Jacob Taylor (Mass Effect)

Lieutenant Jacob Taylor


Mass Effect was a landmark video game trilogy released from 2007 to 2012. It included multiple ties-in such as novels, comics and an animated movie. Further games will follow in 2016 and beyond, although they will form a separate storyline.

It is a science fiction story, of the starships and space aliens kind. Most of the action takes place in a military context, as an apocalyptic threat against the galaxy emerges. It’s one of my favouritest games ever.

Writeups.org offers extensive Mass Effect coverage. The core articles are setting for Mass Effect 1 and the setting for Mass Effect 2, plus the profiles for the heroine – Staff Commander Mandala Shepard.

Unless you are highly familiar with Mass Effect, we recommend reading these articles first.

This profile covers both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. Usually we do separate profiles, but Jacob doesn’t change that much between games.


  • There are S P O I L E R S in this thing, for *both* ME2 and ME3.
  • This profile assumes a specific video game playthrough. See our video games writeups FAQ for more.
  • This profile features tabletop RPG mechanics about the video game’s gameplay. See our video games writeups FAQ for more.
  • This profile features non-canon hypotheses about in-game events and mechanics. See our video games writeups FAQ for more.


  • Real Name: Second Lieutenant Jacob Taylor, retired.
  • Other Aliases: Operative (Cerberus callsign).
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Ronald Taylor (father).
  • Group Affiliation: Former Alliance Corsair, former Alliance Marine, Cerberus operative.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile aboard the Normandy SR2.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 205 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

Jacob is a soldier’s soldier and an accomplished shock trooper. He’s in exceptional shape, and works out in a serious and disciplined manner. One presumes that he also keeps his martial and military skills honed to a point through regular training, no matter what the circumstances.

He appears to be qualified in a number of infantry specialities. But his core speciality seems to be close-quarter assault, such as boarding actions and acting as the point man. He’ll fight with a shotgun when part of a fire team. Jacob will switch to something with more ammunition and faster reloading — probably an assault rifle — if he has to operate alone.


Taylor is also a biotic, preferring simple and reliable techniques. He can telekinetically lift opponents and have them helplessly float toward him and his high-powered shotgun. He can also wreath himself in a heavy biotic barrier, providing a remarkable amount of protection.

In Mass Effect: Galaxy Jacob used a Mass Effect overload attack that isn’t present in Mass Effect 2. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to add it to his repertoire, as the ME2 power lists seem to be the abridged version.

Since he can stack a Mass Effect kinetic shield, a biotic barrier and high-end Cerberus body armour, Jacob can withstand copious hits. This facilitates his role as an assaulter, as he’s likely to run into the worst situations.

Between his biotics, superior training and remarkable discipline under fire, Jacob is an exceptional combatant. He can take on multiple opponents by himself with an excellent chance of victory. He might well be the deadliest gunman working for Cerberus at that point. As an experienced NCO then junior officer, he also excels at leading small units in the field.

Other skills

Taylor seems to be a fully-trained armourer and firearms engineer. He also knows his way around spaceship weapons and armour. He thus runs the sizeable armoury of the Normandy SR2. It is implied that he’s the one building the tactical team’s guns using the technologies reverse-engineered by Mordin Solus from captured weapons and data.

Jacob Taylor checking his omni-tool

This profiles assumes that Jacob sports the same genetic enhancements seen in other Alliance soldiers, allowing him to heal quickly. Our game stats also assume that he has the skills one would expect from an athletic, experienced, competent elite soldier – even if they were not demonstrated in the game.

Mr. Taylor doesn’t like manipulation, lies, hypocrisy and the like. Combined with his perceptiveness, this makes him very proficient at decoding social strategies. From but a few sentences he can correctly deduce what the other person is trying to accomplish, which buttons they’re trying to push and in which pit traps they’re trying to take him.


The former Lieutenant Taylor is remarkably capable at procuring materiel. Admittedly, the Systems Alliance, whose supply chains are a bureaucratic nightmare, has a lot of “midnight requisitions” artists. These can get gear through back channels, the grey market, horse-trading between units, private deals with companies, etc.. But Jacob seems to operate differently.

Among the stuff he obtained was :

  • Prototype weaponry still undergoing field tests (such as Cdr. Shepard’s M-5 Phalanx handgun).
  • An Armali Corporation naval bay in orbit around Illium to have the Normandy receive a full Silaris hull-armouring treatment without any paperwork or questions asked.
  • A pair of recent and well-maintained surface-to-orbit cannons with full fire control hardware and software.

As usual, Taylor did not wish to explain how he got the stuff. One suspects that he’s owed serious favours by very well-connected persons in a senior military procurement position within the Alliance. This may be tied to Jacob’s unrevealed exploits on Eden-Prime .


