Commander shepard wiki

Commander shepard wiki DEFAULT

Commander Shepard


Main Playable Character

Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 2 is the main protagonist and playable character of the game. The preset character model for the quickstart is a male (default) Alliance Military Soldier named John, with the Earthborn/Sole Survivor profile. Shepard is classified N7 by the Human Alliance Military, being the hardest and best training for a Human soldier.

Shepard can be a male or female, default named John or Jane depending on the chosen gender although the character doesn’t have an official first name. That only affects who will be in the romance subplot of the game. The player can customize the first name, which is never spoken aloud in the game, to their pleasure, while the last name cannot be altered for purposes of dialogue. 


Commander Shepard Information

Shepard was born on April 11th and is a graduate of the N7 System Alliance Special Forces Program. After graduation, Shepard was assigned to the SSV Normandy as an Executive Officer. 

As Commander Shepard of the Systems Alliance Military, aboard the spacecraft Normandy, you represent humanity’s first and last line of defense against the strange wonders of a vast and often dangerous galaxy.


Commander Shepard Reconstruction

After the Citadel was attacked, Commander Shepard and his crew were ordered to search for the remaining GethEnemies. During the Missions, The Normandy got under attack and destroyed. Shepard was thrown into space with his hardsuit damaged, for which he apparently suffocated to death. Cerberus then recruited Liara to retrieve Shepard's body and created The Lazarus Project to resurrect Shepard back from the dead using cybernetic implants.

After two years, Shepard was revived, although the process was not yet fully completed, so you can see scars on Shepard's face. These scars are the result of cybernetic implants, and can be healed by earning Paragon points, though making decisions that grants Renegade points will make the scars more noticeable.

There is an upgrade that allows you to avoid the impact of your decisions on Shepard's scars. Doctor Chakwas explains that by upgrading the Normandy Medical Bay, Shepard can undergo surgery to permanently heal the scars, so the appearance will no longer be affected by moral decisions, or he can also use the upgrade to go to the Medical Bay at any time to heal the scars, regardless of the moral decisions you have made. 


Commander Shepard Background

Pre-service History represents the first of many choices that affect how characters will react to you during gameplay. Also, gives you a Morality System bonus, depending on your selection. This is not just a text you'll never see again; your choices here affect the storyline by accessing exclusive assignments (side quests) and Shepard's dialogues with various NPCs during the career.

You can customize your character’s early history choosing between: 

Psychological Profile opens up different dialogue options during gameplay and affects the character's morality. The Psychological profile makes up the second part of your agent's background. Each background choice comes with certain bonuses that directly affect your desired style of play. Your choice affects dialogue during the story and assignments made available at certain points of your career. 

You can customize your character’s early Psychological Profile in Character Creation choosing between: 

Depending on your Background your character will have starting Paragon and Renegade Points:


Commander Shepard Classes and Specializations

There are six base classes, with variable strength in up to three areas for the player and two squad members. Some classes concentrate all their strength in one skill area; others divide it between two areas to balance tactics. Combat skills deal maximum damage to enemies. Tech skills allow decrypting security systems and weakening enemy weapons. Biotic skills enable brain impulses to manipulate the physical world.



Military Specialization Rating

Combat Rating
Tech  Rating
Biotic Rating


Commander Shepard Notes & Tips

  • The character was named after Alan Shepard, the second person and first American to travel to space.
  • Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale provided the voices for the male and female Shepard.
  • His male default face is modelled after model Mark Vanderloo.



List of Mass Effect characters

Wikimedia list article

Two posters illustrating some of the major characters of the Mass Effect trilogy, which are nearly identical except for the player character's gender. Top row, from left to right: Saren, Illusive Man. Next row: Garrus, Commander Shepard (default male and female appearance), Wrex. Last row: Thane, James, Tali, Kaidan, Ashley, Liara, Miranda, Mordin, Legion, Javik, Jack. Bottom icons: Samara, Kasumi, Jacob, Joker, EDI, Grunt, Zaeed

The crew of The Tempestled by Pathfinder Ryder in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Back row, from left to right: Vetra, Gil, Jaal. Middle row: Suvi, Drack, Ryder (default male appearance), Lexi, Liam. Front row: Peebee, Kallo, Cora.

The Mass Effect series, a military science fictionmedia franchise developed by Canadian video game developer BioWare and owned by American publisher Electronic Arts, features an extensive cast of characters. It is primarily based on a series of third-personrole-playing shooter video games which currently consists of four mainline instalments and two spin-off mobile games. The first three Mass Effect games takes place in the Milky Way Galaxy during the 22nd century and revolves around a space navy soldier named Commander Shepard. The fourth Mass Effect game is a standalone sequel to the original trilogy but set in a different galaxy, Andromeda, and focuses on the Andromeda Initiative and the Ryder family. The spin-off games, Mass Effect Galaxy and Mass Effect Infiltrator, feature different protagonists.

This article describes characters who appear in video games set in the Mass Effect universe, which includes a diverse cast of alien, human and synthetic characters.[1] This list describes only player characters, squad members, major antagonists, and other notable characters that appear in the games. Certain characters have names chosen by the player; these characters are designated the name they are addressed by in-game. The appearance and story arcs of certain characters in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 are conditional upon decisions from prior Mass Effect titles being carried over via an imported save file.[2]

Player characters[edit]

Commander Shepard[edit]

Main article: Commander Shepard

Commander Shepard is the central protagonist of the original Mass Effect trilogy of video games. The character's first name, gender, background, and appearance are determined by the player on starting a new game, with both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 allowing the player to import saves from previous games to carry over that version of Shepard. Depending on the choice of gender, Shepard is voiced by either Mark Meer or Jennifer Hale.[3] The default male version's face and body is based on the likeness of fashion modelMark Vanderloo.[4]

On an assignment to investigate a besieged human colony, Shepard is affected by a Prothean artifact that grants them insight on the Reapers, making them the key entity to help protect the species of the Milky Way from being wiped out by the Reapers. Shepard is later named the first human Spectre by the Citadel Council, and given command of the SSV Normandy and its crew to complete their mission.

Jacob Taylor[edit]

Jacob Taylor is the protagonist of Mass Effect Galaxy, a tie-in iOS game to Mass Effect 2. He is a former Systems Alliance soldier who is recruited by Miranda Lawson in Galaxy to investigate a conspiracy involving batarian terrorists.[5] Jacob is encountered in Mass Effect 2 as an official member of Cerberus and Shepard's starting squad member, as well as a potential romantic option for a female Shepard.[6] Unless the player imports a Mass Effect 2 saved game where Jacob does not survive the suicide mission, in Mass Effect 3 he returns as a supporting character who has defected from Cerberus, and attempts to protect other Cerberus defectors from reprisals by their former employer.[7][8]

The iconic look of all Cerberus clothing in the series is derived from the designs for Jacob's armor and clothing; some involved fully armored looks, while others had only cloth, or a mix of cloth and armor.[9] For airless or toxic environments, Jacob wears a small breather device, which allows for more facial expressivity.[9] According to a former BioWare employee, Jacob was originally meant to be a bisexual romance option, and that animation work for romance scenes with Commander Shepard of both genders, "matching shot-for-shot from Brokeback Mountain", was completed prior to intervention from management requesting that the same sex romantic content be removed, blaming backlash from news outlets like Fox News in response to the previous game.[10]

Jacob Taylor is voiced by Adam Lazarre-White.[11]

Chris Thursten from PC Gamer called Jacob "the worst companion" and the culmination of his romance arc "the worst moment in Mass Effect".[6]

Randall Ezno[edit]

Randall Ezno is the protagonist of Mass Effect Infiltrator, a third-person shooter tie-in video game to Mass Effect 3 developed for mobile devices. He is a cybernetically modified Cerberus operative who discovers that his employer is up to something nefarious, goes rogue and embarks on a mission to save his friend from Cerberus.[12][13]

Randall is voiced by Jay Anthony Franke.[14]

Pathfinder Ryder[edit]

Pathfinder Ryder is the main protagonist of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the fourth mainline installment of the Mass Effect series, and the child of Alec Ryder. Their twin sibling is Sara or Scott Ryder, depending on the player's chosen gender.[15] The player can change their character's first name, but if the default names of Sara or Scott are kept, NPCs will occasionally refer to the character's first name in voiced dialogue.

The Ryder siblings are cryogenically frozen and dispatched alongside their father and tens of thousands of other colonists on a year journey to the Andromeda galaxy, departing before the events of Mass Effect 3.[16] The ark carrying the humans, the Hyperion, arrives at the wrong drop point, far from the forward command centre of the Andromeda Initiative, the Nexus, and cut off from contact with both it and the other arks. The player-controlled Ryder later succeeds their father as the Hyperion's Pathfinder, and is tasked with leading their crew on the command ship The Tempest, successfully settling the Heleus Cluster, and improving life aboard the Nexus, a galactic hub for the colonizer races from the Milky Way.[17]

Scott and Sara Ryder are voiced by Tom Taylorson and Fryda Wolff, respectively.[18]

Andromeda was known for its technical issues, particularly for the awkward facial animations of some of its characters; notably, the default face for Sara Ryder received negative reception from fans prior to[19] and after the game's launch, attracting comments such as "It's a perfect representation of the uncanny valley"[20] and a "robot-like model that had dead eyes syndrome"[21] prior to a patch fix released in early April

Squad members[edit]

Original trilogy[edit]

Kaidan Alenko[edit]

Main article: Kaidan Alenko

Kaidan Alenko is a human Alliance Navy officer with biotic powers, who serves aboard the SSV Normandy as Staff Lieutenant and head of the ship's Marine detail. In a late-game choice on the planet Virmire, the player must choose whether to save Ashley Williams or Kaidan; this choice leads to the other character's death. If Kaidan survives, he returns in a cameo in Mass Effect 2 and as a full squad member in 3, where he has been promoted to the rank of Major and commands the 1st Special Operations Biotic Company, a covert operations unit. He is later bestowed Spectre status by the council. He is a potential romance option for a female Shepard throughout the entire trilogy, and for a male Shepard only in Mass Effect 3.

Kaidan is voiced by Raphael Sbarge.[3]

Ashley Williams[edit]

Main article: Ashley Williams (Mass Effect)

Ashley Williams is a human Alliance Marine, who becomes part of Shepard's squad during the first observed Reaper attack in the first Mass Effect. In a late-game choice on the planet Virmire, the player must choose whether to save Ashley or Kaidan Alenko; this choice leads to the other character's death. If Ashley is saved, she will return in a cameo appearance in Mass Effect 2 and as a member of Shepard's squad for Mass Effect 3, where she has attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander and commands an unspecified covert operations unit. She is later bestowed Spectre status by the council. She is a potential romance option for a male Shepard throughout the original trilogy.

Ashley Williams is voiced by Kimberly Brooks.[3]

Garrus Vakarian[edit]

Main article: Garrus Vakarian

Garrus Vakarian is a male turian who serves as a squad mate in all three of the games. Garrus is initially a C-Sec officer who joins up with Shepard to escape from all the "red tape" in his job but becomes a vigilante under the alias Archangel on Omega in Mass Effect 2 before his squad is killed. Garrus is a potential romance option for a female Shepard in 2. In Mass Effect 3, he leads a "Reaper task force" for the Turians, with the option to continue their relationship from 2 if he was Shepard's paramour. The character is also the star of the third issue of Mass Effect: Homeworlds. Garrus's blue-and-black armour colour scheme was kept consistent throughout the series, as was his visor, although grey was added in the third game to reflect his new rank.

Garrus is voiced by Brandon Keener.[3]

Urdnot Wrex[edit]

Main article: Urdnot Wrex

A famous bounty hunter and mercenary, Wrex is among the last of the Krogan Battle Masters. They are rare individuals who can combine biotic abilities with advanced weaponry and tactics. He joins the crew of the SSV Normandy in the first Mass Effect to hunt the rogue Spectre Saren, but is later drawn into a stand-off with Commander Shepard in Virmire when he discovers that Saren's scientists have uncovered a cure for the genophage. Depending on the outcome, he may return in later sequels and eventually become a leader of the krogan.

Wrex is voiced by Steven Barr.


Main article: Tali'Zorah

Tali'Zorah, initially known by her full name Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, is the first quarian character to appear in the series. She is a squad mate in each of the three games. While she is known as a genius in the field of mechanical engineering. as the daughter of Admiral Rael'Zorah there is much pressure for Tali to excel. In the first game, she is on her Pilgrimage, before handing Shepard incriminating evidence about Saren and joining their crew. In the second game, now Tali'Zorah Vas Neema, where she joins Shepard on a suicide mission to rescue human colonists from the Collectors, and she is a potential romance option for a male Shepard. If she survives the suicide mission, she will appear as a squad member in Mass Effect 3, with the option to continue their relationship from 2 if she was Shepard's paramour. If Shepard sides with the geth over the quarians during the latter's attempt to retake Rannoch, she will commit suicide after witnessing the annihilation of the quarian Migrant Fleet.[22]

Tali is voiced by Ash Sroka, also credited as "Liz Sroka".

Liara T'Soni[edit]

Main article: Liara T'Soni

Liara T'Soni is an asari scientist, that joins Shepard's squad in the first game and appears in 2 as a non-player character (available as a temporary squad member in Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker) and as a full squad member in 3. She is one of the experts on Prothean history and technology.[16][3] Liara is a potential romance option for Shepard throughout the entire trilogy. Following Shepard's death in Mass Effect 2, Liara gradually became emotionally hardened, and began working as an information broker, eventually leading to the events of Lair of the Shadow Broker where she becomes the new Shadow Broker at the end of the DLC.[6]

Liara is voiced by Ali Hillis.

Miranda Lawson[edit]

Main article: Miranda Lawson

Miranda Lawson is an officer of the pro-human group Cerberus, first appearing in Mass Effect Galaxy and then serving as a squad mate in Mass Effect 2. In addition to these, the character also makes an appearance in the Mass Effect: Redemption comic series and in Mass Effect 3 (provided the player does not import a save where she dies). She is revealed to have been genetically designed by her father to be perfect and ran away from home to join Cerberus. Lawson is leader of Cerberus' Lazarus Cell, tasked with reviving Commander Shepard. Aboard the Normandy SR-2, she is Shepard's second-in-command and Executive Officer, and files mission reports directly to the Illusive Man.

Miranda Lawson is voiced by and modeled after actress Yvonne Strahovski.[23]


EDI is an AI entity who first appears in Mass Effect 2 as the Normandy SR-2's artificial intelligence and speaks with an aurally feminine voice.[16] Her name stands for "Enhanced Defense Intelligence", and is visually represented on the Normandy by a holographic blue sphere. For Mass Effect 3, the developers wanted to give EDI a body that is "sexy, chrome, and robotic", akin to the Maria character, also known as the Maschinenmensch, from Metropolis.[24][25] EDI's facial and body design went through multiple iterations, which includes an eyeless visage, and partially completed 3-D models which differ from the EDI's appearance in terms of body shape, the split between solid and transparent surfaces, and finer points of her two-tone appearance.[26] After some discussion about how robotic would the extent of her appearance be, the team decided that the body she would come to possess is an infiltration unit, which once had skin over its metal frame and is capable of the same facial effects as a living human being to avoid being easily spotted.[24]

Mass Effect 2 establishes that EDI's highly advanced nature is a result of modifications achieved with technology salvaged from the Reaper Sovereign. She is initially "shackled" with programming which inhibits her decision making, until it was later removed by Joker. In Mass Effect 3, Shepard's team recovers a Cerberus infiltration unit named Eva to be analyzed after an incident at the Mars research station. EDI assists in doing so, and in the process, struggles with the synthetic entity and eventually seizes control of its platform in the process, allowing her to accompany Shepard as a squad mate on missions. Now possessing a physical body with humanlike characteristics, her relationship with Joker develops further, and, if Shepard supports the idea, the two may start a romantic relationship.[6] She also will converse with Shepard several times, asking them about human behaviors so that she can better understand human psychology and, in a sense, taking on more human traits herself. During the Alliance raid on Cerberus Headquarters, a Cerberus report discovered in the base reveals EDI's original identity as a rogue VI featured in an optional mission of the first Mass Effect game, in which she somehow achieved sentience and took over an Alliance training ground located on Earth's moon. If Shepard chooses to control the Reapers or the synthesis of all organic and synthetic life at the conclusion of the game, EDI will be present in the ending cutscene alongside Joker.[6]

EDI is voiced by Tricia Helfer.[11]

PC Gamer praised EDI's characterization, noting that she "might have had some fine dialogue and ruminations on what it means to be human".[6] EDI is also included in PC Gamer's definitive list of the best squad mates around, citing her utility as a solid fighter and being an actual spaceship.[27]GameRevolution included EDI in their list of "Women Who Rock Modern Gaming"; praise was focused on her unique contribution to the squad dynamic in Mass Effect 3 with her new body, her inexperience in interacting with humanity which often leads to humorous situations, as well as her integration into the game's main plot during the final act of the game.[28] On the other hand, Wes Fenlon indicated in his articles written for PC Gamer and Gamesradar that he was disturbed by BioWare's decision to give EDI a sexy robot body, and involving the character in a romance subplot with Joker.[6][29]

Mordin Solus[edit]

Main article: Mordin Solus

Mordin Solus is a salarian scientist who possesses a hyperactive and eccentric personality, a rapid and stilted manner of speaking, and a flawless autobiographical and eidetic memory which is a typical salarians trait. He is a key member in the science team that researched the remodification of the Krogan Genophage, an action that he initially considered the best possible solution to a once growing problem, as he believes in acting in the best interests of the galaxy.

The character returns in Mass Effect 3, providing he survives the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2; otherwise, another salarian scientist named Padok Wiks fulfills Mordin's role within the narrative. Mordin is encountered on the salarian homeworld, Sur'Kesh, when Shepard is sent there to aid in the evacuation of a fertile female krogan codenamed Eve, the only survivor of his student Maelon's experiments. If Maelon's research data was saved in the previous game, he uses it to aid in Eve's treatment and produce a viable cure for the Genophage.

Mordin Solus is voiced by Michael Beattie in Mass Effect 2, and by William Salyers in Mass Effect 3.


Main article: Jack (Mass Effect)

Jack, also known as Jacqueline Nought or "Subject Zero", is the powerful product of unethical Cerberus experiments to enhance human biotic ability, which molded her antisocial temperament. Shepard may recruit Jack from the prison facility that she is confined in to join the suicide mission against the Collectors, in exchange for files aboard the Normandy about the science facility where Cerberus scientists tortured and abused her. She is a potential romance option for a male Shepard in Mass Effect 2. Jack reappears in Mass Effect 3 if a save game is imported where she survives the events of the suicide mission, with the option to continue their relationship from 2 if she was Shepard's paramour.

Jack is voiced by Courtenay Taylor.


Grunt is a tank-bred genetically engineered super-krogan that can be recruited as a squad member.[16] Grunt's design is intended to be youthful but also tough, invoking the look of a linebacker with large shoulder pads and exposed muscular arms.[30] Compared to Wrex who is a much older krogan, Grunt's crest is smaller and does not fully cover his entire skull due to his age.[30] Early designs for Grunt's armor varied widely, which eventually settled into a polished and sleek look, almost like a "show-room finish" on a brand new car.[30] A confrontation scene in Mass Effect 2 between Grunt and Mordin over the latter's role in strengthening the Genophage was planned but ultimately cut during development.[31]

Initially in Mass Effect 2, Shepard is meant to recruit Okeer, a krogan warlord and radical scientist who has been developing a small army of krogan to weather the Genophage. When Shepard arrives to recruit him, Okeer is working for the Blue Suns mercenary group, but was betrayed by the latter. Though Shepard and crew defeat the Blue Suns leader, it is too late to save Okeer, who leaves Shepard with a tank containing his "legacy", his "perfect krogan". If and when Shepard decides to awaken him, the krogan recalls Okeer's last words and chooses one of them, "grunt", as his name. While initially hostile towards Shepard, Grunt may be recruited as a squad mate. He comes to respect Shepard's leadership, partly because Shepard faces great battles and has powerful enemies. If Grunt becomes loyal, he declares Shepard his battlemaster. If the player imports a save game where Grunt survives the suicide mission in 2, he appears in Mass Effect 3 in a small role.

Grunt is voiced by Steve Blum.

