Collectors (Mass Effect)

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The Collectors were an alien species from Mass Effect 2.



Collector army.

The Collectors were an ancient and mysterious race of beings whose origin was apparently traced to 50,000 years ago. At the time, the dominant species in the galaxy was a race of beings known as the Protheans. However, at the height of their civilization, they were fallen upon an even older race whose name was not known to them. The ruthless nature of their attackers as well as the purge they did to the galaxy led to the Protheans labelling their enemy as the Reapers. Gradually, their civilization collapsed and many of their number fell to the mental domination of the mechanical race through their indoctrination techniques. One of the many colonies that befell this fate was in the Styx Theta cluster until finally the light of the Prothean race was extinguished around 50,000 years ago. The Protheans attempted to create a hidden colony that was to keep a million of heir kind alive o survive the extinction with this being located on Eden Prime. However, the Reapers discovered the underground bunkers and hordes of Collectors were sent to system where they destroyed hundreds of the occupied pods with the only survivor being Javik who managed to evade the destruction. Before departing to darkspace which was the void outside the galaxy, the Reapers began to genetically modify their Prothean followers. The process was extensive and completely transformed the species in order to retool them as servants. They were provided advanced Reaper technology and placed in the galactic core with a Mass Relay known as the Omega-4 Relay being the only method of entry which required a specific code to allow anyone through. The Collectors had a simple directive to serve their masters whilst they slumbered and to study the inhabitants of the galaxy as new life developed.

Thousands of years later, a number of species began to develop and embarked on the repetitive cycle of life and destruction. Whilst their masters slept, the Collectors began to embark on their chosen directive which involved limited amount of trade with the newly developed organic races. They were shown to be enigmatic and worked through specific individuals to get their needs which were unusual requests such as certain genetic specimens or samples from the different races. Examples of their activities included; two dozen left-handed salarians, sixteen sets of batarian twins, a krogan born of parents from feuding clans, or two dozen "pure" quarians (quarians that have never left the Migrant Fleet due to illness, importance to the fleet, or disability). They also developed an interest in the acquirement of Human Biotics. Those that provided these trade items were often given examples of Collectors advanced technology as payment. However, their motivations were completely unknown to the other newly developed races. Many came to realize that the Collectors came from the Omega-4 Relay but all attempts at going through the Mass Relay had never returned.

Eventually, the Collectors began to prepare the way for the return of their masters. This involved the abduction of entire colonies of Humans that were captured throughout known space. Their actions culminated in the destruction of the Systems Alliance vessel Normany and saw the death of Commander Shepard. Over the course of the next two years, the Collectors continued their abductions but eventually found themselves opposed by Cerberus who had restored Commander Shepard through Project Lazarus. Around this time, they introduced a deadly pathogen on Omega and tasked the Vorcha in ensuring that it spread who were told that they would be free to claim the spoils from the dead as they were immune to the disease. Together with a crew assembled, they managed to pierce the Omega-4 Relay and enter the Collector base in the galactic core. Once inside, they discovered that the captured Humans, which consisted of tens of thousands of subjects, were taken by the Collectors in order for them to use as components to create a larval Reaper. Through Shepards actions, the Collectors base was neutralized thus ending the threat they posed.

When the Leviathans entered the war effort, they used their own enthrallment ability to sever the Reapers control over their servant constructs. Among those freed were a number of Collectors where most died but a few managed to survive where they regained their former personalities. These Awakened Collectors then joined the rest of the galaxy in fighting the Reapers in order to avenge their Prothean ancestors.


In appearance, the race were bipedal humanoids but with insectoid style properties such as four eyes, a pair of wings which were used as jetpacks and an organic style covering around their bodies which may have been a form of organic armor making them resemble massive winged beetles. It was noted that they were no longer Prothean by this point and had been completely repurposed to suit the needs of the Reapers. Study by Mordin Solus determined that whatever intelligence these offshoots of the Protheans had was long lost through generations of cloning. Their mental faculties were non-existent though their memory input replaced this which gave overloaded sensory sensations that were all transmitted back to their masters. After being completely under the thrall of the Reapers, the Collectors were cybernetically augmented for improved capabilities and was partly in response to compensate for any failure in their original Prothean bodies. This meant that there was no digestive system, no glands or other such structures within their bodies which were entirely replaced with cybernetic technology. Their cerebellums had cybernetic implants directly installed allowing them to become hijacked by a control signal from the Reapers or the Collector General.

Collectors generated a permanent stasis field around themselves that created nightmarish red-shifted energy fields. Despite the genetic rewrites done to their bodies, one aspect of their biology that was not changed was the quad-strand genetic structure that identified them as members of the Prothean race. However, there were extreme alterations which included three fewer chromosomes, reduced heterochromatin structure and the elimination of superflous junk DNA.

In battle, they tended to hold positions whenever possible and relied on aggressive biotics along with nearly limitless power. There were several different kinds of bipedal Collectors that included; minions, defenders, zealots, assassins and artillery-operators. The Collectors often acted together to imprison entire cities in stasis.


They were adept in the field of genetic engineering and had the capacity to create engineered plagues that targeted specific species. The Collectors used this mostly for testing and experimentation purposes. This was seen in their deployment of a disease that targeted the various species except for humanity which was done so on the Omega space station. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the other races whilst using humanity as the control testing group for comparison. Their keen knowledge of genetics also led to them comparing their own genome to that of humans.

The height of their technological capabilities was the capacity to create as well as grow a Reaper. This process involved the abduction of tens of thousands of organic specimens who were liquified into their base components which were combined with inorganic compounds in order to create a superstructure. This served as the body of a larval Reaper which seemingly took the form of the race it was being assembled from during its construction phase.

One weapon used by the Collectors was a type of assault rifle which operated under the same principles as their human counterpart though had organic components to the design. The power source of these rifles was an organ with biotic capacitance and made use of ammunition that resembled metallic enamel which was capable of stripping the shields of a target with deadly efficiency.

Collectors made use of mechanical servitors such as the Oculus that was built for the singular purpose of finding and eliminating threats. These machines operated akin to fighters that could be deployed by their capital ships. An Oculus had an outer structure with three apertures that housed long-range detection equipment similar to those on deep-space probes that it used to find and track targets from near-stellar distances. Contragrav mass effect fields allow an Oculus to move easily through space or operate in an atmosphere in pursuit of its prey. A large central lens served as the emission center for its weapon platform. All four of its lenses have a titanium iris that prevented the detectors optics from scratching due to interstellar dust or atmospheric residue.


  • Collector General : a singular non-humanoid commander that was never seen on the battlefield but based at the Collectors base. Though not present, the General selected its minions as remote platforms for its consciousness in a process that was similar to a biological hack or cybernetic version of demonic possession. A secure signal was sent to any one of its minions whereupon it took control of their motor functions and awakened previously dormant biotic potential. This saw a lowly drone transforming into a battle-hardened biotic commander and even if the Collector host dies the General simply activated and controlled a new body. Though a commanding influence, in reality the General was simply a conduit to the Reapers such as Harbinger who acted through the creature. After Sovereigns destruction, Harbinger commanded the Collectors through the Collector General to abduct humans to create a proto-Reaper with this attracting the attention of Cerberus who dispatched Commander Sheppard to stop him. In the resultant destruction of the Collectors base, Harbinger abandoned control over the Collector General who died in the resultant explosions.


  • The Collectors were originally referenced in the novels before making an actual appearance in Mass Effect 2.


  • Mass Effect 2:
  • Mass Effect 3:

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