Mordin Solus is a salarian geneticist, professor, and a former operative of the Special Tasks Group, where he performed reconnaissance and participated in the modification of the genophage. In 2185, he is recruited by Commander Shepard to assist in a high-risk mission against the Collectors. Mordin has a moral character best described as consequentialist, believing the ends justify the means, though he dislikes taking life without good cause. His actions are often guided by an impersonal logic, refusing to let his conscience, personal, and emotional connections cloud his judgment of what he believes is truly best in the big picture. Though he is affable, quick-talking and friendly, Mordin bears physical scars of his time in the STG and is still handling the consequences of his past.
Mass Effect: Foundation
Mordin participated in a high-level meeting concerning the krogan's apparent adaptation to the genophage. The krogan needed protection from themselves, and the genophage was doing just that. It is up to the salarians to ensure the genophage doesn't fail, Mordin reasoned, and he proposed stronger measures to counteract the krogan's evolution. Even with incumbent salarian Councilor Valern requesting for alternatives, everyone present unanimously agreed to the proposal.
It took Mordin less than a week of research and collaboration to create the modified strain, and one month later he and a team of STG operatives were already on Tuchanka. Mordin had a very specific location in mind and explained the mission parameters to the crew: his short-range genophage dispersal unit needed to be placed inside a canyon to protect it from the elements. Near the target site he entrusted his assistant with lugging the device, joking with old friend Captain Chaleen about the assistant's apparent clumsiness and surprising intelligence.
The team went into subterranean tunnels and heard some repetitive noises. Mordin was in the process of deducing the cause when he saw at the end of the tunnel that the intended target site was occupied by krogan. A female krogan was hammering a pedestal and led her followers in praying to Kalros. Mordin was adamant in the device's exact placement against suggestions by teammates to plant it where they hid, citing shoddy results if otherwise. Unfortunately they were discovered by the krogan and fired upon.
Mordin threw himself and Captain Chaleen from the line of fire. The captain ordered his team to fall back to the shuttle and diverted the attackers, but Mordin told them he had another idea. He ordered them to set explosives on the tunnels to provide another diversion while he and his assistant attempt to plant the device where originally intended.
A krogan wielding a hammer tried smashing him to a pulp soon afterward, but he dodged it. He jumped onto the krogan's back and planted an omni-blade in the brute's head instead, boasting of salarian badassery and feeling proud of the exercise all the while. His assistant is astounded by what he just did, but Mordin just shushed him up and told him to bring the device.
The female krogan waited for the salarians at the target site, hammer in hand and ready to kill the intruders. Mordin took it upon himself to square off with the female, entrusting the assistant with the device's safety and activation. The female hammered the ground in the hope of Kalros coming in and smashing the salarians, but Mordin was unimpressed. He fervently believed the krogan would become a threat, force war, and cause suffering if allowed a resurgence, and said as much. The female shared the horror of countless mothers suffering amidst the corpses of their stillborn children, blaming all of the anguish on him. The choice was difficult, Mordin tried to counter, but the explosives he ordered detonated over them at that moment.
Mordin was recovered from the rubble by Captain Chaleen, who berated him for disobeying orders. The scientist salarian replied that he saw a chance and took it. Mordin, now missing his right cranial horn, was eased into a corner by the captain upon their return to the shuttle, and was admonished into not letting their teammates detonate places with them still inside. The injured salarian could only agree. His assistant came up to him next, and inquired about his dialogue with the female while bandaging his head. Mordin reassured the assistant of dire consequences if the krogan were cured of the genophage, and was unwilling to concede his beliefs on account of the very high risks.
Mass Effect 2
Born sometime in the 2150s, Mordin Solus is an expert geneticist, doctor, scientist and a former member of the salarian Special Tasks Group. His last mission in the STG before retiring involved the study of the krogan genophage. For this task, Mordin personally led a science team of geneticists, chemists, sociologists and mathematicians.
