Commander Shepard


Main Playable Character
Race Human

Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 3 is the main protagonist and playable character of the game. He is a male (default) Alliance Military Soldier named John, with the Earthborn/Sole Survivor profile. Shepard is classified N7 by the Human Alliance Military, being the hardest and best training for a Human soldier.

Shepard can be a male or female, named John or Jane depending on the chosen gender. That only affects who will be in the romance subplot of the game. The player can customize the first name, which is never spoken aloud in the game, to their pleasure, while the last name cannot be altered for purposes of dialogue. 


 Commander Shepard Information

Shepard was born on April 11th, 2154, and is a graduate of the N7 System Alliance Special Forces Program. After graduation, Shepard was assigned to the SSV Normandy as an Executive Officer. 

As Commander Shepard of the Systems Alliance Military, aboard the spacecraft Normandy, you represent humanity’s first and last line of defense against the strange wonders of a vast and often dangerous galaxy.


Commander Shepard Mass Effect 3

There are a few defining events that would lead to Commander Shepard's current position. The Player's choices would ultimately lead Shepard to either begin while under arrest or undergoing trial for working with Cerberus. In Mass Effect 3, Reapers invade and take over Earth. Anderson stays behind and Shepard is tasked to leave and seek support.  

Shepard undergoes plenty of trails along the way in order to gain and recruit the different races of the galaxy in order to have enough support to fight off the Reapers and build the ultimate weapon known as the Crucible. During their final battle his encounters the Catalyst, the A.I. that controls the Reapers. It reveals the cycle of destruction and maps out Shepard's options.

  • Destroy the Reapers
  • Control the Reapers
  • Synthesis
  • Refusal 

Any option involving the Crucible would lead to a future where Commander Shepard goes down in history known as "The Shepard" If not, there will be a future cycle where the event still goes down in history and is learned through Glyphs. 


Commander Shepard Background

During Character Creation in Mass Effect 3, players will get the chance to modify Commander Shepard's Pre-service History. This history and background identifies Commander Shepard's characteristics and affects how he and other characters react to the Commander. The choices in this stage will affect how the storyline progresses as well.

You will have a choice of his background between:

  • Earthborn - You were an orphan raised on the streets of the great megatropolises covering Earth. You escaped the life of petty crime and underworld gangs by enlisting with the Alliance military when you turned eighteen.
  • Colonist - You were born and raised on Mindoir, a small border colony in the Attican Traverse. When you were sixteen slavers raided Mindoir, slaughtering your family and friends. You were saved by a passing Alliance patrol, and you enlisted with the military a few years later.
  • Spacer - Both of your parents were in the Alliance military. Your childhood was spent on ships and stations as they transferred from posting to posting, never staying in one location for more than a few years. Following in your parents' footsteps, you enlisted at the age of eighteen. 

After his background, players will also have a chance to modify their psychological profiles. These choices are accompanied by bonuses that can affect gameplay and dialogue. 


Service History Choices:

    • Sole Survivor -During your service, a mission you were on went horribly wrong. Trapped in an extreme survival situation, you had to overcome physical torments and psychological stresses that would have broken most people. You survived while all those around you fell, and now you alone are left to tell the tale.
    • War Hero - Early in your military career, you found yourself facing an overwhelming enemy force. You risked your own life to save your fellow soldiers and defeat the enemy despite the impossible odds. Your bravery and heroism have earned you medals and recognition from the Alliance fleet. 
    • Ruthless - Throughout your military career, you have held fast to one basic rule: get the job done. You've been called cold, calculating, and brutal. Your reputation for ruthless efficiency makes your fellow soldiers wary of you. But when failure is not an option, the military always goes to you first. 

Depending on your Background your character will have starting Paragon and Renegade Points:

Starting Point
Spacer - War Hero 20 Paragon points
Colonist - War Hero 15 Paragon points
Earthborn - War Hero 10 Paragon points
Spacer  - Sole Survivor 15 Paragon and 5 Renegade points
Colonist - Sole Survivor 10 Paragon and 10 Renegade points
Earthborn - Sole Survivor 5 Paragon and 15 Renegade points
Spacer - Ruthless 10 Renegade points
Colonist - Ruthless 15 Renegade points
Earthborn - Ruthless 20 Renegade points



Lastly, players can modify the loss that Commander Shepard has experienced. This is usually determined through the playthrough from previous games but can be modified in a new game from Character Creation. In previous games, your decision ultimately led to a loss. This further affects Commander Shepard's reactions to the current gameplay and affects who moves forward in Mass Effect 3. 


Commander Shepard Classes and Specializations

There are six base Classes that each vary in Stats and previously wielded specific weapons. However, in Mass Effect 3, all Weapons are now available to all classes. These affect specific Powers and allow the characters to have Tech, Biotic Combat specializations, in turn also affecting the Powers available to them. 

Combat skills deal maximum damage to enemies. Tech skills allow decrypting security systems and weakening enemy weapons. Biotic skills enable brain impulses to manipulate the physical world.

The Six available Classes are listed below: 


Commander Shepard Notes & Tips

  • The character was named after Alan Shepard, the second person and first American to travel to space.
  • Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale provided the voices for the male and female Shepard.
  • His male default face is modeled after model Mark Vanderloo.

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