Jacob isn’t prone to talking about himself. Thus, what is known about his youth can be summed with but a handful of bullet points :

  • He was presumably born circa 2157. He’s the only child and has no extended family.
  • He is a biotic. His likely date of birth means that his pregnant mother was presumably exposed to one of the last few genuine Element Zero containment accidents. Whether Jacob was ever taken to Jump Zero — see Kaidan Alenko’s profile for more about that — is unrevealed. He was probably not even 10 when Jump Zero was shut down.
  • The latter means that he is probably an early L3 implantee. Jacob never mentioned or evidenced any of the symptoms associated with most L2 biotic implants.
  • His father was seldom home, and was apparently an irresponsible man prone to problems. Jacob thus was almost entirely raised by his mum. Ronald Taylor was aboard the Hugo Gernsback  merchant spaceship as its First Officer when it vanished. This occurred when Jacob was a teenager, during the 2170s.
  • Jacob presumably enlisted with the Systems Alliance military as soon as he was of age (2175 ?). Since he knew bars in Rio de Janeiro, he was presumably trained at the Systems Alliance’s main military academy there – one gets the impression that all Alliance Marines spend time there. Apparently, the academy is set in the Vila Militar , a huge military base.
  • It is possible that Lieutenant Taylor holds a N military certification, but nothing is ever mentioned. N5 sounds possible.

From the halls of Montezuma

Jacob’s service with the Systems Alliance Marines isn’t documented either. However, his favourite part was serving as an Alliance Corsair.

The Systems Alliance military has often been criticised for being slow, ponderous and mired in regulations and precautions. The Corsairs program was an attempt to address that. Since Taylor shared the criticisms about the Alliance’s procedural issues, he joined the Corsairs.

From Jacob’s explanations, it would seem that the Corsairs were relieved of their normal duties for the duration. They were recruited by private captains to crew spaceships acting as privateers in dangerous areas. Corsairs apparently hunted pirates and ships from hostile Terminus powers for pillage and bounties.

Presumably, the idea was to have fully trained yet fully deniable military operatives. This allowed Humans to wage low-level war against their enemies without formally declaring hostilities.

Jacob Taylor with an incendiary geth shotgun

Mass Effect established that colonisation rights granted to Humans by the Council were generally in dangerous areas on the edge of Citadel Space. Early Human colonies were in the Terminus systems. One thus suspects that Corsairs were also a way to pack more forces in such areas, without diplomatic heat from Terminus systems about Humans massing units near their borders.

By 2185, the existence of the Corsairs programme was known to the public. A video game called Alliance Corsairs was a best-seller. Whether the programme was still running at that point is unrevealed.

To the shores of Tripoli

Several of Jacob’s friends were Marines Special Operations commandos who fought alongside Lieutenant Shepard during the Skyllian Blitz of 2176. He thus heard their first-hand account about this famous battle, widely considered one of the finest hours of the Alliance military.

Shepard had Jacob’s friends and their colleagues wage aggressive asymmetric war against invading pirate forces. Meanwhile, the N7-rated Lt. Shepard single-handedly denied full control of the starport to the pirates for more than 15 hours. This wrecked their plan and resulted in the destruction of the invaders at the hands of fast-responding Systems Alliance naval assets.

(This specific account of the Skyllian Blitz is part of the biography of our specific version of Cdr. Shepard. What happened exactly during the Blitz isn’t described in the game).

Jacob eventually came to the conclusion that even the Corsairs were too hampered by red tape and protocol for his tastes. He decided to leave the service. It seems that he requested to be transferred to garrison duty on the quiet Human colony world of Eden-Prime as he considered his options and prepared for a career in the private sector.

Given his distaste of mercenaries, he presumably never consider joining a merc firm or becoming a freelancer.

Since the Alliance attempted to retain the valuable Taylor by offering him a promotion to First Lieutenant, it seems likely that Jacob was a Second Lieutenant as he prepared for the next step in his life.

We fight our species’ battles

On Eden-Prime, Taylor presumably was with the 232nd Systems Alliance Marines Brigade. It seems that there were but two brigades on Eden-Prime, and had Jacob served with the two-twelve rather than the two-thirty-two he presumably would have told Shepard that he was in the same unit as her comrade-in-arms, Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams.

In 2183, Eden Prime was struck out of the blue by a geth invasion. The marines on Eden Prime were caught flat-footed as a monstrous mothership just appeared in orbit. The 212th and 232nd took heavy casualties as they attempted to protect the civilian population from the geth.

Though Jacob only learned about it later, Commander Shepard was also on Eden-Prime, which she coincidentally reached a few hours into the battle. Shepard led a successful commando raid that killed dozens of invaders and prevented the destruction of Eden-Prime’s capital.

