of Saren's men for every one of hers slain. She also was sent to New Folsom for shooting her commanding officer after he got her squad killed.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Piranha buggy. Based on the Hellion frame, it's fast but lightly armored. It has enough room for an armored Marine and his gun or his shield, but not both, so if they have to bail out for whatever reason, they will be relatively unprotected.
  • Friend to All Children: Jack goes out of her way to protect children and at least once has killed an officer for ordering her to kill children.
  • Gatling Good: Ashley Williams totes a minigun as her weapon of choice.
  • Gilligan Cut: Happens after the Council decides to try minimizing the demands of the Alliance after the raid on Elysium.
    Tevos: Let us hope that the Alliance agrees to our conditions.
    Cut to Char
    Kerrigan: Like hell I'll agree to that!
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: After the events on Virmire, which had Shepard knocked-out for two days following a mind-link with Sovereign, Kasumi confronts him about what he did, rakes him over the coals for nearly killing himself, finally admits her feelings for him and the two quickly get to multiple rounds of love-making.
  • The Glomp: Kasumi (while cloaked) keeps giving these to Tali, much to her dismay.
  • Had to Be Sharp: Due to the Korprulu sector being what it is, not only are over 90% of all Terran soldiers combat veterans, but over half of all civilians have combat experience as well.
  • Heroic RRoD: A Terran body isn't built to handle psychic powers on Amon's scale; if Shepard keeps using them, he'll die.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: With Cerberus' Xel'Naga ship about to destroy the Normandy, Anderson teleports onto its surface and manually detonates a nuclear bomb, destroying the enemy ship at the cost of his own life.
  • Hidden Depths: Miranda, despite her Ice Queen persona, admires the Piranha enough to have one registered in her name, and has a blast running laps with it.
  • Honor Before Reason: Samara would rather commit to the Code and take down Nihlus for his crimes rather than retreat in the face of the Strikers.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • During the raid on Hock's stronghold, Shepard gets the urge to steal an antique violin. When Kasumi tries to call him out on it, he retorts with, "Says the professional thief!"
    • Later, Shepard chides Kasumi for trying to pick-pocket the Protoss, only to have an amused Zeratul point out that he'd taken the five-finger discount himself without even realizing it.
  • I Choose to Stay: Jack is not only the only one to ever volunteer to be a Reaper, but she's also the only one to complete the two year service requirement. But for reasons unknown she's still a Reaper after at least six years.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Hannah Shepard tells Kasumi that if she breaks her son's heart, not even someone with her level of training will be able to hide.
  • In-Series Nickname: Asari living in Alliance space are referred to as Blues rather than asari and quarians are commonly called Buckets, mostly by soldiers.
  • Irony: In the original Mass Effect, humanity's First Contact War was known by the Citadel as the Relay 314 Incident. Here, what the Citadel calls the Koprulu Contact War is known by the Alliance as the Backyard Skirmish.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Edi and Anderson exchange these regards right before the latter's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Shepard, comes from his enhancements as a Spectre, which usually results in a few eccentricities. Most of the time he doesn't even realize he's doing it, though he does get the occasional urge for more blatant thieving.
  • Knife Nut: Brooks. During one fight, Kasumi incredulously asks her where she keeps all of them.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Just about all of the Terran officers, even the Strikers, considering the brutal body count from the wars in their old galaxy. Even a casualty count in the thousands from a single engagement garners nothing more than resigned sighs.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The turians at Lyria advise all colonists to surrender to the Alliance forces if given a chance.
  • Lockdown: Following Sovereign's attack, the Citadel is completely quarantined due to a "mysterious illness" supposedly spread by the Keepers. The real reason is that anyone who spends any time there has been influenced by the Harvesters, and is a potential risk.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: In the backstory, some of the Agria colonists were each given a pistol with a single round when it was discovered they were infested.
  • Mad Scientist: Admiral Daro'Xen. After Shala'Raan's failed assassination attempt on her, she rebuilt herself and decided that the next step was to combine quarians and geth to form a race of super-Cyborgs.
  • Make an Example of Them: The Alliance crushes the Citadel and especially the Batarians as a warning not to trifle with them after the Council attempted to covertly raid one of their colonies.
  • The Man Behind the Man: It's eventually revealed that Daro'Xen's Renegade Splinter Faction was being covertly supplied and aided by Cerberus.
  • Mugging the Monster: A group of mercenaries are sent to attack Elysium-1, only to learn that Terrans set up their military outpost before allowing civilians on a new colony.
