Top 10 characters in Mass Effect (Not Commander Shepard)

I wanted to do a Good, Bad and Ugly review on Mass Effect 2 but I love the game and its series too much to be unbiased-I decided instead to share my love of this series in a top 10. So what the hell is a Mass Effect? The name of the series is based on the idea that in the future a newly discovered element allows humanity to travel to far away solar systems based on a technology that manipulates mass and gravity called mass effect fields. After acquiring such tech humanity quickly comes into contact with various species, some who welcome humanity, some see them as a headstrong brash immature species that cause nothing but trouble. Humanity has a lot to prove to the galaxy and as Commander Shepard its up to you to solve problems with the benefit of the Galaxy in mind, or the benefit of humanity in mind. Playing as Commander Shepard you can be as ruthlessly cunning as Admiral Adama or as diplomatic as Captain Kirk. The choices you make follow you into the sequels culminating in next year’s Mass Effect 3.  Since Commander Shepard depends so heavily on the input of the player I decided to leave him/her out of the list.

here is my To 10 Characters in Mass Effect that are not Commander Shepard.

10. Sovereign

Appears in: Mass Effect

To quote from the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica, “this has happened before and will happen again,” can best describe Sovereign’s actions. Sovereign is a sentient machine called a Reaper, who’s entire existence is based on showing up every 50,000 years and wiping all life out in the milky way galaxy. The mystery behind who and why the Reapers are what they are is sure to be explained in Mass Effect 3, what we do know however is that Sovereign and his Reaper buddies are brutally efficient in how they wipe out countless lives. Reapers have the ability to control the minds of organic and non-organic life, not to mention its body is a dreadnaught warship with technology that far exceeded any seen by its enemies. They infiltrate worlds by corrupting the minds of leaders bringing about turmoil and panic then sweep in for the kill wiping the planet clean of life. Sovereign and company’s biggest weapon is  the Citadel which was once believed to be made by the last dominate species: the Protheans. The Reapers made the Citadel to be the logical choice for a centralized hub for a galactic government. Inevitably when  a new species gains sustainable space exploration they stumble upon this ancient relic and populate it. So when the Reapers reap what they have sewn they shut the Citadel down as well as the mass effect relays, that can warp ships from one side of the galaxy to the next effectively cutting off one world from another. Sovereign was the Reaper responsible for opening up the hidden mass relay into dark space for his buddies to join the party. Even though Sovereign was defeated before he could achieve his goals, the other Reapers are out there waiting for the moment to strike.

9. David Anderson

Appears in : Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect Revelation (novel)

David Anderson could have been the first human Spectre which is a  syllabic abbreviation of Special Tactics and Reconnaissance. Spectre’s are the Citadel council’s own personal police force charged with keeping galactic stability no matter what the cost. They are 007 in space with a license to kill. Captain Anderson was such a bad ass that his potential as a candidate was noticed by the Council. When his test came however, it all went terribly wrong. Even though the mission was a success the collateral damage was too much, and his partner the Spectre, Saren Arterius, placed the blame solely on Anderson. Even with his named tarnished he rose in ranks of the Alliance (human) military to be captain of the Normandy. Not wanting the past to recreate itself he mentored Commander Shepard into becoming the first Human Spectre even at costing him an early retirement. In Mass Effect 2 Anderson is seen working on the Citadel in some capacity depending on the choices Commander Shepard makes in the first game. While he knows his place is important at the Citadel he wishes he could join Shepard on his crusade against the Reapers.

Keith David voice of David Anderson

8. The Shadow Broker


Appears In: Mass Effect (reference), Mass Effect Redemption (comic), Mass Effect 2 DLC: Lair of the Shadow Broker

If Information is power then the Shadow Broker is the most powerful being in the galaxy. Nobody knows who the Shadow Broker is, some say its a group of individuals, some say he/she is a myth, some even say that the Broker is even an ancient immortal Prothean. All the secrets that are bought and sold by the Broker never allow the customer an advantage over its enemies. This forces the customers to return for fear of being at a disadvantage, which in turns allows the Shadow Broker to stay in business.  In the expansion: Lair of the Shadow Broker all the secrets are revealed.  The Shadow Broker can never die because his role in providing black market info has become so ingrained in galactic society that if he would ever disappear society would quickly crumble. After defeating the current incarnation of the Shadow Broker Liara T’soni decided to assume the role of the new Shadow Broker becoming a powerful ally to Commander Shepard.