By the time the Commander arrived most marines had apparently been overrun. But thankfully, the geth retreated once their mission was accomplished. Jacob never talked about his actions during the Eden-Prime invasion, though given his abilities one suspects that he led heroic efforts to repulse the geth.

Taylor’s departure from the military was delayed by the carnage at Eden-Prime – and quite possibly a hospital stay for wounds suffered during the fighting. During this time Commander Shepard defeated the Saren Plot – and she and the Systems Alliance Navy thwarted the geth assault on the Citadel.

In space, on land and sea!

The Human supremacist organisation Cerberus developed an interest in Lieutenant Taylor. An elite soldier (and a biotic to boot) with a splendid track record but an history of frustration with the Alliance’s ineffectiveness was the exact type of man Cerberus was looking to recruit for its commandos.

In typical Cerberus fashion Taylor was initially approached by a sympathiser serving in the Alliance – Major Derek Izunami, a former CO  of his.

Jacob Taylor points a pistol at his father

Jacob had just clashed with Batarian pirates, intervening as an armed citizen when the ship he was on was attacked. Izunami told him that these attackers were probably part of a larger plot about which he had some information. But deniable assets were necessary to investigate.

The Major then referred Lieutenant Taylor to the actual handler of the operation, Cerberus officer Miranda Lawson. He told Jacob that she was just an informant.

First to fight for right and freedom

Lawson was busy analysing Cerberus intelligence to determine the nature of the Batarian plot. She had Taylor serve as her muscle in the meanwhile. Jacob ran reconnaissance-in-force solo operations for Miranda.

Lawson’s intelligence proved a shade too correct, and Taylor found himself fighting against unreasonable odds on numerous occasions. Yet, his superior military skills and biotic powers allowed him to do the job. Lawson and Taylor eventually foiled a terrorist plot to unleash a virus inside the Citadel Tower during peace talks, their heroic efforts saving numerous lives.

Jacob once told Shepard that he had been “swept under the rug” just like she was. He was presumably referring to the aftermath of this operation. It is likely that the Council and the Alliance suppressed information about the foiled biological attack to avoid alarming the public.

In the wake of this secret victory Lawson barged in Taylor’s room with a bottle of champagne and a lustful air. Jacob concurred with her manifestly superior strategy. Though their shared goal was probably just a one-night stand they ended up in a relationship.

This lasted for but a few months, as Jacob discovered that for all her impressive intelligence, excellent efficiency, captivating curvaceousness and penetrating presence Miranda also had a bevy of baggage.

Despite breaking up they continued to work very well together as Cerberus operatives. In 2183, Jacob thus agreed to be Miranda’s lieutenant and security chief as she was tasked with a critical project.

And to keep our honor clean

The project was certainly something Jacob could get behind. In complex circumstances, Lawson and Cerberus had recovered the smashed, carbonized, frozen remains of the legendary Commander Shepard. Cerberus’ director, the Illusive Man, wanted Shepard brought back from the dead.

To accomplish the impossible, Miranda — now apparently the Illusive Man’s top lieutenant — received a multi-billions budget and full discretion. She christened this new Cerberus cell Cell Lazarus.

Miranda set up a secret space station. She hand-picked a large scientific staff, which worked on the problem 24/7. She gave them access to huge volumes of revolting Cerberus research into exotic technologies. One of these sets of studies — experimenting with the reanimated corpses, or “husks”, encountered on Eden-Prime — was particularly promising.

While Miranda and her scientists and engineers toiled, Jacob ran the guards contingent and security measures. The bulk of his force was actually security mechs (chiefly LOKI-class units) to maintain secrecy.

We are proud to claim the title

When Human colonies in the Terminus systems started vanishing, Jacob and Miranda were sent to investigate by the Illusive Man. Alas, their investigations frustratingly failed. In all locations, the population had seemingly vanished into thin air, with no clue and few signs of a disturbance.

Jacob Taylor in the armory of the Normandy

In early 2185, Jacob met with a Cerberus scientist, Dr. Brynn Cole, through a common friend in the Cerberus cell in Mumbai. Cerberus cells being normally isolated from each other for security reasons, how this happened is unrevealed.

Jacob and Brynn had great chemistry. They quickly became friends and possibly lovers, but couldn’t spend long together. They stayed in touch against Cerberus security protocols, though.

Taylor’s considerable talents seemed wasted on the Lazarus detail, as little else happened. For two years, Jacob only used his guns on the firing range.

However, Lawson’s decision to have him at her side was the correct one. As Miranda knew from previous Cerberus projects, the important bit wasn’t the project proper. It was that point where things suddenly and violently go bad and most people die horrifically.

Of Systems Alliance Marine

In the case of Project Lazarus, it occurred mere days before Cdr. Shepard was fully resurrected. Wilson, Lawson’s Chief Medical Officer, was actually a double agent.

The traitor hacked the whole security mech force on Lazarus Station. He turned them against the staff with no warning, resulting in a massacre. Jacob suddenly found himself fighting for his life against his own mechs. Against heavy resistance, he started shooting his way toward the medical bay where Shepard was kept.

While under fire on an exposed bridge, Taylor was startled to see a rather dead-looking Shepard joining him behind cover. Miranda had awakened Cdr. Shepard before the resurrection process was completed, since everything seemed lost.

With the deadly zombie in tow Jacob made his way to the rally and evac point, hoping to find Miranda there. They also rescued Wilson, though Taylor thought that his explanations sounded off.

(That Shepard wasn’t fully reconstructed at this point is a cosmetic variation specific to this playthrough, not a normal part of the game.)

Taylor, Wilson and Zombie Shepard thus reached the evacuation point. There Lawson murdered Wilson right before Taylor’s eyes, being certain that he was the traitor. There were no other known survivors – and in any case Miranda and Jacob’s priority was to evacuate Cdr. Shepard and finish the reconstruction process.

The trio boarded a shuttle and left for another Cerberus base.

Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze

Unlike the Systems Alliance or the Council, Cerberus was convinced that Shepard was right about an imminent, galactic-scale extinction event brought by entities called the Reapers. The Illusive Man considered that Shepard was the only person capable of opposing the Reapers, and the whole point of Lazarus was to put her in command of such a mission.

As Project Lazarus was nearing its end, other budget lines had been unlocked. Their goal was to provide the soon-to-be-resurrected Shepard with a special ship and a suitable crew.

Jacod and Commander Shepard discuss in the armory

With Project Lazarus being over, Lawson and Taylor were tasked with assisting Shepard and acting as her seconds-in-command. They were rebased aboard her ship – a recreation of Shepard’s famous experimental frigate, the Normandy.

Jacob felt greatly honoured to be a part of this mission. He had little doubt that Shepard was the greatest soldier and leader Humanity had to offer. Serving under her orders was bound to be the high point in his career as a fighting man. However, he was taken aback as Shepard, very diminished by her resurrection and afraid to be alone, made some awkward passes at him.

Within days, Jacob witnessed the Magic Shepard Touch™ he had heard about. The Commander recovered her normal efficiency and strength. The first Shepard-led investigation of the mass disappearance of a Human colony was the first one to produce genuine clues – and a lot of them.

It was soon determined that the colonies were being kidnapped by mysterious aliens called the Collectors, coming from beyond a mass relay called Omega Four. No ship had ever come back from Omega Four, and the Collectors were an highly advanced species with numerous and powerful weapons.

The odds seemed dismal, and it seemed fair to call the job a suicide mission. However, Jacob certainly wasn’t one for shirking duty, especially given what was at stake. Furthermore, he strongly suspected that the great Commander Shepard would somehow beat all odds.

From dawn to setting suns

As Shepard’s lieutenants, Jacob and Miranda were soon swept up by the storm. The Commander relentlessly chained flawless missions to build up her resources and recruit her team.

New and impressive operators kept joining. Thus, Jacob had to keep a heavy schedule to have the recruits gel as a tactical team and follow Shepard’s tactical training program. He also had to develop the Normandy’s small arms arsenal, using a stream of improvements reverse-engineered from captured guns.

Jacob apparently worked closely with crew members Miranda Lawson, Mordin Solus and E.D.I. to make sure that Commander Shepard had the huge pile of ludicrously overpowered guns she wanted for her ops.

Commander Shepard also addressed Taylor’s lingering unease about her initial attitude through a series of short conversations. These reframed their working relationship as that of fellow marines with shared values and mutual respect.

Taylor appreciated that Commander Shepard’s approach was relying on his social intelligence to spot all the subtext, and quickly put the unease behind him.

We have fought in every clime and place

Using Cerberus intelligence, Shepard and her operatives achieved another first. They intercepted the Collectors in the middle of a mass abduction, and forced them to retreat despite their great power. However, Jacob then received a strange e-mail.

The anonymous information, taken from Cerberus database, included the location the recently-received distress signal of the Hugo Gernsback. Though Jacob had long since gotten over the behaviour of his father and wasn’t really interested in a reunion, he was troubled by the message.

He wondered who had sent it and how. He wondered about the mystery of a distress signal getting broadcast 10 years after the loss of the Hugo Gernsback. And he had an obligation of launching a rescue mission as he was now aware of a ship in distress.

