TV Tropes: Mass Effect/AEC L-P

Tweet of the Day: An Irish Ditty


We now move on to the next part of the tropes seen and used in After Earth Chronicles. As always, this page contains spoilers for the Mass Effect series as well as the story linked above. Go ahead and read the story if you don’t want to get spoiled and enjoy a good sci-fi yarn: Tropes L-P

  • Lizard Folk: Drell and Krogan, the first as servants of the Hanar (a jellyfish alien race) and the second as warriors and, in Investors, entrepreneurs.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Seems to be headed in that direction, at least with secondary/minor characters, not counting the news updates.
  • Magic Tool: Omini-Tool, an all in one wearable personal computer used by everyone with such functions as audio/video, real time communications, hacking and  instant melee weapon.
  • Mauve Shirts: Everyone outside T-R Security’s command crew. Many get names, but that neither deflects death or guarantees their survival in-universe.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Galeena is an interesting example. Her bio tells us her father was an Salarian, the second shortest lived species in the galaxy and she married a human, which as of 2196, have an average life span among races in the galaxy.
  • Mega Corp: Many are mentioned, including the protagonist own company, Thompson-Ramos Security, which provides training and security services to entire colones throughout human space and in the Terminus Systems.
  • The Metric System is Here to Stay: The metric system is the standard system used through the series.
  • Mildly Military:  Two principal characters, Galeena and Theo are often referenced by rank (Captain and Colonel respectively) but since they are part of a mercenary company, these double as titles. Others don’t have them or don’t use them. Saluting is more a sign of respect/acceptance of orders than a formal greeting within the company. However, several news articles go into great depth about the Alliance military structure and military forces in the galaxy.
  • Military Science Fiction.
  • The Milky Way is the Only Way: While Faster Than Light travel exists, the sheer size of the galaxy demands that a combination of FTL and portal system (the mass relays) be used to travel across it. Also, it may take months, even years to reach areas that are not near any known relays, so while the breath of the galaxy has been explored, its depth still remains out of reach.
  • Mihovsky Physics: Element zero and the Mass Effect it creates. They serve as a ready made explanation for any wizz bang tech found in the series.
  • Mr. Exposition: Mr. Turok is a mild example, as he goes into an in depth discussion with Theo of Ms.Dantius’ family background.
  • Must Make Amends: The driving force behind Miranda’s actions as a result of her years serving Cerberus.
  • My Greatest Failure: Only Pasha seems free of this, but that may be because he is still relatively young. Galeena mentions that a reason a lot of Asari don’t make it to Matriarch is because they collect too many of these to live past the Matron stage. But the weight of multiple failures falls squarely on Theo’s head, from following the “Kill’em all,” order on Torfan, to stopping Cerebrus from kidnapping Anderson.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Cerberus qualifies as one but even it has limited resources versus established interplanetary governments.
  • The Nicknamer: The moment James Vega shows up he comes up with a nickname for Theo, “Jefe” (Spanish for boss or chief) due to Theo serious nature. Soon after we learn that Vega is married to Jack (Subject Zero) and that she has an Insult of Endearment for Miranda, calling her “Princess.”
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: Averted, hard. One news report lists a series of  upcoming movie releases that include human/turian productions, krogan documentaries, and a “Quarian New Wave” of holographic cinema. Also, ELO (short for Enjoys the Laughter of Others) is a popular hanar stand-up comic.
  • Number Two: Galeena for Theo in the first campaign, shared role by Navigator Johnson aboard the Kursk and Vega on away missions. Miranda seems to be filling in the same role she had on the Normandy SR-2 mid-way through the second campaign.
  • Oddly Small Organization: T-R Security has a very small executive board/command crew considering it has at least a headquarters building in Bekenstein (a hub of intergalactic trade), contracts across the Verge/Terminus systems, a small fleet of warships and one or more wings of small craft. Then again, compared to say the Alliance Military or the turian forces, they are practically tiny.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:  Vega leads a raid of a Cerberus shipyards in the Terminus systems that netted three advance cruisers. Since he is not a POV character, we don’t get to see it.
  • Oh Crap! What is written in Mr. Andorff’s face when he realized who survived the attack on the Steiner estate.
  • Older Than They Look: Applies to almost everybody in universe do to advances in medicine. Theo is in his mid forties yet runs and guns like someone half his age.
  • Old-School Dogfights: Several in atmospheric conditions (Bekenstein and Camala) but averted in others mostly due to the distances involved and the lack of fighter cover by one of the combatants. Rodan does mention that shooting down an unarmed shuttle is easy, but forcing it down without destroying it is extremely hard.
  • Omnicidal/Homicidal/Suicidal Maniacs: The batarian terrorist are hell bent on killing anyone that gets in their way, their way been to kill anyone who opposes the return of the “gods in dark spaces”. That includes biological experimentation on hundreds of human captives (captured during slave raids no less) to produce biological WMD that can kill every human on a planet.
  • Once is Not Enough: Even rocket fire can’t bring a krogan down, as the batarian mercs learned the hard way when Mr. Turok’s injury induced blood rage kicked in.
  • One World Order: Humanity has not reached this point yet, but the Alliance government seems to have gained even more power after the war with the Reapers and is poised to unify humanity under its banner.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Played painfully straight as seen in post-invasion landscape of Camala. Other planets have recovered but it has taken years to do so with lingering socioeconomic effects.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: There is a trend toward this, but some species still cling to their beliefs (the hanar) and others use it to justify war on others (batarian terrorist). The latter gets called out for being extremist but not strictly speaking for being religious.
  • Overly Long Name/Spell My Name With An S: Theodore Thompson-Ramos. He insist on the use of both names and they are always hyphenated. A carry over from his Puerto Rican roots. Often referred to as Colonel by people under his command or officials and Theo for close friends.
  • Parental Abandonment:  Galaxy wide, due to the Reaper Invasion, but Theo’s parents died before the war and Galeena’s are not mentioned.
  • Playing With Syringes: The batarian terrorist in order to perfect a blood plague designed to kill humans.
  • Population Control: Part of the post war agreement with the krogan includes measures to control their Explosive Breeder tendencies.
  • Power Glows: Galeena glows blue when engaging her biotics and does Miranda, specially when she is angry.
  • Private Military Contractors: Played Straight and Subverted. There are plenty of mercenary companies in the verse, several are mention such as the Blue Suns and the Blood Pack. The Blood Pack even serve as the muscle for the attack on Avernus Station. T-R Security is a mercenary outfit that specializes in training and equipping colonial forces in the Verge and the Terminus Systems. Subverted in that they are only partially privately funded and are largely a front for Alliance Intelligence/Military.
  • Projected Man: Multiple AI and VI in universe appear as holograms projected onto a stand or other limited area.
  • Punch Clock Villains: The batarian slavers start like this, but quickly escalate into a deadly threat.



2 comments on “TV Tropes: Mass Effect/AEC L-P

  1. Thanks for making me tweet of the day! Good post too. I’m a Mass Effect fan. 🙂


    • That’s the third in the series, the others should be a little down the way. 😀 And one day I shall step in the Isles, hopefully sooner rather than later.


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