List of Mass Effect characters
The Mass Effect series, a military science fiction media franchise developed by Canadian video game developer BioWare and owned by American publisher Electronic Arts, features an extensive cast of characters. It is primarily based on a series of third-person role-playing shooter video games which currently consists of four mainline instalments and two spin-off mobile games. The first three Mass Effect games takes place in the Milky Way Galaxy during the 22nd century and revolves around a space navy soldier named Commander Shepard. The fourth Mass Effect game is set in the same universe as the original trilogy but in a different galaxy, Andromeda, and focuses on the Andromeda Initiative and the Ryder family. The spin-off games, Mass Effect Galaxy and Mass Effect Infiltrator, feature different protagonists.
This article describes characters who appear in video games set in the Mass Effect universe, which includes a diverse cast of alien, human and synthetic characters. This list describes only player characters, squad members, major antagonists, and other notable characters that appear in the games. Certain characters have names chosen by the player; these characters are designated the name they are addressed by in-game. The appearance and story arcs of certain characters in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 are conditional upon decisions from prior Mass Effect titles being carried over via an imported save file.
In 2148, mankind discovers an alien artifact on Mars which shows that humanity had been studied by an intergalactic species since the Cro-Magnon period. Research of the artifact, in addition to providing new technologies for humanity, led to the discovery that Pluto's moon Charon was really a "mass relay", an alien construct that is capable of transporting any ships faster than light to a nearby mass relay on the galactic scale. The mass relays work by creating a "mass effect", the production of dark energy from a reaction with Element Zero to slingshot spacecraft to the next relay; Element Zero is found to also react with biological entities to give them "biotics", limited powers that evoke the mass effect on a much smaller scale.
Races of Mass Effect
Headquartered on Earth, the Systems Alliance is the primary military, exploratory, and scientific agency officially representative of humanity. It was originally formed as a limited peacekeeping force by multiple human nations—to operate under the mandate by the United Nations—to safeguard humanity as it expanded to new colonies through the mass relay, and during the Reaper invasion, has acted as the emergency governing body of the human race at large for a time.
Ten years after leaving the Sol system, humanity makes its first contact with an extraterrestrial species, the turians, which erupted into the First Contact War. Though casualties are small on both sides, the war is interrupted by the Citadel Council, members of three races that oversee peacekeeping in the galaxy. Humanity is then welcomed into the collective community of extraterrestrial species, and learn that the artifacts, mass relays, and the giant station that serves as the seat of power in the galaxy, the Citadel, are all that remains of the Protheans, believed to be the pre-eminent civilization in the Milky Way galaxy but have since disappeared tens of thousands of years ago. The Citadel Council welcomes humanity into the Citadel community, providing them with a Systems Alliance embassy and allowing individual members to join the Citadel Security Forces (C-Sec), despite other client species having waited for such a privilege for some time. The Citadel Council soon invites a human to join the Spectres, elite enforcers that use both espionage and force to complete their assignments.
As the newest member state to join the Citadel Council galactic community, humanity tends to be underestimated, held in suspicion or looked down upon. Humanity's opinions regarding aliens varies greatly from isolationism to globalism: on Earth, there is concern about how humanity is treated by these other species, and nationalistic pro-human groups advocating militarism, xenophobia, and a "humanity-first" supremacist agenda begin to appear; on fringe colonies, locals are ambivalent, being preoccupied with daily survival in often hostile environments; and "spacers", who may have spent their entire lives residing within starship installations, generally adopting favorable opinions and multiculturalism world views.
Three politically dominant species make up the Citadel Council at the inception of the series: the asari, a feminine mono-gendered species who favor centrism, republicanism, diplomacy, biotic abilities and guerrilla warfare tactics over raw military power; the salarians, an amphibious species who have an aptitude for liberalism, technocracy, technological research, espionage and unconventional warfare; and the turians, a proud avian-like species known for their conservatism, stratocracy, disciplined honour culture and military-industrial capability. Membership of the Citadel Council is eventually expanded to include a human representative by the end of the first game. Other associate races on the Citadel include the volus, a client race of the turians who mostly make their influence felt through trade and commerce to compensate for their small and fragile suit-covered bodies; the hanar, an overly polite and philosophically inclined species of jellyfish-like entities who worship the Protheans as their progenitors with religious fervor; the reptilian drell, who loyally serve the hanar as part of a symbiotic relationship which they call the Compact; and the elcor, a species of hulking elephantine quadrupeds who preface everything they say with the intended emotion due to their lack of vocal inflection and discernible facial expressions.
Other alien species who are part of the galactic community include the krogan, a hardy and warlike reptilian species in decline due to the Genophage, a viral-weapon designed to sterilize the krogan species and suppress their high birthrate; the batarians, an isolationist four-eyed species infamous for piracy and other disreputable activities; and the quarians, nomads who were forced to flee their homeworld Rannoch when their development of advanced networked synthetic intelligence created the sapient geth, who warred with their creators. Due to this, the rest of the species in Citadel jurisdictions limit their reliance on artificial intelligence, using "virtual intelligence" (VI) that lack self-awareness. Omega space station, introduced in Mass Effect 2, lies outside of Citadel jurisdiction and is noted as being a haven of corruption, piracy, and home to the organized criminal underworld of the galaxy; it serves as the de facto seat of government for the Terminus Systems (a collection of independent states, corporate fiefdoms and pirate domains), an alternative hub for alien species who are unwelcome in Citadel controlled space, or for activities which contravenes Citadel laws and regulations. Mass Effect: Andromeda introduces the angara, an emotionally expressive species native to the Heleus Cluster in the Andromeda galaxy, who are dependent on sunlight for sustenance.
Original Mass Effect trilogy
Over the course of the trilogy, the galactic community come to learn that the Protheans were mostly wiped out over 50,000 years prior by the Reapers, sentient starships that normally occupy the void between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy, but appear every 50,000 years with the sole purpose of wiping out emergent organic species as well as any evidence of their own existence. Unlike their predecessors in previous cycles, the Protheans had learned of the Reapers and prepared for their arrival, though they were unable to prevent their own extermination by the Reapers. Their preparations survive into the next cycle, in the form of the Crucible. The Mass Effect series starts as the nascent appearances of the Reapers in this cycle have occurred, beginning with the indoctrination of a rogue turian Spectre, an influential asari Matriarch, and a "heretic" faction of geth who broke away from the Geth Consensus to further their plans of return.
The Collectors, an enigmatic four-eyed insectoid race residing beyond the mysterious Omega Four mass relay from where no ship ever return, began abducting entire human colonies by the events of Mass Effect 2 on behalf of the Reapers. Shepard, who had been killed in action during a surprise attack by Collector forces at the beginning of Mass Effect 2, is reconstructed and revived by Cerberus in the year 2185, following a complex cybernetic engineering process which lasted two years. Shepard sets out to assemble a team of skilled individuals from across the galaxy for a suicide mission into the Omega Four mass relay to stop the Collectors from harvesting more human colonies.
