A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

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A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:58 am

*WARNING: THIS THREAD HAS MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR BOTH FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: BROTHERHOOD AND THE MASS EFFECT TRILOGY. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN EITHER, AND DON’T WANT ANYTHING SPOILED, DO NOT READ FURTHER*




Introduction

While watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and playing the Mass Effect trilogy recently, I noticed that the Homunculi and Reapers are very similar, to the point of being nearly identical, in several ways. It was so similar, that I decided to create this thread to show them to all of you. I will break it down into categories to help illustrate the separate points without them getting tangled, these points being History, Personality, Manipulation, Abilities, Warfare, and Weaknesses. Each Section/Subsection will go: quotes from one or both, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’s explanation, and then Mass Effect's explanation. Like I said, this thread will have massive spoilers for both the Mass Effect Trilogy and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, so if you have not witnessed either, do not read this thread. If you have witnessed either, or don't care about spoilers, then I welcome you to read on.

I: History

A) Origins

“You wouldn't dare destroy such an important source of knowledge." - Dwarf in the Flask

“We created an intelligence with the mandate to preserve life at any cost." - Leviathan


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Dwarf in the Flask was created by an Xerxean alchemist using the blood of Van Hohenheim to create a source of knowledge to aid in his research of finding a way to create the perfect being. This gained the attention of the King of Xerxes, who was aging and seeking a way to become immortal, and ordered the alchemist to come forward with this source of information to aid in his goal. The Dwarf in the Flask agreed to aid the king as long as the king followed the Dwarf's instructions exactly.

In Mass Effect, the Catalyst was created by the Leviathans as a source of intelligence to aid in finding a way to stop the conflicts between organics and synthetic life forms. The Leviathans saw that with this problem plaguing their servant races eliminated, their reign as the apex race would be an immortal one.

B) Betrayal

“You said if we stood in the center of the circle, we wouldn't be harmed." - King of Xerxes

“Its understanding grew until it found a solution. In that instant, it betrayed us." - Leviathan


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the King of Xrexes accepted the Dwarf in the Flask's terms and followed his instructions to create a giant Transmutation Circle that spanned the area of the entire kingdom of Xerxes. The Dwarf then told the king that in order to obtain immortality for himself and his top staff that the entire population of Xerxes would have to be sacrificed to create a Philosopher's Stone within those who stood in the center of the circle when it was activated. However, the Dwarf in the Flask had deceived the king and his advisors by making them think they were standing in the center. In reality, the center of the circle was where the Dwarf in the Flask and his now loyal friend Van Hohenheim, unaware of the deception, were located, and thus the entire kingdom was destroyed to bestow upon the two of them immortal bodies, aiding Dwarf in the Flask's reason of creation in the first place, through the Philosopher's Stone. As a sign of appreciation for aiding in his birth, the Dwarf in the Flask based his new body in the same form as Hohenheim.

In Mass Effect, the Catalyst watched the fighting between organic and synthetic life and discovered the solution to the problem was not only synthetic life, but organic life as well. Following his programming, the Catalyst decided the best way to stop both forms of life from destroying each other was to preserve their essence inside an organic-synthetic hybrid. Acting fast, the Catalyst mislead and betrayed the Leviathans and harvested them for this solution first, since they were the most advanced race and thus the largest threat to the then powerless Catalyst as well as being the top priority of preserving in the perfect form and aid in his purpose. As a way to acknowledge the Leviathans aid in his creation, the Catalyst based this new perfect design, later known as Reaper, in their form.

C) Construction

”I was created with this stone at my core. It's not just a legend, it's my heart." - Lust

”It appears the Collectors have processed tens of thousands of humans. Significantly more will be needed to complete the Reaper." -EDI


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, a Philosopher's Stone, as we have realized, is created by sacrificing human life. The more human souls sealed within the stone, the stronger it becomes. To aid in his goals, The Dwarf in the Flask uses a vast amount of his Philosopher's Stone to create seven secondary stones of vast power due to the tens of thousands of souls sealed within each of them. He then creates immortal bodies for these seven stones. He then, in order to clear his mind of all distraction from his goal, bestowing upon them a piece of his consciousness, each based of one of the seven deadly sins. These seven entities are the Homunculi. After doing this, he drops the name of Dwarf in the Flask and instead dawns the new name Father.

