Mass Effect 2 introduced lots of new concepts to the science fiction universe, and expanded the game’s scope drastically. Among the new characters that this game introduced was Jacob Taylor, a Cerberus soldier who used to work for the Alliance, and has biotic talents.
Jacob was a nuanced character with a complicated relationship with his father. He was one of Mass Effect 2’s romance options for a female Shepherd, which was loved by some and hated by others. As the possibility of a Mass Effect 5 enters the hopes and dreams of gamers again, it’s high-time to catch up on what players might have missed about this military man in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
10 Jacob’s Story
Mass Effect Galaxy was an iOS game from 2009 that is no longer available to purchase on the app store. It followed Jacob Taylor around the year 2183 – before he met Miranda and joined Cerberus. Batarians, a four-eyed alien race, was attempting to negotiate peace with the Alliance. Jacob worked for the Alliance at the time, and struggled to stop Batarian terrorists from ruining the negotiations. Since the mobile game followed Jacob as the protagonist, it was originally planned to be called “Jacob’s Story.”
9 His History With Miranda
Miranda and Jacob have been working together for some time by the time that Commander Shepherd meets them in Mass Effect 2. If the player takes the time to keep chatting with Jacob and asking him about himself, they’ll learn that Jacob and Miranda had a romantic relationship while they worked together between Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. It’s not clear how serious the pair were, since Jacob is awful coy about the details. Was it just a fling, or something more?
8 Brokeback Mountain
Mass Effect 2 was meant to include an extra romance option for male Shepherds – Jacob Taylor. According to Cinematic Animator Jonathan Cooper, it was going to be shot-for-shot with Brokeback Mountain. No joke. Supposedly, it was all designed and animated before the higher-ups told the team to cut it, saying “America isn’t ready for it.” They were worried about the bad press and backlash from programs like Fox News, who had criticized the first Mass Effect.
7 His Weapons
Mass Effect features incredible weapons for a science fiction universe – even the basic assault rifles feel excellent to blast enemies with. The variety of “magic,” techy, and heavy-hitting weapons and abilities create a unique experience for each player.
However, it’s notable that Jacob actually has access to different weapons and abilities depending on the game he’s in. In Mass Effect Galaxy, Jacob uses an assault rifle, tech overloads, and heavy weapons – none of which he has access to in Mass Effect 2.
6 He Inspired The Cerberus Wardrobe
Only die-hard fans will remember that, in the book The Art Of The Mass Effect Universe, it is detailed how Jacob’s sleek, black clothes went on to inspire the rest of the Cerberus uniforms. Though they deviated from his style a little, it’s still seen in characters like Kai Leng. The armour worn by Cerberus grunts is also reminiscent of Jacob’s armour, though they are a little plainer in design than Jacob (since they’re meant to be thrown into the grinder at Shepherd’s behest).
5 He’s Voiced By Adam Lazarre-White
In Mass Effect 2, Jacob is voiced by the wonderful Adam Lazarre-White. Players might recognize his voice from numerous roles, including but not limited to the Lethal Weapon television series, Criminal Minds, Scandal, GLOW, or Ocean’s Thirteen. Lazarre-White’s superb work on Jacob was reprised in Mass Effect 3, and he did an excellent job portraying the conflicted soul of this military man.
4 He Was Hated By Fans
Lots of things about Mass Effect have been controversial over the years. The worst offender was undoubtedly the underwhelming ending to Mass Effect 3, whose controversy rippled out into the gaming community, but there has been plenty else to complain about. Jacob was one of these terrible examples.
Modern gamers playing the trilogy now are lucky enough to miss the wave of anger from fans online that came when Mass Effect 2 was released. Jacob was hated by different people for different reasons, but generally was thought to be a stereotypical, boring straight man who female Shepherds are uncomfortably forced to flirt with.
3 He Worked To Give The Alliance Plausible Deniability
Jacob’s story is all about his life as a conflicted soldier, and his turbulent relationship with his father. As a young man before working for Cerberus, he was part of a group called the Corsairs. The Corsairs were an Alliance team, but the men served under a non-Alliance starship captain. This meant that the Citadel Council and military higher-ups could claim they had no knowledge of them. Jacob appreciated the chance to bypass the usual rules and regulations, but he still hated the bureaucracy they were forced to sludge through – which was why he joined Cerberus.
2 Miranda Was His Informant Before She Was His Superior Officer
Despite her appearance being designed specifically to appeal to young male gamers (a problem which BioWare is working to solve in the Legendary edition), Miranda is a strong female character capable of kicking it with the best of the best. She had a complicated relationship and detailed backstory – not only with her own family, but with Jacob too.
When he was still working for the Alliance, Miranda was Jacob’s informant who told him all about the Batarian terrorist plot that he would stop in the game Mass Effect Galaxy. When they continued to work together, she eventually convinced him to join Cerberus.
1 Garrus the “Cuttlebone”
If Shepherd chose to leave Jacob partway through his romance, and instead chose to pick up a relationship with Garrus – whose romance is much more popular, even overdone, in the fandom – Jacob has special, begrudging dialogue. In one conversation with Shepherd where she admits she’s involved with Garrus, Jacob calls him a “cuttlebone.” Some fans speculate that it might have been a derogatory racial slur that humans used against Turians during the long war between the two races that occurred before the beginning of the first Mass Effect.
NEXT: Mass Effect Andromeda: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Angara
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Gabrielle “Belle” Huston is a writer and long-time game-player based in Ottawa, Canada. She’s played video games for at least as long as she could write, and vice versa, which has led her to work for nerddom sites like The Gamer and the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club. As a current undergraduate student of journalism, she’s seldom away from her computer. Belle uses what little free time she has to play Battlefront 2 with her partner, work toward that 5-star rating in Animal Crossing, and wonder when the new Dragon Age installment is coming out.
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