Originally, Mordin's team was merely studying population growths to see if the genophage was still effective and designing possible pre-emptive strategies should the krogan regain their numbers. The study soon changed when the STG team discovered the krogan were naturally overcoming the genophage. The only option the team could agree upon was to design and implement a new genophage that, as Mordin maintains, would limit reproduction to a viable level for the krogan to survive; otherwise, a war could result that would likely end in the complete genocide of the krogan. Not everything went as planned, though; one botched mission to disperse the modified genophage in an area of Tuchanka resulted in injuries to his face and right cranial horn.
Despite the hardship, Mordin would remember those days fondly, devoting his time to endless scientific research and discovery with people he respected and admired. But by the time the mission was complete, the team had gone their separate ways. Mordin himself, despite defending his decision as the only option, found the ethics of the project disturbing and even turned to religion to find some peace. The differing, sometimes contradictory, nature of religion led him to have a crisis of faith and left his worries unresolved.
After this experience, Mordin devoted his time to building a clinic on Omega, finding it easier to just heal people. He found himself unnaturally suited to life there, as he pulled strings in the STG to have some military-grade mechs defend his clinic. Generally, he found it simpler to deal with problems himself, easily killing any Blue Suns or vorcha attempting to intimidate him. His reputation soon grew and the Blue Suns learned to stay away from him. Even Aria T'Loak would grow to like him for his casual ruthlessness. He only returned to Tuchanka to do follow-up work, ensuring the genophage was effective. Though others could have done it for him, Mordin felt he should see the damage he inflicted, finding it cowardly to simply walk away.
Shepard first meets the fast-talking salarian on Omega, where he is working on a cure for a bioengineered plague affecting the station, which Mordin identifies is of Collector origin. The plague has wiped out much of the Blue Suns forces, who maintained order in the district, allowing the resident vorcha, who themselves work distributing the plague for the Collectors, to make a push against them.
When the vorcha deactivate environmental systems for the district in which they are located, Mordin gives Shepard a cure for the plague as well as a weapon taken off of a dead Blue Suns mercenary as a "bonus, in good faith" and tasks the Commander with reactivating the power to the environmental systems. He also requests that Shepard find Dr. Daniel Abrams, one of his assistants who entered vorcha territory searching for plague victims but hasn't returned.
Once aboard the Normandy Mordin runs the tech labs, overseeing research projects to improve weapons, armor and abilities using resources collected during the mission. He spends a lot of time investigating Collector biology as part of the mission, but can also take time to demonstrate his excellent singing voice. He reveals he used to perform Gilbert and Sullivan, and demonstrates his skill in front of Shepard if the Commander's curiosity is piqued:
“I am the very model of a scientist salarian, I've studied species turian, asari, and batarian.
I'm quite good at genetics (as a subset of biology) because I am an expert (which I know is a tautology).
My xenoscience studies range from urban to agrarian, I am the very model of a scientist salarian.”
If Shepard is pursuing a relationship, Mordin gives medical or personal advice, depending on who the Commander is consorting with. If Shepard has no romantic interests aboard the Normandy but frequently speaks to Mordin, the doctor teases Shepard by asking if the Commander is attracted to him. Mordin then declines entering into a relationship. If Shepard accepts this refusal, regardless of the Commander's gender Mordin's reply is thus: "If intended to try human, would try you."
Known members of Mordin's family include a nephew who earned a university tenure at 16, a promising geneticist following his uncle's footsteps. Mordin fondly remembers this nephew and maintains contact with him during Shepard's mission, finding the familial connection a better motivation for saving the galaxy as opposed to the bigger picture and depersonalized statistics. Mordin is not above concealing his work from his family, however.
- Main article: Mordin: Old Blood
Sometime during his stay aboard the Normandy, Mordin hears that his old assistant, Maelon, has apparently been captured on Tuchanka, the krogan homeworld. Fearing for Maelon's safety if the krogan discover he helped to modify the genophage, Mordin is anxious for them to find Maelon and help him. He learns from the Chief Scout of Clan Urdnot that Maelon was captured by Clan Weyrloc and is being held in a hospital converted into a fortress.
He fights alongside Shepard inside the Weyrloc base and soon discovers that the clan needed Maelon's work so that they could create a cure for the genophage and conquer the galaxy. This entailed brutal experimentation on kidnapped subjects.