Immediately after the defeat of the Collectors and the destruction of the incomplete Proto-Reaper they were constructing, the Reapers are shown traveling to the Milky Way galaxy from dark space at the ending of Mass Effect 2. The Reaper invasion have commenced by the beginning of Mass Effect 3, with the war's earliest fronts taking place in batarian and human space. Shepard is present on Earth when the Reapers first arrived, and later escapes the human homeworld on the Normandy SR-2 in order to rally the rest of the galactic community against the Reaper threat, and find a solution that will break the Reaper-imposed cycle of harvesting organic species forever.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Founded in 2176 by Jien Garson, the Andromeda Initiative is a civilian multi-species project created to send scientists, explorers and colonists placed in cryosleep within massive intergalactic arkships on a one-way trip from the Milky Way Galaxy to settle in the Andromeda Galaxy. The Initiative's main objective is to establish a permanent presence in the Heleus Cluster, a seemingly resource-rich frontier of Andromeda, and eventually create a reliable route between both galaxies.
Commander Shepard is the central protagonist of the original Mass Effect trilogy of video games. The character's first name, gender, background, and appearance are determined by the player on starting a new game, with both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 allowing the player to import saves from previous games to carry over that version of Shepard. Depending on the choice of gender, Shepard is voiced by either Mark Meer or Jennifer Hale.
On an assignment to investigate a besieged human colony, Shepard is affected by a Prothean artifact that grants them insight on the Reapers, making them the key entity to help protect the species of the Milky Way from being wiped out by the Reapers. Shepard is later named the first human Spectre by the Citadel Council, and given command of the SSV Normandy and its crew to complete their mission.
Jacob Taylor is the protagonist of Mass Effect Galaxy, a tie-in iOS game to Mass Effect 2. He is a former Systems Alliance soldier who is recruited by Miranda Lawson in Galaxy to investigate a conspiracy involving batarian terrorists. Jacob is encountered in Mass Effect 2 as an official member of Cerberus and Shepard's starting squad member, as well as a potential romantic option for a female Shepard. Unless the player imports a Mass Effect 2 saved game where Jacob does not survive the suicide mission, in Mass Effect 3 he returns as a supporting character who has defected from Cerberus, and attempts to protect other Cerberus defectors from reprisals by their former employer.
The iconic look of all Cerberus clothing in the series is derived from the designs for Jacob's armor and clothing; some involved fully armored looks, while others had only cloth, or a mix of cloth and armor. For airless or toxic environments, Jacob wears a small breather device, which allows for more facial expressivity. According to a former BioWare employee, Jacob was originally meant to be a bisexual romance option, and that animation work for romance scenes with Commander Shepard of both genders, "matching shot-for-shot from Brokeback Mountain", was completed prior to intervention from management requesting that the same sex romantic content be removed, blaming backlash from news outlets like Fox News in response to the previous game.
Jacob Taylor is voiced by Adam Lazarre-White.
Chris Thursten from PC Gamer called Jacob "the worst companion" and the culmination of his romance arc "the worst moment in Mass Effect".
Randall Ezno is the protagonist of Mass Effect Infiltrator, a third-person shooter tie-in video game to Mass Effect 3 developed for mobile devices. He is a cybernetically modified Cerberus operative who discovers that his employer is up to something nefarious, goes rogue and embarks on a mission to save his friend from Cerberus.
Pathfinder Ryder is the main protagonist of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the fourth mainline instalment of the Mass Effect series, and the child of Alec Ryder. Their twin sibling is Sara or Scott Ryder, depending on the player's chosen gender. The player can change their character's first name, but if the default names of Sara or Scott are kept, NPCs will occasionally refer to the character's first name in voiced dialogue.
The Ryder siblings are cryogenically frozen and dispatched alongside their father and tens of thousands of other colonists on a 600-year journey to the Andromeda galaxy, departing before the events of Mass Effect 3. The ark carrying the humans, the Hyperion, arrives at the wrong drop point, far from the forward command centre of the Andromeda Initiative, the Nexus, and cut off from contact with both it and the other arks. The player-controlled Ryder later succeeds their father as the Hyperion's Pathfinder, and is tasked with leading their crew on the command ship The Tempest, successfully settling the Heleus Cluster, and improving life aboard the Nexus, a galactic hub for the colonizer races from the Milky Way.
Andromeda was known for its technical issues, particularly for the awkward facial animations of some of its characters; notably, the default face for Sara Ryder received negative reception from fans prior to and after the game's launch, attracting comments such as "It's a perfect representation of the uncanny valley" and a "robot-like model that had dead eyes syndrome" prior to a patch fix released in early April 2017.
Kaidan Alenko is a human Alliance Navy officer with biotic powers, who serves aboard the SSV Normandy as Staff Lieutenant and head of the ship's Marine detail. In a late-game choice on the planet Virmire, the player must choose whether to save Ashley Williams or Kaidan; this choice leads to the other character's death. If Kaidan survives, he returns in a cameo in Mass Effect 2 and as a full squad member in 3, where he has been promoted to the rank of Major and commands the 1st Special Operations Biotic Company, a covert operations unit. He is later bestowed Spectre status by the council. He is a potential romance option for a female Shepard throughout the entire trilogy, and for a male Shepard only in Mass Effect 3.
Ashley Williams is a human Alliance Marine, who becomes part of Shepard's squad during the first observed Reaper attack in the first Mass Effect. In a late-game choice on the planet Virmire, the player must choose whether to save Ashley or Kaidan Alenko; this choice leads to the other character's death. If Ashley is saved, she will return in a cameo appearance in Mass Effect 2 and as a member of Shepard's squad for Mass Effect 3, where she has attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander and is later bestowed Spectre status by the council. She is a potential romance option for a male Shepard throughout the original trilogy.
Garrus Vakarian is a male turian who serves as a squad mate in all three of the games. Garrus is initially a C-Sec officer who joins up with Shepard to escape from all the "red tape" in his job but becomes a vigilante under the alias Archangel on Omega in Mass Effect 2 before his squad is killed. Garrus is a potential romance option for a female Shepard in 2. In Mass Effect 3, he leads a "Reaper task force" for the Turians, with the option to continue their relationship from 2 if he was Shepard's paramour. The character is also the star of the third issue of Mass Effect: Homeworlds. Garrus's blue-and-black armour colour scheme was kept consistent throughout the series, as was his visor, although grey was added in the third game to reflect his new rank.
A famous bounty hunter and mercenary, Wrex is among the last of the Krogan Battle Masters. They are rare individuals who can combine biotic abilities with advanced weaponry and tactics. He joins the crew of the SSV Normandy in the first Mass Effect to hunt the rogue Spectre Saren, but is later drawn into a stand-off with Commander Shepard in Virmire when he discovers that Saren's scientists have uncovered a cure for the genophage. Depending on the outcome, he may return in later sequels and eventually become a leader of the krogan.
Wrex is voiced by Steven Barr.
Tali'Zorah, initially known by her full name Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, is the first quarian character to appear in the series. She is a squad mate in each of the three games. While she is known as a genius in the field of mechanical engineering. as the daughter of Admiral Rael'Zorah there is much pressure for Tali to excel. In the first game, she is on her Pilgrimage, before handing Shepard incriminating evidence about Saren and joining their crew. In the second game, now Tali'Zorah Vas Neema, where she joins Shepard on a suicide mission to rescue human colonists from the Collectors, and she is a potential romance option for a male Shepard. If she survives the suicide mission, she will appear as a squad member in Mass Effect 3, with the option to continue their relationship from 2 if she was Shepard's paramour. If Shepard sides with the geth over the quarians during the latter's attempt to retake Rannoch, she will commit suicide after witnessing the annihilation of the quarian Migrant Fleet.