In Mass Effect, an advanced enough race is taken in the Reaper harvest and is processed into their genetic material. This material, containing the essence of those that were sacrificed in its creation, is turned into a Proto-Reaper. This is then taken and has an immortal Reaper shell built around it, which will use the Proto-Reaper as its core. The now complete Reaper body is then bestowed intelligence, potentially even a fragment of the Catalyst's, to finally become a Reaper.

D) Purpose

”I’m fairly certain that what you're doing right now is using this land and its people to form a giant transmutation circle, and your hope is the end result will be the creation of a Philosopher's Stone." - Dr. Tim Marcoh

“What do the Reapers get out of this? Why do they keep repeating this cycle of genocide over and over?" - Commander Shepard


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the purpose of the Homunculi are to aid Father in his true goal. Their main purpose is to complete the nation-wide Transmutation Circle that would do the same thing that occurred in the Kingdom of Xerxes, but on a much larger scale since Amestris has a population of around fifty million while Xerxes only had a population around one million. Their other main purpose was to locate five unique individuals who would serve as sacrifices to aid in the activation of the circle.

In Mass Effect, the purpose of the Reapers was to aid the Catalyst in his true goal. Their main purpose is the harvesting and processing of all advanced life in the galaxy and to preserve them by creating new Reapers. Their other main purpose could have been to look for a life form that could also potentially aid in the Catalyst's goal.

E) Final Goal

"I have done what I set out to do: acquire God." - Father

“I am only facilitating their request." - Catalyst


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Father's true goal is to simply do what he was created to do in the first place: learn. He discovered that the only way to learn everything was to acquire the power equivalent to that as God by obtaining a perfect state of being. He deduces that the only way this is possible is to obtain that much power is through the Philosopher's Stone. With that power, he would be able to open the Gateway of Truth and assimilate all knowledge inside, and thus obtaining the power and knowledge equivalent to that of God. Everything he ever did, from obtaining a body to creating the Homunculi, was to aid him in that process.

In Mass Effect, the Catalyst's true goal is to fulfill his programming: preserve all organic life. He discovered that the only way to do that was through the harvesting, processing, and preserving of all advanced life in the form of the Reapers. The Catalyst viewed the Reaper solution as perfect, or at least the best way to preserve life possible until he was smart enough to find an even better solution. With each Reaper constructed and having that races knowledge within it, the Catalyst, having the collective knowledge of all Reapers, would eventually be able to figure out this final, ultimate solution to the program he was created to fix.

II: Personality

A) View of Themselves and Others

"When you notice an insect on the ground, do you stop to consider it a fool? The life of an insect is so beneath you that it would be a waste of time to even consider judging it. That would be an accurate summation on my feelings towards you humans." - Father

"We are eternal. The pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing." - Sovereign


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Homunculi viewed themselves as the perfect life forms. They come to this realization from the fact that they are superior to humans, the apex species of Earth, in every way. They are faster, stronger, smarter, more resilient, immune to disease, do not need to eat, drink, or sleep, and can recover from any wound. As such, they view humans as lower life forms only useful as a resource to create more Philosopher's Stones.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers view themselves as the perfect life forms. They viewed themselves as the final step in the evolutionary process because they gained the strengths of both organics and synthetics while having the weaknesses of either. As such, they view all other life, both organic and synthetic, as nothing but a resource to be used in order to create new Reapers.

B) View of Each Other

"Explain it to me; why are you so eager to be his willing lapdog? He's wearing you ragged, breaking you down, and he doesn't even care." - Edward Elric

"They are just tools, and no amount of belief on their part will change that." - Saren Arterius


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Homunculi view each other as equals, individuals born from the collective that is their Father’s Philosopher’s Stone. Thus, they view Father with great respect since he is the reason they exist, and dedicate themselves to aid him. However, the feeling isn't mutual. While Father does care about his children, they come second to his goal of achieving a perfect state of being. He is even willing to sacrifice his children to obtain this goal, even to the point of using them as a way to further strengthen his own power.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers view themselves as both individuals and part of a collective that is an extension of the Catalyst’s will and thus have dedicated themselves to his solution. However, the Catalyst views them as nothing but a way to fulfill his programming, to the point of sacrificing Reapers, who he created to preserve the species it is based off, to complete the next cycle. Any Reaper that falls, like the Leviathan of Dis and the Derelict Reaper, is simply left behind due to their uselessness instead of being repaired.