Grunt showing Shepard his strength in Mass Effect 2 is considered to be one of the original trilogy's most iconic moments by Kotaku's Gergo Vas.[32]PC Gamer staff noted that while there is not much to the character "beyond punching things and talking about fighting", dealing with Grunt could be a "refreshing change from the philosophizing and soul-searching of the rest of the crew."[6]

Thane Krios[edit]

Main article: Thane Krios

Thane is a mysterious drell assassin who is terminally ill from a disease known as Kepral's Syndrome, which is exclusive to drell due to their physiology.[16] While a coldblooded killer, Thane possesses a conscience that struggles against his own profession.[6] Shepard may recruit him on the asari-dominated world of Ilium for the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. At the time of his recruitment, Thane states he has nothing left to lose, and he hopes to right many wrongs he has found in the galaxy before his death.[6] Thane Krios is a possible romantic interest for a female Shepard.

Thane returns in Mass Effect 3 provided he survived the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. Thane may play a role in the narrative depending on the player's prior decisions, but will ultimately succumb to his wounds from Kai Leng if he plays a role in preventing the assassination of a Citadel councilor,[33] or to Kepral's Syndrome.[22]

Thane Krios is voiced by Keythe Farley.


Main article: Samara (Mass Effect)

Model Rana McAnear provided the likeness for both Samara and Morinth.

Samara is an Asari Justicar, a member of a highly respected and feared ascetic order of mystic warriors. Samara is on a quest to track down her fugitive daughter Morinth, who is a biological deviant known as an Ardat-Yakshi. Shepard meets Samara on Illium, where she is found investigating the Eclipse mercenary group who smuggled her daughter off-world. Samara will join Shepard for the suicide mission at the conclusion of the investigation; if Shepard chooses to participate in her quest, a decision has to be made between siding with Samara or Morinth at the climax of the story arc.[6] If the player imports a save game where Samara survives the events of Mass Effect 2, she returns in a small role in Mass Effect 3 where she is encountered by Shepard at an Ardat-Yakshi monastery; confronted by a duty to comply with the Justicar Code by executing her only living child, who is also Ardat-Yakshi like Morinth and forbidden from leaving an asari monastery, she will attempt to commit suicide unless Shepard stops her.[6]

Samara is voiced by Maggie Baird, while Rana McAnear provides her likeness.[34]


Morinth is the fugitive daughter of Samara. She is an Ardat-Yakshi, asari who are born with an inherited trait which kills their mates during sexual encounters by burning out their nervous systems. Morinth joins Shepard's squad in Mass Effect 2 if she is assisted with trapping and killing Samara.[6] She will then disguise herself as her mother and takes up residence at Samara's quarters on board The Normandy, so that only Shepard knows of Samara's death. Shepard may choose to mate with Morinth, although it will result in his or her death.[6] If the player imports a save game where Morinth is recruited and survives the events of Mass Effect 2, she will appear in Mass Effect 3 as an indoctrinated husk-like enemy type known as a banshee.

Morinth is voiced by Natalia Cigliuti.[35] Her face was modeled after Rana McAnear.[34] Morinth originally had a different face and character model and could not pass as Samara, and that Shepard would have had to either disclose the truth about Samara's fate to the rest of the crew or lie to them.[36] Unlike most other squadmates in Mass Effect who had more complete arcs, Morinth only has two full-fledged conversations with Shepard, which mainly deals with her backstory with Samara and her experiences growing up as an Ardat-Yakshi.[36] Morinth's planned dialogue options were trimmed down due to scope reasons and time constraints encountered during development, and the team opted to give the character an appearance which is identical to Samara, instead of cutting her from the game completely.[36]

“The important thing to me is when I’m writing Morinth, I’m trying to write from Morinth’s point of view - ‘Hey look, I was born with this thing, I didn’t ask for it and my society didn’t try to help me with it, their solution was to lock me away and make me waste my entire life and I refused to accept that. So yeah, I have to do some bad things to survive, but I went and I lived my life on my own terms and who the hell are you to judge me?’ That would be Morinth's case for Morinth, and I tried to fully embrace that when writing her.

— Brian Kindregan, How Mass Effect 2's Most Unique Loyalty Mission Was Designed[37]

Video game developer Brian Kindregan, who wrote Morinth for Mass Effect 2, described her as a free spirit, a character who decides her own destiny and flaunt society's rules even if others are harmed in the process. To explore the dark underside of sapient or sentient beings that Morinth is drawn to, the decision was made to shift her original role from the leader of an underground cult to a hedonistic sexual predator who prowls for victims at a nightclub on Omega space station.[37] Inspired by nightclub scenes depicted in Blade and The Matrix, Kindregan wanted to convey the feeling of an "alternative culture just underneath the surface of one, and one that represents hedonism but also a slightly scary, predatory feel." Kindregan emphasized that the mission was not intended to be social commentary on drugs and nightclubs, but rather the underlying concepts they represent in fiction, as nightclubs in his view represent "unbridled human impulse and desire" and material excess by privileged youth similar in spirit to the symbolism presented by the depiction of jungles and wild nature inHeart of Darkness."[37]

Unlike most other levels in Mass Effect 2, Morinth's nightclub scene does not involve any combat sequences; instead, it entirely revolves around a story-driven gameplay mechanic Kindregan called a "puzzle conversation". Kindregan said it is difficult to write and implement a puzzle conversation as the player is supposed to be able to intuit the correct answers by interpreting Morinth's facial expressions and body language, and that he had considered incorporating a "safety valve" at the beginning of the mission for the benefit for the player, which would have served as a foolproof way to acquire all the correct answers to the conversation and complete the mission.[37] Kindregan credited the positive feedback for the mission to the success of the final product's narrative and design as well as his teamwork with senior level senior level designer Dusty Evermore.[37]

PC Gamer staff considers Morinth to be a poor replacement for her mother, "the more interesting and conflicted justicar". She is rated better as an antagonist instead, the "cat-and-mouse game of catching Morinth" being lauded as one of Mass Effect 2's most exciting moments.[6] András Neltz from Kotaku commented that "the sheer audacity of a scam this huge—setting out to recruit a virtuous Asari Justicar, and coming back with her black widow of a daughter instead, passing her off as the real thing—is truly amazing."[1]


Main article: Legion (Mass Effect)

Legion is the name, inspired by the "Gospel of Mark – Exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac", given to the gestalt consciousness hosted within a geth mobile unit eleven times more powerful than standard geth mobile platforms. Legion belongs to the true Geth Consensus, and is designed to operate outside of geth space and interact diplomatically with organic lifeforms. In contrast to other Geth, Legion is capable of independent thought, and demonstrates emotional attachment as he is particularly fascinated with Shepard.

Legion is voiced by D. C. Douglas.[11]

Zaeed Massani[edit]

Zaeed is a human bounty hunter who is integrated into Mass Effect 2 through the DLC pack Zaeed - The Price of Revenge and later as part of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition compilation. He holds the reputation as the galaxy's most feared bounty hunter and co-founder of the Blue Suns mercenary group. Unlike most other characters, Zaeed joins Shepard's squad as soon as he is spoken to, and only tells short stories when conversed with.[36] For his loyalty mission, he asks that Shepard help his vendetta against the Blue Suns' other co-founder, Vido Santiago. If the player imports a save game where Zaeed survives the events of 2, Zaeed returns in Mass Effect 3 with a small role.

Originally cut from the base game due to budget and time constraints, the Zaeed - The Price of Revenge DLC allowed the character's writer Jay Turner to repurpose unused content and use the constraints as a core part of his character.[36] As Zaeed's loyalty mission is the only opportunity for players to get to know him, Turner had to ensure that all aspects of the character, "from his dialogue to the identity of the villain to the events along the way" must speak to his personality and backstory.[36] To establish a simple but compelling motive for him, Turner pitched Zaeed's loyalty mission as one based on revenge, with his personality shaped into that of a grizzled survivor who has endured all kinds of death-defying situations with the stories and scars to prove it.[36] Turner intended Zaeed to be an exploration of the themes of PTSD and trauma, and also as a ruthless antithesis to the "BioWare Paladin" archetype who is willing to complete his mission at all costs. Zaeed initially had a mechanic leg and a dog companion during early concept stages.[38] Head models for the character went through various iterations, which included scarring, tattoos with the Blue Suns insignia, and potential breathers inspired by hocket masks and welding helmets for intimidation purposes.[38]

Zaeed is voiced by Robin Sachs.

PC Gamer staff member Wes Fenlon calling Zaeed a "less interesting retread of KotOR's MandalorianCanderous Ordo" and expressed doubt about his ineffectiveness as a squad mate.[6]

Kasumi Goto[edit]

Kasumi is a human master thief who is integrated into Mass Effect 2 through the DLC pack, Kasumi – Stolen Memory and later as part of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition compilation. The character's core concept is “the best thief in the galaxy”.[39] Unlike other characters, Kasumi does not have a recruitment mission and joins Shepard's squad as soon as she is spoken to, only making brief remarks or observations when interacted with.[36] For her loyalty mission, Kasumi requests Shepard's help in retrieving the memory box of her dead lover Keiji Okuda.[40] Kasumi returns in Mass Effect 3 with a small role, provided a save game is imported where her eponymous DLC was played and she survives the suicide mission.[40]

Originally cut from the base game, Kasumi allowed the character's writer Jay Turner the chance to provide a "glimpse into a wild underground where there are art heists and Bond villains and respect among thieves" in Mass Effect 2.[36] Turner wrote Kasumi's personality to be "irreverent and quirky and confident", with the intention to position her as Shepard's "best friend" as opposed to being yet another female character who Shepard could romance or sleep with.[41] Describing Kasumi as his favorite character, Turner thought of her as a cheerful change from the game's often serious and severe tone. Kasumi presented Turner with an opportunity to explore the series' tropes from a different angle as she comments on Shepard's world from the perspective of an outsider who is a master of her world, one which is unfamiliar to Shepard.[41] Turner compared her to the Batman character, in that she is always prepared and composed for any given situation, in spite of her flighty or flippant demeanor.[41] Kasumi's visual design drew inspiration from Middle Eastern culture; her outfit echoes that of a typical thief from the European Middle Ages, the hood in particular gives her a mysterious and stealthy look.[42]

Kasumi Goto is voiced by Kym Hoy.[39] Hoy noted that Kasumi's cultural background is specifically stated to be of Japanese descent, and that the casting call required a candidate who could carry the mystique of an elusive personality along with projecting a vaguely Asian-sounding accent.[39] With the guidance of her voiceover directors, Hoy made necessary preparations to develop a blend of Japanese and British English accents for Kasumi's soft-spoken voice; as she wanted a little mystery surrounding where Kasumi is truly from, she was mindful about not making the accent overly modern-sounding and not too precise.[39] Hoy credits her past experience in performing ethnic Asian characters as well as her classical theatre and singing training for her ability to perform Kasumi's accent at a consistent pace, and ensuring the character sounds natural in terms of timing and delivery without it becoming a caricature.[39] Hoy noted that while BioWare had specifications about how they wanted the character to sound like, with "s movie star sass" being an ideal, they were also open to feedback and questions from her about the development of the character's personality.[39]

PC Gamer staff praised Kasumi as one of more visually interesting Mass Effect squad mates.[6] IGN's Steven Hopper ranked Kasumi #9 in his list of best Mass Effect teammates.[43]

James Vega[edit]

Main article: James Vega

Lieutenant James Vega is a human Systems Alliance Marine and Shepard's squad member in Mass Effect 3. James is tasked to escort Shepard to an Alliance defense committee hearing, however the hearing is interrupted when the Reapers attack Earth. James and Ashley or Kaidan, depending on who survived Virmire, retrieve the Normandy SR-2 and pick Shepard up from Earth. James is the main focus of the anime film, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost.

James Vega is voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr. in all media.[44]


Javik is the endling of the Prothean race, and is only available if the Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC is installed. His stasis pod is uncovered and opened by Commander Shepard and Liara T'Soni during his recruitment mission, who were investigating Cerberus activity on the human colony of Eden Prime. Flashbacks of Javik's memories happen during the mission which reveals insights on the Prothean's struggle against the Reapers. Javik reacted with shock that he had awaken after 50, years and everything he knew was gone, but agrees to join Shepard to stop the Reapers no matter the cost.

The Protheans were first depicted in the form of visually ambiguous statues on the planet Ilos in the first game, as at the time BioWare was unsure as to the extent of the role the Protheans would play over the course of the original trilogy.[45] Javik's final design is based on the look of the Collectors from Mass Effect 2, particularly the shell shape of the head which is a signature feature of the Collectors, along with multiple pupils to the eyes and secondary nostrils to evoke a very alien feel.[46] As the Protheans of his time were known for their highly advanced technological capabilities, Javik is intended to look more intelligent than a mindless Collector drone.[45] Javik's armor, which is influenced by the aesthetics of samurai armor, is intended to be technologically advanced yet with an ancient feel, thematically appropriate for a being who had been placed in stasis for over 50, years.[46]

Javik is voiced by Ike Amadi.

Mass Effect: Andromeda[edit]

Cora Harper[edit]

Cora Harper is a human biotic commando and operations specialist in charge of the Pathfinder team's ground missions. She began a career in the Alliance military, before serving with an asari commando unit as part of a Council inter-species integration scheme. She is second-in-command of the human Pathfinder team and meant to be Alec Ryder's appointed successor as Pathfinder. Cora is a romance option for a male Pathfinder.[47]

Cora is voiced by Jules de Jongh.[48]

Liam Kosta[edit]

Liam Kosta is a human security and crisis response specialist for the Pathfinder team, and was “hand-picked” by Alec Ryder due to his multidisciplinary skills. Liam is a romance option for a female Pathfinder.[47]

Liam is voiced by Gary Carr.[48]

Vetra Nyx[edit]

Vetra Nyx is from the turian homeworld of Palaven and a well traveled drifter, who at some point "drifted into the wrong crowd". She has well honed street smarts and adaptability from years of working with smugglers and mercenaries, and is fiercely loyal once her trust is earned. Vetra is a romance option for a Pathfinder of either gender.[47]

Vetra is voiced by Danielle Rayne.[47]

Pelessaria "Peebee" B'Sayle[edit]

Pelessaria B'Sayle, better known by her nickname Peebee is a rogue-ish young academic from Port Lerama, capital of the planet Hyetiana, a hub for asari science and education. She has developed an obsessive interest in studying the Remnant, an umbrella term coined for technology, structures, and autonomous bots that have been sighted across the Heleus Cluster. She is considered to be an atypical member of asari culture, “pathologically independent”, and has little regard for rules or teamwork. She is rivals with Kalinda, another asari who competes with Peebee in her search for Remnant technology. Peebee is a romance option for a Pathfinder of either gender.[47]

Peebee is voiced by Christine Lakin.[47]

Nakmor Drack[edit]

Nakmor Drack is a veteran krogan warrior who has well over 1, years of life experience as a soldier, mercenary, and occasional pirate in the Milky Way galaxy. He is vocal about the genophage and the Citadel community's treatment of his species. Unlike other members of the Nakmor clan, he is loyal to the Nexus, the seat of government and power for the Andromeda Initiative, and to his granddaughter, Nakmor Kesh.[47] Drack's preferred weapon is a "Ruzad" shotgun, and his favorite ability is Blood Rage, which "enhances his melee damage, damage resistance, and health regeneration".[47]

Drack is voiced by Stanley Townsend.[48]

Jaal Ama Darav[edit]

Jaal Ama Darav is a high-ranking member of the Angaran Resistance who are at war with the kett, and joins the Pathfinder's team as a liaison between the Andromeda Initiative and the resistance fighters. Jaal's preferred weapon is a sniper rifle. Jaal was initially a romance option for a female player character only, and was an early fan favorite among Andromeda's new cast of characters.[49] A patch for the game released in June made Jaal available as a potential romance option for a male player character.[50]

Jaal is voiced by Nyasha Hatendi.[48]

Major antagonists[edit]

The Reapers[edit]

Main article: Reapers (Mass Effect)

The Reapers are a highly advanced machine race of synthetic-organic starships residing in dark space: the vast, mostly starless space between galaxies. They hibernate and remain dormant for a cycle of fifty thousand years, before returning to the Milky Way galaxy and harvest all sentient organic life.[8] The Reapers and their various agents are the overarching antagonists of the original trilogy.

Saren Arterius[edit]

Saren Arterius is a turian Spectre, an elite operative who represented the Citadel Council and operated above the law, and one of the two main antagonists of the first Mass Effect game .[16] Saren was originally designed as an older, weaker character who is a powerful biotic.[51] Saren's head design went through several iterations: the team experimented with structure, scarring, and decorations.[51] His final appearance is similar to other turians but with a distinctive crest, and a lack of tattoos unlike most of his kind. It was intended for the character to show signs of severe indoctrination, yet does not look like an obvious monstrosity and is still able to blend into society.[52] The character's final design incorporates a mechanical arm and some visible cybernetic features to reflect Reaper indoctrination.[52]

He first appears in the novel Mass Effect: Revelation, which takes place 18 years before to the events of Mass Effect and before he was indoctrinated and working with Sovereign.[53] Saren later takes command of a dissident geth faction through the use of a Reaper known as Sovereign. With a machine army at his command, he uses them to both do his bidding and oppose Shepard across the story of the Mass Effect video game.[16] Saren's main base is situated on the planet Virmire, where he is conducting experiments such as a cure for the Krogan Genophage to bolster his army.[54] Throughout the course of the game, the Reaper slowly began to manipulate Saren through subtle subliminal messages into helping it bring back the Reapers.[16] During the geth invasion of the Citadel, Saren uses the Prothean Conduit to gain access to the Citadel to allow Sovereign to activate the Citadel mass relay.[16] The player can then either attempt to kill Saren or appeal to Saren to fight his indoctrination, which if successful will prompt him to commit suicide.[16] Shepard later has to fight a revived and mutated Saren, who is possessed by Sovereign through his grafted cybernetics. Upon defeat of the Sovereign-manipulated Saren, Sovereign itself loses its defenses and is destroyed.

IGN included the moment Saren commits suicide in their list of 13 Best Mass Effect Moments.[33]

Saren is voiced by Fred Tatasciore.

Matriarch Benezia[edit]

Matriarch Benezia is the mother of Liara T'Soni, and was a highly regarded spiritual leader among the asari until she was mind controlled by the Reaper Sovereign and forced to become Saren's second in command. Her appearance is intended to capture the beauty and mystical power of the asari, and also to associate her with Saren's malevolence through its darker and more enigmatic qualities.[55] The design of her headdress references religious and royal clothing.[55]

In Mass Effect Shepard travels to the planet Noveria and confronts Benezia, discovering that she has found and captured a survivingqueen of the rachni. Benezia intends to use the rachni queen to breed an army of rachni to fight Saren's enemies.[54] Although Benezia has a lucid moment during their fight, where she reveals the next phase of Saren's plans and warns Shepard about Sovereign's corrupting influence, Shepard has to fight her to the death after she completely succumbs to the indoctrination.[56]

Matriarch Benezia is voiced by Marina Sirtis.[57]

Donnel Udina[edit]

Donnel Udina first appears in the original Mass Effect as the human ambassador based in the Citadel. Udina is depicted as self-serving politician who has an antagonistic relationship with Shepard and their mentor David Anderson throughout the original trilogy.[56] By the events of Mass Effect 3, he is the representative for humanity in the Citadel Council, regardless of the player's choice in the ending of the first game. Later in 3, Udina allies with Cerberus to stage a coup in a desperate attempt to overthrow his fellow Councillors as part of his plan to prioritize the liberation of planet Earth from the Reapers, but he is killed when the coup fails.[58]

Donnell Udina is voiced by Bill Ratner.[44]

The Thorian[edit]

The Thorian, also called Species 37, is an ancient sentient fungal creature tens of thousands of years old, with unique mind-controlling and telepathic abilities, the ability to create clone duplicates of a being it has absorbed, and a massive sensory network stretching over the surface of the planet Feros. It releases spores into the air that infect those who inhale them, and uses pain to control the behavior of its thralls.[59] In Mass Effect, the Thorian encounters Shiala, an asari and former acolyte of Matriarch Benezia who had been absorbed by the Thorian, which used clone duplicates of her as an avatar to interact with Shepard's team. Shiala will be set free after the Thorian is killed, and she grants Shepard the Prothean cipher which enables the mental decryption of the mental message transmitted from the Prothean beacon. Shepard has the choice to either spare or execute her.[60]


Main article: Illusive Man

Cerberus, an anthropocentric group advocating militarism and a "humanity-first" supremacist agenda, appears as recurring antagonists in the series. Cerberus is founded and led by the Illusive Man, voiced by Martin Sheen.[61] Cerberus forms an alliance with Commander Shepard against the human-abducting Collectors in Mass Effect 2, whereas in Mass Effect 3 they work against Shepard's attempts to destroy the Reapers, as the Illusive Man wishes to control them instead.[62] The organization experienced numerous defections between the events of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, including operatives who specialize in close combat electric whips.[63]

Megan Logan from Inverse praised the depiction of Cerberus in the series as a villainous entity, and opined that "nuanced complexity built upon an understandable motivation is what makes a compelling antagonist".[62]

Kai Leng[edit]

Kai Leng is a former lieutenant N7 marine and Cerberus assassin, who first appears in the novel Mass Effect: Retribution, as well as its subsequent sequels.[64] Kai Leng is the Illusive Man's most trusted agent, who used him as his best infiltration and wet-work operative for over a decade, and appears in Mass Effect 3 as one of the game's main antagonists.[65] He wears a coat similar to Thane's over a uniform with Cerberus colors, and his face and body is equipped with visible cybernetic implants to compensate for the injuries he sustained in Retribution courtesy of David Anderson.[66] Early direction of Kai Leng's concept involve inhuman-looking metallic legs and hard armor as upgrades, which were streamlined during the later period of the development cycle of 3 into a stealthier appearance along with his hairstyle, coat length and visor type.[67]

In Mass Effect 3 he was among the forces deployed during Udina's coup on the Citadel Council, and will succeed in assassinating the salarian councilor unless Thane Krios or Kirrahe are available in Mass Effect 3 to intervene.[33] Kai Leng is next encountered on the asari homeworld Thessia, where he successfully claims an ancient Prothean-made VI from the asari on the Illusive Man's orders. Shepard's final encounter with Kai Leng is in the Illusive Man's observation deck on Cronos Station, the Cerberus headquarters. Despite his lethal skills, he is unable to overwhelm Shepard, and is wounded. He later retrieves his blade and makes a final attempt to kill the Commander from behind. At that moment, Shepard detects him and counters his attack, finishing him off with an omni-blade.[22]

Kai Leng is voiced by Troy Baker.

