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This page is for listing the tropes related to party members who first appeared in the original Mass Effect game.

For the pages listing tropes related to NPCs, Antagonists and Party Members who first appeared in other games in the trilogy, see the Mass Effect Character Index.

Party Members

Ashley Williams

Gunnery Chief/Operations Chief/Lieutenant Commander Ashley Williams

File:Mass-Effect-3-Ashley-Williams 2442.jpg

 "Why is it whenever someone says 'With All Due Respect' they really mean 'kiss my ass'?"

 Voiced by: Kimberly Brooks

A human Systems Alliance Marine who specializes in weapons skills and heavy armor. One of two possible romance options for a male Shepard. Returns as a party member and romance option in Mass Effect 3 if she survived the first game.


 Ashley: Tell me you didn't hear that.

Shepard: 'Fraid I did.

Ashley: *Mortified* Shoot me now.

  • Cool Big Sis: Acts as one to her younger sisters.
  • Cultured Warrior: Hey, just because she can drill you between the eyes at four hundred meters doesn't mean she can't like poetry. She even tries to romance Shepard with it.
  • Date Rape Averted: During one of her Backstory conversations, she'll talk about how her Marine father taught all his daughters how to defend themselves. One foolish boy tried to put some unwanted moves on Ashley's younger sister. It didn't end well for him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite being dedicated to following protocol, she's definitely isn't shy about sassing Shepard.
  • Determinator: Due to her grandfather being the only human to surrender to alien forces, the entire military hates her and assigns her to the lowest and most degrading posts they can. Despite this, she signed up for the Alliance anyway to help redeem her family name.
    • Shepard notes in the third game that the very first time they met Ash she had just seen her entire platoon wiped out by geth and instead of laying down and giving up, her response was to pick up her gun and kept firing. Shepard implies that if they hadn't shown up, she would have likely continued to do so even if it meant she had to defend the colony by herself.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: Pops up several times if Shepard is in a romance with her.

  Ashley: If you expect to get me in a tinfoil mini-skirt and thigh-high boots, I want dinner first... Sir!

 Ashley: I'm no fan of aliens, but Cerberus has a habit of being... extreme.

  • Family Honor: The driving force behind her service in the Alliance military.
  • Fan Girl: Mildly towards Shepard if s/he has the War Hero background.
  • Fan Service Pack: In the third game, it seems that her promotion to Spectre status included a boob job or six, which has led to the amusing meme 'brb, Virmire'.
    • Including the lingerie she wears in the romance scene with Shepard. That definitely can't be regulation military issue. Might be a perk of being a Spectre, though...
  • Fantastic Racism: A surprisingly nuanced version of this- she doesn't trust aliens and has issues with turians in particular because her grandfather was the commander at the garrison at Shanxi, who was also the only human commander to ever surrender to alien forces. As a result, the Williams name is something of a curse, and Ashley suffers for it. Whether this comes across as a sympathetic Freudian Excuse or petty blame-shifting on her part is down to the player.
    • There are times, however, when she can take it a little too far; she openly objects to working with aliens because she believes they will always betray them, and that it is beneath humans to have a relationship with them. She's especially harsh towards the Asari, believing them to be sex fiends who are trying to get in a man's pants whenever they talk to them, and is even surprised when she shows empathy towards them.
    • The logical (and Real Life) reasoning behind this is that she overcompensates distrust of aliens because as a Williams, she is already under (unfair) scrutiny for being an alien-sympathizer or not pro-human enough. Similar in concept to Armored Closet Gay except a much milder case that the player can help persuade her out of. It's important to note that even if she doesn't trust aliens, she vehemently criticizes the Terra Firma party for its blatant racism.
    • She also expresses sympathy for Tali the instant she hears how the Council shafted the quarians after the geth went rogue. Tali is also the only alien whose presence on the ship she doesn't object to. It appears that her beef is mainly with the Council races. Furthermore, if she is romanced in 1 but left for Tali in 3, she takes it fairly well. If Shepard cheats on her with Miranda or Jack on the other hand, she gets pretty mad.
      • Her issue with Liara is mostly as a romantic rival. She will urge Shepard to speak to her after s/he kills her mother, Benezia.
    • Given that her grandfather was branded The Quisling by Humanity for doing something so heinous as surrendering in order to save civilians, its entirely possible that simply has trust issues and doesn't trust anyone. Given her reaction to Shepard being involved with Cerberus in the second game and the fact she takes a long time to trust them again in the third, this might be the case. Ashley doesn't hate aliens, she just doesn't trust them to not let her down.
      • This also fits with her being religious. So far, her faith in God is because they are the only person who hasn't let her down.
    • This trait seems to be completely gone by 3, replaced with a distrust of Shepard because s/he was working with Cerberus.
  • First Girl Wins: If romanced.
  • Foil: To Miranda. One is extremely loyal to the Alliance, the other Cerberus. One is fiery but can be made to show a softer side, the other starts out as an Ice Queen who defrostsOne is very close with her sisters, the other prefers to observe her sister from afar. Not to mention that in 3, Ashley now resembles Miranda a little more with let-down hair and a more form fitting outfit. And, in an interesting case of irony, Ashley is a racist, while Miranda is one of the few Cerberus agents who isn't racist.
  • Friendly Sniper: She can use sniper rifles, though cutscenes always show her wielding assault rifles.
  • Good Looking Privates
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Her sisters know fencing and aikido. Ashley knows Marine hand-to-hand and admits that she's "more or less a straight-up puncher".
  • Hero Worshipper: To Shepard with the War Hero background.
    • She angrily berates a colonist in ME2 who insults Shepard, declaring that they're in the presence of a god.
  • Hidden Depths: Her views on human/alien interaction actually delve much deeper than simple racism. While she has trust issues, her views fall more along the line of "we shouldn't become too dependent on them."
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: Her default armor in the first game is white and pink. Pink.
  • Hot Amazon: Especially her redesign for Mass Effect 3.
  • Improbable Age: Supplementary material says she's 25 in the first game, which is really pushing the suspension of disbelief if she's a senior NCO.
    • Truth in Television: During war, you'd be shocked how fast and far someone can advance in rank.
  • In the Back: She'll kill Wrex this way if you take too long to talk him down.
  • In the Blood
  • I Regret Nothing: Her last words if she dies on Virmire.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Her goodbye if Shepard chooses to save Kaidan instead of her on Virmire.
  • I Uh You Too: She and Shepard do this. They "want each other to be happy".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's a devoted Alliance soldier and genuinely cares about doing the right thing, but one needs to remember that she is a racist. Not to mention she's the second most Renegade of Shepard's original six squadmates after Wrex.
  • Killed Off for Real: Depending on your choices on Virmire. It's also possible to shoot her midway through the third game when Udina turns traitor, but it's not too hard to avoid.
  • Knight in Sour Armor
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: If Shepard has the War Hero background, she has a little hero worship at the start of the first game.
  • Les Yay: A decent amount with a female Shepard left over from when she was meant to be a Gay Option. Then the second game takes it even further.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: As of Mass Effect 3.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: One of the main reasons why the reunion on Horizon goes so badly. Shepard seems to be the only one to think it might be a good idea for her to know what the hell is going on. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. At least until the third game.
  • Majorly Awesome: Or rather the Alliance Navy equivalent, Lieutenant Commander, by Mass Effect 3.
  • Military Brat: Ash is pretty quick to let you know that she's the fourth generation of Williams to be in the military.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: With Kaidan after Virmire. One of them will always die, so it's impossible to finish the game with both of them.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Obviously, her views are influenced by her family's Dark and Troubled Past, but she believes that alien races are just as susceptible to Fantastic Racism as humans are (which may not be inaccurate) and that humans should be prepared to go it alone. In any event, she still has concrete standards (namely loathing for the direction the more racist Terra Firma party has gone, and an absolute refusal to work with Cerberus due to their terrorist activities). She also works well with all teammates, human and otherwise, in the field.
  • Optional Party Member: In the third game, after nearly being killed on Mars, she's absent until Udina's attempted coup, wherein she can actually be killed or, barring that, have her request to return to the Normandy refused.
  • Overranked Soldier: As mentioned previously, Gunnery Sergeant is a somewhat implausible rank for a 25-year old woman to hold especially when she faces the kind of stigma that Ashley holds during a time of relative peace (i.e. before the Geth attack on Eden Prime). Somehow, in the space of 2 and a bit years between Mass Effect and Mass Effect 3, she is able to earn a commission and be promoted to Lieutenant Commander, a rank that normally takes many years to earn even for people who began their careers as young Ensigns.
  • Overshadowed by Shepard: Much like Garrus, she is an extreme badass and a fine leader and, in the third game, gets inducted as a Spectre. But when Shepard is around, there's no doubt who's the boss, or why.
    • Exemplified if Shepard is the one to kill Udina, at which point s/he immediately takes total charge of the situation.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Replaces her Prim and Proper Bun in Mass Effect 3.
  • Pet the Dog: If you talk to her after the Noveria mission she'll tell Shepard to go comfort Liara since her mother was killed after succumbing to indoctrination. She also expresses a hope that having Tali be on their team will improve people's views of quarians during one of the game's many long elevator rides. As well, she takes the Virmire assignment of leading an assault force of salarians without complaint. In fact, the salarians come out of it with nothing but respect for her (especially if she doesn't survive).
  • Pink Means Feminine: Argubly subverted.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: In the first two games, although Ashley herself is hardly prim and proper.
  • Properly Paranoid: Ashley does not trust the Council because she feels if push comes to shove, they will put the good of their own races ahead of humans. Come the second game, her misgivings were proven right.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Arguably a subversion. She's an undeniable badass and certainly never seen wearing a dress in the games, but when Shepard mentions that he can't see her in a dress, the way she hesitates (Damn... right... you can't!) implies she thinks she's supposed to be this way. If you pursue a relationship with her, she's also revealed to be a romantic at heart, while still keeping up appearances of being a hardass.
    • Should Shepard cheat on her with Miranda in the second game, she angrily notes that when she goes into battle its in armour, not swim-wear.
      • Which is hypocritically hilarious if you use the alternative outfit for Ashley in combat (which is her skin-tight leather suit).
  • Real Women Love Jesus: Maybe. It's left deliberately ambigious what religious denomination she belongs to, save for that it's monotheistic.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: To Kaidan's Blue Oni.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Potentially discussed; after learning about her family's backstory, Shepard can express concern that she hopes for an opportunity to fall on her proverbial sword in order to redeem her family name. If she's the one left behind on Virmire, it has this effect.
    • Not to mention news reports from the second game: she's been awarded high honors by the salarian and turian governments for her willingness to give her life protecting aliens.
  • Religious Bruiser: "Hey, if they're trying to find God, I'd be happy to speed them on their way."
  • Semper Fi
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Recent Mass Effect 3 scans are showing this for Ashley in her civvies.
  • Shoot the Dog: If Shepard is unable to talk Wrex down, she may do this to save him/her.
  • Shout-Out: Her name is a reference to Evil Dead's protagonist. During the Virmire stage, she can also make a comment about her "boomstick."
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Invoked in the third game if the romance was continued.

  Ashley: Just shut up and kiss me.

Shepard: That's a pretty pessimistic way of looking at things, Chief.
Ashley: A pessimist is what an optimist calls a realist.

 James: You know the Commander?

Ashley: I used to.


Garrus Vakarian

Garrus "Archangel" Vakarian

File:Garrus Vakarian 06 by johntesh 3389.jpg

 "Fighting a rogue Spectre with countless lives at stake and no regulations to get in the way? I'd say that beats C-Sec."

 Voiced by: Brandon Keener

A Turian C-Sec officer who joins Shepard's team after becoming dissatisfied with regulations at C-Sec. Specializes in technology and long-range combat. Rejoins Shepard as a squadmate in Mass Effect 2. Fan demand made him a love interest for the female Shepard. He returns as a squad member in Mass Effect 3, provided he survived the second game.


