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TV Tropes: Mass Effect/AEC From Q-S


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More Mass Effect: After Earth Chronicles tropes for you. Boilerplate disclaimer, the following post contains spoilers for ME/AEC and the Mass Effect series in general. If you haven’t read it yet, feel free to read it here, then come back and see if the tropes fit the narrative.

Tropes: Q – S

  • Quality over Quantity:  The batarian terrorist try to overwhelm their opposition with a large force of heavily armed but lightly armored transports. They manage to inflict significant damage but are destroyed in the process.
  • Racial Remnant: The fate of the elcor and the batarians who had their home worlds destroyed by the Reapers. The ongoing asari civil war may end up doing the same to the asari.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Averted. Theo team is an eclectic group of professionals from across the galaxy, but are well disciplined and masters at their jobs.
  • Ramming Always Works: Averted, hard. Theo rams a gunship with a shuttle, but it’s the shuttle that suffers most of the damage. The gunship survives to finish the job.
  • Rape, Pillage and Burn: The batarian slavers MO. Theo’s job for the last ten years is to make sure they don’t succeed. Ambush shows how effective he and his team are at stopping said pillaging.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Galeena is an asari hitting her matron stage, around 300, but like all asari she may well live into her fist millennium. We don’t know how old Mr. Turok is, but as  krogan he could life well past a 1,000, barring injury or disease.
  • Religion of Evil: The batarian terrorist belief in “gods in dark spaces” and the hanar’s heresy.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: An interesting case between Galeena and Theo. In combat Theo is the Blue Oni (cold sniper-type) to Galeena’s Red (strong Action Girl) while outside of combat they switch roles: Theo is likely to curse or lose his temper while Galeena stays cool under pressure.
  • The Remnant: Various examples including Batarians criminal groups allied with the Batarian Hegemony, Reaper remnants in the Batarian home world of Kha’shan and remnants of the human supremacist group, Cerberus.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Some of the news articles are suspiciously relevant to contemporary events.
  • Rousing Speech: Theo is not fond of them. He prefers the reality of the situation speak for itself.
  • Saving the World: Or at least the colonies, from criminals, slavers and terrorist.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Again, the batarians play both side of the coin. The abolitionist want a fresh start but the terrorist are just bent on killing everything in the name of their gods. The hanar have shades of this if the security official description of the heresy is anything to go by.
  • Scenery Gorn: Camala, what a hell hole!
  • Scenery Porn: Theo’s descriptions of a few places, like Horizon and Bekenstein fit the trope.
  • Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: Averted when possible. Without the Mass Relays it would be impossible to explore beyond a star cluster, even at FTL  speeds because the galaxy is just that big.
  • Semper Fi: Theo is an Alliance Marine veteran (there is no such thing as an ex-Marine!).
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Batarian mercs send mechs to kill you? Go down to the server room, reprogram them and set them back out against the mercs!
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: The Fall of Khar’shan for the batarians. The event splits the survivors into two bands: one that wants a fresh start free of the influence of the Hegemony, another who wants to restore its former glory by bringing back the Reapers.
  • Shout Out: Several, including Macross/Robotech, Babylon 5 and even AD&D/D&D.
  • Show within A Show: Played Straight. Several, among them a half a dozen movies, one news panel show, a game related show and a version of Theo earlier adventures called Champions of the Terminus.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal: Theo delivers an epic one to Stryker after Stryker tries to weasel himself out of capture, followed by a “The Reason You Suck” speech on what exactly is going to happen to him in captivity.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism:  Depends. The good guys seem to win more fights than they lose, but the Terminus campaign ends in a victorious yet bloody mood. It seems the author enjoys sliding down the scale toward cynicism every time it gets too cheery.
  • Some Call Me Tim: Theodore Thompson-Ramos is either Theo to his close friends or Colonel to everyone else.
  • Space Battle: The Battle of Korlus/Imri Mass Relay is one but averted during the rest of the Terminus campaign since it is narrated through Theo’s POV, and he is a groundpounder.
  • Space Fighter: Seen on multiple occasions. Gunships can also double as space fighters if so equipped.
  • Space is an Ocean: The terminology for different ships is naval based, but engagements occur in three dimensions, unless otherwise specified.
  • Space Marine: Again, Theo was one.
  • Space Navy: Several are mentioned and part of Theo’s plan is to build one to protect the colonies.
  • Space Opera: Mass Effect, full stop.
  • Space Pirates: Plenty of them, from merc bands to slaver rings. And these are not the cuddly, “Yo, ho ho and a bottle of rum!” pirates. These are the Rape, Pillage and Burn type. If they don’t use your bodies to test biological weapons.
  • Space Police: Colonies have their own space para-military forces, T-R Security trained many of them during the last decade, including the Bekenstein Police Department. C-Sec (police force for the Citadel) is also mentioned in the news reports.
  • Space Station: All over the place: the Citadel as the center of galactic politics, Omega, the Terminus systems counterpart to the Citadel, an unnamed hanar trading station (described as a reverse fishbowl) and Avernus station controlled by Cerberus. Triptych, a former volus trading station, appears in Mass Effect: Liberation chapter Labyrinth.
  • Spanner in the Works: Happens all the time and with interesting consequences for all involved. Capture has one via an assassin’s bullet.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: You see some of the usual suspects such as cruisers and carriers.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Setting: As befitting a derivative work based on one.
  • Starfish Aliens: The hanar are sentient jellyfish who come from a water world. Even their space stations are mostly filled with water with few air filled spaces for other races. Outside the water they wear suits that allow them to move about.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Combat armors are equipped with VIs (Virtual Intelligences) that create this effect, thus enabling characters to read certain data from an enemy’s personal wireless network.
  • Stereotype Flip: Galeena is a deadly serious asari, Rodan is a lighthearted turian pilot  (outside of the cockpit) and one hanar comedian public persona is based on subverting the overtly polite stereotype of the hanar. Oh, and apparently there are a significant number of batarians who are abolitionist.
  • Storming the Castle: Played with in Capture. The plan is to assault the eezo refinery, but the target exits the facility before they mount their final phase of the attack.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker: The hanar as a species wide example and the crazed batarian falls into this amidst his ramblings.
  • Subspace Ansible: Communications in-universe are either through an FTL comm buoy system (tied to the mass relays) or quantum entanglement communicators. The former are more common, the later are more expensive but secure.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence/Desperation:  The baratian terrorist behave like this in Stand. They take on stronger forces regardless of losses.  Then again, when your mission is kill millions of colonist via space launched WMD, you can’t expect your enemies to be in a charitable mood.
  • Surveillance Drone: Mentioned in several occasions, mostly because of their absence.
  • Survivor’s Quilt: Galaxy wide. The Reapers devastated hundreds of worlds and killed or processed billions. The Dream, a short opening poem for the series seems to indicate that Theo struggles with his own nightmares and Galeena still mourns the loss of her wife a decade after the fact. She even comments that this might be the reason why there are so few (statistically speaking) asari Matriarchs.

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