Three Neediest Lovers in the Mass Effect Franchise

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Everybody needs someone, and while the term "being needy" is often associated with being a negative personality trait. I don't feel this is the case because in life we need people to develop as individuals, whether that's our parents, friends, mentors, husbands and wives. Other people's influences throughout our lives can help a person grow and develop as a human being. This influence in our lives is something happens all the way through our lives from childhood to adulthood as we put ourselves through college, work and other social necessities in life.

BioWare games have always put a strong focus on character interaction, and no where more so with companion relationships. With the promise of more natural relationship progression in Mass Effect: Andromeda, I look at three of the past characters that could be considered needy -- or rather needed guidance -- and revealed more layers as characters than their initial RPG archetype and therefore developed more naturally over the course of the series.

Jacob Taylor

Jacob can appear to be quite a generic one dimensional space marine type with his typical boy scout demeanor and a need to protect those weaker than him. He is quite a difficult character to like because of these traits, he appears to have no shades of grey.

He does hide a needy interior and loves being in service of Shepard and is in complete of awe of his/her military prowess. There is a certain side of him that needs validation of achievement through the protection of others. Through the course of the game though, he has shown himself to be quite conflicted -- as he only pretends to love the fast lifestyle of being single, and serving a military life there can be a certain level of bravado to his character.

Deep rooted father issues which are revealed in his companion mission shows that while he tries to be smooth with the women, he clearly needs to feel wanted even just for a brief moment in time. This is a reflection of why he cheats and sleeps around. Jacob eventually reveals that he would love get serious and start a family.

His romance options aren't the most fondly revered amongst fans though and is perhaps more memorable for his comparisons to the "old spice man" and his remarks about a certain "prize."


Tali is one of my favorite characters in the Mass Effect universe, and she developed well beyond her "damsel in distress" archetype. When we're first introduced to her we see how much she doubts and questions her own abilities as a leader and even going as far as admitting she feels more comfortable as a follower as opposed to a leadership role.

Her respect and total admiration for Shepard is revealed throughout the course of the series, and more so when it is revealed in recordings found in the game where Tali is making her own leadership decisions by "guessing what Shepard would do if he/she were there."

Her need and potentially developing feelings for Shepard helps Tali grow into a far more confident and interesting character. As her confidence increases she begins to show a good level of humor, sarcasm and a more assertive side in contrast to the shy and reserved character she started out as. Depending on romance options, this new personality was shown in verbal back and forths with Ashley or Miranda during missions. Tali needed Shephard's positive influence to become stronger and more independant.

Jack/Subject Zero

On the outside Jack portrays herself to be like rabid uncaged animal lashing out physically and verbally at anyone within arms reach. She is a very complex character though, and easily one of the most well developed in the series. Jack is often just looked at as the punky, tattooed, aggressive and rebellious archetype but if you stick with her she reveals herself to be so much more.

Her need to act out in an aggressive manner, be the most dominant, and the most dangerous character in the group is her way of hiding the real vulnerability and fear of betrayal and abuse. She portrays herself as hating human contact yet definitely yearns it by getting a short quick fix through brief and short sexual encounters.

Her pushing others away through aggressive, violent and sometimes sexual means will eventually give way to the need to belong and feel a part of a community. Through Shepard helping and caring for Jack with no means of an agenda, she slowly learns how what trust means and comes to the eventual realisation that she wants Shepard to be her Alpha and belong to his/her pack.

It is through needing Shepard's guidance and leadership that she eventually realises that she can belong and begin trusting others and more importantly herself by becoming far more than the persona she began with.

Do you think other characters in the Mass Effect universe were just as needing or had as much development as characters?

Published Feb. 9th 2017

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