  • Adorkable: In his romance with female Shepard. First he agrees to Shepard's offer of casual sex, but each time you talk to him after that, he's increasingly awkward, worrying about all the ways their Interspecies Romance could crash and burn. By the time he shows up in Shepard's quarters, he's babbling from nerves. Finally, he confesses it's because he feels like Shepard is the only real friend he's got left, and after all his failures, he wants their relationship to be something that finally goes right.
    • Come Mass Effect 3, he's not as nervous around her if she continues to see him.
      • Though he can be similarly adorkable if he and Tali hook up, but that's only if you don't romance him in the last game.
  • Alien Blood: After Garrus takes a gunship rocket to the face, Shepard looks down and finds the poor bastard lying in a pool of what looks like blue paint.
  • Always Someone Better: It's heavily implied that Garrus feels somewhat inferior when compared to Shepard.
    • Shepard can intentionally miss during a bottle shooting match in the third game. The look on Garrus' face that he's a better shot than Shepard speaks of how much of a win this is for him.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In the third game, he's one of the highest-ranking officers in the entire Turian military due to his prior experience fighting Reapers. Partly justified, as the Turian military (and Turian society in general) is a self-described meritocracy and they don't have nearly as much problem rapidly promoting people as humans do.
  • Babies Ever After: If he's romanced, during the final conversation with him in Mass Effect 3, he brings up the possibility of finding out "what a turian-human baby looks like" after everything is over. Shepard can either agree with him and suggest adoption (Garrus points out that there's going to be a lot of krogan babies once the Reaper war is over) or claim that they'd be terrible parents ("I think two trained killers are enough for one family").
  • Badass: Anyone capable of defending themself against three different mercenary groups all at the same time for more than a day is undeniably badass. Basically, in the time between Mass Effect 1 and 2, he became the Turians' answer to Frank Castle.
    • To paraphrase Joker, Garrus removed the stick from his ass, and now he's using it to club people to death.
  • Bash Brothers/Battle Couple: As Shepard puts it, "If I'm walking through hell, I want someone I can trust by my side".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Garrus is generally a nice guy, if bitter about C-Sec and his own failings... but get him angry and he'll go commando on your ass.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Turians are one of only two known species (the other being quarians) that have a dextro-amino acid based biology. As such, they can't consume any food or drink made for levo-amino acid biologies (humans, asari, salarians, krogans, etc.) without, at the least, not getting any nourishment from it or, at the most, having a fatal allergic reaction.
  • Black and White Morality: Garrus prefers to see the world like this. Unlike Samara, he's willing to give mercy a chance if Shepard persuades him to.

Garrus: "It's so much easier to see the universe in black and white. Gray? ...I don't know what to do with gray."

  • Breakout Character: Like Tali, he becomes far more plot-relevant and fleshed out in the sequel, in addition to being a Love Interest.
    • In 3, Garrus (along with Liara) has the most conversations/interactions with Shepard. Keep in mind, this is done despite the fact that Garrus could actually be dead in the player's import.
  • Byronic Hero: In the sequel, after he's been put through hell on Omega. Depending on the player's actions, he can fall further into this trope or start to be pulled out of it.
  • Catch Phrase: "Just like old times..." Being one of only two squadmates who's been by Shepard's side full-time in all three games, he's prone to saying this. Usually in a casual manner about some danger or other.
  • Character Development: Paragon Shepard can help him undergo a surprising amount of this, with Garrus slowly coming to realize that regulations and safety precautions, while sometimes obstructive, are often there for very good reasons. He can even decide, on his own, to re-apply to C-Sec once your mission is complete. Or, if Renegade, you can encourage his Cowboy Cop tendencies and have him decide to apply for Spectre status. Unfortunately, he seems to backpedal between games if you've encouraged him to work within the system - which makes sense, considering the Council did everything possible to discredit all the hard work he and Shepard's team accomplished in the first game, denying the Reapers' existence and allowing C-Sec to become corrupt and ruthless in its policing of the Citadel. Of course he'd get pissed off at the system and take things into his own hands...
  • Cold Sniper/Friendly Sniper: Ruthless when scopin' and droppin', but very friendly outside of battle.
  • Continuity Nod: Only a minor one, but Garrus says after ending a conversation with him, "I'll be here if you need me" or "Need me for something?" He also says it if you reject him during his sex scene. This is one of his general lines when on a mission from the first game.
    • The third game also has multiple references to Garrus and his calibrations.
  • Cowboy Cop: Deconstructed in that he has to leave C-Sec in order to indulge his Cowboy Cop urges; just like in real life, actual police forces would not tolerate Cowboy Cops. Paragon Shepard's influence can inspire him to rejoin C-Sec with a new appreciation for playing by the rules, in addition to re-applying for Spectre candidacy (which happens either route you take). Renegade Shepard's influence, conversely, will encourage his Cowboy Cop tendencies to the extent that he envies Shepard's lack of problems with red tape. This deconstruction is taken further in Mass Effect 2, where he is now a vigilante bordering on Knight Templar whose actions have resulted in multiple mercenary gangs teaming up to kill him. And even still, he notices that his work still hasn't changed very much at all.
  • The Cowl: As Archangel, befitting his role as the Mass Effect universe's very own "Space-Batman".
  • Cultural Rebel: Garrus frequently displays this, being relatively lax compared to most Turians when it comes to bending the rules and also recognising that following military protocol is not always the best course of action, particularly when it prevents him from helping people.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably the most sarcastic character next to Joker:

Garrus: "That's unfortunate. Hospitals aren't very much fun to fight through."
Shepard: "Garrus, what is fun to fight through?"
Garrus: "Gardens, electronic shops. Antique stores, but only if they're classy."

  • Death by Irony: The Shadow Broker's dossier on Garrus reveals that he is a fan of dishing out these types of deaths to criminals. This includes shooting a weapons smuggler in the head with one of his own smuggled weapons and coughing in a quarian viral specialist turned serial-killer's face.
  • Death Faked for You: After you recruit him on Omega (and kill a metric crapton of mercs to do it), the mercs spread rumors that he died in the battle and Garrus is happy to accept them. They pretty much had to, because the true story of Garrus and Shepard's team completely owning all of them would have destroyed their reputation.
    • It could also be that the mercs are pretty sure he died when he took a gunship blast TO THE FACE.
  • Determinator: Held out against a band of three mercenary companies single-handedly for over a day.
  • Everyone Can See It: Kelly and Kasumi comment on how Garrus and female Shepard would make a good couple.
  • Fan Nickname: Space Batman, considering his vigilante actions in ME2.
  • Foil: To Paragon Shepard, where he essentially takes on the role of the "Batman" to Shepard's "Superman".
  • Friends with Benefits:
    • His romance with female Shepard starts out this way - Shepard suggests they have casual sex "to blow off steam" and Garrus, after a moment of shock, agrees. As things progress, the relationship becomes more emotional, but the dialogue is never quite overtly romantic.
    • In Mass Effect 3, they can receive a full-on Relationship Upgrade if you romanced him in ME2 and don't choose to break up with him.
    • If he wasn't romanced by Shepard in ME2, Tali hooks up with him in ME3 and claims she's "just using [him] for [his] body."
  • Get a Room: His reaction to Tali and Shepard flirting while on-board a geth dreadnought.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Put a few clues together and you'll figure out one of the pieces on Garrus's visor soundtrack is from an in-universe porn movie.
  • Glass Cannon: Garrus can put out a lot of pain from an extreme distance, but for one of your "combat" characters, he is relatively fragile.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gains some shortly into Mass Effect 2 after getting a rocket to the face; on a human face, his would definitely look like evil scars, although he's a good character.
  • Gut Feeling: Garrus often trusts these, which lends even more to his Cowboy Cop status.
  • Headbutt of Love: Since turian mouths are structured very differently from humans and fluid exchange can lead to anaphylactic shock, this is how he shows affection for female Shepard during their romance scene.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners/Platonic Life Partners: With Male Shepard and Female Shepard (if not romanced), respectively.

Shepard: "There's no Shepard without Vakarian."

    • With any Shepard who didn't romance him, after a poignant bonding moment in the third game, he sarcastically wonders if Shepard is going to propose. This happens to be the same moment in which, with a romancing Shepard, he does propose.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Lets his obsession with revenge get away with him in the second game; you can choose whether to stop him or encourage him.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Company of Heroes players will be unsurprised by his sniper skill, since he was an American one there.
  • Hollywood Kiss: Gives one to Shepard in 3 if they're in a romance during their Citadel outing. And it's just as beautiful as you would expect.
  • Honor Before Reason: He often obsesses with seeing villains get their just desserts, regardless of whether pursuing them is the wisest course of action. He wrestles with himself over whether it's because of his pride, or because of his values in justice. If you take him down the Paragon path, he admits it was his pride that wanted him to hunt down Dr. Saleon more than it was to seek justice.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Performs this for many of his targets as Archangel. For ordinary criminals, he just executes them via bullet to the head... but for special criminals, he uses special means, e.g. damaging a Volus saboteur's environmental suit so that it kills him via asphyxiation, killing a weapons smuggler with one of his own smuggled weapons, killing a Batarian drug dealer by giving him an overdose of his own drugs, and a Quarian viral specialist/serial killer with a cough into his unprotected face. The only criminal he breaks this pattern for is a Krogan slaver, who was set on fire, hit in the face with a rifle butt and shot multiple times in every limb and primary organ. Given that the target was a Krogan, though, this may have been necessary...
  • Hurting Hero: In the sequel; especially pronounced when pursuing a romance with him. Gets turned Up to Eleven in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, where a dossier on him reveals his mother has the Turian equivalent of Alzheimer's Disease, and his sister is on bad terms with him because he can't send any money to help and can't tell her what he's doing. Liara says to Shepard that she's giving him peace.
    • Although it's also revealed that he asked Mordin to use his STG clearance to pull some strings so the Salarian Medical Centre had clearance to pursue further research into the disease. He also donated his Cerberus pay to fund the project and get his mother onto one of the trials.
    • In Mass Effect 3, it gets worse due to the Reapers' invasion of Palaven. He worries constantly about his dad and sister during the course of the game, even praying for their safety at one point. They do make it safely off the planet eventually, but Garrus's ill mother is heavily implied to have died during the time-skip between Mass Effect 2 and 3.
  • If It's FemShep, It's Okay: Subversion of the Interspecies Romance kind. Garrus doesn't have a fetish for humans... just female Shepard. In that case, "Yeah... definitely."
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: Used in a sidequest and potentially subverted. Though it's less about killing them, more about not being obsessed with killing them to self-destructive levels.
  • I Never Knew You Had A Weakness For Men With Scars, Shepard: He's very surprised to hear that female Shepard is interested in him as a romance option. He doesn't mind as long as they can work things out, though.
  • Innocent Bigot: In the first game, he'll make some unprovoked and offensive racial comments to Wrex (essentially telling him he's a credit to his species) and Tali (blaming the Quarians for unleashing the Geth upon the galaxy). Gets better in the sequel, possibly on account of working with Shepard's team and then his own multi-race squad on Omega. By ME3, he's clearly very close friends with both Tali and Wrex, and even apologizes to Tali for that three-year-old comment.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: More than one way to work off stress, I guess.
  • In the Blood
  • It Got Worse: In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for Mass Effect 2, a file on him reveals his mother is dying of a (currently) incurable disease and he and his sister aren't on very good terms.
  • It's All My Fault: In Mass Effect 2, he blames himself for the death of his squad and feels he has to kill the traitor to avenge them. And according to turian culture, it is his fault - if someone is placed into a position they weren't qualified for, the stigma is on the guy who put them there.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: In the second game, he's become like this. He's frighteningly devoted to his ideals, but expresses a lot of disappointment about how little he's changed things for most of Omega's residents.
  • The Lancer: Promoted to Lancer in the sequel. Aside from Miranda and Jacob, he is the second to Shepard.
    • Also, on the final mission, he always does well when assigned to command both back-up fireteams, and he's just as good as Grunt and Zaeed when it's time to Hold the Line.
    • Back in the role again in 3, sharing it with the Virmire Survivor this time.
  • Let's Wait a While:

Garrus: "You know me. I always like to savor the last shot before popping the heat sink (Beat) Wait, that metaphor went somewhere horrible."

