5

Jack has plenty of tattoos, but this one behind her right ear looks like text to me:

Jack's tattoo

At first I thought it was katakana, maybe メアカ, but the first character appears to have a hook in the upper left and a loop in the lower right, which doesn't make sense for Japanese. So that leaves either languages I don't know (like maybe Hebrew), or maybe a strange symbol followed by "771", but searching didn't reveal any context for that number in ME.

So, can anyone read this text?

P.S. This is a screenshot by me of Legendary Edition from just standing next to her on a mission - I looked for higher-res sources online but didn't find any that were even close.

3
  • 10
    This looks like 56771 to me.
    – Nolonar
    Apr 16, 2023 at 21:58
  • 1
    Same, definitely not Japanese.
    – pinckerman
    Apr 16, 2023 at 22:34
  • @Nolonar I agree. Could be an identification number given to her in prison.
    – xyldke
    Apr 17, 2023 at 11:47

1 Answer 1

6

Like Nolonar points out in the comments, they look more like the Latin script numbers 56771 than a set of Japanese characters.

On her right arm Jack has tattoos for every guard she killed, some of which include their badge numbers:

enter image description here
Source: The Art of the Mass Effect Universe book

Many of these consist of five digits.

Additionally, to counter the comment by xyldke, there are posters showing her mugshot with her ID from a time after she escapes from Purgatory:

enter image description here

This number is 24601, so that's not it.

So a viable interpretation is that the 56771 was the badge number of a guard that somehow meant more to Jack.

The + sign can be seen behind both of her ears, so it is safe to assume that, whatever it stands for, Jack doesn't anticipate reoccurrence.
Only the one behind her right ear features a number.
Are these just symbols representing her implants, or could it be that—since the + sign traditionally stands for something positive—she once overheard a specific guard mention something that was to be tremendously beneficial to her?

At any rate, I'm afraid it is unknown at this point, and we can only guess to its significance.


Note as well that the tattooed numbers, and some other details, don't add up, considering Jack is 25 years old during the Mass Effect 2 events, and that an answer consistent with the Mass Effect universe simply might not exist.

5
  • 1
    Nice sleuthing! At this point, can there even be a fictional prisoner that does not have the number 24601...
    – xyldke
    Apr 17, 2023 at 16:14
  • @xyldke I doubt it very much :) And thanks!
    – Joachim
    Apr 17, 2023 at 16:16
  • 3
    If my eyes don't deceive me, the 6th rib from the top appears to be labelled with 56771, so I think this is a valid interpretation.
    – Nolonar
    Apr 17, 2023 at 20:58
  • 24601 is the badge number of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Likely a deliberate reference. Apr 30, 2023 at 20:49
  • @Shadur Yeah, see the first comment here :)
    – Joachim
    Apr 30, 2023 at 22:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .