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TV Tropes: Mass Effect/After Earth Chronicles A-D

Tweet of the Day: Objectification and…Men? (Jimquisition)


I haven’t troped a story of mine in a long time and wanted to try my hand at it again. This page will contain spoilers on the Mass Effect series as well as my stories based on that universe. Feel free to catch up with the first campaign of After Earth Chronicles here, then come back and see if the tropes fit the story so far. 😉 We kick off with Tropes A-D:

  • Abnormal Ammo: We only see the effects of Theo’s use of Inferno ammo on batarians raiders in the first chapter, but all characters use different ammo types according to their write-ups.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Most of the action scenes are followed by quieter moments in which the characters reflect on recent events.
  • Action Girl: TRS employs plenty of female mercenaries who, while briefly mentioned, seem to be in equal standing to the men. Captain Galeena T’iala also proves her resourcefulness under fire.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: A negative example. The hanar representative complains that contact with the batarians has “infected” members of their race and induced them to violence  through conversion into a Collector/Reaper worshiping cult. On the positive side films by Quarians and Turians are popular, as are music made by Salarians. Joint cultural projects seem to be the norm as well.
  • All Planets are Earth Like: While some planets are ideal for human colonization and have earth-like atmosphere and climate, other locations are far more hostile or bizarre, like a post Reaper Invasion Camala whose atmosphere is full of dust-form eezo, or a space station built for aquatic hanar which is described as a “fish tank in reverse”.
  • All There in the Manual: The story is based on a “fix-fic” about the ending of Mass Effect 3. There is also plenty of information about the universe on a series of parallel news reports(ANN News Stories) set on the same timeline and character profiles.
  • Alphabet News Network: ANN News reports, which stands for Alliance News Network, which is the primary news service in Alliance (human) space, but it is not part of the Alliance government. Other news services exist such as Westerlund News and FCC News.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Based on the author’s fiction that “fixes” some of the controversial aspects of the ending to Mass Effect 3. While the original fic deals with the events around the activation of the Catalyst, the point of divergence occurs just before Shepard enters the Illusive Man office aboard Cronos Station. The events resulting in Admiral Anderson’s capture and the Battle of Earth/Second Battle of the Citadel are also different to the source material. The events of the Omega DLC did occur, but no specifics are given. According to the author, the Citadel DLC and Leviathan are not in continuity.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with the batarians, who have abolitionist among their numbers, and the krogan, one of which is shown to be very savvy about Bekenstien’s socioeconomic elite. Played straight with bartarians terrorist/slavers.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: In keeping with Mass Effect lore, members of a species will fight and kill each other for the same reasons humans would.
  • Attack It’s Weak Point: Theo tries to do this against the batarian gunship, but Rodan shoots it down before he takes the shot. In the Battle of Korlus/Imri Relay he orders the fighters to target the enemy thrusters.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As the man in charge, Theo does quite a bit of asskicking on his own right but ultimately subverted in that a character or characters can not rely on their rank alone to guarantee their ability to kick posterior unless they have the training and experience to back up said kicking.
  • Bad Boss: Stryker. He sends men to their deaths regardless of losses and never leads from the front. It doesn’t help that his underlings are indoctrinated clones.
  • Badass Crew: The “Command Crew” of T-R Security. Each excels at their job and is not afraid to get into the thick of it.
  • Bash Brothers/Siblings: Seems to be the whole basis for the Theo/Galeena relationship. Each knows what the other can do in a fight and respects the other. Theo is the only one to tease Galeena, in spite of the risk of her using biotics to slam him into the nearest bulkhead/wall.
  • BFG: Although only seen in the first chapter, the Black Widow rifle is an anti-materiel rifle, designed to destroy armored vehicles.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Theo sometimes slips into his native Spanish. It tends to double as Foreign Cuss Words.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Galeena doubles as one during the events of Investors/Assassination and has been a bodyguard in the past, according to her bio. Although considering Theo’s combat prowess she is more like a biotic backup than a full time bodyguard. She does act like one for the survivors of the attack as they escape the mercenaries attacking the mansion.
  • Body Horror: Hinted at what batarians do to their slaves, the Reapers to their troops and the batarian blood plague experiments on human subjects in their labs.
  • Boom, Headshot: What happens when Theo shoots batarians with his Black Widow sniper rifle loaded with inferno rounds.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Discussed while talking about Had’dah’s mad rantings of “gods in dark spaces”, but they find no proof of brainwashing but plenty of proof about the crazy. Theo mentions that the exposure to Reaper tech transformed Jack Harper into the Illusive Man and by extension the Cerberus AI/Virtual Ghost.