  • Lost Forever: If you don't recruit him in Mass Effect, not only is he gone for the game if you wait too long, but you can't romance him in Mass Effect 2.
    • And if you don't romance him in 2, you can't start a new one in 3.
  • Made of Iron: The guy survives being shot by a gunship only a few meters away, and after the battle and a short rest in the sick bay, he's able to get up and laugh when Shepard jokes about his new scars.
  • Magnetic Hero: As Archangel.
  • Mark of Shame: Bears this after Sidonis backstabbed him and gets hit with a gunship barrage... it applies to both his armor and face.
  • The McCoy: To Shepard's The Kirk and Tali's The Spock.
  • Memetic Badass: In-universe, he's considered one on Omega as "Archangel".
    • His skill with calibrations is also considered legendary, to the point where he even manages to beat Legion in improving the Normandy's Thanix cannon, something that Legion deemed impossible.

Legion: "Telemetry indicates that the calibration of Normandy's weapon accuracy could be increased by .32%."
Garrus: "You couldn't squeeze .34% out of it?"
Legion: "Negative. That threshold is impossible."
Garrus: "You sure? Take a look now."
Legion: "Scanning. Normandy's weapon systems have been improved by .43%. How did you accomplish this?"

  • Morality Chain: Paragon Shepard acts as one for Garrus, preventing him from going too far into Knight Templar territory and becoming like the very criminals he so despises. It's heavily implied that Garrus is very aware of this.
  • My Greatest Failure: Sidonis. Turian culture places the stigma of a failure not on the individual, but on whoever put that individual in the position they weren't ready to handle. As a result, Garrus feels he is as guilty as Sidonis for the betrayal.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Admits that he's not a very good Turian.
  • Mythology Gag: In ME3, everyone gives Garrus a hard time about his calibrations.
  • Noodle Incident: There were rumors during his Archangel days that he killed three men with one bullet. When asked, Garrus insists he can't claim that honestly - the third merc died from a shock-induced heart attack after seeing his two friends get killed by the same bullet.
  • Number Two: By ME2, he's pretty much Shepard's right-hand man (even if unofficially) and probably the most trusted fellow soldier and combatant. This continues into ME3 if he's still alive.
  • Oblivious to Love: It becomes a minor running gag that he's completely unaware that Dr. Michel has a major crush on him.

Tali: "She got you turian chocolate?"
Garrus: "She said she saw it and thought of me... why?"
Tali: (snickers) "Oh, nothing..."/(to a female Shepard romancing him) "Watch yourself, Shepard."

  • Oh Crap: Garrus explicitly says this when seeing two heavy mechs being airdropped and when seeing the elevator bomb on Sur'Kesh.
  • One-Hit Polykill: When asked if he really killed 3 guys with one shot during his days as Archangel, he denies it. The third guy dropped dead from a heart attack.
  • One-Man Army: Held off three mercenary companies single-handedly as Archangel.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Archangel is a nickname that Omega's residents gave him for his good deeds.
  • Optional Party Member: You can complete the first game without him.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Garrus is basically Paragade Shepard... except he's not the main character.
    • Even the Shadow Broker knows this - his file on Garrus notes the Turian's excellent leadership skills, with the note that he's unlikely to develop to his full potential if he stays in Shepard's shadow.
    • As of Mass Effect 3 he seems to finally come out from Shepard's shadow and into his own. The Turian hierarchy's put him in charge of a special Reaper Task Force and during the course of the game, he's seen playing leadership roles to turian soldiers and refugees. Shepard him/herself notes that s/he's seen multiple turian generals saluting him and can ask him about his rank and what he thinks about becoming Primarch someday (Garrus is not crazy about the idea).
    • Shepard can intentionally miss while shooting bottles with him on the Citadel, leading to Garrus gloating like a madman that he's a better shot than Shepard and triumphantly declaring;

Joker: "What's the hard part about treating a Turian who took a rocket to the face?"
Garrus: "Figuring out which side took the rocket!"

  • Shutting Up Now: In Mass Effect 2, he pokes fun at Tali over the things she revealed in the elevators in the first game, then basically has this response when she threatens him with a shotgun.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: He was never officially confirmed to be a squad member in Mass Effect 2 - all the promotional shots of him focused on the meeting with him on Omega. As of November 2010, he still doesn't have a bio on the ME2 site.
  • Space Police
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Because of his Adorkability and GAR factors, he commands a relatively sizable shipping following even among straight male fans of the series.
  • Sure Why Not: Fan demand got him upgraded to a love interest in Mass Effect 2. He even uses a way of showing affection common in many GarrusxFemShep fics. Probably because bodily fluid exchange could cause one of them to go into shock, as Mordin points out.
  • Tron Lines: The alternate appearance pack gives him these (as well as fixing the gash in his armour).
  • Vigilante Man: As Archangel.
  • Undying Loyalty: There is probably NO ONE that Shepard can trust to have his/her back more in a firefight than Garrus. No matter what Shepard does, Garrus will always be willing to follow him/her to hell and back.
  • We Help the Helpless: How he describes his unit's actions on Omega in Mass Effect 2.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: He joined C-Sec instead of pursuing membership in the Spectres because of his father.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He gives this reaction if you allow the Council to die at the end of ME1 and he is in your party, although it depends who the other party member is.
    • If you fake the genophage cure and kill Wrex to gain salarian support in 3, you have the opportunity to confess what you did to him. He wearily admits that he would have chewed you out for it a few years ago, but with everything going to hell, he might have done the same thing himself.
  • What Would Shepard Do?
  • The Woobie: In-universe example. Kelly Chambers says that she just wants to give him a hug and tell him it will be OK. Awww.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Paragon Shepard invokes this during the first game when Garrus wants to show no mercy to Saren for being a traitor. Shepard rebukes him, stating that when they confront Saren, they will give him the chance to return to face justice first and only shoot him if they are left with no other choice.
    • This also occurs in the mission to track down Dr Saleon. Garrus is in favour of just outright shooting him, whereas Shepard points out that he will again be brought before a court of law. When they are forced to shoot Saleon after he tries to fight back, Garrus bitterly points out how pointless mercy was, causing Shepard to point out;

Shepard: "You can't predict how people will react, Garrus. But you can control how you will respond. In the end, that's what really matters."

    • During his loyalty mission in the second game, Paragon Shepard can stop him from shooting Harkin and Sidonis, noting that this isn't like Garrus and that his mission for revenge is going too far and turning him into one of the criminals he so despises.

Kaidan Alenko

Lieutenant/Staff Commander/Major Kaidan Alenko

File:KaidanME3 6455.jpg

 "We finally get out here and the 'final frontier' was already settled. And the residents don't even seem impressed by the view. Or the dangers."

 Voiced by: Raphael Sbarge

A human biotic Sentinel Marine in the Systems Alliance military who specializes in technology and biotic support powers. One of two possible romance interests for a female Shepard. Returns as a party member and romance option in Mass Effect 3 if he survived the first game.


 Kaidan: I just don't want you to think that I'm, you know...a whiner.

  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He's been made a Spectre in Mass Effect 3.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Kaidan is prone to the occasional non sequitur and odd, childlike observation.
  • Badass: He's both a biotic and a tech user. He can snap your neck with his mind or cause a synthetic to explode into a pile of useless scrap. He's also the strongest human biotic we know about besides Jack and biotic!Shepard.
  • Berserk Button: Don't threaten his boy/girlfriend. Necks will snap.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: For a really easy-going and nice guy, he can break your neck with a single powerful biotic blast, and is adept at making your weapons blow up in your face.
  • Biotic Training Of Horrors / Training From Hell: In his backstory.
  • Bi the Way: He can only be romanced by a female Shepard in the first game, but he can be romanced by a Shepard of either gender in the third.
  • Blessed with Suck: His L2 implants give him more oomph than the average biotic running the stabler and safer L3s, but he has to deal with frequent migraines. And he's one of the luckier ones in terms of side effects.
  • Blue Oni: To Ashley's Red Oni.
  • Canada, Eh?: His parents come from Vancouver.
  • Character Development:
    • In the first game, he takes a bit of convincing to loosen up and let himself go more often. Come the third, he has to convince 'you to take a "sanity check" with him on the Citadel.
    • He completely writes off Cerberus as a terrorist organization in 2, seeing Shepard working with them as a betrayal. In 3, after the mission with ex-Cerberus scientist Dr. Cole, he asks Shepard if the people in Cerberus were good people, and if the Illusive Man was a good person before he was now.
  • Covert Pervert: He's surprisingly knowledgeble about extranet fetish sites, approves of EDI's new body once the shock wears off, doesn't think he would survive an encounter with an Ardat-Yakshi and is caught staring at Diana Allers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not as apparent as the others tend to be, but he has his moments.
  • First Guy Wins: If romanced.
  • Flawed Prototype: Kaidan's biotic amplifier implants are L2, a model series that was made before humanity really knew what it was doing when it came to biotics. He suffers migranes... and he's one of the lucky L2s.
  • Gay Option: In the third game.
  • Good Looking Privates: Estrogen Brigade Bait. Say hello to the game's Love Interest for the female PC and male PC in ME3.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Raphael Sbarge, who also played Carth in Knights of the Old Republic and Scorch in Republic Commando.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: If not romanced with Male Shepard. Shepard even calls Kaidan a brother to him.
  • Ho Yay: With male Shepard. A ton. In the first game it was mostly left over from when he was meant to be a full-fleged Gay Option. The second game managed to take it Up to Eleven even though he only had two scenes. The third game made it canon.
  • I Regret Nothing: His last words if he dies on Virmire.
  • It Has Been an Honor: His goodbye if Shepard chooses to save Ashley instead of him on Virmire.
  • Killed Off for Real: Depending on your choices on Virmire... and mid-way through the third game.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: One of the main reasons why the reunion on Horizon goes so badly. Shepard seems to be the only one to think it might be a good idea for him to know what the hell is going on. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. At least until the third game.
  • Magikarp Power: He starts weak, but with high levels, no other party member even comes close to competing with him for sheer versatility.
  • Majorly Awesome: He's reached this rank in 3.
  • Master of None: The reasoning behind some fans' dislike for him. Even though he does become more versatile as time goes on and his array of support powers grows, he can never match any of his teammates in terms of combat power.
  • The Medic: Kaidan is the only squadmate to get the medicine talent, which decreases the recharge time on the first aid talent.
  • Military Brat: Not as prominent as with Ash, but still part of his background.
  • Mind Over Matter
  • Mr. Fanservice: It bears repeating. That voice.
    • Fan Disservice: In Mass Effect 3 you get to see plenty of shirtless Kaidan--while he's lying in a hospital bed, with his face beaten in and bruised. Sure, he gets better in subsequent trips to the Citadel hospital, but...
    • Female Gaze / Eating the Eye Candy: A romanced Shepard takes a good, long look at his rear as they return to the Normandy in 3. This took no time at all to go memetic.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: With Ashley after Virmire. One of them will always die so it's impossible to finish the game with both of them.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: He's polite, open-minded, and keeps strict control over himself and his biotic abilities. And he can kick your ass.
  • Optional Party Member: After nearly being killed on Mars, he's absent until Udina's attempted coup, wherein he can actually be killed or, barring that, have his request to return to the Normandy refused.
  • Perma Stubble: In 3.
  • Nice Guy
  • Real Men Wear Pink: If he survived the first game and Liara wasn't romanced, the second game's opening alarmingly shows him wearing the legendary Phoenix armor.
  • The Red Mage: Kaidan uses both biotic and engineer powers.
  • Semper Fi: A special operative, like all biotics, but still a Marine.
  • Space Marine
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With female Shepard in the second game if romanced in the first. With male Shepard in the third game.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Like Anders in Dragon Age II, Kaidan will make advances towards a male Shepard in Mass Effect 3 without even the slightest indication that he was interested in men beforehand.
  • Took a Level In Badass: In ME3.
  • Tranquil Fury: After the mission on Horizon, where the Illusive Man and Henry Lawson were turning people into husks to try and control them., Kaidan's seething hatred of the Illusive Man manifests itself in him very calmly wanting to rip the man in half.

