♦ DW: semiretired
♦ AIM: incpirate
♦ Plurk: thegoddamnplurk
[Other Characters]: N/A
[Name]: Commander James Shepard
[Canon]: Mass Effect
[Age]: Technically 30
[Canon Point]: Before the final push on Earth near the end of ME3
[History]: Shepard at the Mass Effect Wiki
Because of the nature of Mass Effect, no two "Shepards" are the same. A player can make multiple decisions in their gameplay that affect the general flow of the game and the outcome of the narrative. This Shepard followed a mostly "renegade" path, renegade being more aggressive and direct. Contrary to popular belief, being "renegade" does not mean being evil. The major choices used by this Shepard are as follows:
Mass Effect 1
- Killed the rachni queen
- Convinced Urdnot Wrex to remain loyal on Virmire
- Chose to save Kaidan Alenko on Virmire
- Chose to hold the fleet back during the final battle at the Citadel (resulting in the death of the Council)
- Romanced nobody
Mass Effect 2
- Recruited every crewmember
- Completed each loyalty mission (renegade resolutions for all)
- Recovered the data on the genophage during Mordin Solus' loyalty mission
- Destroyed the geth heretics during Legion's loyalty mission
- Managed to keep everyone alive during the final assault on the Collector Base
- Chose to purge the Collector Base rather than destroy it completely
- Romanced nobody
- Assisted Mordin Solus in curing the genophage in ME3
- Refused to help the rachni breeder queen
- Settled peace between the krogan and turians
- Brokered peace between the geth and the quarians
- Romanced nobody
- Refused the help of the Catalyst and chose to fight on (though this choice is irrelevant with Shep's canon point for the game)
[Personality]: Shepard is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to his goals and a willful practitioner of the philosophy known as the "calculus of war" -- sacrifice a hundred so that a thousand may live. When presented with a choice, Shepard will always choose the most tactically sound strategy even if it might not be the most moral one. That's not to say he isn't a moral man, quite the contrary. Shepard knows that it takes a hardened leader to make the toughest decisions, decisions he alone makes to save the galaxy at the cost of his own soul. Though he never outwardly second-guesses the choices he's made, he is often privately haunted by the ghosts of his past and the consequences of his actions. He believes it's necessary that a leader must stay the course in order to continue to inspire confidence and faith in the crew. Nobody wants to follow a hesitant leader full of regret.
Shepard is charismatic, yet there are times where he chooses to shoot first and ask questions later. Though not typically a passionate man when it comes to the things a civilian might enjoy (at least not publicly), Shepard is intensely passionate about his mission. It's this passion and his almost obsessive focus that inspires people; indeed, his name is known throughout the galaxy, and most people see Shepard as an almost legendary figure. His crew are no different, willing to fight and die at his command. They follow him into hopeless situations knowing full-well they most likely won't survive, and yet they still trust his leadership. Their loyalty is based on the confidence Shepard shows as well as the uncanny ability to adapt to any situation on-the-fly. Even more than that, Shepard has shown them his willingness to bleed for their own causes as he's played a major role in resolving many of their own problems.
Shepard takes no shit from anybody no matter their importance or station in life. At his heart Shepard is a soldier, not a politician. He has no room for flowery speeches or tact. He is almost painfully blunt at times, telling it like it is. He prefers to negotiate aggressively and swiftly, oftentimes pointing out the advantage he has or just straight-up bluffing. Shepard never hesitates to point out the stupidity of a certain course of action either. He is very laconic in his speech as well, having a somewhat grim, dry, and cynical sense of humor. It's also very hard to tell if he's pissed at you, screwing with you, or just doesn't give a shit thanks to an almost eternal poker face.
Shepard believes the ends justify the means. He often operates on his own moral code rather than what's lawful or acceptable in his part of space. He's seen too many criminals use the law to their own benefit, and he oftentimes acts as judge, jury, and executioner. This puts him at odds with the law more often than you would think, though his status as a Spectre insures action is rarely taken against him. On the other hand, he takes the big picture into account more than others might. He is not above teaming up with shady organizations when their goals are the same. He is fairly disgusted of bureaucratic policies, especially those of the Council when they can't seem to take their heads out of their asses long enough to actually help him in his mission.
Shepard is ferociously loyal to those he considers his friends. This applies mostly to his crew. As an orphan, they're the closest thing he's ever had to a family. He never forgets help offered to him and will always repay the favor. Conversely, Shepard will hold a grudge and pursue vengeance almost obsessively, though never at the cost of his mission. Nothing is more important than the mission. His mission has always been the protection of Earth, the preservation of the galaxy, and the continuing fight for freedom. It's a mission he's willing to kill for, die for, and damn himself for.