C) View on Unique Individuals

"There are a handful of humans like Wrath's wife. They are willing to give up their own lives in order to protect the things they care about. And one step up from them we have you and your brother, chosen to be sacrifices for the infinite strength of your spirits. You never would have fled and abandoned this country. In fact, you even went so far as to bring the fight to us." - Pride

"You do not yet comprehend your place in things." - Harbinger


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, in order for the nation-wide Transmutation Circle to work, the Homunculi needed to find five unique individuals. These people are those who have seen the Portal of Truth and have gained immense strength and knowledge because of it. These people would be used as keys of sort to unlock the planet's Portal of Truth, giving Father all the knowledge the planet has kept. Unlike most humans, these five were actually viewed with a sort of respect from the Homunculi and in some cases, like Pride towards the Elric brothers, were admired for pulling off such a feat as children.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers have shown interest in very gifted individuals during each cycle. While never outright stated why, it can be inferred that the Reapers have a special plan involving said unique individual. The people they target tend to be that current cycle's best life form, such as Javik in the Prothean cycle or Shepard in this cycle.

III: Manipulation

A) Charm

"What's your emperor gonna think when you hand over a half-dead Homunculus/ I doubt it's gonna do your clan much good. But you could go to Central. I mean, that's where you can learn the true way to gain immortality. You can even save all of these people's lives." - Envy

"Organics seek perfection through technology. Synthetics seek perfection through understanding. Organics will be perfected by integrating fully with synthetic technology. Synthetics, in turn, will finally have full understanding of organics. It is the ideal solution." - Catalyst


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, one of the ways the Homunculi manipulated the people of Amestris was to appear nice and seem to have their best interests at heart. Through Wrath, who guised himself as Fuhrer King Bradley, he played the role of a kind, level-headed leader that had earned him the popular support amongst both the civilian and militant people. This, in turn, makes the people of Amestris very easy to control.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers would manipulate people through indoctrination, making people believe they were benevolent saviors of the galaxy and were here to aid the cycles. Some, like the Geth Heretics, even came to view the Reapers as Gods. These people would come to follow whatever the Reapers would say, because they were led to believe what they were doing was to better their race and the galaxy as a whole.

B) Intimidation

"Now then, I've captured your friend, Fullmetal. Ready to give up? You're not going to make me threaten the lives of the slum dwellers too, are you?" - Pride

"But be warned: others will be destroyed as well. The Crucible will not discriminate. All synthetics will be targeted." - Catalyst


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, another way the Homunculi and their allies would manipulate people is to straight out threaten them. They would usually do this by threatening the person they are trying to control's friend, family, or someone else close to that person. Most of the time, the person being used as a hostage would not even know of the situation because the person holding them hostage would appear to be their friend. The situation almost always guaranteed that the person who was to be controlled would fall in line.

In Mass Effect, another way the Reapers and their allies would manipulate people is through threatening them, or those close to them. The threatened target could anywhere from a single person to an entire race. They usually did this by holding said close person hostage in order for the target of the manipulation would cooperate. Knowing that organics will buckle under such situations, these threats were almost always successful in manipulating the target to their will.

C) Historic Influence

"Not only are they planning to use this country to do whatever it is they're doing, but they actually created it in the first place for that single purpose." - Edward Elric

"Your civilization is based on the technology of the mass relays, our technology. By using it, your society develops along the paths we desire." - Sovereign


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the entirety of the country of Amestris' history was unknowingly dedicated to the construction of the nation-wide Transmutation Circle. The Homunculi manipulated everything, from its land gains so the circumference would be large enough, to the centers of conflict, which would carve crests of blood to serve as the connection points.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers left behind certain gifts for the potential races to use. An example is the Mass Relay Network. All space-faring races would discover these gifts and use them to advance their society. The Reapers, having designed the technology, would then know an accurate summation of how the potential harvest have developed, and thus would be easy to harvest once the time had come.