One of the test subjects, however, was a female krogan who voluntarily underwent the tests in the hopes of becoming fertile. Her corpse is found by Mordin in a lab and serves as a grim reminder of the lives he shattered through the genophage modification project.
After killing Chief Weyrloc Guld, he and Shepard find Maelon alive and completely unharmed and learn that Maelon was deliberately helping the clan out of guilt. Mordin can kill Maelon because of his betrayal or be stopped by Shepard. As per Shepard's choice, Mordin saves or destroys Maelon's work.
Mass Effect 3
Mordin is first encountered on the salarian homeworld of Sur'Kesh, when Shepard is sent there to assist in the evacuation of the remaining fertile female krogan. There, he reveals he returned to STG as a special consultant after defeating the Collectors, whilst also working for Clan Urdnot as their inside source.
If Maelon's research data was saved by Shepard, Mordin used the data to aid in the treatment of Eve, the only surviving female krogan from Maelon's experiments. As Shepard is preparing to evacuate Eve, the base is attacked by Cerberus forces seeking to kill or capture the female. Once Eve is secured, the Urdnot leader, Eve, and Mordin join Shepard on the Normandy and discuss the plan for curing the genophage.
Mordin commandeers the Med-bay during his stay, requiring the space for his research into the genophage cure and as quarters for Eve. He mails Shepard inquiring where his lab is, initially confused with the new layout owing to the Alliance retrofit. He quickly acclimatizes to the situation, wasting no time in asking for tissue "samples" from the Urdnot leader.
Mordin gets along with the krogan onboard the Normandy regardless of who it is. Mordin deduces Wrex's fear of needles when the krogan puts up needless bravado around him and Eve, gives his word to take care of his patient when Wrex demands it, and confides to Shepard he claims to prefer working with krogan females after his discussion with Wrex. In contrast, Mordin personally finds Wreav abrasive and unpleasant, resolving to help the species regardless and claiming "no promises" regarding the painlessness of the tissue "sample" extraction procedure.
As Mordin describes himself as an auditory learner, he occasionally vocalizes his ideas out loud to the distress of his krogan patient. Eve complains about this, and while Mordin tries to be considerate by toning it down the missing words somehow manage to sound even worse to Eve's ears.
If the situation presents it, Mordin plays matchmaker among prospective pairings aboard the Normandy. Joker seeks him out asking for sexual advice regarding EDI, and in the middle of one such intercom conversation Shepard overhears Mordin advising the use of "strengthening exercises", cushions, pillows, and gel packs in preparation for EDI's inflexible body. He even offers to forward "charts" and relevant videos to EDI, though Joker prevents him from doing so. The pilot understandably wants to keep the conversation a secret and Mordin even guarantees Shepard won't learn about it from him.
Mordin also tries pairing Garrus with Eve, reasoning that the turian is loyal, reasonably intelligent and almost krogan-like, although she's not interested. The female krogan, in turn, tries badgering Mordin into singing for her, and the salarian may be overheard complying in true Gilbert and Sullivan fashion:
“Oh, better to die to a thresher maw, with shotgun-blasting-roaring-raw, than to play ambassadorial games, with the blood of Shiagur in her veins...
Off to fight, since turians can't, with diplomats instead of a krantt. But she'll be true to Tuchanka's dream, and live and die a krogan queen!
For... she is the krogan queen! Hurrah, hurrah for the krogan queen! And it is, it is a glorious thing to be the krogan queen!”
Once Mordin verifies that he can synthesize the genophage cure for universal krogan immunity, by process of impromptu elimination of unsuitable transmission vectors he proposes using the Shroud, a salarian facility used in repairing Tuchanka's atmosphere, as it also contains the original genophage strain. He plans to use the strain as the cure carrier and the facility itself to infect the entire planet at once, and excuses himself to the med bay until Shepard decides it's time.
Shepard can ask the doctor why the seeming change of heart as he always defended the notion the krogan were better off with the genophage. Mordin says it's because of the changed situation, and in his own words: "Reaper invasion. Turians doomed without krogan support. Krogan need unified threat, outlet for aggression. Cooperative symbiosis." If Shepard looks for deeper reasons, Mordin confesses that he's getting old but is still the best candidate for the project. Not many salarian scientists are interested in the genophage, he reasons, and he feels it's his job to get things right as the stakes are too high for inexperience and failure.