  "After what I saw down there, I have never been more filled with rage."

 James: You know the Commander?

Kaidan: I used to.

  • What the Hell, Hero?: He's got some things to say about Shepard working with Cerberus in ME2.
  • You Shall Not Pass:
    • In the first game, at the same time as Ashley's. It's up to you whether he survives over her.
    • In the third game, this happens again, when he, as a Spectre, stands between you and Councilor Udina. If you haven't done enough socializing with him beforehand, what Ashley did to Wrex, you do to him.
  • The Worf Effect: He gets beaten to a bloody pulp by Eva Core at the beginning of Mass Effect 3, which leaves him hospitalized for a third of the game.

Dr. Liara T'Soni

Dr. Liara T'Soni/The Shadow Broker

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 "You were marked by the beacon on Eden Prime - you were touched by working Prothean technology. That is why I find you so fascinating."

 Voiced by: Ali Hillis

An asari scientist and expert on the Protheans who joins Shepard's team after being attacked by the geth. Also a powerful biotic with powers that can only be matched by an Adept Shepard. Possible romance interest for a Shepard of either gender. One of the few characters who can join your party in all three games, being permanent in 1 and 3, and available in 2 via DLC.


 Liara: Our travels now are somewhat different from my normal excavations. I would prefer lengthier studies... and fewer explosions.

Wrex: It's good for you. A nice explosion now and then keeps the mind sharp.

  • Adrenaline Makeover: Compare Liara when you meet her in Mass Effect to Liara by the end of Lair of the Shadow Broker. Though of course whether the getting the guy/gal part gets played straight/averted/subverted/etc depends largely on the player's own choice.
  • Aggressive-Submissive: "...how many times have you thrown him/her on the bed and peeled him/her out of his/her uniform?" Liara's father asks this about her and Shepard, and Liara tries to not make it sound so dirty.
  • Air Vent Escape: How she's reintroduced in 3. While being chased by a pair of Cerberus operatives.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Due to being a "pureblood."
  • Anti-Hero: Type III in the sequel.
    • Softens up a least little in the third game. Like Garrus, she might even qualify as a Type II for that game.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In the third game, Liara seems to be in complete denial when Javik reveals that the Asari goddess Athame and her guide Lucen were actually Protheans. When Liara claims that it is impossible, he snarkily comments that it must be an amazing coincidence that the statues and artwork of their myths just happen to look exactly like him.
  • Aside Glance: Of gratitude when Shepard refuses to give her up to the krogan on Therum.
  • Attempted Rape: Twice in Redemption--a batarian and his cronies attempt to proposition/rape Liara. Both times they end up dead.
  • Babies Ever After: Alluded to during her romance scene in Lair of the Shadow Broker.

 Liara: So, tell me what you want. If this all ends tomorrow, what happens to us?

Shepard: I don't know. Marriage, old age, and a lot of little blue children?

Liara: You just say these things!

  • Badass Adorable: In the first game, she's easily flustered and generally socially awkward, especially when dealing with people outside her species. She's also a biotic death machine. The sequels downplay this.
  • Badass Bookworm: For a girl who spends all of her time buried in her books, Liara is horribly deadly with her biotic powers.
    • How badass is she, you say? She's the only other character besides Adept!Shepard who can use Singularity, and her other biotic powers rival or even surpass Samara's, who is several centuries her senior. She's powerful enough that she can send a powerful biotic Spectre with armed backup running for her life.
    • Her grandfather was a krogan.
    • Hell, from her comments about looking after herself when encountering pirates and looters at Prothean dig sites, she seems to be the Space Indiana Jones.
  • Battle Aura: Uses her biotic glowyness to dissuade some enemies a few times.
  • Berserk Button: Harming Shepard.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Yet again. Liara's a very demure young asari who is entirely capable of turning an entire horde of geth into tinfoil with her brain. Ask the Shadow Broker how seriously crossing her tends to go. Oh wait, you'd just be asking her.
    • Doing a quest for her reveals that one of her assistants is a mole. After informing her of this, the player can go to her office and find out that not only did Liara already kill her assistant, she disposed of her body as well. (This is especially hillarious if Shepard calls her to identify the traitor from just outside her office as it can make it appear that she killed and disposed of her assistant in a matter of seconds).
  • Bi the Way: Sort of. Asari are a monogendered species, meaning they are all biologically female (can reproduce). However, they don't have any concept of gender divisions, and therefore can be equally attracted to any gender (or species, for that matter).
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Asari reproduce by "melding", where they join their entire nervous system to their partner's and use the electrical impulses to randomize some of their own DNA for the offspring. Galactic science waffles on the subject, but it often turns out Lamarck Was Right - Aethyta had a krogan father, and notes that she seems to have "a bit of his mouth."
    • The asari are the setting's only known telepaths, and they use it as part of the mating process. It's not only logical that asari daughters take after their parents psychologically, it's almost inevitable given the depth of the melding.
  • Blue Skinned Space Babe
  • Break the Cutie: By the time of Mass Effect 2, she's much less innocent and kind as she's had a rough couple of years by then.
    • Cranked Up to Eleven during the Fall of Thessia mission in the third game. She's a complete wreck even during the mission, to say nothing about after.
  • Broken Bird: In Mass Effect 2. By Mass Effect 3, she's settled for somewhere in between this and her former self.
  • Broken Pedestal: After the fall of Thessia, she angrily calls out Javik for not even caring, that she's spent her entire life studying his people and feels like it was for nothing. He's a Prothean... he was supposed to have all the answers.
  • Came Back Wrong: One of Liara's fears regarding Shepard, after having handed the Commander's corpse over to Cerberus for the Lazarus Project. It also partly explains her initial, somewhat distant attitude on Illium.
  • Canada, Eh?: Mostly averted, but listen to Liara say 'Protheans'. It almost always comes out as 'Prootheans'.
  • Captain Obvious: During parts of Lair of the Shadow Broker. Frequently lampshaded by Shepard.
  • Character Development: In the first game, Liara T'Soni is a stuttering, bookish, nerdy girl. In the sequel she has become a ruthless information trader, but her tough attitude is revealed to be a defense mechanism if you romanced her in the first game.
  • Character Tic: Whenever something fascinates her, she adopts what could best be described as a standing up variation of the Thinker Pose.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In the sequel, where she's somehow become an information broker despite no prior evidence that she had any skills in the field. If the terminals around the Shadow Broker's ship is any indication, she also doesn't seem to stop some of his business practices.
    • Still presented sympathetically given that she had to do this to succeed as an information broker.
  • Cutscene Incompetence / Cutscene Power to the Max: A really weird hybrid occurs when you first rescue her in Mass Effect 1. You're confronted directly by a Krogan Battlemaster and a small squad of Geth Shock Troopers after exiting the room you found her in via an elevator. In the cutscene right before the fight begins, you see her start glowing with a blue aura and balling her fists, which usually means she's about to unleash a biotic attack. Then the gameplay actually starts and she just cowers on the floor while the battlemaster charges you.
    • However she had been in a stasis field for a while by this point, so its possible she flared her biotics in an attempt to fight back but the strain of doing so was simply too exhausting. The Codex and 3 mention that biotics require a higher calorie intake to keep their abilities at full strength, whereas Liara can't even remember the last time she ate. It's safe to say she's not at her full strength during that scene.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Mass Effect: Redemption and Lair of the Shadow Broker.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Upon becoming the new Shadow Broker, Liara vows to use her newfound power and influence for the power of good, and to aid Shepard in stopping the Reapers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has plenty of moments. In fact, by the third game, she may just be the most sarcastic squadmate after Garrus.
  • Determinator: She spends two years of her life hunting down the Shadow Broker in a quest for vengeance. Deconstructed, as she is very clearly obsessed and Shepard has the option to call her desire for vengeance insane.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: In the first game, Liara's attempts to explain why she's so interested in you in purely scientific means leads to a series of flustered, ever-escalating double entendres.
  • Discount Lesbians
  • Distressed Damsel: You recruit her by rescuing her from a horde of bad guys, she doesn't fight once throughout the entire level, and she almost faints even after you've got her on the ship. Add this to her general naivete and she seems like the poster child for this trope. Then you actually take her into battle, and quickly realize that she can take care of herself.
    • It should be noted that when you rescue her, she's unarmed and fatigued from being held immobile for goodness knows how long. (If you save that mission for last, she thinks she's hallucinating Shepard's party.)

 Kaidan: When was the last time you ate? Or slept?

 Liara: Incredible, the Beacon seems to think you are Prothean, Shepard. It must be from the Cipher you got back on Feros, all those years ago.

Javik: Or it could be the Prothean standing right next to you.

  • Fling a Light Into the Future: Taking a cue out from the Protheans in 3 she plants several time capsules across many worlds to warn future species in the event that the Reapers aren't stopped. She even has a section devoted to the heroics of Shepard, and you can tell her how wish it told.
  • Go Mad From the Isolation: Liara seems to be on the brink of this in the first game if you decide to rescue her after the rest of the main story missions. By the time you get there, she's completely convinced you're a realistic hallucination. So, yes, all that time you spent flying around, she's been locked in stasis.
  • Guest Star Party Member: In Lair of the Shadow Broker.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Counters the Shadow Brokers' speech with one of her own. He didn't like it much.
  • Has Two Mommies: And the other mommy is an asari. Which is why she's shunned so much, as asari-asari relationships restrict genetic diversity ... and have a higher chance of causing genetic defects like the Ardat-Yakshi.
    • As seen in Bi the Way, ambiguously gendered asari are "female" in the eyes of every other race, possessing the same sex organs and characteristics as would be expected for mammalian females, though one asari serves as the "father," and upon meeting her, she doesn't know who her mother Matriarch Benezia's partner was.
    • Ultimately averted. Her "father" is shown in the third game to be Matriarch Aethyta, the bartender from Illium and then the Presidium, assigned to keep an eye on Liara after Benezia went evil. Even though Liaria's father is 'female,' she is very adamant that she is Liara's father, not her second mother. When Shepard mentions that humans would call her Liara's "other mother," Liara's father says "Well I'm not human, am I? Anthropocentric bag of dicks."
  • Hero Worshipper: Towards Shepard big-time.
    • In "Lair of the Shadow Broker", it's shown that her apartment is filled with souvenirs of her travels with Shepard from the first game, Prothean relics, a painting of Ilos, fragments of Shepard's N7 armour and a framed picture of the Normandy on her bedside cabinet.
    • In the third game, she programs a series of time-capsules to be sent across the galaxy in case the mission fails with one whole section of the archive devoted solely to tales of Shepard's exploits. If Shepard encourages her to be the one to decide how they will be remembered, she practically gushes over him/her.
  • Hidden Depths: "Lair of the Shadow Broker" features this in abundance.
  • Hot-Blooded: Liara definitely comes across as this in the second and third game. Matriarch Aethyta, her father, believes that this is because she's a quarter-krogan.
  • Hot Scientist
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't.: After killing the Shadow Broker, Shepard asks Liara how she knew that the Shadow Broker was a yahg. She actually had no idea; she just made an educated guess on the spot.
  • In-Universe Catharsis: "Lair of the Shadow Broker" provides closure for Liara's two years of mourning, grief and pain.
  • I Shall Taunt You: When confronting the Shadow Broker, she brings up his status as the previous Broker's "pet", triggering his Berserk Button. Judging by the files on him, wherein the previous Broker warned him to watch his temper and that losing it costs him his better judgment, he would have been a far more dangerous opponent in the subsequent battle if Liara hadn't pissed him off.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • If you have progressed far enough in the romance with Ashley or Kaidan by the time you get her romance dialogue, she admits she has a huge crush on Shepard but gracefully backs down, saying it is obvious Shepard already has strong feelings for Ashley/Kadian and that she doesn't want to come between them.
    • Also, in the second game, whether Shepard cheated on her or remained faithful to her, she will tell him/her that if s/he wants to move on, she can accept that and be happy for him/her.
  • Jerkass Facade: She adopts one in the sequel to allow herself to operate in Illium's underworld.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: Her reaction to meeting Javik, a living Prothean, in 3. Lampshaded by everyone, with Shepard joking that they'll hand over questions to Liara because she looks like she's about to explode.
  • Knight Templar: During the interim beween the first and second game, though Paragon Shepard can pull her back from this.
  • Knowledge Broker
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Throughout the duration of "Lair of the Shadow Broker", there is frequent humorous banter and interaction between Shepard and Liara.
  • The Medic: Her class skill in the first game adds to the amount of HP healed by medigel on top of the first aid ability.
  • Mind Over Matter
  • Minored in Asskicking: Most people find it more than a little odd that an archeologist would be so good at combat. Then Liara points out that since they have potential for containing incredible technology, Prothean ruins are popular targets for pirates and mercenary raids. And Liara has worked in Prothean ruins. Alone. For decades.
  • Never My Fault: Liara has a tendency to blame others for problems that stem as a result of her own mistakes; not only does she yell at Javik frequently for not living up to her (extremely romanticized) view of Protheans. but also criticizes Ashley/Kaidan for their distrust of Shepard when Shepard is working for Cerberus in Mass Effect 2. This detail was something she knew about for two years but was too obsessed with getting revenge on the Shadow Broker to do anything about.
  • Nice Girl
  • Number Two: In Mass Effect 3, she acts as an unofficial XO for the Normandy.
  • Not So Different: Noticable in the second game, when Liara at times begins to unconsciously channel her mother.
  • Older Than They Look: She's 106 years old, "barely more than a child." Asari live for about a thousand.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted. In Peak 15, she may say the following upon the end of the first engagement against the rachni:

 Liara: Xenobiology is not my field. Maybe someone in the labs knows.

  • Parental Abandonment: She never knew her second parent's identity, only her species (another asari--a major social no-no, because asari value genetic diversity and also because that's where Ardat-Yakshi come from) and her relationship with her mother was apparently strained at best. And that was before Benezia joined up with Saren and Co. In the third game, Shepard can find out that her father is Matriach Aethyta, and encourage Liara to go talk to her.
  • Plot Armor: Liara will survive all the way to the final mission of Mass Effect 3, no matter what you do. That's not true of any other character on this page. She can still get blasted by Harbinger during the final push if your EMS is too low.
  • Redeeming Replacement: To the Shadow Broker, though she wasn't interested in redeeming his name so much as she thought that the organization was too useful to let go to waste.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Liara can be pursued as a romance in 3 even if you previously turned her down in the first game.
  • Religious Bruiser: In the first game, at least, it's implied that she is quite religious.
  • Required Party Member: During "Lair of the Shadow Broker" in Mass Effect 2 and twice in Mass Effect 3. The first is on Eden Prime in the "From Ashes" DLC, where you need her knowledge of the Protheans. The second is the mission on Thessia, Liara's homeworld.
  • Revenge: Her primary goal, as of Mass Effect 2, is to track down and kill the Shadow Broker for trying to sell Shepard's body to the Collectors. The DLC "Lair of the Shadow Broker" lets you achieve that goal in spectacular Roaring Rampage style.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: "Lair of the Shadow Broker" is all about Liara rescuing Feron from the Broker after he was captured at the end of Redemption. Liara becoming the Shadow Broker is just an added perk.
  • Schrodinger's Gun: Regardless of whether the player downloaded the "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC, Liara is still the Shadow Broker as of the third game. It's just that how she got there is a bit different: If Shepard didn't help Liara take down the Broker, Liara hired dozens of mercenaries--all of them the best of the best--and took on the Broker in a Zerg Rush.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Potentially, if you make her fight alongside you to take down her mother in the first game. This is actually suggested by a party member, though, since Liara would know more about her mother, who's causing problems for everyone, than anyone else, and you have to fight Liara's mother one way or another.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Played with. She becomes incredibly ruthless by the second game in her hunt for the Shadow Broker, even if Paragon!Shep is continuously trying to pull her back. Ultimately subverted, since while she does kill and even take the place of the Shadow Broker, she vows to only use the vast power to help Shepard fight the Reapers.
  • Shout-Out: An archaeologist called L(i)ara...
  • Shrinking Violet: In the first game.
  • Skilled but Naive: At least in the first game. Not so much in the second game.
  • Slasher Smile: In Shadow Broker, she gets off a nasty one after dressing down the Shadow Broker, pressing all of its Berserk Buttons.
  • Squishy Wizard: Liara can only wear light armor and has low health. She makes up for it with spectacular biotic capabilities.
    • Comes back even more strongly in the third game, where she might be the only biotic on your squad (if Shepard isn't one, Kaidan's dead and you haven't bought Javik). This can turn her low CON scores into a distinct achilles' heel.
  • The Stoic: Post time-skip and post Break the Cutie in the second and third games she tends to act like this, almost never raising her voice and becoming somewhat The Comically Serious mixed with Broken Bird.
    • Not So Stoic: Still has moments of genuine emotion namely when she and shepard kill the shadow broker, when she hooks up with you later in the shadow broker DLC, when Thessia is attacked by the Reapers, and during certain romantic scenes in the third game.
  • Survivor Guilt: In addition to the guilt she feels for handing Shepard's body to Cerberus, it's heavily implied (especially in a romance) that she felt great guilt for surviving while Shepard was killed.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Her first conversation with Shepard, in which her fascination with his/her exposure to the beacon leads her to referring to him/her as an interesting test subject.
  • Took a Level In Badass: She starts out as an awkward and bookish archaeologist. In the sequel, she works as a ruthless information broker and is trying to take down the Shadow Broker. When Shepard meets her again, she is threatening to flay someone alive with her mind.
    • Mind you, that was before she chased Vasir by jumping out a window, and dropped plasma on the Shadow Broker. Not to mention how many of the Shadow Broker's mooks she tears through.
    • What makes that scene even more powerful (and chilling) is that she's practically channeling Benezia at that point. "Have you ever faced an asari commando unit before? Few humans have." Her mother told Shepard the same thing in ME1.
    • Even before working to kill the Shadow Broker, she displays a lot of determination and ruthlessness in the "Mass Effect: Redemption" comic book. Apparently, working with Shepard was a very significant influence.
    • Redemption well and truly earned.
    • Lair of the Shadow Broker has her take two giant levels in badass. The first is when we encounter her in the trade center, where she's chasing down a Spectre and hurling Shadow Broker agents around like toys. Let's repeat that for clarification: Liara is making a freaking Spectre flee from her. The second makes her potentially even more powerful than Shepard.

 Liara: Give me ten minutes and I can start a war.

  • Undying Loyalty: To Shepard, possibly moreso than anyone else in the series. Can also fit with Violently Protective Girlfriend below.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Even if you don't romance her, Liara's friendship with Shepard still has a level of this to it.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Following Shepard's temporary demise, she took up a one-woman crusade to get his/her body back from the Shadow Broker and the Collectors. As of the end of the second game, she's still working to track the Broker down and make them pay for daring to touch Shepard.
    • She doesn't even need to be a girlfriend for this. Even if it's just a friend relationship, she will destroy you if EVER try to harm Shepard.
    • When you've got a millenium-long lifespan, spending a decade or two hunting down the jerk who messed with your buddy doesn't sound so unreasonable.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid: Though she's depicted as naive, she's not exactly an idiot. Still, she's less streetwise than Tali, who hasn't even spent any time off of a ship, since she spent most of her time alone in Prothean ruins with the only people she ever meets being pirates or looters, who tend to wind up dead.
    • Tali also mentioned being trained to survive away from the fleet, however.
    • Tali is also a virgin when you first meet her.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Yes. She has more than a little friction with her mother, Matriarch Benezia, and she never knew her "father" either. Unless you coax the two into talking in the third game.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Surprisingly absent in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC- even if you've cheated on her with another squad mate, she doesn't get angry about it.
    • She does call you out about hooking up with another love interest - but then immediately apologizes for her outburst.
  • Woman in White: Her preferred outfit in Mass Effect 2 and 3, reflecting her new Stoic, Lady of War tendencies.
  • When She Smiles: In the second and third games post-Break the Cutie.
  • The Ingenue: Shy, sweet, and easily flustered? Yep.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Paragon Shepard's interrupts in Lair of the Shadow Broker reminding her of how she was when they met and urging her to not descend into Well-Intentioned Extremist territory, not even to protect them.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: After she and Shepard kill the Shadow Broker, she takes his place. She's at least the third person to hold the title.
  • Youthful Freckles


Tali'Zorah

Admiral Tali'Zorah nar Rayya/vas Neema/vas Normandy

File:Tali 6115.jpg

"Our Pilgrimage proves we are willing to give of ourselves for the greater good. What does it say about me if I turn my back on this?"

Voiced by: Ash Sroka

A quarian mechanist who specializes in technology and is traveling on her Pilgrimage to find technology or resources valuable to the quarian Migrant Fleet. Joins Shepard's team for protection when she finds incriminating information about Saren, and remains both out of gratitude and to help bring down Saren. She is also a party member in the sequels, as well as a romance option.


  • Action Girl
  • Adorkable: A female example of the trope, particularly when you romance her in the sequel.

Shepard: "I trust you too, Tali, but you don't have to prove anything to me."
Tali: "I know...well, no, not that I know...it's just that...well...it's not normally like this...I mean, wow...when did it get so hot in here?"

James: "Yeah, your Quarian friend. The jumpy one with the glowing eyes? Sparks."
Shepard: "Uh-huh."

    • A male Shepard who romances her calls her "Miss vas Normandy". Joker quips that, every time he hears Shepard call her that, he expects her to be wearing a sash and tiara.
  • All-Loving Heroine: By the third game, she has become this, believing that the Quarians and Geth should forget about the bad blood between them and just live in peace. In fact, on the Citadel, she uses her connections in the Migrant Fleet to get a turian colony evacuated at the insistence of one of its former inhabitants, even though that same guy was a clerk on the Citadel who refused to let her into the Presidium, called her a "suit rat" and didn't even get her a doctor when she had a bullet in her arm. She notes that, while she could rub in her current power to him, it wouldn't solve anything and would be immature. She is easily in the running for nicest character in the entire trilogy.
  • Apologetic Attacker: She really doesn't want to kill Legion, and tells it before it dies that yes, it really does have a soul. She then mourns him later.
  • Appropriated Appellation: During her loyalty quest, the Admiralty board has Tali's ship name changed from "vas Neema" to "vas Normandy", in the belief that being associated with a human ship (and having a human captain represent her instead of a quarian) would hurt her chances of avoiding exile. After you earn Tali's loyalty (especially if you proved the admirals wrong and got Tali acquitted without the evidence), she decides to let the name stick.
  • Badass: Just how badass is Tali? Let us count the ways...
    • Badass Adorable: She can fight her way through hundreds of geth without breaking a sweat and yet she stammers when you romance her. She also names her combat drones and praises them for doing a good job of killing things.
    • Badass Bookworm: Being a quarian, she is required to know about advanced subjects like starship engineering. And even among quarians she is considered an expert.
    • Four-Star Badass
    • Authority Equals Asskicking: Though only technically. She's an Admiral in the third game, but aside from making a few deals on the Citadel and voting against going to war with the geth, she doesn't really do any admiral stuff.
      • Asskicking Equals Authority: The reason she's promoted to the position of Admiral is because she knows more about kicking geth ass than any other living Quarian.
  • Battle Couple: With Shepard if romanced in 2.
  • Beautiful All Along: After three games worth of anticipation, it's revealed that Quarians look incredibly similar to humans under those masks.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tali is right up there with Kaidan in the sheer niceness department. That doesn't change the fact that she is an absolute beast with a shotgun, can easily lock down most enemies and can potentially have the strongest shields in your entire party even without upgrades. And when provoked, she can get both vicious and creative.

Tali: (after being told by Shepard to not lose sleep over an incredibly racist volus) "My brain agrees with you. My gut says I should jack his suit's olfactory filters so that everything smells like refuse!"
Garrus: "Remind me not to get on your bad side."

    • In Mass Effect 3, her response to viewing the Illusive Man's plan to emotionally manipulate a vulnerable Shepard (after being resurrected by the Lazarus Project and cut off from all his friends and allies) into working with Cerberus shows she can be quite frightening when she is well and truly angry.

Tali: "Just so you know, I'm running a fever, I've got a nasty cough, and my sinuses are filled with something I can't even describe. And it was totally Worth It."

  • Can't Have Sex Ever: She works HARD to subvert this. The Shadow Broker's files reveal that she once had "nerve stimulation" implants, had them removed/turned off reinstalled and finally had it installed and upgraded.
    • Assuming you romanced her, this is no longer a problem by the third game. Her body's immune system has adapted enough that she can have sex with Shepard safely.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: After the Horizon mission in 3, you can find her in the Normandy lounge getting hammered. If you then go down to the cargo bay to talk to Javik, you walk in on her drunk-dialing him.
  • Character Development: Tali is more mature in the sequel. Also, see Vocal Evolution.
  • Chekhov's Gun: You know that knife strapped to her boot that we never see her using? It can come up in one very important moment in 3 - stabbing Legion if you pick the Quarians over the Geth.
  • Clingy Costume: Like all Quarians.
  • The Conscience: Acts as one of the voices of reason in the sequel... except on the topic of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Cooldown Hug: Shepard has the option of giving this to her after she finds her father's dead body.
  • Covert Pervert: It's fairly obvious during the second game that Tali has secretly lusted after Male!Shep since practically day one. And the second he shows any romantic interest in her, the first thing she makes clear is that she wants him to do the honors, so to speak.
    • In Lair of The Shadow Broker, it is revealed in her suit program registry log that she has repeatedly installed, uninstalled, reinstalled and finally upgraded a "nerve stim" program, if you know what I mean.
    • And to continue Lair goodness, the same log as the 'nerve stim' program reveals she downloaded a video on 'Human Courtship and Mating'.
      • It should be noted that she downloads the video regardless of whether Shepard is male or female.
  • Curtains Match the Window: A rather more literal example than most, both her visor and hood being purple in color.
    • Subverted when a picture of her without a suit is shown in the third game. Although her hair could be a deep shade of purple, matching her choice in clothing. It's... kinda hard to tell.
  • A Date with Nerve Stimulation Implants: It's revealed in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC that she had them, then removed then reinstalled multiple times before installed once again and upgrading them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: To wit:

Tali: (to Garrus) "I'm glad the imminent destruction of all organic life has improved your career opportunities."
Tali: (to Shepard) "What could I possibly be suggesting? I mean, a young woman gets saved by a dashing commander who lets her join his crew and then goes off to save the galaxy? How could she possibly develop any interest in him?"

  • Death Glare: Tali manages to throw a withering Death Glare at Jacob during her briefing on the Normandy SR-2 - through an opaque helmet, which somehow makes it even more menacing.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Gets flustered and does this after accidentally revealing her attraction to Shepard in the second game.
    • Alternately, if neither she nor Garrus is romanced by Shepard, this is her reaction when Shepard walks in on her and Garrus together...
  • Driven to Suicide: In 3, if you can't get the geth and the quarians to work together, choosing the geth side means she has to watch the entire fleet get blown out of the sky. She jumps off a cliff to her death.
  • Disc One Nuke: In the first game, she was a ridiculously durable death machine with maxed out Electronics and "Quarian Machinist", which raised her shields to very high levels, and in the former's case let her sap the shields off any enemy in one go. It was very easy to max out both those skills very early in the game.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: She resorts to this once or twice during the third game. It takes triple-filtered turian brandy introduced through an "emergency induction port".

Shepard: "That's a straw, Tali."
Tali: "Emmeeerrrgency induction port."

  • The Engineer: In the first game, Chief Engineer Adams is impressed with her skill. In the second, she gets automatically promoted to chief engineer herself as soon as she's recruited.
    • In the third game, with the return of Chief Engineer Adams, she unofficially becomes Second Engineer and acts as his Relief. Adams comments that its good to have her back as she clearly knows the new Normandy's engines better than he does.
  • Enemy Mine: What she sees working with Legion as.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: She became a love interest in the second game and her fanbase rejoiced. Except for the ones who were disappointed that she wasn't a love interest for Female Shepard.
  • Everyone Can See It: Her feelings for Male Shep. Kelly, Kasumi, Garrus, Liara and Javik can all comment on it.
  • The Exile: In Mass Effect 2, one outcome of her loyalty mission is that she can be permanently exiled from the Migrant Fleet, but she still has a home on the Normandy.
  • The Faceless: Justified. Her species has a weak immune system that means she must wear a special suit at all times.
  • Fantastic Racism: Sometimes slips into this, the Geth having become a major Berserk Button for the Quarians.
  • Four-Star Badass: Admiral, to be exact, in Mass Effect 3.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Quarians' hat, but Tali is especially so.

Tali: "Give me some eezo and a circuit board and I'll have it making precision jumps."

Tali: "It's good to be back on the Normandy."
Shepard: "Let me know if it's too quiet for you to sleep. I'm sure I can find you someplace louder."
Tali: "Hmm..."

    • Made better if Ashley is with you.

Ashley: "Maybe we can talk about this when we're not on a damn Geth Dreadnought."

    • Most of the crews' reactions are priceless.

Garrus: "Uh, I was there when you two had your thing, remember? Just Get a Room and work it out."

Kaiden: "Uh, if you like, I could give you two some privacy."

    • The real kicker is if new guy James Vega is in the group.

James: "Okay, what am I missing?"
EDI: "Shepard and Tali became physically intimate during the fight against the Collectors."
James: "Umm, Too Much Information."
Shepard: "Thank you, EDI..."

Tali: "Turian brandy, triple filtered and introduced into the suit through an emergency induction port."
Shepard: "That's a straw, Tali."
Tali: "Emmeeerrrgency induction port."

Ken: "Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful bucket... The whole suit is lovely, quite snug in all the right places..."
Tali: "You know I can hear you!"

  • Les Yay: A bit towards Female Shepard.

Tali: (on joining envirosuits) "I haven't trusted anyone enough for that, though. Except... well... um. No quarians. You know what I mean."
Shepard: "I appreciate the thought, Tali, and I feel the same way - but you don't have to prove anything to me."
Tali: "I know. But I would be honored to join suit environments with you. I-if you were a quarian, and if we weren't already on a suicide mission, and I-I'm going to tinker a little bit more, thanks for coming by."

  • Lost Forever: Like Garrus, link up with her in 2 or forever hold your peace.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: Towards Shepard. Upped in the sequel. BIG time.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: A literal example, even if she isn't evil at all. Rael's research is morally questionable at best, and beyond the Moral Event Horizon at worst.
  • Matzo Fever: Since quarians are Ambiguously Jewish. "Tali" is actually a girl's name in Hebrew, according to Behind The Name.
    • Hot Gypsy Woman: Unless you subscribe to the notion they're space gypsies.
      • Or that they're Bedouin.
      • They've got shades of all three and more. Their "Admiralty Board" is rather Royal Navy-ish.
  • Motor Mouth: She admits to this when she becomes nervous.
  • Nice Girl: Doesn't even begin to describe her.
  • Noble Bigot: Make no mistake - as selfless and heroic as Tali is, she hates synthetic lifeforms. And she's one of the more open-minded Quarians. Of course, this is a Justified Trope given her situation. Her people were driven off their home planet and nearly destroyed by their own created AI race, and the geth later kill her father as well. The fact that the Quarians started it aside, Tali has more than a few reasons to be distrustful of, if not hostile towards, say, Legion. Later, thanks to Character Development, the aforementioned open-mindedness pays off. Legion, through the player's choice, can make her be more friendly towards the Geth, sparking a friendly Not So Different situation in the third game to resolve the whole quarian/geth conflict. Doing so factors in to the potential for reconciliation between the Geth and Quarians.
  • Odd Friendship: In 3, it seems that she and Legion have been in communication, and it's clear that they develop a strange fondness for one another even after the other admirals lead the Quarians back into war with the Geth.
  • Only Sane Man: Behind Jacob and Legion, Tali is one of the more sensible crewmembers on the Normandy, though she still has her issues. At least until Mass Effect 3.
  • Optional Party Member: Just like Thane, Samara, Grunt, Zaeed, Kasumi and Legion, you can complete the second game without her. Doing this will come back to haunt you, though...
  • Orgasmic Combat: Her French acting.
  • Pardon My Klingon: She uses the term "bosh'tet" from time to time.
  • Pair the Spares: If your Male Shepard does not romance Tali in Mass Effect 3, she will end up with Garrus
    • When you consider that Garrus is essentially a Paragade Shepard, it makes sense that she's attracted to those qualities.
  • Plotline Death: Can suffer this in ME2, at which point she does not appear in ME3. Can also suffer this in ME3, depending on your choices during the re-ignited Quarian/Geth war.
  • Precision B-Strike: When she's truly mad, she tends to use the term "bosh'tet". She screams it at Kai Leng if she's brought along to Thessia.
  • Rank Up: She is an Admiral in the third game.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Technically becomes this in Mass Effect 3, even if her position as an admiral is mostly ceremonial. She's still very helpful if you want to broker peace between the Quarians and Geth.
  • Reassignment Backfire: When the Admiralty Board accuses her of treason, they officially change her ship from the Neema to the Normandy, in hopes of publicly ostracizing her from the fleet and under the impression that Shepard would do a substandard job of defending her.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Potentially with Male Shepard in the second game.
  • Rescue Romance: It even gets lampshaded by Tali that she often gets rescued by Shepard; not that she can't handle herself, but it certainly helped kick-start her feelings for him.
    • Is done in reverse as well when she saves Shepard in the third game - that is, if you side with the quarians in their conflict with the geth. Also happens on the Geth Dreadnought, where Tali saves Shepard from falling to his/her death when the elevator is damaged by a Geth rocket-propelled grenade.
  • Required Party Member: In Mass Effect 3, the first and last missions of the Rannoch arc.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: She can hack synthetic enemies and get them to kill each other. This includes Geth Primes, Geth Armatures, Atlas Mechs and all types of turrets. Like most powers, it was nerfed heavily in the second game (it was considered overpowered in the first due to almost half of the game's enemies being synthetic), but was buffed again in the third.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Her character quest in the sequel centers around her being held responsible for her father's geth experimentations.
  • Shoot the Dog: If you can't broker peace between the Quarians and the Geth, then you must choose one of the two. If you choose the Quarians, then Legion will knock Shepard down, strangle him/her and hold him/her over the edge of a cliff. Tali then stabs it. In Legion's final moments, Tali tells it that she's sorry and that it does have a soul.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrinking Violet: In her romance with Shepard in the sequel. She gets more confident and flirtatious in the third game.
    • She's actually quite snippy. You sass her, she'll gladly return fire. Just ask Wrex.
    • Also, keep in mind that she isn't generally shy and is perfectly capable of having a conversation without stuttering or getting nervous.
  • Shutting Up Now: See Les Yay.
  • The Smart Guy: The tech and engineering expert.
  • Something Only They Would Say: How she can potentially realize that, yes, that is Shepard standing in front of her in the beginning of the second game. Only s/he would know about how she got the geth data for her Pilgrimage.
  • Space Elves
  • Squishy Technician: Her tech powers can be incredibly useful when trying to mezz enemies, especially when dealing with synthetics, but her physical durability is pretty poor, due in part to the general fragility of her suit and (in ME1 at least) the rarity of her armor upgrades. In Mass Effect 1, this is balanced out by pouring points into her Electronics skill and her "Quarian Engineer" Class skill, which increases her shields to the point where she can survive pretty much the whole game with the same suit she started with; in the sequel, she's a bit more durable in general and gets a loyalty power that drains enemies' shields or synthetics' health and replenishes (or even overcharges) her own shields.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She is the tallest female squad-mate, and as tall as M!Shep
  • Subordinate Excuse: The second game reveals that she goes with Shepard just as much to be around him as to save the galaxy.
  • Sure Why Not: Like Garrus, got upgraded to a love interest in the sequel due to fan demand.
  • Talking Lightbulb: What with being a Quarian and all.
  • Terrified of Germs: Though not as terrified as most of her race, if her behavior towards male!Shep is any indicator (either that or If It's You It's Okay, though with germs as the feared entity instead of, you know, gay).
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: She wears purple.
  • To Absent Friends: Regarding Miranda of all people, if the latter doesn't survive Sanctuary in the third game.
  • Took a Level In Badass: At the beginning of the first game, she's a teenager in way over her head, on the run from a few thugs. Come the third game - three years, more or less, in-universe - and she is an Admiral of the Quarian Flotilla.
  • Tranquil Fury: Cerberus tends to be a calming influence on Tali.