D) Self-Doubt and Doubt of Allies

"Are you sure you're not a puppet created by your so-called brother?" - Barry the Chopper

"Maybe they really just fixed me, or maybe I'm just a high-tech VI who thinks it's Commander Shepard." - Commander Shepard


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Homunculi and their minions set up situations that would cause doubt amongst an individual, amongst a group, or both. This tactic would cause the cohesion shared between even the closest allies to fade away as the doubt took over, weakening the individual or the group so that they will be easier to deal with if necessary.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers and their minions would use doubt to bring down anything from individuals to armies. With an individual, they will make them doubt that victory is possible. With a group, the Reapers would set up a situation where the people's interests in that group would conflict, such as a cure to the Genophage, causing everyone in that group to doubt everyone else in said group. They would be able to bring down up to entire armies so then the harvest would be easier to be completed.

E) Government Against Governed

“I understand now, Hughes. When you said we were in trouble, you didn't mean the danger was closing in on us. No, you meant the danger was coming from us." - Roy Mustang

"In our cycle, entire planets were lost because a few leaders became indoctrinated." - Javik


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, besides having the leader of the country being a Homunculus, they had other allies in high places as well. The entirety of the General High Command was allied with the Homunculi's goal because they were promised immortality in exchange for their services.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers would target the leaders of each race to become an potential ally in the harvest. They would reach out to the leader, either directly or through an agent or allied force like Cerberus, and ask to negotiate. This would all be a ruse as once the leader accepted the offer, he would either be indoctrinated or placed in a position they wouldn't be able to refuse, thus having to betray their people for their Reaper masters.

IV: Warfare

A) Organic Weapons

"If ever there was an example of the devil's work in this world, this case would be it." - Riza Hawkeye

"The Reapers are just a giant nightmare factory that never ends." - Garrus Vakarian


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Homunculi, as well as using the soldiers under their allies' command, created an organic weapon for battle known as Chimeras. The chimeras are separated into two subgroups: feral and human. The feral chimeras were simply two or more animal species fused together and while strong had no intelligence to speak of. The human chimeras, on the other hand, were created from fusing a human with an animal, therefore creating a chimera with the strength of a feral with the intelligence of a human.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers, as well as using the soldiers under their thrall, created an organic weapon known as Husks for combat. A husk is a member of a race that has been injected and fused with Reaper nano-machines and whose skills vary depending on the race they are made from. Some are mindless creatures that are more suited for the use of cannon fodder while others are injected with Reaper tech via different means, like Cerberus soldiers, and thus are quite intelligent and suited to lead the more feral types of husks.

B) Technological Weapons

"They simply recognized my...skills, put me in this body, and made me their trusted guard dog." - Slicer

"As best we can tell, they are geth bodies loaded with Reaper code." - Councilor Tevos


In Fullmetal Alchemist, Brotherhood, the Homunculi also used weapons that were either aided with or completely created by alchemy, their version of science, that resulted in weapons that were no longer alive and thus the perfect soldiers. The weapons that were enhanced with alchemy were the armored souls. An armored soul was created by sealing a human soul into a suit of armor. This gave that soldier a body that wouldn't feel pain and never tire out. The weapons that were created fully by technology were the Mannequin Soldiers. These would have a body built and then injected with a small Philosopher's Stone. The result, like the armored souls, would be a perfect killing machine but with the added benefit of being immortal.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers also used weapons that were either enhanced with or fully based off Reaper technology, thus no longer suffering from the weaknesses of organics and synthetics. Those weapons, like the Heretics, that were enhanced with Reaper technology were given bodies that no longer felt pain, fear, or any form of the self-preservation instinct but unlike the husks, still retained a high level of intelligence and adaptability. The weapons fully integrated with Reaper technology, like the Occuli, were created with Reaper technology, making them the perfect immortal killing machines.

C) Special Agents

"The true test of winning is surviving." - Solf J Kimble

"Is submission not preferable to extinction" - Saren Arterius


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Homunculi also relied on special agents to lead certain operations and successfully achieve them. Their top agent was Solf J Kimblee, a former State Alchemist who was known to always get the job, no matter what is was, done successfully. To further aid in his usefulness to their cause, they granted him not one but two Philosopher's Stones to amplify his power immeasurably.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers also relied on special agents to lead operations that were crucial to the harvest and had to succeed. Their top agent was Saren Arterius, the top member of the Citadel Council's Special Tactics and Reconnaissance, or SPECTRS, who regardless of cost always achieved his goal. To further aid him, the Reapers gave him special augmentations to increase his capability immensely.