7.  Saren Arteruis

Appears in: Mass Effect, Mass Effect Revelation (novel), Mass Effect Evolution (Comic)

The best villain’s around often times don’t see themselves as villains. Saren rose to fame in the first contact war, between Humans and Turians. This conflict left Saren with a distinct dislike of Humans for years to come. Saren also ruined the chance for David Anderson to become the first Human Spectre by blowing his cover. Saren feels that humanity does not deserve to be in the fore front of galactic society, because they haven’t earned it yet. When he stumbled upon Sovereign he thought he found a weapon that he could use to stop the human expansion. When Sovereign showed him the Reaper plans, Saren realized that the Reapers coming is inevitable and so we should show that we are at least useful to them in order to preserve ourselves. However Sovereign began slowly indoctrinating Saren to the point that even though Saren was going against his own morals he still believed that he was right in doing so. At the end of Mass Effect (if you have enough Paragon/Renegade points) you can convince Saren to take control back from Sovereign, in turn Saren sacrifices himself for the good of the galaxy. Commander Shepard realizes that Saren was right, the Reapers are out there so he better do something about them.

6. Thane Krios

Appears in; Mass Effect 2

Said to be the best Assassin in the Galaxy, Thane Krios, in his heart wishes to be at peace. Lucky for him he has a terminal disease. Thane is a Drell who was trained at a young age to be an assassin. At the age of  12 he killed his first target. Thane eventually settled down and married and had a son. When his wife was murdered Thane left his son to avenge her death. After years and years of hunting down the beings that were responsible he returned home to find that the child he left behind had become a man and moved on. Thane is a religious man who prays after each assassination for his redemption and the forgiveness from the fallen. When news of his son following in his footsteps is heard, Thane stops his son from murdering a politician and tries to set him on the straight and narrow. The Drell have an eidetic memory which allows him to remember all those that he had murdered over the years in exact detail, combine that with his sickness; drove Thane to join Commander Shepard on his suicide mission into the Omega 4 relay.

5. Tali Vas Normandy

Appears in : Mass Effect, and Mass Effect 2

Not many people have seen a Quarian before and even if they have in person they haven’t seen one without it’s suit on. Years ago Quarians built a machine race called the Geth which revolted and exiled them from their home planet Rannoch. Quarian’s can’t survive anywhere outside of Rannoch so they have to wear a protective suit at all times. Quarians now survive by living on hundreds of space ships collectively called the Migrant Fleet. When a Quarian reaches a certain age they Pilgrimage outside the fleet in order to bring back some sort of technology or knowledge that can benefit the fleet as a whole. Tali was completing her Pilgrimage when she stumbled on a Geth that had information on Saren. Tali is a master engineer and has extensive knowledge on how the Geth work. Since the Geth have allied themselves with the Reapers, Tali decides to join Commander Shepard. In Mass Effect 2 she is hesitant to join Shepard and Cerberus due to the events in Mass Effect 1 she later agrees after realizing the severe threat of the Collectors.

4.  Urdnot Wrex

Appears in: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 (If not dead)

The Krogan species is slowly dwindling in numbers, not because of the genophage which has neutered the race, but because they like to fight and kill things. Urdnot Wrex is a famed Krogan Battle master, one of the last of his kind. While at first Wrex appears to be all muscle and know brains; when you get to know him you realize that he’s a brilliant tactician compared to other Krogan. For example a typical Krogan strategy is to rush in guns blazing, which in all honesty for a Krogan it’s not a bad plan considering how resilient and strong these creatures are, Wrex would take a more secretive approach perhaps even catching his enemies off guard. After realizing that the Krogan race would rather die then rebuild there dysfunctional society Wrex left the planet to become a freelance mercenary.  Wrex would cross paths with Commander Shepard where Wrex realized that wherever this guy is at usually a fight is soon to follow. When Shepard and company discover Sarren’s cure for the genophage a argument ensues which depending on your actions can cause the death of Wrex. If you let him live he settles back on the world of Tuchanka where he becomes the head of Clan Urdnot.  Unlike most Krogan, Wrex sees that the Krogan can not survive by fighting every species they encounter. He vows to bring his people to realize in order to survive they have to change their ancient ways.

3. The Illusive Man

Appears in: Mass Effect (Cerberus first appearance), Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect Evolution (comic), Mass Effect Redemption (comic), Mass Effect Ascension (book)

The Illusive Man is the leader of the human intrest group known as Cerberus. By Human interest I mean Cerberus believes in the advancement of human civiliation at any cost. In Mass Effect Commander Sheperd learns of this black ops splinter group and shuts down a Cerberus Cell that was trying to create super soliders to further their cause. In Mass Effect 2 Commander Shepered is recuited by the Illusive Man to find a way to stop the Collectors who are in turn working for the Reapers.  While the Reaper threat is looked on by the rest of the Galaxy as a fictional boogeyman the Illusive Man and Commander Shepered know its a genuine threat. The Illusive Man’s motives are always geared to the ascension of humanity as top dog of the galaxy he is not afraid, however to recruit other species to complete his goals; especially since if the Illusive Man fails so does the rest of the galaxy. Even though The Illusive Man and Cerberus both have been called terrorists by both Alliance (human) Military and the Citadel he still continues to do what he feels is for the betterment of humanity… whether they like it or not.

2. Legion

Appears in: Mass Effect 2

Throughout the entirety of the Mass Effect Saga we are told that the Geth are bad news. They exiled their Quraian creators to space, and allied themselves with the Reapers. Then you meet Legion and all that is thrown out the window. After Commander Shepard defeated Sovereign the Geth created Legion to find the man responsible for destroying a Reaper. Legion finds Shepard on a ancient derelict Reaper where much to Shepard’s surprise the Geth saves his life. After recruiting Legion, it informs Commander Shepard that their are two types of Geth: ones that support the old Machines (the Reapers) called Heretics, and the ones that do not. Legion belongs to that former group and decides to ally himself with the Commander. Legion is a fascinating character that questions the definition of life that is sometimes a staple in science fiction. Legion existence throws the universe of Mass Effect on its ear and shows that not everything is purely evil or good…plus he does the robot.

1. Mordin Solus

Appears in: Mass Effect 2

Mordin Solus lives by a code: the ends justifies the means. Mordin is a Salaraian geneticist and former STG (Special Task Group) responsible for rearming the genophage, the disease that keeps the Krogan population down.  Commander Shepard first encounters Mordin on Omega, where Mordin is running a clinic finding a cure for a recent contagion. To scare gangs away, Mordin has killed gang members and displayed their dead bodies out in public as a warning. Even though Mordin is a trained doctor he finds that there are many ways to cure the ills of society. Sometimes he uses medicine to heal other times he uses a gun to remove a social cancer. Mordin is often torn with being involved with the genophage project, but every time his logic on the matter begins to falter he reminds himself that its for the good of the galaxy. When Commander Shepard offers him the opportunity to stop the Collectors Mordin jumps on the chance to study this illusive race. While Mordin does seem to be a being of pure logic he does admit that emotions do effect him ( albeit at a much faster rate) and has been known to enjoy the arts. If you talk to him in just the right way he will even sing for you…

that’s it I’m done pour me a drink Superman…

I'm not scanning any planets

~ by Andrew Braid on September 9, 2011.

2 Responses to “Top 10 characters in Mass Effect (Not Commander Shepard)”

  1. The fact that some slimy fish like Thane makes the list over Garrus (Space-Batman) just destroys any substance this post actually held.

  2. Mordin first? Who would guess…

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