In the space opera sci-fi game series Mass Effect, the player takes control of Commander Shepard, an Alliance Navy soldier who becomes the first human Spectre and a galactic hero against alien threats. But the Commander can’t do it alone; he or she has a whole squad, a diverse team with all kinds of talented individuals.
Mass Effect 2 introduces many of the coolest squadmates, and that includes Thane, an alien assassin, and Legion, an advanced geth platform who acts as a sort of ambassador for its (later his) entire synthetic race. Both of them are fantastic squadmates who help Shepard get the job done, including the suicide mission, but they each provide unique skills that the other would struggle with. So, what are some things only Thane can do? And what’s unique to Legion?
10 Thane: Pray
This is more significant than it sounds. Thane is a religious man, who prays to the old pantheon of Drell gods in a galaxy that largely neglects religion in favor of technology. Thane is no monk, but he does find comfort in praying to the Amonkira, the god of the hunt, and other gods besides.
It’s what sets Thane apart from the other squadmates, and indeed sets organic races apart from synthetic ones. The geth, EDI, and the Reapers are advanced, but they have no religion, no concept of anything divine or beyond the material realm.
9 Legion: Operate In Hostile Environments
Legion is a geth, and like any other robot, Legion has no need to eat or drink, sleep, or even breathe. This gives it a number of advantages over organics, and it can dive right into environments that would pose a threat to living things.
A derelict spaceship or station with no air, for example, is no issue for Legion, and extreme cold or heat is easier for a geth to tolerate, too, not to mention toxic gases or the like. This body does have its limits, but they’re pretty high, and a suit rupture won’t suffocate it in a vacuum.
8 Thane: Kill Barehanded
Both Thane and Legion are good fighters, and this is why Commander Shepard keeps them on board the Normandy for that suicide mission against the Collectors. But when it comes to killing method, Thane has more options.
As a trained assassin, Thane knows more than a few ways to take someone out with small arms or even his bare hands, such as snapping their neck or delivering a blow to their neck to suffocate them. Legion has no such skills.
7 Legion: Negotiate With Synthetics
Legion is a capable soldier, but it is not just a war toy. This geth platform has over 1,000 programs in it, making it very intelligent, so it can interact with any computer or AI with ease and have a proper conversation, human style.
This allows Legion to step up and negotiate with any powerful AI or other geth on Commander Shepard’s behalf, since it speaks the language, literally. For Thane, a computer is just a way to get emails on new mission parameters.
6 Thane: Blend Into A Crowd
Legion may be an ambassador for the geth, but it stands out in a crowd. That’s not the case with Thane, who is a Drell and is perfectly welcome in galactic society (Drell are rare, though). For a mission, Thane has a much easier time getting from point A to point B without drawing undo attention.
Assassins don’t try to show off their skills every chance they get; they save the good stuff for the last moment, and they’d much rather blend in and get along with everyone before striking. Legion doesn’t have that option.
5 Legion: Download Data Fast
As a series of computer programs, Legion can access data from the Extranet much faster than any living being could. EDI demonstrates this a few times by using search engines are incredible speeds, and she can effectively read a book in a snap.
Legion has similar abilities, scouring databases and the Extranet to learn just about anything. When EDI quoted the Bible about the character Legion, the geth (who probably had never heard of Christianity) found the exact Bible passage and specified the particular passage. Now that’s quick.
4 Thane: Love Another
This is another big thing that firmly sets organics like Thane apart from synthetics: love itself. Legion does have preferences and loyalty to the geth race, and it is capable of compassion. But it doesn’t love.
Thane sure does, and he met his wife Irikah on a mission when she foiled one of his assassination attempts. Thane found genuine happiness at last with her, and after suffering her death, Thane can learn to love again and embrace female Shepard. It’s such a touching personal arc.
3 Legion: Expertly Hack Computers
Many characters are capable of hacking computers and locked doors in this game series, but the likes of Legion and EDI are the best at it. Being computers themselves, they can easily understand how other computers think and fight them on their level.
Legion can interface easily with any VI, AI, geth, or computer, but it can also go on the offensive to hack just about anything, including the entire heretic station beyond the Perseus Veil. That’s impressive, but don’t expect Thane to do it, too.
2 Thane: Experience Comforting Memories
While it is true that Legion can also recall just about anything (since it’s a geth), Thane’s memory works in a different way. Being a Drell, he can recall everything from his early childhood onwards, and this can be comforting.
Legion wouldn’t take comfort or discomfort in old memories, while Thane can ease any moments of distress, sadness, or boredom with fond, warm memories that cheer him right back up. Synthetics don’t generally wax nostalgic.
1 Legion: Access Other Geth Experiences
While Thane can take comfort in his memories, Legion can access the memories of other geth platforms. As with all geth, Legion can share data back and forth in server hubs, and as Legion once put it, all the geth are many eyes looking at the same thing.
This means Legion can see things through the eyes of other geth platforms and learn what they learned, meaning the geth have perfect cohesion in knowledge and memories. This is how they can form a consensus on a topic, and that includes Legion.
Legion and Thane are both essential parts of the Mass Effect squad, but here are 5 things that each one can do but the other cannot.