Provided it was preserved, Mordin notes that his usage of Maelon's data in the quest to cure the genophage is because he knows it can help. While he notes the data has unethical origins, he concedes that there will always be scientists willing to perform unethical tests, and that helpful information must be put to use regardless of how it was acquired. Assuming his student is still alive, Mordin notes he directed teams to locate Maelon, adding that the chaos of the ongoing war and the galaxy's large size means that the chances of finding the errant salarian are remote. He also adds that he would kill Maelon if he were to find him, unless he could aid in curing the genophage.
Shepard asks him if he plans to stick around when the war is over, and Mordin replies he's unsure what to do next as he reflects on the impact his work has made on the galaxy. He settles for going someplace sunny, a beach, and start collecting seashells. Shepard teases he'd go restless in an hour, and Mordin quips he may have to run tests on the seashells.
Mordin eventually reports Eve ready for travel to Tuchanka. Once in orbit, he alerts Shepard about the new form of Reaper guarding the Shroud, and agrees with the proposed distraction the military minds around him come up with. Down on the planet, he faces hostility from the local krogan, although Shepard and company quickly assert their authority and dissuade the krogan from making rash moves.
Mordin rides along with Eve and the Urdnot leader in a tomkah en route to the Shroud, later relaying his observations about the colossal thresher maw chasing them: metal in truck an excellent iron supplement in the thresher maw's diet when Wrex sarcastically asks the salarian for something he doesn't yet know, or insinuating krogan halitosis may be the reason the thresher maw is chasing them instead of "salarian meat" that Wreav puts forth as a jab.
Earlier on the Normandy, the salarian Dalatrass Linron covertly offered Shepard a deal: sabotage of the genophage cure in return for salarian support. The salarians anticipated use of the Shroud and sabotaged it years earlier, and the dalatrass wanted the Commander to ensure the salarian doctor wouldn't try and fix the issue. If Shepard confesses this fact early, Mordin assures everyone he's familiar with STG work and can easily adjust for the damage. If not, he learns about it much later.
While Shepard and company attempt to summon Kalros the thresher maw to bring down the Reaper Destroyer, Mordin and Eve sneak in a lab at the Shroud facility to finalize the cure. Mordin succeeds, either pleased at Eve's survival or guilty at her death owing to traumatic stress sampling and her insistence to continue despite Mordin's wishes to stop.
At the base of the Shroud after the Reaper has been dealt with, Mordin reports the cure is loaded for dispersal, but with problems afoot. If Shepard didn't yet divulge the sabotage, Mordin detects temperature malfunction at the lab, necessitating the need for manual adjustments at the top of the Shroud. Shepard can come clean, or continue deceiving the doctor. Whichever the case Mordin accurately deduces Shepard's complicity, and resolves to finish the job he started.
If Shepard comes clean at this juncture, Mordin understands the position the Commander is in, but deems it unacceptable. Shepard once more asks why he reversed his position on the genophage, and finally Mordin shouts that he made a mistake. He admits on focusing too much on the big picture, coming to the realization he can't hide behind statistics or ignore new data. He insists curing the genophage is his responsibility and is resolute on doing so even if it means Shepard has to put him down for it, even daring the Commander to do so.
Explosions appear throughout the massive structure, and it is now in Shepard's hands whether Mordin fixes the sabotage or not. If Shepard shoots him to prevent the fix, the doctor manages to bring the elevator up, crawling with determination towards the control console once he's there but ultimately failing to reach it in time. If Shepard allows Mordin to go up, he expresses gratitude at being able to do so, reiterating that it had to be him or someone else might have gotten it wrong. If they had a particular discussion earlier, he mentions he would've liked to run tests on the seashells. His life is snuffed by a direct explosion in the control room.
If he sang for Shepard during their adventure stopping the Collectors, Mordin dies singing his favorite tune, "Scientist Salarian", finally at peace with his work on the genophage modification project. If Wrex and Eve are both alive, Eve insists on naming their first child "Mordin" in honor of his sacrifice.
