In the story of Mass Effect, the terrifying Reapers arrive from dark space every 50,000 years to violently harvest all advanced civilizations in the galaxy. Many years ago, it was the Protheans who fell.
However, not all of them were lost. The Protheans had a “might makes right” empire that spanned the galaxy, but not even that could save them from the Reapers. Still, amid the chaos, a single Prothean survived the carnage and became the voice of his fallen race. His name was Javik.
Watching the Galaxy Burn
As he told Commander Shepard during their first full-length conversation, Javik was born into a galaxy at war. He never saw the Prothean Empire at its height, instead he grew up around chaos, destruction, mass refugee movements and far worse. The first thing he remembered seeing was his homeworld on fire, and the situation only worsened from there. The Prothean Empire took a few centuries to fall completely, but the Reapers’ progress was inexorable.
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Javik grew up in a pragmatic and harsh lifestyle that involved emotional numbness from combat and a willingness to take extreme measures to ensure survival. His life was one of hardship and few luxuries, and he fought the Reapers as best he could while knowing that true victory would never come. In fact, he once had a ship with a loyal crew, much like the Normandy, but the crew became indoctrinated at a point, and Javik was forced to personally kill them all. He became his culture’s exemplar of vengeance, spilling blood for blood lost. He didn’t care that revenge is empty and makes everyone suffer; he would fight to the very end.
Finally, Javik had his back to the wall when he fought alongside the desperate defenders of an unnamed city with Prothean husks (Collectors) swarming the place. The local AI updated Javik on the deteriorating situation, and fewer and fewer Protheans were making it to shelter. Eventually, the neutron purge had to be used, and Javik was ordered into his stasis pod to escape its wrath. Javik’s pod shuddered from the force, and although all Collectors were destroyed, the overall system was compromised, and Javik’s pod could not be easily opened by this point. Worse yet, power was being reallocated from the other pods to keep Javik’s online, meaning that after a point, only his would be left operational. He fell unconscious as the pod’s cryostasis activated.
Javik slept for 50,000 years. The next thing he knew, his pod’s lid was being thrown open, exposing a blue sky. He climbed out of the pod and found an armored human (Shepard) and an Asari (Liara), and he panicked. Javik fled across the Eden Prime compound and took in the sight with wonder. His burning city was gone, replaced by verdant wilderness and some small settlements. He touched Commander Shepard and thus learned Shepard’s language, and was updated on the situation: the Reapers were back for a new cycle, and only Javik had survived the previous one. Shepard’s resolve to fight the Reapers prompted Javik to take their side, but Javik was not necessarily impressed.
From that point on, Javik served as an exemplary soldier aboard the Normandy, being hardened from years of fighting and sacrifice in an unwinnable war. He shares insights into Prothean culture, intriguing (and shocking) Liara, and he must adjust to a galaxy where the primitive races of his time weren’t just advanced, but also cooperating with one another. Instead of monolithic empires, there was a representative-based Council in power, and Asari, Turians, Salarians, Volus and more shared the galaxy.
Later in the mission to fight the Reapers, Javik may come along with Shepard and Liara to the temple of Athame on Thessia. Here, he realizes that a Prothean beacon is present, and it also contains a fully functional AI. Javik explains that Protheans had visited Thessia to guide the Asari along, help them realize their formidable potential and fight the Reapers effectively.
Liara is astounded that the goddess Athame had been a real person and a Prothean, but she is angry about how much deception is going on. Javik’s response is little more than “it is what it is.” Later still, Javik will speak highly of Shepard before the final battle on London, saying that this was the first time a cycle had a real chance to defeat the Reapers. It was what Javik had always wanted, and he considers Commander Shepard the exemplar of victory.
Javik in the Game
As a squadmate, Javik is a soldier with biotic abilities. He can use assault rifles and heavy pistols for weaponry, and he can also throw lift grenades to disorient enemies and make them vulnerable. He can also use Pull on single targets, and he can perform the Slam ability to lift a target and then throw it onto the ground (as Miranda and Jack once did).
Finally, Javik has a unique power: Dark Channel. This biotic ability will damage a target, and that target may suffer a biotic explosion if another biotic ability, such as Throw, is used on it. When the target dies, Dark Channel jumps to the next target, making it possible to use powerful biotic explosions on several targets in a row. Thus, Javik fights well with other biotics on the team, such as Liara.
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