Taylor presented the situation to his commanding officer, and Commander Shepard agreed to help ASAP. They would thus determine what had happened to the Hugo Gernsback and Ronald Taylor.

Where we could take a gun

The investigation uncovered a sordid situation. The Hugo Gernsback had crashed on a planet with a Human-breathable atmosphere, but where food gradually hampered cognitive functions. It was necessary to ration the safe food stocks for the officers, as they needed their full intelligence to do repairs and activate the badly damaged signal beacon.

It was agreed that the rest of the crew would subsist on local food, leaving them with but very basic minds. They would receive treatment once they were rescued.

Jacob salutes near Miranda

However, the ship’s captain was dead. Ronald Taylor thus found himself in command – for which he was unfit. The situation slowly degenerated. The male officers helped themselves to a harem of now docile, simple-minded female crew members and exiled the non-commissioned male crewmembers.

Internecine conflict arose within the officers. Some rebelled against Ronald Taylor as the situation became intolerably sordid, resulted in more deaths and exiles. Eventually, Taylor was left with all the healthy food, all the women and a force of security mechs to repel raids from exiled men.

As these raids worsened Taylor activated the beacon, thinking that he could bullshit his way toward freedom as none of the other survivors would remember anything.

In the snow of far-off ice planets

However, Commander Shepard and Lieutenant Taylor’s investigation soon reconstituted the truth. Jacob was appalled to see what his failure of a father had done, and Shepard was furious to see how the women had been treated.

The Commander summoned Alliance forces. She also transmitted information to ensure that the survivors would receive medical help and that Ronald Taylor would be judged for his grave transgressions.

Though he did not want to talk about it, Jacob had some difficulties dealing with seeing what his father had done. Howbeit, he felt better when the Commander forwarded him thankful e-mails from survivors of the Hugo Gernsback. These were gradually recovering their intellect as Alliance doctors were running them through xenocontaminants detox.

Now more determined than ever to fight the good fight, and satisfied with his marine-style friendship with the great Commander Shepard, Jacob served for the remainder of the suicide mission – and survived.

During one of the phases of the invasion of the Collectors’ base, the Commander put Jacob in command of the bulk of the unit as she was leading a much smaller spearheading team. Taylor performed admirably, not losing a single operator.

Commander Shepard blew up the Collectors’ base against the Illusive Man’s wish, marking the end of her fragile alliance with Cerberus. Taylor approved – during the course of the mission he had developed a better understanding of Cerberus. Jacob now intended to resign from the organisation no matter what the consequences.

And on hothouse worlds’ oceans

After the Commander debriefed and decommissioned her tactical team, Jacob took a vacation on Earth, in an unspecified country on the Mediterranean. There, he was contacted by his favourite Cerberus operative – Dr. Brynn Cole.

Brynn had been detailed to a particularly secret, compartmentalised Cerberus research project. It was organised so none of the scientists could understand the greater project as they worked on individual pieces.

Nevertheless, the brilliant Cole realised that when a researcher was done with their part, they disappeared. She organised her fellow scientists to slow down work and prepare to flee for their lives, and contacted Jacob for help.

You will find us always on the job

Lt. Taylor and Dr. Cole organised the defection of 43 scientists plus their loved ones to the ice planet Gellix . There, they refurbished an abandoned complex — possibly a prison — and hid.

As Brynn led the scientists, Jacob set up defences and security. He went through his usual Alliance and black market channels to procure heavy armament. During this time, Brynn and Jacob became a couple.

Cerberus found the defectors not too long after the Reapers invasion. However, the comms engineer on the Normandy, Specialist Traynor, had been analysing Cerberus traffic. She thus realised what was going on. Commander Shepard quickly reached Gellix and attacked Cerberus forces as they were attacking the base, punching through and forcing them to regroup.

Jacob had been wounded while attempting to rescue a scientist shot by Cerberus, but remained conscious. He and Dr. Cole briefed Shepard.

The Systems Alliance Marines

Lt. Taylor had installed a pair of huge surface-to-orbit cannons on the roof of the base. However, Cerberus had managed to shut them down as the first stage of their attack. Presumably, this had been made possible by their use of Reapers technology to defeat Jacob’s early warning systems.

Cdr. Shepard and her team fought their way to the cannons. They made good use of the defenses Jacob had started installing against this sort of raid. With Taylor’s surface-to-orbit artillery hitting Cerberus ships hard, Cole and Taylor had the evacuation proceed shuttle after shuttle.

The first shuttle held the kids and teenagers. The last shuttle was Taylor’s, who picked up the Commander and her team as they were still stalling Cerberus in the base. Thanks to Lt. Taylor and Cdr. Shepard, nearly everyone made it out alive.