Kai Leng's execution by Shepard is considered to be one of the original trilogy's most iconic moments by Kotaku's Gergo Vas,[32] and one of the 13 best Mass Effect Moments by IGN.[33]

Oleg Petrovsky[edit]

Oleg Petrovsky is a general of Cerberus' armed forces, who first appears in the comic Mass Effect: Invasion, where he seizes control of the Omega space station from Aria T'Loak using adjutants, a type of husk-like creature engineered by Cerberus through co-opting Reaper technology.[68] He makes his first video game appearance as the main antagonist of the Mass Effect 3 DLC Omega.

The Collectors[edit]

The Collectors are mysterious aliens first mentioned in the novel Mass Effect: Ascension, who are known to trade hyper-advanced technology in exchange for living beings from various species.[69] They were widely dismissed as myths within the Mass Effect universe, but are in fact the deformed versions of the original Prothean race. Prior to the events of Mass Effect 2, all known expeditions to investigate the Collectors failed, and no vessel that ventured to their space beyond Omega 4 Relay ever returned save those of the Collectors themselves. Led by a Collector General, a unique being who controls the rest of the Collectors from their base beyond the Omega Four mass relay, they collect humans by incapacitating them using flying insect-like "seeker swarms" to create a new Reaper on their masters' behest following Sovereign's defeat and destruction at the end of the first game.[16] The Collectors are assisted by a variety of husk units made from Reaper technology, with some created from multiple husks strung together in a grotesque manner such as Scions who provide ranged fire support with their arm cannons, as well as large floating monstrosities called Praetorians.[70] The Collectors' look is based on crabs and microscopic closeups of insect species like beetles and mosquitoes.[71][72] The Collectors were initially envisioned as robed walking bipedal aliens for a dark, cultlike feel; as Collector soldier units had to fulfill in-game combat mechanic requirements, their design shifted to a more humanoid appearance, while the Collector General has multiple limbs that resemble arthropod legs.[73]

András Neltz from Kotaku consider the Collectors to be tragic figures, and "a demonstration of what evil the Reapers are capable of; a twisted shadow of a once-proud race, forced to serve the ones who destroyed them."[1]

The Shadow Broker[edit]

The Shadow Broker is the elusive and enigmatic head of an expansive organization which trades in data and information, always selling to the highest bidder. The Shadow Broker's identity is unknown to the general public and always operates through an agent. For the Shadow Broker's design, two disparate concepts were combined: that of the galaxy's greatest information broker whose suit evokes a mob boss look and is fully integrated into the galactic community, as well as that of an unfamiliar alien and a frighteningly inhuman challenge for Shepard.[74] The Broker's final facial design, with his triangular mouth and multiple eyes, is unlike anything BioWare has done in the past, and custom work had to be done to animate his face properly as Mass Effect 2's digital-acting system could not handle the graphical stress.[74]

In Mass Effect Tali wanted to trade evidence incriminating Saren to the Shadow Broker in exchange for a safe place to hide; the Broker sends a thug named Fist to deal with her, although he later dispatches Wrex to eliminate Fist, who had turned traitor. Other notable agents of the Broker include the volus financial adviser Barla Von, and Wilson, Miranda Lawson's assistant in the Lazarus Project who joins Shepard as a temporary squad mate on Lazarus Station in Mass Effect 2.[75] Following the events of Mass Effect: Redemption, Liara pursues the Shadow Broker for revenge over her friend Feron's imprisonment and torture.[76] In Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker, Liara survives an assassination attempt by an agent of the Broker, a rogue asari Spectre named Tela Vasir.[77] She then travels to the Shadow Broker Base on the planet Hagalaz with Shepard, where they confront the Shadow Broker, who is revealed to be a member of a pre-spaceflight race called the yahg. They killed the Broker following a boss fight, and Liara succeeds him as the new Shadow Broker.[6]

Shepard's meeting and confrontation with the Shadow Broker is considered to be one of the original trilogy's most iconic moments by Kotaku's Gergo Vas,[32] and one of the 13 best Mass Effect Moments by IGN.[33]

Dr. Amanda Kenson[edit]

Dr. Amanda Kenson is a human scientist known for her groundbreaking discoveries on the origins of the mass relays.[78] She appears as a deep cover agent in the Mass Effect 2 DLC Arrival, and is saved from batarian captivity by Shepard on her friend Admiral Hackett's behest. She claims to have found evidence of an imminent Reaper invasion, revealing that her team have set a massive asteroid to collide into a mass relay located within the Bahak system in batarian space in order to slow the Reapers' arrival. After her entire team is revealed to have been indoctrinated by the Reapers, Shepard has to stop Dr. Kenson from interrupting the asteroid's course, which culminates in Dr. Kenson killing herself after detonating an explosive device. If the player imports a save where the Arrival DLC is completed, Shepard's action of facilitating the destruction of the Bahak system's mass relay in order to delay the Reapers' invasion resulted in the loss of over three-hundred thousand batarian lives, which leads to their imprisonment and impending trial in the beginning of Mass Effect 3.[79]

Maya Brooks[edit]

Maya Brooks is the alias of a former Cerberus operative who serves as the main antagonist of the story campaign of the Mass Effect 3 DLC Citadel; she initially presents herself to Shepard as a Systems Alliance staff analyst.[77] She is also responsible for sabotaging Lazarus Station, which housed the Lazarus Project that brought Shepard back from the dead, in order to steal a dormant clone of Shepard. Her actions led to the sequence of events following Shepard's awakening from a coma in Mass Effect 2.[77] She later appears in Mass Effect: Foundation, a issue comic book series starring most of Shepard's squad mates in the original trilogy, which is framed as reconnaissance by Brooks as the point-of-view character.[80]

The Kett[edit]

The kett are a hostile militaristic species with dense formations of bone growing externally as armor protrusions on their bodies. They serve as the main antagonists of Mass Effect Andromeda.[47] The kett are led by the Archon, who is voiced by Robert Kazinsky.[48]

Other characters[edit]

Original trilogy[edit]

David Anderson[edit]

Captain David Edward Anderson is a protagonist of the novel Mass Effect: Revelation, an experienced N7 marine and Commander Shepard's mentor throughout the Mass Effect trilogy.[64] He is also the love interest of Kahlee Sanders.[81] In the first game he was relieved of command of the SSV Normandy by Donnel Udina, and the starship was transferred to Shepard's command. By the events of Mass Effect 3 he is promoted to the rank of Admiral, and joins Shepard as a temporary squad mate early in the game during the early stages of the Reaper invasion.[82] He appears dressed for battle in fatigues that would not reflect his rank but also wouldn't look out of place in a battlefield.[24]

Anderson is voiced by Keith David.[3]

IGN included the Finale in Mass Effect 3, where Shepard shares an emotional scene with Anderson and the Illusive man, in their list of 13 Best Mass Effect Moments.[33]

Kahlee Sanders[edit]

Kahlee Sanders is a protagonist of Mass Effect: Revelation and its sequels, Ascension, Retribution, and Deception[64] She is cited as one of the most important characters in the series, and the main heroine of Mass Effect spin-off fiction.[76] She makes her first video game appearance in Mass Effect 3 as a staff member of the Grissom Academy.[65]

Jeff "Joker" Moreau[edit]

Jeff Moreau, better known by his nickname "Joker", is the human pilot of the Normandy, and is voiced by Seth Green.[3] Joker is handicapped and has limited mobility due to suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta, but makes up for being a skilled pilot, as well as a sarcastic foil to Shepard. In Mass Effect 2 Joker briefly becomes a playable character when the Collectors invade the Normandy to capture its crew in the absence of Shepard and the squad.[83] He can develop a romantic relationship with EDI in Mass Effect 3 if given some help from Shepard.

Dr. Chakwas[edit]

Dr. Karin Chakwas is a recurring character in the Mass Effect series as the human doctor of the SSV Normandy, and later the Normandy SR[84] Dr. Chakwas survives the destruction of the SSV Normandy in Mass Effect 2, and later accepts Cerberus' offer to join Shepard in their fight against the Collectors, getting a position on the Normandy SR-2 as the ship's Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chakwas returns in Mass Effect 3, provided she survives the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. She may be recruited back to the Normandy, or be convinced to stay at the Citadel and assist in the war effort.

Dr. Chakwas is voiced by Carolyn Seymour.

Richard L. Jenkins[edit]

Corporal Richard L. Jenkins is an Alliance Marine from the rural world of Eden Prime under the command of Captain Anderson, and a member of the SSV Normandy's crew. He joins Shepard as a squadmate during their incursion to his homeworld in Mass Effect, where he is killed shortly afterwards. He is based on the Leeroy Jenkins character.[1][85]

Conrad Verner[edit]

Conrad Verner is a human fanatic who is obsessed with Commander Shepard.[53] András Neltz from Kotaku notes that he is a "crazy fan archetype taken to the next level", and an example of a character whose personality and fate could be shaped by the player throughout the original trilogy depending on how their player character reacts to Verner's antics.[1]

Khalisah al-Jilani[edit]

Khalisah bint sinan al-Jilani is a human reporter from Westerlund News. She appears in all three games as a reporter who employs a belligerent line of questioning whenever she is granted an opportunity to interview Shepard. She also appears in Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation, a prequel novel to Mass Effect: Andromeda.[76]

IGN included the running gag where Shepard can prematurely end their interview sessions with al-Jilani by punching her as a renegade action throughout the original trilogy in their list of 13 Best Mass Effect Moments.[33] Beth Elderkin of Gizmodo referred to the aforementioned running gag as the "Al-Jilani Saga" and one of her favorite moments.[81]

Administrator Anoleis[edit]

Administrator Bel Anoleis manages Port Hanshan, the capital of the planet Noveria, in the first Mass Effect. In order to obtain a garage pass to leave the port, Shepard could either prove the salarian bureaucrat's corruption to an undercover investigator named Gianna Parasini, side with Anoleis and turn over all the evidence to him, or pit Anoleis and Parasini against each other which leads to both of their deaths. András Neltz from Kotaku noted that the mission dealing with Anoleis was one of the most complex ones in the first game, and it was an early example "showing how differently the story can go depending on the player's decisions".[1]

Captain Kirrahe[edit]

Captain Kirrahe was the Salarian Special Tasks Group (STG) intelligence officer who uncovered Saren's facility on Virmire, and fights alongside Shepard's squad during the assault. Kirrahe's determination to destroy Saren's base, and thus the cure with it, causes a rift between Shepard and Wrex which may be resolved by the player in a number of ways.[16] If he survives the battle, he will be promoted to Major and appears in Mass Effect 3 as an ally at various instances.[56] Kirrahe's speech amidst a thunderstorm in Mass Effect is considered to be one of the original trilogy's most iconic moments by Kotaku's Gergo Vas.[32]

Steven Hackett[edit]

Admiral Steven Hackett is a high-ranking official of the Earth Systems Alliance Navy's Fifth Fleet. He first appears as a minor character in Mass Effect who commands the Systems Alliance reinforcements which arrive to assist in the defense during the attack on the Citadel by Sovereign and the geth. During the course of the battle, he will defer to Shepard's wishes to either save the Citadel Councillors aboard the asari dreadnought the Destiny Ascension, or press the attack on Sovereign's forces. After the battle, he is promoted to head of the Alliance Navy. By the events of Mass Effect 3, he leads the entire Alliance forces in their struggle against the Reaper invasion.

Hackett is voiced by Lance Henriksen.[86]

Kelly Chambers[edit]

Kelly Chambers is Shepard's yeoman on the Normandy SR-2 in Mass Effect 2 whose primary role is administrative and clerical work. She keeps Commander Shepard notified of new e-mails and pass on meeting requests from Shepard's squad mates. In addition, Kelly utilizes her degree in psychology to provides counseling support and monitors the psychological state of Shepard and the crew. She is a romance option for a male or female Shepard, but does not grant the "Paramour" achievement. If she survives the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2, she will appear in Mass Effect 3. She informs Shepard that she is on the run from Cerberus, her former employers. Shepard may ask her to continue assisting with the war effort, or go into hiding.

Patrick Lee from AV Club brought up Chambers' potential fate in Mass Effect 3 as an example where a Paragon-aligned Shepard is "not a saintly warrior-poet whose every decision is ethically and practically airtight".[87]

Aria T'Loak[edit]

Aria T'Loak, also known as "the Pirate Queen", is an asari organized crime boss who serves as the de facto ruler of Omega Station, an important hub in the lawless Terminus Systems.[8] She owns the Afterlife Club, which serves as the station's central hub. Her first chronological appearance is in Mass Effect: Incursion, an 8-page prequel comic to Mass Effect 2. She then makes a cameo in Mass Effect: Redemption, briefly assisting Liara's search for the missing Shepard. In Mass Effect 2, Aria provides Shepard with information on Omega. She then appears in Mass Effect: Retribution, and in the Mass Effect 3 DLC Omega, she appears as a temporary squad mate who wields powerful biotic abilities.[68]

Aria T'Loak is voiced by Carrie-Anne Moss.[11]

Armando-Owen Bailey[edit]

Captain Armando-Owen Bailey is a human C-Sec officer stationed in the Zakera Ward of the Citadel in Mass Effect 2. In Mass Effect 3, he is promoted to C-Sec Commander in-charge of C-Sec operations of the Citadel Embassies quarters. He is a mostly upstanding officer, but is pragmatic enough to bend the rules if it is more convenient or rewarding for him.[87]

Bailey is voiced by Michael Hogan.[3]


Kal'Reegar is a marine of the quarian Migrant Fleet who is assigned to protect Tali'Zorah, who is on a mission to perform research work on the planet Haestrom in Mass Effect 2. If he survives the mission, he will participate as a witness in Tali'Zorahs trial before the quarian Admiralty Board where she is accused of treason.[88]

Kal'Reegar is voiced by Adam Baldwin.[88]

Shala'Raan vas Tonbay[edit]

Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay is a member of the quarian Admiralty Board, an administrative council of admirals which oversees the quarian civilian government. Along with other members of the Board, she plays a pivotal role in Tali'Zorah's's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, and leads the quarian Migrant Fleet to retake their homeworld Rannoch from the geth in Mass Effect 3. A family friend of Tali'Zorah, Shala'Raan fulfills a portion of the character's role within the narrative of Mass Effect 3 in imported saved games where she is deceased and cannot appear in-game.

Shala'Raan is voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo.[89]

Daro'Xen vas Moreh[edit]

Admiral Daro'Xen vas Moreh is a member of the quarian Admiralty Board, an administrative council of admirals which oversees the quarian civilian government. Along with other members of the Board, she plays a pivotal role in Tali'Zorah's's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, and leads the quarian Migrant Fleet to retake their homeworld Rannoch from the geth in Mass Effect 3. Known for her keen scientific intellect, she fulfills a portion of Tali'Zorah's role within the narrative of Mass Effect 3 in imported saved games where she is deceased and cannot appear in-game.

Daro'Xen is voiced by Claudia Black, who also voices Matriarch Aethyta, the former partner of Matriarch Benezia and Liara T'Soni's other parent.[88]

Gatatog Uvenk[edit]

Gatatog Uvenk is a Krogan Battle Master who appears as a minor antagonist in Grunt's loyalty mission on Tuchanka. He is voiced by Michael Dorn.[90]

Niftu Cal[edit]

Niftu Cal is a self-styled "biotic god" and a member of the volus merchant Pitne Four's trade delegation in Mass Effect 2. He has chemically induced delusions of grandeur after being administered with biotic-enhancing drugs, manifesting minor biotic talents as a result. Game writer Brian Kindregan created Niftu Cal and added him into Mass Effect 2 as a joke character, where he became popular with fans as an internet meme.[91]

Niftu Cal is voiced by Mark Meer.[92]

Fenlon from PC Gamer called Niftu Cal the "funniest throwaway character BioWare ever created."[93] A similar character archetype, a volus adept, was later added into Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode as a result of the character's popularity.[91][94]

Samantha Traynor[edit]

Communications Specialist Samantha Traynor appears in Mass Effect 3, serving in a similar role to that of her predecessor, Yeoman Kelly Chambers as Commander Shepard's personal assistant. She also serves as an information manager as well as a telecommunications expert on the SSV Normandy SR Traynor is a lesbian and as such is available romantically for a female Shepard only.[95]

Traynor is voiced by Alix Wilton Regan.[44]

Steve Cortez[edit]

Lieutenant Steve Cortez is a Systems Alliance supply procurement specialist aboard the SSV Normandy SR-2 in Mass Effect 3, and also serves as the Normandy's UTA Kodiak shuttle pilot that transports Commander Shepard and the squad to various mission locations. Recently widowed after the death of his husband, Cortez may be helped through his grief by Shepard, and eventually may become an optional romance for a male Shepard.[96][95]

Cortez is voiced by Matthew Del Negro.[44]

Diana Allers[edit]

Diana Allers is a human Alliance News Network war correspondent and regular on the Alliance News Network's "Battlespace" in Mass Effect 3. She is a romance option for a male or female Shepard, but does not grant the "Paramour" achievement.

Allers is voiced by Jessica Chobot; the character is modelled in her likeness, which has attracted criticism from gaming journalists.[97]


Urdnot Bakara, nicknamed Eve by her supervising salarian scientists, is a fertile female krogan who plays a pivotal role in the conclusion of the Krogan Genophage storyline in Mass Effect 3. Eve is a moderate figurehead among the krogan leadership who is eager to secure a cure for the genophage and bring about a new start for her people.[98]

Jondum Bau[edit]

Jondum Bau is a salarian Spectre and colleague of Commander Shepard. András Neltz from Kotaku considers the brief interaction with the character in Mass Effect 3 to expose a traitor as unique, as the player gets to experience the Spectres as independent agents who sometimes meet up to assist each other, noting that previous Spectre characters either end up dying or were antagonists to the player character.[1] The character is named after BioWare writer John Dombrow.[99]

Nyreen Kandros[edit]

Nyreen Kandros is the turian leader of the Talons mercenary organization on Omega, who joins Shepard as a temporary squad mate in the Mass Effect 3 DLC Omega.[] She utilizes a mixture of biotic and tech powers, and has a complicated history with Aria T'Loak.[68] Nyreen fights to free the people of Omega station who have been enslaved by the human supremacist group Cerberus.[] She also appears as a supporting character in the prequel tie-in comic to Andromeda, Mass Effect: Deception.[]

Kandros is voiced by Sumalee Montano.