  • Mundane Luxury: Shepard is overjoyed to have a real bed in his quarters aboard the Normandy since, like most soldiers (and some civilians), he's spent most of his life sleeping on semi-comfortable cots or the ground.
  • Mundane Solution: After Liara's eyes are damaged, there isn't time to replace them with cybernetics and doing so can be dangerous. But, she can always just wear glasses instead.
  • Not Quite Dead: During a news report, Admiral Daro'Xen was said to be killed in a lab accident… only to come back as a half-quarian Cyborg.
  • Official Couple: Shepard and Kasumi as of Chapter 22.
  • Powered Armor: The majority of the Terran troops. Later, the quarians and Garrus gain some as well. It's not as sturdy as Marine armor, but it is much easier to get in and out of.
    • It also serves how well-prepared for war Terrans are compared to the Citadel races. During Benezia's attack on the Normandy, it's shown that SCVs, which are mere Worker Units, can hold their own for a while against asari Commandos and score kills without much casualties.
  • Properly Paranoid: Everyone from the Koprulu sector tends to plan for the worst in any scenario. Even the first use of a Mass Relay had several hundred capital ships from all three races nearby with several battlecruisers parked right in front of it in case things went south.
  • Puppet King: What the Councilors are reduced to after botching negotiations with the Koprulu Alliance that led to a brief war in which the Batarians were nearly wiped out. Councilor Tevos for her part does not seem to mind this change in affairs, noting that she still enjoys all the perks of her position while no longer dealing with any of the responsibilities that she once wrestled with. When the Citadel is quarantined, what little authority they have left all but disappears.
  • Pyromaniac: Zaeed Massani. Fitting that he is the leader of the Normandy's Firebat contingent.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: Due to the mutually exclusive nature of the various Zerg units' upgrades, some Broodmothers have begun to specialize their broods, picking which strains to cultivate based on their respective philosophies. Both sides still ultimately employ the Zerg Rush, however.
  • Race Lift: Because the only humans in this universe belong to the Terran Dominion, who never came into contact with Citadel races until not so long ago, a few human characters in Mass Effect canon (like Dr. Michel and the Feros colonists) are instead changed to asari.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Regardless of your rank, if you accidentally get your people caught up in a costly and needless war, you will be lucky to avoid prison, let alone keep your job.
    • After seeing her entire archaeological team die, Liara develops PTSD.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Primarch Fedorian when Kerrigan revealed that she planned to remove the genophage from the krogan. While Matriarch Benezia was condescending and Dalatrass Linron was freaking out, Fedorian was upset, but realized that the Koprulu Alliance had kept its word in the past, so he would trust them.
    • Pretty much all the named officers count for their infantry detachments.
  • The Remnant:
    • Even months after Saren's defeat, the Alliance and Council are still fighting pockets of his remaining forces.
    • Cerberus ultimately turns out to be what's left of the UED.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction:
    • The Heretic geth, as per canon.
    • A faction of krogan opposed to merging with the Zerg split from the rest of their race and join Saren's army.
    • During the quarian's negotiations with the Alliance, a movement started among them opposed to making peace with the geth. Later, they go outright rogue, with plans to take over their people and enslave the geth.
    • Cerberus is this to the Terrans.
  • Rousing Speech: Garrus gives one to rally C-Sec during Saren's attack on the Citadel.
  • Running Gag: Kasumi performing a Stealth Hi/Bye on people.
  • Sergeant Rock: Ashley takes this role with her Marines.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Shepard is the can for Amon's evil. Unlike most examples of this kind, Shepard as we knew him in the first chapter is dead, replaced by a shard of him combined with an echo of Shepard's spirit.
  • Secret Test of Character: When telling Shepard about Amon's power within him, Valerian and the Protoss are pleased that he tells them to kill him to eliminate the threat, as it shows that he is not Amon himself.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Between Shepard and Kasumi, until chapter 22, that is.
    • Garrus and Tali in later chapters.
  • Shoot the Dog: After learning of his true nature as the holder of Amon's power, Shepard tells Miranda to kill him if he ever becomes a threat.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Dalatrass Linron keeps protesting the addition of the krogan to the Swarm, Kerrigan crushes her holo emitter, commenting, "She was a boring conversationalist anyway."
    • The exchange between Anderson and Edi when the Collectors are about to destroy the Normandy is highly similar to one between Rip Hunter and Gideon in the first season finale of Legends of Tomorrow:
    Edi: Admiral, I am not ready to die.
