The Reapers, known by the geth as the Old Machines, are a highly advanced machine race of synthetic/organic starships. The Reapers reside in dark space, the vast, mostly starless space between galaxies. They hibernate there, dormant for thousands of years, before they are given the signal to return. Their origins are completely unknown. The first Reaper known to have communicated with organic life, referred to by Saren Arterius as Sovereign, claimed that the Reapers have neither beginning nor end. Even their true name is a mystery; "Reapers" was a name bestowed by the Protheans, and Sovereign stated that whatever the Protheans chose to call them is irrelevant: "we simply... are." Sovereign also reveals that the Reapers were the original creators of the Citadel and the mass relay network. These massive constructs exist so that any intelligent life in the galaxy would eventually discover them and base their technology upon them – all part of a scheme to harvest the galaxy’s sentient life in a repeating cycle of purges that has continued relentlessly over countless millennia.
The Reapers destroy advanced organic life in order to preserve a fragile balance. The Reapers believe that without the extinction cycles, synthetics would completely annihilate all organic life. This is because of a natural tendency to chaos; organics will always create synthetics and synthetics will always rebel against them. The Reapers also believe that destroying advanced civilizations is the only way to allow new civilizations to come into existence. The Reapers leave no evidence of their conquest, or of their existence – only desolate, barren ruins of those who came before. However, based on the events of Mass Effect 2, it is possible that the Reapers use enslaved organic beings in order to create more of their own kind, as seen with the Human-Reaper. The trap created by the Reapers was simple. A sentient species would develop an FTL drive, but would still be limited in its speed. By leaving a network of relays capable of instant transport across the galaxy that led to the impressive Citadel, the Reapers ensured that it would become the center of galactic civilization. Further, Sovereign implies that the presence of the mass relays would lead the sentient species down a predetermined route with regards to weapons and armor technology (both of which are based upon element zero technology for the Citadel races). It is probable that this reduces the possibility of organic life discovering alternative, more advanced technology and progressing down a different 'path'; or, as Sovereign explains, "By using it [mass relay technology] your society develops along the paths we desire." Another possibility is that since the Reapers harvest the resources and technology of the organic races, introduction of the Mass Effect technologies (which the Reapers themselves utilize) ensures the organic races will develop technology that will in turn be useful to the Reapers following each harvest.
Once the sentient races have established themselves on the Citadel with the aid of the keepers, an organic race either created or enslaved by the Reapers in order to maintain the Citadel’s basic functions without revealing its secrets, the vanguard sends a signal to the Citadel, instructing the keepers to activate the station’s hidden mass relay. This opens a path between the Citadel and dark space. The Reapers then flood through, killing the leaders of the assembled species before branching out and obliterating all spacefaring life around them. Because the Reapers first enter the galaxy at the point that they have ensured will be the center of galactic politics, information and finance, they are able to cripple any resistance almost before the Citadel civilizations have any idea that they are under attack. The Citadel also gives them control of the relay network, cutting off star systems from each other and destroying communications. The Reapers then use their control of the Citadel and its data to begin the most sinister phase of their attack. Records allow them to track down every settled planet and attack them, either stripping the worlds of resources or enslaving the populations with indoctrination and turning them into sleeper agents. The extinction events may be part of the Reaper's reproductive cycle, in which all the sentient life in the galaxy is harvested and essentially melted down into techno-organic Reaper shells based on the individual species' physical form. This is further expanded upon in Mass Effect 3 where it is explained that the Reapers harvest organic civilizations at the height of their power in order to "preserve" the individual species in Reaper-form.Once they have harvested the galaxy, the Reapers wipe every trace of their existence from record and retreat back into dark space. The only living Reaper to be witnessed by any living intelligent being after the Protheans became extinct was designated Sovereign by the organic races (although the geth knew it by the name "Nazara"). It was a colossal dreadnought, several times the size of any known vessel – even dwarfing the massive asari flagship, Destiny Ascension. At first, it was presumed to be the flagship of the rogue Spectre agent, Saren Arterius, by those who encountered it.