The Stargazer[edit]

The Stargazer is a humanoid entity of indeterminate race and background from the far future who narrates Commander Shepard's deeds, a legendary figure in their timeline, to a child companion in the ending of Mass Effect 3.[] Depending on the player's choices in the final battle for Earth, one of the Stargazer's iterations may be voiced by Buzz Aldrin.[88]

Mass Effect: Andromeda[edit]

Alec Ryder[edit]

Alec Ryder is a character in Mass Effect: Andromeda and the father of Scott and Sara Ryder.[47] A veteran of galactic exploration, Ryder was a member of the original team that travelled through the Charon mass relay which marked the first step of Humanity's expansion into the galactic community. He is later accepted for Interplanetary Combatives Training which he completes and is subsequently awarded his N7 designation. A veteran of the First Contact War, Ryder became interested in the use of Artificial Intelligence as a method to help human advancement, however such research and experimentation is illegal under Citadel law. Once his work is discovered, he is dishonourably discharged from the Systems Alliance military.[47] Alec Ryder later joins the Andromeda Initiative as a Pathfinder, the title for leader of each of the Initiative's arkships, and is responsible for the human-majority population aboard his ship Hyperion.[15]

Alec is voiced by Clancy Brown.[47]


SAM, which stands for Simulated Adaptive Matrix, is an AI designed by Alec Ryder and was connected to him; he later passes on the connection to his child who succeeds him as the human Pathfinder.[47] SAM is permanently connected to the Pathfinder, and sees and feels as they do via a neural link, which was originally created by Alec's wife Dr. Elen Ryder. SAM handles a number of tasks as well as assists the Tempest's crew from its node in the Hyperion ark. Through the neural link and a quantum entanglement communication system, SAM can provide the Pathfinder with support in the form of “situational awareness, problem solving and even tactical enhancements”. SAM's computing power also enhances the Pathfinder's combat abilities in the form of six "profiles", which in gameplay terms is analogous to the class system from the original trilogy.[47]

SAM is voiced by Alexia Traverse-Healy.[48]

Lexi T'Perro[edit]

Dr. Lexi T'Perro is the asari doctor on the human ark ship Hyperion, who is later transferred to the Tempest as the resident doctor. She checks on one of the Ryder siblings, who would go on to become the next human Pathfinder, after they are thawed out of cryosleep. Lexi monitors the Pathfinder team's physical and mental wellbeing, and provides general advice to the Pathfinder.[47]

Lexi is voiced by Natalie Dormer.[47]

Kallo Jath[edit]

Kallo Jath is the salarian pilot of the Tempest and one of its co-designers. He narrates the Andromeda Initiative's introductory briefing to the ND1 Nomad and Tempest vehicles.[47]

Kallo is voiced by Garett Ross.[48]

Suvi Anwar[edit]

Suvi Anwar is a Scot who is the Tempest's science officer. She sees science and religion as complementary, with the former as a means of understanding “the divine intelligence behind all of creation", and speaks openly about her faith. She is a potential romance option for a female Pathfinder.[47]

Suvi is voiced by Katy Townsend.[47]

Gil Brodie[edit]

Gil Brodie is the Tempest's engineer, and is described as having a "pretty colourful personality with a bizarre sense of humour". He is a potential romance option for a male Pathfinder.[47]

Gil is voiced by Gethin Anthony.[47]

Jarun Tann[edit]

Jarun Tann is a salarian politician, who plays a prominent role in the Andromeda Initiative's efforts to establish a government in the new galaxy, though his actual competence as an administrator may be called into question. He is described as meaning well, "but also likes power, and plays up his own effectiveness and importance". The Pathfinder may find themselves navigating the moral shades of grey the Mass Effect series is known for in their dealings with Jarun.[47] He also appears in the tie-in novel to Andromeda, Mass Effect Andromeda: Nexus Uprising, where he is portrayed as the central character of the uprising led by former security chief Sloane Kelly at the Nexus. Ben Gilbert from Business Insider mentioned Tann as an example of the best aspects of the Mass Effect series: characters "who respond in realistic ways, who are just as likely to be honest as they are to be manipulative".[]

Tann is voiced by Kumail Nanjiani.[47]

Tiran Kandros[edit]

Tiran Kandros is the turian leader of the de facto volunteer militia for the Andromeda Initiative based in the Nexus, known as APEX, and the cousin of Nyreen Kandros.[] He also appears in the tie-in novel to Andromeda, Mass Effect Andromeda: Nexus Uprising, and is the central character of the prequel comic Mass Effect: Deception, which follows his attempt to infiltrate the Andromeda Initiative.

Kandros is voiced by Steve Pirot.[48]

Foster Addison[edit]

Foster Addison is the Director of Colonial Affairs for the Andromeda Initiative based in the Nexus. The character gained notoriety as a meme after numerous screenshots and videos of her poorly animated facial animations circulated various internet sites as an example of Andromeda's technical issues.[]

Foster is voiced by Zoe Telford.[48]

Nakmor Kesh[edit]

Nakmor Kesh is the granddaughter of Nakmor Drack, who serves as the superintendent of the Nexus space station, the administrative hub for the Andromeda Initiative. Ben Gilbert from Business Insider mentioned Kesh as an example of the best aspects of the Mass Effect series: characters "who respond in realistic ways, who are just as likely to be honest as they are to be manipulative".[]

Kesh is voiced by Allegra Clark.[48]

Hainly Abrams[edit]

Hainly Abrams is a researcher assigned to Prodromos on the planet Eos. During an introductory conversation with the Pathfinder shortly after they met, Abrams reveals that she was known as Stephan prior to her gender transitioning, which motivated her to join the Andromeda Initiative and depart from the Milky Way galaxy to start a new life. The presentation of the character and her gender identity was met with criticism shortly after the launch of Andromeda, prompting BioWare to issue an apology as well as a pledge to adjust the character's dialogue.[][]


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  34. ^ ab
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This article, John Shepard (MR), was written by DeadlyMaelstrom. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.


John Shepard


6 ft 2 in ( centimeters)


lbs. (95 kilograms)

Eye color

  • Blue
  • Red (when angered)
  • Green (within close proximity of Prothean technology)


L3 implants, skeletal lattice, microfiber weave, lattice shunting; later a cybernetic left arm


  • Soldier (formerly)
  • N7 Special Forces operative
  • Spectre agent
  • Captain of the Normandy(formerly)
"This war’s brought us pain, suffering, and loss. But it’s also brought us together, as soldiers, allies… friends. This bond that ties us together is something that the Reapers will never understand. It’s more powerful than any weapon, stronger than any ship. It can’t be taken or destroyed. The next few hours will decide the fate of everyone in the galaxy. Every mother. Every son. Every unborn child. They’re trusting you. Depending on you to win them their future. A future free from the threat of the Reapers! But take heart! Look around you! You’re not in this fight alone. We face our enemy together, and together, we will defeat them!"
&#;Commander John Shepard, rallying his squad

John Shepard—later known throughout the galaxy as "The Shepard"—is a legendary N7 soldier in the Systems Alliance military, the first human Spectre, and the main protagonist of the Mass Effect trilogy. Born in Vancouver in , he had a difficult childhood but was able to escape the life of petty crime and underworld gangs upon enlisting in the Alliance Navy.

A decorated war hero, Shepard is a veteran of the Skyllian Blitz and served with distinction which earned him the Alliance's highest award, the Star of Terra, for almost single-handedly repelling an assault from batarian slavers on Elysium long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Following the battle, he is arguably considered one of the Alliance's most famous soldiers. By overcoming great challenges in the line of duty, Shepard has since shown exemplary talent and leadership capabilities which led to him to undergo N7 training in Rio de Janeiro. He later served as Executive Officer (XO) of the SSV Normandy SR-1 under the command of Captain David Anderson.

During the Eden Prime War, he helped expose Saren Arterius for his involvement with the geth attack on Eden Prime. He also became friends with Kaidan Alenko, Ashley Williams, Garrus Vakarian, Urdnot Wrex, Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, and Dr. Liara T’Soni, who helped him uncover the existence of a race of ancient sentient machines known as Reapers. For his efforts, Shepard was appointed the first human Spectre and assumed command of the Normandy when Anderson was forced to step down. After witnessing Kaidan’s sacrifice to destroy Saren’s research facility during the mission on Virmire, Shepard continued to help lead the war effort against the geth and foil Saren’s plans. Not long after, Williams, with whom Shepard had fallen in love, encouraged him to remain vigilant. Not long after, Shepard and his crew participated in the Battle of the Citadel. During the campaign, Saren was killed and the Reaper vanguard, Sovereign, was destroyed. Although widely praised for saving the Citadel from a surprise attack, his theories about the Reapers have caused political controversy and despite calls for him to cease his investigation, he continued to work tirelessly in an attempt to try to find a way to stop the new threat. Shortly thereafter, he was killed in action by the Collectors.

Two years later, he was brought back to life under the Lazarus Project by the pro-human syndicate known as Cerberus. With the assistance of the organization’s enigmatic leader, the Illusive Man, Shepard assumed command of the Normandy SR-2 and a crew. With the help of his new teammates, Shepard set out on a mission to stop the Collectors’ galaxy-wide campaign of human abductions as they worked in conjunction with the Reapers. Over the course of the journey, Shepard participated in the final assault on the Collectors’ main base of operations accessible only through the Omega-4 Relay and managed to destroy their base, thus putting an end to the Collectors once and for all. Soon after the mission was completed, he severed all ties with Cerberus and operated independently over the next year. During this time, he helped Liara defeat the Shadow Broker. Shepard soon fell out of favor with the Alliance when he blew up the Bahak system and killed its , batarian colonists as collateral damage in an attempt to delay the Reapers from invading. As a consequence, he was relieved of duty and imprisoned at an Alliance military base on Earth to await trial.

Six months later, however, the Reapers returned from dark space and began their next galaxy-wide invasion. Shepard was forced to escape Earth on the Normandy, but not before being re-instated into the Alliance military and being tasked with gathering help from other species to build an ancient superweapon dubbed the "Crucible". During the course, he successfully negotiated an alliance between the turians and krogan upon curing the genophage and ending the three-hundred year conflict between the quarians and geth. Under Hackett and Shepard's leadership, the combined fleets of all the races of the galaxy launch a massive final attack on the Reapers orbiting Earth and on its surface in a last-ditch effort to retake the Citadel and use it to activate the Crucible. Through many hardships and even sacrifices, Shepard used the Crucible to destroy the Reaper threat and put an end to the 50,year cycle of extinction. Following the war, Shepard became a living legend, and was remembered as one of the most powerful soldiers in galactic history. Due to his injuries and plagued by survivor's guilt, Shepard resigned his commission in the Alliance military and withdrew from the public eye, though he would later contribute to the Citadel Council’s reorganization into the Interstellar Republic and became one of its prominent leading figures. During this time, Shepard and Williams were married and had four children.

By , Shepard was nominated by First Minister Linariley T’eavius, and confirmed by the Senate, to serve as Minister of Defense. During the Great Galactic War, however, Linariley and most of her cabinet were killed when the yahg attacked the Citadel. Being the designated survivor, Shepard succeeded Linariley as First Minister. The following year, Shepard signed into law the Yahg Demilitarization and Confinement that ended the war and presided over another galaxy-wide recovery effort. He retired in January due to term limits and kept a low profile, but was coaxed out of retirement to assist his son Kaidan in the final battle against the extra-galactic targarium species.


Early life[]

"The city on Earth where I grew up was hard and dirty. I can see it as a warzone."
&#;John Shepard, about his childhood
"Shepard was born on Earth and orphaned at an early age. He managed to survive on the streets until he was able to enlist at "
&#;An Alliance military dossier

Born on April 11, in the city of Vancouver on Earth, John Shepard never knew his parents or any of his family that well, having been abandoned by them not long after his latent biotic abilities manifested, feeling that this was the type of punishment from a universe that obviously hated him and anything about him. When he turned six, Shepard found his freedom with the Tenth Street Reds, beginning a life of gang violence and turf wars. He was initiated into the gang and eventually participated in many gang wars and turf wars between rival factions. Despite trying to keep his distance, a gang member attempted to kill him after the violent battle. Finch and Julius Shaw saved him from his execution, with Finch killing the small-time hoodlum. Julius informs the gang that it is time to take the fight to the three rival gangs: Smoking Barrels, Pura Sapiens, and Venom Kick.

For years he pulled off petty crimes, robberies, even holding people at gunpoint. But it wasn’t until one fateful night that caused Shepard to begin rethinking his decision: a robbery went wrong when he watched as one of his fellow gang members was gunned down by a store owner. When he fled the scene he couldn’t help but think to himself that could’ve been him. Shepard's youth was filled with violence and crime but sought a way to clear himself of his vile past and create a new future for himself, since his life in constant violence threatened to consume him.

Military career[]

Basic training[]

On his eighteenth birthday, Shepard enlisted in the Alliance Navy and came to celebrate his enrollment more than his birthday. After joining the military, Shepard boarded a shuttle that took him to the Macapá Training Camp in Brazil, one of the largest military training centers. There, he began his basic training under some of the toughest and most experienced combat drill instructors, such as Gunnery Chief Ellison. By the end of his basic training, Shepard graduated top of his class from the Alliance Naval Academy and took several weeks off to relax at a military base on Shanxi before boarding a shuttle for shore leave on Arcturus Station.

The Skyllian Blitz[]

"He proved himself during the Blitz. Held off enemy forces on the ground long enough for reinforcements to arrive."
&#;Admiral Steven Hackett

In , a young 22 year-old Shepard was stationed on Elysium during shore leave alongside a few other marines he graduated with. However, later that night, Shepard was woken up by an unexpected attack when the first wave of the Skyllian Blitz struck. A massive coalition of slavers, crime syndicates and batarian warlords, many of which were under the command of Elanos Haliat, led an attack on the colony in an attempt to gain prestige amongst the gangs of Omega. Nearly three hours in the structure, they began to make their escape, only to find the entire hotel was crumbling. Surviving the building’s collapse, Shepard and other marines he had rounded up to initiate a counterattack against the overwhelming pirate forces.

From courtyards to skyscrapers, Shepard became well-known among the citizenry, marines, and most importantly, the attacking mercenaries. Eventually, Shepard’s attacks caught up with him and found himself, several marines and local militia surrounded by enemy forces. Shepard ordered the survivors to evacuate the civilians while preparing for the approaching 10, batarians, who easily outgunned and outnumbered him. Using the last supplies of ammunition and grenades, he laid waste to a large number of the enemy forces, but eventually found his weapons empty. In a last ditch effort, Shepard engaged in hand-to-hand combat to ravage the remaining forces, until eventually the building collapsed; his demise was greatly expected. Astoundingly, he succeeded in eliminating the first wave of enemy troopers before reinforcements arrived.&#;

Haliat's plans came to nothing as the Alliance repelled the Blitz and decimated the pirate ships from orbit. The Terminus pirates blamed Haliat for the Blitz's failure, and he lost his position as their leader. He then retreated to a remote world in disgrace. News later reached Shepard that the soldiers under his command and the colonists made it out alive. Meanwhile, Shepard was recognized amongst the Alliance and galactic society, with a bright future. He received several accommodations, medals, and awards (including the Star of Terra) for his participation in the battle. The following year, he was accepted into Officer Candidate School and promoted, although he was already recognized as one of the best soldiers in the Alliance military.

N7 commendation[]

Because of his actions during the Skyllian Blitz, Shepard was recommended by the Alliance brass to undergo N7 training at the Interplanetary Combatives Academy in Rio de Janeiro. The aspiring lieutenant received the "N" military vocational code rating, being one of out of to graduate.

Eden Prime War[]

Shakedown run[]

In the year , with numerous achievements under his belt, Shepard was named Executive Officer (XO) of the SSV Normandy SR-1, an advanced prototype Alliance stealth frigate, under the command of his close personal friend and mentor Captain David Anderson. On board, Captain Anderson is in discussion with Admiral Steven Hackett and Ambassador Donnel Udina concerning Commander Shepard’s worthiness to become the first human Spectre, an elite agent for the Citadel Council. Meanwhile, the ship and crew are heading to Eden Prime in the Utopia system for their shakedown mission. Everything began to move in a positive direction.

However, everything changed when they intended to make a covert pick up on the human colony of Eden Prime. Shepard heads to the bridge where Joker, the pilot, guides the ship into the mass relay. Because of the presence of Nihlus Kryik, a turian Spectre sent by the Council to observe, and the famed Captain Anderson, several members of the crew think their true purpose at Eden Prime is far more important than a simple shakedown run. After making the jump, Captain Anderson asks Shepard to come to the comm room for a briefing.

Nihlus has time to speak to Shepard before Anderson joins them. Together they inform the commander that a Prothean beacon has been discovered on Eden Prime. Prothean technology has immense scientific value, but since Eden Prime is close to the Terminus Systems, the beacon is at risk from pirates and mercenary bands. This is the Normandy's true objective: recover the beacon. This mission will also be Nihlus' chance to observe Shepard in action, the first of several they will undertake together to assess Shepard's candidacy for the Spectres.

The briefing is interrupted by a transmission from Eden Prime that Joker patches through. The footage shows Alliance soldiers fighting on the surface, under heavy fire and requesting reinforcements. As Shepard, Anderson and Nihlus watch, they see a huge dreadnought hanging over the surface. Anderson orders Shepard to get ready—this is going to be worse than they thought.

Attack on Eden Prime[]

"I know Saren. I know his reputation, his politics. He believes humans are a blight on the galaxy. This attack was an act of war. He has the secrets from the beacon. He has an army of geth at his command. And he won’t stop until he’s wiped humanity from the face of the galaxy."
&#;Captain David Anderson to Commander Shepard

As the Normandy touches down on Eden Prime, Corporal Richard Jenkins, Staff Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko and Commander Shepard prepare to head down to the planet. Nihlus is going groundside too, but goes on ahead. In the first few minutes on the surface, geth assault drones appear without warning and cut down Jenkins. Shepard and Alenko continue towards the dig site, discovering one of the few surviving marines, Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams, who is being chased by geth troopers. Shepard and Alenko help her fight them off. Williams can't explain why the geth are here, but they've wiped out her whole unit.

Williams leads them to the dig site but the beacon has been moved to the spaceport. While they examine the nearby camp, the squad ran into a group of Husks, human corpses reanimated by the geth, which they kill. Shaken, they continue towards the spaceport where Nihlus agreed to meet with them. Unfortunately, by the time they arrived he was found dead.

After finding Nihlus's body, Shepard's team continues to the tram area where they defeat the last of the geth and disarm their demolition charges. Shepard sees the beacon and calls the Normandy while Alenko and Williams take a look at it. One of them gets too close and is caught in some sort of field—Shepard intervenes and throws Williams out of the way but is caught in the field instead, pulled off the ground as Saren was. The commander suffered a horrific vision: synthetics waging a terrible war before the beacon exploded and Shepard was thrown to the ground, unconscious.

First human Spectre[]

"The mission to Eden Prime was top secret. The only way you could’ve known about it was if you were there."
&#;Commander Shepard to Saren Arterius

Fifteen hours after the Eden Prime attack, Shepard wakes up in the Normandy's medical unit, much to the relief of Alenko and Williams. Dr. Karin Chakwas says the commander is physically okay, but has increased rapid eye movement and unusual beta waves, indicating psychological trauma. Shepard mentions the vision but can't explain it. Captain Anderson briefs Shepard about Saren. He is a powerful and legendary Spectre but also outspoken against humans. If Saren is in charge of the geth, that means he has gone rogue, and they must tell the Council. Upon arriving at the Citadel, Ambassador Udina tries to convince the Council to remove Saren's rights and privileges as a Spectre, but only succeeds in getting an audience. Shepard, along with Alenko and Williams, continues to the Citadel Tower and meets Garrus Vakarian, a turian C-Sec officer investigating the charges against Saren. He hasn't found anything useful: Saren's Spectre status makes him untouchable.

