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Am I the only person who believes that Barla Von is the Shadow Broker (Speculation is okay on Talk pages, right?)Vaile 02:40, January 30, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, speculation is ok on talk pages. As for your theory, I'm not sure if you are the only one, but I for one do not believe Barla Von is the Shadow Broker. SpartHawg948 02:52, January 30, 2010 (UTC)
What's your opinion, if you don't mind my asking? Vaile 06:49, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
I'm actually on the fence, at the moment. Up until very recently I suspected an AI, which I do still consider possible and plausible, but now I also suspect some sort of salarian group, maybe a bunch of rogue ex-STG guys or ex-intel people. Something like that. Just a hunch. Barla Von seems way too obvious and exposed. Liara would've been on him like stink on a monkey if he was the Shadow Broker. SpartHawg948 06:55, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
See, had I not seen the Usual Suspects, I'd probably discount him for being too close as well. But the lack of any contact with him in ME2 leaves for some open possibilities. An AI does seem a likely possibility, with an ability to handle so much information. But then I'd like to know who created it. And what made you think of a Salarian group? Vaile 07:31, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not going off a movie or anything when I say he's way too obvious. I'm going off of real-world experience, sitting through hours and hours of operations security and intelligence briefings. When you want to disguise who you are or what you are doing, you don't do it by posing as one of your own top agents. People are going to automatically come to you regardless. You disguise yourself as someone completely apart from it. Like, say you're looking for a Chinese spy in Washington. Where's the first place you'd look? The Chinese Embassy, as embassies generally have intelligence personnel assigned to them posing as diplomats. A smart spy, on the other hand, wouldn't be at the embassy, they'd be taking a job at the custodial company that has the contract to clean the target organization's buildings. If I intended to kill the Shadow Broker, pretty much my first stop would be to Barla Von, and it wouldn't be fun for him. That's why I said he's way too obvious.
As for the salarian thing, it honestly just came to me out of the blue. I think it was when I was talking to Mordin on my first playthrough and he mentioned having been a high-up in the salarian intel community who had high level clearance, and how he doesn't have it anymore but still "hears things". SpartHawg948 07:39, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
And in the real world, that'd be great reasoning. Unfortunately, we can't always apply real-world contingencies to fictional scenarios. (For example: When first hearing about the reapers from Tali's data, most people in the real world would laugh away the thought of a mythical race of beings wiping out galactic civilization. However, in the context of Mass Effect fiction, I considered the emphasis placed on that bit, and knew the reapers would turn out to be real.) But I'll be honest, my thoughts on Barla Von being the Shadow Broker is wishful thinking for the most part, and he would pretty much have to be a Kaiser Soze-esque character to get away with it. But stranger things have happened, so I'm not ready to discount it.

Good catch on the Mordin bit, I hadn't caught that. Vaile 08:05, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

But your example doesn't really fly. The approach I'm using works just as well in-game as it does in the real world, whereas the Reaper thing isn't really legit b/c in the context of the game you have to apply suspension of disbelief. And actually, in-game, when the Reapers are brought up, most people do laugh away the thought of a mythical race of beings wiping out galactic civilization. That's one of the major plot points of the first game, after all, taking on the Reapers when no one, especially not the Council, believes the Reapers even exist! Hell, they still don't believe the Reapers exist two years after a Reaper attacked the Citadel! So in that respect, I guess you are spot on! The only people who bought into the existence of the Reapers based on Tali's data were Shepard and company, plus Anderson. As far as Udina and the Council were concerned, the data only mattered b/c it proved Saren was behind the attack on Eden Prime, and Benezia was working with him. SpartHawg948 09:03, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
And something else just occurred to me: If real-world common sense can't be used as a basis here, ("we can't always apply real-world contingencies to fictional scenarios", even though it wasn't a contingency, it was just common sense based in large part on experience, but now I'm getting off-topic) then why would it be any better for you to be basing your ideas off a movie that is pure and utter fiction (and features a story-line quite unlike anything being discussed here, unlike my comparisons)? If good old-fashioned common sense can't be used as a basis, fictional movies relating not at all to the topic should be even more out of bounds! :P SpartHawg948 09:27, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps that may not have been a prime example. What I'm trying to say is that the logic and workings of reality are not going to fly in a fictional context. While in the real world someone trying to hide their identity would act very much like what you described. In a fictional story, however, the developers can afford to make him have a "cool" persona, at the cost of how efficient he would be in reality. Vaile 09:46, January 31, 2010 (UTC)And I gotta disagree with you there. Like I said, in reality it's not about a good story. The bad guy isn't going to be stroking a cat or claiming to be an employee for himself. Hell, the ethical concepts of good and bad aren't going to be black and white. In fiction, the developers can do whatever they want with their characters, and other characters will respond however they want them to. As for the storyline being completely different, that's not what I'm comparing. I'm comparing Barla Von/The Shadow Broker to Verbal Kint/Kaiser Soze. Both of which admitted to working for their alter egos (assuming Barla Von is the Broker) as they stared at someone looking for them in the face. Vaile 09:46, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

