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The M29 "Grizzly" Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) was the standard "battle taxi" of Systems Alliance Marines for nearly thirty years. However, while excellent in long-term planetary campaigns, the Grizzly's bulk and weight made it unsuitable for rapid deployment across the Alliance's expanding sphere of influence. To fill this increasingly important role, the M35 "Mako" IFV was designed to fit in the small cargo bays of Alliance scouting frigates. The M35's small size and low weight allow it to be easily deployed to virtually any world.
Grizzlies are several meters longer than the Mako; however, when stripped of its antenna and turret, they are roughly the same height. With these optional features, the Grizzlies are taller than a Mako. Six people, including the driver, can fit inside the vehicle. The Grizzlies are compartmentalized into a driver/antenna/engine compartment and a passenger/turret compartment. There is a crew hatch in the driver/engine compartment. The vehicle's power cells are located in the front of this compartment. These cells power the systems aboard the vehicle and provide propulsion power to the wheels located on either side of the passenger/turret compartment. All six wheels of the vehicle are protected by wheel covers.
The military-grade Grizzly can be equipped with either an antenna/turret package, or an antenna, minus turret, package. The oldest recorded use of the Grizzly was a turret-less variant used in a skirmish of the First Contact War. This skirmish was recreated as a simulation at the Pinnacle Station. These Grizzlies were painted in the white paint typical of Alliance Navy vehicles.
With the success of the Grizzlies, the civilian-grade VT7 was introduced minus the antenna and turret. The VT7s were painted brown with orange highlights.
The Grizzly can be maintained by one of two methods. The easiest approach is for the vehicle to be parked over a trench. This approach is seen in the garage at Port Hanshan on Noveria. Another approach is to raise the vehicle as seen in the southernmost torch facility on Asteroid X57. With this approach, the vehicle is supported by gantries holding the first and rearmost tires.
The military-grade variants were used by the Systems Alliance and corporations tasked with the security (ERCS) and colonization (ExoGeni Corporation) of planets. The Alliance will occasionally ship these vehicles to warlords for their cooperation and assistance in handling local security issues. For example, the Alliance delivered two fully equipped M29s to Lord Darius on Nonuel for use against the batarians in the Skyllian Verge. Even less common, these variants will find their way into mercenary groups like the one on Presrop.
Grizzlies can be found on various uncharted worlds, usually parked next to outposts (possibly as a rudimentary power source), discovered as wreckage, abandoned in their garages or stripped of necessary supplies. There are seven of these vehicles on Feros – including two that have crashed into the tunnels and several on the Prothean Skyway – and several on Noveria along the Aleutsk Valley that have been destroyed by the geth (and, in one case, actually crashed into Peak 15's garage door).
- M29A Grizzly (military-grade variant, antenna/turret)
- Locations: Edolus, Feros, Nonuel, Presrop
- Locations where usable: Noveria (hack it before you kill all of the geth in the garage, you cannot move but you can use the turret to deal with the geth)
- M29B Grizzly (military-grade variant, antenna only)
- Locations: Asteroid X57, Feros, Noveria
- VT7 (civilian-grade variant)
- Locations: Klensal, Presrop, Trebin
- According to The Art of Mass Effect, this vehicle was an early concept for the Mako, but the developers didn't like how it performed in gameplay. They liked the look of it and kept it in the game as a static object.
- At the Port Hanshan garage, the M29 Grizzly is referred as Mako.
Galactic Codex Entry: .