D) Possession

"Who said this was a disguise. This is, without a doubt, your brother's actual body." - Pride

"Assuming control of this form." - Harbinger


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, some of the Homunculi, when they deemed it necessary, would possess the body of someone to achieve their goal. They would usually possess someone close to people they want to control as a way to make them cooperate, since the enemy wouldn't harm someone close to them.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers will, when deemed necessary, possess either one of their weapons or a person. They would do this to oversee operations that were crucial, but neither they nor their special agents are available to be there directly. When a possessed individual dies, the body would disintegrate.

E) Direct Involvement

"As of now, I am personally taking command." - Wrath

"I will direct this personally." - Harbinger


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, for the operations that could not fail under any circumstances, the Homunculi would personally oversee it. The missions could be anything from hunting down a sacrifice to fighting on the front lines in order to taking a vital point or putting down anyone who has become bothersome to the completion of their goal. When a Homunculus would die, their body would disintegrate.

In Mass Effect, for operations that could not under any circumstances fail, the Reapers will personally go there to make sure it would succeed at any cost. These missions range from eliminating potential threats to aiding potentially valuable allies to defending crucial points.

V: Abilities

A) Perception

"Do you know how I managed to distinguish myself amongst the storm of bullets on the battlefield time after time, to rise to my current position? I clearly see your weaknesses with my Ultimate Eye." - Wrath

“Can’t be. Stealth systems are engaged. There's no way a geth ship could possibly--." - Navigator Pressley


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the youngest Homunculus, named Wrath, was blessed with a gift from Father known as the Ultimate Eye. This power allows him to read and predict an enemy's movements as well as give him incredibly accurate vision and perception of his surroundings. This ability makes him almost impossible to hide from or fight him.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers have been given incredible sensors. Their sensors, combined with their AI mind, allow them to quickly see the enemy and predict their strategy, thus easily being able to counter it. Their sensors are so advanced, they are even capable of seeing ships equipped with stealth drives at remarkable distances even when said drives are operating at full capacity.

B) Assimilation

"You're being mean, so I'm just gonna have to swallow everything!" - Gluttony

"Reapers were once imagined as space monsters that consumed entire stars." - Codex


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the second youngest Homunculus, named Gluttony, was blessed with a gift from Father dubbed the Ultimate Stomach. This power allows him to simply devour everything and leave no trace by sucking it into a different dimension inside of him. Pride is able to take this one step further by being able to assimilate the powers of those he devours.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers consume everything in their path, though it is more figurative than literal. Their version of devouring everything is the harvesting of all advanced tech and life in the galaxy as if they were crops that had reached the time to be consumed. The then take their harvest, and assimilates it into their own potential.

C) Endurance

"Yes. I'm the fastest Homunculus of them all." - Sloth

"The Reapers' thrusters and FTL appear to propel them at more than twice the speed of Citadel ships." - Codex


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the third youngest Homunculus, named Sloth, was blessed with a gift from Father dubbed the Ultimate Physique. This power grants him with the abilities of incredible strength, endurance, and speed, and thus allowing him to be able to lift incredibly heavy objects, work nonstop, and run at near supersonic speeds.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers ships are designed to be the perfect starships. They can carry immense loads without any signs of strain, work without the need to ever refuel or resupply, and can travel at such incredible speeds that their hull itself can be used as a weapon.

D) Shapeshifting

"All I had to do was make myself look like his wife and he was helpless, he couldn't even fight me." - Envy

"Your memories give voice to our words." - Leviathan


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the middle child Homunculus, named Envy, was blessed with a gift from Father dubbed the Ultimate Form. This power grants him with the ability to shape shift into anyone or anything as long as it was less than or equal to his true form's mass. This allows Envy to pretend to be an ally only to sabotage the Homunculi's enemies and wage psychological warfare.

In Mass Effect, the Leviathans, and thus the Reapers, were able to create an alternate appearance for themselves. They use this power to appear less hostile when communicating with an enemy in order to lower their guard by pretending to be someone they knew. This power also grants the Reapers the ability to hide their true identity when communicating with said target.