The Council audience doesn't go well. The Alliance has little evidence and Saren—viewing the proceedings from a hologram—openly laughs at Shepard's vision. They need more to go on. Garrus, the C-Sec officer, might be able to help. Udina tells Shepard to find Harkin, a suspended C-Sec officer who could help them find Garrus. Anderson also suggests speaking to Barla Von, a financial expert on the Citadel who works for the Shadow Broker. When Shepard heard Garrus was last seen in the Med Clinic, the commander intercepts a couple of thugs threatening Dr. Chloe Michel, and saves her with Garrus' help. From the two of them, Shepard learns that a quarian has recently arrived on the Citadel, claiming to have evidence of Saren's connection to the geth. However this quarian is being held captive by Fist, a local crime lord who used to work for the Shadow Broker, but who's now betrayed the Broker to work for Saren.

Along with Garrus, the group gains the aid of Urdnot Wrex, a krogan battlemaster, mercenary and bounty hunter who has been sent by the Shadow Broker to kill Fist. They raid Chora's Den and discover the quarian was supposed to hand the information over to the Shadow Broker, but this meeting is a trap. Saren's men will be the ones waiting. Shepard races to the meeting and manages to save the quarian, Tali'Zorah nar Rayya. They bring Tali back to the Ambassador's office.

The evidence she found was an audio file she managed to save from a geth memory core, which has clear evidence Saren was behind the attack on Eden Prime. However, the file also hints that Saren is looking for something called the Conduit with the aid of a powerful asari called Matriarch Benezia, to bring about the "return of the Reapers". When the evidence is presented to the Council, Saren’s Spectre status was revoked, but they're reluctant to send a fleet after him to apprehend him. No interest is shown in the Reapers.

As people in the Chambers watch in amazement, Commander Shepard becomes the first human Spectre and is tasked with hunting Saren down. Captain Anderson steps down as commander of the Normandy and hands the ship over to Shepard, along with some useful leads. There have been reports of geth activity on the planets Noveria and Feros. Also, Matriarch Benezia, Saren's ally, has a daughter named Dr. Liara T'Soni, a Prothean expert who may have useful information. Shepard was furious, feeling that Anderson was being forced out of office but eventually came to accept the sacrifice. After giving the crew a speech, Shepard is now in command of the Normandy.

Search for Dr. Liara T'Soni[]

"Anderson decided to stay behind, giving up his ship, the Normandy. He told me I would need it more than he would. He also pointed me in a direction: Liara, a Prothean expert, adept in biotics and maybe most importantly, daughter of Benezia, Saren’s top lieutenant. And like most asari, as beautiful as she is intelligent and born with a unique ability to meld with other species. Liara was able to help me decipher some of the vision the beacon had given me. Nothing concrete, but it gave me some clues… and a new appreciation for the asari. Her technique for accessing my vision was unexpected, but not at all unpleasant."
&#;Shepard's journal entry

The Normandy tracks Dr. Liara T'Soni to Therum, a mining colony in the Knossos system of the Artemis Tau cluster, but the geth are already on the surface, taking over several refinery facilities and dropping Geth Armatures from overhead.

Shepard led the squad to a mineshaft and down into a Prothean ruin, where they find Liara trapped behind a Prothean barrier curtain, who explains that she tried to protect herself from the geth but must have pressed something she wasn’t supposed to and pleads for assistance to get out. Freeing her with a mining laser, they discover she is not in league with Saren and has no idea what the Conduit might be. Liara also warned them that there are more geth being led by a krogan. Then a tremor is felt in the mine. The ruins were not entirely stable and the mining laser must have triggered a seismic event, prompting Shepard to tell Joker to get the Normandy over the ruins as quickly as he can make it. As the squad leaves the ruined tower with Liara, they are confronted by a krogan battlemaster who is leading the geth and manage to defeat him as the unstable ruins begin to collapse. They escape just in time.

Joker welcomes Shepard and the squad back to the Normandy with more than a bit of sarcasm. During the debriefing, Liara explains her expertise is on the Prothean extinction. She has a theory they were not the first civilization to mysteriously vanish, and is amazed by Shepard's story of the Reapers and offers to link her mind with Shepard’s to try to make sense of the vision from Eden Prime. The joining doesn’t produce any results and Liara gets tired. Shepard dismisses the crew and reports his mission to the Council.


"Thanks to Liara’s help, we had our next lead: Benezia. Saren had taken her to Noveria where he enslaved a dangerous race of insect-like creatures: the rachni. He ordered Benezia to use the same technique Liara had used on me to extract information from the Rachni Queen. The queen’s drones were everywhere, and they weren’t happy. We had to fight through hundreds of them to get to Benezia. By the time we arrived, Saren was gone… with the information."
&#;Shepard's journal entry

Next, Shepard and his team headed to Noveria, hoping to find Matriarch Benezia herself. Noveria's capital of Port Hanshan did not treat him well upon arrival. Not only were they hesitant to let in an armed Spectre squad, but they wouldn't let him leave to investigate. Eventually Shepard had earned a few favors, collecting enough incriminating evidence that Administrator Bel Anoleis was corrupt to get him a garage pass. This allowed him to leave, but was ambushed by geth. After a brief firefight and a warning to Port Hanshan Security, Shepard's squad set off.

The facility is deserted save for geth and bizarre creatures: the rachni, which have escaped from the labs. Shepard reactivates the Peak 15 station’s virtual intelligence, Mira, and goes up to Rift Station looking for Benezia. Rift Station is full of science staff sheltering from the rachni attack; Shepard helps them out but gets attacked by those loyal to Benezia. The squad finds out Binary Helix discovered a rachni egg that turned out to be a queen, and were trying to breed an army from her brood until the rachni turned on them.

Down in the labs through the maintenance area, Shepard finds Benezia with the Rachni Queen. The matriarch attacks the squad, but after a fierce battle Benezia manages to overcome the indoctrination that Saren has used to control her, and tells Shepard the truth. Saren wants the location of the lost Mu Relay, and sent her to retrieve it from the queen's genetic memory. Benezia doesn't know what else he is planning. She hands the coordinates over to Shepard, but becomes lost to the indoctrination again and the commander has to kill her. Before they had the chance to leave though they were confronted by a corpse, it was under the control of the Rachni Queen. She questioned whether she would be killed or set loose; eventually Shepard made his decision and freed the queen, giving the rachni another chance, much to Wrex’s chagrin. Their next step was to clear the facility of rachni and escape, and with some help they managed to succeed with help of the Neutron Purge, though they barely escaped in time.

Asteroid X57 hostage crisis[]

"Listen – we don’t have much time. The batarians fired up the fusion torches. You’ve got to shut them down before we hit Terra Nova!"
&#;Simon Atwell to Commander Shepard

At some point, a batarian extremist group hijacked a mobile asteroid station Asteroid X57 in the Asgard system and set it on a collision course with the nearby human colony of Terra Nova. The Normandy’s computer alerts Shepard and the hand-picked crew that X57 is heading to Terra Nova too fast, and is on course to hit the planet within four hours. The crew then quickly rushes in to try to save the millions of innocent civilians before the asteroid completes its deadly descent.

Inside, Shepard and the squad encounter five batarian troopers, a batarian sniper, and a pack of four varren. The first two varren are dropped in a matter of minutes, with a second pair of war beasts released shortly after that – when a batarian shouted "Release the varren!" Once the batarians were cleared out, the group shuts down the fusion torch station and is again contacted by the unknown woman, Kate Bowman. She says batarian extremists have attacked the asteroid and doesn’t know why the batarians are here, but they’ve killed many of the personnel on the asteroid. However, she signs off before she’s discovered. As Shepard leaves the fusion torch station, he’s shot by a nervous Simon Atwell; however, his shields deflect the shot. Simon gives Shepard as much information about the asteroid, Kate, and the batarian attack. Simon reveals that the asteroid is going to crash into Terra Nova and cause catastrophic damage – not only will it destroy the colony and kill everyone on the surface, but the devastation will effectively kill the planet. When implied about why the batarians are doing this, Simon responds that they’re pirates and slavers, not planet killers, and doesn’t know why they changed from just a slave grabbing run to killing the planet, but he has a warning: the next torch station is surrounded by live blasting caps and that three of his engineers are missing. Simon also says that the batarian leader is named Balak, but doesn’t understand why the batarians are doing this.

Disabling the second fusion torch, Shepard gets another message over the radio from Kate Bowman, saying that the batarians know someone’s shutting down the torches and, to make things worse, intend to blow up the main facility. Before she can finish, the batarian leader Balak pulls her away.

When the third and final fusion torch is shut down, Shepard encounters Charn, Balak’s second-in-command, who tries to negotiate, claiming that he and his men had only signed on for a simple slave grab, not to destroy a colony. He is under orders to kill Shepard but he’s getting tired of following Balak’s little crusade. Shepard convinces Charn to leave the asteroid peacefully, under the promise that Balak will be eliminated and Charn will then be the one calling the shots. In that event, Charn agrees immediately and provides Shepard with a pass to the main facility along with a warning that Balak is a "mean bastard".

When the Commander launches an assault on the main facility, Shepard confronts Balak, who has planted a bomb in the offices where the hostages are being held. He is furious that the torches have been shut down and sees this as an act of reprisal for the early stages of humanity’s major expansion in the Skyllian Verge, claiming territories and resources he believes should have belong to the batarians, all because the Council saw a military advantage in befriending the Alliance. Balak talks angrily about the thwarted Skyllian Blitz and holds Shepard personally responsible for the Blitz’s failure and accuses him of murdering batarians on Torfan, saying what he’s doing is no different. Shepard rebuffs this notion, retorting that the batarians attacked first and when the Alliance retaliated, the batarians "ran like cowards". Out of patience, Balak reveals that the hostages are locked away in a room with an explosive that he’s prepared to detonate, unless the Commander offers him safe passage out of the building and off the asteroid.

Faced with a choice of letting Balak and risk him causing havoc in the future but save the hostages or attack him knowing the hostages will be sacrificed, Shepard begrudgingly let Balak go to save the hostages, though he warned the batarian that the next time he causes trouble he’ll be ready for him. Disarming the three explosive charges around the room while under fire, the hostages were spared. Once freed from one of the offices, Shepard finally meets Kate Bowman, who is glad to be alive but devastated at the death of her brother and colleagues. Kate realizes she never even asked the Commander’s name, and claims Shepard isn’t what she expected, but she’s very grateful for the help.

After the battle, Shepard meets Simon Atwell again, who is saddened by Balak’s escape. He confirms that Shepard’s efforts were not in vain: the asteroid was on a direct course for Terra Nova’s capital, and now that the torches have been disabled, X57 will miss the planet safely.


Drawn to Feros by rogue geth activity, Shepard and the squad arrive at the colony of Zhu's Hope, owned by ExoGeni Corporation. The colony has been suffering repeated geth attacks and the settlers there are acting strangely. Shepard clears the geth for the colonists and takes a Mako along the Prothean Skyway to the main geth base. The squad finds a small group of colonists who have become separated from the others, led by Juliana Baynham and a nervous ExoGeni representative, Ethan Jeong. Despite their situation these survivors seem to be coping better than Zhu's Hope. Before they leave, Juliana asks Shepard to look for her daughter Lizbeth, whom she believes to be still inside ExoGeni Headquarters.

After making their way inside the ExoGeni Headquarters, Shepard's squad finds Lizbeth, scared but alive. From the company VI, Shepard discovers that the corporation has been experimenting with a mind-controlling plant, the Thorian, and that Zhu's Hope is actually a testing ground for ExoGeni to study its abilities. Shepard disables the force fields that the geth have set up by knocking the geth dropship off the headquarters and returns to the Skyway group. Jeong has received word that ExoGeni wants Zhu's Hope purged. Shepard deals with Jeong and heads back to Zhu's Hope to find the Thorian.

Controlled by the Thorian, the colonists attack Shepard on sight. Some have been turned into Thorian Creepers. Shepard can use special gas grenades that instantly kill the creepers and harmlessly paralyzes the colonists, then descends beneath Zhu's Hope to find the Thorian. It is an enormous creature that looks nothing like a plant. It creates an asari clone to speak for it, but only to tell Shepard it's not interested in bargaining with "meat". After battling waves of Thorian Creepers and clones, Shepard manages to destroy the Thorian's neural nodes and it falls to its death.

An asari emerges from a Thorian pod, and manages to explain what happened. Shepard learns that Saren sacrificed his asari ally, Shiala, to the Thorian to gain the Cipher. This is the cultural and ancestral experience of the Protheans, which is necessary to understand the vision that the Eden Prime beacon put in time to adjust, the vision will make more sense and hopefully lead them to the Conduit before Saren.


"With Saren’s top lieutenant dead, he was quickly running out of time and places to hide. I tracked him down at his base on Virmire, but we soon learned that it was more than just a base of operations. It was a breeding ground. Saren was breeding an army of krogan. He found a cure for the genophage, a disease inflicted on the krogan to prevent them from breeding and taking over the galaxy. But the krogan Saren was breeding were slaves, mindless beasts that obeyed Saren’s will. I had to destroy the base, and all its research."
&#;Shepard's journal entry

With Feros and Noveria out of the way, Shepard is contacted by the Council with a possible lead: a salarian Special Tasks Group espionage team on Virmire, investigating reports of Saren's activities, has sent a mission-critical transmission that was almost lost in static. Shepard heads to Virmire and meets the leader of the salarians, Captain Kirrahe. They have found a breeding facility for krogan that Saren is using to create an army.

Kirrahe, realizing he's not getting the reinforcements he needs, asks for Shepard's help destroying it and they develop a plan: while the salarians distract Saren's geth, Shepard will take a team around the back and plant a nuclear device that will wipe out the facility. Conflict arose when Urdnot Wrex pressed to know how Saren was breeding an army, and came close to turning traitor when everyone agreed that the base must be destroyed. Kirrahe asks Shepard for a squad member to help him coordinate the attack—to which Ashley volunteers to help the salarians, but must also deal with Wrex, who is furious that Shepard is willing to destroy a cure for the genophage, a salarian bio-weapon which makes krogan breeding next to impossible. Using his calming tone Shepard managed to talk down the infuriated krogan, assuring him that he did not want to destroy the cure either, but cured krogan under Saren’s command are still slaves but only of a different disease. When Wrex finally calmed down and agreed to help Shepard everyone was in awe, nobody expected he could talk down a krogan.

As Shepard's "Shadow" team worked their way into Saren's base they took down numerous support structures, relieving pressure for the STG squads. When they eventually got inside they were shocked at what they found, everywhere they looked was indoctrinated salarians and prison cells. After a while of exploration Shepard had found another Prothean beacon buried in the facility. After the use of the beacon everything began to make sense to Shepard, the meaning of the visions and even some aspects of Saren's plan and they are confronted by a hologram of Sovereign itself, which is not a Reaper ship but an actual Reaper. After a brief back and forth of threats, Shepard realized the true danger that the galaxy was in: Saren wasn't the real threat, it was the Reapers and Sovereign was the first of many. They began to pick up the pace considerably, Joker had contacted them saying that Sovereign was heading back to Virmire.

Shepard manages to get the nuke set up across the facility only to get a call that the salarians are being attacked and are taking heavy losses. The commander takes a group to help them but as they leave, the geth start attacking the nuke site and Shepard was put in a conflict: both Kaidan and Ashley are in trouble and there's no time to save both. Halfway there Shepard had to make a difficult decision, Williams and the STG team was getting demolished by geth, but the geth were now also assaulting the bomb site. After having to listen to a drawn out fight over the comms between Williams and Alenko, Shepard had to choose and he could only save one. Knowing that Alenko was the only survivor by the bomb site, and that he would die to see the bomb detonate, Shepard headed towards Williams, hoping he still had time to save her and the salarian team. Shepard brings reinforcements, only to be confronted by Saren. He tries to make the commander join his cause but Shepard refuses and fights Saren off. Saren gets away and the team board the Normandy, escaping Virmire as the nuke destroys the facility, leaving Kaidan behind to die in the explosion.

Stealing the Normandy[]

"I know we’ll all be court-martialed if this doesn’t work out. But part of me loves this!"
&#;Navigator Charles Pressly

Shepard took his time to grieve for the loss of his friend, and thanks to the undamaged beacon on Virmire, his Prothean vision is now complete. During the debriefing, Liara touches Shepard's mind to interpret it fully. The vision was a distress call intended to warn the Protheans about the Reapers. Liara realizes that the landmarks in the vision are on Ilos, a planet she has studied as part of her Prothean research. Ilos had been impossible to reach because it was only accessible through the Mu Relay, which is why Saren needed the Relay's location from Noveria. After the debriefing, Joker passed on a message for Shepard from the Council: they're putting together a massive multi-species effort to face Saren.

Thrilled that the Council was finally taking this seriously, Shepard returns to the Citadel, wanting to personally lead the assault. But once back at the station, he discovers the Council was only putting up a blockade around the mass relays to stop Saren from reaching the Citadel. Neither they nor Ambassador Udina believe his story about the Reapers and they refuse to send a fleet to Ilos. The Mu Relay is in the Terminus Systems and a Citadel fleet there could start a war. Shepard knows the Normandy's stealth systems can get them there discreetly, but the Council was getting tired of Shepard's insistence that the Reapers are the real threat. Udina, wanting to make nice with the Council, grounds the Normandy and locks out the ship's systems and closes all official diplomatic channels.

Frustrated, knowing Saren is close to finding the Conduit and they're losing time, Shepard is grateful when Ashley offers support.&#; A real breakthrough comes when Captain Anderson gets in touch, asking Shepard for a discreet meeting at Flux. Anderson believes the commander's story and knows the Normandy is the only ship that can get Shepard to Ilos. He is going to unlock the Normandy’ systems, allowing Shepard to steal the ship and take her to Ilos. Shepard is concerned that Anderson will be arrested and charged with treason—or worse—but Anderson sees his future as a small price to pay for stopping genocide on a galactic scale.

Shepard goes to the Normandy and waits with Joker on the bridge. With Anderson's help the Normandy's systems are unlocked and they escape the Citadel, heading to Ilos. While en route to their destination, Ashley comes to visit Shepard’s quarters, saying that, after a long career of being sidelined by the Alliance, Shepard helps her to feel "good enough", and the two spend the night together. Joker then announces that they're about to pass through the Mu Relay, and they will soon arrive at Ilos. Ashley continues to tease Shepard; she claims to have something important to tell him, but if he wants to hear it, he’ll have to survive the mission and come back to her first.


"With my team mostly intact, we chased Saren and his army to Ilos, a long lost planet that had once belonged to the Protheans. As we prepared for what we knew would be a desperate fight, I spoke to my crew. We were just one ship against Saren’s growing army. I assured them all that despite the odds, we could defeat him. […] We arrived on Ilos close behind Saren. Once on the planet, we discovered a Prothean databank that helped me put the final pieces of my vision together. The Reapers had come 50, years ago and every 50, years before that. Each time purging the galaxy of life. The Protheans had fought and died, like every species before them. But a few survived long enough to leave a parting gift: The Protheans had discovered that the Citadel was the key to controlling the mass relays. By sabotaging the Citadel, they found a way to close the relays to dark space, slowing the Reapers’ return, giving us the time we needed to find a solution to stop the Reapers once and for all. Saren knew this. He was leading his army to take control of the Citadel and reestablish the relays to dark space, bringing the waiting Reapers here to destroy us all."
&#;Shepard's journal entry

Shepard sees that Saren has already arrived with a fleet of geth dropships, though the Normandy's stealth system is keeping them safe for now. Executive Officer Charles Pressly picks up some readings on the planet confirming Saren's presence. However, they could not find a landing zone. Shepard suggests dropping the Mako but they need about meters of open terrain for a safe drop and Pressly can only find at most 20 meters. Joker insists that he can do it. The Mako is successfully dropped outside an ancient bunker, but Saren and his geth have already made it inside, shutting a heavy security door behind them.

Shepard looks for ways to get to the other side of the bunker doors. After fighting through the geth left on guard, Shepard and the squad find a security station and reopen the bunker doors. While in the control room, Shepard discovers an ancient Prothean recording which is heavily damaged. The Cipher allows Shepard to make out some of the words—it's another warning about the Reapers but it's just too broken up. They return to the Mako and enter the bunker.

After driving past cryogenic stasis pods, all apparently shut down, Shepard sees a mysterious energy barrier. As the Mako reaches the barrier, another barrier appears behind them, trapping the squad inside. The only way out is through a door at the side of the wall. After heading down an elevator, Shepard finds an ancient Prothean VI named Vigil, who has information Shepard needs to stop the Reapers.

