When searching for a colony to retire to, Alliance hero Jon Grissom said he wanted "the one where the sun has the decency to set at a reasonable time." Elysium fulfilled this criteria and many more, featuring low gravity, tolerable atmospheric pressure, and a suitable climate. Humans and aliens alike flocked to the "alpine paradise" early in its colonial years, and the planet remains a vibrant hub for both visitors and permanent residents.
Security is a constant concern for Elysium; the planet has suffered several pirate or mercenary attacks, including the Skyllian Blitz of 2176. Elysium's airspace is secured by mobile planetary defense cannons--its armed starship complement is relatively light. Materiel and volunteers from Elysium formed part of the Alliance Second Fleet, which was stationed near Arcturus before the fleet was destroyed by the Reapers.
Founded in 2160, Elysium is humanity's oldest colony in the Skyllian Verge, only a few hours travel from Sidon. Strategically placed at the nexus of several primary and secondary mass relays, the colony quickly became a major hub for travel and commerce. The population grew fast: in 2165, only five years after its founding, it boasted a population of several million inhabitants, nearly half of them aliens. Due to the fact half of Elysium's population is non-human, requiring extra screening procedures, security there is very tight.
Its remote location in the Skyllian Verge was ideal for the retirement of Alliance hero Jon Grissom. He arrived on the colony in 2160 and five years later became involved in an investigation into the attack on an Alliance research station. In 2176, the Jon Grissom Academy space station was commissioned in Grissom's honor. Grissom himself always refused invitations and never visited the station. He remained on Elysium until his death in 2186, at the age of 75.
The Skyllian Blitz
In 2176, the colony was attacked by a large force of mercenaries and pirates under the command of Elanos Haliat in what would become known as the Skyllian Blitz. The Alliance repulsed that attack, leading to significant increases in patrols throughout the Terminus Systems. One of the ships at Elysium was the frigate SSV Agincourt. Navigator Pressly served aboard her and earned his commission after the Blitz. Haliat may be encountered by Commander Shepard in 2183.
If Shepard has the War Hero background, the Commander was on shore leave on Elysium when the Blitz occurred. Shepard rallied a resistance force and managed to single-handedly repulse the enemy ground force long enough for reinforcements to arrive.
Mass Effect 2
Elysium was not attacked by the Collectors in 2185, but the possibility of attack hurt the colony nonetheless. All traffic and trade from Illium to Elysium was canceled in response to a security advisory about the Collector threat, hampering the colony's economic development.
If Commander Shepard has the War Hero background, a news report mentions that a memorial was built to commemorate Shepard.
- The planet is probably named after the Elysian Fields from Greek mythology, the final resting place for the souls of the heroic and virtuous.
- Elysium's capital city, Illyria, was the name of a region located in the western part of the Balkan Penninsula, stretching from northern Albania to Slovenia.