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“Rage is a hell of an anesthetic.”

Zaeed Massani is a feared, respected bounty hunter and mercenary soldier. Cerberus has contracted Zaeed to assist Commander Shepard in the mission to save mankind. In exchange, Zaeed requires help to complete another mission he had accepted beforehand, which is to liberate an Eldfell-Ashland Energy refinery from Blue Suns control.

Mass Effect: Foundation

Zaeed Massani once headed the Blue Suns "private security outfit" along with his partner Vido Santiago, dealing in gun running, extortion, some arson, and "knocking heads that needed knocking." As the organization grew some of the Suns wanted to get involved in the batarian slave trade, and Zaeed vehemently disagreed. Like any other "civil organized body" they "respectfully discussed their differences and had a vote", resulting in Vido shooting Zaeed point-blank in the face. In his own words, he was "overruled."

Zaeed's face and soul on the mend

Most guys in Zaeed's age can't handle a career change at that point in life, he claims. Zaeed survived the hit and took to drowning himself in alcohol as he recovered, calling it "adjusting just fine." Not a day went by without him thinking of revenge, initially, but as time went by it did happen eventually.

Zaeed kept hearing from people how he ended up being a washed-up has-been that no one would hire even to "scrape vermin shit out of a trash block." He would have none of it and started taking advertised jobs as an independent contractor after pulling himself together. The work got him by, but he figured the only way to restore his name and reputation is to do something big. It eventually landed him a stint as a Shadow Broker hireling.

The Shadow Broker tasked him to crash the turian frigate Verrikan. Zaeed saw it as a chance to restore his name, but asked the Broker for job specifics. The Broker didn't care how the ship was to be brought down as his client was willing to pay a large fortune for it, so Zaeed accepted the job eager to claim the bounty.

Daredevil stunts are his bread and butter

To that end, Zaeed recruited three freelancers as he reckoned anyone from established merc gangs would be out of the question. He asked the salarian Kendo Holin, the asari Tristana, and the ex-Blue Sun Jace Reyn to join him while they were all in the middle of their own jobs. All of them accepted, but they had reservations against taking on an entire frigate with just the four of them. Zaeed called them all together and elaborated on his plan. The team won't be taking the Verrikan down by strength, they'll be doing it with stealth and simplicity.

The team laid low at the refueling depot on Trebia, anticipating the Verrikan there and the flurry of activity to conceal them. Thrusters strapped to their backs, the team then performed a space jump from depot to frigate, flying like bullets and careful not to deviate in trajectory. The jump took ten seconds and they hit the target location spot on.

Zaeed had an inside turian named Polonis who was supposed to open the airlock for them. The entire plan hinged on the turian letting them in, as the next steps were to head straight for the bridge, lock themselves in, and crash the vessel into the nearest planet. Zaeed thought he anticipated everything, but he had not counted on the Verrikan's chief of security Garkko catching Polonis in the act. The landing team were flushed right back out of the airlock's outer door, where their tethering cables secured them all except for Kendo Holin.

One hostage? No problem!

The element of surprise blown and the distance from the target too far, Zaeed thought a sane man would just abort the mission. But with the amount of money at stake, he reckoned he'd be crazy to leave it all behind. The remaining three mercenaries found another way into the ship and split up: Zaeed assigned Tristana and Jace to be the distraction team while he headed to the bridge. Garkko and Zaeed crossed paths, resulting in Zaeed taking him hostage as the turian's soldiers were obliterated by an explosion.

Zaeed made it to the bridge door relatively unharmed as the "abandon ship" call was sounded throughout the Verrikan. Holding Garkko at gunpoint, he forced him to override the bridge security protocols. The pair were met by at least a dozen turians when the door opened, all with weapons trained at Zaeed. Garkko's head exploded as Tristana came to Zaeed's rescue at the moment. They slaughtered the bridge crew in short order.

Mercenary-style dating

Tristana and Zaeed had a thing in the past, but Zaeed claimed he broke it off before it killed him. Instead of kissing Tristana he asked her about Jace, but it appeared the payoff was now split fifty-fifty. With the job almost done, he thought he could live with that. Zaeed set the frigate on a crash course to Impera, relying on the turian garrison there to shoot the vessel down before it happens. Tristana unexpectedly blasted him with her biotics as she revealed herself to be under Vido's employ.