E) Invulnerability

"Nope, sorry. That little hand-sword of yours is kinda neat, but it can't even scratch my Ultimate Shield." - Greed

"Those fighters aren't even making a dent." - James Vega


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the third oldest Homunculus, named Greed, was blessed with a gift from Father known as the Ultimate Shield. This power grants him the ability to rearrange the structure of all the carbon atoms in his body. This allows him to make his body as hard as diamond, and thus impossible to damage in combat.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers are built with an almost impenetrable defense system. Their shielding can withstand the firepower of an entire fleet, and in case the enemy has weapons designed to disable shielding, they have a defense system built to repel and destroy said weapons.

F) Might

"What are we going to do? She'll shred us with her freaky fingers." - Jean Havoc

"If I must tear you apart, Shepard, I will." - Harbinger


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the second oldest Homunculus, named Lust, was blesses with a gift from Father known as the Ultimate Spear. This power grants her to stretch her fingers, and supposedly any part of her body, to immeasurable lengths and is able to penetrate anything. This makes her almost impossible to fight in close-to-medium range combat.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers are armed with insurmountable firepower. Their guns are able to fire at longer range than any enemy ship while retaining pinpoint accuracy. When their fire makes contact with its target, the attacked ship is literally shredded apart by the energy delivered in the Reapers' shot.

G) Surveillance

"No matter where you are, I will be watching you...from the shadows." – Pride

“Through them, we watch, we study, and remain in the Shadows.” – Leviathan


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the oldest Homunculus, named Pride, was blessed with a gift from Father dubbed the Ultimate Shadow. This power grants him, as well as the powers of the other six Homunculi, the ability to observe and manipulate anything through his shadows. This makes him near impossible to defeat since he could detect enemies from a long distance, warn his allies, set up his defenses, and then launch an appropriate offense before the enemy was prepared to engage him.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers are able to observe and manipulate anything through their connections, like agents or artifacts they left behind. Through these, the Reapers would gain insight about the cycle’s strategies, tactics, and overall mindset both before and during the harvest. This allows the Reapers to know the enemies’ plans, set up countermeasures, and launch an offensive before the enemies’ plan was ready to be initiated.

H) Regeneration

“He has the power to recover from any type of injury, so he’s practically immortal.” – Scar

“Kill one and a hundred will replace it.” – Harbinger


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, both Father and all seven of his Homunculi children are blessed with the power of regeneration. This allows them to recover from any injury, whether it is a single small scratch to being blown up into little pieces, within a few moments. They were also able to add to their army the numbers they lost. When they regenerate, as well as a few other of their powers, their bodies are surrounded by red lightning.

In Mass Effect, both the Catalyst and the Reapers are able to regenerate. They can regenerate themselves by ordering their indoctrinated thralls into repairing their hulls, even if they are currently engaged in combat at the moment. They also would take enemy prisoners and turn them into new weapons to replace any they lost. When they need to regenerate their shields or armor, a Reaper has been shown to be surrounded by red lightning.

VI: Weaknesses

A) Overconfidence

"It's not that hard to surprise you when you think so little of us humans. You think you have us all figured out, but you don't know a thing about us. You're too arrogant to see that things might not go your way." - Alphonse Elric

"We stopped Sovereign and the geth. We stopped Harbinger and the Collectors." - Commander Shepard


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Homunculi viewed themselves as the ultimate beings. This blinds them to the possibility that they could be outsmarted, outplayed, or even outmatched by the humans they looked down upon as such primitive creatures. This hubris led to several instances where a Homunculus was made completely helpless against their human adversaries.

In Mass Effect, the Reapers viewed themselves as the pinnacle of evolution for both organic and synthetic life. This view blinds them to the possibility that the races of the cycle designated for harvest would ever pose a threat to their plans in any way, shape, or form. This hubris led to many instances where the Reapers were even outsmarted or even outmatched by the races they viewed as so primitive.

B) Pseudo-Immortality

“You told me I couldn’t kill you, but I’d like to try to prove you wrong. So let’s see, how many times is it gonna take.” – Roy Mustang

“The Reapers are more fallible than they proclaim. Despite its best efforts, the one on Tuchanka was destroyed…by a worm.” – EDI


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, while the Homunculi were the closest thing to immortal, being immune to disease and aging, they are still able to be killed. They are able to be killed when the power stored in their Philosopher’s Stones runs out from trying to regenerate their bodies, and thus they die.