Vigil unveils a startling revelation. The Citadel is actually a trap; a huge mass relay linking to dark space, outside of the galaxy, where the Reapers are waiting. The keepers are presumed to be one of the earliest races to be indoctrinated by the Reapers, who set them the task of maintaining the Citadel and activating the Citadel Relay when Sovereign signals them. It is also revealed that Sovereign is the vanguard of the Reapers. After every Reaper attack, they leave behind one of their kind to act as a vanguard and to monitor the development of the galaxy's races. Once the galaxy's races are sufficiently advanced, the vanguard will activate the Citadel Relay and usher in the next genocide. The reason the Reapers harvest the galaxy of all advance organic life approximately every 50, years is currently unknown. According to Vigil, not even the Prothean scientists could comprehend why they do it. They may be driven by goals that organics find impossible to understand. Once the galaxy is harvested, the Reapers return to dark space to hibernate and conserve energy. In this state, they are apparently vulnerable, so they always seal the Citadel Relay behind them.

When the Reapers last attacked about 50, years ago, their genocide of the Protheans lasted for centuries. Ilos' personnel hid in cryogenic stasis, watched over by Vigil. However, as his energy reserves ran low, he followed a contingency plan by shutting off pods of non-essential personnel to conserve energy, hoping that when the time was right, he could safely open the pods. In the end, Vigil managed to save a dozen scientists. The few remaining Protheans on Ilos traveled to the Citadel through the Conduit—a small prototype mass relay, built by the Protheans, enabling a one-way link from Ilos to the Relay Monument in the Citadel Presidium. The survivors altered the signal that the keepers respond to and prevented them from activating the relay to dark space. Vigil also explains that if Sovereign assaults the Citadel alone, the combined power of the Citadel Fleet would be enough to defeat the single Reaper. However, if Sovereign is able to direct an agent to go through the Conduit as a back door and transfer control of the Citadel back to Sovereign, it will be able to manually activate the Citadel Relay and bring in the rest of the Reapers. Sovereign had possibly planned this for centuries after discovering the Protheans' sabotage plan. Vigil gives Shepard a data file that will give the commander temporary control of the Citadel to stop Sovereign. After leaving Vigil, Shepard heads through the archives, down into an old aqueduct guarded by geth, and reaches the Conduit. Saren had already gone through, leaving geth to stay guard.

Meanwhile, Sovereign begun its assault on the Citadel, escorted by a large geth fleet. The commander of the Destiny Ascension, Matriarch Lidanya, attempts to close the Citadel but the station doesn’t respond—the operators at Citadel Control are dead. Saren has begun his attack from within.

Back on Ilos, Shepard sees the Conduit is closing fast. Rushing to the Conduit, the squad evades the geth in the process and drives the Mako through, just before the relay closes. On the now-burning and heavily damaged Presidium, two geth troopers notice a blue glow around the Relay Monument. When they go to take a look, the Mako suddenly bursts through and crushes them, before rolling over and crashing against a wall. The race to stop Saren was on.

Battle of the Citadel[]

"I think we both expected it would end like this. You’ve lost. You know that, don’t you? In a few minutes, Sovereign will have full control of all the Citadel’s systems. The relay will open. The Reapers will return."
&#;Saren Arterius to Commander Shepard

Shepard and the team manage to get out of the overturned Mako and use the nearby malfunctioning Avina terminal to get a sit rep. Saren is heading toward the Council Chambers and the whole station is infested with geth. The squad tries taking the elevator to the Citadel Tower, but it stops halfway when Saren locks down the station's systems. Shepard tells the team to suit up and blows out the elevator's glass with a single shot. They have to walk the rest of the way in zero gravity with their boots magnetized.

Meanwhile up in the Chambers, Saren—angrily shooting keepers as he goes—reaches the central console and uses it to take control of the Citadel. As Sovereign gets closer, crushing the Citadel Fleet ships in its path, Saren closes the Wards, creating an impenetrable shell around the Reaper and the Geth Dropships already inside. Sovereign settles on top of the Citadel Tower, preparing to open the Citadel Relay once Saren transfers full control.

Elsewhere Shepard and the team are fighting for their lives against the geth and Saren’s krogan warriors out on the Citadel's exhaust plains, trying to get to the Chambers. A geth dropship appears and starts unleashing shock troopers on them; Shepard activates the Citadel's defense turrets, and with their cover fire, takes the dropship out. Further along they run into several powerful geth turrets and have to use cover to get close enough to destroy them, or manage to sneak down a side route where Krogan Battlemasters are waiting. Eventually they reach a maintenance hatch that leads down into the Council Chambers, now burning and full of Saren's geth. The stairways provide some cover as the team fights towards the central console.

At that moment Saren appears and throws a grenade. Shepard's team is blown aside while the commander takes cover close to Saren. He urges Shepard not to be a fool—everything is lost if Shepard continues resisting Sovereign. Saren boasts that his faith faltered but Sovereign has implanted him, made him partly synthetic, perfect. This is the future of organic life. Shepard couldn’t believe Saren allowed Sovereign to implant him. Shepard tries talking Saren down—and the more Shepard spoke, the more Saren is convinced, but his Reaper implants cause the turian intense pain when he begins to agree with Shepard. With enough convincing, Saren thanks the commander for freeing him before shooting himself in the head, falling to the bottom of the Chambers, through the glass floor and is impaled by a large shard.

Using the central console, Shepard uploads Vigil's program and gains control of the Citadel. With advice from the team, Shepard opens a communication channel and gets Joker, who has the Fifth Fleet just waiting for the commander's word once the mass relays are unlocked. Shepard orders the Fifth Fleet to defend the Destiny Ascension and save the Council. After the orders were given, Joker brings the fleet through the nearby mass relay as Shepard opens the Citadel's ward arms.

As the Fleet engages the ships outside—geth dropships and Sovereign itself—Shepard tells the squad to check Saren and make sure he's dead. They drop down to the bottom of the Chambers—one coldly shoots Saren in the head, while the other confirms the kill to Shepard. Suddenly Saren's body begins to twitch as his implants fire up, burning his flesh away until he is a cybernetic construct like a husk, completely possessed by Sovereign. The shockwaves from his transformation cause the platform to collapse and Shepard falls into the bottom of the Chambers. The squad fights back against the creature, but it is fast and deadly.

Outside, the Normandy leads the attack against Sovereign. The Reaper unleashes a terrible weapon that burns through several Alliance ships, but the Fifth Fleet slowly begins to gain the upper hand. As the squad finally destroyed the cybernetic creature and it burns away to ashes, Sovereign begins to weaken under the Alliance attack and releases its grip on the station. A blast from the Normandy is the coup de grace and the Reaper is destroyed.

In the Chambers, Shepard looks up to see a huge piece of debris from the Reaper heading straight for the Tower. The commander yells for the squad to take cover, just as it hits.

Much later, rescuers enter the Tower looking for survivors. Under a pile of rubble they discover Shepard's team two of them, badly wounded but alive. Leading the rescuers, Captain Anderson helps them out, assures them that it's all right, and asks where Commander Shepard is. One of the squad looks sadly across the Chambers, where the Reaper debris has crashed into the floor. It would have crushed anyone standing under it. The rescue team helps the squad out of the Chambers, reluctantly believing Shepard died in the crash. Anderson looks back—to see someone moving. Commander Shepard, with a broken arm, managed to climb out from behind the debris and limp towards them, smiling.

"While humanity’s efforts in the war earned us our first seat on the Council, it was a hollow victory. The Reapers were still out there. I knew the fight was far from over, but… as the one who led the fight against Saren, I was given new responsibilities. The choice of humanity’s first councilor was left for me to decide. On the one hand: Udina, the lifetime politician. Ruthless and ambitious, he would easily navigate the political landmines that would soon be put in front of him. The other choice: Captain Anderson, the career soldier. Tough, but fair – but a friend, and someone I could trust. Both great leaders in their own right. Anderson didn’t want the job, which was a sure sign he’d be perfect for it. No ambition to get in the way. The war was over, the threat had passed. In time, the Council would rebuild itself. The Citadel could be repaired. Even the pain of lost friends would fade. But none of that mattered if the Reapers were still out there. And if they were all as powerful as Sovereign, we’d have to find a way to stop them. I had to find a way. I gathered my crew, took my ship, and went in search of answers. Officially the Council would only say I was assigned to cleanup duty, rooting out of any remnants of Saren’s army. Just another routine mission."
&#;Shepard's journal entry

In gratitude for the sacrifices of the Alliance Fleet and Shepard's help, the Council states that humanity has proved themselves worthy and grants them a Council seat. Shepard personally endorsed Captain Anderson to represent humanity on the Council, citing the need for leaders with the courage to stand up for what they believe in. When approached by Ambassador Udina, Shepard remarks that he thought the Citadel already had too many politicians and expressed his belief that Anderson would be perfect for the job, because he didn’t want it. The victory and celebration was short-lived, however, as Shepard left the Citadel aboard the Normandy, intending to find a way to stop the Reaper invasion.


"Commander! SHEPARD!!"
&#;Joker, witnessing to John's sacrifice

Unfortunately, only one month after the Battle of the Citadel, the Alliance sends Shepard to locate and destroy any remaining geth. While on patrol in the Amada system, the Normandy was sent into a sector where three ships were reported to have gone missing in the space of one month.

After four days of fruitlessly searching for signs of geth activity, the Normandy is attacked by an unknown assailant. The ship suffers extensive damage, forcing the crew to evacuate via escape pods. Joker, the helmsman, refused the initial evacuation order believing he could still save the ship and continues to pilot despite the received damage to it and is rescued by Commander Shepard, who drags Joker out of his seat and into an escape pod. Before the commander can board the escape pod himself, however, the Normandy is attacked once again and a blast separated them just as Shepard managed to get Joker inside and is sent flying amidst a series of explosions, barely surviving the Normandy's destruction. However, the suit's pressure seals were compromised, sliced by debris and air vents out. Shepard asphyxiates and dies; the Commander’s body is seen entering the atmosphere of a nearby planet below.

The news spread quickly and many people were saddened at the death of the first human Spectre. However, Shepard would not stay dead for long.

Collector Crisis[]


John Shepard: "Did you say two years? I’ve been gone that long?"
Jacob Taylor: "Two years and twelve days. And you were on an operating table for the most of it."
&#;John Shepard and Jacob Taylor en route to the Minuteman Station[src]

Two years later, in an effort undertaken by Cerberus, Shepard was brought back to life and awakens in the year aboard a Cerberus space station, a research facility of Project Lazarus, which fell under attack by hacked security mechs. After the Commander aids Cerberus agents Miranda Lawson and Jacob Taylor in escaping, Shepard is taken to a headquarters of Cerberus and granted an audience with the Illusive Man, who explains that Shepard was revived and "upgraded" in return for the Commander’s aid in combating a new threat in which human colonies have been attacked, their colonists deemed missing.

Due to the ignorance and political red tape hampering both the Alliance and the Council, Cerberus is the only organization in a position to combat the threat, and Shepard reluctantly agreed to work with them to solve this threat, even though he didn’t trust Cerberus or the Illusive Man.

Shepard and the team are dispatched to investigate the recently attacked colony of Freedom’s Progress, located in the Terminus Systems. There, the group encounters Tali’Zorah vas Neema, one of Shepard's former squad members, and discovers that the mysterious insect-like humanoid bipeds known as the Collectors were behind the attack and are responsible for the further abductions of other human colonies. Shepard reports this to the Illusive Man, who then places him in command of the Normandy SR-2, a larger second generation ship modeled after the original Normandy SR With the guidance of the Illusive Man, Shepard begins traveling across the galaxy to recruit a new team for what is assumed to be a suicide mission.

Meanwhile, rumors of Shepard’s apparent survival have mixed concerns. Some would even think that Shepard is undercover investigating the colony disappearances.

Forming a new squad[]

John Shepard: "If this is a war, I’ll need an army or a really good team."
Illusive Man: "I’ve already compiled a list of soldiers, scientists, and mercenaries. You’ll get dossiers on the best of them."
&#;Shepard and the Illusive Man[src]

The Illusive Man initially provides Shepard with four dossiers regarding potential recruits: a salarian scientist, a mysterious vigilante called Archangel, a krogan warlord, and a powerful but psychotic biotic. The salarian, Mordin Solus, is found on Omega and is working to stop a plague engineered by the Collectors but distributed throughout Omega by the vorcha. The vigilante Archangel is also on Omega, holding out on his own in a battle against three mercenary gangs: the Blood Pack, Blue Suns and Eclipse. After reaching Archangel's hideout, Shepard learns that Archangel is actually Garrus Vakarian, one of Shepard's previous squad members. Garrus is seriously injured while battling the mercenaries, and, although he is permanently disfigured, he survives and joins the team. The krogan warlord, Okeer, is found attempting to create the perfect krogan through unethical genetic research. When the warlord is killed, he leaves his creation, Grunt, under the care of Shepard. The biotic, Jack, revealed to be a woman, is also known as "Subject Zero." Cerberus arranges for her to be purchased from the prison holding her; Shepard travels to the Purgatory prison ship. Once there, however, Shepard is betrayed by the warden as he attempts to capture Shepard for a bounty. Shepard manages to escape the trap and rescue Jack, who joins the team despite an initial distrust of Cerberus operatives.

After the recruitment of the four squad mates, the Illusive Man reveals that a human colony called Horizon has come under Collector attack, and he dispatches the team in an attempt to save the colony. He also notes that one of Shepard's surviving crew members, Ashley Williams, is stationed at the colony to oversee the construction of massive defense towers. Shepard arrives with his team and battles the Collectors face-to-face; the group appears to have arrived too late as half of the colonists have already been taken away. Shepard's team is able to activate the colony's defense cannons and turn them on the Collector ship, which then flees the planet under heavy fire. Shepard later reunites with his former lover, who leaves feeling betrayed by Shepard working for Cerberus.

After returning to the Normandy, it is revealed that the Illusive Man allowed the Collectors to attack Horizon by leaking a tip to the Alliance that Shepard is alive and working with Cerberus. The Collectors intercepted this message and attacked the colony. The Illusive Man suspected the Collectors were looking for Shepard or people connected to him. It soon becomes clear that the Collectors are targeting Shepard. He is provided with dossiers on three more potential recruits: an asari Justicar, a drell assassin, and Tali. Shepard finds the Justicar, Samara, on Illium. She joins the team after Shepard investigates the Eclipse mercenary group and its involvement in a murder. The drell assassin, Thane Krios, is also found on Illium and is in the midst of completing an assassination contract on Nassana Dantius. After learning of Thane's next target, Shepard fights resistances along the way to the top floor of the tower complex where the target is located. Shepard encounters Thane, who successfully dispatches his target and joins the team, as Shepard can provide him with a purpose. Tali was found on a geth-occupied quarian colony world, Haestrom, where she is researching the system's rapidly dying sun. After she is rescued from an immense geth force, she agrees to join Shepard’s team.

Investigating the Collector Ship[]

"Shepard, we caught a break. I intercepted a distress call from a turian patrol. They stumbled on to a Collector ship beyond the Korlus system. The turians were wiped out, but not before they crippled the Collector vessel. I need you to board that ship and get some hard data on the Collectors. Find us a way to get to their homeworld."
&#;The Illusive Man to Shepard

Although the Illusive Man had still been assisting Shepard as they both worked to stop the Collectors from further threatening human colonies, their relationship had clearly suffered since Horizon. The Illusive Man informs Shepard that a turian patrol engaged a Collector ship, and managed to disable it before being destroyed, and that the Normandy should take the opportunity to investigate the ship before the turians respond, and find any data or technology that can help them on their mission. Upon boarding the ship, Shepard discovers many empty collector pods, as well as the bodies of dead human colonists, apparently subjected to various experiments by the Collectors. Shepard then discovers that the Collectors had also been experimenting on their own, with EDI saying that they appeared to be researching their own genetic similarity to humans. EDI's genetic analysis of the deceased Collectors reveals that they are in fact the long extinct Protheans, having been subjected to extensive genetic modification to alter them for the Reapers' purposes.

As Shepard proceeds deeper into the ship, Joker discovers that it is in fact exactly the same Collector vessel responsible for the attack on Horizon and the destruction of the original Normandy, which Shepard remarks is far too uncanny to be a coincidence. When Shepard's team reaches the center of the ship, they discover that it contains millions of empty pods, more than enough to hold every human in the Terminus Systems, thus indicating that their ultimate target must be Earth. Shepard is able to link EDI with the Collector ship's systems in order to search for any useful information, but she is quickly interrupted as she discovers that the ship is not disabled, and the Collectors have drawn the Normandy into a trap. EDI also reveals that the Illusive Man knew all along that the "disabled" Collector ship was a trap but still sent Shepard and the Normandy to the ship in order to gain information. Shepard and the squad fight their way out and escape from the ship on the Normandy before the Collector vessel can bring its weapons to bear.

After escaping, Shepard confronts the Illusive Man, who admits to sending the Normandy into an obvious trap in order to gain information, and says that it was necessary in order for the Collectors to believe they have the upper hand and telling Shepard about it would have tipped the Collectors off. This to Shepard was an unnecessary risk not only to him, but to the entire squad who went there. The Illusive Man countered that with Shepard’s actions they had finally found the key to travelling to the Omega-4 Relay. After talking his way out of the argument, the Illusive Man reveals the data gathered by EDI has led to the discovery of the Collector's means of traversing the Omega-4 relay, an advanced Reaper IFF system. Furthermore, the Illusive Man showed no remorse, undermining Shepard’s trust in him. EDI is also able to calculate the location of the Collector homeworld from their ship's navigational data, and reveals it to be within the galactic core, an extremely dangerous area, which likely accounts for the fact that no ships ever return from the other side.

Obtaining a Reaper IFF[]

"The Reapers and Collector ships use an advanced identify Friendly/Foe system that the relays recognize. All we need to do is get our hands on one of those IFFs."
&#;The Illusive Man to Shepard

The Illusive Man then reveals that Cerberus has located a derelict Reaper orbiting a remote planet, evidently destroyed millions of years beforehand, and sent a science team there to recover the device required to pass through the Omega 4 Relay—a Reaper IFF transponder. During the course of the investigation, Shepard discovers that the Cerberus science team members had all been killed before their arrival. Video logs left by the science team make it evident that even though the Reaper is no longer sentient or functional; the indoctrination effect that emanates from all Reapers is still present. The derelict ship automatically activates its shields, isolating Shepard's team from the Normandy and thus making their only means of escape to destroy the ship's power core, which is also powering the ship's latent mass effect fields and preventing it from plunging into the planet below. Battling their way through the husks on board, Shepard and the team are assisted by a single geth, somehow able to talk and also apparently friendly. Shepard and the team recover the IFF and fight to the core of the ship, where the mysterious geth assists them once again before being disabled. As the Reaper's core is destroyed, its shields disappear and Shepard's team is able to escape to the Normandy before crashing into the planet, along with the disabled geth. Following the mission, Shepard activated the geth, who is named Legion by EDI and joins the team against the Collectors.

Shortly after, Shepard departs with the recruited members on a shuttle towards their next mission as the Normandy prepares the IFF for testing in their absence. However, EDI discovers a hidden signal after activating the IFF, and realizes that the IFF is broadcasting the Normandy's position. This turns out to be another trap set by the Collectors, as their ship is able to surprise the Normandy with Shepard's entire team absent. Collectors board and seize control of the ship, and Joker is forced to give control of the ship over to its on-board AI, EDI—a potentially dangerous move. After successfully regaining control of the ship, EDI manages to pilot the Normandy away from the Collectors and rid the ship of all enemies, but the entire crew except Joker is taken by the Collectors. Upon returning to the ship, Shepard's hand is forced—the Commander decides to go through the Omega-4 relay immediately to rescue the Normandy crew members.

Beyond the Omega-4 Relay[]

"The Collectors attacked our ship. They took our crew, our friends. They think we’re helpless. They’re wrong. They started a war, but we’re not here to finish it. We’re here to make them regret – to show them and everyone else what happens when you go too far. No more running, no more waiting. Let’s hit them where they live."
&#;Shepard rallying his squad for the attack on the Collector’s main base of operations

Eventually, Shepard decides to travel through the Omega-4 Relay. When he proceeds, the Normandy activates the Reaper IFF and engages the Omega 4 Relay. Upon exiting the far side of the relay, the Normandy appears in the midst of a vast debris field containing the wreckage of thousands of ships, presumably all destroyed attempting to traverse the relay. The Collectors have stationed automated defenses in the debris field known as Oculus, which the Normandy fights off. After defeating the Oculus and reaching the far side of the debris field, the Normandy discovers the Collector base, a giant space station orbiting a black hole. The Collector Cruiser is dispatched from the station, and the Normandy engages and destroys it, but as it explodes the blast cripples the ship and causing it to crash land on the outer surface of the base. Fortunately for the squad, due to the various upgrades applied to the ship over the course of the mission, the crew suffered no casualties and the ship sustained minor damage while fighting the Oculus and Collector Cruiser.

