Follow TV Tropes

Following

Roleplay / Mass Effect Altered Humanity

Go To

Mass Effect: Altered Humanity is an empire Quest originally created by author Kaelor, exploring the idea of an alternative humanity in the Mass Effect universe. The Quest follows the development of the Terran Dominion, a Military Republic that rose from the ashes of a nuclear war torn Earth and arrived on the galactic scene around the same time the Asari, Turians, and Salarians were just beginning to explore the stars.

Advertisement:

As a Quest, players vote on the Dominion's actions and development in between updates written by the author, even some submitting equipment deigns, as the Dominion carves its place within the galactic community.


Mass Effect: Altered Humanity provides examples of:

  • A Commander Is You: The Terran Dominion is the Industrial Faction.
  • Adaptation Expansion: This happens to the Raloi, with their culture being fleshed out and having more of a presence than their brief All There in the Manual mentions in canon.
  • Affably Evil When the Yahg ambassador meets the Drell, they tell them he is happy to see the Drell settling into the galactic community and hopes that they thrive so one day the Yahg can rule over them. The Drell are reassured that this is how they greet everyone.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Studying the Artificial Intelligence tree has a 50% chance of causing the resulting AI to revolt and form its own unique faction.
    • Subverted when the Colonial Alliance makes its AI, which end up being friendly and don't rebel.
  • Aliens are Bastards: Any alien faction with the "Ruthless" aspect. The Krogan, Batarians, Yahg, and both Turian factions are confirmed to have the Ruthless aspect, although the Colonial Alliance would later drop it in favor for "Xenophilic" (see below).
      Advertisement:
    • Humans Are Bastards: Although it wasn't selected, Humanity could have had the "Ruthless" aspect as well.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: What the "Xenophilic" aspect basically entails. The Asari have this aspect and the Colonial Alliance would drop its "Ruthless" aspect in favor for it, although they are more interested in alien money than alien art.
    • Subverted with the Terran Dominion, due to their culture they could care less about alien art...or their own art, most of the time.
  • The Alliance: Following the Foundation War, the Terran Dominion, Colonial Alliance, and Turian Hierarchy form one known as the Triumvirate.
    • Later the Yahg would become a member of the Triumvirate.
      • After taking the Archive, the Triumvirate factions take up the Galactic Merger end game tech, becoming The Federation.
    • There are also two other galactic unions; the Stellar Alliance and the Technocratic League. The former consists of the Asari Republics, Vol Conglomerate (Volus), the Illuminated Primacy (Hanar), and later the Raloi Confederation, while the latter is comprised of the Salarian Union, the Republic of Rannoch (Quarians), the Courts of Dekuuna (Elcor), and later the United Rakhana Nations (Drell).
      • Shortly after the Raloi join the Stellar Alliance, they along with the Asari propose to the Hanar and Volus to form a proper union, with the Stellar Alliance upgrading to The Federation.
      • Eventually all three and the Batarian Ascendancy joined together to create the United Galactic Directorate, which is basically this universe's version of the Citadel Council.
  • Advertisement:
  • Alternate Timeline: The whole point of the quest.
  • Ambadassador: Isoroku Fletcher. He was an admiral in the Dominion navy who made first contact with the then warring Turian Hierarchy and Colonial Alliance after his fleet emerged from a blind relay jump directly between the two embattled forces, which he successfully extracted his fleet from without firing a shot. He was later appointed as both Director of Foreign Affairs and the Dominion's official ambassador to the Turian Hierarchy and Colonial Alliance.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Combined with Shrug of God. See Bolivian Army Ending and And the Adventure Continues for the two suggested interpretations.
  • Ancient Keeper: The Keepers of the Archive which protect the Archive (aka The Citadel).
  • And the Adventure Continues: The optimistic interpretation of the quest's ending, with the galaxy forewarned and uniting to confront the coming challenges.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Any faction with the "Proud" aspect are like this, seeing themselves as being superior to other factions. The Krogan and the Yahg are the only factions confirmed to possess this aspect.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Dominion's "Goblin" Infantry Fighting Vehicle, a Mighty Glacier in the same vein as the Mako from canon, and like the Mako and Hammerhead its name is derived from a shark (a Goblin shark in this case). Later on they would start using the "Kobold" Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The Krogan Tomkah returns as well and is just as nasty as it was in canon.