But again- I can't bring real-world logic in, but you can cite the Usual Suspects? How does that make any kind of sense? And yes, in many respects, the logic and workings of real life do fly in Mass Effect. Look at the military, the economy, the media, politics, intelligence- all those are based off real world common sense, logic, and precedent. Only the technology and the alien races are different and fantastical. The writers at BioWare have gone to great pains to make the details of everyday life and whatnot believable, but for some reason, they would decide to make one exception and do something as implausible as this? I can't say I see it happening. Honestly, if it's going to keep up like this, me trying to interject reason and common sense and you retorting that "well it's just a fictional universe, common sense and real-world reason don't apply" even though the writers at BioWare have demonstrated time and again that they do, I'm going to have to bow out, as this is getting frustrating. SpartHawg948 09:55, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

That's a bit of a degrading response, first of all. I'd say taking a history of politics and military as inspiration are different from the thought process of the human mind. While many time periods and instances in history can provide inspiration to the Mass Effect world, characterization would need to be inspired by a wider range of sources. BioWare prides itself on fascinating characters, and I think your example of, I believe it was a Chinese spy hiding in an embassy, just won't cut it. So of course it's plausible that they would draw inspiration from your Ernst Blofelds and your Michael Corleones. So yes, it was inappropriate for me to say that reality has no place in this argument, but it was equally invalid to state that it is the only answer. In the context of the Shadow Broker's persona, however, there are far too many mysterious villains in fiction for them to not have a hand in his character. Vaile 10:26, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

I didn't state it was "the only answer". I used it to justify my opinion, then defended my use of it to justify my opinion when you said that it had no place in this discussion. And I have no idea how my response was in any way "degrading", but if you can point out to me what was degrading about it, I'll see if I can't do something to fix it. Again, I was stating my opinion, same as you. And when I cited real-world experience to justify my opinion and you said that this experience was not valid in the context of this subject, I defended my use of it. Simple as that. SpartHawg948 10:53, January 31, 2010 (UTC)
But you are not just justifying your opinion with real-world logic, you are saying that because this isn't viable in the real world, that it cannot be in fiction. I wasn't any better when I said that real-world logic can't apply to fictional scenarios, I meant to say that it won't always apply. That's a grammatical mistake on my part, and I apologize. But considering that this is a fictional story with an increasingly out-of-this-world canon, other fictional references must be accepted as equally valid to reality. Vaile 17:25, January 31, 2010 (UTC)

When did I say that since it isn't viable in the real world, it cannot be in fiction? When? Please direct me to any such statements I made. I said it was (again, in my opinion) unlikely to be the case in fiction since real-world precedent argued against it, and ME does tend to follow real-world precedent in things like this. Again, using it to justify my opinion. I never once said "Since it doesn't work that way in the real world, it can't work that way in the game. Period." Not once did I say anything like that. I said I didn't think it was likely. Then you started trying to shoot down my opinion, and I defended it. Again, show me where I said that since it wasn't viable in the real world, it wasn't in-game, either. SpartHawg948 02:02, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

