Legion is the name taken by the gestalt consciousness formed by 1,183 geth programs inhabiting a unique geth "mobile platform".
Mass Effect 2
Legion is a unique geth mobile platform, designed to operate outside the Perseus Veil and interact with organics. To that purpose, it houses 1,183 geth programs, as opposed to the roughly one hundred found in other platforms, enabling it to operate independently and speak. In order to facilitate communication with organics, Legion possesses several panels on its "head" that move to simulate facial expressions. These flaps serve the same purpose as eyebrows in organics, raising to imply surprise or interest and folding forward (much like the furrowing of the brow) to show concentration.
It was created and dispatched following Commander Shepard's destruction of the Old Machine "Nazara", known to the rest of the galaxy as Sovereign, investigating several of the worlds Shepard visited — Eden Prime, Therum, Feros, Noveria, Virmire, Ilos, and a dozen uncharted worlds. Eventually it found the Normandy's crash site on the planet Alchera, salvaging a piece of Shepard's N7 armor and incorporating it into itself to repair damage sustained on Eden Prime after being shot by Alliance soldiers. If questioned about specifically using Shepard's N7 armour to repair itself, Legion becomes evasive, first rationalizing that "there was a hole" and then stating "no data available" after being pressed. This suggests that the use of Shepard's armor was an irrational decision, which goes against the concept that every action the geth take is the result of calculation, unaffected by emotion.
Legion is first encountered while searching for the IFF on the Derelict Reaper. It is surprised to find Commander Shepard (to whom it refers as Shepard-Commander) alive, but assists Shepard's team against the husks roaming the dead ship. Eventually, it is disabled by a husk while opening the way for them to reach the ship's mass effect core. Shepard decides to take the disabled geth along, and once clear of the dead Reaper, thinks about what to do with it next. The geth can be sold to Cerberus for research (as intact geth are hard to come by), or kept stored under guard in the Normandy SR-2's AI Core. It can then be reactivated for Shepard to interrogate it.
When the geth does not appear to be hostile, it expresses its wish to help Shepard's mission, at which point it will join Shepard's team. When Shepard asks the geth its name, it simply states "Geth". Not satisfied, the Commander rephrases the question until EDI steps in and, referring to the number of programs active in the single mobile platform, quotes a passage from Mark 5:9 in the New Testament — "My name is Legion: for we are many". The geth accepts this to be an "appropriate metaphor" and is henceforth known as Legion.
Legion speaks in a straightforward and laconic fashion, often answering with single words. When it uses whole sentences, their word structure is very organized. Legion regards itself not as a single being, but as a gestalt entity which must achieve consensus to act. Legion expresses admiration for EDI, because unlike the geth, who are made up of different processes that rely on each other, EDI handles all the functions on the Normandy by herself, though Legion also questions how she manages to maintain stability. Legion occasionally expresses its disapproval of how EDI's activities and development are shackled aboard the Normandy.
Legion can, if asked, give more insight into the geth, and often expresses interest in philosophical questions. It also discusses the geth-quarian war, referring to the quarians as "creators", which is also how it addresses Tali and some quarians the squad encounters. Legion will, if prompted by Shepard, play back an audio recording from the geth collective memory, in which an early geth haltingly asks its quarian master whether or not it has a soul, an event mentioned by Tali in 2183. Legion clarifies that this wasn't the first time a geth had asked the question, but it was the first time the question frightened the quarians.
- Main article: Legion: A House Divided
After a while, Legion will inform Shepard that geth are actually apathetic towards organics. Those geth fighting organics are "heretics" following the Reapers or, as the geth call them, "The Old Machines". Legion will explain that the heretics are developing a virus that will turn all geth into followers of the Reapers and asks Shepard to head to an old, heretic-held quarian space station in order to destroy the virus threatening the peaceful geth. Legion later discovers this virus could have another purpose: rewriting the hostile heretics to peacefully rejoin the geth.
After both Legion's and Tali's loyalty missions are completed, a conflict arises between each other after Tali catches Legion scanning her omni-tool for information on the Flotilla to be sent back to the geth. Legion maintains that it is merely warning the geth of the threat they face from the quarians' tests and their plans to attack the geth. If the conflict is resolved without Shepard picking sides, Legion agrees not to transmit the data back to geth while Tali thanks Legion and offers non-classified information on the Flotilla to Legion. If Shepard sides with Tali, then Shepard loses Legion's loyalty, but the Commander has the opportunity to regain it in a later conversation.
Mass Effect 3
Legion returns to fight the Reapers, provided it survived Shepard's attack on the Collector base and was not sold to Cerberus. If Shepard decided to sell Legion to Cerberus, it will appear as an enemy during the attack on Cronos Station, but will behave no differently than a Nemesis. If Legion did not survive Shepard's attack on the Collector base, was sold to Cerberus, or was never activated, a Geth VI is constructed in Legion's likeness.
Regardless of whether the heretics were rewritten or destroyed, the quarians decide to attack the geth. Fearing their creators intended to exterminate them and with no alternative option, the geth entered an alliance with the Reapers, allowing themselves to be controlled by the Reapers in exchange for gaining greater intelligence and fighting ability. The Reapers exert their control via a signal that is broadcast throughout the fleet.