Over the course of the rest of the mission, Shepard and the team enter the station and battle their way through the Collectors to the station's core, rescuing the surviving Normandy crew as they go. Upon reaching the heart of the station, they discover that the Collectors have been constructing a new human-like Reaper, made from the genetic material of the abducted humans and fused with the advanced technology of the Reapers. EDI hypothesizes that the Reapers attempted and failed to create a Prothean-Reaper, and instead enslaved them and turned them into the Collectors, and that they are now facilitating the Reaper equivalent of reproduction. EDI also guesses that due to its human appearance, Reapers are crafted to resemble the race from whose genetic material they are created. Shepard targets the weak supports of the contraption, which is in the very early stages of its construction, and it is seen collapsing into the lower confines of the area. Shepard then sets about with the plan to destroy the station.

At this point, the Illusive Man contacts Shepard and suggests that instead, use a radiation pulse be employed to kill all of the Collectors on board, but keep the station intact to allow Cerberus to research its technology. He notes that any information obtained from the Collector Base would be very valuable in the coming war against the Reapers, in addition to strengthening humanity's position in the galaxy against other races. Shepard refuses and decides to destroy the station, and Miranda, seeing the Illusive Man as a power-hungry madman, sides with Shepard over him and resigns from Cerberus, proving her loyalty to Shepard. After making the decision regarding the station's fate and initiating the countdown, the Human-Reaper resurfaces from the depths of the station and attacks Shepard's team. After Shepard and the team destroy the Reaper, the surviving squad members escape to the Normandy and leave.

"The mission was a success, and in the end, the whole team made it out alive. We stopped the Collectors, and we stopped the Reapers from creating their abomination. And we bought everyone just a little more time."
&#;Shepard's journal entry

Aboard the Normandy, Shepard contacts and converses for one last time with the Illusive Man, who is extremely angry with Shepard's idealism, saying he knew that Shepard would "choke on the hard decisions". He also asserts that the Collector technology could have been used to humanity's benefit, and claims that, given its goals, Cerberus is humanity. Shepard rebuffs the Illusive Man, who wasn't looking for his approval and informs him of his decision to leave Cerberus. The Illusive Man tries to dissuade the Commander, citing that it is because of him that Shepard is alive. Shepard then rudely terminates all communication, but not before promising that he’ll win the war against the Reapers without sacrificing humanity's soul.

As the Normandy undergoes repairs following the mission, little did the crew realize was that the Reapers had awakened from their hibernation in dark space and began their march towards the Milky Way galaxy.

Campaign against the Shadow Broker[]

An investigation[]

Not long after his newly acquired freedom, Shepard travels back to Illium to deliver intel to Liara. At first, Liara is seemingly delirious about the information for it appears to hint on the Shadow Broker's true location. In addition, the message contains information that Liara's former drell partner, Feron, is actually still alive and is probably being held hostage by the Shadow Broker. After a short conversation on the subject with the Commander, Liara leaves her office and tells Shepard to meet her at her apartment.

Upon his arrival, the Commander witnesses that the apartment is under investigation by Illium police, led by SpectreTela Vasir, who dismisses the cops as Shepard enters the apartment. In response to Shepard's question regarding the unexpected investigation, Vasir explains there has been an attempt on Liara's life. She tells the Commander that she is unsure of Liara's current location and that she was unsuccessful in finding any clues; she invites Shepard to further search the apartment for clues. Eventually, Shepard finds what appears to be a backup disk, which is then played by Vasir and the Commander. The disk is found to contain a recorded conversation between Liara and a salarian contact by the name of Sekat, who explains that he has managed to pinpoint the Shadow Broker's location, and asks Liara to come to his office at Baria Frontiers in the Dracon Trade Center. Now that they have what they are looking for, Vasir and Commander Shepard travel to their next destination at Baria Frontiers.

The Truth[]

Just as the team arrives at the Dracon Trade Center, the three floors of the building are taken out by a sudden explosion, presumably an attempt to prevent Liara from receiving the information sought from Sekat. Vasir suggests that the Commander and the squad proceed inside while she takes off to the roof in order to seal off the building from the top. As Shepard and the squad enter the building, they find it to be a chaotic mess with dead bodies and wounded civilians all over the place. Tela maintains contact with Shepard to guide the Commander through. As Shepard proceeds to the upper floors into the Baria Frontiers Office, the Commander finds a clue that Liara has just signed in a few minutes ago, confirming that Liara is indeed in the building. Proceeding inside the office room for further exploration, Shepard and the team are blinded by a flash grenade, followed by a wave of enemies who immediately scatter around the area and open fire. Shepard quickly radios Vasir regarding the ambush, who tells the Commander that they are the Shadow Broker's private army and confirms their presence in the building. With no choice to fall back, Shepard and the team return fire, slowly but surely making their way through the small hallways of the destroyed office.

Eventually, Shepard and the squad reach their destination, where they see Sekat's dead body after he was shot by a Shadow Broker agent, who is then shot by Vasir herself. Vasir asks the Commander about Liara's body, and if Shepard located it. However, Liara emerges from the shadows, wielding her pistol at Vasir. Liara explains to Shepard that Vasir tried to assassinate her, broke into her apartment, and is the one that signaled the Shadow Broker's agents. She also remarks that Vasir is the one who killed Sekat and took his data, which is currently in her possession, revealing that Vasir is, after all, an undercover Shadow Broker operative. Exposed, Vasir shatters the glass with her biotics and makes a run for it. Shepard tries to tackle Vasir before she jumps out the now-broken window but fails to do so, causing the Commander to fall to the floor while Liara proceeds to chase Vasir, not bothering to look back at Shepard and the squad. Shepard is then attacked by more enemies emerging from the nearby Eldfell-Ashland Energy office who attempts to slow down the Commander so that Vasir can get away. Shepard and the team continue to fight their way through the resistance while pursuing Vasir out of the building. When they exit the building, the team finds Liara exchanging fire with Vasir at the parking lot. It doesn't take long before Vasir calls her X3M skycar and quickly jumps into it to fly away. Nonetheless, Liara finds a nearby vehicle, which she and Shepard use to chase Vasir through the skies of Illium.

At the end of the chase, Shepard and Liara manage to catch Vasir, whose vehicle has crashed on the roof of the Azure Hotel. Although they don't actually have her yet, they can make their way to the other side of the roof where she most likely is. Coupled with the fact that Vasir is now wounded due to the crash and is thus slow, Shepard and Liara have a much better chance of capturing her this time. However, as the team lands and exits the vehicle, reinforcements arrive and start shooting at them. After the battle on the roof, Shepard and Liara continue running inside and emerge to the other side of the roof, where they spot Vasir's footsteps and follow them until they reach Vasir and aim their pistols at her, hoping she surrenders. Even though she is badly injured, Vasir grabs a random hostage to use as leverage against Shepard and Liara. The situation is quickly dealt with, and the hostage escapes, but Vasir, not about to give up just yet, starts attacking the squad with everything she has. At the end of the battle, Vasir drops to the floor, allowing Liara to pick up the data disk. Vasir protests to Shepard's remarks she sold out the Council, insisting she is nothing like Saren and claiming that the Shadow Broker is powerful and her work with him has helped save lives and kept the Citadel safe, and that she believes in sacrificing a few for the greater good. She also brings up the Commander's involvement with Cerberus and tries to judge Shepard for it, before she takes her last breath. Shepard then heads back to Liara, who is examining the disk, to have a conversation with her, which, among other things, involves the Shadow Broker's intention of wanting to kill Liara all along and at any cost. In any case, with the data in their possession, Shepard and Liara travel to the Shadow Broker's location for their primary objective.

Assault on the Shadow Broker's Base[]

The data obtained reveals that the Shadow Broker settles on the planet Hagalaz, in the Sowilo system of the Hourglass Nebula. Specifically, the Shadow Broker lives onboard a massive ship that travels through the thick, erratic atmosphere of Hagalaz. Shepard, Liara, and a third squad member take the shuttle from orbit down to the planet. Liara provides Shepard with valuable input on the planet's atmosphere, the ship, and the general plan of the mission. First, they have to find a hatch that leads to the inside of the ship, where Feron is held. The shuttle lands, and Shepard and the team begin finding their way for a hatch to get inside. The weather is dreadful, and the layout of the ship's exterior isn't exactly easy to navigate through, but they proceed anyway. Shortly following their touchdown, the team is engaged by maintenance drones, which Liara presumes is because the drones think the team is debris from the storm. After that, troops from the Broker's army start coming and attacking the squad as they advance through. Shepard and the team continue advancing until they reach a door that allows them in. However, the door is locked, but Liara tries to hack it with a certain hacking device, which she says will take a while before the door is completely hacked open. Waiting for the door to open, the team has to defend the position from numerous waves of Shadow Broker forces. Eventually, the door is successfully hacked and they run inside.

As the team makes their way inside, more troops are encountered. Liara remarks she has downloaded the ship's layout, saying that they're heading towards the prison block, where Feron is supposedly located. Continuing to the prison block and fighting their way through, the team reaches a locked door that leads directly to where Feron is. They bypass the door and enter to find Feron. Liara attempts to release the drell, but instead, he is shocked. Feron explains that his current status makes him unable to be pulled out, otherwise his brain will fry. Shepard states that this "looked too easy" and asks Feron regarding the Shadow Broker, but unfortunately, Feron can't say much, either, since even that gets him shocked. At this point, Liara and Shepard decide that their only option is to confront the Shadow Broker himself and put an end to all this. They walk out the prison block, facing more enemies along the way. At last, they make it to the Shadow Broker's office.

Storming the Shadow Broker's office, where he calmly awaits them behind his desk, Shepard and the team find that the Shadow Broker is a species never encountered before. Not bothering to get up, the Broker coldly asks if Shepard and Liara are here for Feron, noting Shepard's actions are reckless even considering the Commander's history. After a brief word exchange between Shepard and the Broker, Liara demands Feron, to which the Broker responds by reminding Liara that her own actions are what caused this to Feron. Knowing that the Commander had defeated the Collectors, the Broker announced his intention to use the Normandy SR-2's IFF to salvage remaining Collector technology. The Broker notes the team's third squad member (commenting on the financial/political benefits their capture/death will bring him) while arrogantly disregarding Liara, telling her that he knows all her secrets. In response, Liara tells the Broker that he is a yahg, likely taken from his homeworld as a trophy or pet, when he ended up killing the original Shadow Broker and taking his place some 60 years ago. This enrages the Broker, causing him to smash his desk and throws it at the three people standing in front of him, knocking out the third squad member, leaving only Liara and Shepard against him.

The two rely on each other to fight the giant yahg, in what seems like an unwinnable battle at first. At some point during the fight, Liara suggests that Shepard distracts the Shadow Broker while she prepares for an attack. As soon as Shepard provides the distraction, Liara uses her biotics to pull down the liquid in the above tank straight onto the Broker, which causes the Broker's barrier to malfunction and explode, ultimately destroying him for good.

The battle causes the Broker's agents to radio his office asking for immediate updates on the situation. At first, Liara seems overwhelmed and unsure what to do. Then, she moves toward the panel and responds to the agents using the Shadow Broker's voice modification to avoid exposing herself, saying that the situation is under control and it was merely a hardware problem that disrupted communications momentarily, ending the message by requesting the agents to resume standard procedures and that she wants an update on all operations within a solar day. Feron comes to the room and quickly pulls his pistol, before he realizes everything has been dealt with. Liara explains that she is now the new Shadow Broker, believing that it is something she has to do. Feron leaves with the other squadmate to check on the power system, leaving Liara and Shepard by themselves.

Shepard comforts a crying Liara with a hug, who is happy that her revenge is finally over after two years' worth of struggling. Liara thanks him for what the Commander has helped her accomplish and assures that he is welcome any time. In a subsequent conversation, Liara will remark that her role as the Shadow Broker will likely play key role in the upcoming war against the Reapers. She also provides Shepard with additional insight on the Shadow Broker's plans and what he knew. Later, Shepard invites Liara to the Normandy for a catch up.

Destruction of the Bahak system[]

"Just this morning I received word that the batarians arrested her. They’re holding her in a secret prison outpost on terrorism charges. I need you to infiltrate the prison and get her out of there. As a favor to me, I’m asking you to go in alone."
&#;Fleet Admiral Steven Hackett to Shepard, about Dr. Amanda Kenson

Eventually, Shepard was approached by Fleet Admiral Steven Hackett, asking him to locate and rescue one of his close personal friends, Dr. Amanda Kenson, an Alliance deep-cover operative in batarian space who has come across evidence that a Reaper invasion is imminent. Hackett explains that Kenson was recently captured by batarians and charged with terrorism. Wanting to avoid a diplomatic incident with the Batarian Hegemony, Hackett requests Shepard to go in alone and rescue the scientist as a favor. Shepard agrees to help and uses the coordinates given by Hackett to travel to the batarian prison on the planet Aratoht where Kenson is being held.

Landing outside the prison, Shepard makes it past several security measures and prison guards. He locates Kenson in the middle of an interrogation and frees her. Shepard and Kenson fight past more guards and escape on a batarian shuttle. On the way to Kenson's team's base, she reveals that she and her team had entered batarian space to investigate rumors of Reaper technology orbiting on the fringes of the Bahak

All Mass Effect Reporter Punches

Commander Shepard

Player character in the original Mass Effect trilogy of video games

This article is about the video game character. For astronaut and commander of Apollo 14 and Freedom 7, see Alan Shepard. For other people, see Shepard (name).

Commander Shepard is the player character in the Mass Effect video game series by BioWare (Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3).

A veteran soldier of the Systems Alliance Navy, an N7 graduate of the Interplanetary Combatives Training (ICT) military program, and the first human Citadel Council Spectre, Shepard works to stop the Reapers, a sentient machine race dedicated to wiping out all advanced organic life. Shepard is neither a hero, nor a villain;[note 2] depending upon players' choices and actions, Shepard is the abstaining factor that acts as both on occasion, and will take whatever action is deemed necessary when presented with impossible scenarios.

Shepard's gender, class, first name and facial appearance are chosen and customised by the player. Mark Meer provides the voice for the male Shepard, while the default male Shepard's face and body were based on Mark Vanderloo. Jennifer Hale voices the female Shepard. Since the player can choose the gender of Shepard, much of the dialogue revolving around the character is gender-neutral with only a few exceptions. However, in some other Mass Effect media, Shepard is called "he" regardless of player choice for the gender.

The character is inspired by and named after American astronaut Alan Shepard. Shepard's armor developed over the series, and was originally intended to be red-and-white. Most promotional material for the series focused on the male Shepard, due to the studio's desire for a single identifiable hero, though both versions of the character were given equal priority during development. Various merchandise has been made, including several figurines. Shepard has made cameo appearances in other Electronic Arts games and is referenced in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Concept and creation[edit]

BioWare wanted players to feel special and empowered from the start of the game. Unlike other role-playing game protagonists, they felt Shepard should not be an entirely blank character for the player to create, in order to create a more "intense" experience; with Mass Effect being more cinematic than other BioWare video games, they felt they needed an "extra bit" with a sense of a specific flavor that can be caused by a memorable character, such as Star Trek's Captain Kirk or 24's Jack Bauer.[1]

The character was named after Alan Shepard, the second person and first American to travel to space.

Developers wanted to at least give Shepard a last name so that other characters could address them. The developers wanted a name that was both "all-American" and common, which led them to start looking at the original seven astronauts. Alan Shepard was chosen due to fitting with the idea of "their" Shepard, being tough and respected, and fitting in with the character being the first human Spectre – Alan Shepard being the first American in space.[2]

During the development of the first game, the female Shepard was given equal importance as the male counterpart; unique lines were written for her as well as a unique romance option. In fact, the early model for animation tests featured a female Shepard.[3] When describing her, Casey Hudson said "[s]he's not a caricature of the idea of role-playing as a female, but instead she's very impressive as a strong female character that's sensitive yet extremely confident and assertive".[4]

Appearance and design[edit]

Shepard's default armor was originally red-and-white, but this was changed to charcoal grey, with a red-and-white stripe and the N7 logo, as Shepard looked too much like a medic.[5] The red stripe in the N7 logo is said to symbolise the blood the character must sacrifice to save the galaxy.[6] The armor became piece-based in Mass Effect 2 to stress the character's silhouette, as well as making them look "stronger and able to take more punishment".[5] Despite this, the colours, as well as other elements of the armor and the commander's appearance, are customisable in Mass Effect 2.[7]

For the character customisation at the start of the game, they focused on "quality and realism". In order to test out the customisation system, the team made various celebrity look-alikes to ensure it offered a wide enough variety.[4] The default male face, as well as the male body, were based on Dutch modelMark Vanderloo.[8] The default female face changed slightly between the first and second game,[9] but underwent a big redesign for Mass Effect 3. Six different designs for the default female Shepard were hosted online, and fans were told to vote for whichever design they preferred via Facebook;[10][11] many different designs were made before the vote, but were whittled down to six by BioWare staff.[12] The blonde Shepard with freckles won,[13] though BioWare later decided that the hairstyle may have interfered with the vote, and so made another competition to decide that.[14][15] The red-haired Shepard won the subsequent competition.[16]


The male and female versions of Shepard were voiced by Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale respectively. Both of them had worked with BioWare many times previously.[17]

Meer had first worked with BioWare during the creation of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and went on to voice other bit parts in their games. When he was first called in to work on Mass Effect, he expected to voice more bit parts, and was "pleasantly surprised" to get the role of Shepard.[18][19] Caroline Livingstone gave voice direction during recording, and lead writer Mac Walters would occasionally sit in during recording sessions, allowing lines to be changed quickly.[18]

Hale has said she is very invested in helping to "create" the stories of video games, though she herself is not a gamer.[20][21] Although Hale does object to certain lines if they seem out-of-character in other works, she prefers not to mess with the words for Shepard and BioWare.[20] That BioWare did not change the words based on gender considerations was one of Hale's favorite aspects of the series.[22]


Lieutenant Commander Shepard serves as the player character of the main Mass Effect game trilogy. The commander is a graduate of the Systems Alliance's – the "galactic face of humanity"[23] – military N7 program, the highest grade of their "Interplanetary Combatives Training" that commands a great deal of respect.[24] Their service before joining the military and the military event that allowed them to rise to fame are both chosen by the player before the game starts, out of three options each. Also customizable is Shepard's gender, character class and physical appearance.[25] The player is given paraphrased dialogue options via a radial command menu called the "dialogue wheel", which Shepard will expand on when clicked. Different choices on the dialogue wheel can grant either Paragon or Renegade points, which will overtime affect their physical appearance in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3: a higher Renegade score will cause Shepard's scars to worsen and their eyes to start glowing red, while a higher Paragon score will cause Shepard's scars to gradually heal and fade away.

Outside of the main trilogy, Shepard has been briefly mentioned in the novels Mass Effect: Ascension, Retribution, and Deception, and has also made a brief appearance in the third issue of the comic Homeworlds, with only the N7 logo on their armour being shown in-shot. Redemption, taking place two years before the second game's main events, concerns how Shepard's body was retrieved by Liara T'Soni and then given to Cerberus after the character's death in Mass Effect 2's prologue. The character, however, will not be making any further appearances in any Mass Effect games now that the main trilogy is over,[26] and BioWare have said that they do not wish the next Mass Effect protagonist to just be another soldier or "Shepard 2".[27][28]

Mass Effect[edit]

Main article: Mass Effect (video game)

In the first game, the commander is serving under Captain David Anderson during the shakedown run of the highly advanced turian/human ship SSV Normandy, heading toward humanity's first ever colony, Eden Prime. However, it turns out the ship is actually being sent to collect a Prothean beacon (the Protheans being an advanced and now-extinct race whose technology could contain great discoveries) and give it to the Citadel Council, an executive committee who hold great sway in the galaxy,[29] and who are recognised as an authority by most of explored space.[30] A Spectre, an elite agent of the Council with the authority to deal with situations "in whatever way they deem necessary",[31] named Nihlus Kryik accompanies the mission to observe Shepard's candidacy to join the Spectres; if successful, this would make Shepard the first ever human Spectre and an exemplar of humanity's progress in galactic politics. However, Nihlus is killed during the mission when the geth, a race of sentient AIs, and Saren Arterius, a rogue Spectre, attack the colony to steal the beacon. Shepard manages to stop the colony from being destroyed, but is hit by a blast from the damaged beacon before it blows up; as a result, Shepard begins to have visions of war and death.