Sovereign did act as transport for Saren and his geth minions – however, it was later discovered by Commander Shepard that Sovereign and its brethren were actually the masterminds behind the genocide. Saren began his search for Sovereign at the end of Mass Effect: Revelation using research stolen from Dr. Shu Qian, eventually finding the Reaper near or within the Perseus Veil. After the last cycle, which obliterated the Prothean empire, a cadre of elite Prothean scientists hidden on Ilos survived the genocide. It took them decades to realize the connection between the Reapers, the Citadel, and the keepers, but this discovery gave them the key to breaking the cycle forever. At the time, the Protheans were the only spacefaring race advanced enough to attract the attention of the Reapers, and had set about attempting to preserve the sentient races they saw evolving on other planets, including the hanar and humans. The Protheans developed a plan to forestall the impending Reaper attack for future generations of sapient, spacefaring species. This plan hinged on the fact that the keepers have evolved, and now only respond to signals from the Citadel itself. As stated above, the Reaper vanguard signals the Citadel which in turn signals the keepers to open the mass relay, ushering in the next Reaper invasion. However, the Prothean scientists used a reverse-engineered prototype mass relay—the Conduit—travelled to the Citadel, and altered the Citadel signal. When Sovereign decided it was time to begin the cycle again, the keepers ignored the order. This greatly complicated matters for Sovereign. In order to unleash its brethren from dark space, it would have to find a way to manually activate the relay from inside the Citadel. While Reapers are undoubtedly beings of terrible power and ferocity, a single Reaper would not be able to survive the combined might of the assembled Citadel races in a direct assault. It needed to find an agent that would lead it to the Conduit. This agent was Saren, who became capable of comprehending the vision from the Prothean Beacon. With a fleet of geth ships, the Reaper launched an all-out assault on the Citadel, nearly devastating the entire fleet. Fortunately, Saren was stopped by Commander Shepard and company, and Sovereign was destroyed. How long this will stall the eventual return of the Reapers remains to be seen. Shepard knew the Reaper fleet, though dormant and hibernating, was still out in dark space and vowed to find some way to stop them. After Commander Shepard defeated Saren and Sovereign, the Collectors began attacking human colonies and abducting their populations. Cerberus determined that the Reapers were behind this and planned to have Shepard thwart this latest Reaper threat to humanity. Over time, Shepard uncovered disturbing facts regarding the nature of the Reaper connection to the Collectors. Apparently, because humanity is a race of great genetic diversity and was the race who defeated Sovereign, it was enough to gather the Reapers' attention. It is revealed that the Collectors were originally Protheans who were captured by the Reapers and genetically re-purposed to suit their needs. The Collectors were working under the direct supervision of the Reaper Harbinger, who ordered the Collectors to abduct humans in the Terminus Systems. The captured humans were taken to the Collector Base and processed into organic matter to construct a new Reaper modeled on the human form. EDI speculated that this was the Reaper equivalent of reproduction. When discovered by Shepard, the incomplete Human-Reaper was composed of facsimiles of the skull, arms and ribcage of a human with its lower spine and torso still under construction. EDI concluded that tens of thousands of humans had already been processed. Shepard was able to stop the process and destroy the Human-Reaper. With the Human-Reaper destroyed and the Collectors defeated, the Reapers lost any chance of using the Citadel mass relay to quickly return to the Milky Way Galaxy. Harbinger and the rest of the Reapers, who have already been on the move since the destruction of Sovereign, are shown approaching the Milky Way, setting the stage for Mass Effect 3.As the Reaper fleet draws closer towards the galaxy, Dr. Amanda Kenson was exposed to a Reaper artifact showing her visions of the Reapers' plan: to enter the galaxy using the mass relay in the Bahak System, which sits at the edge of the galaxy. In order to delay their arrival, Kenson decides to destroy the relay by ramming an asteroid into it. However, before the plan could go to effect, Kenson and her team became indoctrinated by the artifact and she and a small team were then later captured by batarians. This course of events would prompt Admiral Hackett to send Commander Shepard out on a solo mission to rescue Dr. Kenson and see what she was up to. Despite resistance from the indoctrinated Kenson and team, Shepard was able to complete the mission and destroy the Alpha Relay at the cost of three hundred thousand batarians living on Aratoht. According to the Catalyst, the Reapers were created for the sole purpose of ensuring the existence of organic life in the galaxy, through the assumption that all synthetic creations will eventually turn on and destroy their organic creators. By harvesting technologically advanced species before they are capable of creating true synthetic life, and then storing these old species within immortal Reaper bodies, room is made for new life to flourish and grow, as was the case for primitive man. The continuity of life in the galaxy is assured through this cycle of extinction, as it ensures that organic life will never be fully exterminated before its time by synthetic life, as was demonstrated by the quarians and the geth. At the end of Mass Effect 3, depending the player's decisions and war readiness, the Catalyst gives Shepard three options: Destroy the Reapers - a process which will also destroy the Citadel; take control of the Reapers - which will require Shepard to sacrifice his/her corporeal form; bring about Synthesis which will transform all life in the galaxy into a new breed of organic-synthetic beings. If Shepard chooses the first option, the Reapers will shutdown and collapse. In the latter two options, the Reapers cease their attacks and leave the galaxy. All endings have the Mass Relays being destroyed to spread to energy from the Citadel across the galaxy.
The Catalyst is the master AI that controls the Reapers. It dwells within the Citadel. The Catalyst serves as the architect and overseer of the Reapers and their cycle of destruction. As it explained to Commander Shepard, the Catalyst was tasked with solving a dire problem: the inevitable creation of synthetic intelligence by advanced organic civilizations, and the equally inevitable conflict that results. It chose to resolve this problem by putting in place a system which would prevent any advanced civilization from reaching that point. The Catalyst's solution took the form of the Reapers. Space-faring organic species would be harvested and processed, with millions of bodies and minds from each race being processed and converted into new Reapers, even as the Reapers themselves worked to destroy their civilizations. By doing this, the Reapers preserved the harvested races, while allowing more primitive races to advance and ensuring that the threat of complete annihilation of organics by synthetics was averted. When encountered by Commander Shepard, the Catalyst represented itself using a hologram, taking the form of a young boy Shepard had watched die during the Reaper attack on Earth.
