Lieutenant Commander Shepard is the player character in BioWare's Mass Effect game trilogy: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3. A veteran soldier of the Systems Alliance Navy military and N7-graduate of the Interplanetary Combatives Training (ICT) program, and the first human Citadel Council Spectre, Shepard works to stop "the Reapers", a sentient synthetic-machine race dedicated to wiping out all organic life. Shepard's gender, class, first name and general appearance are chosen and customised by the player. Mark Meer provides the voice for male Shepards, while Jennifer Hale voices females. Since the player can choose the gender of Shepard, much of the dialogue revolving around the character is gender neutral with only a few exceptions.

Alan Shepard was the source of the character's name. Shepard's armour developed over the series, and was originally intended to be red-and-white. Though both genders were given equal importance during development, marketing felt there was a need for a single identifiable hero for promotion of the game. Various merchandise has been made, including several figurines. Shepard has appeared in cameo appearances in other Electronic Arts games, though they will not be appearing in any future Mass Effect ones.

The character has received generally positive reception. Heavy focus was given to the female Shepard, nicknamed "FemShep", by the fans and critical sources. She is depicted as a strong female protagonist that takes on many masculine traits. Her armor is not overly sexualized or revealing, implying that her appearance is not of utmost importance.

Bioware Mass Effect Male Commander Shepard WIP

This is getting uglier by the wip I swear - his skin is semi-alright but now It's his lips that...

Bioware Mass Effect Female Commander Shepard

Ugh. I am so disappointed with myself right now. It started out so well then just got worse and...

"Good judgement seeks balance and progress. Lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration."
President Eisenhower
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