After Saren's treachery is exposed to the Council through the use of an audio recording that mentions "the Reapers", which are believed to be a race of synthetic-organic starships that eradicate all organic civilization every 50, years, the Council revoke Saren's Spectre status and make Shepard the first ever human Spectre, though they believe the Reapers are merely a myth Saren is using to manipulate the geth. Shepard is instructed to take down Saren, and is placed in charge of the Normandy and given free rein of the galaxy. Over the course of the game, it becomes clear that the visions are images of the Protheans being destroyed by the Reapers; the commander speaks to one of these Reapers, referred to as Sovereign, on the planet of Virmire, though the Council still believes them to be a myth.

Eventually, Saren, Sovereign and the geth launch an attack on the Citadel, the "political, cultural, and financial capital of the galactic community" and home of the Council,[32] intending to activate a mass relay inside it that will allow all the Reapers to arrive at once from dark space, destroy the Citadel, and begin their "harvest" of organic life. Shepard manages to stop them, destroy Sovereign, and save the Citadel. Depending on the player's choices, Shepard may either also save the Council, or leave them to die to ensure Sovereign is destroyed or to build a new human-centric Council.

Mass Effect 2[edit]

Main article: Mass Effect 2

At the beginning of the game, Shepard is killed when the Collectors attack and destroy the Normandy. The commander is revived by Cerberus, a human-supremacist organization considered to be terrorists by the Citadel Council and the Systems Alliance,[33] with instructions by Cerberus leader the Illusive Man to be brought back unaltered and exactly as they were before their death. The Illusive Man provides Shepard with both a new ship (the Normandy SR-2) and a crew, and sends them on various missions against the Collectors, who are revealed to be puppets of the Reapers.

Over the course of the game, Shepard must assemble a team to prepare for a final assault on the Collector base accessible only through the Omega-4 Relay, a relay that destroys all non-Collector ships that try to go through it. Depending on the player's choices during the final mission, it is possible that Shepard may fail to escape the Collector base and die, though the save cannot be imported to Mass Effect 3 if this is the case.[34] At the end of this mission, the player is given the choice to either destroy the base or hand it over to Cerberus – if the player chooses the former, Shepard effectively cuts all ties with Cerberus, and the crew and squadmates join the commander.

Depending on the player's decision concerning the Council in the first game, Shepard can either be reinstated as a Spectre now that they have been revived, be rejected by Udina and the rest of the Council, or refuse Spectre status when offered it.

Mass Effect 3[edit]

Main article: Mass Effect 3

Shepard has been grounded and stripped of rank by the Alliance before the game starts, due to either working with Cerberus or blowing up a Mass Relay in the Mass Effect 2 DLC pack Arrival. After Earth is invaded by the Reapers, the Alliance reinstates them and sends them to ask the Council for help, retaking command of the Alliance-refitted Normandy SR Though the Council refuses, they either reinstate or uphold the commander's Spectre status.

Shepard must then work to forge alliances between the various alien races to ensure the survival of Earth and to stop the Reapers from eradicating all organic life from the galaxy. Among the major decisions made by the player as part of the branching narrative of Mass Effect 3 include the resolution of the Krogan Genophage storyline, the outcome of the war between the geth and the quarians, and ultimately the fate of the Reapers and the rest of the galactic community.

Mass Effect: Andromeda[edit]

Main article: Mass Effect: Andromeda

Shepard does not make a direct appearance, though players can select Shepard's gender at the start of the game. Shepard is referenced both in conversations between characters, and in audio logs sent by Liara T'Soni to Alec Ryder, the player character's father.[35]

Promotion and merchandise[edit]

The default male Shepard was used heavily in marketing, being featured on the covers for all three games and most trailers. The female Shepard was confirmed to be making an appearance in one of the trailers for the third game, and on one side of Mass Effect 3's Collector's Edition, in June [9] The female Shepard had not been advertised heavily previously as marketing wanted to only showcase one character, so that consumers could easily understand who the hero was. For Mass Effect 3, BioWare wished to "acknowledge" the demand for material with the female Shepard.[36]

Outside of the Mass Effect series, Shepard has also made cameo appearances in other Electronic Arts games. SkyHeroes features various different characters from EA games, acting as playable pilots during the game's multiplayer mode.[37] Through downloadable content released on March 27, Shepard becomes available as an alternate skin for Serah and Noel within Final Fantasy XIII-2.[38][39] An N7 armor and omni-blades become available in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning if the demo for Mass Effect 3 has been completed;[40] similarly, an N7 armor becomes available in Dead Space 3 if the player owns a copy of Mass Effect 3.[41][42]


The character has received a generally positive reception. Shepard was voted number 2 by readers in Game Informer's poll of the top 30 video game characters, behind Halo protagonist Master Chief,[43] and Game Informer similarly listed them as 99 on their countdown of favourite video game heroes – though squadmate Garrus Vakarian was placed significantly ahead, at number [44] Eric Zipper of GameZone has listed the character as one of "the 8 coolest video game heroes who wouldn't be any fun to actually hang out with", citing how, as they're controlled by the player, their actions could be "wildly erratic".[45]

Joe Juba, also writing for Game Informer, chose Shepard as their favourite protagonist in their " RPG of the Year Awards", saying that while the player changed the tone and context of many parts of Mass Effect, "Shepard never comes out of it looking any less awesome".[46] The commander was voted the primary Xbox candidate in IGN's mock video game presidential election,[47] with Marcus Fenix being chosen as vice-president;[48] in the end, readers voted them second-place behind PlayStation 3 representatives Nathan Drake and Solid Snake.[49]GameDaily's Chris Buffa listed the default male Shepard as one of the top 25 gaming hunks, citing how he is "a mysterious and battle hardened soldier that won't take guff from aliens."[50] A reader's poll for their top ultimate RPG party choices, drawing from characters of several disparate RPG video game franchises, published by IGN in December placed Shepard at #2.[51] Another reader's poll published by PC Gamer in reveal that Shepard was overall the fifth most popular Mass Effect character.[52]

Maxim, however, criticised Shepard's armor when looking at "badass" powersuits, saying "there are eleven thousand different versions, so we've seen this look before."[53] Andrew Goldfarb, for IGN, criticised the decision to revisit Shepard during the downloadable content of Mass Effect 3, believing that 3's ending was "final", and saying that he would have preferred to have a look at a new squad separate from Shepard.[54]

Although Bioware reports showed that most players preferred male Shepard, sometimes referred to as "BroShep", at 82% of the time and only 18% of players chose to play as a female Shepard in Mass Effect 2,[55][56] vocal support for her was high. The female Shepard was nicknamed "FemShep". PC Gamer's Tom Francis listed an appearance of FemShep on the box as one of 15 things he wished to see from 3.[57] Hale was nominated for "Best Performance By A Human Female" at the Spike Video Game Awards,[58] though lost to fellow Mass Effect voice actor Tricia Helfer (playing Sarah Kerrigan in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty).[59]

See also[edit]

  • Revan, another BioWare player character with selectable gender


  1. ^Exclusive to a player character with the Spacer background.
  2. ^Paragon or Renegade morality system game mechanics


  1. ^Erik Brudvig (January 19, ). "Mass Effect Interview". IGN. Retrieved May 19,
  2. ^Ben Hanson (April 27, ). "Casey Hudson Interview: Mass Effect's Feedback Loop". Game Informer. Retrieved May 1,
  3. ^Jonathan Cooper (January 9, ). "Jonathan Cooper shows his first animation for Mass Effect". Twitter. Retrieved February 24,
  4. ^ abHilary Goldstein (August 28, ). "Mass Effect: Creating Commander Shepard". IGN. Retrieved May 1,
  5. ^ abHudson, Casey; Watts, Derek (February 2, ). The Art of the Mass Effect Universe. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN&#;.
  6. ^Birlew, Dan; Bueno, Fernando; Hal, Brooke (November 19, ). The Art of Mass Effect. Prima Games. ISBN&#;.
  7. ^Jeremy Hill (February 5, ). "My Shepard is Iron Man". Gamertell. Retrieved May 9,
  8. ^Salandra, Adam (22 August ). "Then And Now: The Male Supermodels Of The s". Archived from the original on 17 July Retrieved 24 August
  9. ^ abBrenna Hillier (June 17, ). "Femshep to appear in Mass Effect 3 marketing". VG. Retrieved May 12,
  10. ^Tim Turi (July 24, ). "Bioware Lets Fans Choose Female Shepard's New Look". Game Informer. Retrieved May 13,
  11. ^Michael McWhertor (July 23, ). "What Does Mass Effect 3's Official 'Fem Shep' Look Like? You Make the Call!". Kotaku. Retrieved May 13,
  12. ^Luke Plunkett (March 12, ). "The Many Unused and Unseen Faces of FemShep". Kotaku. Retrieved May 13,
  13. ^Matt Bradford (July 26, ). "Blonde female Commander Shepard wins BioWare's box art competition". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 13,
  14. ^Robert Purchese (August 18, ). "Mass Effect 3: FemShep voting round 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 13,
  15. ^Mike Fahey (August 17, ). "You Picked FemShep's Look, Now Pick Her Hair Color". Kotaku. Retrieved May 13,
  16. ^Robert Purchese (August 30, ). "Mass Effect 3: Red head FemShep wins". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 13,
  17. ^Kate Cox (March 15, ). "The Faces Behind the Voices of Mass Effect 3". Kotaku. Retrieved May 2,
  18. ^ abDave Ward (January 11, ). "Mark Meer Interview". RPG Site. Archived from the original on September 4, Retrieved May 13,
  19. ^Owen Good (January 23, ). "How Would Commander Shepard Himself Play an RPG?". Kotaku. Retrieved May 13,
  20. ^ abCheryll Del Rosario (September 1, ). "Interview with Jennifer Hale, the voice of Mass Effect's FemShep". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on March 8, Retrieved May 9,
  21. ^John Walker (July 27, ). "Commanding Shepard: Jennifer Hale Speaks". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved May 9,
  22. ^Cullen, Johnny (). "Hale to the Commander". Eurogamer.
  23. ^BioWare. Mass Effect.
  24. ^BioWare. Mass Effect.
  25. ^Jacek Halas. "World Atlas - The basics - Starting a new game". Retrieved May 12,
  26. ^Mike Mahardy (October 19, ). "Remembering Commander Shepard". Game Informer. Retrieved May 12,
  27. ^Brian Ashcraft (October 19, ). "Expect More Mass Effect, But Not Another Commander Shepard, Says BioWare". Kotaku. Retrieved May 12,
  28. ^Omri Petitte (October 19, ). "Mass Effect 4 won't include Shepard at all, says BioWare". PC Gamer. Retrieved May 13,
  29. ^BioWare. Mass Effect.
  30. ^BioWare. Mass Effect.
  31. ^BioWare. Mass Effect.
  32. ^BioWare. Mass Effect.
  33. ^BioWare. Mass Effect 2.
  34. ^Jim Reilly (February 7, ). "Your Mass Effect 2 Save May Not Work With Part 3". IGN. Retrieved May 19,
  35. ^"You can choose Shepard's - yes, Shepard's - gender in Mass Effect: Andromeda". PCGamesN. February 23, Retrieved February 23,
  36. ^Brenna Hillier (July 19, ). "Loving FemShep: BioWare's first lady finally steps forward". VG. Retrieved May 12,
  37. ^Carolyn Gudmundson (July 21, ). "Commander Shepard has never looked so cute in MySims SkyHeroes". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 1,
  38. ^James Orry (March 21, ). "Commander Shepard costume DLC for Final Fantasy XIII-2". Retrieved May 1,
  39. ^Jenni Lada (February 21, ). "Final Fantasy XIII-2′s Mass Effect costume is Commander Shepard approved". Gamertell. Retrieved May 1,
  40. ^Andrew Goldfarb (January 11, ). "Mass Effect 3 Meets Kingdoms of Amalur". IGN. Retrieved May 9,
  41. ^Matthew Reynolds (January 22, ). "'Dead Space 3' to receive bonus 'Mass Effect 3' themed armour". Digital Spy. Retrieved May 9,
  42. ^Jeremy Hill (January 21, ). "Mass Effect N7 armor comes to Dead Space 3". Gamertell. Retrieved May 9,
  43. ^Bryan Vore (December 3, ). "Readers' Top 30 Characters Results Revealed". Game Informer. Retrieved May 11,
  44. ^" best heroes in video games". GamesRadar. November 9, Retrieved January 29,
  45. ^Eric Zipper (April 23, ). "The 8 coolest video game heroes who wouldn't be any fun to actually hang out with". GameZone. Retrieved May 11,
  46. ^Joe Juba (December 25, ). " RPG of the Year Awards". Game Informer. Retrieved May 12,
  47. ^Andrew Goldfarb (September 24, ). "Commander Shepard Wins Xbox Primary". IGN. Retrieved May 11,
  48. ^Andrew Goldfarb (October 10, ). "Commander Shepard Picks Xbox Vice President". IGN. Retrieved May 11,
  49. ^"Breaking News: The Votes Are In!! Who's the New Video Game President?". IGN. November 1, Retrieved May 11,
  50. ^Chris Buffa (May 28, ). "Top 25 Gaming Hunks". GameDaily. Archived from the original on April 11, Retrieved May 12,
  51. ^"THE ULTIMATE RPG PARTY REVEALED". IGN. December 17, Archived from the original on December 17, Retrieved March 19,
  52. ^Tyler Wilde (August 7, ). "Ranking the best and worst of the Mass Effect games". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 18,
  53. ^"The 14 Most Badass Video Game Power Suits". Maxim. April 13, Archived from the original on April 25, Retrieved May 11,
  54. ^Andrew Goldfarb (June 27, ). "OPINION: Mass Effect 3 Doesn't Need More Shepard". IGN. Retrieved May 12,
  55. ^Jeff Cork (July 19, ). "BioWare Says 18 Percent Of Mass Effect Players Choose Female Shepard". Game Informer. Retrieved May 2,
  56. ^Robert Purchese (July 20, ). "BioWare: 18% play Mass Effect FemShep". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 2,
  57. ^Francis, Tom (February 16, ). "15 things we want to see in Mass Effect 3". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on March 16, Retrieved May 12,
  58. ^Nick Chester (November 17, ). "Nominees for Spike Video Game Awards revealed". Destructoid. Archived from the original on October 28, Retrieved May 12,
  59. ^Steve Watts (December 11, ). "Spike Video Game Awards Wrap-Up". Archived from the original on June 29, Retrieved May 12,

External links[edit]


Wiki commander shepard

Mass Effect 3 Wiki Guide

Commander Shepard is the lead protagonist of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3. The character of Shepard is completely customizable - Shepard's physical appearance can be altered and players can choose the character's history and even their gender. Each Shepard is different, although the default faces of Male Shepard and Femshep are commonly used in marketing materials.The default Shepard is named John if male, and Jane if female.

To accomodate for the ability to change the character's name, no one inside the Mass Effect universe will refer to your character by their first name. They will always call you Shepard.

The character was born on April 11th, and graduated from the Systems Alliance N7 forces progam. Initially he or she was assigned to the SSV Normandy SR-1 as an Executive Officer, but later joins the Spectres and is given full command over the ship by Captain Anderson.

Upon starting Mass Effect, the player is eventually given the option to pick one of three personal backgrounds for their custom Shepard; Spacer, Colonist, and Earthborn. These may alter the character's background information given above, which is Shepard's default information.

After resurrected by Cerberus, a Commander Shepard Clone was made.


Both of your parents were in the Alliance Military. Your childhood was spent on ships and stations as they transferred from posting to posting, never staying in one location for more than a few years. Following in your parents' footsteps, you enlisted at the age of


You were born and raised on Mindoir, a small border colony in the Attican Traverse. When you were 16, slavers raided Mindoir, slaughtering your family and friends. You were saved by a passing Alliance patrol, and you enlisted with the military a few years later.


You were an orphan raised on the streets of the great megatropolises covering Earth. You escaped the life of petty crime and underworld gangs by enlisting with the Alliance military when you turned

Mass Effect 3 - Commander Shepard Edit.png


"I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite store in the Citadel."

"Just once I'd like to ask someone for help and hear them say 'Sure. Let's go. Right now. No strings attached."

"What sound will you make when you hit the ground? You think you'll hear it before you die?"

"I'll relinquish one bullet. Where do you want it?"

"Put more of the stuff in the the thing more stuff goes in."

"You're not even alive not really. You're just a machine, and machines can be broken."

"Politicians are the weeds of the galaxy"

In This Wiki Guide

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth in this third entry in the epic intergalactic RPG franchise.
Mass Effect: Commander Shepard Is Such A Jerk


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Shepard may refer to:

  • A common misspelling of shepherd
  • Alan Shepard, American astronaut and member of the Apollo 14 moon mission
  • Shepard, Alberta, Canada
  • Shepard, Missouri, a ghost town
  • Shepard (name)
  • Shepard tone, a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves
  • Shepard Settlement, New York
  • Shepard Industrial, Calgary
  • Shepard's method, a form of inverse distance weighted interpolation
  • Shepard's Citations, a citator
  • George F. Shepard House, a historic home in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Blue Origin New Shepard, a manned rocket that is being developed as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism.
  • Shepard State Park, a state park in the U.S. state of Mississippi
  • Commander Shepard, the protagonist of the Mass Effect video game series

See also[edit]

Topics referred to by the same term

You will also be interested:

Commander Shepard


Main Playable Character

Commander Shepard in Mass Effect is the main protagonist and playable character of the game. The preset character model for the quickstart is a male Alliance Military Soldier named John, with the Earthborn/Sole Survivor profile. Shepard is classified N7 by the Human Alliance Military, being the hardest and best training for a Human soldier.

Shepard can be a male or female, default named John or Jane depending on the chosen gender although the character doesn’t have an official first name.That only affects who will be the romance subplot of the game. The player can customize the first name, which is never spoken aloud in the game, to their pleasure, while the last name cannot be altered for purposes of dialogue. 


Commander Shepard Information

Shepard was born on April 11th and is a graduate of the N7 System Alliance Special Forces Program. After graduation, Shepard was assigned to the SSV Normandy as an Executive Officer. 

As Commander Shepard of the Systems Alliance Military, aboard the spacecraft Normandy, you represent humanity’s first and last line of defense against the strange wonders of a vast and often dangerous galaxy.


Commander Shepard Background

Pre-service History represents the first of many choices that affect how characters will react to you during gameplay. Also, gives you a Morality System bonus, depending on your selection. This is not just text you'll never see again; your choices here affect the storyline by accessing exclusive assignments (side quests) and Shepard's dialogues with various NPCs during the career.

You can customize your character’s early history choosing between: 

Psychological Profile opens up different dialogue options during gameplay and affects the character's morality. The Psychological profile makes up the second part of your agent's background. Each background choice comes with certain bonuses that directly affect your desired style of play. Your choice affects dialogue during the story and assignments made available at certain points of your career. 

You can customize your character’s early Psychological Profile in Character Creation choosing between: 

Depending on your Background your character will have starting Paragon and Renegade Points:


Commander Shepard Classes and Specializations

There are six base classes, with variable strength in up to three areas for the player and two squad members. Some classes concentrate all their strength in one skill area; others divide it between two areas to balance tactics. Combat skills deal maximum damage to enemies. Tech skills allow decrypting security systems and weakening enemy weapons. Biotic skills enable brain impulses to manipulate the physical world.

Certain talents are inherent to each character class. After completing an optional Systems Alliance Military assignment (UNC: Rogue VI), choose a specialization for your character, increasing the maximum Talent points you can spend on class-specific talents. 

The choice of specialization for your character is the single most important factor that will impact gameplay. 


Military Specialization Rating

Combat Rating
Tech  Rating
Biotic Rating


Commander Shepard Notes & Tips

  • The character was named after Alan Shepard, the second person and first American to travel to space.
  • Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale provided the voices for the male and female Shepard.
  • His male default face is modelled after model Mark Vanderloo.
  • There is no canon version of Shepard which was confirmed by Bioware 


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