Zaeed mused to himself he had terrible taste in women, but he did have great luck. Impera's gravitational forces acted on the crashing ship, freeing him from Tristana's biotic grasp. Zaeed managed to stab his ex-girlfriend in a scuffle while the ship itself was being fired upon by the garrison. If nothing else went wrong, he thought he still might get out alive. But then a hole opened up on the hull, nearly sucking them both out until their arms found protrusions to grab. Zaeed took the opportunity to kick Tristana completely off the ship, luckily finding another object to grab before plummeting to the surface with her.

He hoisted himself back to the ship, located an escape pod, strapped himself in, and ejected to safety as the burning ruins of the vessel streaked across Impera's sky. Zaeed busted open his pod just in time to see the Verrikan explode, deeming it one of the most satisfying sights he's ever seen. There's nothing like a man well paid for a job well done.

Mass Effect 2

For his gameplay attributes in Mass Effect 2, see Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 2)#Zaeed Massani.

Zaeed Massani's association with Shepard begins with a Cerberus e-mail entitled Deal Struck with Zaeed Massani.

From: Illusive Man


We've reached an agreement with veteran mercenary Zaeed Massani. You may know the name; Zaeed has been involved in some of the best known (and some utterly unknown) military operations in the Terminus Systems, and is feared as a ruthless and relentless bounty hunter. I felt you might need a man with his skills on your mission, so I arranged to have him join you.

You will find him on Omega, where he's wrapping up his current bounty. Don't worry about his fee; I've taken care of that personally.

Zaeed is notorious as the galaxy's most feared bounty hunter and mercenary soldier. Heavily scarred and well-equipped, he joins the mission exclusively for the money being paid to him by Cerberus.

The Mercenary Veteran appropriates the Normandy's starboard cargo hold on the engineering deck as his personal quarters, bringing along some trophies and keepsakes: a battered M-8 Avenger, a Blood Pack helmet, and a turian frigate model ship. Zaeed talks about these items at length if Shepard expresses interest.


“For twenty years, I’ve seen that bastard every time I closed my eyes. Every time I sighted down on a target. Every time I heard a gunshot. Don’t you call that a goddamned 'grudge.'”
Main article: Zaeed: The Price of Revenge

Upon recruiting Zaeed, he informs Shepard that prior to his contract with Cerberus, he has another active contract that is not yet finished. He asks that the Commander fulfill this side of the contract by traveling to Zorya.

When the squad arrives planetside Zaeed informs Shepard about the target, his former partner Vido Santiago. He reveals that he co-founded the Blue Suns with Vido, who eventually betrayed him and shot him in the face after a disagreement about whether to allow batarians into the Blue Suns; Vido called them cheaper labour, whereas Zaeed openly derided them as "goddamn terrorists".

Upon finding Vido in his base, Zaeed intentionally initiates a compressed gas fire which eventually spreads throughout the facility. Shepard can then choose to either put out the fires, thus saving innocent workers, or pursue Vido.

If Shepard puts out the fire, Vido escapes in a gunship and Zaeed is enraged with Shepard—Shepard can convince Zaeed to work together as a team and to put his vengeance aside until the mission is complete, thereby securing his loyalty, but only with great difficulty. Otherwise, Zaeed's loyalty is not secured. If Shepard pursues Vido, Zaeed shoots Vido in the leg and then kills him by throwing a heatsink into the puddle of fuel Vido is lying in, burning him to death.

If Shepard travels to Zorya after the suicide mission, is a Paragon, and has at least two more squadmembers left, then there will be an option to leave Zaeed to die when a metal beam collapses on him.

Upon the completion of Zaeed's loyalty mission, the reasons for some of his distinctive traits become more readily apparent. His neck shows a tattoo of the Blue Suns' insignia, a souvenir of his time as the leader of the Blue Suns. His mismatched right eye and surrounding facial area appears to have been surgically grafted onto his face; it is likely the point-blank gunshot wound he sustained blew off this part of his face and had to be reconstructed.

Mass Effect 3

“Let's gut the bastards.”
Zaeed on the Citadel

Zaeed returns to fight the Reapers, provided he survived Shepard's attack on the Collector base. Apparently, a few months after the Collector Base mission, Cerberus contacted Zaeed and offered him a job. However, the negotiations went badly and Zaeed now seeks out jobs that hinder Cerberus operations.

