Monday, March 5, 2012

The Top Five Minor Characters in Mass Effect

So I'm less than 180 minutes away from the release of Mass Effect 3! It's been an incredible fortnight, but I didn't cover nearly as much as I wanted to. But before I am utterly consumed by the fight against the Reapers (Harbinger can suck it!), I'd like to talk about the little people. After all, the minor characters are often our favorite (isn't that right, Boba Fett?). And these aren't just minor characters, these are the minorest of minor characters! To qualify for this list, the character can't be a major fight, appear in more than one mission, or have any real consequence whatsoever.

You take the three on the right. I'll take the innumerable armada in the background. LET'S DO THIS!
5. Mr. Thax (Mass Effect 2)

We don't every meet Mr. Thax, so that's why he's fifth on the list. However, we do know that he's a krogan and has his employees (also Krogan) speaking in a very dignified fashion. The fact that I was the first person in internet history to write "Lord Wrexington of Urdnotshire" should indicate that I hold proper Krogan near and dear to my heart.

4. Richard L. Jenkins

The L stands for Luther. What else would it be?
 Sure, Richard L. Jenkins may have had five lines of dialogue before being unceremoniously gunned down by Geth Drones five minutes into Mass Effect. But in those five minutes, he managed to look damn good in a beret. Not many men can say that. And he wasn't around nearly enough to be annoying. So that makes him a better teammate than Kaidan and Jack already. Jenkins, you may be completely useless in a firefight and not understand the most basic concepts of infantry tactics, but you never once wiped your brow to try and impress me. I salute you.

3. Li the Turian Mechanic

"Hey did you catch the game last night? No, too busy saving the galaxy? Bummer. It was great."
 Li, who has a much more complicated and hard to pronounce Turian name (and he goes by Li in the game, so it's not racism), is a mechanic on the frozen planet of Noveria (because you gotta have an ice world). What stands out about Li is that he is, remarkably, the closest thing to a normal person in either game. He knows about current events, but is mostly just interested in keeping his comfortable mechanic job.  Sure, he can talk about the crazy things that must be going on in Peak 15 or the scandals surrounding Administrator Anoleis, but he'd rather talk about cars. Plus, he's one of the few people who is unconditionally nice to Shepard. In a galaxy of extremes, Li is a bastion of mediocrity and he revels in it.

2. Captain Armando Bailey

"I'm getting too old for this stuff."
 Captain Bailey is completely unnecessary for the plot in Mass Effect 2. Yet BioWare got Michael Hogan from Battlestar Galactica to voice him. The result is one of the more interesting space cops this side of Garrus. He's about justice and isn't afraid to bend the rules a bit. He's not dirty, but he's no saint. At one point, he commutes attempted murder into community service on the condition that the son reconnects with his father. Before that, he cuts through three weeks of red tape with the push of a single button. He enforces the spirit of the law, not the letter.

1. The Turian Councilor 

"Ah yes 'air quotes'. We have dismissed this long running joke."
 Like most #1 entries, I prefer to let the videos do the talking. But the Turian Councilor is the best minor character because he has the most passion for his work. He hates Shepard's guts from the day he or she was made a Spectre and he hasn't tried to hide it a bit. I think it's refreshing to see this much passion and honesty from a politician. The other councilors (Dr. Bland the Salarian and Matriarch Blandia the Asari) just stab you in the back and talk passive-aggressively about you. But the Turian Councilor has the titanium balls required to stab the most lethal agent in the galaxy with his hate. You have my respect, Turian Councilor. You may be a complete tool, but you're honest, passionate, and love what you do.

Now the highlights! His most famous video: "Ah yes, 'Reapers'"

It's so famous that I couldn't find an unedited copy of the quote. There are about one million techno remixes of it. So let's enjoy the Reaper Dance!

Less than two hours until Mass Effect 3 now! Woo!

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