Forums: Index > Watercooler > Harbinger's race opinions

  • If Garrus is in the squad while Harbinger is controlling a Collector it will state "Turian, you are considered too... primitive"
  • If Grunt is in the squad while Harbinger is controlling a Collector it will state "Krogan, sterilized race, potential wasted"
  • If Samara is in the squad while Harbinger is controlling a Collector it will state "Asari, reliance upon alien species for reproduction shows genetic weakness" (which is ironic considering that the Reapers require genetic material from an organic race to construct the Human-Reaper)
  • If Mordin is in the squad while Harbinger is controlling a Collector it will state "Salarian, life span too short, genetic code too fragile"
  • If Thane is in the squad while Harbinger is controlling a Collector it will state "Drell, useless... insufficient numbers"
  • If Tali is in the squad while Harbinger is controlling a Collector it will state "Quarian, considered due to cybernetic augmentation, weak immune system too debilitating"
  • If Jack is in the squad while Harbinger is controlling a Collector it will state "Human, viable possibility .... impressive biotic potential."

It is likely that Harbinger is indicating why humans were picked to make the reaper and not another species.

This just reminded me of something; how would we understand the Collector's language? My personal opinion is that because of them studying the different races, they learned the different languages of the different species and uses their language when talking to them (i.e. when mentioning Garrus, Harbringer's speaking in Turian, about Grunt in Krogan, etc.) Does anyone else have any ideas as to how we can understand something? Or did I just miss something in-game and am making myself look like an idiot? CAW4 01:27, March 5, 2010 (UTC)

My best guess is towards the end of ME1, just prior to passing through the conduit, you learn that Shepard can understand the language of the Protheans due to the interactions with the two beacons during the game. The Collectors are repurposed Protheans thus making the language understandable. At least by Shepard anyway. AVRakk3187 12:49, March 22, 2010 (UTC)


From Harbinger's audio files, he has a comments for each squad member, in addition to the ones already listed.

Miranda - "Human, viable possibility... impressive genetic malleability."

Zaeed - "Human, viable possibility. Aggression factor useful if controlled."

Jacob - "Human, viable possibility, if emotional drives are subjugated."

Kasumi (my guess since nobody else fits) - "Human, viable possibility... impressive technical potential."

He also has this to say about Legion:

"Geth, an annoyance... limited utility."

As for the languages, remember that Harbinger is a Reaper, not a Collector. Since Sovereign was also able to communicate with Saren and Shepard, as well as their followers, during the first Mass Effect, the Reapers evidently understand modern languages. Collectors make gibberish chattering sounds in combat, if that is their native language it is not well defined enough to be automatically translated. When assuming control, Harbinger speaks in its own voice through the Collector. Since translators allow any species to hear speech in the language they understand, it doesn't really matter which language Harbinger speaks in as long as it is one that is currently understood across the galaxy. Dr. Abysmal 22:35, March 6, 2010 (UTC)


Most likely there gibbering is the same as geth's, since they're cyborgs, they talk wireless.


There is absolutely no way that Harbinger is a Reaper. The cutscenes make that pretty clear as you SEE Harbinger in a clearly Collector-styled body (which is organic), as well as the fact that it is well known that Reapers are gigantic robots - ala Sovereign. The Codex says that the "evolution" of a Collector body to become Harbinger in the field is Biotic/organic of some form, not robotic in any way like Saren. It is true, however, that Harbinger only needs to speak one language recognized by the Citadel races and their translator would pick it up. As for why the rest of the Collectors cannot be understood, keep in mind that the Reapers have vastly altered pretty much everything about them. It is not outwith the realm of reason that their base language has changed also - it was noted in the Codex that they are now mere slaves, almost husk-like but with more control. It may not even be language at all, but simply primative noises. Harbinger can speak because he is further evolved (again, stated in-game).

Also, I have no idea what the guy talking about Geth is even trying to imply. ~ 02:41, March 9, 2010 (UTC)


If your going to post stuff up here, please finish the game first. This guy clearly did not get half-way.


Yup. "There is absolutely no way that Harbinger is a Reaper." Well, other than the fact that it is shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Harbinger IS a Reaper, there's nothing wrong with that sentence! :P While the Codex says that "the "evolution" of a Collector body to become Harbinger in the field is Biotic/organic of some form, not robotic in any way like Saren", the Codex also says that Sovereign is just a ship, nothing more, and that the rachni are extinct. There are some Codex entries that are deliberately vague, so as not to ruin major plot twists with spoilers. Spoilers like the fact that the Collector everyone thinks is Harbinger... isn't, and that Harbinger is really the Reaper controlling that Collector. This, btw, is also clearly shown in the cutscenes. It's just shown in cutscenes later in the game then the ones showing just the faux-Harbinger (aka the Collector General). Silly kids, this forum is for grown-ups! :P SpartHawg948 10:28, March 10, 2010 (UTC)


Harbinger was not the Collector with the large head and yellow eyes, that is the Collector General. Harbinger is the reaper in the holographic display in the center of the General's command center. Harbinger has the same body as Sovereign; and the final cutscene clearly shows Harbinger and the rest of the reapers beginning their journey from dark space, along with a datapad being handed to Shepard showing a reaper. Dtemps123 02:54, March 9, 2010 (UTC)


It would appear that for most of the game, the player is supposed to think that Harbinger is the Collector General, which is also reflected in the Codex entries about Collectors. Then the ending cutscene makes it very apparent that they are separate entities. As the base explodes, the booming Harbinger voice tells the Collector General "You have failed. We will find another way. Releasing control." At this point the Collector's eyes stop glowing as it looks up at the Reaper hologram. Shepard also informs the Illusive Man that Harbinger is coming and won't be alone, even after the Collectors have been defeated, implying that Shepard has also figured out that Harbinger is a Reaper. The way it seems to work is that Harbinger possesses the Collector General, who then uses its command console to transfer control to Collectors in the field as Harbinger sees fit. When Shepard kills a Harbinger possessed Collector, it transfers back to the General who can then begin the process again. Dr. Abysmal 09:17, March 9, 2010 (UTC)

I belive SHepherd has a translator on that processes all know languages into english for him/her, i came to this conclusion during an interaction with Thane where shepherd says "i think my translator is broken" Antily3f 22:19, March 10, 2010 (UTC)

It's not just your belief. There is a codex entry, possibly with the Bring Down the Sky expansion that details how translators work. It notes that just as Earth has thousands of languages, so to do most alien species. Learning them all is fundamentally impossible (though learning more than one is considered a sign of sophistication), so cheap real time language processors, either external or implanted, are necessary for functioning. Every time they hook up to the extranet they download updates which are provided by every Citadel species and most non-Citadel species; even the batarians provide translation software, because the alternative is to be voiceless. ShadowRanger 22:46, March 10, 2010 (UTC)

Most, if not all of Harbinger's quotes (including the squad member specific ones) can be found here:

At the end of the game Harbinger had been shown to be controlling the Collector General (whom had a different appearance from the other Collectors) much in the same way Sovereign was controlling Saren. This implies Reapers like to use proxies to weaken the species currently inhabiting the galaxy prior to appearing themselves to wipe out everything then disappearing to allow new species to flourish before repeating the cycle. That said, Harbinger was shown with the Reaper fleet going towards what appeared to be a wormhole.Spacedone 06:05, May 13, 2010 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.