Sovereign, the first Reaper encountered, bore a superficial resemblance to a Reaper cuttlefish, with a bulky semi-cylindrical body, a tapering plate over the rear and a mass of metallic "tentacles" extending from its front end, in addition to six jointed legs extending from its body. When the Reaper fleet is revealed in dark space they are all shown with this basic design (however, one Reaper in the foreground shown when Harbinger awakens the fleet seems to resemble a scarab beetle) but with great diversity in tentacle number, shape and orientation, some with extended heads and others (particularly Harbinger) having multiple glowing eyes. This diversity is presumably due to the Reapers' reproduction method, in which vast numbers of a single species are harvested, melted down into a raw genetic paste, and then used to construct a "larva" that takes on the characteristics of the species from which it was created. The core of the Reaper is in the image of the species that was used to create it while the exterior follows a similar design that is most efficient for their purpose. Sovereign's design appears to have influenced the 'heretic' geth. This is not surprising, as these geth worship the Reapers as "gods", considering them to be the epitome of independent AI. Wherever the heretic geth become entrenched they build monuments to the Reapers resembling Sovereign's 'tentacles' around a glowing orb, and genuflect. Sovereign was apparently insulted by the adoration of such simple, base synthetics, but it did see their value as pawns and possible replacements for the flawed and organic keepers.
The Reapers are technologically superior to the organic species of the galaxy -- but the degree of that superiority is a matter of debate in the intelligence community. The Reapers' thrusters and FTL drives appear to propel them at more than twice the speed of Citadel ships. Estimates of their location in dark space suggest they can travel nearly 30 light-years in a 24-hour period. Reaper power sources seem to violate known physical laws. Reapers usually destroy fuel infrastructure rather than attempting to capture it intact, indicating that Reapers do not require organic species' energy supplies. Consequently, the Reapers attack without regard for maintaining supply lines behind them, except to move husks from one planet to another. Unlike Citadel ships, Reapers do not appear to discharge static buildup from their drive cores, although they sometimes appear wreathed in static discharge when they land on planets. The main gun on a Reaper capital ship dwarfs that of the Alliance's Everest-class dreadnoughts. No dreadnought has yet survived a direct hit from the weapon. Estimates put its destructive power anywhere from 132 to 454 kilotons of TNT. Even if the target is hardened, as in the case of a surface-based missile silo, the gun can instead bury the target beneath molten metal. Precise targeting computers and correctors also give the Reaper weapons a longer effective range than organics' dreadnoughts or cruisers. The kinetic barriers on a Reaper capital ship can shrug off the firepower of a small fleet. Weapons specifically designed to overcome shields, such as the Javelin, GARDIAN lasers, or the Thanix series, can bypass the barriers to some degree. The difficulty is getting close enough to use them -- the surface-mounted weaponry on Reaper ships, similar in principle to GARDIAN, presents an effective defense against organic species' fighters.
In addition to Reapers on the scale of Sovereign, there is a subtype of Reaper known as the Destroyer. Destroyers are only 160 meters in height, considerably smaller than the two kilometers that Sovereign boasted, but possess a formidable capacity for destruction despite their reduced stature. The frontal plates of a Destroyer can fold to the sides, exposing a powerful beam weapon. Other subtypes of Reapers include Troop Transports and Processors, both of which lack sentience and are instead remotely controlled by other Reapers. Troop Transports vary in length between 200 meters and one kilometer and are used to transport Husks to unconquered worlds and bring victims to Reaper processing centers. Processors are mobile centers for mass DNA harvesting.
· CAPITAL SHIPS are Sovereign-class Reapers two kilometers in length. They typically target the dreadnoughts, defense installations, and industrial cities of organic civilizations. Experts believe the Reapers harvest a single species of organics during each cycle of extinction to create these massive ships. Some capital ships are capable of launching small drones equivalent to fighters.
· DESTROYERS are 160 meters long and, in astounding numbers, make up the bulk of the Reaper fleet. They engage cruisers and other, smaller ships, as well as communications posts and enemy command centers. Research suggests destroyers are created from those species that are not harvested to make capital ships. Destroyers are a type of Reaper that appear in Mass Effect 3. They are approximately 160 meters in height; smaller than a Reaper like Sovereign, which measured over 2 kilometers in height. Commander Shepard fights Destroyers on at least three occasions during Mass Effect 3. Unlike the Sovereign-class capital ship Reapers, the Destroyers share a common design, and are deployed primarily as heavy ground forces. The first Destroyer is encountered on Tuchanka guarding the Shroud. It is destroyed by a Thresher Maw that Shepard summons using two Maw Hammers. Commander Shepard discovers a weak spot of the Destroyer design during an encounter on Rannoch: the Reaper's main weapon is vulnerable when charging up for an attack. Shepard then proceeds to destroy the Reaper by directing the quarian Heavy Fleet fire using a handheld laser designator and the Normandy's weapon guidance systems. The same weak spot is exploited once again at the Battle of London, when EDI reprograms multiple Javelin missiles to strike a Destroyer guarding the Citadel Beam.