Tali is voiced by Ash Sroka, also credited as "Liz Sroka".
Liara T'Soni is an asari scientist, voiced by Ali Hillis, that joins Shepard's squad in the first game and appears in 2 as a non-player character (available as a temporary squad member in Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker) and as a full squad member in 3. She is one of the experts on Prothean history and technology. Liara is a potential romance option for Shepard throughout the entire trilogy. Following Shepard's death in Mass Effect 2, Liara gradually became emotionally hardened, and began working as an information broker, eventually leading to the events of Lair of the Shadow Broker where she becomes the new Shadow Broker at the end of the DLC.
Liara is voiced by Ali Hillis.
Miranda Lawson is an officer of the pro-human group Cerberus, first appearing in Mass Effect Galaxy and then serving as a squad mate in Mass Effect 2. In addition to these, the character also makes an appearance in the Mass Effect: Redemption comic series and in Mass Effect 3 (provided the player does not import a save where she dies). She is revealed to have been genetically designed by her father to be perfect and ran away from home to join Cerberus. Lawson is leader of Cerberus' Lazarus Cell, tasked with reviving Commander Shepard. Aboard the Normandy SR-2, she is Shepard's second-in-command and Executive Officer, and files mission reports directly to the Illusive Man.
EDI is an AI entity who first appears in Mass Effect 2 as the Normandy SR-2's artificial intelligence and speaks with an aurally feminine voice. Her name stands for "Enhanced Defense Intelligence", and is visually represented on the Normandy by a holographic blue sphere. For Mass Effect 3, the developers wanted to give EDI a body that is "sexy, chrome, and robotic", akin to the Maria character, also known as the Maschinenmensch, from Metropolis. EDI's facial and body design went through multiple iterations, which includes an eyeless visage, and partially completed 3-D models which differ from the EDI's appearance in terms of body shape, the split between solid and transparent surfaces, and finer points of her two-tone appearance. After some discussion about how robotic would the extent of her appearance be, the team decided that the body she would come to possess is an infiltration unit, which once had skin over its metal frame and is capable of the same facial effects as a living human being to avoid being easily spotted.
Mass Effect 2 establishes that EDI's highly advanced nature is a result of modifications achieved with technology salvaged from the Reaper Sovereign. She is initially "shackled" with programming which inhibits her decision making, until it was later removed by Joker. In Mass Effect 3, Shepard's team recovers a Cerberus infiltration unit named Eva to be analyzed after an incident at the Mars research station. EDI assists in doing so, and in the process, struggles with the synthetic entity and eventually seizes control of its platform in the process, allowing her to accompany Shepard as a squad mate on missions. Now possessing a physical body with humanlike characteristics, her relationship with Joker develops further, and, if Shepard supports the idea, the two may start a romantic relationship. She also will converse with Shepard several times, asking them about human behaviors so that she can better understand human psychology and, in a sense, taking on more human traits herself. During the Alliance raid on Cerberus Headquarters, a Cerberus report discovered in the base reveals EDI's original identity as a rogue VI featured in an optional mission of the first Mass Effect game, in which she somehow achieved sentience and took over an Alliance training ground located on Earth's moon. If Shepard chooses to control the Reapers or the synthesis of all organic and synthetic life at the conclusion of the game, EDI will be present in the ending cutscene alongside Joker.
PC Gamer praised EDI's characterization, noting that she "might have had some fine dialogue and ruminations on what it means to be human". EDI is also included in PC Gamer's definitive list of the best squad mates around, citing her utility as a solid fighter and being an actual spaceship. GameRevolution included EDI in their list of "Women Who Rock Modern Gaming"; praise was focused on her unique contribution to the squad dynamic in Mass Effect 3 with her new body, her inexperience in interacting with humanity which often leads to humorous situations, as well as her integration into the game's main plot during the final act of the game. On the other hand, Wes Fenlon indicated in his articles written for PC Gamer and Gamesradar that he was disturbed by BioWare's decision to give EDI a sexy robot body, and involving the character in a romance subplot with Joker.
Mordin Solus is a salarian scientist, brilliant yet also a competent soldier due to his membership in the salarian Special Tasks Group earlier in his life, Mordin Solus possesses a hyperactive and eccentric personality, a rapid and stilted manner of speaking, and (as with all salarians) a flawless autobiographical and eidetic memory. He was a key member in the science team that researched the remodification of the Krogan Genophage, an action that he feels guilty about but considers the best possible solution to a once growing problem. Mordin believes in acting in the best interests of the galaxy; his scientific work is governed by strong moral standards and unquestionable respect for all forms of life.
The character returns in Mass Effect 3, providing he survived the suicide mission in the previous game. After defeating the Collectors, Mordin returned to STG as a special consultant, whilst also working as an inside source for Clan Urdnot. If Maelon's research data was saved, he uses it to aid in the treatment of the surviving female krogan codenamed Eve, the only survivor of his student's experiments. He is encountered on the salarian homeworld, Sur'Kesh, when Shepard is sent there to aid in the evacuation of the female.
Mordin Solus is voiced by Michael Beattie in Mass Effect 2, and by William Salyers in Mass Effect 3.
Jack, also known as Jacqueline Nought or "Subject Zero", is the powerful product of unethical Cerberus experiments to enhance human biotic ability, which molded her antisocial temperament. Shepard may recruit Jack from the prison facility that she is confined in to join the suicide mission against the Collectors, in exchange for files aboard the Normandy about the science facility where Cerberus scientists tortured and abused her. She is a potential romance option for a male Shepard in Mass Effect 2.
Jack reappears in Mass Effect 3 if a save game is imported where she survives the events of the suicide mission, with the option to continue their relationship from 2 if she was Shepard's paramour. Also, if Liara T'Soni is present during the mission to evacuate Grissom Academy in Mass Effect 3, then she reveals that Jack's real first name is Jennifer.
Jack is voiced by Courtenay Taylor.
Grunt is a tank-bred genetically engineered super-krogan that can be recruited as a squad member. Grunt's design is intended to be youthful but also tough, invoking the look of a linebacker with large shoulder pads and exposed muscular arms. Compared to Wrex who is a much older krogan, Grunt's crest is smaller and does not fully cover his entire skull due to his age. Early designs for Grunt's armor varied widely, which eventually settled into a polished and sleek look, almost like a "show-room finish" on a brand new car.
Initially in Mass Effect 2, Shepard is meant to recruit Okeer, a krogan warlord and radical scientist who has been developing a small army of krogan to weather the Genophage. When Shepard arrives to recruit him, Okeer is working for the Blue Suns mercenary group, but was betrayed by the latter. Though Shepard and crew defeat the Blue Suns leader, it is too late to save Okeer, who leaves Shepard with a tank containing his "legacy", his "perfect krogan". If and when Shepard decides to awaken him, the krogan recalls Okeer's last words and chooses one of them, "grunt", as his name. While initially hostile towards Shepard, Grunt may be recruited as a squad mate for Shepard. If the player imports a save game where Grunt survives the suicide mission in 2, he appears in Mass Effect 3 in a small role.
Grunt is voiced by Steve Blum.
Grunt showing Shepard his strength in Mass Effect 2 is considered to be one of the original trilogy's most iconic moments by Kotaku's Gergo Vas.PC Gamer staff noted that while there is not much to the character "beyond punching things and talking about fighting", dealing with Grunt could be a "refreshing change from the philosophizing and soul-searching of the rest of the crew."
