What always boggled my mind 'bout Saren's appearance in Mass Effect was that he was clearly indoctrinated from the start. How did NOBODY notice that? This here is what he should've looked like until the crew of the Normandy encountered him on Virmire!
no one knew what being indoctrinated was, let alone what it looked like because the last time something like that happened was thousands upon thousands of years ago. if you want character/story awareness i suppose people could have thought he was augmented because of science fantasy future stuff… or he just didn’t age well. you have to think of what the characters in that universe know and understand instead of what you know and may or may not assume. this is something you have to do a lot with any sort of storytelling. sure i mean clearly he looks like a bad guy, but never judge a book by its cover! there is still good in him!