· TROOP TRANSPORTS carry husks to unconquered planets and bring victims of the harvest to Reaper processing centers. They vary in length from 200 meters to one kilometer, but, unlike capital ships and destroyers, do not appear to be self-aware. Instead, other Reapers operate troop transports remotely.
· PROCESSORS, also called "slaughter ships," are mobile centers for mass DNA harvesting. Like troop transports, processors appear to be remotely operated by sapient Reapers.
Reapers and their technology have been observed to exert a disturbing influence on organic beings. Both Dr. Shu Qian and Edan Had'dah began acting oddly after coming into contact with the "artifacts" they found. This mental manipulation is known as indoctrination. Put simply, any organic being who is in close proximity to a Reaper or certain Reaper artifacts for too long comes to believe the Reapers are correct in their goals, and will do anything to serve them. Gradually, the mind is eroded until the individual becomes a mindless slave no longer capable of independent thought. Sovereign could partly control the rate of this process as seen with Saren; in order for him to serve the Reaper efficiently, Saren needed a measure of free will. This eventually convinced him that the only way to preserve organic life was to submit to the Reapers provided they could prove themselves useful. Only beings of immense mental strength, such as asari matriarchs, can resist indoctrination, and even then, their resistance only lasts a short time and only forestalls the inevitable. Matriarch Benezia chose to die rather than risk falling under indoctrination again, and if Saren finally rebels against Sovereign, he kills himself to prevent doing any further damage to the galaxy. This indoctrination is permanent (with the single possible exception of Shiala) and is one of the most insidious weapons of the Reapers. Even more horrifying is that the indoctrination field remains active even if the Reaper is largely disabled and incapable of action. A Cerberus science team was indoctrinated by being inside a Reaper that had otherwise been floating derelict for 37 million years, its only obvious activity being mass effect field generation.
Even without their indoctrinating influence, Reapers are immensely powerful warships and their technology is devastating. Sovereign’s destructive power was unrivaled in the known galaxy. Each of the "tentacles" extending from its bow was equipped with a powerful "magnetohydrodynamic" weapon which ejects a stream of molten metal at a fraction of the speed of light which could tear through a cruiser in a single sustained burst. Its gigantic spinal-mounted gun was able to rip through the hulls of even the largest of dreadnought-class ships with ease, effortlessly penetrating their kinetic shields. Sovereign's defences included powerful shields that could block the projectiles of an entire fleet, along with an incredibly strong hull. Though they are sentient machines, the Reapers have habitable interiors that can transport a crew, either to help spread their indoctrinated slaves or to allow these slaves to tend to them, probably both. Speculation in the Codex suggests that each individual Reaper has a massive element zero core which, coupled with the likely enormous quantities of energies at its disposal, allows it to generate the staggering mass effect field needed to land on a planet. However, the Reapers are not invincible. When the Reapers go into states of hibernation between cycles, they are vulnerable. By taking refuge in dark space, the Reapers ensure they will not be discovered by accident and destroyed while they wait for their vanguard to open the Citadel mass relay. A concentrated effort by the fleets of organic races could also destroy a Reaper even if it is at full power: a single fleet managed to destroy Sovereign when its shields and weapons were disabled. Aside from their formidable firepower and indoctrination, Reapers are also capable of mustering up their own ground forces to attack their enemies: Husks. Husks are aggressive, mindless drones, created from organic beings who are exposed to Reaper technology, such as Dragon's teeth, resulting in their organic bodies being consumed by cybernetics. Husks are used as shock troops and swarm enemies in waves. Husks can be modified and combined to create Abominations, Scions, and Praetorians. == =="Dragon's teeth" is the nickname Alliance marines have given to the huge spikes that geth use to turn human corpses – and unfortunate living victims – into Husks. Their function resembles ancient methods of execution by impalement. The name comes from Greek mythology, specifically Jason and the Argonauts; when a field was sowed with the teeth of a dragon, each tooth sprang up as a soldier. Dragon's teeth are comprised of a tripod-like support and a metal spike that retracts when not in use. It is speculated that this retraction could serve as a trap, activating to impale anyone who approaches the tripod, as dragon's teeth are often found in use where there have been no geth to operate them. The devices convert the muscle, organs and water content of a corpse into cybernetic parts – possibly recovering a miniscule amount of nutrients – then reanimate the body with an electrical charge, turning it into a simple-minded Husk that attacks anyone who gets close enough. Releasing the new Husk also retracts the spike back into the tripod, ready for re-use. The technology behind the dragon's teeth is a mystery. It doesn't resemble any other geth technology and deploying the spikes seems to be a lot of effort for a minimal result, though their psychological effect on soldiers is undeniable. Dragon's teeth have been found in systems far removed from geth space. Shepard also found a cache of dragon's teeth that had been buried on Trebin with no hint of who put them there or when. The geth are clearly stated to have gained their dragon's teeth from the Reapers. Dragon's teeth are also found aboard a Derelict Reaper and were possibly a Reaper method of conquest or even indoctrination. While Husks are used by the Collectors, who are working for the Reapers, it is noted that no dragon's teeth are ever seen in the hands of the Collectors or at any of the colonies they have attacked with the aid of Husks. It is also noted that the Husks being used by the Collectors are more advanced compared to those seen on Eden Prime and the Collectors are also using several Husk variants, although how these issues relate to dragon's teeth remains unknown.