Thane is a mysterious drell assassin who is terminally ill from a disease known as Kepral's Syndrome, which is exclusive to drell due to their physiology. While a coldblooded killer, Thane possesses a conscience that struggles against his own profession. Shepard may recruit him on the asari-dominated world of Ilium for the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. At the time of his recruitment, Thane states he has nothing left to lose, and he hopes to right many wrongs he has found in the galaxy before his death. Thane Krios is a possible romantic interest for a female Shepard.
Thane returns in Mass Effect 3 provided he survived the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. Thane may play a role in the narrative depending on the player's prior decisions, but will ultimately succumb to his wounds from Kai Leng if he plays a role in preventing the assassination of a Citadel councilor, or to Kepral's Syndrome.
Thane Krios is voiced by Keythe Farley.
A nearly thousand-year-old Asari Justicar, Samara is a member of a highly respected and feared ascetic order of mystic warriors. She is noted by BioWare staff as one of the most difficult characters to nail down design-wise; a trial-and-error approach was used where the character artists would try to get as many rough ideas and sketches onto a page as possible to figure out what makes Samara iconic and stand out as a character, and the final design would be polished until the team has reached a consensus. Variations for her head accessory have been considered, including religious headgear and regal-looking crown-like adornments. For airless or toxic environments, the team decided to go with a small breather device to allow for more facial expression after various designs were considered. Samara's revealing clothing in her final design indicates that her primary method of defense is her uniform's "near-invisible kinetic-barrier technology".
Samara is on a quest to track down her fugitive daughter Morinth; if Shepard chooses to participate in her quest, they will have to make the decision between Samara dying or killing Morinth. Shepard meets Samara on Illium, where she is found investigating the Eclipse mercenary group who smuggled her daughter off-world. Samara will join Shepard for the suicide mission at the conclusion of the investigation. Shepard will acknowledge Shepard if flirted with, though she will not reciprocate. If the player imports a save game where Samara survives the events of Mass Effect 2, she returns in a small role in Mass Effect 3 where she attempts to fulfill her oath by executing her only living child, who is also Ardat-Yakshi like Morinth and forbidden from leaving an asari monastery, and if she fails to do so she may attempt to commit suicide.
Evan Lahti of PC Gamer called her "Judge Dredd with a serial killer daughter" who makes Mass Effect more interesting with her extremist stances. She is noted as the only character who deals with moral absolutes in the Mass Effect series, due to her strictly rigid adherence to the Justicar Code, and is one of Mass Effect's most tragic characters in the Shakespearean manner
Morinth is the fugitive daughter of Samara. She is an Ardat-Yakshi, asari who are born with an inherited trait which kills their mates during sexual encounters by burning out their nervous systems. Morinth joins Shepard if she is assisted with trapping Samara so that Morinth can execute her. She will then disguise herself as her mother and takes her place in Shepard's plans squad, so that only Shepard knows of Samara's death. Shepard may choose to mate with Morinth, although it will result in his or her death. If the player imports a save game where Morinth is recruited and survives the events of Mass Effect 2, she will appear in Mass Effect 3 as an indoctrinated husk-like enemy type known as a banshee.
PC Gamer staff considers Morinth to be a poor replacement for her mother, "the more interesting and conflicted justicar". She is rated better as an antagonist instead, the "cat-and-mouse game of catching Morinth" being lauded as one of Mass Effect 2's most exciting moments. András Neltz from Kotaku commented that "the sheer audacity of a scam this huge—setting out to recruit a virtuous Asari Justicar, and coming back with her black widow of a daughter instead, passing her off as the real thing—is truly amazing."
Legion is the name, inspired by the "Gospel of Mark 5:9 – Exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac", given to the gestalt consciousness hosted within a geth mobile unit eleven times more powerful than standard geth mobile platforms. Legion belongs to the true Geth Consensus, and is designed to operate outside of geth space and interact diplomatically with organic lifeforms. In contrast to other Geth, Legion is capable of independent thought, and demonstrates emotional attachment as he is particularly fascinated with Shepard.
Zaeed is a human bounty hunter who is available through the Mass Effect 2 DLC Zaeed - The Price of Revenge. He holds the reputation as the galaxy's most feared bounty hunter and co-founder of the Blue Suns mercenary group. Zaeed had a mechanic leg and a dog companion during early concept stages. Head models for the character went through various iterations, which included scarring, tattoos with the Blue Suns insignia, and potential breathers inspired by hocket masks and welding helmets for intimidation purposes. He joins Shepherd for the suicide mission if recruited, and asks that Shepard help him deal with the mercenary group he co-founded as a favour. If the player imports a save game where Zaeed survives the events of 2, Zaeed returns in Mass Effect 3 with a small role.
Zaeed is voiced by Robin Sachs.
Kasumi is a master thief who is made available through the DLC, Mass Effect 2: Kasumi – Stolen Memory. Kasumi's concepts drew inspiration from Middle Eastern culture; her outfit echoes that of a typical thief from the European Middle Ages, the hood in particular gives her a mysterious and stealthy look. She joins Shepherd for the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2 and requests his help in retrieving the memory box of her lover. Kasumi returns in Mass Effect 3 with a small role, provided a save game is imported where her eponymous DLC was played and she survives the suicide mission.
Kasumi Goto is voiced by Kym Hoy.
PC Gamer staff member Samuel called Kasumi one of more visually interesting Mass Effect squad mates, and praised Kasumi – Stolen Memory as his favorite Mass Effect series DLC. IGN's Steven Hopper ranked Kasumi #9 in his list of best Mass Effect teammates.
Lieutenant James Vega is a human Systems Alliance Marine and Shepard's squad member in Mass Effect 3. James is tasked to escort Shepard to an Alliance defense committee hearing, however the hearing is interrupted when the Reapers attack Earth. James and Ashley or Kaidan, depending on who survived Virmire, retrieve the Normandy SR-2 and pick Shepard up from Earth. James is the main focus of the anime film, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost.
Javik is the endling of the Prothean race, and is only available if the Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC is installed. His stasis pod is uncovered and opened by Commander Shepard and Liara T'Soni during his recruitment mission, who were investigating Cerberus activity on the human colony of Eden Prime. Flashbacks of Javik's memories happen during the mission which reveals insights on the Prothean's struggle against the Reapers. Javik reacted with shock that he had awaken after 50,000 years and everything he knew was gone, but agrees to join Shepard to stop the Reapers no matter the cost.
The Protheans were first depicted in the form of visually ambiguous statues on the planet Ilos in the first game, as at the time BioWare was unsure as to the extent of the role the Protheans would play over the course of the original trilogy. Javik's final design is based on the look of the Collectors from Mass Effect 2, particularly the shell shape of the head which is a signature feature of the Collectors, along with multiple pupils to the eyes and secondary nostrils to evoke a very alien feel. As the Protheans of his time were known for their highly advanced technological capabilities, Javik is intended to look more intelligent than a mindless Collector drone. Javik's armor, which is influenced by the aesthetics of samurai armor, is intended to be technologically advanced yet with an ancient feel, thematically appropriate for a being who had been placed in stasis for over 50,000 years.
Javik is voiced by Ike Amadi.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Cora Harper is a human biotic commando and operations specialist in charge of the Pathfinder team's ground missions. She began a career in the Alliance military, before serving with an asari commando unit as part of a Council inter-species integration scheme. She is second-in-command of the human Pathfinder team and meant to be Alec Ryder's appointed successor as Pathfinder. Cora is a romance option for a male Pathfinder.
