(Disclaimer: This article has several spoilers for the Mass Effect series. If you have not played these games and wish to do so, I would highly advise to not read this.)
If there’s anything I know for a fact it’s that the Normandy’s weapons will always be in tip-top shape. This is due to the fact that they are constantly being calibrated by the master calibrator himself, Garrus Vakarian.
Garrus Vakarian is a Turian; a race of humanoids who were designed to look like humanoid birds or raptors. Garrus comes from a military family and, when he is first met, works for C-Sec, or Citadel Security.
When Commander Shepard first comes to the Citadel is Mass Effect he is trying to convince the council that the Specter Saren has gone rogue. The council does not believe him, citing the fact that Saren is one of their top agents and no acts that he committed beforehand indicate that he would so such a thing. Garrus has also been on Saren’s trail for some time and has received the same cold responses from the Council. Because of this, Garrus decided to leave his career as a C-Sec officer in order to join Shepard on the SSV Normandy. Garrus is known for being almost obsessed with making sure that the Normandy’s weapons are in the best shape possible and spends most of his time in the weapon battery chamber.
First meeting of Garrus on the Citadel.
I know that a lot of players of Mass Effect agree with me that Garrus is one of the best crew mates you get in all three games. What garners this popularity among fans? In my opinion, it’s a couple of things.
Garrus has this demeanor about him that he’s just fed up with authority and has decided to do something about the universe’s problems himself. This is a common fantasy among many people. You come home from work and sit in front of your TV to watch the news and you can’t help but feel like you wish you could do more to help solve our issues. The main problem for us, to be honest, is that we’re just too plain lazy. Garrus is anything but lazy.
Even when Shepard isn’t even around, Garrus finds that he much prefers taking the law into his own hands instead of being involved in bureaucracy. After the events in the prologue of Mass Effect 2 Garrus becomes a vigilante on the mining station of Omega. Omega is a place known for being filled to the brim with the scum of the galaxy as well as being a nexus for the trades of different illegal drugs. Garrus, under the pseudonym of “Archangel” begins his own campaign against the different mercenary companies which call Omega home and conduct its business. In the end, however, Garrus’ actions land him in hot water. He becomes such a menace that the impossible happens; all of the rival mercenaries companies join into a temporary alliance to defeat him. If it wasn’t for Shepard’s timely arrival, Garrus would have been killed. For Garrus, however, there is no better way to go than by fighting those types of scum.
It’s through a character like Garrus that we can vent our will to do something about such daunting problems like an evil synthetic race of dreadnoughts hell-bent on wiping out all organic and sentient life. In our world, too many politicians and their lot stand in the way of real progress. Garrus does not simply care what the politicians think. The only thing which he cares about is his weapon and the weapons of the Normandy.
Throughout the course of the Mass Effect series, however, his character progression is more of one alongside Shepard’s. This is taking for granted that you, the player, didn’t rush through the game and takes the time to develop relationships. Garrus becomes a sort of best friend to Shepard, a brother borne through the trials of combat. Both he and Shepard share the experience of not being believed about the threats that they tried to warn their superiors about. Shepard helped Garrus prove to the council that Saren had indeed gone rogue, and in return Garrus has been by Shepard’s side in his trials ever since.
After the events of Mass Effect 2, Shepard is forced to meet a military tribunal to explain his actions while under the service of Cerberus. This, of course, is when the Reapers choose to strike. Shepard is forced to leave his home world behind in order to find help.
Shepard eventually finds himself at Palavan, the Turian home world, in order to elicit the greatest military force in the galaxy to help save Earth. The Turians themselves are battling the Reapers to save their own people, but in the process of assisting the Turians in their battle Shepard discovers and old friend; Garrus Vakarian.
Garrus watching Palavan, his home, burn.
After the events of Mass Effect 2, Garrus was given the lead in a program set to prepare the Turians for the coming of the Reapers. This was more of a way to keep Garrus quiet, due to the fact that he’s extremely hard-headed and doesn’t refuse to accept it when his commanding officers didn’t completely heed his warnings. Garrus would turn out to be correct, however, but he also realizes that only as a combined coalition could the races of the galaxy hold any hope to stop the Reapers. Since the main Reaper force is stationed at Earth, Garrus decides that the best thing to do is to rejoin Shepard in the quest to band everyone together.
From The Battle of the Citadel against Saren and Sovereign, the suicide mission to the Collector home world, and finally to the feet of Harbinger himself, Garrus and Shepard have been through more together than almost any other duo. Shepard helped Garrus defend his honor, as well as his home world, and Garrus returns the favor.
This friendship culminates into one of the best scenes in the Mass Effect trilogy.
If there’s another Mass Effect game in the works, one of the characters that would have to make a return, if possible, would be Garrus Vakarian. If you’ve never played any of the Mass Effect games I highly advise you to do so. Garrus is just one of a band of characters who all deserve to be discussed. It just so happens that Garrus is one of the crowd favorites.
Garrus may be a Turian, a race that in the lore of Mass Effect was humanity’s first aliens to make contact with and first to fight, but he is a brother to us all.