Hackett tells Shepard that the quarians may be able to help in the ongoing Reaper war, but there has been a disturbing lack of information coming from the fleet. Shepard meets up with the quarian admirals and it is determined that the fleet is pinned on Tikkun due to a giant geth dreadnought broadcasting the Reapers' control signal. Shepard is tasked with disabling this signal within the dreadnought, accompanied by a quarian with geth expertise — either Tali or Admiral Xen. It is during this mission that Shepard runs into Legion and finds the geth trapped within a Reaper device in the dreadnought's drive core, where it is forced to transmit the Reaper signal. By rescuing Legion, the signal is terminated.
Aboard the Normandy, Legion provides intelligence on how the Reapers exercise control over its people. It mentions that by accepting Reaper aid, the geth have become upgraded. While geth normally operate strictly off codes or programs, the reaper virus allows their thought processes to become more "organic" in nature, giving them the possibility of true consciousness. The geth find it "beautiful", indicative of life, and will die for it. Legion reports that while the organics have destroyed the long range control signal, there is still a short-range backup being deployed somewhere on Rannoch. It devotes most of its time searching for its whereabouts inside the War Room.
If Shepard asks, Legion reveals details about its activities. After the suicide run on the Collector base, Legion returned to the consensus. Data gathered during its time with Shepard confirmed that the Old Machines' return was imminent, and geth planned for war. Shepard asks if the other geth believed Legion's proof, and dryly comments it must've been nice when Legion says they did.
On the subject of what interfacing with a Reaper feels like, Legion describes that even with the Reapers' total control the geth still could not comprehend them. Legion does not view the Old Machines as deities, but the experience has given it perspective on why others imbue them with godlike qualities.
Legion provides the location of a geth server coordinating fighter squadron attacks on the quarian liveships. Shepard can choose to take out the server. Legion connects the Commander's mind to the geth consensus through an interface derived from Project Overlord but far more refined. It then guides Shepard throughout the mission, distracting the consensus' intrusion countermeasures while Shepard purges the Reaper code pervading the system. During the mission, Legion explains the context of video logs from before and during the Morning War that Shepard uncovers.
The mission is successful and back in the real world a number of Geth Primes start activating inside the base they infiltrated. Legion reveals that the Primes were geth software liberated from the servers who renounced the Old Machines and are willing to fight alongside the organics. It didn't reveal its intentions sooner because while it didn't doubt Shepard, it feared the Commander's allies. The quarians sanctioned the operation to save their own people and would not have done so if they knew the geth wished to be preserved as well.
Eventually, the location of the elusive Reaper base is made known. En route to the place, Legion reveals that it still carries remnants of the Old Machine code. Whatever Shepard's reaction, the geth states that it did not intend to cause offense. Legion uses its upgrades to break any geth security during the mission and eventually acquires an escape vehicle that Shepard and company use after learning that the short-range "signal booster" is an actual Reaper.
Shepard disembarks from the vehicle and sends the rest away to safety, with Legion wishing Shepard-Commander good luck. Using the targeting laser, Normandy's targeting systems and the might of the Migrant Fleet, Shepard manages to destroy the Destroyer. Legion walks up to the Commander, stating that it is going to attempt to transfer its Reaper upgrades to the geth. Unfortunately, the quarians are currently in battle with the disabled geth fleet while this takes place.
Shepard is at a momentous crossroads: one wrong move will doom one or both great races. Depending on how Shepard handles the situation, the geth may or may not eliminate a majority of the quarian forces after being upgraded with the Reaper tech; achieving their own consciousness will provoke them to retaliate against the attacks from their creators, as they will be more concerned to preserve themselves than ever before. Shepard has the power to prevent Legion from uploading the upgrades, allow Legion to upload them, or persuade the fleet to stand down and allow Legion the upload.
If the first is chosen, Legion pleads with Shepard to reconsider, first emphasising the upgraded geth's value as allies before appealing to the Commander's goodwill, asserting that letting the geth die is not justice. Shepard then has the option of standing by their decision or recanting at the last moment. If the Commander stands by the decision, the geth becomes hostile and attempts to kill Shepard, stating it will not allow the Commander to decide its people's fate. With Legion preoccupied, Tali stabs it with her knife. As Legion falls to the ground, Shepard has the option of taking several pistol shots at Legion's head, which kills the geth quickly. If Legion is not shot by Shepard, its dying words will be a question to Tali: "Tali'Zorah... does this... unit... have..." Tali responds with a tearful yes, and Legion shuts down. If Tali did not survive the Omega-4 suicide mission, Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay will be present instead of Tali, and she responds to Legion's attempt to kill Shepard by pulling out a shotgun and blasting Legion, which instantly ceases to function.