  • Back from the Dead: The Krogan are brought back from extinction by the Stellar Generation Prime to act as a Tribulation to the factions of the galaxy, with a lot of advanced tech.
  • Badass Army: The Turians remain a species-wide example, as usual. Furthermore, the Dominion has one of the highest Military stats of any faction and by player choice the Dominion's military was comprised purely of elite soldiers, with each recruit taught how to function independently and successfully engage multiple targets at once. They dropped this tactic when they realized the Krogan did it far better than they could.
  • The Battlestar: The default method for carrying drones and fighters, as per Mass Effect canon...at least until dedicated carriers are unlocked.
  • Beam Spam: The Dominion's "Disco-Ball" frigate dumps all its other weapons to mount a truly obscene amount of lasers. Krogan frigates combine this with a Macross Missile Massacre. "Excalibur" torpedoes are this in torpedo form.
  • Benevolent A.I.: The Spirits created by the Colonial Alliance are friendly and integrate into Alliance society.
  • Biblical Motifs: The threadmarker in which the Colonial Alliance makes the first sentient AI is called "Genesis", and the AI take on the name "Adam" after going through information on Human culture.
  • Bird People: The Turians, of course. The Raloi are also an alien bird race, and look more bird-like than the Turians.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: A pessimistic interpretation of the ending, as things are set to conclude with the current generation facing the first of many Tribulations in a process that none have ever managed to survived before.
  • Bonus Boss: The Rachni are described this way via Word of God as going to war with them is completely optional.
  • Brain Uploading: Entirely possible at the end of the Cybernetics tech tree. The Quarians spec'd into the the Cybernetics tree and were able to do this themselves.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Turian factions' feeling on their xenocide of the Krogan and near-xenocide of the Batarians during the Foundation War due to their Ruthless aspect.
  • Challenge Seeker: The Krogan Clans have been seeking out a Worthy Opponent for almost two centuries before discovering the Turian Hierarchy and the Terran Dominion.
  • The Champion: Later on the Turian Hierarchy gains the "Champion" aspect. Factions with Champion view themselves as protectors of their allies and the galaxy in general. They tend to be somewhat patronizing busybodies, but can always be counted on to protect allies from possible threats. The Elcor have this aspect as well.
  • Cold War: After making first contact with the Dominion, the Turian Hierarchy and Colonial Alliance fell into this. The conflict had officially ended after the Foundation War, as both factions had become allies along side the Terran Dominion after nearly two centuries of fighting against the Krogan.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After realizing Krogan superiority in ground combat, the Dominion and the Turian factions simply began to orbitally bombard their ground forces and then send in their own to clear out any survivors.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Humanity due to having the "Paranoid" aspect. The Salarians are also this due to also having the aspect.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Due to their "Paranoid" aspect the Terran Dominion is this. To the Dominion, the next calamity is simply a matter of time. Be it environmental, economic, military or what have you - to them it's not a matter of if the sky is going to come crashing down but when. So they prepare, they make durable basic goods, stockpile resources and infrastructure, and have one of the largest military industrial complexes in the galaxies. This of course has put the rest of the galaxy on edge, especially the also paranoid Salarians.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: In Yahg society the Yahg constantly plot to place themselves in the 'dominant' position of any social hierarchy. This constant pressure has caused almost every member of their species to adopt an almost Machiavellian mindset simply to survive, but has done little to engender trust with... well, anyone.
  • Death World: Earth has become this prior to the game's start after it suffered total ecosystem collapse and nuclear war. The Krogan and Rachni come from Death Worlds as well.
  • Destructive Savior: Deconstructed. During the Foundation War when the Dominion and Turians were battling Krogan on the Batarian worlds the Krogan took over, the Humans and Turians tried to liberate the Batarians from their occupiers but found that it was too costly to engage Krogan forces on the ground on and resorted to Orbital Bombardments. The Dominion and Turians did try to rescue Batarians that survived the bombardments, but by that point whatever Batarians were left only saw their "liberators" as being as bad as their Krogan occupiers and wanted little to do with them after the war.
