|“||It's pointless to challenge me, asari. I know your every secret, while you fumble in the dark.||„|
|~ The Shadow Broker taunting Liara T'Soni|
In the Mass Effect series, The Shadow Broker is a notorious information dealer, well-known and feared throughout the galaxy, who sells valuable information to the highest bidder. Tapping into various security and observation modules, he has information on virtually everyone in the galaxy. He is known as a ruthless individual, killing anything and anyone to preserve his identity.
In 2183, the Shadow Broker's identity was unknown; the Broker always operates through an agent. Barla Von, one of his operatives, refers to the Broker as "he" for convenience's sake, but tells Commander Shepard that he believes the Shadow Broker is a group of individuals: it does not seem possible for a single individual to monitor all of the available information and have such a wide sphere of influence.
The Shadow Broker was part of the reason Tali came to the Citadel: the data file she had proving Saren Arterius had gone rogue put her in danger, but was too valuable to waste. She wanted to trade the information for a safe place to hide, so a local doctor by the name of Chloe Michel put her in touch with the club owner Fist, who worked for the Broker. However, unknown to her, Fist had changed his allegiances to Saren. The Broker was furious at this treachery, hiring Wrex to assassinate Fist.
After raiding the Cerberus base on Nepheron as part of a chain of missions, an agent for the Shadow Broker contacts Shepard aboard the SSV Normandy, wanting to buy the Cerberus files the team managed to recover. According to the agent, Admiral Kahoku bought the Broker's services to find Cerberus' location, in return for passing on any files he discovered. However, all the Shadow Broker could find out was that there was Cerberus activity in the Voyager Cluster.
Shepard can agree or refuse to sell the information. If Shepard refuses, the Shadow Broker's agent claims the information will be dug out of the Alliance databases eventually. Either way, the agent assures Shepard that this encounter will not be forgotten by his employer the next time Shepard needs the Broker's assistance.
Mass Effect: Redemption
In Mass Effect: Redemption the Shadow Broker was hired by the Collectors to retrieve Shepard's body and deliver it to them. As Harbinger is talking about the deal to the Shadow Broker, only one voice is responding to the Collector General (possessed by Harbinger at the time) further hinting that the Shadow Broker is indeed a singular individual. He sent Tazzik, his personal enforcer, to retrieve Shepard's remains from the Blue Suns on Omega, a task at which he succeeded despite interference from Liara T'Soni and Feron. When the two followed Tazzik to the Broker's base on Alingnon, they come face-to-face with the Broker, so to speak, as an obscure shadowy figure. Liara talked to him while Feron downloaded all the information on the Broker's dealings with the Collectors. When asked to why he would sell Shepard to the Collectors, who may be working for the Reapers, the Broker answered that it was simply business. He doesn't believe that the Collectors could gain anything from a corpse. When Liara got close enough to get a good look at the Broker, she finds that it is just a machine he's communicating through. But before the Broker could alert his men to their presence, Feron had finished downloading and Liara unleashed a powerful display of biotics, disabling the communications in the room. When they attempt to fool Tazzik and the Collector intermediary into thinking the Broker wanted full payment, the Collector General, who was possessing the drone, accused the Broker of treachery. The Broker assured the Collector that Feron doesn't speak for him. Despite the General's warning, Liara is able to escape with Shepard's body, but is forced to leave Feron behind.
Mass Effect 2
In 2185, the Shadow Broker is being pursued by Liara T'Soni, due to the events of Redemption. In response, the Broker placed a double agent named Nyxeris to monitor her progress and when possible, to kill her. It is also heavily implied by Liara, in-game, that the Shadow Broker is an individual.
After tracking down and infiltrating the Shadow Broker's ship, Shepard and Liara break into the Broker's intel center and confront him in person. The Shadow Broker is revealed to be a member of a pre-spaceflight race called the yahg. Liara surmises that because the yahg were not discovered until 2125 CE and the Broker's ship is considerably older than that, this yahg usurped the original Shadow Broker years ago and has been running the organization ever since. Enraged at being called a pet, a grave insult to the yahg, the Broker attacks Shepard and Liara, overpowering them with an M-76 Revenant and a shield generated by his omni-tool, but is killed in the resulting conflict when Liara exploits his kinetic shield generator, vaporizing the Broker with the electrified plasma. Liara then assumes the mantle of the Shadow Broker to keep the tradition of the Broker being immortal.
The Shadow Broker was a very cautious being; he only referred to his subordinates by species in case any information let loose about his whereabouts. Nevertheless, Renegade Shepard considered him reckless, saying the bombing on Illium 'wasn't exactly subtle', which he deemed as 'extreme, but necessary'. He was shown to be very callous, not caring at all about civilian causalities and considering any of his subordinates to be 'expendable' or 'replaceable'. He was also highly irresponsible, blaming Liara's 'interference' for everything that was happening and trying to justify what he was doing to Feron by saying he was 'simply paying the price'.
The Broker was shown to be extremely arrogant, telling Liara that it was pointless to challenge him and being confident that she and Shepard would not leave his presence alive. Ultimately, this grave underestimation of Shepard and Liara is what enabled them to defeat him. His overconfidence was further shown when Liara discovered he had put no safeguards on his equipment, which meant to Liara that he never anticipated anyone but himself being there. While he was certainly intelligent, the Broker was essentially a vain, short-sighted coward who was out of his depth.
- The Shadow Broker knew of the Reapers, and researched the Protheans in an effort to discover a way to survive the Reapers. He also knew that the Collectors were genetically modified Protheans.
- The yahg who would become the Shadow Broker was initially inducted to kill and assume the identity of an operative. When the Broker preceding this one became fearful that he would be usurped, he sent a message to operatives to kill the yahg, but was killed while sending the message.
- The Shadow Broker is similar to Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones: They are powerful and well-known information brokers who have vast networks and influence. They even have rival information brokers whom they consider worthy opponents (Shadow Broker: Illusive Man, Petyr: Varys).