However, Mordin can be saved during the mission if Wreav is the clan leader and the lack of Maelon's data leads to Eve's death. In this case Mordin can be convinced the krogan will only repeat the Krogan Rebellions under Wreav's command and he will willingly disappear to maintain the illusion of his death. If Mordin is saved and the genophage cure is sabotaged as a result, the salarians offer their support along with krogan support under Urdnot Wreav, as the krogan are unaware of the sabotage. Mordin also lends his expertise for the Crucible project, sending Shepard a heads-up on his current activities.
Shepard can also speak with him at the Forward Operating Base on Earth. After the battle for Earth, Mordin is seen in a lab with a male and female krogan in tanks, implying he is continuing his research.
If Mordin did not survive the suicide mission against the Collector Base, the STG base commander on Sur'Kesh, Padok Wiks, performs Mordin's role in key plot events during the Reaper invasion. Mordin's name, as with other fallen comrades, is posted in the Normandy's memorial wall.
Mass Effect 3: Citadel
If Mordin perished while trying to cure the genophage or was talked down from curing it, he leaves Shepard a collection of his early works. One entry contains audio from an appearance on "Science Fun Today," some sort of children's program with a character called Perry the Pyjak. This appearance eventually descends into an impromptu demonstration of varren mating practices and the flammability of Perry the Pyjak.
Mordin voices another entry like the narrator from a film noir movie, telling a story taking place on Omega that includes battles with krogan and a sexual liaison with Aria T'Loak that ends in explosions. Interspersed with these are several songs, the first a song about cell division to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas", the second about proteins and amino acids to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", and the final song is Mordin's partial rendition of "Amazing Grace".
The datapad appears for only a limited amount of time. If Mordin was killed by Shepard to prevent him from curing the genophage, this datapad does not appear.
- Mordin sings his "scientist salarian" song in Mass Effect 2 with the melody from The Major-General's Song, possibly because Michael Beattie, Mordin's voice actor, had a chorus role in the 1985 TV production of The Pirates of Penzance.
- In Mass Effect 3, his "Krogan Queen" song is a modified version of "Pirate King," also from The Pirates of Penzance. While talking to Eve, Mordin can also be overheard singing "Asari-vorcha offspring have an allergy to dairy" to the tune of The Major General's Song.
- The Bioware Store sells a statue of Mordin Solus that stands "an impressive 20.5 inches tall on a 1/4 scale". This would put Mordin's "official" height at 6 feet 10 inches (208 cm), though it should be noted that Mordin is depicted wearing thick boots in the statue.
- Early on, Mordin reveals having served under Captain Kirrahe from the Virmire mission in Mass Effect, and makes a comment regarding his habit of giving speeches and using the expression "hold the line". If Mordin dies as the leader of the second fire team in the Suicide Mission, his last words are: "Tell them… I held the line…"
- Content cut from Mass Effect 2 suggests that Mordin was originally intended to have a confrontation with Grunt, resembling the confrontations between Miranda and Jack, and Tali and Legion.
- Other dialogue that never made it into the game implies that Mordin was originally intended to be a biotic, apparently able to maintain a biotic field powerful enough to have everyone survive during the final mission when loyal.
- To date, Mordin Solus is the only major character in the games to be played by multiple actors, with William Salyers replacing Michael Beattie in Mass Effect 3.
- At some point in Mass Effect 2, Mordin comments about Cerberus implanting cyanide pills in molars of their personnel, saying it's primitive and that ocular nerve flashbangs are harder to disarm. This suggestion might have actually been used, because in Mass Effect 3, based on Alliance logs in Liara T'Soni's computer, a Cerberus operative's face exploded during interrogation.
- According to Associate Art Director Matt Rhodes, BioWare created the more experienced look for Mordin by referencing the wrinkles and squint seen in more recent pictures of actor Clint Eastwood.
- With the release of Mass Effect: Foundation 9 either Mordin sustained two major injuries to his cranial horn in two separate missions to Tuchanka, or there are two differing accounts of the mission in which the wound is received, as the comic details one version of events while the Shadow Broker Dossiers detail another.
|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