And I am still waiting to hear why my previous post was "a bit of a degrading response". Again, show me what was degrading, and I'll make ammends, but if there really wasn't anything degrading about it (and I really don't see anything I said that even looks like it was meant to humiliate you or hold you in contempt) then I would appreciate a retraction of that comment. Thanks, SpartHawg948 02:07, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm not going off a movie or anything when I say he's way too obvious. I'm going off of real-world experience, sitting through hours and hours of operations security and intelligence briefings. When you want to disguise who you are or what you are doing, you don't do it by posing as one of your own top agents. People are going to automatically come to you regardless. You disguise yourself as someone completely apart from it. Like, say you're looking for a Chinese spy in Washington. Where's the first place you'd look? The Chinese Embassy, as embassies generally have intelligence personnel assigned to them posing as diplomats. A smart spy, on the other hand, wouldn't be at the embassy, they'd be taking a job at the custodial company that has the contract to clean the target organization's buildings. If I intended to kill the Shadow Broker, pretty much my first stop would be to Barla Von, and it wouldn't be fun for him." Because something happened to you in the real world under certain circumstances, providing certain results, you immediately discounted my theory of fictional inspiration. Had you said something along the lines of "I can see where you're coming from, but you should also consider a more realistic approach." then you would come off as having a more open mind towards fictional possibilities. Instead, the above quote states that it cannot be him because of real-world logic. Would such a scenario be more realistic? Of course. But Mass Effect is a science-fiction story with fantastical instances around every corner. Of course they'll draw political inspiration from past events, it's a field that has a long and complex history, with examples ripe for the picking. But the ultimate goal of BioWare is to provide a fascinating story, not a history lesson. Vaile 02:32, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
I discounted nothing. Nada. I just pointed out that rather than basing my opinion off a movie or anything like that, I was basing it off of real-world experiences I've had. That's it. Seeing as BioWare bases things like military organization and structure, the economy, intelligence gathering, etc, I thought real-world experience seemed a pretty good thing to base my opinion on. Again, note that never once did I say that "Since it's this way in real-life, it has to be that way in-game." So again, please show me where I said "because this isn't viable in the real world, that it cannot be in fiction." You stated that you were basing your position at least in part on a movie. I stated that, rather than basing my position on something like a movie, I was basing it off of real-world experiences I have had. Not even close to me saying "if it's true in real-life, it has to be true in game." Sorry if I seem agitated or like I'm beating a dead horse, but I hate, hate, HATE people putting words in my mouth, and not once did I say "because this isn't viable in the real world, that it cannot be in fiction." Not once. SpartHawg948 05:58, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
"'Honestly, if it's going to keep up like this, me trying to interject reason and common sense and you retorting that "well it's just a fictional universe, common sense and real-world reason don't apply" even though the writers at BioWare have demonstrated time and again that they do, I'm going to have to bow out, as this is getting frustrating." This is what offended me to some extent. It's the kind of thing I used to say when I used to pick fights with people online. You're pinning yourself (at least from my perspective, please correct me if I'm wrong) as providing a flawless argument, while I sit there just repeating my opinion, when that's not the case. My above paragraph indicates how you provide real-life context as the one truth to this argument. And I could say that I am equally frustrated, as while I'm saying how fiction can influence the developers, and how reality is not the only inspiration, you repeatedly shoot down that theory as not being realistic. Vaile 02:32, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I unserstand it may have offended you somewhat. Now where is the degrading text? To be degrading, I would have to have purposely said something clearly intended to humiliate you. I did nothing of the sort. I don't know about saying things to pick fights online, I have no experience with that stuff. All I was doing was expressing my exasperation. You were citing a movie as your opinion. I attempted to cite real-world experience to support my opinion. You kept saying that since ME is fiction, real-world stuff doesn't apply. After I used real-life experience to support my opinion, you said "And in the real world, that'd be great reasoning. Unfortunately, we can't always apply real-world contingencies to fictional scenarios." When I attempted to defend my opinion, you kept repeating that. See how that would get me frustrated? You were saying that real-world experience was irrelevant in the game (which it is not) and were essentially "shooting down" my opinion, to use your own words. See why I was frustrated? Again, if there is no evidence I said anything degrading to you, I'd like that statement retracted. SpartHawg948 06:05, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
I just realized how ridiculous this is. We've gone from arguing about Barla Von's possibility as the Shadow Broker to petty squabling about the viability of real life and fiction. It's clear that your ideas are more historically based, while mine come from other works of fiction. I doubt either one of us will be able to convince the other, so I think we should stop sniping at each other and accept that this is a problem that ceratinly won't give us an answer until we figure it out in the game. Vaile 03:01, February 1, 2010 (UTC)
I don't want to convince you of anything. I just want my opinions to be treated with the same respect I showed yours. I treated your opinion/theory seriously and didn't dismiss it out of hand as you did mine when you said "And in the real world, that'd be great reasoning. Unfortunately, we can't always apply real-world contingencies to fictional scenarios." That's all I ask. SpartHawg948 06:05, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