Liam Kosta is a human security and crisis response specialist for the Pathfinder team, and was “hand-picked” by Alec Ryder due to his multidisciplinary skills. Liam is a romance option for a female Pathfinder.
Vetra Nyx is from the turian homeworld of Palaven and a well traveled drifter, who at some point "drifted into the wrong crowd". She has well honed street smarts and adaptability from years of working with smugglers and mercenaries, and is fiercely loyal once her trust is earned. Vetra is a romance option for a Pathfinder of either gender.
Vetra is voiced by Danielle Rayne.
Pelessaria "Peebee" B'Sayle
Pelessaria B'Sayle, better known by her nickname Peebee is a rogue-ish young academic from Port Lerama, capital of the planet Hyetiana, a hub for asari science and education. She has developed an obsessive interest in studying the Remnant, an umbrella term coined for technology, structures, and autonomous bots that have been sighted across the Heleus Cluster. She is considered to be an atypical member of asari culture, “pathologically independent”, and has little regard for rules or teamwork. She is rivals with Kalinda, another asari who competes with Peebee in her search for Remnant technology. Peebee is a romance option for a Pathfinder of either gender.
Nakmor Drack is a veteran krogan warrior who has well over 1,400 years of life experience as a soldier, mercenary, and occasional pirate in the Milky Way galaxy. He is vocal about the genophage and the Citadel community's treatment of his species. Unlike other members of the Nakmor clan, he is loyal to the Nexus, the seat of government and power for the Andromeda Initiative, and to his granddaughter, Nakmor Kesh. Drack's preferred weapon is a "Ruzad" shotgun, and his favorite ability is Blood Rage, which "enhances his melee damage, damage resistance, and health regeneration".
Jaal Ama Darav
Jaal Ama Darav is a high-ranking member of the Angaran Resistance who are at war with the kett, and joins the Pathfinder's team as a liaison between the Andromeda Initiative and the resistance fighters. Jaal's preferred weapon is a sniper rifle. Jaal was initially a romance option for a female player character only, and was an early fan favorite among Andromeda's new cast of characters. A patch for the game released in June 2017 made Jaal available as a potential romance option for a male player character.
Jaal is voiced by Nyasha Hatendi.
The Reapers are a highly advanced machine race of synthetic-organic starships residing in dark space: the vast, mostly starless space between galaxies. They hibernate and remain dormant for a cycle of fifty thousand years, before returning to the Milky Way galaxy and harvest all sentient organic life. The Reapers and their various agents are the overarching antagonists of the original trilogy.
Saren Arterius is a turian Spectre, an elite operative who represented the Citadel council and operated above the law, and one of the two main antagonists of the first Mass Effect game . Saren was originally designed as an older, weaker character who is a powerful biotic. Saren's head design went through several iterations: the team experimented with structure, scarring, and decorations. His final appearance is similar to other turians but with a distinctive crest, and a lack of tattoos unlike most of his kind. It was intended for the character to show signs of severe indoctrination, yet does not look like an obvious monstrosity and is still able to blend into society. The character's final design incorporates a mechanical arm and some visible cybernetic features to reflect Reaper indoctrination.
He first appears in the novel Mass Effect: Revelation, which takes place 18 years before to the events of Mass Effect and before he was indoctrinated and working with Sovereign. Saren later takes command of a dissident geth faction through the use of a Reaper known as Sovereign. With a machine army at his command, he uses them to both do his bidding and oppose Shepard across the story of the Mass Effect video game. Saren's main base is situated on the planet Virmire, where he is conducting experiments such as a cure for the Krogan Genophage to bolster his army. Throughout the course of the game, the Reaper slowly began to manipulate Saren through subtle subliminal messages into helping it bring back the Reapers. During the geth invasion of the Citadel, Saren uses the Prothean Conduit to gain access to the Citadel to allow Sovereign to activate the Citadel mass relay. The player can then either attempt to kill Saren or appeal to Saren to fight his indoctrination, which if successful will prompt him to commit suicide. Shepard later has to fight a revived and mutated Saren, who is possessed by Sovereign through his grafted cybernetics. Upon defeat of the Sovereign-manipulated Saren, Sovereign itself loses its defenses and is destroyed.
IGN included the moment Saren commits suicide in their list of 13 Best Mass Effect Moments.
Saren is voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
Matriarch Benezia is the mother of Liara T'Soni, and was a highly regarded spiritual leader among the asari until she was mind controlled by the Reaper Sovereign and forced to become Saren's second in command. Her appearance is intended to capture the beauty and mystical power of the asari, and also to associate her with Saren's malevolence through its darker and more enigmatic qualities. The design of her headdress references religious and royal clothing.
In Mass Effect Shepard travels to the planet Noveria and confronts Benezia, discovering that she has found and captured a surviving queen of the rachni. Benezia intends to use the rachni queen to breed an army of rachni to fight Saren's enemies. Although Benezia has a lucid moment during their fight, where she reveals the next phase of Saren's plans and warns Shepard about Sovereign's corrupting influence, Shepard has to fight her to the death after she completely succumbs to the indoctrination.
Donnel Udina first appears in the original Mass Effect as the human ambassador based in the Citadel. Udina is depicted as self-serving politician who has an antagonistic relationship with Shepard and their mentor David Anderson throughout the original trilogy. By the events of Mass Effect 3, he is the representative for humanity in the Citadel Council, regardless of the player's choice in the ending of the first game. Later in 3, Udina allies with Cerberus to stage a coup in a desperate attempt to overthrow his fellow Councillors as part of his plan to prioritize the liberation of planet Earth from the Reapers, but he is killed when the coup fails.
The Thorian, also called Species 37, is an ancient sentient fungal creature tens of thousands of years old, with unique mind-controlling and telepathic abilities, the ability to create clone duplicates of a being it has absorbed, and a massive sensory network stretching over the surface of the planet Feros. It releases spores into the air that infect those who inhale them, and uses pain to control the behavior of its thralls. In Mass Effect, the Thorian encounters Shiala, an asari and former acolyte of Matriarch Benezia who had been absorbed by the Thorian, which used clone duplicates of her as an avatar to interact with Shepard's team. Shiala will be set free after the Thorian is killed, and she grants Shepard the Prothean cipher which enables the mental decryption of the mental message transmitted from the Prothean beacon. Shepard has the choice to either spare or execute her.
Cerberus, an anthropocentric group advocating militarism and a "humanity-first" supremacist agenda, appears as recurring antagonists in the series. Cerberus is founded and led by the Illusive Man, voiced by Martin Sheen. Cerberus forms an alliance with Commander Shepard against the human-abducting Collectors in Mass Effect 2, whereas in Mass Effect 3 they work against Shepard's attempts to destroy the Reapers, as the Illusive Man wishes to control them instead. The organization experienced numerous defections between the events of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, including operatives who specialize in close combat electric whips. Megan Logan from Inverse praised the depiction of Cerberus in the series as a villainous entity, and opined that "nuanced complexity built upon an understandable motivation is what makes a compelling antagonist".