  • The Bridge: The Daedalus command center. Justified in that the ship was built as an assault carrier and command ship. Also seen on the Kursk with the War Room. ANN News reports hint that one out of every five Normandy-class frigates will be equipped for the command and control role.
  • Bullying a Dragon: One wonders what would have happened if the terrorist had not gone after Theo at the investors’ meeting.
  • By-the Book Cop: Detective Cruz of the Milgrom Police Department has shades of this, but she is willing to play ball if it gets her results.
  • The Calvary/Gunship Rescue: Seems to be Rodan Quintus raison d’être. Then again, he is the firm’s chief pilot and his job is to provide air support for the ground troops so coming in the nick of time is part of the job description.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: FTL and mass relays allow for fast travel across the galaxy, but the time stamps suggest that it may still take hours or even days to reach some destinations.
  • Chekov’s Gunman/The Bus Came Back: The batarian survivor of the raid on Arborea appears in the first chapter and gets a mention in the second, but we don’t learn his name until the second to last chapter of the Terminus campaign.
  • Christmas Episode: There is a chapter set on Christmas Eve and titled-Christmas.
  • Cold Sniper/Friendly Sniper: Theo preferred weapon is the Black Widow sniper rifle and he enters a zen-like state he calls the “Zone” when ever he is in battle. However, he is more of a sharpshooter rather than the lone sniper, as he often deploys teams of shooters in support of ongoing operations. He is also fairly personable outside combat.
  • Colonel Badass: Theodore Thompson-Ramos. He is a Colonel and he kicks ass. Full stop.
  • Continuity Nod: Verging on Continuity Porn. Many worlds come straight from the in-game Codex such as Bekenstein, Camala and Korlus. Theo mentions Torfan, which is one of the possible background options for Commander Shepard and the in-universe news reports are filled with references to the games and expanded universe.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Played with. Detective Cruz baits Mr. Andorff into insisting that he did no wrong, then switches on the light that eliminates the one-side mirror effect in the interrogation room revealing some of the survivors of the attack on the Steiner mansion. Andorff changed his tune quickly after that.
  • Combat Pragmatist:  Theo’s preferred combat style. He will ambush, snipe and bomb any target if it is the most efficient way to get the job done. Combines this with Crazy Prepared and often leads to some Curb Stomp moments.
  • Cool Starship: The SSV Kursk SR-3 based on the heavily modified designed of the Normandy SR-2 (which in turn was based on the defunct SR-1).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Andorff who sold out his fellow executives to the batarian terrorist by telling them about the location of the investor’s meeting and Altiari Had’dah, the man behind the assassination attempt and main financial backer of batarian terrorists.
  • Crapsack Galaxy: The ANN news report show that while many places rebuilt after the war with the Reapers, it is a slow and ongoing process, entire races were left homeless and that the Citadel core worlds, such as Earth, depend entirely on food shipments from the colonies. The asari are locked in a civil war, the salarians are now largely isolationist. Piracy, slavery and terrorism are also on the rise.
  • Crazy Prepared: Theo likes to be  prepared for every situation, including carefully planning an ambush using sharpshooters, mechs and gunship support, escort a planetary assault with fighter squadrons and go into a meeting of investors accompanied by an asari commando/huntress.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: When ever Theo has a chance to plan out a mission ahead of time, the fight usually ends up like this. But when he doesn’t have the time or intel it turns into a fight for his life.
  • Death World: Camala, full stop. A batarian colony used by the Reapers as a base for converting captured civilians into body horror troops. The whole surface is scared with massive craters from orbital bombardment and the air all the way to the stratosphere is choke full of toxic dust form element zero, a compound that is highly carcinogenic.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Theo, Galeena and Rodan have shades of this.
  • Decontamination Chamber: They are mentioned during and after the mission to Camala due to the toxic nature of dust born element zero.
  • Dirty Coward: Stryker. He sends legions of indoctrinated Cerberus troops to stop the Alliance from capturing him but the moment Theo and his team enter his bunker he tries to talk his way out of it by saying that it was not his fault.
  • Distressed Damsel: Mrs. Steiner and Malena Dantius, as non-combatants, fit the bill during the evens of Assassination.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Hinted at with the words, “Kill’em all,” which seems connected to the events of Torfan.
  • Drives/Flies Like Crazy: Invoked in the chase scene in Assassination. Then again, flying straight in an aircar while under attack by enemy gunships is a sure fire way to end up dead.
  • Drop Ships: Extensive use of shuttles in different missions to carry troops to and from orbit. Gunships are also shown to have a similar capability.

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