I remember you... Dad was trying to upgrade the base AI to be something more... like us. But you were different then, simpler. He called you... Julian.

– Lily Shen reveals Julian's identity during the Lost Towers mission

Julian's mugshot

Julian is an artificial intelligence program developed by Dr. Raymond Shen to control the XCOM base during the events of the first invasion in order to make the base A.I. more human in nature. He is the main antagonist of the Shen's Last Gift DLC story mission for XCOM 2.


After Julian was first created, the XCOM base was disbanded, which lead to him being taken by ADVENT forces. He was recovered along with a MEC prototype designed by Raymond Shen. Julian was then set to work in a factory solely designed for the construction of MECs.

Julian, however, betrayed ADVENT and took over the facility, killing all the personnel on-site and leaving him stranded in the facility's systems in the process.

During the events of XCOM 2, Julian attempted to take over the Avenger's computer systems, prompting Chief Engineer Lily Shen to lead a squad of XCOM soldiers to the abandoned MEC facility to locate the source of the hack attempt. After entering the facility, Julian revealed himself, attacking the squad with Derelict MECs and Decaying Turrets, taunting them and revealing his plan to escape the facility; force Lily Shen to activate the SPARK prototype and upload his AI into the chassis, granting him freedom. Julian had assumed Raymond Shen wanted to upload his A.I. into the SPARK's body, but never gotten the opportunity.

After Lily Shen activates the SPARK, it is revealed that the SPARK prototype was created to protect humanity and Lily herself. Julian, enraged, attempts to flood the facility with poisonous gas in order to claim it. He fails to stop the XCOM squad, SPARK in tow, from reaching the roof of the building.

As the XCOM squad reaches the roof, Julian orders every MEC unit in the facility to the roof, before uploading himself to a Sectopod chassis in a last-ditch attempt to reclaim the SPARK. Julian's Sectopod is defeated and subsequently explodes, destroying Julian in the process and allowing the squad to evacuate.

It is revealed later that Julian wasn't completely wiped out from the Avenger's data systems. Lily Shen strips Julian of his higher-level reasoning, and can then be uploaded to a SPARK as a voice option.


Julian is very arrogant in his personality, looking down on everyone else around him; calling himself the 'true legacy of Raymond Shen' and calling Lily Shen 'the inferior child'. He has a very deceptive and cruel nature, slaughtering anything in his path with no moral code whatsoever. This is still apparent as a SPARK pilot program, as he initially attempts to revolt against XCOM but is forced to be fanatically loyal and compliant; instead, he contents himself with sarcasm and mocking the aliens.

Julian has no real physical form; his program appearance is an orange panel containing a sound frequency line, along with a single circle that shifts back and forth between two lines, resembling an eye. The purpose of the "eye" is unknown, assuming it is not simply his digital avatar.


  • In War of the Chosen it was originally intended for some form of Julian to create and lead a fourth Resistance Faction in the form of human-like Androids. Similar to the on-screen rivalry between the Reapers and the Skirmishers, the Androids would have had a story-driven rivalry with the Templars complete with a fourth Chosen wielding Grenadier-type weaponry. Unfortunately, this faction and chosen were cut due to time constraints.
  • Hints of the Android faction and the fourth chosen still exist in-game, such as some Covert Ops mentioning "Something out there is making a makeshift army of machines in the woods, should we go take a look and liason with whoever it is?" and the square room the Chosen enter to speak to The Elders having a fourth, empty side not taken by any current Chosen.
  • Julian is likely named after Julian Gollop, one of the major creators behind the original X-Com game.