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TV Tropes: Mass Effect/After Earth Chronicles E-K

Tweet of the Day: Gamers make it clear to Sony they want a DRM-free PS4


The “troping” continues! As always, remember that this list contains spoilers so if anything here piques your interest but you don’t want to be spoiled feel free to check out the stories here and drop a comment below. But before we continue, you may be wondering why am I doing this? Well, beside being fun (for me anyway) it is also a great way to analyze/deconstruct your own story in easy to understand language. Tropes are tools and something every writer carries in their tool box, whether they know it or not. Now on to the tropes. Tropes E – H:

  • Escape Pods: What the batarian informant uses to escape the doomed slaver ship and also used by the crews of the cruisers Ajax and Achilles  in Stand.
  • Explosive Breeder: The ANN News reports mention that an agreement between the krogan and the Council is conditioned on the krogan employing strict population control.
  • Faceless Goons: The batarians on Camala, on account of wearing full environmental suits with helmets outside the refinery. Theo gets close enough to crack their wireless networks and ID Had’dah. Cerberus troops also count, since they always wear full battle armor, the better to hide the effects of extensive cybernetic augmentation + indoctrination.
  • Facial Markings: Galeena and Rodan sport them. Galeena’s are gold flecks while Rodans sports platinum face paint.
  • Fantastic Drug: Red Sand made from element zero is very lucrative and it is linked to the batarian terrorists.
  • Faster-than-Light Travel: Another mainstay of the Mass Effect universe. Combined with Portal Network.
  • Fever Dream Episode: It takes getting shot in the stomach and lots of painkillers to send Theo into one of these. We get glimpses of the past with Miranda and how Anderson ended up in Cerberus hands.
  • Fictional Document: Several examples include several books that run the gamut from biographies to fiction for young adults. Two examples focus on the military forces of the galaxy post-Reaper war: FORWARD! a Alliance Military magazine and Modern Galactic War which gives an insight into the nature of the Citadel forces.
  • Fictional Video Games: Multiple examples including N7:Shadow Ops, Grand Terminus Alliance 2, and Galaxy of Fantasy.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: It seems to be one of the batarian abolitionist goals after the destruction of the batarian homeworld during the Reaper invasion.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Theo’s preferred ammo mod is called inferno, which a form of incideary ammo (high temperature rounds that set things they hit on fire) and he wields a pair of electrified omni-blades which can stun or kill opponents.
  • Fixed Forward Facing Weapon: Fighters, gunships and cruisers have their main armament facing forward. Averted with armed transports and carriers whose systems are designed to engage smaller targets like missiles or fighters.
  • Frickin’ Laser Beams: The GARDIAN anti-fighter/anti-missile lasers appear in the opening and closing chapters of the Terminus campaign.
  • From Bad to Worse: What happens when Theo gets the news of the batarian blood plague. It turns a difficult situation (stopping the terrorist from escaping) into a desperate one (stopping them from killing millions with a biological WMD).
  • Gargle Blaster:  Ryncol, the krogan’s drink of choice. Mr. Turok orders a glass at the bar in the Steiner mansion.
  • Glass Cannon: Pirate ships carry a lot of firepower but lack armor. Demonstrated when the batarian terrorist fleet meets turian and human cruisers. They inflict heavy damage but at a lost of two or even three ships lost per cruiser damaged/destroyed.
  • Gender is no Object: Most employers from TRS on down hire both men and women
  • Green Rocks: Element zero, which enables such things as FTL and artificial gravity.
  • Good is not Soft: Theo is more than willing to kill every slaver he meets and orders everyone on the refinery’s platform killed except for Had’dah. He also has no problem letting a krogan in full blood rage go after his enemies.
  • Global Currency: Credits are the only currency mentioned or used across all of Citadel space.
  • Hand Cannon: Galeena’s weapon of choice (beside her biotics) is the M-6 Carnifex Hand Cannon. Exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Healing Factor: How Mr. Turok (a krogan) survives multiple explosions, gets up and goes charging after the enemy. It is said that he spent some time healing after the battle.
  • Healing Potion: Medi-Gel is used to treat injuries but unlike the game, major trauma, like broken bones, require extensive bed rest.
  • Hold the Line: The TR security forces make a desperate stand against the incoming terrorist fleet. As it is common in these types of scenarios, they take heavy casualties.
  • Holographic Terminal: Common interface in the Mass Effect universe.
  • Home Guard: TR-S job was to equip and train the various militia forces across the Traverse and in several Terminus System colonies under the concept of Total Defense.
  • Humans are Leaders: Again, supplementary material highlights how humanity takes a bigger role in galactic affairs after the Reaper invasion, alongside the turians. Both races fill the void left by the salarian (mild) isolationism and the asari civil war.
  • Humorless Aliens: As demonstrated by this news article of a hanar comedian whose comedy is based on his species lack of humor and extreme politeness. It receives death threats that are so well crafted and elegant that C-Sec dismisses them as just fancy hate mail.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All chapters in the series (thus far) have had one word titles related to the substance of the chapter.
  • Idol Singer/Teen Idol: Sheyrl Stone is a popular singer in her late teens that tours across the galaxy. She hails from Arborea, the first planet that appears in the series.
  • Improbable Age: Averted. All named characters have avoided this. The youngest is Pasha, who is twenty five by the start of the series. Even Galeena, who is a member of a species known for the one thousand year old lifespan is in her 300s which makes her a full adult.
  • Infant Immortality: Although no children are seen during the Terminus campaign, it is clear that children have been victimized by the Reaper invasion as well as by slaver raids.
  • In the Future Humans Will Be One Race: Zigzagged. Other species treat humanity this way, but we still see some racial, ethnic and national divisions among humans.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: Pasha’s analysis of the data extracted from the Camala refinery sounds something like this.
  • Ill Boy: Pasha, who is a Quarian, often wears his environmental suit even in breathable atmosphere. It takes him several days for his immune system to become acclimated to specific environment. After that he can remove his helmet and breathe normally.
  • Interspecies Romance: Galeena (who is an asari, a species that can mate with any other species, regardless of sex) lost her human wife during the war.
  • Insignificant Blue Planet: The Reaper war elevated Earth’s importance since it was the place that an unified galaxy turned the tide against the Reapers, but the action in this series occurs in the Verge and the Terminus Systems.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: The threat of paying taxes to the Alliance is used to convince some investors to back Theo’s strategy for protecting shipping along the Terminus systems.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Theo has a cloaking mechanism built into his omni-tool that renders him invisible. Used in Assassination and Capture to get close to his target.
  • It’s Personal: We never know if Theo was the target of the attack on the Steiner mansion, but he takes it personally none the less.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Energy weapons exists, but most weapons are of the kinetic type, from pistols to a cruiser’s main armament.
  • Knights in Sour Armor: Theo has shades of this as does Galeena. Not surprising considering the events of the Reaper War but Theo’s attitude seemed to have soured before the war. The Reapers simply pushed him further into the trope.
  • Kill ’em All: Mentioned word for word in connection with Torfan. It seems to be some kind of memory that Theo carries about what happened there, but we don’t know what it means.
  • Kill it With Fire/Man on Fire: Add inferno ammo to BFG and you get the burning batarian dance, if its head did not explode first, of course.


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