Sunday, 22 April 2012

Mass Effect Races



Hello again.

Yesterday I went and wrote a bit of a lengthy blog, going into a bit of detail about the story of Mass Effect. Personally, I know I didn't do it justice as there is so many personal aspects of the game that I ignored. It's just a massive an immersive game, that a single blog wont do it the justice it deserves.

However this should be a bit different. I'm going to go eventually into detail about all or most of the races of Mass Effect, from the asari to the volus. It's a diverse galaxy out there, and I want to show that off.

Just for those who care - I asked my daughter Roxy which alien she liked the look of the most, after showing her pics of them main ones in the games. She decided that her favourite was the Drell. More info a couple of blogs away.

Again, if you want to find out more information yourself, then please go across to the Mass Effect Wiki.


The asari are the most established race in the galaxy. They were the first race to find the Citadel, and due to a prothean archive sitting on their homeworld of Thessia, they are also the most advanced race.

It could be argued that the asari are the dominant race in the galaxy, and because of their incredibly long life-spans of about 1000 years, they have personal experience of so much more than your average person from any other race (apart from the krogan, who also live for about 1000 years).

All asari are natural biotics - that means that they can use biotic powers, a bit like Jedi powers to look at but more scientific - even if not all train to use them for combat. This is due to the prothean's interfering by spiking water supplies with element zero (the element used in mass relays and mass effect drive cores in space-ships) tens of thousands of years before when the asari were still primitive.

Also all asari are tinted either a blue or purplish colour, and instead of hair have semi-flexible cartilage like extensions on the top of their heads, that contrary to in-game lore doesn't flop around.

Asari are also mono-gendered, specifically all female, and have the ability to procreate with any other species including females - the offspring would then share the traits of the other species parent, so if the other parent was a salarian, for example, they'd probably talk very fast and be a quick learner. Because of this trait, they are often seen as promiscuous, using their attractive femininity to get their way.

Asari go through 3 stages of life - Maiden, Matron and Matriarch. The Maiden stage starts at puberty, and usually leaves the asari with the want to explore and experience whatever they can. They are usually seen as dancers in clubs or being a part of mercenary groups.

The Matron stage starts at around the age of 350, but this can occur earlier if the individual asari had melded (shagged) frequently. When this happens, they are again usually compelled with the urge to raise children and settle in one area.

The Matriarch stage usually starts when they hit about 700, again this can happen earlier but usually when the individual asari has melded rarely. Matriarchs are revered in asari culture due to their age, wisdom and centuries old experience, which is why they usually serve as councilors and sages. It is usually because of this that they are rarely seen outside of asari space.