  • The Dreaded Dreadnought: Standard series dreadnoughts apply, but the Terran Dominion and Asari Republics go on in the late game to create super dreadnoughts: dreadnoughts that are larger and more powerful than the standard dreadnought.
  • Drop Ship: The Dominion's "Barracuda", which is a Fragile Speedster. The Krogan use ones called Death Wings that are technically naval frigates.
  • Dying Race: By the end of the Foundation War the Batarians have been driven to near total extinction. They get better way later on towards the end game.
  • Earth That Used to Be Better: Due to total ecosystem collapse and nuclear war Earth has essentially been turned into a Death World. Once Humanity developed spaceflgiht capable of leaving their world they expanded rapidly just to get away from Earth. Earth was eventually no longer considered the homeworld of the Terran Dominion, which had declared Eden Prime Humanity's new homeworld.
  • Elite Army: Due to player choice the Terran Dominion's entire military is this. However, it was later dropped following the Foundation War for a more generalist approach. The Asari military is also this as per canon.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: In the Colonial Alliance, Biotics are trained as elite soldiers and are considered heroes and celebrities.
  • The Empire: The Yahg Imperium
    • Rising Empire: They appear in the late game when they just started expanding into space, so the Yahg Imperium is still small compared to other factions.
  • Explosive Breeder: A unique alien aspect exist called "Explosive Breeder". As per canon the Salarians, Krogan, Rachni, and Vorcha are the only races that have this aspect.
  • The Face: The Colonial Alliance becomes this to the rest of the Triumvirate since they are more suited for diplomacy than the Turian Hierarchy and the Terran Dominion.
  • Famous Last Words: "I still can’t believe my granddaughter became a marine." Fleet Admiral Williams
  • The Federation: The Colonial Alliance, a union of dozens of self-governing Turian colonies that split when Palaven first unified into the Turian Hierarchy. Unlike most Federations, they have a very bad habit of falling into We ARE Struggling Together due to their 'colony first, nation second' attitudes.
    • Despite their name, the United Rakhana Nations are more inline with this trope than The Alliance.
    • And now the Raloi Confederation has made its appearance.
    • The Stellar Alliance would upgrade to this from The Alliance some time after the Raloi joined them.
    • After taking the Archive, the Triumvirate factions take up the Galactic Merger end game tech, becoming The Federation.
  • Fantastic Racism: How the Xenophobic aspect works. Due to what happened to them during the Foundation War, the Batarians now have this aspect.
  • Fictional United Nations: The three galactic alliances (The Triumvirate, the Stellar Alliance, and the Technocratic League) create the Galactic Forum, which serves as neutral ground where the various interstellar powers can discuss, moderated, and resolve their issues.
  • Fictional Sport: The Triumvirate have a combat simulation sport (SimCom for short). It was created by the Colonial Alliance by basing it on the combat simulation that are taught as basic education in the Terran Dominion. It is quite popular within the Triumvirate, with professional teams from both the Alliance and the Hierarchy. The Dominion doesn't have any professional teams, and human players in these sports leagues are doing it more as a hobby than anything. And the Yahg fell in love with it the moment they heard about it, and compete heavily in every league they are allowed to participate in. In other non-Triumvirate factions it is moderately popular, mostly thanks to Colonial Alliance marketing.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The Terran Dominion, Turian Hierarchy, and Colonial Alliance become this after the Foundation War, forming the Triumvirate. The Terran Dominion would also drop their Traders aspect for the write-in aspect "Blood Brothers", which basically entails this trope.
  • First Contact: There have been a few first contact moments through out the quest.
    • The Dominion makes first contact with the Turians after one of their exploration fleets emerged from a blind relay jump in the middle of a battle between the Turian Hierarchy and the Colonial Alliance. Fortunately the admiral at the time managed to get the fleet out of there without sparking a war between the two Turian factions and the Dominion.
    • The Turians made first contact with the Krogan. Immediately the Krogan declared on the Turians, the conflict eventually spiraling into the Foundation War.
      • The Krogan had also made first contact with the Batarians and... it doesn't turn out too well for the Batarians.