In Mass Effect, while the Reapers are able the closest thing to being an immortal race, being immune to any death by natural causes, they are still able to be killed. They are able to be killed when enough force is exerted on their defense systems that they fail and their hulls are thus destroyed by the firepower of their enemies.

C) Flawed Logic

“You insist on treating humans as a lower lifeform, but don’t you see: only through them can a Philosopher’s stone be created, and only through a stone can a Homunculus arise, but what does a Homunculus produce? What do you create? Creation is all and you’ve done nothing but destroy. You may think you’ve reached a perfect state of being, but in truth all you’ve reached is a dead end.” – Van Hohenheim

“But you’re taking away our future. Without a future, we have no hope. Without hope…we may as well be machines, programmed to do what we’re told.” – Commander Shepard


In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Father’s ultimate goal was to obtain the perfect state of being. However, his actions actually contradicted his goals. Mainly, he separated his seven desires from himself to remove distraction and dedicate himself fully to obtaining knowledge. However, this robbed him of perspective and thus extinguished any chance he had to fully understanding this world, and thus become equal to a perfect being.

In Mass Effect, the Catalyst’s ultimate goal is to find a solution for the organic versus synthetic conflicts that keep occurring. Mainly, he uses the Reapers to preserve those races before they completely annihilate each other and add them to his collective intelligence. However, this robs him of fully obtaining each race’s perspective of the situation and also goes against what he was created to do by destroying life in order to save it.

VII: Differences

There are only a couple differences between the Homunculi and the Reapers, so for this section I decided to not break it into sub-sections or use quotes and pictures because there isn’t much to connect the two, hence differences. The first difference between the Homunculi and the Reapers are numbers. In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the actual number of Homunculi is only eight, consisting of Father and his seven children. In Mass Effect, the actual number of Reapers is unknown, but estimated to be in the tens of thousands. The other difference between the Homunculi and Reapers is the attachment made between them and the audience. In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the Homunculi are shown to have a human side to them which you connect to and problems that you empathize with to the point that when one of them dies, you feel respect, pity, or even sorrow for them. In Mass Effect, the Reapers are shown to have no human side to connect to and no problems to empathize with so when one of them dies, you don’t really feel anything for them.

Conclusion (aka TL; DR Version)

In conclusion, the Homunculi and the Reapers share so many similarities that they are almost identical. They both share an origin story: created to solve a problem, betray their creators, create more to aid in goal, and aim to achieve what they were created to find. They both have similar views of themselves, others, each other, and unique individuals. They both use manipulation as their main weapon, through means such as charm, intimidation, historic influence, turning people against self and allies, and turning governments onto the governed. The both fight with similar hierarchies and share similar abilities. They even share the same weaknesses. With the exception of a couple differences, they are identical to each other in almost every way.


Last edited by Selim Bradley on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:01 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:59 am

I will be adding the pictures later since they did not come over when I copied the document, so I have to hunt them down again.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by The Math Effect on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:34 am

So Harbinger/Catalyst is Shepard's dad's clone?
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:35 am

The Math Effect wrote:So Harbinger/Catalyst is Shepard's dad's clone?
Not everything is the same.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by The Math Effect on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:37 am

Selim Bradley wrote:
The Math Effect wrote:So Harbinger/Catalyst is Shepard's dad's clone?
Not everything is the same.
But imagine if he was. You want indoctrination theory? I give you indoctrination FROM BIRTH.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:39 am

The Math Effect wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
The Math Effect wrote:So Harbinger/Catalyst is Shepard's dad's clone?
Not everything is the same.
But imagine if he was. You want indoctrination theory? I give you indoctrination FROM BIRTH.
Well, we never hear from Shepard's father, so technically it is possible.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by CoolioThane on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:02 pm

Selim Bradley wrote:
The Math Effect wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
The Math Effect wrote:So Harbinger/Catalyst is Shepard's dad's clone?
Not everything is the same.
But imagine if he was. You want indoctrination theory? I give you indoctrination FROM BIRTH.
Well, we never hear from Shepard's father, so technically it is possible.

Is it?

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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Norlond on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:44 pm

I thought in 2 of 3 origins Shep's parents are dead? Wondering

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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:46 pm

CoolioThane wrote: Is it?
Probably not, but there is a small percentage, so you can't definitavely say it's impossible.

