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Magnificent Bastard / Mass Effect

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"I know your every secret, while you fumble in the dark."
The Shadow Broker, Mass Effect 2 DLC "Lair of the Shadow Broker"

In the war against the Reapers, there are many who fight alongside and against Commander Shepard known for their brilliance and audacity throughout the chaotic galaxy.

Listed by game introduced.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

  • Original game:
    • Garrus Vakarian begins as a Turian C-sec officer hampered by red tape and bureaucracy left and right. Breaking from the law to join Shepard's crew, Garrus learns to bend the rules and bring order his way. Traveling to Omega, Garrus puts together a squad where he is known as Archangel, leading a crusade against Eclipse, the Blood Pack and Blue Suns with brilliant tactics, all but untouchable until the betrayal of the Turian Sidonis sees the team massacred. Garrus's war becomes a single-man crusade against the gangs, eventually joining with Shepard and executing strikes that wipe out the teams against him. Becoming one of the most loyal and effective members of the Normandy crew, Garrus is willing to resort to brutal tactics for information and lure the treacherous Sidonis into a trap to be murdered. Whatever the outcome, Garrus's stalwart skill remains intact for the war with the Reapers.
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    • Liara T'soni begins as a naive young Asari archaeologist fascinated with the Protheans and their history. After being found by Shepard and being forced to help in the death of her mother Matriarch Benezia, Liara is forced to mature amidst potential extinction. Facing off with the Shadow Broker, Liara steadily dismantles his information network and becomes a powerful underworld player. Capable of setting up her own gambits, Liara oversees the final fall of the Shadow Broker before assuming the mantle with nobody the wiser even if she keeps many of his operations running so she might utilize his organization for the greater good. Always looking toward the future, Liara leaves behind a time capsule filled with vital information that will allow the next cycle to destroy the Reapers should her cycle fail.
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    • The Shadow Broker is such an effective master of information with such a large network that many can't believe the Broker is a single individual. In truth a member of a primitive species called the Yahg, the Broker ingratiated himself to his predecessor's subordinate Kechlu before killing and replacing him. Growing and learning until he murdered and replaced the original Shadow Broker, the Yahg placed himself as the center of a vast information web where he manipulates the entire galaxy. With a deep array of subordinates and moles, the Broker is able to place assassins where he needs them and lure in others for information and profit before eliminating or using them as his purposes demand.
    • Urdnot Wrex is a krogan battlemaster who lost hope in the self destructive ways of his people after the genophage to then become one of the most feared and respected mercenaries in the galaxy. Joining Commander Shepard as hired muscle, working with them to save the galaxy reignited Wrex's hope for his people. He returned to his homeworld to become a progressive and charismatic leader that united the warring krogan clans by promising to protect their fertile females and eventually cure the genophage. During the Reaper invasion, Wrex proved his cunning by using spies to get the better of the salarians as they proved uncooperative toward helping his people and led the krogan to driving back the Reapers after the genophage is cured. Should Shepard sabotage the cure, Wrex will reveal he knew all along and pull all krogan support before dying in a valiant attempt to murder Shepard for dooming his people to extinction.