Husks are synthetic "zombies" created from the bodies of organic beings. When a human is captured, they are placed on impaling devices, huge spikes that Alliance marines have nicknamed "dragon's teeth". Over time the body's organs, skin and water content are converted into cybernetic materials; blood is changed to a sickly green fluid, and the body generates an electrical charge. When the spikes are approached — say, if marines try to recover their dead comrades — the Husks are released and attack. The Husks will charge at their enemies and, once close enough, give off a powerful electrical blast which disables shields and causes massive damage. Husks are encountered throughout the game, first on Eden Prime and then anywhere humans have been fighting the geth. No one knows why the geth do this to their captives. It seems like a lot of effort for a small result, though it is effective as a psychological warfare tactic to make soldiers fight their own dead. The geth used a ship full of husks, the MSV Cornucopia, partly as a trap and partly as a warning to other organic races not to enter their space. Cerberus were studying husks as part of their experimental programme into creating a super soldier, and as a test they deliberately exposed a colonial pioneer team on Chasca to dragon's teeth. There were also husks in Saren Arterius' research facility on Virmire, possibly part of his study of indoctrination. When Sovereign "possesses" the implants within Saren's body, the resulting creature strongly resembles a husk, and the Reaper indoctrination effect is similar to the "zombie" nature of husks, which suggests that the dragon's teeth are Reaper technology. A cache of the spikes was found buried on Trebin and had to be excavated by the local research team, but there is no evidence of who put them there or why. Husks are now known to be of Reaper origin. It is noted that the geth gained their dragon's teeth from the Reapers. The Collectors appear to make use of husks along with several new husk variations, namely, the Abomination, Scion, and the Praetorian, all of which are noted to be more advanced than those previously fought by Commander Shepard in Mass Effect. It is also noted that no dragon's teeth are seen at places where the Collectors deploy husks. Shepard and the squad speculate this indicates the husks were transported by the Collectors from elsewhere, although this is never confirmed. These husks are encountered along with Abominations and Scions aboard a derelict Reaper when a science team falls victim to the Reaper's indoctrination. Shepard and the squad finds multiple dragon's teeth onboard, indicating that the husk variants were used by the Reapers at least 37 million years ago. It is currently unknown why the Husks used by the geth were less advanced and no other husk variants were seen alongside the geth. The basic Collector-produced husk seems somewhat different than geth-produced husks, lacking the electrical attack and using armor for defenses rather than kinetic barriers. An excavation team in the Minos Wasteland on the planet Aequitas found a Reaper artifact that creates advanced husks. This device does not resemble dragon's teeth at all, instead featuring an orb of energy that turned the excavation team into Husks with what appears to be a form of indoctrination, according to logs kept by the team, before it started creating more husks. During Mass Effect: Invasion, Husk-like creatures known as Adjutants attack Omega. Following the defeat of the Collectors, Cerberus had established several research bases beyond the Omega 4 Relay to study the various Reaper artifacts discovered there. One of these bases, Avernus Station, was used to study the Reaper-made Adjutants. At some point the Adjutants escape containment and use Cerberus transport ships to travel to Omega. The Adjutants' main goal is to transform organic beings into more Adjutants. If possible, they will try to avoid killing organics so that they can be "infected" instead. After being exposed to an Adjutant, an individual will gradually begin to assume the physical characteristics of an Adjutant as its genetic structure is rewritten. The transformation process has no known cure and can only be stopped by killing infected individuals and removing their heads. An Abomination is a variant of the standard Husk. Abominations glow red rather than blue and act as suicide troops. Abominations first appear in Mass Effect 2. The Abomination will start to glow as it charges towards its target, and it will explode when it gets close. If an Abomination has begun to glow, it will always explode regardless of how it is killed. The Abomination has moderate health. It gains light armor on Hardcore and Insanity difficulty levels. Using Pull on an Abomination is strongly discouraged, as the Abomination may be pulled into close proximity with the player and/or party members before exploding. Instead, powers like Throw, Shockwave and Slam should be used to launch the Abomination back to a safe distance where it will explode away from the party. Incendiary Ammo is moderately effective against Abominations. Unlike regular Husks, the Dominate power can control an Abomination just like other organic enemies. Once controlled, it will run at Shepard's enemies and explode. Abominations, unlike normal Husks, will not be instantly killed if frozen. If their health is depleted while they are frozen, they will not shatter, but will instead explode after defrosting. It isn't always feasible, but prioritizing an Abomination in a group of charging Husks is a good strategy, as the explosion is powerful enough to kill or seriously damage them even at full strength on higher difficulties, saving time and ammo.
