Even in Mass Effect’s extensive world of alien races and biotics, the human Commander Shepard is unique and incredibly strong.

Mass Effect‘s universe puts the player right into Commander Shepard’s combat boots, and there is a galaxy that needs saving. As of 2183, the rogue Spectre Saren is on the loose, and the Reapers are on the horizon. It all comes down to Commander Shepard of the Systems Alliance Navy to save the day — and the Commander has some surprises in store.

What exactly makes Shepard so special? The Commander has an “it” factor that draws everyone to them, and they have survived more than a few intense battles and close calls. It also helps that Commander Shepard is a near-perfect specimen of the human form, with a few tricks up their sleeve.

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Shepard Can Gain & Lose Biotic Powers With Ease

In the Mass Effect universe, biotics take the place of magic powers, and biotics are unique individuals who can control dark energy and manipulate the world around them. All Asari can use biotics, and some humans can too. The player may design Commander Shepard as a biotic in Mass Effect, then change the character after they’re reborn in Mass Effect 2, turning them into a soldier or tech expert instead. Or, a soldier can become a biotic, totally transforming Shepard’s combat abilities from 2183 to 2185 in the lore. That’s the magic of the Lazarus project.

Shepard’s Renegade Scars Can Deepen

shepard renegade mass effect

While the Mass Effect games don’t have the light side and dark side of the Force, Commander Shepard can be either a noble Paragon or a tough Renegade, and going Renegade will literally show on the Commander’s face. After being revived at the hands of Cerberus, a renegade Shepard will not only keep the facial scars from the operation, but deepen those scars. Eerie red light will glow from those scars (and possibly the Commander’s eyes), marking them as a ferocious rogue who will stop at nothing to achieve success. This is the closest that Mass Effect gets to a Sith Lord.

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Shepard Has Many Implants in Their Body

shepard implants mass effect

Cerberus brought Shepard back to live using lots of advanced and expensive medical equipment — and Miranda Lawson wasn’t afraid to refit Commander Shepard with some implants to restart the Commander’s heart, brain activity and more. Mass Effect 2 clearly showed all kinds of machines being placed under Shepard’s skin and muscles.

Long after Shepard was brought back to life, those implants are still running, keeping the Commander alive. However, during Mass Effect 3, EDI notes that, despite having all these implants, Shepard isn’t quite a full-blown transhumanist, which refers to someone who blurs the line between human and machine.

Commander Shepard’s Mind Is Still% Authentic After Operation Lazarus

Commander Shepard was so heavily modified after the Lazarus project that it is equally notable what wasn’t modified. At first, Miranda wanted to place a computer chip in Commander Shepard’s brain to ensure that they will not turn on Cerberus, and become more docile as a soldier.

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However the Illusive Man objected; he wanted Shepard to be entirely the same as they were during the battle of the Citadel. He was concerned that modifying Shepard’s mind in any way would rob humanity of the authentic hero it once had, so Shepard’s mind was left unaltered. But as Miranda once predicted, Shepard and the Illusive Man indeed had a falling out. By that point, though, Miranda was on Shepard’s side, not the Illusive Man’s.

Shepard Is Extremely Durable

shepard grunt

Commander Shepard may not have backup organs or a redundant nervous system like Urdnot Grunt does, but they are still remarkably tough, even for a trained Alliance soldier. The Commander endured many gunshots, physical blows and more during the quest to save the galaxy, and while other squadmates end up in the hospital, Shepard does not.

This was true even before Shepard received those implants during the Lazarus Project. Shepard once survived a Batarian bartender’s attempt to poison them, and that concoction had killed all of its other victims to that point. Shepard also survived drinking ryncol, a notoriously strong Krogan alcoholic drink. Nothing can keep Shepard down, whether it be a bullet, a biotic shockwave or a stiff drink at the Omega clubs.

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