Mass Effect: Top 10 Series Companions

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Happy N7 Day! November 7th has become something of a worldwide celebration of all things Mass Effect. This year, we’re promised new details on Bioware’s upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda, as well as a brand new full trailer. But in the mean time, let’s take a look over the series’ past.

Regardless of what your Shepard looks like, acts like, or the choices you made throughout the series, one thing is a constant across all of our playthroughs of the original trilogy – our companions.

The various unique companions who form your squad when on missions have all had their own personalities, story arcs, and motivations. Some of us lost friends, while others disposed of disliked crew members. We all have a unique take on each member of our supporting cast. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 companions from the first Mass Effect trilogy.

Obviously, with the above being said, it’s unlikely that this rings true for everyone out there reading this. But this is my take on the top 10 – feel free to share your own.

Also, beware spoilers for Mass Effect through to Mass Effect 3. Obviously.

10 – James Vega

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James Vega has a bit of a handicap in a list like this, as he is introduced to us late in the first trilogy, during the opening sections of Mass Effect 3. James initially comes across as a bit of an ass, with a chip on his shoulder and a little short tempered.

Vega’s role in the story has been expanded around the games, through the comic mini-series Conviction. The comic ties in the The Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2 and explains how James ended up guarding Shepard’s cell prior to Mass Effect 3, as well as why he’s royally pissed at Shepard for wiping out 300,000 Batarians. Something that prior to reading Conviction, was a bit of a curve ball.

Overall, James Vega is a fairly underrated character in the series. And although his time as a companion in-game is quite limited, he is a welcomed addition. He also has some interesting conversations about his past and how he thinks on past decisions.

9 – Miranda Lawson

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Miranda is a character first introduced in Mass Effect 2. Designed to be physically and mentally perfect, she begins the game as a loyal agent of the pro-human group Cerberus. She’s at Shepard’s side to keep a close eye on him during his investigation of missing human colonies, and initially comes across as very cold, calculated, and a bit untrustworthy (I totally expected a betrayal at any moment from her or Jacob).

However, while playing the game, there was more to her than I initially assumed. Over the course of the game, her growing disillusion with Cerberus as well as her humanity showing more, meant that I was genuinely interested in her growth as a character. Not to mention her eventual turn from Cerberus to help Shepard was an awesome moment.

8 – Liara T’Soni

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Liara is introduced, in my case, quite early on in the first Mass Effect. She comes across as a naive Asari scientist who’s found herself on the wrong side of Saren and the Geth. As it turns out, she’s handy with a variety of combat roles, particularly through the use of her considerable biotic powers. Over the course of the series, we see her grow and develop. She moves out from under her mother, Matriarch Benezia’s shadow, and eventually replaces the Shadow Broker – becoming the feared and mysterious seller of information herself.

Liara’s position as a valued and memorable companion is further cemented by her quirky personality that always makes conversations with her enjoyable. As a central character to the entire original Mass Effect trilogy, she is certainly a fan favorite with almost all players.

7 – Urdnot Wrex

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Wrex has been with us, or most of us, since the original Mass Effect. This badass Krogan with the voice of Marcus Fenix has a tempter, and is an absolute tank in combat. But he’s loyal to a fault. He begins the Mass Effect trilogy as a bounty hunter, hell-bent on curing the Genophage that has all but destroyed his species.

Throughout my game, Wrex has been an effective squad mate and ally to Shepard, and has risen to leadership on his home planet of Tuchanka. He’s cured the Genophage for his people and the future looks bright for this shotgun wielding powerhouse.

6 – Grunt

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Grunt, or Urdnot Grunt as he became in my game, is a unique Krogan within the Mass Effect universe. He was tank-bred to be the perfect soldier, and when he is freed by Shepard in Mass Effect 2, he becomes a character that is like a stroppy and angry teenager, that also happens to hit like a truck and is skilled with firearms.

After Wrex, another Krogan companion would have to work hard to find a place as a memorable part of the Normandy’s crew, but Grunt managed just that. His often humorous path to discovering who and what he is leads to some interesting situations while onboard the Normandy .The warrior that Grunt grew to become was a dear companion in Shepard’s fight against the Reapers.

Two of my most memorable parts of the entire trilogy come courtesy of Grunt. His loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, where you kill a giant Thresher Maw together so that Grunt can become a member of clan Urdnot – officially recognized by his kin, and the scene of him emerging from certain death at the hands of Reaper forces in Mass Effect 3.

