List of Mass Effect characters

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Some of the major characters of Mass Effect. Top row, from left to right: Saren, Illusive Man. Next row: Garrus, Commander Shepard (default male), Wrex. Next row: Thane, James, Tali, Kaidan, Ashley, Liara, Miranda, Mordin, Legion, Javik, Jack. Bottom icons: Samara, Kasumi, Jacob, Joker, EDI, Grunt, Zaeed.

This article describes characters who appear in the Mass Effect fictional universe and who have some conception and reception information.

Commander Shepard[edit]

Commander Shepard is the main protagonist of the Mass Effect trilogy. When starting a new game, the player chooses Shepard's gender, appearance, history, combat-training, and first name.

Squad members[edit]

Garrus Vakarian[edit]

Garrus Vakarian is a male turian, voiced by Brandon Keener, who serves as a squadmate 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. In Mass Effect 3 he leads a "Reapers task force" for the Turians. 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. While the developers were initially worried Garrus and the other alien characters would not prove emotionally compelling, fan feedback surprised them and so he was added as a romance option in 2 and 3.

Garrus has received a generally positive reception, praised by IGN, and GamesRadar.

Tali'Zorah nar Rayya[edit]

Tali'Zorah nar Rayya is a female quarian, voiced by Ash Sroka (also known as "Liz Sroka"). She is a squadmate in each of the three games, and a mechanical genius. 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, she is placed on trial for bringing active geth parts, and the player can influence whether she is declared innocent or guilty.

Tali's design remained similar between the first and second games. She has received a positive reception, placing on several "top character" lists. Much discussion was held about what her face could look like; however, once the face was revealed, it garnered criticism, specifically for being a redone stock photo.

Urdnot Wrex[edit]

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. Wrex quickly gained fame for his battle powers and became a leader of one of the smaller Urdnot tribes at a very young age. To date, Wrex is the youngest krogan to be granted the honor in 1,000 years. Following the krogan genophage, Wrex turned his back on his people when his father, a krogan warlord who wanted to resume the war, betrayed and attempted to kill him after a feigned attempt at reconciliation. Wrex escaped, though not before taking his father's life in retaliation. During the past three centuries, Wrex has worked as a bodyguard, mercenary, soldier and a bounty hunter.[1]

Urdnot Wrex is voiced by Steven Barr.

Miranda Lawson[edit]

Yvonne Strahovski at the Chuck panel at WonderCon 2009 in San Francisco. She provided both Miranda's voice and face, though the character's hair was changed to black.

Miranda Lawson is an officer of the pro-human group Cerberus, first appearing in Mass Effect Galaxy and then serving as a squadmate 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.

Early concept art for Miranda focused on balancing her sex appeal with a uniform suitable for her position as a Cerberus officer.[2] Originally conceived as blonde, after her uniform was designed, it was decided that black hair would fit better with her "femme fatale" look.[3] Casey Hudson has said her uniform was made tight due to her being designed to be "perfect" and "beautiful".[4] Miranda Lawson is voiced by and modeled after actress Yvonne Strahovski.[5] In Mass Effect 2, camera angles and shots such as a close-up of her butt were employed to focus on "her curves and sexuality", identified as key parts of her character, her being someone genetically engineered to be "perfect" and a femme fatale.[4][6] David Kates composed Miranda's musical theme, intending to "demonstrate her strength, but also her vulnerable side, and a sadness that is deep inside her".[7]'s Ryan Winterhalter called Miranda one of three areas where Mass Effect 2 was sexist, finding not fault with her concept as a genetically-perfect woman, but mainly with the camera's focus on her behind.[8] BioWare marketing director David Silverman defended the shots, believing they helped define the character, and also commenting on similar shots for male squadmate Jacob Taylor.[6] BioWare revealed that Miranda's loyalty mission, which had a more "a touchy-feely" plot, was completed more than Grunt's on PC, but in the case of Xbox 360 players, it was the opposite.[9] listed the character as the "ninth-hottest fictional woman of 2012", calling her a "sultry brunette".[10] Strahovski was nominated for "Best Performance by a Human Female" in the Spike Video Game Awards.[11] Upon hearing news for a potential Mass Effect film, Dan Ryckert of Game Informer looked at the different characters and felt Strahovski should reprise the role, calling her the "obvious choice".[12]

Mordin Solus[edit]

Mordin Solus is a salarian, voiced by Michael Beattie in Mass Effect 2, and voiced by William Salyers in Mass Effect 3. A brilliant scientist, 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 processes. He was a key member in the science team that researched the remodification of the Krogan Genophage (a terraforming viral-weapon designed to sterilize the Krogan species), 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 is listed on the Normandy SR-2's memorial wall on the Crew Deck, if he did not survive the events of Mass Effect 2 and 3.

He has received a positive reception, with Jose Otero of writing an article on him being "awesome", receiving nominations for three "Best New Character" awards, and appearing in numerous "top character" lists.


Legion is the name given to the synthetic intelligence Geth Platform 2A93, a geth terminal designed to operate outside of Geth space with organics. It is a gestalt consciousness. Legion belongs to the true Geth Consensus, the Servants of the People. The name is given by EDI based on the "Gospel of Mark 5:9 - Exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac". Legion investigates the worlds Shepard visited. Eventually, it found the Normandy SR-1's wreckage on the planet Alchera, and learned of Shepard's death. It is a skilled hacker and marksman and generally prefers long-range combat. It is fascinated with Shepard.