Look, I've already admitted that my wording was incorrect, and that I meant to say that it won't always apply. I've already apologized for that, but obviously it's too good a gold mine of fuel for you. I do respect your theory, even if I may have indicated otherwise.

Unfortunately, some pretty shit things have happened today, and I now have more important things to attend to than petty arguments. I'm sure you've got some witty quip about how convenient it is for me, but I won't have the time to see it. Vaile 02:12, February 2, 2010 (UTC)

Wow! Was that really called for? "I'm sure you've got some witty quip about how convenient it is for me"- actually, I have nothing of the sort. If you have other things to attend to, please do. I, for one, understand that there are other things in life than this site. (I would ask real quick that you watch the language, as we do have a site policy about not using rude/vulgar language.) The reason I was hammering on the degrading thing (and btw, I don't recall seeing an apology, although you state you did make one. If this is the case and I just missed it, fine.) is because not too long ago a user who is a chronic headache started lying about things I had said in the past for the purpose of painting me in a negative light. I called him on it and he backed down. Is it any wonder that, after that, I tend to not take it lightly when someone accuses me of degrading them? And I've never liked having people put words in my mouth, which is why I took offense to your statements that I had said "because this isn't viable in the real world, that it cannot be in fiction." So, to wrap this up, please don't attempt to characterize me as some vindictive jerk who has nothing but malicious intent, by saying things like :I'm sure you've got some witty quip about how convenient it is for me". That actually is degrading. SpartHawg948 02:36, February 2, 2010 (UTC)

To me, it's quite simple - The Illusive Man seems to be the most logical choice. He probably isn't, because when it comes to secret, unknown (Illusive? harr harr) characters, it's never the most obvious person. --Fiskn 03:17, February 1, 2010 (UTC)

Fiskn : The illusive man is probably a wrong guess. If Liara T'Soni can be trusted she says the shadow broker wanted to buy Shepard's body for the collectors and this is why she sold it to Cerberus and the illusive man instead. Wrex was recruited by the shadow broker to kill Fist because he betrayed to join Saren and the reapers but later the same shadow broker makes a deal with The collectors and the reapers. If the shadow broker exists his motivations are unclear, to say the least.However, it can't be related to Cerberus. For a long time I thought the Citadel guardians were the shadow broker, but it is unlikely as they as they don't seem more than Sovereign servants ( I wonder why they are still allowed in the citadel after the attack).Croquignol 06:00, March 11, 2010 (UTC)

Because they were hapless pawns in the scheme. Even if the plan had worked, it wouldn't have been because the keepers intended to harm the Council or the Citadel. They would have simply been obeying their programming. But, given that this programming was overwritten, rendering them inert and harmless, and given that they are the only ones who know how to keep the Citadel up and running, there is no reason to not keep them, and one very good reason to keep them! They're the only thing keeping the Citadel operational! SpartHawg948 06:32, March 11, 2010 (UTC)

Barla Von Homelands Edit

Hey, if everyone else that show up literally in any other Bioware item shouldn't they get an explanation. I don't need it its he has no explanation unlike characters like Tali in Homeworld and I know it most likely be small but be better to put it in.--68.80.244.65 08:15, June 11, 2013 (UTC)