  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Aria T'loak, the self-styled Queen of Omega, worked herself up from an exotic dancer to overthrow the Krogan warlord who controlled the station. Undisputed master of Omega for many years after, Aria assists Commander Shepard for her own purposes in eliminating her rivals. Later deposed by Cerberus, Aria is able to lay groundwork for Shepard to replace the heads of the top gangs around with those loyal to her to construct an army. With her own plans, Aria is able to manipulate even her own lover by placing civilians at risk so she can lead a liberation of Omega before honoring her word to send a force to aid Shepard against the Reapers.
    • Kasumi Goto is the most skilled and successful thief in the the galaxy, yet also ensures she is the least known. Cheerful, playful, and a self-confessed kleptomaniac, Kasumi masterminded countless complex heists alongside her lover Keiji until a job gone wrong resulted in his death. Joining Shepard's team in exchange for help in robbing an infamous weapons smuggler, she guides Shepard through a formal party in the target's home, cleverly breaks through complex security systems, and helps to eliminate the man who killed Keiji and retrieve the software that held his memories of their time together. During the war with the Reapers, Kasumi helps Shepard uncover and defeat a plot that would have left the hanar homeworld defenseless and robs a casino to give the money to orphans from the genocide.
    • Legion is a unique geth housing over a thousand minds designed to interact with organic species and operate on its own outside geth space. Seeking to make contact with Shepard for fighting the Reapers, Legion first meets and guides the Commander through their mission in a dead Reaper and joins their team in exchange for aiding Legion in finally destroying the heretic geth or reprogramming them to rejoin the collective. Returning during the Reaper invasion, Legion is saved by Shepard and ostensibly allies with the quarians during their final war with the geth in order to use their resources to remove the Reaper code influencing its kind. In truth, Legion was working behind everyone's backs to rewrite the code and give his people true sapience. Ultimately, Legion was willing to sacrifice itself and regrettably let the quarians be driven to extinction if it could save the geth from the same fate.
    • Miranda Lawson was created to be the pinnacle of perfection by her monstrous father Henry Lawson. Rebelling against his design for her, Miranda fled and joined Cerberus where she rose to become a skilled operative. Manipulating Jacob Taylor into the organization and likewise helping to foil a major terrorist plot, Miranda later helps to manipulate Shepard's body falling into Cerberus's hands. Later assisting her sister Oriana escaping from their father, Miranda returns to fight the Reapers and stop her father, using a confrontation with Cebrerus assassin Kai Leng to plant a tracking bug on him while, if still alive, she heads to confront and finally end Henry Lawson's depravity.
    • Mordin Solus is a genius salarian geneticist and former special forces agent that created a modified strain of the genophage once the krogan began adapting to it. Conflicted between the cold-hearted logic and deeply immoral effects of his actions, Mordin left the salarians behind to found a medical clinic for the downtrodden of Omega. Joining with Shepard after curing a deadly alien plague, Mordin would reveal a cultured singer and empathetic doctor beneath his cold scientist exterior who sought to redeem himself for strengthening the genophage. Mordin would later rejoin the salarian special forces to spy for Wrex and synthesize a cure for the genophage, ultimately giving his life to ensure a new future for the krogan.
    • Samara is a powerful biotic and ancient asari Justicar who perfectly embodies her order's absolute and unwavering code to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. Hunting slavers and mercenaries in her youth, she retired and formed a family with another asari only for her three daughters to all be the sterile and deadly Ardat-Yakshi. When her daughter Morinth escapes and goes on a killing spree, Samara spends centuries hunting her across the galaxy while upholding her code and ruthlessly punishing anyone she sees committing crimes. Despite the rigidity of her code, Samara is wise enough to find loop holes if it helps her avoid violent and undesirable confrontations. Ultimately shaping Shepard as the perfect bait for her daughter, Samara can save the Commander from certain death and mournfully kill her offspring.
    • Thane Krios is a deeply spiritual and philosophical drell who became a skilled and deadly assassin for his hanar masters at a young age. Using his religion as justification for his murders, Thane would feel shame and regret for the first time when his future wife stopped a hit. Falling in love with her and forming a family, Thane grew restless and continued his work until slavers tracked down his family and killed his wife. Leaving his son behind, Thane tortured to death his wife's killers and continued performing hits until meeting Shepard and helping to save the galaxy as a form of atonement. Acquiring a rare fatal disease, Thane would save his son from following his violent path and later save the salarian councilor during Cerberus's invasion of the Citadel before succumbing to his illness and saying a final prayer for Shepard.
  • Andromeda:
    • Katherine Nigh, codenamed Knight, is a genius hacker turned anti-AI extremist after nearly losing her beloved son to the horrific Project Overlord. Coming to Andromeda, Knight gathers a following of other victims of synthetic life and plants a virus in crucial yet falsified data in an attempt to free Pathfinder Ryder from their AI partner SAM and kill it in the process. While infiltrated by Ryder, Knight plants AI detection software in her base in case Ryder's betrayal and they only learn her plans by saving her son with SAM's help. Despite fully knowing doing so would cripple the Initiative, Knight's master plan was to use powerful EMPs to destroy the quantum computers on the Nexus to stop A.I.s from ever being created again, yet ultimately lets go of her hate when she finds out her son was saved by the very AI she tried to destroy.
    • Reyes Vidal—aka the Charlatan of the Collective—is a suave smuggler that resides in Kadara. Planning to overthrow Sloane Kelly, Reyes has Pathfinder Ryder perform numerous tasks for him, including investigating murders caused by the Roekarr and serving as a distraction at a party while he steals whiskey from the Outlaws. Drawing Sloane out to a Duel to the Death, Reyes rigs the shootout by having a sniper trained on her. Should Ryder not interfere, Reyes successfully takes control of Kadara, and later helps Ryder during the battle for Meridian.