The Mass Effect franchise has introduced a huge amount of characters; an incredibly diverse cast of aliens, humans and synthetics who served to make our adventure in the Mass Effect universe memorable, who made us laugh, made us cry, who amazed us, scared us and sometimes even made us think. So let’s talk about them! I’ve collected a few of them below to get us started. Note: A liberal amount of spoilers follow.
Anoleis is the corrupt Salarian who manages Port Hanshan in the first Mass Effect, and the mission dealing with him is one of the most complex ones in the whole game. To obtain a garage pass to leave the port, you could prove his corruption to an investigator, help him instead and turn over all the evidence to him, or even sic ’em on eachother and get them both killed. It was one of the first examples showing how differently the story can go depending on the player’s decisions.
The Collectors, the alien race serving as the Reapers’ enslaved soldiers in Mass Effect 2, are truly tragic figures. They are 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. In my playthroughs, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.
Verner is the crazy fan archetype taken to the next level; he’s an example of a character whose personality and fate are shaped by the player throughout the three games. Or rather, that’s what the plan was. It’s the thought that counts!
Corporal Richard L. Jenkins
You might recall Jenkins as one of your first two squadmates. I often wondered what could’ve been had Jenkins actually moved on to become a “real” squadmate, instead of succumbing to the mentality of the character he’s based on. He could’ve been there at Shepard’s Spectre induction. Helped out with the suicide mission. Watched the galaxy burn as he struggled to save it. Hell, maybe he could’ve even been a romance option. Instead, he lies in a grave on Eden Prime, forgotten. A darn shame.
Other Spectres you meet (other than Ashley/Kaidan) either turn out to want to kill you or end up dying. While you only work with Jondum Bau briefly in Mass Effect 3 to expose a traitor, it’s a unique experience because for a short time, you get to see what the Spectres are all about: independent agents who sometimes meet up to help each other out.
I never considered choosing Morinth instead of Samara, but the concept is quite interesting. 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.
So, I turn to you, dear commenters. Which characters made the biggest impact on you? Do you have any favorites? Tell us in the comments below.
It’s Mass Effect Week at Kotaku. All week, we’ll be taking a look back at the last five and a half years of galaxy-saving heroism, cross-species romance and awkward dancing.