Kai Leng is a former lieutenant N7 marine and Cerberus assassin, who first appears in the novel Mass Effect: Retribution, as well as its subsequent sequels. Kai Leng is the Illusive Man's most trusted agent, who used him as his best infiltration and wet-work operative for over a decade, and appears in Mass Effect 3 as one of the game's main antagonists. He wears a coat similar to Thane's over a uniform with Cerberus colors, and his face and body is equipped with visible cybernetic implants to compensate for the injuries he sustained in Retribution courtesy of David Anderson. Early direction of Kai Leng's concept involve inhuman-looking metallic legs and hard armor as upgrades, which were streamlined during the later period of the development cycle of 3 into a stealthier appearance along with his hairstyle, coat length and visor type.
In Mass Effect 3 he was among the forces deployed during Udina's coup on the Citadel Council, and will succeed in assassinating the salarian councilor unless Thane Krios or Kirrahe are available in Mass Effect 3 to intervene. Kai Leng is next encountered on the asari homeworld Thessia, where he successfully claims an ancient Prothean-made VI from the asari on the Illusive Man's orders. Shepard's final encounter with Kai Leng is in the Illusive Man's observation deck on Cronos Station, the Cerberus headquarters. Despite his lethal skills, he is unable to overwhelm Shepard, and is wounded. He later retrieves his blade and makes a final attempt to kill the Commander from behind. At that moment, Shepard detects him and counters his attack, finishing him off with an omni-blade.
Kai Leng is voiced by Troy Baker.
Oleg Petrovsky is a general of Cerberus' armed forces, who first appears in the comic Mass Effect: Invasion, where he seizes control of the Omega space station from Aria T'Loak using adjutants, a type of husk-like creature engineered by Cerberus through co-opting Reaper technology. He makes his first video game appearance as the main antagonist of the Mass Effect 3 DLC Omega.
The Collectors are mysterious aliens first mentioned in the 2008 novel Mass Effect: Ascension, who are known to trade hyper-advanced technology in exchange for living beings from various species. They were widely dismissed as myths within the Mass Effect universe, but are in fact the deformed versions of the original Prothean race. Prior to the events of Mass Effect 2, all known expeditions to investigate the Collectors failed, and no vessel that ventured to their space beyond Omega 4 Relay ever returned save those of the Collectors themselves. Led by a Collector General, a unique being who controls the rest of the Collectors from their base beyond the Omega Four mass relay, they collect humans by incapacitating them using flying insect-like "seeker swarms" to create a new Reaper on their masters' behest following Sovereign's defeat and destruction at the end of the first game. The Collectors are assisted by a variety of husk units made from Reaper technology, with some created from multiple husks strung together in a grotesque manner such as Scions who provide ranged fire support with their arm cannons, as well as large floating monstrosities called Praetorians. The Collectors' look is based on crabs and microscopic closeups of insect species like beetles and mosquitoes. The Collectors were initially envisioned as robed walking bipedal aliens for a dark, cultlike feel; as Collector soldier units had to fulfill in-game combat mechanic requirements, their design shifted to a more humanoid appearance, while the Collector General has multiple limbs that resemble arthropod legs.
András Neltz from Kotaku consider the Collectors to be tragic figures, and "a demonstration of what evil the Reapers are capable of; a twisted shadow of a once-proud race, forced to serve the ones who destroyed them."
The Shadow Broker
The Shadow Broker is the elusive and enigmatic head of an expansive organization which trades in data and information, always selling to the highest bidder. The Shadow Broker's identity is unknown to the general public and always operates through an agent. For the Shadow Broker's design, two disparate concepts were combined: that of the galaxy's greatest information broker whose suit evokes a mob boss look and is fully integrated into the galactic community, as well as that of an unfamiliar alien and a frighteningly inhuman challenge for Shepard. The Broker's final facial design, with his triangular mouth and multiple eyes, is unlike anything BioWare has done in the past, and custom work had to be done to animate his face properly as Mass Effect 2's digital-acting system could not handle the graphical stress.
In Mass Effect Tali wanted to trade evidence incriminating Saren to the Shadow Broker in exchange for a safe place to hide; the Broker sends a thug named Fist to deal with her, although he later dispatches Wrex to eliminate Fist, who had turned traitor. Other notable agents of the Broker include the volus financial adviser Barla Von, and Wilson, Miranda Lawson's assistant in the Lazarus Project who joins Shepard as a temporary squad mate on Lazarus Station in Mass Effect 2. Following the events of Mass Effect: Redemption, Liara pursues the Shadow Broker for revenge over her friend Feron's imprisonment and torture. In Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker, Liara survives an assassination attempt by an agent of the Broker, a rogue asari Spectre named Tela Vasir. She then travels to the Shadow Broker Base on the planet Hagalaz with Shepard, where they confront the Shadow Broker, who is revealed to be a member of a pre-spaceflight race called the yahg. They killed the Broker following a boss fight, and Liara succeeds him as the new Shadow Broker.
Shepard's meeting and confrontation with the Shadow Broker is considered to be one of the original trilogy's most iconic moments by Kotaku's Gergo Vas, and one of the 13 best Mass Effect Moments by IGN.
Dr. Amanda Kenson
Dr. Amanda Kenson is a human scientist known for her groundbreaking discoveries on the origins of the mass relays. She appears as a deep cover agent in the Mass Effect 2 DLC Arrival, and is saved from batarian captivity by Shepard on her friend Admiral Hackett's behest. She claims to have found evidence of an imminent Reaper invasion, revealing that her team have set a massive asteroid to collide into a mass relay located within the Bahak system in batarian space in order to slow the Reapers' arrival. After her entire team is revealed to have been indoctrinated by the Reapers, Shepard has to stop Dr. Kenson from interrupting the asteroid's course, which culminates in Dr. Kenson killing herself after detonating an explosive device. If the player imports a save where the Arrival DLC is completed, Shepard's action of facilitating the destruction of the Bahak system's mass relay in order to delay the Reapers' invasion resulted in the loss of over three houndred thousand batarian lives, which leads to their imprisonment and impending trial in the beginning of Mass Effect 3.
Maya Brooks is the alias of a former Cerberus operative who serves as the main antagonist of the story campaign of the Mass Effect 3 DLC Citadel; she initially presents herself to Shepard as a Systems Alliance staff analyst. She is also responsible for sabotaging Lazarus Station, which housed the Lazarus Project that brought Shepard back from the dead, in order to steal a dormant clone of Shepard. Her actions led to the sequence of events following Shepard's awakening from a coma in Mass Effect 2. She later appears in Mass Effect: Foundation, a 13-issue comic book series starring most of Shepard's squad mates in the original trilogy, which is framed as reconnaissance by Brooks as the point-of-view character.
The kett are a hostile militaristic species with dense formations of bone growing externally as armor protrusions on their bodies. They serve as the main antagonists of Mass Effect Andromeda. The kett are led by the Archon, who is voiced by Robert Kazinsky.
Captain David Anderson is a protagonist of the novel Mass Effect: Revelation and Commander Shepard's mentor throughout the Mass Effect trilogy. He is also the love interest of Kahlee Sanders. In the first game he was relieved of command of the SSV Normandy by Donnel Udina, and the starship was transferred to Shepard's command. By the events of Mass Effect 3 he is promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Systems Allance navy, and joins Shepard as a temporary squad mate early in the game during the early stages of the Reaper invasion. He appears dressed for battle in fatigues that would not reflect his rank but also wouldn't look out of place in a battlefield.