The Scion is a type of Husk which appears in Mass Effect 2. It is made from three Husks fused together and grafted around a single mass effect/biotic weapon on the left arm. The blue 'sacks' on their backs contain redundant organs and element zero sources to provide power for their weapons and shockwaves. Scions operate well alone or in pairs, hanging back as several Husks and occasional Abominations rush ahead. Less mobile, Scions provide fire support, lumbering behind the wave of attackers while firing weapons and discharging biotic attacks. The Scion is armed with Shockwave, but unlike the class power, the Scion's version is much more powerful and can deplete Shepard's shields with one hit, penetrate thin cover and knock back enemies, even on the lower difficulties. This powerful blast also travels a long distance. Scions can also create a blast wave at close range which can deplete shields in one hit. If a character is hit with a Shockwave, then it will take noticeably longer for their shields to recharge, though this can be countered with powers like Geth Shield Boost, Tech Armor or Unity, provided Emergency Shielding has been researched. The Scion is very heavily armored, but does not possess any barriers or shields. The armor also serves as its "health".
The Praetorian is a slow-moving flying Collector construction which appears in Mass Effect 2. It consists of thirty deformed Husks fused together, and has a strong barrier and powerful armor (acting as its health), giving it high durability. Commander Shepard engages a Praetorian on two occasions: once at the end of the mission on Horizon, and once during the escape from the Collector Cruiser. Several Praetorians were also involved in the attack on the Normandy SR-2. The Praetorian attacks in two different ways: Particle Beams: When the Praetorian is hovering and has a clear shot, it will fire its particle beam towards its opponent for about 3 seconds, followed by 2.5 seconds of cool-down time. It only takes a couple of seconds of exposure to this weapon to kill Shepard. Death Choir: A ground attack followed by an area effect attack: first, the ground strike knocks the Praetorian's opponent back for about a second. After that, there is only a short period of time left to run away from the area-effect attack, which is likely to cause an instant death. The ground strike is triggered if an opponent is within range of the attack or if the Praetorian's barrier is depleted and its armor has taken a threshold amount of damage (typically when its armor reaches 3/4, 1/2 or 1/4 strength). The Praetorian is invulnerable during this attack. After the attack is complete, its barrier will be fully recharged. The Praetorian has extremely strong armor. At first sight it has no barrier, but the Death Choir gives it a biotic barrier, which recharges after each Death Choir attack.
Oculus are fast-moving devices used by the Collectors to protect the Collector base. It is unknown if they are actual fighters piloted by Collectors, or some form of remotely-controlled or automated drone. Oculus possess powerful beam weapons, similar to other Collector weaponry, and can invade an enemy ship by cutting into its hull after jettisoning part of its armor. The Normandy SR-2 was attacked by several Oculus when attempting to reach the Collector base. The Oculus were apparently left on guard in the local debris field and only activated as the Normandy approached. While most of the Oculus were destroyed by the Normandy's weapons or by accidentally flying into debris, one was able to penetrate the ship's hanger deck, losing its outer shell in the process. It was eventually destroyed by Commander Shepard. It is likely that the Collectors gained the Oculus technology from the Reapers. Jack will be killed by an Oculus' particle beam unless Shepard upgrades the Normandy SR-2 with Heavy Ship Armor. Oculus' beam weapon is much stronger than an ordinary particle beam, and will blast away any shields or barriers in a moment, especially on higher difficulties. Oculus fires its weapon in very long bursts, thus anything longer than a brief exposure to this weapon could be fatal. Oculus has an incredibly strong armor, which acts as its health.
Adjutants are hostile Husk-like creatures that are introduced in Mass Effect: Invasion. Adjutants first appear at the beginning of Mass Effect: Invasion. A Cerberus transport ship returning from a trip to one of the organization's research bases beyond the Omega 4 Relay docks with Omega and releases dozens of Adjutants onto the station. The creatures proceed to attack everything in sight, and advance to the doorstep of the Afterlife Club, the seat of Aria T'Loak's rule over Omega. It is later revealed that Cerberus had kept a colony of Adjutants within its research base at Avernus Station, but somehow they had broken free and were able to take control of the bases' transport ships and escape. Although the first wave of attackers was stopped, more lurked on the other side of the Omega 4 Relay, learning to control Cerberus' better-armed ships. Aria and Petrovsky eventually arrive at Avernus Station and contain the Adjutants, but the damage has been done; the Adjutants' escape was orchestrated by the Illusive Man to distract Aria and allow Cerberus to conquer Omega. Adjutants seemingly have the ability to "infect" other beings with their Reaper-originated technology; a salarian that was attacked by one of the creatures quickly transforms into a new Adjutant. When an Adjutant first transforms, however, it is significantly weaker and needs more time to rewrite the genetic code of its body. This is the ideal time to eliminate the transformed. The only way to stop the transformation from occurring appears to be to kill those who are "infected" or decapitate an infected corpse. The main goal of the Adjutants is to transform other life forms, and to that end they will try to avoid outright killing others since the dead are useless to them.
