Most of you who played Mass Effect 3 must have realized that the Harbinger does not have 5 claws. It only has 4:


Other Sovereign class Reapers have 5:


So why does Harbinger not have 5 claws? Did it lose in a battle or is it just its design?

  • 3
    Hey, Lucas. I've voted to close your question because it's not really a problem you're facing with the game. It's a difference you noticed, but it has no impact on how you play your game.
    – Frank
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 12:10
  • 17
    @fbueckert As per the FAQ, "Plot and characters in games" are on topic. Is that changed recently?
    – DavRob60
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 12:16
  • 10
    @OrigamiRobot Understanding plot is incredibly constructive in playing a game. In order to have a suspension of disbelief, things have to make sense. If I'm playing my third Legend of Zelda game and I realize that I've played Link every time, even thought they are different stories in different worlds, I may start to question the series. An answer to this question may help to quell my uneasiness about the validity of the stories the developers are attempting to make. I'd rather answer a question about plot than give someone the answer to a problem they're having.
    – SocioMatt
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 12:38
  • 14
    IMO this question is great and should stay. I don't think there should be any further close votes without a meta discussion, at least. I agree completely with DavRob60 and SocioMatt here.
    – Shinrai
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 14:42
  • 7
    Meta on this question and closing it meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/q/5325/15643 Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 1:33

3 Answers 3


Indeed, Harbinger design is different form the others reapers.

The Reaper known as Harbinger appears to be of a unique subtype; Alliance intelligence identifies it as being the largest Reaper in the armada, and its design differs notably from the Sovereign-class subtype, having only four main legs and multiple glowing "eyes". In addition, Harbinger's cannons appear to be capable of a much higher rate of fire than those of any other Reaper.
- Reaper article on masseffect.wikia

But why? (Spoiler from Mass Effect 3)

During its encounter with Shepard, Leviathan mentions that Harbinger was the first Reaper created, and that it was formed in the image of the Leviathans. Through Harbinger, the Catalyst directs the Reapers to harvest the galaxy of advanced life every 50,000 years. Each harvest ends with the birth of a new Reaper made in Harbinger's image.
- Harbinger article on masseffect.wikia

  • I was just about to paste identical quotes here. Shucks. :-)
    – SocioMatt
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 12:13

Harbinger was constucted from the genetic "goo" of the Leviathans, who were the most advanced race to ever inhabit the galaxy. Meaning that all that advanced tech went into Harbinger's make-up. So that is the anwser to Harbinger's weapons being much faster in terms of fire rate. As for the claws, every reaper is different in some way. I think Bioware wanted to make Harbinger more noticable because he was the main reaper of the storyline. With Harbinger's eyes you come back to the Leviathans who have six eyes in total and if you look hard enough you will notice the same with Harbinger

  • All good i don't mind
    – Mal
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 6:39

I think it has a more powerful mass core so it's don't need 5th claw(leg) and also has more amount of glowing eyes(weapons) probably shields are stronger too

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