IGN included the Finale in Mass Effect 3, where Shepard shares an emotional scene with Anderson and the Illusive man, in their list of 13 Best Mass Effect Moments.
Kahlee Sanders is a protagonist of Mass Effect: Revelation and its sequels, Ascension, Retribution, and Deception She is cited as one of the most important characters in the series, and the main heroine of Mass Effect spin-off fiction. She makes her first video game appearance in Mass Effect 3 as a staff member of the Grissom Academy.
Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Jeff Moreau, better known by his nickname "Joker", is the human pilot of the Normandy, and is voiced by Seth Green. Joker is handicapped and has limited mobility due to suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta, but makes up for being a skilled pilot, as well as a sarcastic foil to Shepard. In Mass Effect 2 Joker briefly becomes a playable character when the Collectors invade the Normandy to capture its crew in the absence of Shepard and the squad. He can develop a romantic relationship with EDI in Mass Effect 3 if given some help from Shepard.
Dr. Karin Chakwas is a recurring character in the Mass Effect series as the human doctor of the SSV Normandy, and later the Normandy SR-2. Dr. Chakwas survives the destruction of the SSV Normandy in Mass Effect 2, and later accepts Cerberus' offer to join Shepard in their fight against the Collectors, getting a position on the Normandy SR-2 as the ship's Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chakwas returns in Mass Effect 3, provided she survives the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. She may be recruited back to the Normandy, or be convinced to stay at the Citadel and assist in the war effort.
Dr. Chakwas is voiced by Carolyn Seymour.
Richard L. Jenkins
Corporal Richard L. Jenkins is an Alliance Marine from the rural world of Eden Prime under the command of Captain Anderson, and a member of the SSV Normandy's crew. He joins Shepard as a squadmate during their incursion to his homeworld in Mass Effect, where he is killed shortly afterwards. He is based on the Leeroy Jenkins character.
Conrad Verner is a human fanatic who is obsessed with Commander Shepard. András Neltz from Kotaku notes that he is a "crazy fan archetype taken to the next level", and an example of a character whose personality and fate could be shaped by the player throughout the original trilogy depending on how their player character reacts to Verner's antics.
Khalisah bint sinan al-Jilani is a human reporter from Westerlund News. She appears in all three games as a reporter who employs a belligerent line of questioning whenever she is granted an opportunity to interview Shepard. She also appears in Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation, a prequel novel to Mass Effect: Andromeda.
IGN included the running gag where Shepard can prematurely end their interview sessions with al-Jilani by punching her as a renegade action throughout the original trilogy in their list of 13 Best Mass Effect Moments. Beth Elderkin of Gizmodo referred to the aforementioned running gag as the "Al-Jilani Saga" and one of her favorite moments.
Administrator Bel Anoleis manages Port Hanshan, the capital of the planet Noveria, in the first Mass Effect. In order to obtain a garage pass to leave the port, Shepard could either prove the salarian bureaucrat's corruption to an undercover investigator named Gianna Parasini, side with Anoleis and turn over all the evidence to him, or pit Anoleis and Parasini against each other which leads to both of their deaths. András Neltz from Kotaku noted that the mission dealing with Anoleis was one of the most complex ones in the first game, and it was an early example "showing how differently the story can go depending on the player's decisions".
Captain Kirrahe was the Salarian Special Tasks Group (STG) intelligence officer who uncovered Saren's facility on Virmire, and fights alongside Shepard's squad during the assault. Kirrahe's determination to destroy Saren's base, and thus the cure with it, causes a rift between Shepard and Wrex which may be resolved by the player in a number of ways. If he survives the battle, he will be promoted to Major and appears in Mass Effect 3 as an ally at various instances. Kirrahe's speech amidst a thunderstorm in Mass Effect is considered to be one of the original trilogy's most iconic moments by Kotaku's Gergo Vas.
Admiral Steven Hackett is an admiral of the Earth Systems Alliance Navy's Fifth Fleet. He first appears as a minor character in Mass Effect who commands the Systems Alliance reinforcements which arrive to assist in the defense during the attack on the Citadel from Sovereign and the geth. During the course of the battle, he will defer to Shepard's wishes to either save the Citadel Councillors aboard the asari dreadnought the Destiny Ascension, or press the attack on Sovereign's forces. By the events of Mass Effect 3, he is the commander-in-chief of the entire Alliance Armed Forces in their struggle against the Reaper invasion.
Kelly Chambers is Shepard's yeoman on the Normandy SR-2 in Mass Effect 2 whose primary role is administrative and clerical work. She keeps Commander Shepard notified of new e-mails and pass on meeting requests from Shepard's squad mates. In addition, Kelly utilizes her degree in psychology to provides counseling support and monitors the psychological state of Shepard and the crew. She is a romance option for a male or female Shepard, but does not grant the "Paramour" achievement. If she survives the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2, she will appear in Mass Effect 3. She informs Shepard that she is on the run from Cerberus, her former employers. Shepard may ask her to continue assisting with the war effort, or go into hiding.
Patrick Lee from AV Club brought up Chambers' potential fate in Mass Effect 3 as an example where a Paragon-aligned Shepard is "not a saintly warrior-poet whose every decision is ethically and practically airtight".
Aria T'Loak, also known as "the Pirate Queen", is an asari organized crime boss who serves as the de facto ruler of Omega Station, an important hub in the lawless Terminus Systems. She owns the Afterlife Club, which serves as the station's central hub. Her first chronological appearance is in Mass Effect: Incursion, an 8-page prequel comic to Mass Effect 2. She then makes a cameo in Mass Effect: Redemption, briefly assisting Liara's search for the missing Shepard. In Mass Effect 2, Aria provides Shepard with information on Omega. She then appears in Mass Effect: Retribution, and in the Mass Effect 3 DLC Omega, she appears as a temporary squad mate who wields powerful biotic abilities.
Captain Armando-Owen Bailey is a human C-Sec officer stationed in the Zakera Ward of the Citadel in Mass Effect 2. In Mass Effect 3, he is promoted to C-Sec Commander in-charge of C-Sec operations of the Citadel Embassies quarters. He is a mostly upstanding officer, but is pragmatic enough to bend the rules if it is more convenient or rewarding for him.
Kal'Reegar is a marine of the quarian Migrant Fleet who is assigned to protect Tali'Zorah, who is on a mission to perform research work on the planet Haestrom in Mass Effect 2. If he survives the mission, he will participate as a witness in Tali'Zorahs trial before the quarian Admiralty Board where she is accused of treason.
Shala'Raan vas Tonbay
Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay is a member of the quarian Admiralty Board, an administrative council of admirals which oversees the quarian civilian government. Along with other members of the Board, she plays a pivotal role in Tali'Zorah's's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, and leads the quarian Migrant Fleet to retake their homeworld Rannoch from the geth in Mass Effect 3. A family friend of Tali'Zorah, Shala'Raan fulfills a portion of the character's role within the narrative of Mass Effect 3 in imported saved games where she is deceased and cannot appear in-game.
Daro'Xen vas Moreh
Admiral Daro'Xen vas Moreh is a member of the quarian Admiralty Board, an administrative council of admirals which oversees the quarian civilian government. Along with other members of the Board, she plays a pivotal role in Tali'Zorah's's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, and leads the quarian Migrant Fleet to retake their homeworld Rannoch from the geth in Mass Effect 3. Known for her keen scientific intellect, she fulfills a portion of Tali'Zorah's role within the narrative of Mass Effect 3 in imported saved games where she is deceased and cannot appear in-game.