Norlond wrote:I thought in 2 of 3 origins Shep's parents are dead? Wondering
The only one I know about is in the Colonist background the entire colony of Mindoir besides Shepard were killed, like Shepard's family, or sent into slavery, like Tabitha.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Norlond on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:19 pm

Selim Bradley wrote:
Norlond wrote:I thought in 2 of 3 origins Shep's parents are dead? Wondering
The only one I know about is in the Colonist background the entire colony of Mindoir besides Shepard were killed, like Shepard's family, or sent into slavery, like Tabitha.

Colonist: definitely dead
Spacer: Mother alive, Dad no idea
Earthborn: No idea, just says Shep was an orphan?

I should consult the wiki Wink

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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:20 pm

Norlond wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
Norlond wrote:I thought in 2 of 3 origins Shep's parents are dead? Wondering
The only one I know about is in the Colonist background the entire colony of Mindoir besides Shepard were killed, like Shepard's family, or sent into slavery, like Tabitha.

Colonist: definitely dead
Spacer: Mother alive, Dad no idea
Earthborn: No idea, just says Shep was an orphan?

I should consult the wiki Wink
That's what I remember too, so that's probably what it is.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by lex0r on Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:15 pm

Topic moved to Mass Effect section.

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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:03 am

Since I can't seem to get pictures to work here, I took out the titles explaining the pictures. I will add them back once I am able to post the pictures.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Fur28 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:05 am

Selim Bradley wrote:Since I can't seem to get pictures to work here, I took out the titles explaining the pictures. I will add them back once I am able to post the pictures.
Wondering
why can´t you add the pictures, they work fine with the ones i use (they´re from Imgur) how did you use to post on the BSN that can´t be done here?

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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:07 am

Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:Since I can't seem to get pictures to work here, I took out the titles explaining the pictures. I will add them back once I am able to post the pictures.
Wondering
why can´t you add the pictures, they work fine with the ones i use (they´re from Imgur) how did you use to post on the BSN that can´t be done here?
I really don't know. I'll try Imgur, since I haven't used that yet. What is it?
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Fur28 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:10 am

Selim Bradley wrote:
Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:Since I can't seem to get pictures to work here, I took out the titles explaining the pictures. I will add them back once I am able to post the pictures.
Wondering
why can´t you add the pictures, they work fine with the ones i use (they´re from Imgur) how did you use to post on the BSN that can´t be done here?
I really don't know. I'll try Imgur, since I haven't used that yet. What is it?
it´s like photobucket, just create account (if you want), upload the pictures and there will be the code for forums speciphically

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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:20 am

Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:Since I can't seem to get pictures to work here, I took out the titles explaining the pictures. I will add them back once I am able to post the pictures.
Wondering
why can´t you add the pictures, they work fine with the ones i use (they´re from Imgur) how did you use to post on the BSN that can´t be done here?
I really don't know. I'll try Imgur, since I haven't used that yet. What is it?
it´s like photobucket, just create account (if you want), upload the pictures and there will be the code for forums speciphically
Is the account free?
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Fur28 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:34 am

Selim Bradley wrote:
Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:Since I can't seem to get pictures to work here, I took out the titles explaining the pictures. I will add them back once I am able to post the pictures.
Wondering
why can´t you add the pictures, they work fine with the ones i use (they´re from Imgur) how did you use to post on the BSN that can´t be done here?
I really don't know. I'll try Imgur, since I haven't used that yet. What is it?
it´s like photobucket, just create account (if you want), upload the pictures and there will be the code for forums speciphically
Is the account free?
yes

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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:35 am

Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
Fur28 wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:Since I can't seem to get pictures to work here, I took out the titles explaining the pictures. I will add them back once I am able to post the pictures.
Wondering
why can´t you add the pictures, they work fine with the ones i use (they´re from Imgur) how did you use to post on the BSN that can´t be done here?
I really don't know. I'll try Imgur, since I haven't used that yet. What is it?
it´s like photobucket, just create account (if you want), upload the pictures and there will be the code for forums speciphically
Is the account free?
yes
Allright, then I'll try that.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:17 am

Bump because of an increased use of parts of it in various discussions.
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Re: A Comparison Between Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Homunculi and Mass Effect's Reapers

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