"I don't know who you are, but Cerberus threatened the security of the Migrant Fleet. Don't make nice. [...] I assumed you were undercover, Shepard. Maybe even planning to blow Cerberus up. If that's the case, I'll lend you a grenade."

(after listening to the Illusive Man talking about how to manipulate Shepard into trusting him) "He needs to die."

  • Tsundere: After Shepard affirms that he still wants to be in a relationship with her in the third game, she becomes much more relaxed around him, to the point that she starts displaying some of these traits.

Tali: "I thought I'd lost you!"
Shepard: "You were worried?"
Tali: "You bet I was! You dying because the geth overrode my hack? Think of my reputation!"
Shepard: "Yeah, you were worried..."

  • Underestimating Badassery: The Shadow Broker in 2 has a unique comment for each potential party member about how valuable eliminating them and Shepard would be. But Tali? He's surprised Liara brought her along, what with her botched research mission on Haestrom. Though he could just be trying to press her Berserk Button.
  • Undying Loyalty: Three guesses as to who...
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Gets a hint of this in the third game provided Shepard romances her, especially if she kills Legion. Also, she has four very simple words to say once the files at the Cerberus Base reveal how the Illusive Man tried to manipulate Shepard into seeing Cerberus as sympathetic.

Tali: "He needs to die."

  • Vocal Evolution: At the very beginning of the first game, Ash Sroka hasn't quite settled the nuances yet; Tali's voice is higher and has less of an accent. Her performance throughout the second game is uniform.
  • "Well Done, Daughter" Girl: Tali is sure her father loves her, but regardless is said to be rather distant, and probably has similar expectations for her as much as everyone else.
    • And if you don't hug her during her loyalty mission, she remarks on how her father never used his "sick days" to show her his face...
    • Comes across in the third game when she gets hammered on Turian Brandy and admits in a conversation with Shepard that one of the reasons she admires Miranda is because she never changed herself to please her father. Even if half the time she was a "Cerberus Cheerleader Bosh'tet".
      • If romanced, she also comments that she's getting drunk with her boyfriend. Her human boyfriend.

Tali: "My father would have hated you..."

  • What the Hell, Hero?: She will call Shepard out if he/she betrays her trust.
    • Well, she also reacts that way when she finds out Shepard is working for Cerberus, has a functional AI on board and/or recruits Legion.
    • In the first game, Shepard can call her out on her attempts to justify the Quarians' attempted genocide of the geth when the geth became sentient (an action that led to the civil war that resulted in the quarians fleeing their homeworld).
  • What Would Shepard Do?:
    • Not as much as Garrus, but she tries, to the point of trying to emulate Shepard's nice job with the mining laser back on Therum with demolition charges. We'll just assume she forgot about how that kind of blew up in Shepard's face when s/he tried it.
    • Hey, it still got Shepard what s/he wanted.
    • Another example: When trying to help a fellow quarian on Illium who sold herself into indentured servitude to pay off stock market debts, Tali will follow Shepard's lead if you try to charm/intimidate a Synthetic Insights rep into buying her contract, offering increased business with the Migrant Fleet if you use Charm, and threatening to park said Migrant Fleet on top of Synthetic Insight's headquarters if you use Intimidate.
      • In 3, she'll state flat-out that the only reason she took the Admiral position was because she thought Shepard would do the same thing in her position.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Makes it very clear that she was never close to her father in childhood. Though that is sort of expected if your father is part of the leadership council for your entire race.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Spiders?: If she is brought along for the rachni sidequest in 3, she makes it clear she does not like creepy crawlies. By freaking out when attacked by swarmers and screaming "Spiders, spiders, spiders, spiiiiiiiiiders!!!" A later conversation with Garrus reveals she's felt this way since day one. If you have the Mass Effect: Datapad iOS app, she even sends you an email on the subject.

Tali: "Spiders, Shepard. Seriously. Spiders."

Tali: "And for the record? Still totally Worth It."

  • Wrench Wench: Quarians are the whole race of incredibly skilled engineers. And even among the Quarians, she is considered to be one of the best engineers and Geth specialists.
    • Note that it's not an Informed Ability. She is as skilled with technology as Legion and Kasumi. In other words, her level of tech-savvy rivals over a thousand linked geth programs and the best human thief in the galaxy.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In the sequel, Tali can be exiled from the Flotilla for treason.
    • This doesn't stop the Admirals from calling on her during their assault on the Geth in 3, but she admits she's their "dirty little secret". It also keeps you from making peace between the two sides, as she must be an Admiral for that.
  • The Un-Reveal: Go ahead, romance her in the sequel. See how sadistic Bioware can be.
    • Partially subverted. Close-ups do give you some view of her eyes and nose behind the mask. She looks rather human. And somehow, that just makes it all the more sadistic.
      • If you romance her in Mass Effect 3, you get a photo of her unmasked. She actually looks very close to human, with some dark lines along her neck and three-fingered hands. She even has human-like hair.
      • And glowing eyes. The dark lines are also not exclusive to the neck, she has some on her forehead too, linking to her eyebrows.
  • You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You?: Seems to be her motivation to "find a way before the last fight".

Urdnot Wrex

Urdnot Wrex

File:PhpsdLKkHAM 4868.jpg

 "Anyone who fights us is either stupid or on Saren's payroll. Killing the latter is business. Killing the former is a favor to the universe."

 Voiced by: Steven Barr

A krogan battlemaster who combines close-combat skills and enormous physical strength and durability with biotic powers. Joins Shepard's team out of both an interest in fighting a good battle and because the money is nice. Becomes a progressive-minded overlord of the krogan people in Mass Effect 2 if he survived the events of the first game, eventually uniting them under his banner.


  • Afraid of Needles: Mordin claims this about Wrex when he's eager to leave his lab and donate tissue samples later. It may or may not be true, but either way it's hilarious. But when he finally gets around to it...
  • The All Solving Hammer: One of the first things Wrex usually suggests when confronted by a problem is to eat the individual responsible.
    • Ironically, a Thresher Maw Hammer is exactly the solution to defeat a Reaper on Tuchanka in 3, by summoning Kalros.
  • Ancestral Armor: In the first game, he asks Shepard to retrieve his family's armor from a turian smuggler.
    • In a subversion the constant arms race had made it an unequipable piece of junk, and is only valuable for personal reasons.

  Wrex: My ancestors actually wore this piece of junk?

  • Anti-Hero: Type IV or V in the original depending on your view; moves up the scale to Type III in the sequel if he survives.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He is a krogan, and thus tends to equate ass-kicking with respect. He may even discuss this with various other crewmembers, by asking them if they could beat Shepard in a fight [1]
    • In Mass Effect 2, assuming he survived the first game, he is in the process of reforming and uniting Krogan society through sheer force of personality (and ass kicking, when necessary).
  • Badass: MOFO ICED A THRESHER MAW ON FOOT IN HIS RITE OF PASSAGE. A feat nobody else would pull for hundreds of years afterwards. [2]
  • Badass Boast: I am Urdnot Wrex and THIS IS MY PLANET!!!
  • Badass Grandpa: Not overt, but Wrex hints that he was either born during or shortly after the Krogan Rebellions, making him very old, even for a Krogan.
    • Especially once you consider that, even though Mass Effect takes place in the future, Wrex would have been born when Earth still had Vikings.
  • Berserk Button: Any mention of destroying the krogan's chances of curing the genophage will provoke a violent reaction. It can get Wrex killed in the first game unless you can talk him down, and he will die in the third game if you sabotage the cure.
  • Big Good: Becomes this to the Krogans on Tuchanka if he lives past Virmire.
  • The Big Guy: Type 1 in the first Mass Effect, shifts to Class 5 if he survives to the sequel.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Krogan have secondary everything, from cardiovascular to nervous systems.
    • And four testicles, referred to in the fandom and then in the second game as a "quad".
  • Blood Brother/Blood Sister: He declares Shepard to be his if Shepard saves Eve and cures the genophage. To him, the krogan have no greater friend, no greater hero, than the commander.
  • Blood Knight: Though he's downright moderate compared to the rest of his species.
  • Bounty Hunter: One of many jobs he's taken over the centuries.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center
  • Captain Obvious: "I raised the hammers; you have to activate both of them. My advice is: avoid the giant laser!"
  • The Casanova: According to the krogan females.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Ashley kills him with one shot from a rifle in ME1 and Shepard can kill him with a pistol in ME3.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Provides half of the snark in the first game.
  • Death Glare: Displays a great one in 3 when the Salarian Dalatrass insults the Krogan. The look on his face makes it clear that he wants nothing more than to pull out a shotgun and leave a large hole in the Normandy's bulkhead where she was standing.
    • For bonus points, its done in close up, so you get to see just how pissed off Wrex is, taking up the entire screen.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Betray him by sabotaging the genophage cure and he'll completely lose it. He'll withdraw krogan support, leave the galaxy to burn, and tries to gun you down with a shotgun to boot. As far as he's concerned, if his species is going to go extinct, humanity can join them.
  • Dirty Old Man: In ME3, according to Eve, he's a bit... enthusiastic about fertile Krogan females.
    • Chivalrous Pervert: On the other hand, he respects women a lot more than the average Krogan
  • Driven to Suicide: A possibility, if you make a certain series of decisions. In ME3, if you sabotage the genophage cure, Wrex will come after you, conveniently forgetting his biotics and shields... Suicide by Shepard.
  • Enemy Mine: With the Turians in the third game. Despite the fact that neither Wrex nor Primarch Victus are quick to trust the other, Victus is completely in favour of curing the Genophage and Wrex makes good on his promise to send Krogan troops to aid in the defence of Palaven.
    • Victus and Wrex also seem to find common ground opposing the Salarian Dalatrass. She seems to clearly irritate them both.
  • Expy: He shares many traits with Canderous Ordo, of Knights of the Old Republic fame. Most notably, both come from a culture of Blood Knights, and are watching their people slowly die out.
  • Face Heel Turn: Seriously considers one during Virmire. If you're unable to talk him out of it, Ashley kills him to protect you.
    • If you sabotaged the genophage cure in Mass Effect 3, he will return later on, having found out, and tries to kill Shepard no matter what. He also calls off all his support for the war. Notably, he only does this after you yourself arguably cross the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Friendly Enemy: He mentions having one in an asari named Aleena who is strongly hinted to be a past life for Aria T'Loak in Mass Effect 2.
  • The Gadfly: Especially in the first game's infamous elevator sequences, where he frequently says outrageous things to your squadmembers just to see how they react.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's one of the toughest squad members in the series and also one of the most intelligent.
  • Genre Savvy: When talking to Grunt in the second game.

