|This article is about the Shadow Broker in general. For information and tactics on fighting the Shadow Broker, see Shadow Broker (enemy).|
The Shadow Broker is an individual at the head of an expansive organization which trades in information, always selling to the highest bidder. The Shadow Broker appears to be highly competent at its trade: all secrets that are bought and sold never allow one customer of the Broker to gain a significant advantage, forcing the customers to continue trading information to avoid becoming disadvantaged, allowing the Broker to remain in business.
Mass Effect: Foundation Edit
Mass Effect: Foundation 1 Edit
In 2161, the Shadow Broker tasked Brooks, an associate, to kill a man named Roth and to transfer Roth's funds to Barla Von, another associate of the Broker. Roth was funding Cerberus, a pro-human terrorist organisation. Though Brooks didn't find Roth, she did manage to find out where Roth was hiding from his decoy before killing him. Brooks then attempted to board a shuttle headed for Earth, where Roth was hiding. However, she was shot and left for dead by a little girl who she had worked with previously, inadvertently derailing the Broker's plan.
Mass Effect: Foundation 11 Edit
At some point in its tenure, the Shadow Broker was directly responsible for the Verrikan's destruction. One of its clients wanted to embarrass the Turian Hierarchy, requiring one of their more renowned frigates to be destroyed conspicuously. Hireling Zaeed Massani got to the Broker's good side, who in return tasked him with completing this job. The Broker delivered the terms to Zaeed on a holo-meeting, the majority of its features concealed but showing the massive outline of its body.
Mass Effect Edit
The Shadow Broker's identity is unknown to the general public in 2183; the Broker always operates through an agent. Barla Von refers to the Broker as "he" for convenience's sake, but tells Commander Shepard that he believes the Shadow Broker is a group of individuals: it does not seem possible for a single individual to monitor all of the available information and have such a wide sphere of influence.
The Shadow Broker was part of the reason Tali came to the Citadel: the data file she has proving Saren Arterius had gone rogue put her in danger, but was too valuable to waste. She wanted to trade the information for a safe place to hide, so Dr. Chloe Michel put her in touch with the club owner Fist, who worked for the Broker. However, unknown to her, Fist had changed his allegiances to Saren. The Broker was furious at this treachery, hiring Wrex to assassinate Fist.
Cerberus Data Edit
If Shepard raids a Cerberus base on Nepheron as part of a mission, an agent for the Shadow Broker initiates comm contact aboard the SSV Normandy, wanting to buy the Cerberus files the team managed to recover. According to the agent, Admiral Kahoku bought the Broker's services to find Cerberus' location, in return for passing on any files he discovered. However, all the Shadow Broker could find out was that there was Cerberus activity in the Voyager Cluster.
Shepard can agree or refuse to sell the information. If Shepard refuses, the Shadow Broker's agent claims the information will be dug out of the Alliance databases eventually. Either way, the agent assures Shepard that this encounter will not be forgotten by his employer the next time Shepard needs the Broker's assistance.
Mass Effect: Redemption Edit
When the two follow Tazzik to the Broker's base on Alingon, they come face-to-face with the Broker, so to speak, as an obscure shadowy figure. Liara talks to him while Feron downloads all the information on the Broker's dealings with the Collectors.
When asked why he would sell Shepard to the Collectors, who may be working for the Reapers, the Broker answers that it is simply business. He doesn't believe that the Collectors could gain anything from a corpse. When Liara gets close enough to take a good look at the Broker, she finds that it is just a machine he's communicating through. But before the Broker could alert his men to their presence, Feron had finished downloading and Liara unleashes a powerful display of biotics, disabling the communications in the room.
While the transaction for Shepard's corpse continues on the base, Liara and Feron attempt to fool Tazzik and the Collector intermediary into thinking the Broker is unhappy with the payment and is terminating the arrangement. The Collector General accuses the Broker of treachery through a direct line. The Broker assures the Collector that Feron doesn't speak for him, reporting the loss of his link to Alingon. Despite the General exposing Feron's duplicity through the intermediary, Liara is able to escape with Shepard's body, but is forced to leave Feron behind.
Mass Effect 2 Edit
In 2185, the Shadow Broker is being pursued by Liara T'Soni due to Feron's capture. Unbeknownst to Liara, the Broker has a double agent in her employ named Nyxeris to monitor her progress and, when possible, to kill her. It is also heavily implied by Liara that the Shadow Broker is an individual.