Niftu Cal is a self-styled "biotic god" and a member of the volus merchant Pitne Four's trade delegation in Mass Effect 2. He has chemically induced delusions of grandeur after being administered with biotic-enhancing drugs, manifesting minor biotic talents as a result. Game writer Brian Kindregan created Niftu Cal and added him into Mass Effect 2 as a joke character, where he became popular with fans as a meme. A similar character archetype, a volus adept, was later added into Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode as a result of the character's popularity. Fenlon from PC Gamer called Niftu Cal the "funniest throwaway character BioWare ever created."
Niftu Cal is voiced by Mark Meer.
Communications Specialist Samantha Traynor appears in Mass Effect 3, serving in a similar role to that of her predecessor, Yeoman Kelly Chambers as Commander Shepard's personal assistant. She also serves as an information manager as well as a telecommunications expert on the SSV Normandy SR-2. Traynor is a lesbian and as such is available romantically for a female Shepard only.
Lieutenant Steve Cortez is a Systems Alliance supply procurement specialist aboard the SSV Normandy SR-2 in Mass Effect 3, and also serves as the Normandy's UT-47A Kodiak shuttle pilot that transports Commander Shepard and the squad to various mission locations. Recently widowed after the death of his husband, Cortez may be helped through his grief by Shepard, and eventually may become an optional romance for a male Shepard.
Diana Allers is a human Alliance News Network war correspondent and regular on the Alliance News Network's "Battlespace" in Mass Effect 3. She is a romance option for a male or female Shepard, but does not grant the "Paramour" achievement.
Urdnot Bakara, nicknamed Eve by her supervising salarian scientists, is a fertile female krogan who plays a pivotal role in the conclusion of the Krogan Genophage storyline in Mass Effect 3. Eve is a moderate figurehead among the krogan leadership who is eager to secure a cure for the genophage and bring about a new start for her people.
Jondum Bau is a salarian Spectre and colleague of Commander Shepard. András Neltz from Kotaku considers the brief interaction with the character in Mass Effect 3 to expose a traitor as unique, as the player gets to experience the Spectres as independent agents who sometimes meet up to assist each other, noting that previous Spectre characters either end up dying or were antagonists to the player character. The character is named after BioWare writer John Dombrow.
Nyreen Kandros is the turian leader of the Talons mercenary organization on Omega, who joins Shepard as a temporary squad mate in the Mass Effect 3 DLC Omega. She utilizes a mixture of biotic and tech powers, and has a complicated history with Aria T'Loak. Nyreen fights to free the people of Omega station who have been enslaved by the human supremacist group Cerberus. She also appears as a supporting character in the prequel tie-in comic to Andromeda, Mass Effect: Deception.
Kandros is voiced by Sumalee Montano.
The Stargazer is a humanoid entity of indeterminate race and background from the distant future who narrates Commander Shepard's deeds, a legendary figure in their timeline, to a child companion. Depending on the player's choices in the final battle for Earth, one of the Stargazer's iterations may be voiced by Buzz Aldrin.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Alec Ryder is a character in Mass Effect: Andromeda and the father of Scott and Sara Ryder. A veteran of galactic exploration, Ryder was a member of the original team that travelled through the Charon mass relay which marked the first step of Humanity's expansion into the galactic community. He is later accepted for Interplanetary Combatives Training which he completes and is subsequently awarded his N7 designation. A veteran of the First Contact War, Ryder became interested in the use of Artificial Intelligence as a method to help human advancement, however such research and experimentation is illegal under Citadel law. Once his work is discovered, he is dishonourably discharged from the Systems Alliance military. Alec Ryder later joins the Andromeda Initiative as a Pathfinder, the title for leader of each of the Initiative's arkships, and is responsible for the human-majority population aboard his ship Hyperion.
SAM, which stands for Simulated Adaptive Matrix, is an AI designed by Alec Ryder and was connected to him; he later passes on the connection to his child who succeeds him as the human Pathfinder. SAM is permanently connected to the Pathfinder, and sees and feels as they do via a neural link, which was originally created by Alec's wife Dr. Elen Ryder. SAM handles a number of tasks as well as assists the Tempest's crew from its node in the Hyperion ark. Through the neural link and a quantum entanglement communication system, SAM can provide the Pathfinder with support in the form of “situational awareness, problem solving and even tactical enhancements”. SAM's computing power also enhances the Pathfinder's combat abilities in the form of six "profiles", which in gameplay terms is analogous to the class system from the original trilogy.
SAM is voiced by Alexia Traverse-Healy.
Dr. Lexi T'Perro is the asari doctor on the human ark ship Hyperion, who is later transferred to the Tempest as the resident doctor. She checks on one of the Ryder siblings, who would go on to become the next human Pathfinder, after they are thawed out of cryosleep. Lexi monitors the Pathfinder team's physical and mental wellbeing, and provides general advice to the Pathfinder.
Kallo Jath is the salarian pilot of the Tempest and one of its co-designers. He narrates the Andromeda Initiative's introductory briefing to the ND1 Nomad and Tempest vehicles.
Kallo is voiced by Garett Ross.
Suvi Anwar is a Scot who is the Tempest's science officer. She sees science and religion as complementary, with the former as a means of understanding “the divine intelligence behind all of creation", and speaks openly about her faith. She is a potential romance option for a female Pathfinder.
Suvi is voiced by Katy Townsend.
Gil Brodie is the Tempest's engineer, and is described as having a "pretty colourful personality with a bizarre sense of humour". He is a potential romance option for a male Pathfinder.
Jarun Tann is a salarian politician, who plays a prominent role in the Andromeda Initiative's efforts to establish a government in the new galaxy, though his actual competence as an administrator may be called into question. He is described as meaning well, "but also likes power, and plays up his own effectiveness and importance". The Pathfinder may find themselves navigating the moral shades of grey the Mass Effect series is known for in their dealings with Jarun. He also appears in the tie-in novel to Andromeda, Mass Effect Andromeda: Nexus Uprising, where he is portrayed as the central character of the uprising led by former security chief Sloane Kelly at the Nexus. Ben Gilbert from Business Insider mentioned Tann as an example of the best aspects of the Mass Effect series: characters "who respond in realistic ways, who are just as likely to be honest as they are to be manipulative".
Tiran Kandros is the turian leader of the de facto volunteer militia for the Andromeda Initiative based in the Nexus, known as APEX, and the cousin of Nyreen Kandros. He also appears in the tie-in novel to Andromeda, Mass Effect Andromeda: Nexus Uprising, and is the central character of the prequel comic Mass Effect: Deception, which follows his attempt to infiltrate the Andromeda Initiative.
Kandros is voiced by Steve Pirot.
Foster Addison is the Director of Colonial Affairs for the Andromeda Initiative based in the Nexus. The character gained notoriety as a meme after numerous screenshots and videos of her poorly animated facial animations circulated various internet sites as an example of Andromeda's technical issues.
Nakmor Kesh is the granddaughter of Nakmor Drack, who serves as the superintendent of the Nexus space station, the administrative hub for the Andromeda Initiative. Ben Gilbert from Business Insider mentioned Kesh as an example of the best aspects of the Mass Effect series: characters "who respond in realistic ways, who are just as likely to be honest as they are to be manipulative".
Kesh is voiced by Allegra Clark.
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