 Grunt: Okeer is dead.

Wrex: Of course he is. You're with Shepard. How could he be alive?

  • Good Is Not Nice: As krogan overlord, he institutes many reforms to help his species... and if he has to go against tradition or bust heads for it to work, so be it
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: All over his shell.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Initially believed Shepard survived being Spaced due to having a redundant nervous system.

 Shepard: Yeah, humans don't have that.

Wrex: Oh.... It must've been painful then.

  • Hidden Depths: An exile from a barbaric race. Utterly ruthless. A one man army. The most vicious bounty hunter in the galaxy. Also the only squadmate to be affected by Ashley or Kaidan's death (other than them obviously) and quite possibly the most sensitive and caring character towards Shepard other than Liara and Kaidan. And he tried to end his people's infighting, pretty much making him the krogan equivalent of a hippie. Who says bloodthirsty, thousand-year-old reptilian warlords don't have hearts?
    • Two of them, in point of fact.
  • I Work Alone: Fortunately, he's a reasonable example of this trope; he prefers to work by himself, but he's perfectly willing to operate with small groups. Shepard also works in small groups, so he's got no problems with that. It's just being part of armies he has issues with.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gives Shepard a very warm greeting as the krogan overlord. From a grizzled old cynic like him, that really means something. He even invites Grunt to be part of the clan. As warlord, he does everything in his power to aid his people, whether they like it or not.

 Wrex: Shepard! My friend!

    • Despite disliking salarians in general, he honestly comes to respect Mordin in ME3, affectionately nicknaming him "Pyjak."
    • After Mordin sacrifices himself to cure the genophage, Wrex says that he'll honour him by naming one of the newborn children after him. Maybe one of the girls.
  • Just Eat Him: He's fond of using this to end arguments. It's generally effective at making people go away.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: His interaction with "Eve" in the third game.
  • Killed Off for Real: Possible in the first game, which has repercussions throughout the series. Also possible in the third game, if you sabotage the genophage cure: he'll find out and you'll have to blow him away on the Citadel.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He'll kill the local crime lord Fist after you get Fist at your mercy. Tali and potentially Shepard certainly don't disagree.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Yes, he does help save the galaxy and eventually becomes chieftain of Clan Urdnot but he's also as cynical as they come.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He hits hard and fast.
  • Magic Knight: In addition to his substantial toughness and general combat skills, he's also a biotic.
  • The McCoy: To Dalatrass Linron's The Spock and Primarch Adrien Victus's The Kirk, in 3.
  • Meaningful Name: He's called Wrex because he wrecks stuff. Get it? It's funny because it's a pun!
  • My Friends and Zoidberg: Invoked in 3 if you bring Liara and Garrus along to Sur'kesh, he's deeply happy she's there... oh, and Garrus too.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Wrex is somewhere in between playing this straight and averting it. He mostly embraces the overall krogan culture and attitudes, but he's far more willing than most of his race to acknowledge a lot of their actions are idiotically self-destructive (to the point of making some attempt to fix that in the second game).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Wrex in no way comes off as dumb, but he is much more sophisticated than he lets on.
    • Also works in a subversion to his Blood Knight tendencies. One of the elevator convos has Garrus eagerly wanting to see how the Normandy handles in a fight, to which Wrex retorts about the folly of getting into slugging matches in a ship meant for stealth.
      • The opening of the second game proves that Wrex was entirely correct about that.
  • Odd Friendship: With Shepard. Dialogue in 3 indicates that he's deeply fond of Liara...and Garrus, in his own way.

  "I have to make friends with the one turian in the galaxy who thinks he's funny."

  • Optional Party Member: He doesn't have to be recruited to finish the first game.
  • Papa Wolf: Becomes this for his entire species.
  • Properly Paranoid: He was hired by Saren once, but eventually decided to leave without waiting for pay since it didn't take him long to get suspicious of the guy. Turns out all the other mercs he was working with were found dead a week later.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Deconstructed; he knows full well that the krogan people are too attached to their short-sighted warrior traditions to save themselves from extinction. In the sequels, he reconstructs the trope by seizing power of Clan Urdnot and working to return the krogan to a proud warrior race instead of a race of thugs for hire.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: We don't know how old exactly Wrex is, but given that he defeated a Thresher Maw over a thousand years ago and hints that he may have been around during the Krogan Rebellions (which happened in 700 AD)... yeah, Wrex is very old, even for a Krogan.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: About as reasonable of an authority figure as you can be for an entire species of Blood Knights.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: And red skin, and red guns...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Plays the red to Eve's blue as leaders of the Krogan.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In ME3, if you betray his friendship and sabotage the genophage cure, he will come after you on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. However, he will "conveniently" forget his barriers and biotics.
  • Royal Blood: To a degree; his father was an overlord of the Urdnot clan. In the sequel, if he survived Virmire, Wrex is now overlord of the krogan homeworld.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Wrex used to have a tribe of his own, though he fled Tuchanka after a fight with his father. In the sequel, he's become the overlord of most of the krogan clans.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In self-defense.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Believe it or not he embodies both sides of this trope. The latter is obvious but he shows a surprisingly caring side of himself after Virmire. He's the only character to talk about Ashley/Kaidan's death other than Joker and the Virmire Survivor, and the only character to comfort Shepard over it, telling you he respects your decision. The relationship between him and Paragon Shepard also fits this trope.
  • Slave to PR: He executes a gang leader against your orders because he was hired by the Broker to personally kill him. He even gives you the bounty if you don't bring him along and beat him to the punch - he won't take credit or payment for something he didn't do.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Mostly in the first game, less so in the sequel.
    • Arguable even in the first game. Wrex was willing to fight Shepard if it meant a chance to cure his people. He's certainly not the most moral party member, but someone who cares that much for his people shouldn't be called a sociopath.
      • As a mercenary Blood Knight, surely a certain amount of sociopathy is required, regardless of Virmire and his feelings about the krogan.
  • The Stoic: It's a significant moment whenever he really does emote.

 "Shepard."

"Wrex."

    • When Wrex joyfully bounds out of his "throne" to greet Shepard with unabashed happiness in 2, it's fairly startling.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Dislikes the self destructive violence of the other Krogans and is working to change it.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Subverted. Wrex admits he pretends to be this, simply because it's expected of krogan.
    • While Wrex isn't evil, he is the most ruthless of Shepard's original six squadmates. When the player is faced with a major Paragon/Renegade choice, one squadmate will always endorse the paragon choice, and one will always endorse the renegade choice. Wrex is the only party member to always endorse the renegade choice regardless of party combination. Even Ashley, the next most renegade squadmate, will endorse the paragon option if she is in the party with Wrex.
  • Too Dumb to Live: What he thinks of anyone that goes up against Shepard. Which makes you wonder what that says about him when he does this on Virmire. Played With in that he likely knew he had no chance at actually "winning" but was doing it as a matter of principle or honor rather than tactics. Thankfully, the player has three ways of talking him out of it.
    • The same logic also applies to his confrontation with Shepard in 3 if the cure is sabotaged, though there it might have been blind fury rather than any other reason.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Wrex seems to really like the elevators.
  • Undying Loyalty: By the second game, even if he can't go with Shepard, it's clear that he has nothing but undying respect for him/her and will help him/her in anyway he can.
  • Use Your Head: In true krogan fashion, he uses this to assert his dominance.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Garrus.
  • Warrior Poet: To be fair, he mostly writes his poems with guns.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • If he's taken to Noveria and Shepard spares the rachni queen. As he reminds you, millions of his ancestors died to defeat the rachni the first time.
    • If you deleted Maelon's research, he has some choice words for you in the last game - it takes rescuing Eve and following him to the Shroud before he's willing to call you a friend again.
    • If you betray his trust by sabotaging the genophage cure, he tries to kill you. On the same occasion, he also calls you out for your actions during the Citadel coup if you killed the VS - *and* for the turian bomb on Tuchanka if you let it go off. It's a bit of a low point for Shepard, all in all.

 Wrex: What's the matter? Ashley not around to do your dirty work? Oh right, you killed her too! And it's time you found out how that feels!

  • Worthy Opponent: Considered his Friendly Enemy Aleena to be this.
    • Wrex views Shepard as one when they first meet, seeing Shepard as a warrior worthy of his respect. He drops hints in the first game that he believes in a fight Shepard could easily take him down, which considering Wrex once single-handedly defeated a Thresher Maw, says a hell of a lot.

Guest Party Members

Richard L. Jenkins

Richard L. Jenkins

File:Jenkins 1199.jpg

"We've got a Spectre on board! That's why I'm so wound up - I can't wait for the real mission to start."
Voiced by: Josh Dean

An over-enthusiastic Alliance soldier from Eden Prime, he is assigned as part of your squad when everything goes to hell there. Continuing in the long-standing BioWare tradition of early sacrificial party members, he dies in the opening few minutes.


  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He says he's itching for some action just before the Eden Prime mission. Too bad the "action" in his case meant watching his homeworld get leveled by Saren and the Geth before being shot to pieces by a pair of Geth recon drones.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Despite his boundless enthusiasm and naivety, various characters imply that Jenkins was a very competent soldier.
  • Decoy Squad Member: He's a placeholder for Ashley, who joins a couple of minutes after Jenkins bites the dust.
  • Doomed Homeworld: Eden Prime is this for him. Pity he dies too soon for it to become a plot point.
    • And it's not entirely doomed anyway; there's a DLC mission there in the third game.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted - The Normandy crew is very upset about his death, and in the sequel, Dr. Chakwas reminisces about him over drinks with Shepard.
    • He's also on the memorial wall in the Normandy in Mass Effect 3, and Shepard will mention him during the Eden Prime mission if you download From Ashes.
    • One interpretation of why Shepard stopped a young, over-enthusiastic mercenary dead in their tracks, turned slowly around and (if taking the Paragon interrupt) broke the kid's gun before telling them to go home was because he reminded them too much of Jenkins.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Despite being with you for at most a minute or two and dying right before the first fight, he is a fully-functional squad member that can be issued orders and even has some skill points for you to assign despite never having an opportunity to use any abilities.
  • Hero Worshipper: To Shepard. This is rarely a good sign for a character's mortality rate this early in the story.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: His VA would go on to voice another overly-eager young man who gets shot first. However, you can save him through a Paragon Interrupt this time.
  • Naive Newcomer: Definitely had an incredibly idealistic outlook on the Spectres, and the heroism of Shepard him/herself.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Subverted, actually, despite the name. He's very eager to go out there and see some action, but still follows Shepard's orders to the letter and takes point. In the end, it still doesn't do him much good; some Geth recon drones ambush Jenkins and blow a hole through his chest before he even knows what's happening.
  • Sacrificial Lamb/Red Shirt: He dies right before Shepard's first battle.

Notes

  1. Kaidan dismisses the question with how he'd realistically never have to fight his superior officer; Wrex decides that that's why Shepard is his superior officer, and why s/he would win. Tali asks if Krogan size up everyone for a fight, to which he replies yes.
  2. Shepard can get in on doing that 2.
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