Banshees are synthetic creatures derived from asari and mutated by Reaper technology. Banshees were first introduced in Mass Effect 3. Frighteningly intelligent, the Banshee are advanced pressure units usually found leading a Reaper strike force. Banshees are created specifically from asari with active or latent predispositions to becoming Ardat-Yakshi. Banshees can also charge their enemies (similar to Biotic Charge). They also have the ability to grab people and subsequently impale them with their hands, resulting in instant death. Sometimes they will stand still and briefly appear to charge up, after which they will scream and release a damaging biotic nova over a surprisingly large area. Finally, they rarely throw powerful projectiles that move slowly but track their target. Banshees possess substantial biotic powers, and can use their biotics to create barriers to protect allies. They can also use their charge ability to move quickly and unpredictably, which can make them very difficult to hit at range. When damaged after their barriers are knocked down, Banshees will sometimes drop to their knees and scream to regenerate. This scream does no damage, and is an opportunity to get in close for melee or shotgun attacks. This is risky however, as the banshee can grab you and kill you instantly. Banshees are the corrupted asari often found leading a Reaper strike force. The Reapers create them specifically from asari with active or latent predispositions to becoming Ardat-Yakshi, a rare neurological condition that enhances the asari's biotic power while causing the immediate death of anyone she mates with. Lumbering as though in constant pain, the emaciated banshees are suprisingly durable opponents. They are devastating biotics able to hurl lethal balls of energy and create shockwaves as they regenerate. What Alliance military finds most disturbing is the Banshee's ability to spawn her own warp field and seemingly teleport during combat. Although their wails have no apparent physiological effect, the psychological impact is undeniable. When banshees die, their Ardat-Yakshi genetics twist against them, causing a biotic implosion to ensure they evade capture.
The Breeder is a rachni queen genetically engineered by the Reapers, which appears in the Attican Traverse: Krogan Team mission on Utukku. The Breeder only appears if the rachni queen was killed by Commander Shepard on Noveria. Unlike the first rachni queen, the Breeder will prove untrustworthy if set free by Shepard, and result in the loss of the Aralakh Company of krogan as war assets. The Breeder is entrenched deep within the tunnels on Uttuku, guarded by Reaper technology and barriers controlled by local nodes. It speaks through the mouths of the dead krogan scout team, many of whom are suspended on the walls by the same webbing encountered on the way into the central chamber.
Brutes are synthetic creatures derived from krogan and turians and mutated by Reaper technology. Brutes were first introduced in Mass Effect 3. Brutes possess an over-sized claw arm that can grab and smash the player into the ground. This can result in instant death. Brutes are protected by thick, metal plates that can be shot off. Once you spot a brute, concentrate everything on him as he can one hit kill you and your team. Avoid engaging up close at all costs. If the brute did manage to come into close range and performs a charging attack against the player, the game will slow down for a brief moment. A well timed combat roll during this window will allow the player to get out of the way unharmed. If the brute charges at and impacts a squad member, it will usually drop their shields and then quickly follow up with a wide melee attack, often incapacitating them. The Brute is a hulking amalgamation of turian and krogan victims of the Reapers. Because tissue from dextro-protein species like the turians is incompatible with levo-protein species like the krogan, implants regulate the brute's body chemistry to combat organ rejection. It is the fusion of turian military skill and krogan blood rage that makes the brute such a formidable enemy, capable of destroying armored vehicles to get to the soldiers inside. Troops are advised to keep their distance, and, whenever possible, not engage a brute alone.
Cannibals are synthetic creatures based on batarians and humans that have been taken and mutated by the Reapers during their invasion of the galaxy, which began in batarian space. During the Reaper attack on Earth in Mass Effect 3, Cannibals form a significant portion of the Reaper ground forces, along with Husks. Cannibals possess a large gun held in place by a human corpse that serves as an arm. This gun is fairly powerful, and can kill the player easily if they're not careful. From this same arm cannon, they can also launch Frag Grenades. Cannibals have the ability to regenerate health by consuming other fallen enemies on the battlefield. They often take cover to avoid fire, albeit not as effectively as Assault Troopers. When Cannibals consume fallen enemies, they gain plating on their body which protects them from damage in that area until they are shot off. Cannibals are front-line Reaper units created from corrupted batarians. The nickname refers to their propensity to devour the bodies of fallen comrades. This triggers a biochemical process through which the cannibals simultaneously heal themselves and grow new chitinous armor. The transformation also appears to give cannibals a greater awareness of their surroundings, leading to more strategic behavior and careful use of battlefield cover.