Though not many get to witness it, Shepard does have a soft side. He is not a dick 100% of the time -- that's just the outer shell he puts up for the sake of the mission. He's got a soft spot for kids (seen in Jack's loyalty mission and elsewhere) and for his crew. They are his family, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for them if he had the power. During the quiet moments between missions, Shepard is often seen reminiscing about better days. He takes time to spend time with his crew and to talk about anything other than the war, and he's very social with people he considers friends. Hell, he likes a good party as much as the next guy.
Less personality and more personal vice would be Shepard's penchant for hard liquor, especially alien liquor. He is a bit of a functional alcoholic, though he would never let this interfere with his combat abilities. It's not a stretch to say, after the hard life he's had and the way he internalizes his emotions rather than speak about them with his crew, that the alcoholism is as much a coping mechanism as it is a social thing.
On top of everything, Shepard would sacrifice his life for those he cares about. More than that, he'd sacrifice his life for the entire galaxy if he knew it would stop the pain and suffering of the war he's fought for years. He might be abrasive, blunt, and a bit of a troll... but there would be no hesitation to die if he knew it would provide a better life for the billions that live in the galaxy. He would do it even knowing that he's going straight to hell in the end.
[Abilities / Strengths & Weaknesses]:
Shepard's character class is Infiltrator. In the video game this gives him enhanced reflexes (to the point that time slows down), the ability to cloak himself and be completely invisible, training with all types of weapons, the ability to use both cryo (freezing) ammo and disruptor ammo, an incineration blast from his omni-tool, the ability to sabotage AI and weapon systems, and access to sticky grenades.
Physically, Shepard is a super soldier in every sense of the word. Common practice in the Alliance Military is to genetically enhance soldiers for extra strength, speed, and stamina. On top of that, Shepard was "rebuilt" by Cerberus with numerous cybernetic implants including but not limited to: heavy muscle and bone weaves for more strength and durability, super-efficient cybernetic organs, and neurological implants to enhance reflexes. Also, as a graduate of the esteemed N7 program, Shepard has the best training in the galaxy (common practice included 20 hours a day of combat training). As an infiltrator, he is at peak physical conditioning for both long-range and close-quarters combat. Despite all this, he's still human. Even if he's a super soldier, he still bleeds. Cut him, stab him, shoot him, he'll die. He's not invincible even if it's really hard to kill him. Like all humans, he's subject to fatigue and the problems that come with overworking himself. He doesn't have any magical abilities or anything like that.
Mentally, he is a tough nut to crack. He has an almost obsessive laser focus when it comes to his objective, pursuing his goals with almost no rest. As an infiltrator, he is an accomplished hacker and also very intelligent. On top of his intelligence is his massive amount of combat experience and tactical know-how. He led a galactic war, after all, and before that he was almost always spearheading whatever operation he was a part of. His prowess in leading troops has given him an almost mythical standing in the galaxy. Shepard is also an expert in quickly analyzing the situation and making the most logical, successful decision -- he is resourceful to the point of ridiculousness.
He has bit of a temper, which manifests sometimes in those classic "renegade" moments where he goes full-on aggressive, a strength or a weakness depending on how you look at it. He's also somewhat antisocial/abrasive unless he knows you. It's obvious he treats his crew different from people he doesn't know. That can be something of a weakness as well.
Despite overwhelming, impossible odds, he never gives up. Even through debilitating and nerve-wracking losses personally and to the crew, he never lets his determination crumble. He stays true to himself and his mission for the sake of everyone looking to him for guidance. Another strength would be his ability to suppress his emotions to make tough decisions, the kind that would send someone to their death but guarantee victory, though his tough outer shell is as much a weakness as it is a strength. He is hesitant to let people get close to him, hesitant to trust people he doesn't know. Shepard internalizes his emotions and buries them deep down and is prone to moments of deep guilt no matter how private they are. Annnnd he's a functional alcoholic, which is definitely a bit of a weakness.
[Limited Powers]: Considering he relies mostly on weaponry and tactical superiority and know-how, there's not much to limit. His weapons rely on a limited supply of detachable heatsinks, and his omni-tool would be severely hampered in what it could do since there's not really much technology to interface with.
[Other Important Facts]: He can't dance.
♦ Thread: Here and here and here
[ voice since Shepard is used to dictation software :I ]
I had a friend once try to get me to turn pirate and terrorize the galaxy with her.
I wonder what she'd think of terrorizing some backwater, off-the-charts planet.
... Less "terrorizing" and more "finding a way back home" though.
[A bit of a pause here. Though nobody knows it from the journal, he's just rummaging around his cabin a bit.]
Probably too much to ask that the bars down here have Noverian rum. More reason to get the hell off of this planet.