Here’s health to you and to our Corps

The Commander had most of the ex-Cerberus refugees transferred to Project: Crucible. This was an historic programme to build a super-weapon capable of killing the Reapers. Though she also wanted Lt. Taylor to join her team, Jacob reluctantly declined. He had become very attached to the ex-Cerberus scientists and their family, and eventually admitted that Brynn was pregnant.

Though Dr. Cole wanted to name their baby Shepard, the ever-sensible Jacob was working on convincing her that it wasn’t a good idea. He won the first round, but felt he’d have to compromise as Dr. Cole then wanted to name the baby Hackett, after the Commander-in-Chief of the Human forces.

Dr. Cole proved an important asset to Project: Crucible, being a gifted physicist and technologist. As to Lt. Taylor he apparently spent most of his time instructing Systems Alliance troops in Cerberus tactics and capabilities, and how to counter them. It seems likely that he was reinstated, as he did not just instruct but also led attacks against Cerberus facilities.

Taylor also flew to the Citadel from time to time to procure supplies for the ex-Cerberus science team, as the researchers had to work around the clock.

During a rare leave Lt. Taylor took a number of teenagers to the Silversun Strip on the Citadel. Their parents were MIA Alliance soldiers, and Jacob wanted to provide the kids with some entertainment.

On the Strip, he stumbled upon the Commander and challenged her to a match at a video game arcade. He then agreed to team up with her to give an exhibition match at the Armax Arena, a sort of holodeck/danger room combat simulator. Cheered by the crowd after the match, Jacob bought dinner to the kids and the Commander.

It seems that after the destruction of the Reapers, Jacob Taylor remained with the ragged remains of the Systems Alliance to help rebuild and secure.


Jacob is ripped and in splendid shape – a fact not lost on several Normandy crewpersons with an interest in men, especially Kasumi Gōtō. His manly and handsome features do not detract from the overall effect, though it must be observed that for all his qualities this man has no arse.

His overall build is highly athletic, with a slim waist and broad shoulders. Like Miranda, he essentially has a comic book physique.

Jacob usually wears a lightly armoured jumpsuit in shades of grey, with a Cerberus logo on the left breast. There are some heavier bits of plating on the shoulders, upper chest, arms and boots. Parts of it seems to have a leather outer layer.

Other details

Jacob used to go with a shaved face and scalp. But by ME2 he’s sporting a crew cut, short moustache and short goatee. He’s no longer clean-shaven – presumably because like many Black men he has the sort of facial hair that causes razor bumps. Some such bumps are visible on his cheeks. Leaving the military may have been a relief on that front.

Despite having left the military years ago, Jacob still behaves in a distinctly soldierly manner. He reflexively salutes Commander Shepard whenever she talks to him. He has a slight Main African-American accent, and is voiced by actor Adam Lazarre-White.

As noted in our main Mass Effect 2 article, we assume that Shepard’s squadmates wear body armour that is not rendered in-game when they’re on a combat mission. Since Mass Effect 3 includes detailed examples of Cerberus-issue body armour, this entry includes a design Jacob would likely use in our hypothesis. This is a Centurion-class suit used by squad leaders.


Jacob is serious, focused, stable and professional. He isn’t prone to flights of fancy or talking a lot – he’s a disciplined worker and man of action. Jacob is a soldier who’s here to do his job, solve problems and kill the bad guys. As long as his chain of command lets him do that without interference things will be fine.

He appears to be something of a workaholic. He would much rather get things done than stand around yakking. Taylor likes being challenged, he likes danger, and he thrives on accomplishing things he can be proud of. What Jacob doesn’t want is getting mired into problems, pointless complexities and drama.

Jacob doesn’t talk much about himself, and tends to downplay his exploits. He was almost reluctant to admit that he and Miranda had saved the Council whilst Shepard was dead. Even then, his first reflex was to point out that compared to Shepard’s astounding assault on Citadel Tower during the Battle of the Citadel, their own actions there some months later were small potatoes.

This gentlemanly trait extends to his private life. All Jacob would say about Miranda’s private side is that she needed a better man than himself.

Which we are proud to serve

Taylor is a responsible, well-adjusted adult who dealt with his issues a long time ago. If his job didn’t routinely involve firefights and other adventures, he’d probably be called staid.

He’s clearly a white hat, and his involvement with Cerberus is almost solely a product of his involvement with Miranda. His exposure to the organisation is limited to Lawson and those who work for her, who seem relatively apolitical and well-meaning.

However as time goes by Taylor hears rumours about the true nature of Cerberus. His attitude soon goes from “this organisation has a checkered past” to seriously considering quitting, since he will of course not associate with terrorists.