Lair of the Shadow Broker Edit
- Main article: Lair of the Shadow Broker (mission)
After tracking down and infiltrating the Shadow Broker's ship, Shepard and Liara break into the Broker's intel center and confront him in person. The Shadow Broker is revealed to be a member of a pre-spaceflight race called the yahg. Liara surmises that because the yahg were not discovered until 2125 CE and the Broker's ship is considerably older than that, this yahg usurped the original Shadow Broker years ago and has been running the organization ever since.
In the Dossiers terminal found in the ship's intel center, a personal file about the Shadow Broker can be read. The file's messages reveal that after the yahg's homeworld Parnack was discovered and then declared off-limits in 2125 CE, the original Shadow Broker had his operatives abduct a yahg for him to study. The captured yahg proved highly intelligent and adaptable. With the Shadow Broker's support, the yahg killed the operative that was monitoring him and assumed the operative's identity, attaining a high rank within the organization as "Operative Kechlu". Sometime later, the Shadow Broker became aware that "Operative Kechlu" was a threat and attempted to eliminate him, but was beaten to the chase by "Kechlu". The yahg seamlessly took on the role of Shadow Broker and maintained the organization for the next six decades.
Future Plans Edit
At some point during his reign, the Shadow Broker became aware of the Reapers and the true nature of the Collectors. Liara T'Soni suggests his dealings with the Collectors were a selfish and ill-conceived attempt to ensure his own survival from the Reapers' coming genocide. Ultimately, the Shadow Broker was never given the chance to further his plans.
Liara, Shepard, and a third teammate attempt to battle the Shadow Broker in his own office. The Broker manages to incapacitate the third squadmate before the fight even begins. It takes Shepard and Liara extensive teamwork to catch the yahg off guard, turning his own kinetic technology against him as he dies in a fiery explosion. With the death of the yahg Broker, Liara T'Soni steps into the role of Shadow Broker herself.
As Shepard and Liara had killed the few operatives aware of the Broker's true identity, Liara could take over without anyone else in the organization suspecting a transition. Liara is well aware of the power at her disposal, telling Shepard she can use the information network to start a war in ten minutes if she wanted to, but vows to not abuse her position and to help Shepard find a way to combat the Reapers.
Mass Effect: Homeworlds Edit
- Main article: Liara T'Soni
Liara T'Soni becomes the Shadow Broker herself and assumes control of his organization regardless of Shepard's involvement. Liara has been trying to sift through the Broker's Reaper-related files, but quickly finds herself overwhelmed with too much information.
The Broker's behavior has been a subject of scrutiny in some circles. The old Broker, according to the Illusive Man's assessment, kept his subjects in line through fear. In the galactic black market, people are beginning to sense that the Shadow Broker is "going soft."
Mass Effect 3 Edit
Cerberus attempted to take over the Shadow Broker operations prior to the Reaper invasion of 2186, but Liara opted to crash the Broker's ship into one of their cruisers, only taking the operating necessities with her.
She sets up her Broker equipment aboard Miranda Lawson's former quarters in the renovated Normandy SR-2, resuming eavesdropping operations and directing the flow of her resources for the war. Her network of agents is intact, but the war is taking a toll on their numbers. Some of the Broker's resources are scattered across the galaxy, awaiting discovery.
Even during the war, very few people are aware of the Shadow Broker's identity: Liara has made no steps to expose herself. Long-time underlings like Barla Von are unaware of any change. Urdnot Wrex, if he's alive, may only make snide allusions regarding it.
Troop Varieties Edit
As befits such an influential and well-funded criminal figure, the Shadow Broker has a private army at their disposal to carry out operations that require the application of force. All Shadow Broker troops wear black and white armor, and bear the Shadow Broker's insignia: a triangular red emblem that strongly resembles a yahg's maw.
Known Associates Edit
- The Shadow Broker has classified personal files about himself which can be accessed aboard his ship.
- The Shadow Broker will make a short comment dependent on Shepard's progress through the game, as well as decisions. Prior to completion of the Suicide Mission, the Broker will state that his deal with the Collectors for Shepard's body is still open. After the suicide mission, the Broker will state that he will take the Normandy's Reaper IFF in order to travel beyond the Omega 4 Relay to take the Collector Base or salvage the remains of it, depending on Shepard's choice.
- The Shadow Broker makes a short comment about getting use out of whoever Shepard brought as a third teammate. This comment varies based on who is brought along, but he has a unique comment for all squad members.
- According to concept artist Matt Rhodes, the design brief for the Shadow Broker was "He's basically Ares, in space."