    • The Dominion would later also make first contact with the Rachni when one of their exploration fleets jumps into one of the Rachni's systems. Unlike the previous similar encounter with the Turians, this time there is conflict.
    • The Dominion makes first contact with the Asari when an Asari exploration ship jumps into a Dominion controlled system. This leads to the Dominion, and the rest of the Triumvirate, making first contact with every other race in the galaxy at the first Galactic Conference.
    • The Dominion makes first contact with the Yahg when one of the Dominion's fleets arrived in a Yahg controlled system. Seeing they were outmatched the Yahg, wisely, stood down and bent the knee to the Terran Dominion.
    • The Rachni make first contact with the Vorcha, and end up adopting them.
    • Rather than the Hanar that make first contact with Drell, it is the Elcor who help them off their world along with the help of the other members of the Technocratic League.
    • The Raloi make first contact with the Hanar, which ultimately results in them becoming members of the the Stellar Alliance.
  • For Want of a Nail: The whole point of the game. Many details of the Mass Effect canon have changed in this continuity as a result of player actions and random chance.
    • Earth undergoes ecological collapse before finding the ruins on Mars. The resulting food shortages cause World War III, and Humanity barely survives. This crisis causes the government that eventually emerges, the Terran Dominion, to be extremely different from the Systems Alliance.
    • Humanity arrives on the galactic scene around the same time as the Asari, Salarians, and Turians. This causes the Turian Unification War to go wrong when the Dominion interrupts, allowing the Turian colonies to remain independent and become the Colonial Alliance.
      • Because they never unified, when the the quest reaches the canon start of the timeline we learn that Nihlus is from the Colonial Alliance.
    • The Krogan are able to pull through their own nuclear war enough to master space travel on their own. This causes them to start their war with the Turians almost a thousand years early. The resulting conflict ends with both the Krogan and Batarians effectively removed from the galactic scene.
    • The Rachni get a more peaceful start and so aren't quite as aggressive. They still shoot other factions on sight, but mostly are content to remain in their own section of the galaxy instead of invading everyone as they originally did.
    • The Yahg were able to become a spacefaring race way before making first contact with other faction.
    • The Vorcha are adopted by the Rachni, and are able to leave their homeworld and inhabit new worlds along with their new adopted family.
    • The Drell are uplifted by the Elcor with the assistance of the other members of the Technocratic League. Most if not all the Drell are evacuated from their homeworld, saving them from their canon fate and allowing them to form their own faction as a member of the Technocratic League.
    • The Raloi manage to achieve spaceflight on their own, make first contact with the Hanar, and then join the Stellar Alliance. With their presence, the Asari with their help manage to convince the Hanar and Volus to join them into becoming one whole faction.
    • The Quarians do not develop AI this time, so the Geth do not exist.
      • AI was instead developed by the Turian faction Colonial Alliance, and unlike the Geth, they do not rebel and instead integrate peacefully into Alliance society. If the Reapers had existed in this universe than this would mean the Cycle was broken.
      • EDI is around as a Spirit from the Colonial Alliance rather than a Human VI upgraded to an AI by Cerberus like in canon. In fact,her name here is "Edi", which is short for "Edinihiah" - a Raloi historical figure.
    • The Citadel Council was also never formed. In its place there are two other galactic unions; the Stellar Alliance and the Technocratic League.
    • No one has settled the Citadel either because it is being protected by guardians called the Keepers of the Archive who destroy anyone who arrives in the system.
      • The Citadel is also not called the Citadel, it is called the Archive and serves as a repository for wisdom of Precursors rather than the hub for the Relays or a trap set by the Reapers.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Two examples of this exist in the context of this quest. The first is the Dominion's "MAMA" (Mobile Army Manufacturing Annex), and the second is this Quest's version of the Spectres which is called SAVIOR (Surveillance, Assault, Verification, Investigation, Observation, and Rescue).
  • Going Down with the Ship: Fleet Admiral Williams during the Battle of the Archive.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Archive/Citadel is covered in monuments that contains the sum of every star-faring species since the beginning of the Experiment's deeds, culture, and history. Though the vast majority of their technical knowledge has been erased to ensure whoever claims the Archive cannot destroy themselves and will continue to develop along their own path.