Barla Von in ME Foundation 2 Edit

Does Barla Von is the volus depicted in ME Foundation 2 ? He looks like him :

  • same armor
  • located on the citadel
  • work for the shadow broker

What do you think ?--DeldiRe (talk) 17:21, August 29, 2013 (UTC)

no name given. could be barlaby's best friend, body double, gay lover, whatever. T̴̴͕̲̞̳̖̼̱͒͛̎͒ͫ̃ͧeͩ̈̽̈҉͓̝̰̼̦̫̤̀͠m̫̪̪̯̻͎̫̅̇̓̇͌̚p̸̙̝̓̓͌ͨ͆ͣͥ̂̕o͒̽͐̽͏̞̬̻͕͔͕͚̰͍͠͞ṙ̢̞͚͈̹̰ͨ̓ͭ̈́̌ạ̢̧̪̹̺̺̣̹̲͂͆̏ͪͨ͒ͭř̹͈͜͠y̷͍̻̜̹̼̾̽̈́e̵̹̼̟̦͚͐̈́͌͘d͉̲̣̻͉̱͗̅ḭ̷̻̆͋̆̓̔͝t̨͍̦̫̗͂̅̍̋̆ͩ͝ộ̫̟̬̳̝̲̾ͫ̒̿ͮ̑̚rͯ̎ͨͭ̄̿̽͛҉̠̫̱̠̘̘̲́ͅ7̩̻ͤͩͨ͝͡8̜̣̙͇̻ͨ͛͛̆͒̆̽̒͐͜͡ ͥ̍̉̃̇ͥ̓ͨ͏̕҉̥̹͓̗̤̠̖̤ (talk) 02:07, August 30, 2013 (UTC)

He was a know contact for the Shadow Broker so it's possible but I agree with Temporaryeditor78, without a name it could also be another volus. --MasterDassJennir (talk) 02:17, August 30, 2013 (UTC)

I also agree with both of you, but no name is given in homeworlds #2 too and it is still referenced on the page.--DeldiRe (talk) 07:32, August 30, 2013 (UTC)

not barla von. talk to him in ME after initial council meet. he says he "doesn't know the details", only that the shadow broker hired "a freelancer" to deal with the situation. blablabla. so no, he never had any direct dealings with wrex.

as for the volus in tali's story, enough contextual clues point to him being the one and only. he knows the value of dangerous info, he knows saren turned traitor (thanks to the vid file), he doesn't know fist turned traitor (he refers tali to the den). up until shep meets von he still doesn't know the details. the volus with wrex knows fist turned traitor.

and for the record visual comparisons are meaningless. all volus shown to date share the same suit design and may differ only in stripe colors or other greebles.

case closed. T̴̴͕̲̞̳̖̼̱͒͛̎͒ͫ̃ͧeͩ̈̽̈҉͓̝̰̼̦̫̤̀͠m̫̪̪̯̻͎̫̅̇̓̇͌̚p̸̙̝̓̓͌ͨ͆ͣͥ̂̕o͒̽͐̽͏̞̬̻͕͔͕͚̰͍͠͞ṙ̢̞͚͈̹̰ͨ̓ͭ̈́̌ạ̢̧̪̹̺̺̣̹̲͂͆̏ͪͨ͒ͭř̹͈͜͠y̷͍̻̜̹̼̾̽̈́e̵̹̼̟̦͚͐̈́͌͘d͉̲̣̻͉̱͗̅ḭ̷̻̆͋̆̓̔͝t̨͍̦̫̗͂̅̍̋̆ͩ͝ộ̫̟̬̳̝̲̾ͫ̒̿ͮ̑̚rͯ̎ͨͭ̄̿̽͛҉̠̫̱̠̘̘̲́ͅ7̩̻ͤͩͨ͝͡8̜̣̙͇̻ͨ͛͛̆͒̆̽̒͐͜͡ ͥ̍̉̃̇ͥ̓ͨ͏̕҉̥̹͓̗̤̠̖̤ (talk) 09:51, August 30, 2013 (UTC)

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