If Legion is allowed to upload the upgrades from the start or Shepard withdraws their decision to let the geth die, it begins uploading. Tali gives the order for all ships to stand down, but Han'Gerrel belays the order, and firing continues. Tali begs Legion not to continue, but it continues regardless, admitting that it regrets the deaths of the quarians but sees no alternative. It soon finds out that copying the code is insufficient; direct personality dissemination is required. Legion must disperse itself to the geth consensus, thanking the Commander for the opportunity to do so while apologising that there is no other way before deactivating. Legion refers to itself as "I", not "we", signifying that it became a true individual rather than a gestalt intellect. If the quarian fleet did not cease fire, the newly-alive geth destroys the majority of the fleet, and with it, most of the quarian race.
A Geth Prime acting as an emissary later trudges up to Shepard. The Prime, now referring to itself as "I" as well, states that it will honor Legion's promise to help in the Reaper war. Shepard asks if Legion is still around but the Prime confirms that it is dead.
If the quarians back down, Legion still runs into the same problem in copying the code. Legion's last words are to Tali, thanking her for understanding, saying "Keelah se'lai" before deactivating. Moments later, the same Geth Prime trudges up to them. The geth will honor Legion's promise, it says, sending the might of their fleets to help retake earth and the wisdom of their engineers to help build the Crucible. Although Shepard asks hopefully if Legion is alive, the Prime confirms Legion is dead, but promises that the geth will honor it.
Whatever the circumstances, Legion dies with the welfare of the geth in mind. Its name is engraved later on the Normandy's memorial wall.
- Legion, as a character, may be a reference to One of Many, a companion who can be gained in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. One of Many is an embodiment of countless undead souls combined into a single sentient being, similar to the amalgam of programs that make up Legion. One of Many, being undead, is seen as an enemy to many characters of the game, like Legion, and shares some less than positive interactions with other companions.
- The Bioware Store sells a 1/6 scale figure of Legion that stands 13 inches tall. This would put Legion's "official" height at 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm).
- Shepard's N7 armor was originally added to the design concept just for fun, but has now become an integral part of Legion's appearance and back story.
- The number of linked geth that make up Legion could possibly be a reference to the film THX 1138, the first film of Star Wars creator George Lucas.
- Legion possesses a single antenna-like attachment on its left shoulder, a trait shared with large bipedal geth units, such as the Juggernaut, who have two (one on each shoulder), but which is absent in man-sized ones, such as the Shock Trooper. Although its exact function has yet to be revealed, it likely exists to emphasise the uniqueness of its mobile platform.
- From time to time, Legion will do the Robot as one of its idle animations. This can happen in both the AI Core and on missions where Legion is in the Commander's squad. Legion will also beatbox during these animations.
- Early in Mass Effect 2 development, Legion's acquisition mission was not part of the critical path, and could occur earlier in the game. Only later was it decided to fold the Reaper IFF into Legion's acquisition. This required only slight rewrites to the existing mission aboard the derelict Reaper. Evidence of this earlier design lies in Legion's unique dialogue lines for places like Omega, which can be heard if one uses save file modification and brings Legion along for the mission.
- Also, at some point during Mass Effect 2 development, a choice could have been made to leave Legion behind on the Derelict Reaper. The text of a message that would have been received upon doing so is present in the game files.
- It is possible to see Legion before its first appearance. After the two husks are killed by an unknown sniper on the derelict Reaper, if you look around in the back of the room the shots came from, Legion can be seen standing on the ledge at the back. It will walk away slowly once you enter the room.
- Legion claims that Shepard encountered Sovereign on Ilos during the first game, even though this encounter actually happened on Virmire. It's uncertain whether this is a writing error, or if Legion simply has wrong information about the occurrence.
- Legion is referred to by name in the subtitles when it first speaks on the derelict Reaper, but is otherwise listed as "Geth" until the name is suggested onboard the Normandy.
- As a sapient machine, Legion has been the subject of pronoun confusion both in- and out- of universe.
- Curiously, at several points in conversations and during missions, Legion refers to itself as "I" rather than "we". This may simply be a script error, as Legion generally refers to itself as "we".
- If Legion is in the squad during the Overlord assignment, when Shepard talks to Dr. Gavin Archer, the Commander refers to the geth as "he".
- In Mass Effect 3, after the mission Priority: Geth Dreadnought, the Commander calls Legion a "he", whereupon Tali, if she survived the Collector Base, will correct Shepard, calling Legion an "it". These "slips" may have meant that Shepard sees Legion more as a person than a thing.
- Legion's platform designation is 2A93, which is the hexadecimal equivalent of 10,899.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, a game also made by BioWare, one of the seemingly gibberish phrases said by the character Cole reference Legion: "It always had a soul, the question is the answer."
- As with all squad members, Legion has unique dialogue that can be heard at various locations, during missions or assignments, or if a specific squad member is in the selected team.
- The Shadow Broker has files on Legion which can be accessed aboard his ship.
|Mass Effect 2 Squad|
|Garrus Vakarian • Grunt • Jack • Jacob Taylor • Kasumi Goto • Legion • Miranda Lawson |
Mordin Solus • Morinth • Samara • Tali'Zorah vas Neema • Thane Krios • Zaeed Massani