  • Happily Adopted: The Vorcha are adopted by the Rachni of all things, and are quite happy with their new family.
  • Heavyworlder: The Elcor have an aspect named this representing their evolution on a high gravity homeworld.
  • Honest John's Dealership: According to Word of God, a stereotype of the Colonial Alliance among other alien factions is that of a sleazy car salesman: they've got what you need, anything at all, for a very reasonable fee... It doesn't help that a significant number of their exports are stuff they bought wholesale from the Dominion (Humans are great producers, but terrible at marketing), so Alliance merchants often get accused of trying to unload low quality crap by their Quarian and Volus rivals.
  • Honor Before Reason: The Krogan, as usual. It gets them killed when they decide to fight to the last instead of surrendering.
  • Hopeless War: The Krogan end up on the receiving end of this during the Foundation War. After nearly two centuries of fighting the war had already progressed to the point where it was unwinnable for the Krogan, but they kept fighting until they were wiped out.
  • The Horde: The Krogan Clans
  • Humans Are Average: Played Straight when it comes to military, as the Terran Dominion avoids specialization like other factions. Subverted with everything else, as the Dominion tends to be above or below the baseline, but rarely are they actually the middle faction in a specific category.
  • Humans Are Superior: Defied. While the Terran Dominion is the top industrial superpower in the galaxy, it is not the best in combat, diplomacy, or economics compared to other factions. In fact, it is made a point by Word of God that it was players belief that the Terran Dominion was this that has lead to things not going their way, with a notable example being the first battle between the Terran Dominion and the Krogan Clans (see Quantity vs. Quality below).
  • Humans Are Survivors: Nearly driving itself extinct with the Fall has given Humanity a near-universal survivalist mindset (see Crazy Survivalist above).
  • Humans Are Warriors: The Terran Dominion is a military republic and has one of the highest Military stats of any faction, and at one point had an Elite Army.
  • Humans Need Aliens: Played With. Some time after the creation of the Triumvirate, the Terran Dominion society relies on its allies (The Colonial Alliance and the Turian Hierarchy) to maintain its economy and security; respectfully. However, both also rely on the Terran Dominion for production and each other for economic maintenance and security.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Throughout the course of the quest we see various alien perspectives on Humanity.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The Terran Dominion's general feelings on their xenocide of the Krogan and near xenocide Batarians during the Foundation War.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: The Yahg due to their pack mentality.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Dominion has industrialized cannibalism with their Recycle Vats, or "Cyclers", à la Soylent Green.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Rachni, obviously. And the Keepers.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The end of Turn 9 shows that there seems to be one between the Terran Dominion's ground forces and their navy.
  • Interspecies Adoption: The Vorcha are adopted by the Rachni.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The Reapers never existed and did not create the Relay networks...but the Protheans were still wiped out by something.
    • According to Word of God, the Blue Suns also still exist in this universe in the Colonial Alliance under the name "Hiacint Solis", and are just as bad as their canon counterpart.
    • Matriarch Aethyta is still around despite the Krogan having been driven extinct before they even made contact with the Asari.
    • Despite the earlier start, various canon human characters start appearing when the galaxy reaches the canon start of the series.
  • It Can Think: The more advanced forms of Husks display a level of intelligence greater than their basic counterparts; such as a use of weapons and squad tactics, and a reluctance to continue wave assaults when those proved ineffective. They even attack a Human colony on the fringes of a Krogan invasion to get a hold of a macro-fabricator to build ships.
  • It's Raining Men: The preferred method of disembarking from a Death Wing is a Krogan Air Drop.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Krogan by the end of the Foundation War.
  • Klingons Love Shakespeare: According to Word of God, Association Football is fairly popular among the Turians, Asari and Drell, with the Asari adding special rules regarding biotics. The Salarians thought it was too slow, and the Hanar, Volus, Raloi, and Elcor have difficulty playing due to their biologies.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: This becomes a problem for the Krogan during the Foundation War as Krogan were not builders by nature, with mining and industry being simply means to an end. They had plenty of warriors to fight the war, but as the war dragged on their demand for replacement equipment outpaced what they could actually produce.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Yahg Imperium upon meeting the Terran Dominion decided it was better to submit to them rather than trying to take on a faction that clearly outmatches them.