    Anderson: You know what, Edi? Neither am I.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Terran technology is noted as being both simpler and more robust than the complicated Citadel tech which also requires the toxic-to-psionics Element Zero. Beyond omni-tools powered by fusion batteries, Terrans generally don't bother with the stuff.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Units that can cloak such as Ghosts and Specters in general, but Kasumi is noted to be exceptional at stealth, even for a Ghost. She takes absolute delight in it as well, scaring people by appearing right next to them and generally getting into places she's not supposed to be just for fun.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Nihlus Kryik and Jenkins. Nihlus joins the Normandy as their official red-tape cutter, and Jenkins becomes the head of the new Piranha detachment. On the StarCraft side, we have Zeratul, as this story was written before the release of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: What Amon has secretly become to Shepard.
  • The Stations of the Canon: To the author's credit, he does tend to mix things up, such as having first contact being with the quarians instead of the turians, and having the initial conflict being for different reasons. The timeline is also greatly accelerated, with only six years passing between first contact and Mass Effect 1 instead of 30.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Although they are now nominally allies, the StarCraft races are still rather wary of each other and prefer to keep out of each others' business when possible.
    • On a smaller scale, Shepard and Miranda Lawson, who despite being Commander and XO, have some unpleasant history. Shepard offers an olive branch once they start working together, though.
      "I'm not asking for us to be friends, Miranda; hell, I'm not even asking for a clean slate. All I want is for the people under us to know that we aren't trying to kill each other. So... truce?"
  • Tempting Fate: After Shepard comments that no one has ever returned from going through the Omega 4 Relay, one of the Marines under his command complains that they'll probably end up having to go through, with another Marine telling him not to do this. At the end of the chapter, a Collector ship emerges from the relay.
  • Time Skip: Chapter 25 jumps ahead six months after Saren and Sovereign's defeat.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The Zerg are this for the Korprulu Alliance. They wage war to a far more ruthless degree than the Protoss or Terrans do, as the Batarians found out.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: In chapter 26, Shepard learns that he actually died on Aiur during Amon's defeat, at which point a fragment of Amon's essence merged with his psychic echo, creating a new being with Shepard's memories and Amon's power.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum:
    • Element Zero. As Kerrigan found out while assimilating the krogan, Element Zero exposure all but wipes out the victim's psionics, with the bare scraps left over interacting with the eezo to make biotics. As soon as this was discovered, the Koprulu Alliance immediately banned all eezo from being brought into their territories and are systematically eradicating any sources of the substance already present.
      • As to the actual effects on the Alliance races, Terran psionics would lose their psychic potential, as well as potentially contract cancer like most other races. Affected Zerg would lose their connection to the hive mind, turning entire broods feral. Protoss, being fully psychic beings, would be the most adversely affected; prolonged exposure would kill them outright.
    • On the flip side, Vespene Gas is apparently toxic to Biotics. The Alliance decides against using it as such since, among other things, it's too valuable as fuel.
  • True Companions: The Strikers, to the point that even finding out that Shepard is basically Amon reincarnated barely fazes their team unity.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Shepard by his own admission has a combination of really good luck and really bad luck.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Normandy's Yamato-C cannon. It doesn't hit nearly as hard as its predecessors, but it's able to fire at 50 rounds per minute.
  • We Have Reserves: A lot of officers treat Reapers as fire-and-forget weapons, often sending them off without any support. Shepard's disdain for this thinking is what elevates his standing in Jack's eyes.
  • Weaponized Offspring: The Terror krogan are able to spawn and regurgitate mini-Banelings like artillery. They're noted as not quite as effective as the regular kind, but still powerful enough to kill whoever is unlucky enough to be hit by one.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • When Shepard is revealed to be Amon, Zeratul and all of the Protoss are prepared to kill him if necessary.
    • During the talks of the quarians joining the Alliance, Admiral Shala'Raan discovered plots of a sect of quarian traditionalists that opposed this movement, led by Admiral Daro'Xen. Shala'Raan could not afford the quarians being thrown into instability at such a crucial point, so she ordered the leader assassinated.
  • Wham Episode: In chapter 22, the cause of Sheperd's growing psionic powers is revealed to have secretly been Amon himself who is currently been hiding inside Shepard's body without him knowing all about it.
    • Chapter 24 gives us another one in the form of Zeratul and Artanis betraying everyone by psychically knocking Kasumi and the rest of the Strikers unconscious before taking off with Shepard's body.
    • Chapter 34 reveals that Cerebus are working with the Hybrids.
  • Wham Line: Chapter 22 gives us this shocking revelation.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: One of Jack's core tenets; no matter the species, no child will come to harm on her watch.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: