|Voice Actor||Mark Meer / Jennifer Hale|
Commander Shepard is the main character of the Mass Effect Trilogy. Shepard was born in the year 2154 and is 29 years old at the beginning of Mass Effect. Shepard's gender, appearance, and skills are all chosen by the player at the start of the game. The female character is voiced by Jennifer Hale, while the male character is voiced by Mark Meer.
Early on in Mass Effect, Shepard is given the chance to join the Spectres and is assigned responsibility of the SSV Normandy and its crew with many dangerous missions awaiting Shepard on his adventure.
 Profile Re-Construction
Profile Reconstruction is the ability given to gamers to alter the Commander Shepard character more towards their liking. There is the option to choose a default female and male character, but if deciding to customize Shepard instead, options will open up allowin the player to alter their physical appearance as well as pre-service history.
John Shepard is the name of the male character, while Jane Shepard is the name given to the female character. Only the first name can be changed by the player however.
 Pre-Service History
There are three different options available when deciding upon Shepard's pre-service history; Spacer, Colonist, and Earthborn. Each one will grant the player different dialogue options throughout the game, and unique side-missions will become available depending on which history is chosen.
- Spacer - "'Both of your parents were in the Alliance military. Your childhood was spent on ships and stations as they transferred from posting to posting, never staying in one location for more than a few years. Following in your parents; footsteps, you enlisted at the age of eighteen."
Selecting the Spacer Pre-service History for your character gives him or her a point bonus when receiving Paragon morality points.
- Colonist - "You were born and raised on Mindoir, a small border colony in the Attican Traverse. When you were sixteen slavers raided Mindoir, slaughtering your family and friends. You were saved by a passing Alliance patrol, and you enlisted with the military a few years later."
Selecting the Colonist Pre-service History for your character gives him or her partial point bonus when receiving Paragon or Renegade morality points.
- Earthborn - "You were an orphan raised on the streets of the great megatropolises covering Earth. You escaped the life of petty crime and underworld gangs by enlisting with the Alliance military when you turned eighteen."
Selecting the Earthborn Pre-service History for your character gives him or him or her a point bonus when receiving Renegade morality points.
 Pyschological Profile
As with pre-service history, the psychological profile opens up different dialogue options during gameplay and affects the character's morality.
- Sole Survivor - "During your service, a mission you were on went horribly wrong. Trapped in an extreme survival situation, you had to overcome physical torments and psychological stresses that would have broken most people. You survived while all those around you fell, and now you alone are left to tell the tale."
Selecting the Sole Survivor Psychological Profile gives your character a partial point bonus when receiving Paragon or Renegade morality points.
- War Hero - "Early in your military career you found yourself facing an overwhelming enemy force. You risked your own life to save your fellow soldiers and defeat the enemy despite the impossible odds. Your bravery and heroism have earned you medals and recognition from the Alliance fleet."
Selecting the War Hero Psychological Profile gives your character a point bonus when receiving Paragon morality points.
- Ruthless - "Throughout your military career, you have held fast to one basic rule; get the job done. You've been called cold, calculating, and brutal. Your reputation for ruthless efficiency makes your fellow soldiers wary of you. But when failure is not an option, the military always goes to you first."
Selecting the Ruthless Psychological Profile gives your character a point bonus when receiving Renegade morality points.
 Class Specialization
Along with being able to choose a history of their Shepard character, players will also be given the opportunity to select a unique class during their adventure. The options are Soldier, Engineer, Infiltrator, Adept, Sentinel, and Vanguard. Each class is very unique in the abilities given to Shepard. For instance, Soldiers are extremely proficient with firearms, while the Adept class is well trained in Biotics.
 Background Notes
- The default face for male Shepard is that of male top model Mark Vanderloo.
- When Shepard becomes inducted as a Spectre, according to Admiral Hackett Shepard is, technically, still part of the Alliance military (though Captain Anderson claims otherwise). Therefore, Shepard should still be referred to as a Commander, even though Shepard is outside of the Alliance military's chain of command and only answers directly to the Council.
- John Shepard, the default male persona, has nearly the same name as the Stargate Atlantis character John Sheppard, though this is likely coincidental. They also share similar roles, with Sheppard being the Military Contingent Commander of Atlantis.
- The female Shepard is played by prolific voice actress Jennifer Hale, who voiced the Jedi Knight Bastila Shan in BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Obsidian Entertainment's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords and the female Jaden Korr in Raven's Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. She also played the characters of Naomi Hunter and Emma Emmerich in Konami's "Metal Gear Solid" and "Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty", respectively. Jennifer Hale also contributed to the Metroid Prime series by voicing Samus Aran, though because Samus has no dialog Hale was only responsible for adding injury and impact grunts.
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