  • Lightworlder: The Raloi have an aspect named this representing their evolution on a low gravity homeworld.
  • Living Lie Detector: The Yahg as per canon. They even have a unique aspect, "Perceptive", to reflect this. Perceptive acts as a counter to stealth actions.
  • Living Weapon: A unique alien-exclusive aspect exists that is called "Living Weapon" which gives a +2 Military during ground battles to any faction that has it. The Krogan, the Rachni and the Yahg are confirmed to have it.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Two of the Dominion's ship types rely on huge torpedo salvos as their primary weapon instead of the usual spinal gun. Krogan cruisers also get in on it by replacing their broadsides with huge amounts of short-range torpedoes.
  • Made in Country X: A lot of goods and materials are imported wholesale from the Terran Dominion due to how cheap and durable they are.
  • Made of Indestructium: Items made in the Dominion for public consumption are like this due to the Dominion's Frugal and Blunt aspects. To the point where they have a better chance of outlasting their owners than of actually suffering mechanical failure.
  • Meaningful Name: After gaining information on Human culture, the first AI built by the Colonial Alliance decides to call itself "Adam".
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Terran Dominion has employed these throughout the quest's run. First they had drones, such as the "Buzzer" Terrestrial Attack Drone, bomber drones, and the "Surgeon" Repair Drone, and would late deploy mechs, such as the "Ogre" Combat Mech and the "Archer" Artillery Mech.
    • The Colonial Alliance also deploys mechs into battle. Typically being controlled by a Spirit.
  • Mêlée à Trois: For their first Tribulation, the factions of the Milky Way face off against a revived Krogan race, clones of all the factions, and Husk invasion.
  • Mile-Long Ship: All dreadnoughts technically fall into this category, but mastery of the Ship tech tree takes it a step further with super dreadnoughts that are three or four times as big as a normal dreadnought. Of course, it also unlocks the creation of Star Forges, even larger ships designed to mass-produce super dreadnoughts.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Turian Hierarchy can deploy these due to specializing in exotic ground equipment. The ones they field are called the Aquila Infantry Support Vehicle.
  • Mobile Factory: The Dominion's "MAMA" is like this, being a unit attached to every battalion which provides on-site manufacturing for re-equipment and resupply from available raw materials. Also, due to player chosen endgame tech, the Terran Dominion is capable of creating Stellar Forges; space stations that are intended primarily as mobile production plants and construction yards.
  • Mouth of Sauron: The Vorcha, Kreete acts as this for the Rachni when they come in contact with the Asari since the Rachni can't communicate like every other race in the galaxy.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Represented in-game by "Splinter Factions", groups that disagree with the current direction of a faction and seek to change it by any means necessary. Cerberus is listed as an example of a canon splinter faction, and the Krogan have a pacifistic one that seeks to end their mindless aggression. The Asari have a militant one in the form of Justicar order.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Husks. Which are one part of the First Triublation.
  • Obviously Evil: The Yahg. Declaring your desire to conquer every other race and admitting to one day betraying the factions your swore to serve will net you this sort of reputation. Even the Raloi refer to them as demons in their oral recitation.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: The Corporatocracy government types are like this, with governments more or less being a figurehead while Mega Corps hold all the real power. The only faction that is a Corporatocracy is the Vol Conglomerate, which is a limited corporatocracy.
    • There is also an approved (incomplete) fanmade alternative build for Humanity called the Neo-Hanseatic League, which was made on the idea of a corporation ran humanity with the intent on making it as weird and horrific as possible.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Past the Omega Relay is the Citadel (called the Archive here), which protected by the Keepers of the Archive, and anyone who wishes to claim it must defeat them. When the Dominion's 17th Exploration Fleet comes across them, it does not go well for the Dominion fleet.
    "You are not yet worthy."
    • The same applies to what is beyond the Alpha Relay. Instead of an archive it is a hub for the Relays, allowing anyone who possesses it the ability to travel to any relay throughout the galaxy. And like the Archive it is protected by their own End Game gaurdians.
  • Precursors: Stellar Generation Prime - Sufficiently Advanced Aliens that created the Relays, the Gateway, and the Archive and have long since spread out from the Milky Way and dominated the rest of the universe.
    • Abusive Precursors: The Tribulations they unleash on species for their Experiment have driven thousands of sapiant, space-faring races to extinction. Word of God says they do this Experiment partly out of entertainment and even goes as far as to compared them to a Killer Game Master. Somewhat Downplayed as they aren't actively looking to drive races to extinction and actually want a race to compete their Experiment, and that the repeated failings of the experiment has put them on the verge of mass suicide.
  • Planet of Hats: Enforced by game mechanics. Each faction gets a number of "Aspects" when they are created that represent the cultural norms of the group. Each provides a number of stat modifiers reflecting how this attitude has shaped the faction. These are considered more stereotypes and generalizations than absolute rules, however.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Since the Rachni communicate telepathically they cannot properly communicate with other factions, and has resulted in more than a few potentially avoidable tragedies.
  • Powered Armor: The Dominion's "Gorilla" Heavy Exosuit, which allows infantry to use heavy weapons that would normally be restricted to vehicle mounts while still allowing Dominion soldiers mobility, and much later on their "Brute" Heavy Combat Exosuit. The Elcor take this Up to Eleven with their own version that turns normal soldiers into walking tanks.
  • Private Military Contractors: There were some players who pushed for these to be allowed by the Dominion in a vote on how to deal with a then problem with Space Pirates. However, that plan was deemed Awesome, but Impractical and ultimately lost that vote to the more practical vote of naval patrols. According to Word of God, the Colonial Alliance is crawling with mercenary groups however.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Volus as per canon. Any faction with the "Traders" aspect also qualifies, such as the Quarians and the Colonial Alliance. The Terran Dominion also had the Traders aspect for a good long while but eventually dropped it.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Turians and Krogans, naturally. The Dominion can also be considered this due to being a military republic.
  • Psycho Sidekick: The Yahg Imperium to the rest of the Triumvirate. They have sworn to serve the Terran Dominion and its allies, but have made it clear they'll turn on them when they feel they aren't worthy of their service and openly admit to aspire to being Galactic Conquerors, to the point them telling another race they'll conquer them is considered a standard greeting.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Terran Dominion's player chosen default infantry combat uniforms is that of the Helghast. Though the Dominion only fits this trope visually in that regard only and unlike other examples of this tropes, and even the Helghast themselves, they are not xenophobic and are generally portrayed in a positive light.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: Played with. Initially it was believed that the Krogan were Quantity while the Dominion and Turians were Quality. As the Terran Dominion painfully learns, the Krogan Clans are actually both.
    • Quality over Quantity: Inverted. While individually Krogan outclass any single faction, the Dominion, Hierarchy, and Alliance are able to group up to Zerg Rush them. They also use reckless tactics and lack the resources/production capacity of their opponents. After many decades of fighting the Krogan eventually sustain so many losses the demand for replacement equipment exceeds the supply their purely warrior race can produce. In the end they are steadily ground down by the Dominion and Turians.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The galactic community feels this way toward the Terran Dominion and its Stellar Forges. From their perspective, the Terran Dominion has a magic wand that can give them anything they want, but they only use it to make fleets of warships that will never see combat, just like every other ship they've made for the last thousand years.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The in-game by "Splinter Factions" mentioned above function like this. The only one confirmed to exist in the quest is the militant Justicar Order from the Asari.
  • The Republic: The Terran Dominion is a military republic. The Asari Republics are also this as per canon, and there is also the Republic of Rannoch.
  • Retired Badass: All politicians in the Dominion are this as only former members of the military can pursue a career in politics.
  • Rivals Team Up: Rival factions, the Turian Hierarchy and the Colonial Alliance, team up to fight the Krogan Clans during the Foundation War.
  • Rite of Passage: In this universe, Quarian Pilgrimages are somewhat similar to Amish Rumspringas: a last chance to see the galaxy, have some fun, and make sure you're 100% positive you want to upload yourself (there's no going back once you do).
  • Used Future: The Dominion's standard aesthetic, due to their "Frugal" cultural aspect.
  • Screw You, Elves!: A mindset held by some players regarding anything related to Asari diplomacy.