Legion is voiced by D. C. Douglas.

Legion was well received. Steven Hopper of IGN listed the character as the fifth-best Mass Effect teammate, looking forward to seeing how he would develop in the then-upcoming Mass Effect 3 and calling his recruitment "an awesome twist".[13] GamesRadar's Jordan Baughman cited Legion as an example of BioWare's "Kickass Robot" character archetype, following on from Knights of the Old Republic's HK-47 and Dragon Age's Shale.[14] GamesRadar also called him one of the best new characters of 2010, praising his "clinical and decidedly mechanical delivery" and intriguing dialogue.[15] Casey Lynch, again from IGN, believed Legion to have one of gaming's best "first encounters" with a character, thanking his musical theme and its "rousing crescendo".[16] In a list of top AI characters of the 2000s decade, Game Informer's Matt Miller included Legion as an honorable mention.[17]

The Illusive Man[edit]

The Illusive Man leads the series' pro-human group, Cerberus.[18] He wears an open suit that connotes both futuristic style and the "casual swagger of a charming billionaire".[3] His eye implants make him appear slightly inhuman. He is normally seen in an empty office with no indication of his living arrangements.[19] He is voiced by Martin Sheen.[20]

The character first appeared in 2008's novel Ascension, and made his video game debut in Mass Effect 2 as a supporting character. In the game, he arranges to revive Commander Shepard from death, provides Shepard with a ship and crew, and sends Shepard on several missions against the human-abducting Collectors. The Illusive Man later appears in Mass Effect 3 as one of the main antagonists, where he works against Shepard's attempts to destroy the Reapers, wishing to control them instead. He appears in several other Mass Effect comics series and novels.[citation needed] Mass Effect: Evolution tells his origin story.[21]

His critical reception was positive.[22][23] Martin Sheen received praise for his voice acting.[24][25][26][27] However, some criticized Mass Effect 2's story for forcing the player to work with the Illusive Man and Cerberus despite their antagonistic role in the first game.[28][29]


  1. ^ "Galactic Codex - Krogan Series Part 3: Wrex, Krogan Battle Master". BioWare. 
  2. ^ Hudson, Casey; Watts, Derek (2012-02-02). The Art of the Mass Effect Universe. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 978-1-59582-768-5. 
  3. ^ a b Mass Effect 2 Digital Art Book.
  4. ^ a b John, Tracey. "The Thoughts Behind Miranda's Behind in Mass Effect 2". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  5. ^ "The Cast of Mass Effect 2". IGN. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  6. ^ a b Orry, James (2011-07-19). "Mass Effect's Miranda is defined by her sexuality". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  7. ^ "Composer Interview: Wall of Sound". OverClocked ReMix. 2010-05-04. Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  8. ^ Winterhalter, Ryan (2012-02-29). "The Sexism of Mass Effect 2". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  9. ^ Purchese, Robert (2010-09-07). "ME2 360 owners prefer Grunt to Miranda". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  10. ^ Jensen, K. Thor (2012-02-01). "The 99 Hottest Fictional Women Of 2012". Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  11. ^ Leahy, Brian (2010-09-17). "Spike Video Game Awards Nominee List Released". Shacknews. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  12. ^ Ryckert, Dan (2010-05-25). "Casting Call: Mass Effect". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2013-04-28. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  13. ^ Hopper, Steven (2012-01-05). "10 Best Mass Effect Teammates". IGN. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  14. ^ Baughman, Jordan (2011-05-03). "Recycled characters you see in every BioWare game". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  15. ^ "The best new characters of 2010". GamesRadar. 2011-12-30. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  16. ^ Altano, Brian (2013-04-02). "The Best First Encounters in Video Games". IGN. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  17. ^ Miller, Matt (2010-11-24). "Top Ten A.I. Characters of the Decade". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  18. ^ BioWare. Mass Effect 2. Codex - Cerberus: The Illusive Man: The reclusive tycoon calling himself the Illusive Man is a human nationalist focused on advancing human interests, whatever the cost to non-humans. The Citadel Council regards him as a fanatic posing a serious threat to galactic security. 
  19. ^ Hudson, Casey; Watts, Derek. The Art of the Mass Effect Universedate=February 2, 2012. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 978-1-59582-768-5. 
  20. ^ Ryckert, Dan (January 31, 2012). "BioWare Announces Voice Cast For Mass Effect 3". Game Informer. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  21. ^ George, Richard (15 July 2010). "SDCC 10: Mass Effect: The Origin of the Illusive Man". 
  22. ^ "Best Character (PC)". IGN. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  23. ^ Vore, Bryan (December 3, 2010). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  24. ^ Leahy, Brian (November 17, 2010). "Spike Video Game Awards Nominee List Released". Shacknews. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Spike TV Announces the "2010 "Video Game Awards"". IGN. November 17, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  26. ^ Houghton, David (March 26, 2010). "When celebrity voice-acting goes very right". GamesRadar. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  27. ^ Brudvig, Erik (February 8, 2010). "Mass Effect 2 Review". IGN. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  28. ^ Francis, Tom (February 16, 2011). "15 things we want to see in Mass Effect 3". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on April 27, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  29. ^ Vargus, Nic (March 2, 2012). "Mass Effect 3 – 21 must-know facts about the Mass Effect universe". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on April 27, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 

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