Furthermore, Jacob greatly appreciates the strong esprit de corps  among the Systems Alliance military, and the lack of such among Cerberus troops disgusts him.

In particular, his stay with Cerberus makes him miss the solidarity that exists among Systems Alliance marines, and how they trust each other and help each other. One of the reasons he appreciates Commander Shepard’s presence is that she’s a fellow marine – she understands. Plus, she’s a fellow guns nut.

In many a strife we’ve fought for life

Jacob’s time with the Alliance has left him sick of excessive regulations and procedures. Yet, he doesn’t have a vigilante ideology like Garrus. What Jacob wants is a lean and agile — but principled and accountable — force to more efficiently defend civilians and address menaces.

He doesn’t want rash and gung-ho, he wants swift and decisive – in a disciplined, responsible, professional way.

Since parts of Shepard’s tactical team can be quirky, the sensible Jacob is often the voice of reason and professionalism. He always side with the Commander when somebody suggests some oddball initiative.

Cdr. Shepard appreciates Taylor’s workmanlike reliability, and often puts Jacob in charge of fire teams tasked with supporting the team she’s leading. She knows he’ll do a good job.

And never lost our nerve

Jacob enjoys having fun, but this becomes less marked during Mass Effect 2. At this point he’s almost 30 and wants to — if he survives the suicide mission — change course, get serious and start a family.

This becomes even more pronounced after Miranda locates Jacob’s long-lost father, and Shepard helps him get closure about the decade-long question of his dad’s fate. Once this is done, Taylor decides to stop dallying with a string of adventurous women looking for fun, and to find himself a wife with whom to have children.

However he is somewhat torn. He wants to stop being a fighter, since he refuses to start a real relationship while he’s highly mobile and regularly risking death. On the other hand, the military lifestyle and its discipline is the right speed for him, and switching to a low-speed high-drag civilian lifestyle would go against his nature.

The matter is solved as of Mass Effect 3 as his relationship with Dr. Cole blossoms and Jacob becomes willing to greatly compromise to be with her.

If the Turians and Asari

On a personal level Taylor is slightly wary of Shepard. Jacob knows that he’s attractive, and he’s not sure at first whether Shepard’s warmth toward him is just her being friendly. The Commander is his boss as well as a drop-dead gorgeous powerhouse with her own agenda, and Jacob’s experiences with Miranda have made him cautious about this combination.

However, while he’s a bit wary of Shepard as a woman, he has tremendous respect for her as a military officer. As far as Taylor is concerned, serving under Cdr. Shepard is like sparring with Bruce Lee.

As time passes, Jacob’s respect toward the Commander only increases. He comes to realise just how confused and diminished she was when she hit on him. As is his way, Mr. Taylor simply puts the episode behind him and moves on. He concentrates on his work and relishes in the astonishing amount of arse the Normandy crew is kicking under Cdr. Shepard’s leadership.

Ever look on Heaven’s scenes

Taylor is a straight shooter, an honourable man and honest to the point of bluntness. He values his integrity above all else. If he’s uncomfortable with his employer’s methods he’ll try to fix those, but if he can’t he’ll leave rather than compromise his principles.

Jacob despises mercenaries and other killers for hire. It may be the result of unrevealed experiences. But it seems that it’s just a product of how much he values loyalty, discipline and believing in what one fights for.

Miranda defined Jacob as “a protector”, and he clearly has an interest in defending people who cannot fight. This is true both in the abstract as a serviceman or by fighting the Collectors, or in a more concrete way by serving as a chaperone for orphaned teens.

Jacob’s favourite movie is the 2057 re-edition of Old Yeller. He could watch it over and over again. In fact, he does. Other favourites include the lowbrow Blasto action comedies, and Asari porn.


“I’m not big on words.”

Taylor (to Shepard): “Look, this is getting tense. Will you trust me if I tell you who we’re working for ?”
Wilson: “Now’s not the time, Jacob.”
Taylor (slightly annoyed): “We won’t get out of here if she’s expecting a shot in the back !”

“No way. A couple mechs won’t drop Miranda.”

“It’s an honour to serve under your command, ma’am. Working with you is a great opportunity to do something that matters. It’s a privilege to serve on the Normandy, Commander.”

(Looking at Shepard and referring to the Alliance covering up her death) “Perfect example of Humanity, and they still dumped you.” ( Sees Shepard smiling a bit, realises that his tirade could be misinterpreted) “I meant a perfect example of what we can *do*, Shepa… Commander.” (beat) “Don’t want this to get weird.”

“Cerberus is different. When the colonies go missing, we don’t commission a team to write a report to figure out what the hell to do about it. We just go and find out.”

“We can argue about who killed who later. Right now we have a job to do.”

