Lifelong Mass Effect superfan Marsden Dawn fell for Garrus because of his loyalty. So many seedy characters float in and out of Commander Shepard’s centrifugal orbit. There’s the suave, tortured assassin Thane, the psychotechnic edgelord Jack, the fast-talking, cold-blooded Mordin Solus, and the robot-who-learned-how-to-love Legion. All of them are vital components of the rollicking culture in the Normandy, and each of them add their own eccentricity and expertise to the ship’s harebrained, Ocean’s 11-like schemes. But there’s only one of them who truly stuck with Shepard through thick and thin: That’s right, the man with the lizard face.
“When we think about Mass Effect, loyalty is everything amongst the crew but the bond between Shepard and Garrus is on another level. At the end of the day it almost feels like in some ways Garrus’s world revolves around Shepard,” says Dawn. “When he believes Shepard dead he literally runs off onto a suicide mission of his own. Garrus Vakarian is literally on the brink of death and ready to die on Omega until he sees Shepard and then it’s like he gains that will to live again. When you romance him, of course Shepard and Garrus are lovers, but they’re more than that. They’re partners, two sides of the same coin fighting together until the very end.”
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the long-awaited remastering of one of the greatest trilogies in modern videogame history, has released on Steam. I can’t wait to revisit BioWare’s blockbuster era, and the studio’s indelible cocktail of ’80s synth fuzz, dialogue-tree clapbacks, and long, elliptical conversations with your buddies in the inky blackness of deep space. Mass Effect was always about the people. The biotics and munitions are fun, the sidequests are pitch-perfect, but mostly, we’re just excited to see all of our friends and lovers again. And in the nine years since the conclusion of the Shepard arc, there is one character that’s separated himself from the pack. Garrus and Shepard are the headcanon, at this point. Nobody comes close.