Liara T'Soni - Prothean expert, daughter of Matriarch Benezia. She is first seen in the game in an old prothean trap in ruins that are under siege by geth forces headed by a krogan warlord. She joins the Normandy's crew and is a potential love interest for either gender Shepherd - in my opinion the true love interest for Shepherd, since she is one of 3 people seen in the ending cutscenes of the 3rd game (the other 2 being Joker, possibly as Shepherd's BFF and Anderson, Shepherd's mentor). Liara is the one who helped to recover Shepherds corpse, and prevent it from going to the Collectors, sending it to Cerberus in the desperate hope that they would be able to resurrect him. The person who was working with the Collectors to retrieve Shepherd was The Shadow Broker (a broker who sells information and sometimes valuable assets to the highest bidder). Liara spends the time between Mass Effect 1 and 2 hunting out the Shadow Broker, and with Shepherds help manages to find and kill him. Liara then takes his place as the new Shadow Broker, using the Broker's vast resources and vast banks of info to Shepherds advantage in the upcoming Reaper War.
Matriarch Benezia - Benezia (left) is Liara's mum. She was a highly respected and powerful asari, known throughout asari space and beyond for her counsel and widsom. She comes into contact with Saren and seeing that he has been heavily corrupted by Sovereign, attempts to bring him back from the brink. This noble plan however fails miserably, and she ends up being indoctrinated by Sovereign as well. You face of with Benezia on Noveria, where Saren is attempting to resurrect the ancient and deadly race of Rachni from a rachni queen that was found in suspended animation, to add to his army. You end up killing Benezia, but not before she admits that she is not doing this of her own will, that she has been subverted. She dies knowing that history will remember her as a traitor, not as the respected Matriarch she had worked centuries and centuries to become.
Sha'ira (The Consort)
Sha'ira (left) is known on the Citadel as the Consort, and has her chambers on the presidium. It is implied that she and her acolytes offer more than standard entertainment and advise. However she is well respected regardless, and has many high powered clients. Her words of wisdom are revered the galaxy over, and she is usually spot on the money. If you play your cards right with a couple of side missions in ME1, she will give you a trinket which can be used with an obscure artifact on the obscure planet of Eletania. Also if you show disappointment of her advise, she'll fuck you as well.
Matriarch Aethyta
Aethyta is first seen in Mass Effect 2, on the planet Illium working as a bartender. When probed on why a Matriarch is serving drinks, she tells Shepherd that on Thessia she tried to warn the powers that be that "we can't go a single asari lifetime without some big war breaking out" and that the asari should be training their young to be soldiers, not sending them off to work as dancers and strippers and as petty mercs. It turns out after meeting her in Mass Effect 3 that she is in fact Liara's father, and is keeping her eye on Liara on behalf of other Matriarchs. Oh and her father was a krogan, so she's got some cool things to say in the game.
Aria T'Loak
Aria T'Loak (left) is the "boss, CEO, Queen if you're feeling dramatic" of Omega, the Terminus System's version of the Citadel and in her own words "Omega has no titled ruler and only one rule: Don't fuck with Aria.". She is one of many, many characters in the game voiced by a very famous actor, this one Carrie-Ann Moss. She is a source of information in Mass Effect 2 for recruiting Archangel and Mordin Solus (details on them in later blogs) and also helping with Samara's loyalty mission. In Mass Effect 3 she is found on the Citadel, seething with rage at The Illusive Man and Cerberus for taking over Omega, vowing to get revenge and take back what is hers. Her influence is far reaching, as she knows full well about how serious the Reaper War really is, she's willing to help with no strings attached (so far, DLC might change that) by telling you who to contact in order to gain 3 powerful mercenary groups (Blood Pack, Blue Suns and Eclipse) as war assests in the fight against the Reapers.
Samara is an asari Justicar, an order of law keepers she compares to the human Knights Errant or Samurai, they also seem quite similar to the Jedi in Star Wars. They have given up all family and worldly possessions - apart from their weapons and armour and live by a strict code which deals with all matters in black and white, right and wrong, live or die. She becomes a part of your crew in Mass Effect 2, and is revealed to be hunting an ardat-yakshi - an asari with a genetic mutation, meaning that whoever they meld with, suffers a brain hemorrhage, and the ardat-yakshi gets stronger. Usually, they are identified shortly after being born, and are raised in a special monastary, where they are of no threat to anybody. Samara is hunting one, and has done for hundreds of years, who enjoys killing others, luring them in and fucking their brains out...literally. Oh that ardat-yakshi is called Morinth, and is Samara's daughter. If she survives the events of ME2, she is found at the ardat-yakshi monastary, helping to defend her other daughters (also ardat-yakshi) from Reaper invaders.
Morinth (L) vs Samara (R)
Serial killer extraordinaire. She is the focus of Samara's loyalty mission in ME2, and can either be killed or she can survive your encounter by killing Samara and taking her place. If she lives, then you only receive an email from her in Mass Effect 3 saying why she had to slip away. She is also referenced on Liara's Shadow Broker terminal, showing emails she sent her ardat-yakshi sisters - which were deleted and unread. It's a sad end for Morinth who can finally appear as a Banshee (an ardat-yakshi that was re-purposed by the Reapers as badass mini-bosses) in the assault on Earth.

Well despite there being many other notable asari that I could mention (Nassana Dantius, Matriarch Diliniga, The Asari Councillor, Rana Thanoptis and many more) I just wanted to touch upon these ones as key asari for me.

Part 2 of this blog will be coming soon. It will detail another Mass Effect race.

Hope you enjoyed it!

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