“As long as the Illusive Man walks his talk, and you do the same, I’ll do my best to make sure we succeed.”

(Looking at the barely-patched-together Garrus in disbelief): “Man. That’s one tough son of a bitch. Didn’t think he’d be up yet.”

“You know what they say, Commander… doing a good deed is like pissing yourself while wearing dark pants. It’s a warm feeling, but nobody notices.”

“Abuse of power doesn’t get any clearer than this. I need to find this man.”

“Most Cerberus people try to play like the Illusive Man, hiding bullshit behind a smile.”

(About his father) “I’ve had a long time to deal with this man’s death. I was just ahead of schedule.”

“I’m here to give the Collectors every kind of hell I can, suicide or not.”

“Y‘know, if all the people hoping that we win just stood up… the Collectors would have a lot bigger fight on their hands. Claws. Whatever.”

“I’m good, Shepard. Ready for anything. We live, we’ll get loud and spill some drinks on the Citadel.” (Lt. Taylor and Cdr. Shepard exchange a dap)

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Jacob Taylor

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Soldier
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Soldier
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: Soldi… uh, 003
Init: 016 HP: 050

Biotic Lift: 06, ME2 Heavy Defense (Barrier): 16, Regeneration: 01

Accuracy (Perceiving insincerity): 06, Accuracy (Biotic lift): 07, Acrobatics (Climbing): 03, Gadgetry: 02, Martial Artist: 05, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Cartography, Demolition, Field command): 05, Vehicles: 05, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 05

Combat Barrier Restoration, Combat Shield Restoration, Expertise (Military equipment and protocols), Scholar (Gunsmithing), Misc.: Jacob’s Attitude is automatically lowered by one line on the Attitude Adjustment Table if he senses or even suspects that the person isn’t sincere.

Commander Shepard (High), Miranda Lawson (High), Cerberus (Low), Systems Alliance Marines Corp (Low), Paramilitary black market (High).

None demonstrated.


  • OMNI-TOOL [BODY 01, Data storage: 14, Fabricate: 01, Radio communication: 14, Superspeed: 02, Misc.: Translation database, Limitation: Fabricate is limited to Doodads (but those are permanent, and unlimited in number given enough omni-gel), Superspeed only for tasks involving processing information using the omni-tool]. This is a good omni-tool with solid specs. Beyond these basic functions, Jacob uses his omni-tool for the following specialised roles :
    • Regeneration: 03 (Linked with Medicine, Usable on Others, Ammo: 07).
    • Mental Blast: 10 (Mental blast only vs. kinetic shields and synthetics, Mental Blast is a Mass Effect attack, Mental Blast cannot get Knockback, Mental Blast can only be used every third Phase, Mental Blast is its own AV.).
  • ARMOURED JUMPSUIT [BODY 06, Cold immunity: 01, Flame immunity: 02, Skin armour: 02, ME2 Defense (Shield): 05, Note: the JUMPSUIT cannot stack any of its defensive attributes with the ARMOUR below, as usual.].
  • HIGH-END ARMOUR WITH HIGH-END MEDICAL SYSTEMS [BODY (Hardened) 10 /BODY/ 04, Cling: 04, Cold immunity: 03, Flame immunity: 03, Invulnerability: 05, Lightning immunity: 03, ME2 Defense (Shield): 20, Radio communications (Booster): 02, Regeneration: 05, Sealed systems: 12, Shade: 02, Skin armour: 03, Medicine (First aid): 04, Limitations: Cling only works on metallic surfaces and reduces movement speed to 0 APs, Invulnerability takes five minutes per roll, Medicine (First aid) is Self Only, but works automatically]. This armour is not displayed in game, but is assumed to be present in-universe – see the main Mass Effect 2 article about this assumption. It is assumed to protect against Blunt or Structural damage since the assault model Jacob would presumably wear is heavier and more rigid than most.
  • Geth plasma shotgun [BODY 04, Energy blast (Diminishing): 09, Range: 04, Ammo: 05, Schtick (Double-tapping), R#03, Drawback: Heavy Armour RV is considered one CS higher against this weapon, Limitation: Energy blast has No Range, use the Range listed instead].
  • M5 Phalanx [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 07, Sharpness (Projectile weapons – only vs. heavy armour): 01, Range: 06, Ammo: 06, R#02, Drawback: Shield and Barrier RV is considered one CS higher against this weapon, Limitation: Projectile weapon has No Range, use the listed Range instead].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Mass Effect video game trilogy.

Helper(s): The brief recap of the Mass Effect Galaxy events is based on the Mass Effect Wikia’s account, since none of us played this (now unavailable) game. Enhanced textures by Jean-Luc Fortier.

Writeup completed on the 1st of March, 2013.