5 – Tali’Zorrah Nar Rayya

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Tali is first met in the original Mass Effect, holding key information on Saren and the Geth. Much of the series wouldn’t be possible without this Quarian – as her information led Shepard to discover the Reapers, and their plans to harvest all organic life in the galaxy.

Tali is skilled with tech and is on a pilgrimage when we first meet her. We follow her through this journey, and travel to the Quarian’s migrant fleet with her to be there at its conclusion too. Tali has a bubbly personality, and is actually one of Shepard’s most loyal companions. In Mass Effect 2 for example, she was one of the few former squad members I encountered who immediately took Shepard’s side and wanted to come with him in his fight against the collectors, refusing to go back to the migrant fleet. (others wouldn’t, or to be fair, just couldn’t).

4 – Thane Krios

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Thane’s story is one of tragedy. Introduced in Mass Effect 2, this super-slick assassin was our first look at a new species – The Drell. Thane is very good at what he does. An elusive character that I had to track down and recruit mid-assassination. The mission to recruit Thane was an excellent experience that lead to an awesome new companion character.

Drell possess eidetic memories, which leads to Thane often lapsing into trance-like states where he recounts his past deeds, reliving moments of both joy and regret. Finding out about his son, Kolyat, we then had to work together to get him off the dangerous path he’d chosen in life.

In Mass Effect 3, saying that Thane is unwell is an understatement. He’s dying. Throughout the game you can visit this old friend in hospital on The Citadel. His son, Kolyat, also visits him. Although it didn’t look good for Thane, I kept thinking that he was bound to pull through in time for the finale – but no. Thane eventually passes during the events of the game, and it was a final, but fond, farewell to a great companion character.

3 – Mordin Solus

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Mordin is a scientist first, Salarian second. His rambling and frantic personality make him entertaining to engage with both in and out of combat, and he’s a skilled tech and biotic user.

While Mordin is a light-hearted character, he also holds a dark past. He was formally part of a team of Salarian scientists who researched and developed the Genophage that would prevent the Krogan species from breeding effectively. Eventually in Mass Effect 3, Mordin made amends for his past ‘mistakes’ by deploying a cure for the Genophage. This being at the cost of his own life.

Mordin also has some great moments throughout Mass Effect 2 and 3 where he’ll sing variations on Gilbert & Sullivan songs. He even goes out in his death scene with a smile on his face, singing.

An awesome character, whom it was a shame to say goodbye to.

2 – Legion

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Legion was introduced in Mass Effect 2 as a rogue Geth that is stalking Shepard’s progress. He’s even made repairs to himself using Shepard’s old armor.

Not only is Legion a useful support character as a sniper, but he provides an insight in to the Mass Effect universe (and games) through the eyes of the Geth. After the original Mass Effect, I was by no means expecting to be on good terms with the Geth, and certainly wasn’t expecting to have one join the crew of the Normandy as a companion. Initially suspicious of him, I grew to take a liking to Legion and he quickly became one of my favorite squad mates.

During the events of Mass Effect 3, I was glad to have brokered peace between the Quarians and Geth, but was sad to see that it cost the ‘life’ of one of my favorite companions.

1 – Garrus Vakarian

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Garrus is introduced to us in the first Mass Effect game as a C-Sec officer who is attempting to bring Saren to justice. With his investigation being blocked at every turn, he teams up with Shepard to get things done. Although he’s a lawman, Garrus doesn’t mind bending or breaking rules to get results.

Garrus was in my squad throughout Mass Effect at pretty much all times. Giving everything from tactical appraisals to humorous observations on the fly. He’s also a decent sniper in a support role.

Garrus’ role has grown along with the series too. After the first game, he leaves C-Sec and becomes the vigilante known as ‘Archangel’ until Shepard finds him again on Omega. In Mass Effect 3, you journey with him to repel a Reaper attack on Palaven – the Turian home world. And ahead of the trilogy’s conclusion, a scene with allows you to blow off some steam with Garrus sniping bottles on the Citadel. This is a good opportunity for two of the series’ oldest characters get a chance to recap their adventures.

Known for his sniping skills, his cool nature, and endless “calibrations” memes, Garrus is a character that has stayed a companion throughout the series, and is universally a fan favorite character across all three of the original Mass Effect games. Mass Effect: Andromeda will have to work hard to shift Garrus from the top of the companions pile.

So, there you have it. My top 10 Mass Effect companions. Like I said at the start, your list is probably a little different – or maybe completely different.

Let me know what you think, who you’d re-arrange above, or what your list looks like. I’m always interested to know. You can either let me know in the comments below, or find me on Twitter @raykimaru.

And again, Happy N7 Day!

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