Harvesters are synthetic creatures derived from creatures of the same name that have been mutated by Reaper technology. Harvesters were first introduced in Mass Effect 3. Harvesters are armed with two head-mounted cannons and can spawn additional enemies during combat. The sight of a Reaper Harvester in flight nearby is one of the first indications that a Reaper invasion is underway. Their massive wingspan allows them to quickly cover the distance between them and their prey. In the Harvester's mouth are two heavy guns that fire in an alternating pattern. The Harvester's most fearsome quality, however, is that its appearance guarantees that Reaper ground troops are not far behind.
Marauders are synthetic creatures derived from turians and mutated by Reaper technology. Marauders were first introduced in Mass Effect 3. Marauders are a common enemy later on in the game, commonly deployed with Cannibals. They are often armed with shields. Marauders are armed with Phaeston assault rifles. Marauders have the ability to resurrect and provide shielding for its allies. It is advisable to keep a constant pressure on marauders during a fight, since a marauder that is not busy firing or hiding will fortify allies or resurrect fallen comrades at an alarming rate. Marauders are harvested turians that command and protect other Reaper troops. The lean, armored creatures present a significant threat in and of themselves, but they are especially dangerous when leading a Reaper task force. Alliance marines have observed marauders fortifying husks and cannibals by enveloping them in a ribbon of energy that forms a scabby shell of armor. For this reason, when Alliance soldiers encounter a marauder alongside husks or cannibals, standing orders are to target the marauder first.
Ravagers are synthetic creatures derived from rachni and mutated by Reaper technology that appear in Mass Effect 3. They are mobile artillery pieces, with two limbs serving as weapon emplacements. Ravagers are armed with two long-range cannons. The large, fragile sacs on their bodies can be punctured, releasing several Swarmers. These creatures, though individually fragile, are volatile in large groups, and can hinder shield regeneration in smaller teams. The sacks on ravager body serve as its weak points. Popping all four sacks will result in an instant kill against the ravager. Ravagers are former rachni that the Reapers have transformed into heavy artillery through a process of implantation and genetic modification. As walking organic turrets, they can sustain and inflict considerable damage. Ravagers bear egg sacs that continuously spawn swarmers. If the sacs are destroyed, either during combat or upon the ravager's death, their entire contents burst forth to charge the enemy and explode on contact. A dead ravager expels a caustic gas and an acidic puddle. Alliance scientists have theorized that it is easiest for the Reapers to maintain control over units of rachni genetic extraction because of the species' neurological predisposition for hive-mind consensus.
Swarmers are synthetic creatures, presumably derived from Rachni, mutated by Reaper technology. Swarmers can be spawned by puncturing one of the large orange sacs found on Ravagers or by destroying Gestation Pods. Swarmers are volatile in large groups and can hinder shield regeneration with constant attacks. Namely, Swarmers attack by a suicide leap at the player, damaging with both the explosion and a little bit of acid damage. Swarmers are very weak with only a small amount of health. Slow moving and fragile, these small targets are easy to miss. The easiest way to remove them from the field is the biotic attack Singularity, as Shockwave tends to miss them, and a Singularity in place lets you pop a Ravager's sacs while protecting you from the Swarmers. Area of Effect (radius) powers or weapons like the Falcon Assault Rifle, any kind of grenades, or even overload and energy drain are the next best thing. In fact, the Swarmers are so fragile that merely getting a direct hit with the grenades themselves kills them instantly. Afterwards, the explosions will very easily take out entire armies of Swarmers at once.
The Hades Cannon is an anti-aircraft weapon of Reaper design. It is a massive directed-energy cannon, capable of being mounted on the back of a Destroyer-class Reaper. Several Hades Cannons were utilized by the Reapers during their assault and occupation of Earth. They appear capable of destroying ships up to at least cruiser size, as the assault force Hammer has a hard time landing anything larger than a shuttle.
Even with all of the Reapers' power, harvesting every sapient species in an entire galaxy can take decades or even centuries. The most time-consuming part of the process is gathering DNA from the population. To accelerate the effort, the Reapers follow a consistent procedure. Victims who cooperate, surrender, or are captured by husks are sorted into camps. It is believed the husks possess receptors that allow them to analyze a victim's DNA through sight, smell, or touch. Victims that meet their standards are herded from the camps into processor ships. Those the husks deem insufficient are either turned into husks themselves or indoctrinated to serve as slave labor. The Reapers use this last option to give their victims false hope -- many captives who would otherwise fight back become docile when they see members of their own kind obey and survive. The processor ships reduce victims to a transportable liquid. Like in a slaughterhouse, the ships' design prevents victims from seeing or hearing what happens elsewhere so that they do not panic. The victims are ushered into locking pods, then rent apart and dissolved into paste that is flushed to storage vats. The rate of killing is phenomenal. Intelligence estimates suggest there are more than 400 processor ships on Earth, killing approximately 1.86 million humans per day. In combination with battlefield deaths, disease, and famine, this pace will result in the complete depopulation of Earth within a decade. As the husks and indoctrinated slaves build more slaughtering facilities, the kill rate can only increase.