Month of Mass Effect, Day 19: Big Bads

I’m shamelessly stealing the Mass Effect Month article series created by the always awesome Athena over on AmbiGaming in 2017 (which was the Mass Effect 10th anniversary) and turning it into one of those 30 day challenge thingys! Definitely check out Athena Veta’s great content on AmbiGaming and consider supporting her Video Game Relevancy Crusade (TM) on Patreon, if ya got a few bucks to spare.

Please Note: Enjoy… but be warned that there will be unmarked SPOILERS for all of the Mass Effect games. Read at your own risk!

Today’s Mass Effect series question: Who is the best antagonist of the series?

Does my Renegade Space Dick Shepard count as an antagonist? No? Okay. Um, well, obviously the Reapers in general are the trilogy’s big bads, but their main puppets get most of the screen time: Saren and the Illusive Man. Since I’m playing Mass Effect 2 at the time of this article, I’m just gonna go ahead and give the Illusive Man as my answer.

The leader of the galaxy’s human supremacist terrorist organization – Cerberus – has to be given some credit for spending billions of, um, “credits” resurrecting Commander Shepard, but he’s still an evil jerk at the end of the day. The Reapers have basically manipulated his lust for power, turning him the head of the branch of indoctrinated organics that assist them with their 50,0000-year galactic extinction cycle. Cycles, man. They always repeat no matter how much you want them to stop. Sigh.

Mass Effect Month 19 Big Bads 1.png
Silly Illusive Man… you can’t enhance yourself with Reaper tech and NOT get indoctrinated.

Saren, on the other hand, was manipulated by his desire to help the galaxy. In Saren’s indoctrinated mind, he was helping avoid unnecessary conflict by assisting Sovereign the Reaper. While that logic is seriously flawed, Saren at least had good intentions and can even be talked into shooting himself at the end of Mass Effect 1 to skip a boss fight.

Of course, I also have to mention Andromeda’s kett leader Archon. His cruelty had no limits during Pathfinder Ryder’s trek through the new galaxy, that’s for sure. Honestly, the kett exaltation process is almost as horrifying as what the Reapers do to living beings. Who are the kett? Why are they absorbing species for survival? Do they have any connection to the Milky Way’s Reapers? These are questions I’d love to see answered in a sequel to Mass Effect Andromeda. Make it so, BioWare!

Mass Effect Month 19 Big Bads 2.png
Andromeda needs moar story, dammit!

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!


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"Lightning" Ellen

My name is Ellen, and I've been babbling on the interwebz about video games for over 15 years. Video games themselves have been a large part of my life since 5-year-old me first encountered a SNES in a children's hospital. Fun times... Video game escapism is still the #1 coping mechanism for adult me these days.

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