After the Cerberus coup attempt, C-Sec gets a tip that a volus ambassador, Din Korlack, was feeding information to the shadowy organization. In reality, though Korlack had ties to Cerberus while they were fighting the Collectors, he had second thoughts and cut them after the invasion. Upon investigating further, Shepard realizes that Din was kidnapped by mercenaries led by Zaeed. Fortunately, Shepard is able to remotely give Korlack information that causes Zaeed to realize he'd been duped. Zaeed kills the other mercs and saves Korlack, who gives information about a pending Cerberus attack on a turian colony, as well as the support of the volus bombing fleet.

If Shepard failed to secure Zaeed's loyalty during the fight against the Collectors, he dies saving Korlack. Oddly enough, he won't appear on the memorial wall on the Normandy's crew deck.

Zaeed can be found at the Citadel's Refugee Docks after the incident with Korlack, pledging his support to Shepard's war effort when Shepard comes visiting. If Shepard converses with Zaeed further, the Commander can ask if he knows Darner Vosque, the Blue Suns' leader on the Citadel. Zaeed reveals how Vosque botched a mission when Zaeed was still with the Suns, getting half his squad killed in the process. The Suns didn't boot Vosque out fast enough, Zaeed narrates, and he opines he should've ended Vosque's tenure with a bullet. When questioned about the mercenaries he had been working with, Zaeed reveals he had met them on Omega, having signed on with them after hearing they were allegedly targeting Cerberus. Reflecting on the incident with Korlack, Zaeed concludes he should have studied the job in greater depth.

Zaeed taking a well-deserved rest after the war

As with most soldiers freelancers or otherwise fighting in the Reaper war, Zaeed stocks up on war material and provisions necessary for him to survive in the field. Noticeably, he also purchases rifle parts for a discontinued variant of the Avenger series according to recent transaction logs on Liara's Broker Terminal, possibly to restore his beloved rifle "Jessie" for the fight.

The Commander can speak with him in London before the final battle. Zaeed almost thought Shepard wasn't going to make it, and was glad to be proven wrong. Shepard checks on him, and he offhandedly brushes it off, hoping instead the Commander has one "hell of a speech" prepared to get people moving as they'll need it based on what he's seen. As usual, the old soldier is pragmatic and even sanguine about the fight, though he admits it doesn't feel like a real ground war when the enemies are taller than "goddamn skyscrapers".

If Shepard chooses to destroy the Reapers, Zaeed is briefly shown lounging on a chair on a tropical beach with his beloved rifle, Jessie, by his side.

Mass Effect 3: Citadel

For his gameplay attributes in Mass Effect 3, see Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 3)#Zaeed Massani.

Zaeed's presence in events following Shepard's clone fiasco is dependent on him surviving the attempted kidnap of the volus ambassador in 2186. He can also assist Shepard in the Armax Arsenal Arena if the license to play using him as a squadmate is purchased.

What could possibly be more important than Zaeed Massani not getting bested by some fucking kids' game?

Zaeed can be found at the Castle Arcade in front of the claw game, where he is having a hard time winning a prize. A kid was crying by the game who spent all his credits on it without getting any prizes, prompting Zaeed to try his hand when the "snivelling brat" asked him to. Shepard catches up to him alone on the machine, the kid long gone by then.

If spoken to, Zaeed hits Shepard up for credits (to which Shepard can either oblige or refuse) and struggles a few more times while venting his anger towards the game's creator. He eventually manages to win a volus doll, which he promptly (and somewhat rudely) gives to a nearby asari.

Zaeed is one of the optional invites to Shepard's big party. At the first phase of the party regardless of setting Zaeed loiters by the balcony if both of Shepard's krogan associates are present, and by the fireplace if not.

At the second phase of a quiet party, Zaeed is still at the balcony if he was there earlier, but now joined by Garrus if the turian is around. They start discussing potential booby traps to be laid around Shepard's home if another clone gets the bright idea to storm the place.

If the party is set to energetic and Samara is around, however, Zaeed joins her at the far end of the kitchen, examining the wall painting while attempting to flirt with her. He surprisingly shows insight regarding the painting, claiming the following words: "It makes me feel uneasy, like when you're alone in the dark, lying in wait, and the cold wind brushes across your face like the kiss of death." He further waxes poetic about his rifle Jessie, causing Samara to misunderstand their relationship as that of a merc and a woman until Zaeed clarifies otherwise. Despite the occasional eloquence, Zaeed handles his flirting in a hamfisted manner and barely gets the hint when Samara decides that silence better suits the two friends both.

So in walks your clone, takes a look around, sees this great hot tub, and says to themself, "hey, I fancy a dip." Big mistake.

At the third phase of a quiet party, Zaeed follows through with his plans to booby-trap Shepard's apartment, optionally staying in comm contact with Garrus for ideas. He can be found near Shepard's pool bath, suspiciously crouched over something. If Shepard asks what's going on, Zaeed explains that he is setting up "arma-fucking-geddon" on the tub: a timer counts down when the trap is tripped, thirty seconds later the pool heats up to temperatures around the "surface of the sun". Shepard poses the question as to how they can use it, Zaeed replies it's keyed to the Spectre's DNA. Shepard replies that the clone's DNA would be identical to theirs, causing Zaeed to curse the "goddamned clone." He scratches out the tub trap and announces he's got ideas for the coffeemaker machine downstairs.

If the third leg is energetic, Zaeed hangs out by the bar either relaxing on the sofa or doing target practice with bottles. While other guests are dancing around, he dismisses his own abilities at it, claiming that he moves "like a greased one-legged varren." He's also dismissive of the music the "kids" nowadays are enjoying, reminiscing instead on the scars of a girl who sang on some pub on Omega. If Javik is not at the party, a relaxing Zaeed will be asked by a female Shepard what he thinks, to which he will respond that he has always thought that she was beautiful.

Regardless of how the party ends, Zaeed joins the group photo when the time comes, posing next to James Vega at the back of the group.

In the morning after, Zaeed lounges around on a living room couch. He apologizes in his own way for his snoring, claiming he had that problem ever since his nose was broken. He also reports they're out of bacon - there's still dextro-bacon for the guests with that biochemistry - and figured he'd save Shepard three strips as payback for all the times the Commander saved his bacon in the figurative sense.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Zaeed may have fathered a son, Bain Massani, who grew up to become a private security contractor before signing up with the Andromeda Initiative. Zaeed wasn't in Bain's life, as the only things Bain knew about him is that he named him and he's a "big-time mercenary".


  • Zaeed is only available through the Zaeed - The Price of Revenge DLC pack.
  • According to his character page on BioWare's defunct Mass Effect 2 site, Zaeed served in the Alliance before turning mercenary. 40 years old by 2185, he was bounty hunting for 20 years.[1] However, this would mean he founded the Blue Suns with Vido at only 15 years old in 2160.
  • The name "Zaeed" is an Anglicization of an Arabic name (زيد), and means "one who progresses and makes other people progress".
  • The wall opposite Zaeed bears a design marked "55" with five knives firmly stuck into it. The presence of similar knives on a crate near Zaeed indicates that he has been using it as a dartboard.
  • Due to a possible writing error, during Archangel's recruitment mission, Zaeed will advise Shepard to get the shutters open, rather than closed.
  • Robin Sachs, who voices Zaeed, was a BioWare regular, voicing Saul Karath in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Lord Pyral Harrowmont and Murdock in Dragon Age: Origins, and Seneschal Varel in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening. One of his final works was voicing Zaeed for the Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC.
    • Operation TRIBUTE, one of the Weekend Challenges in Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, is a tribute to Robin Sachs, who passed away on February 1st, 2013. The operation goals are earning points with the M-8 Avenger and Inferno Grenades, referencing Zaeed's old Avenger rifle and his loyalty power in Mass Effect 2.
  • Zaeed is one of only two squad mates (the other being Kasumi Goto) whose loyalty mission is available straight away after recruiting them. He is also one of four squad mates without a mission tied to his recruitment (the other three being Jacob, Miranda, and Kasumi). He is also one of only two squad mates who can die on their loyalty mission (the other being Samara).
    • Like Kasumi, Zaeed also does not have any dialogue options when the player talks to him. Instead, he, as well as some items in his proximity, can be interacted with, prompting him to reminisce or comment on the team or his earlier missions. Zaeed will be as talkative and mission-specific opinionated as any other party member during missions, however.

See also