  • Show Within a Show: The introduction post of the Raloi to galactic society is framed as an oral recitation of historical events from the Raloi's perspective, complete with Purple Prose.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Yahg are pretty full of themselves due to their Proud aspect despite being one of the newer factions in the galaxy. According to Word of God, their attitude was based the Humans Are Superior mindset that some players have expressed over the course of the quest.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: The meetings between the ambassadors of the Terran Dominion, Turian Hierarchy, and Colonial Alliance often has a lot of snark being thrown around, especially between Hierarchy and the Alliance.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: The Terran Dominion and the Turians are the Soldier to the Krogans' Warrior. Soldiers win.
  • Space Nomads: The Batarian Ascendancy.
  • Space Police: The Turian Hierarchy acts as this for the other members of the Triumvirate since the Terran Dominion and Colonial Alliance tend to have problems because of their low Dominion stats.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: The Dominion's ships all tend to look like flying bricks thanks to their "Blunt" cultural aspect.
  • Starfish Language: The alien faction-exclusive aspect "Restrictive Communication" works like this. As per canon the Hanar, Elcor, and Rachni are so far the only races to have this aspect.
  • The Starscream: The Yahg Imperium to the rest of the Triumvirate. They swore to serve the Terran Dominion and its allies loyally, but made it clear to everyone that once they were longer worthy of such service they would take them over.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: The threadmark "The Song" is told from the perspective of the Rachni.
  • Tank Goodness: The Terran Dominion's "Titan" Heavy Battle Tank and later their "Slab" Heavy Battle Tank.
  • The Team Benefactor: The Colonial Alliance was this to the Terran Dominion and the Turian Hierarchy for most of the Foundation War, funding both the Dominion’s war production and the Hierarchy’s massive reconstruction effort. They still act as this for the Triumvirate as they maintaining their debts and finances.
    • The Hanar serve as this for the Stellar Alliance. Their pacifism and fragile bodies make them even more unsuited to combat than the Volus, so they help their allies in other ways.
  • The Theocracy: The Illuminated Primacy.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In canon the Vorcha are treated more or less like talking vermin by the rest of the galaxy. Here? They end up Happily Adopted by the Rachni and actually thrive as a spacefaring race along side them.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The Yahg Imperium to the rest of the Triumvirate.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Volus originally had the "Pacifist" aspect, but would later lose it when they had to step up to support the Asari as the military arm of the Alliance.
  • Training from Hell: The Terran Dominion's training programs for soldiers were already pretty hard, but when players chose to make them Elite Troops drilled in Universal Warfare the training went from hard to sadistic.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Apparently it is common in Raloi society to have a bunch of titles along with their name. Example: High Speaker Kelik Creea, Ninth of his Name, First of his House, Keeper of the Stellar Flame, Prime Custodian of the Turvess Nest, He of a Thousand Splendors, Husband to twelve and twelve again Wives. And that particular Raloi has a twenty-one other unmentioned titles.
  • Voluntary Vassal: The Yahg Imperium swears to serve the Triumvirate after it makes first contact with the Terran Dominion, realizing how drastically outmatched they are.
  • War for Fun and Profit: The Krogan Clans start a war with the Turian Hierarchy in search for a Worthy Opponent.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The game's Ballistics tech tree has several branches. The end of the 'conventional' one is Gravity Cannons, an improvement to Mass Effect's already deadly Thanix Cannon.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Colonial Alliance has a pretty low Dominion stat, as such they are prone to in-fighting. They were on the brink of civil war when the Turian Hierarchy sucker punched them.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Krogan definitely consider the Turians and Humans to be this. It doesn't end well for the Krogan.
  • The Xenophile: Any faction with the "Xenophile" aspect, naturally, such as the Asari and the Colonial Alliance.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Combined with I Will Only Slow You Down, the Elcor Koltan opts to remain behind to hold off a swarming army of Husks in the mining tunnels of a Human colony to buy Mordin and Tali time to escape since he can not outrun the Husks.
  • Zerg Rush: Any faction with the Swarm Warfare combat specialization can do this, such as the Rachni. Downplayed in that despite the name Swarm Warfare is more about large numbers of troops working together like wolf packs than it is about drowning the enemy in numbers.
Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback