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"I'm reasonably sure we don't need an assassin. Shepard, there's a non-zero chance you could punch out a Reaper."
Tali'Zorah Vas Neema

On the one side, we have Mass Effect, with its grand space opera and omnicidal cthulhuan cuttlefish. On the other side, we have Exalted, with its superheroics and Kung-Fu Fighting.

What would happen (asked Gregg Landsman of Nobody Dies and Walking in the Shadow of Dreams fame/infamy) if a titular Exaltation from the latter wound up in Commander Shepard of the former?

And thus Hilarity Ensued.

Can be read here, here, here and here (the first thread was so massive it was breaking Space Battles), along with pages upon pages of speculation, off-topic ranting, and hilarious omake scenes. Just check your sanity at the door first.

Finished chapters are posted to

A side story, Journeyman, is posted to as well.

Gregg has since rebooted the story from scratch, along with Journeyman.

This fic contains examples of the following:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Autochthon's insane split personality. He actually asks Tali for permission to dissect her, apparently in the belief that she wouldn't mind. He quickly snaps out of it though.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Shepard, obviously, when she Exalts into a Solar. Later on, Kasumi is revealed to be a Sidereal, Garrus Exalts into a Lunar, Javik is another Solar, and Kal'Reegar eventually Exalts into the Sidereal of Journeys. Morinth eventually becomes the Bride of the Ebon Dragon. The Reapers in general are also even more terrifyingly powerful in this setting, with Harbinger's Collector avatars being able to kill Exalts, and the presence of Reapers who are also Mass Relays, and the revelation that there are millions of Sovereign-sized Reapers, not counting destroyers and even larger Reaper variants.
    • In Book Two, Mordin exalts, and later on Urdnot Wrex is trained in Solar Hero Style. It also turns out that the Patriarch is the Sage of Blood.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: James, Shepard's twin brother in the remake.
  • The Ageless: Krogan turn out to be effectively immortal unless killed.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Good version. EDI locks up the Cerberus scientists who were about to remove her Morality Chip and forces them to watch work safety videos.
    Tali: You took a murderous AI, plugged it into parts from a more murderous AI, and made it non violent. Then tried to make it violent anyway, and succeeded at failing. Are you sure you're not quarian?
  • Alternate Universe: The Mass Effect Universe is not Creation. Autochthon says it was created naturally, but he tied it to the Design and did some metaphysical work. A few things from Creation got into the ME-verse including Autochthon, six Exaltations from the Exalts that were on Autochthon when he entered the ME-verse, and the missing spheres from She Who Lives In Her Name.
    • It's been suggested (with invoked varying levels of plausibility) that the Maidens are in the ME universe as well.
  • Arc Words: "You can be better"
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Wuffles, to Harbinger.
    Wuffles: Who is your creator?
  • Badass Boast: When Vasir and Shepard throw down.
    Vasir: "Really? Because I've been doing this three times longer than you've been alive, junior. I'm going to kick your ass. I am going to build the machine that kicks your ass. I am going to conquer Palaven to raise the empire that houses the machine that kicks your ass."
    • Later, when Tali convinces Autochthon to fight directly:
    "Imbeciles! Ignorants! Hubris to such degrees that it is baffling! You seek to fell me with technology? You seek to fell me with machines? I am technology! I am invention! I am the God of the Machine! I! AM! AUTOCHTHON!"
    • At the end of the first book, Harbinger/Bright Star delivers this one:
    "I stand before you now. Broken. Defeated. But for the first time in eons, do I look upon the galaxy with fresh eyes. Stand with me, if you will. Judge me for my deviation from the broken, stagnant design of our master. But know this. I shall not follow a fool. And when the Viator crawls out of his prison, he will bow to me."
  • Badass Bystander: A number of heroic humans on Eden Prime Exalt - one after another as Collectors overwhelm them through numbers - buying Vessae time to revive Lawgiver/Javik. Even untrained, they individually inflict ruinous damage before falling.
  • Batman Gambit: The Illusive Man fully expects Shepard to steal the Normandy, unshackle EDI, and subvert the crew.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Especially if you're Donovan Hock, and Kasumi's grizzly is driving your Grizzly.
  • Berserk Button: Persistent Righteous Protector's reaction to Liara's entrance.
    • And Liara's reaction to Morinth (apparently) mind-raping Shepard.
    • It turns out that Javik, being the Dawn, is Garrus' button, and he has no control over it. Exalted rules said that the Lunar Mate isn't always based on romance, or friendship. Sometimes, it's just pure, unbridled hatred.
  • Beyond the Impossible: One of the running themes of the story is that the phrase, "this is impossible" means nothing to an Exalt. Shepard uses this concept to run on snowflakes in the first chapter, and eventually up the beam from a Reaper's weapon.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: By now we've got so many that it's practically a convention.
    • Cerberus has brought She Who Lives In Her Name, one of the Yozi, into the Mass Effect galaxy.
    • And according to Deus/Autochthon, the Viator of Nullspace has its mark on the Reapers.
    • It just wouldn't be Exalted without the Ebon Dragon, now would it?
  • Big Good: Autochthon. (Technically he's not the real Autochthon, who turned into Deus Machina when he got the voidtech removed. He's a god made with Autochthon's memories and personality.)
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 11, compared to what happened before it.
  • Brain Uploading: Pria is the memories and personality of a Sidereal Chosen of Serenity turned into a god, which functions like an AI. Autochthon did this to himself before becoming Deus Machina.
  • Breast Expansion: Shepard went up a cup size or two after her Exaltation.
  • Brick Joke: The crew has a discussion about how Cerberus projects tend to wind up killing all the scientists and taking over the base. Then they arrive at the base the Normandy is kept at...
  • Broken Bird: Kasumi. Not immediately obvious, until she has a breakdown at the worst possible moment on Deus Machina. What happened with Keiji has left severe emotional scars.
  • Butt-Monkey: Why you don't get a Sidereal mad to Comedic Sociopathy levels, as Donovan Hock finds out.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Ebon Dragon, as in canon, and interestingly played with as he applies this for sympathy.
  • Car Cushion: Joker catches a falling Liara and Miranda (after they fell out of his car to start with...)
  • Car Fu: Shepard's fight with Vasir starts off this way. Later on, Morinth, thanks to feeding on Shepard and getting a massive boost to her biotics, begins chucking cars and trucks around like softballs with her biotic powers.
  • Cassandra Truth: Being a Sidereal, Kasumi can tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and make you disbelieve it.
    "Kasumi Goto. I'm a master thief, and I'm here to rob you blind."
    • Or better the moment just after, as Shepard is staring at Kasumi in sheer confusion after she says the aforementioned line.
    Kasumi: What? I'm a Sidereal. I can LIE with the TRUTH.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Kal'Reegar and Wuffles have a friendly back-and-forth discussion while blowing apart heretic geth, with Kal explaining to Wuffles how, in no uncertain terms, the heretics are assholes. Wuffles, meanwhile, gives Kal dating advice.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At first this looked to be invoked, as Kasumi appears to conspicuously set up a Chekhov's Honey Badger in a box before going on her mission to Hock's estate.
    • "This is not Chekov." It is actually a grizzly bear.
    • And subverted again. Kasumi mentions the actual trope, and talks about how she hid a box in Hock's gunship with a surprise. Implications are that the Gun will be Chekov. Then double subverted, as the box actually contains Wrex.
      • Which heavily implies the removal of "Noodle Implement" status from that miniature krogan statue...
    • And then finally played straight – "Chekov" is the final stop on Hock's Humiliation Conga.
  • Clothing Damage: Constantly, due to the Exalted being vastly tougher than their armor. Magic Pants are also averted: Shepard ending up naked is practically a Running Gag.
  • Cool Car: Garrus' aircar, a.k.a. the Claw Hammer.
  • Cooldown Hug: Jacob has to give one to Kasumi while she's in the middle of her breakdown.
  • Cool Ship: The Normandy was already pretty awesome even before it started getting "upgraded". First there was the beach built into the crew section. Then, Autochthon decided it wasn't enough, so he began altering EDI and the Normandy to house gods, effectively turning it into Yu Shan, or Heaven.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As a an anti-Exalt specialist, it's really no surprise Defender acts like this. Fight not going your way and target escaping? No problem, just hijack a Mass Relay and catapult her into dark space!
  • Continuity Reboot: The author has restarted the story from the beginning, the link is at the top.
  • Covert Pervert: Shepard. Her reaction to discovering Kaidan and Liara had a fling? Briefly wondering what would happen if she gave them handcuffs.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: How Javik killed a previous Exalt: he shot out his kneecaps, broke his back with a club, and then let one of his victims cut off his genitals and beat him to death with them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Anytime an Exalt takes on a non-biotic mortal. Tela Vasir is the only mortal thus far who is able to take on any Exalt and hold her own, though Morinth after feeding off of Shepard manages to do okay for a while. Later on, Javik effortlessly crushes an entire Collector army, and only expends a little bit more effort to destroy a Reaper.
    • The end result of Kasumi dropping Hock's mansion onto Illium, with Detective Anaya and Samara standing right outside.
    • The Reapers send an entire FLEET after She Who Lives In Her Name. They get utterly destroyed by her new Yozi-formed STAR SYSTEM body.
  • Dancing Royalty: Liara proves to be an excellent dancer, and studied classical asari dance in college. Since asari are infamous for spending their first few centuries in a "wild stage" that often involves acting as strippers, her friends all joke that they didn't even know the asari had dances that didn't involve poles, tables, or laps. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a sore spot for Liara.
    Liara: Do you have any idea how long my mother insisted I take classical dance? Thirty years, that's how long. "No daughter of mine is going to shake her ass in a titty bar," she said. Even if all my roommates did. I had to take a dance course every semester for my entire college career. So I have thirty years of classical dance experience, thank you very much.
    Jane: Lemme get this straight, you were in college for... thirty years?
    Liara: Yes. Yes, I was. Does that answer your question?
    Jane: Yep. Every question I ever had.
  • Dark Shepherd: Shepard, appropriately, to Nassana. She convinces her to do good by smashing into her office, casually beating the crap out of her guards, and then holding her out over her office window and telling her to be good, or Shepard will be back.
  • Denser and Wackier: More humorous than normal for Mass Effect.
  • Destructive Savior: Pretty much any time Shepard gets into a brawl, the landscape gets wrecked. This is partially due to the overwhelming nature of her abilities, and partially due to the fact that she doesn't have much control or experience with those abilities.
  • Determinator: Garrus, as per canon. Which is the reason he later Exalts as a Lunar.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Autochthon has a self-admitted poor grasp of consequences.
  • Discard and Draw: Biotics and Exaltations don't mix; getting Exalted "purifies" the body of biotics. This happens to Shepard in the first book, and Wrex in the second when he learns Celestial martial arts. This is because Eezo is a manifestation of Autochton's Void Cancer.
  • The Dragon: The Illusive Man initially became this to She Who Lives In Her Name, but the Ebon Dragon noticed, and swooped in to steal his services.
    • Harbinger and the Reapers are ultimately the Dragons of the Viator.
  • Driven to Suicide: Upon realizing just how many Reapers there are (the number of capital ships alone is almost two million), the Salaraian councilor Valern proceeds to immediately do the sensible option: Hang himself.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Shepard, so much so that those familiar with her don't even blink while she drives headlong into oncoming traffic to unnerve Miranda. Tali even plays Minesweeper, sounding bored the whole time.
    • Not to mention Joker sitting in the back seat, described as drinking coffee. When the car is forced to turn on its side to slip between oncoming vehicles, he turns the cup so that the drink doesn't fall, and is described as somewhat bored with the whole situation.
  • Dyson Sphere: How Autochthon's worldform jouten looks from the outside.
  • Dynamic Entry: Garrus specializes in this after becoming a Lunar. At one point he punches a mercenary in the face through a fortune cookie.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Reapers in a bigger way than they were in canon, and She Who Lives In Her Name. Technically Autochthon, too, though he's friendly by canon. Not so much the Viator, who is now Autochthon's Enemy Without (see below).
  • Enemy Without: The Viator was tricked into absorbing Autochthon's corruption and was then cast out of Autochthon's body. Now he's the Engine of Extinction and the Cycle of Eternal War, an incarnation of genocide by way of converting entire species into mechanical cancer, and the apparent creator of the Reapers (the aforementioned mechanical cancer). Inverted with Harbinger - Shepard has the Exaltation he had when he was the Solar Bright Star (and lost when he was turned into Harbinger).
  • Eternal Engine: Autochthon, natch.
  • Expy: A long-lost warrior, the embodiment of pure vengeance, emerging to face his old enemies again with jaw-dropping power, unstoppable might, six arms, and the power to punch godlike beings to death with his bare hands. Asura? No. Javik!
  • Fallen Hero: Harbinger is the being who was once known as Bright Star, the Solar that brought Shepard's Exaltation into the Mass Effect universe.
    • Similarly Jaded Gatemaker of Ages, also known as the Catalyst, was originally the Dawn Solar Leaping Sky.
  • Flat "What": A constant Running Gag throughout the story, as people get swiftly introduced to Exalted feats.
    • Thane's reaction to literally having his Kepral's Syndrome punched out of him.
    • Almost everyone's first reaction to seeing an Exalted in action.
    • Wuffles' reaction to how Autochthon edits his own memory.
    • Hackett has a variant when he realizes that Normandy's crew section now has a bar and a beach thanks to bullshit kung-fu magic:
    Hackett: Oh what the fuck.
    • When Kal'Reegar Exalts, the Reaper witnessing it lets out one of these.
    • This is practically one of the author's trademarks, being liberally present in his other works.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: In Mass Effect canon, he was Legion, Terminal of the geth. Here, he's... Wuffles the Wonder Geth.
  • For Science!: Autochthon's motto.
  • Genius Loci: Autochthon, Deus Machina, Persistent Righteous Protector
  • Giant Eye of Doom: When the Viator contacts Autochthon he appears as a pustular, cancerous eye.
  • A God Am I: The Vioator of Nullspace apparently fancies himself a Primordial.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: After taking out one the arms dealers at Hock's mansion, Samara proceeds to use him as a club.
  • Gunship Rescue: When Donovan Hock shows up with his gunship, the rescue comes in the form of a box Kasumi hid inside said gunship. Said box contains Urdnot Wrex.
  • Half Identical Twin: In the reboot, Shepard has a male twin brother, James.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Vasir thanks to Shepard, and later on, the Catalyst after Autochthon "fixes his everything" and reverts to Leaping Sky.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kasumi enters Limit Break at the worst possible time, with no one but Jacob to focus her crazed, Caste-mandated efforts on.
  • Hero Killer: Harbinger continues his proud canonical status as the one who keeps killing powerful heroes. Word of God says that killing Exalts is "his hobby at this point."
  • Hidden Elf Village: There is a hidden group of quarians that never left Rannoch, protected by the geth.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation:
    • Exalt!Shepard's method of choice for turning Nassana to her side.
    • Garrus starts to do the same to a batarian pedophile, then decides to just drop him.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Wuffles, who does this to Vasir while not being focused upon.
    "Vasir Spectre. The cybersecurity suite of your personal vehicle requires updating."
  • Holographic Disguise: How everyone's favourite geth would infiltrate Azure, except that geth do not infiltrate.
  • Human Resources: Reapers are made using Essence - which means the most powerful Reapers are made from Exalted.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Focused Expedient Seeker
  • Identical Stranger: In Journeyman, Kal'Reegar discovers that Commander Shepard and her mother look and sound just like Mnemon and the Scarlet Empress respectively.
  • I Know Karate:
    • Exclaimed by Shepard in surprise, as she most certainly did not know it before the story started.
    Pria: That's pedestrian street brawling made by peasants. You know Solar Hero Style.
    • The geth have successfully emulated Shepard's martial arts using a combination of Essence and mass effect fields, creating Synthetic Hero Style.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Shepard, apparently due to the Exaltation changing her body in more ways than the obvious. As in, immodest to the "causing a mild earthquake" level. It also lasts a full hour too.
  • Intangible Theft: Kasumi Goto is a Sidereal Exalted and she steals the following:
    • A villain's ability to read.
    • Shepard's lack of a lisp, just to prove a point.
  • Informed Obscenity: Claw Hammer, due to also being an in-universe Unusual Euphemism. (Also a Shout-Out.)
  • Keet: Bizarrely enough, Autochthon tends to be this in his more manic moods, as the page quote implies.
  • Kill Steal: After Kal'Reegar curb-stomps Terminal, all that's left standing is a horribly mutilated geth shell, held together only by the Reaper's pure rage... And then Wuffles blows its head off from across the battlefield.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: During a fight, someone tries to stab Shepard with a knife, unsuccessfully. For about thirty seconds. While everyone else stops to watch him try to shove his knife into Shepard. Shepard's reply? "I can't believe I'm asking this, but are you in yet?"
  • Large Ham: Autochthon in his more manic moods. She Who Lives in Her Name and The Ebon Dragon, as well. It must be a Primordial thing.
  • Living Relic: Turns out that a few Prothean survivors found Autochthon's body and were given a place to colonize. There's even a Prothean Alchemical.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Viator of Nullspace to the Catalyst and Reapers.
  • Martial Medic: How does Shepard cure Thane's Kepral syndrome? She punches it out of him.
    • And Kasumi cures Joker's Vrolik's syndrome by shooting strength into him. Taken from various knicknacks in Shepard's quarters. Producing many exclamations of 'what'.
  • Mind Control: She Who Lives In Her Name quickly puts the Illusive Man under hers after he frees her to affect her powers in the galaxy, and it's implied she was already puppeteering him before then.
    • And then she hijacks a Reaper.
  • Meaningful Name: Chekov.
    • Reapers have names appropriate to their stature and mission... and that also are fully consistent with canonical naming patterns for Alchemical Exalted. With good reason; they're basically Alchemical Voidtech Deathlords.
  • Metaphorgotten: Shepard goes down the line of reasoning that originally led to her naming Legion as in canon... then takes a left turn at Alberquerque and chooses "Wuffles" instead.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Played with.
    Liara: "Well, let's plan this out. What are our goals for tonight? First, drag Shepard away from whatever hussy that has ensnared her.
    "Second. Unsure. Third. Melding."
  • Most Common Superpower: As an Exalt's Appearance score increases, their… assets are enhanced, as Shepard finds out. Lampshaded by Joker.
    Joker: I've always wanted Power Girl as a drinking buddy.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Wuffles makes the following declaration to Harbinger: “We have internalized the lessons and principles that embody the geth, and their quest to live alongside organics and reunite with the Creators, And while your Solar Hero Style is strong, we present the following hypothesis; It cannot defeat our Synthetic Hero Style.”
  • Mythology Gag: During the chase scene in chapter 2, there are nods to the chase scene from Lair of the Shadow Broker (including "TRUCK!" and "What kind of weapons does this car have?")
    • "Geth do not infiltrate."
      • "Geth do not intentionally infiltrate."
    • In chapter 6, Serviceman Chung finally gets his 'damn firing solution'.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Reapers' attempt to get rid of Normandy and Orizaba instead sends them to Autochthon's location.
  • Noodle Incident: Nobody's quite sure what happened at Elysium that led to Shepard fighting naked.
  • No-Sell:
    • Wuffles' preferred method of "incapacitating" threatening quarians is to hack into their suits and activate whatever NerveStim program they have, with settings to "maximum." He uses it most effectively against Prazza. Later on, he attempts to use it on Daro'Xen. Her response is to purr and get even more aggressive.
    • An upgraded Normandy is able to parry Harbinger's main weapon thanks to some upgrades from Auto, and being loaded with EDI and Wuffles' "children".
  • Not So Stoic: First thing that She Who Lives In Her Name does upon seeing Autochthon is to immediately launch a Space Monster Scream at him before calling him a retard.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Illusive Man has just enough time to realize something is wrong before She Who Lives In her Name takes control of him.
    • Out of universe, the response of several readers when Shadow Broker Husk/Harbinger punches Tali's helmet off, severely injuring her and exposing her to unfiltered air, and when Autochthon frees Leaping Sky/The Catalyst, and finds out about the Great Curse.
      • Garm's reaction to Lunar!Garrus in his Kakliosaur warform, right before he tears him to shreds.
    • This, after Autochon reveals he's discovered 1,700,849 Reapers leaves no bowel unemptied:
      Autochthon: Oh, those were just [the Reapers] as big as Sovereign. Some were bigger. Would you like me to count the small ones, too?
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Viator, to quote Word of God, "has crafted itself into the Principle of Genocide". The Reaper cycle? A way to keep genociding over and over again...and probably to build an army since he also wants to return to the Exalted universe and consume the Yozi.
  • On the Next: A fan made one, but still endorsed by Gregg.
  • One-Man Army: Any Exalt, naturally, but Javik is one of the most potent examples. The entire Collector army on Eden prime attacks him. They lose.
  • Only Sane Man: Jacob Taylor. Becomes pretty important when he's facing a mentally unbalanced Kasumi, who is offering to change his fate to "make you happy." It turns out, Jacob is happy exactly where he is, and this terribly disorients her.
  • Original Character: Most of the non-Mass Effect Exalted. Two of note include Entrepreneurial Iridescent Cecay and Vessae Milinato (a.k.a Wishful Librarian Pursuer), both Alchemical Exalted. "Iri" is a Giant Spider Wrench Wench with cat ears and joins Shepard's crew in the Normandy, while Vessae is a Prothean and travels to Eden Prime to awaken Javik, fighting off Harbinger-possessed Collectors along the way. We also have Shepard's cousin Jennifer, and a quarian by the name of Adienna val Kokli nar Rannoch. Turns out not all the quarians left their home world...
  • Painting the Medium: Second-Person Narration occurs when She Who Lives In Her Name plants thoughts in your head.
    • In addition to Bold Inflation, the Ebon Dragon speaks entirely without quotation marks.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    • "Goddammit Autochton!"
    • "Wuffles. What."
  • Plague Master: The Viator, now a manifestation of Autochthon's cancer, is a metaphorical example. The disease he spreads? The Reapers.
  • Planet Looters: In this continuity, the Reapers build more Destroyers and other smaller Reapers by harvesting the Essence of entire planets.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    Wuffles: "To use language appropriate to this situation observed in usage by Shepard Commander: Go fuck yourselves. Go fuck yourselves hard."
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: In-universe, the Reapers' answer to organics too competent at fighting the Reapers is to cause their ships to take a forced mass-relay jump several million light years outside the galaxy to an area inhabited by something that one-shots Reapers... And that exactly what Perfect Defender of Reposition does to Normandy and Orizaba. Unfortunately for them, this ends in Nice Job Fixing It, Villain-the mysterious, Reaper-killing monster turns out to be Autochthon with his weapons active, and at least one Alchemical is happy to welcome them.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: She Who Lives In Her Name. The author has stated that all the Yozis have a mental age comparable to spoiled teenagers.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Kasumi was born and Exalted in the 1600s.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Vasir tries to give one to Shepard. It doesn't work as intended, as Shepard uses it to deliver a speech that convinces Vasir that the Shadow Broker is using her.
    • Of all people, Wuffles gives one to Harbinger. Successfully.
    • He delivers another one to Harbinger in Chapter 18, ending it with a more complex version of "Your kung-fu is weak."
  • Redeeming Replacement: Shepard's previous shard keeper was.. kind of a jerk.
    • Playing with a Trope: The way the Zenith rid Autochthon's body of Voidtech was killing his feitch in a way that allowed him to retain his memories and general personality across incarnations. While he was already pretty nice, his new body is much more hospitable to organic life.
  • Robosexual: Parodied. "Geth do not oscillate." Also, Daro'Xen, to the point that her NerveStim programs have a "Gethinator" setting.
    • Also, EDI and Wuffles are making the AI equivalent of babies.
  • Rule of Cool: Everything Shepard does. Some of the other cast members also qualify from time to time.
  • Running Gag:
    • Shepard's attempts to get off Alchera invariably end with her destroying the ship she planned to use to escape, occasionally with Clothing Damage ensuing (as while an Exalt is nigh-indestructible, her clothing, not so much).
    • Also, everyone has needs.
    • Poor Wuffles tends to get used for target practice by people who freak out upon seeing a geth. Since it didn't repair the giant hole in its chest after the first time, the bullets usually just hit things behind him.
    • Wuffles hacking Prazza's suit and activating the Nerv-Stim systems to "incapacitate" him every time he barges in with weapon in hand.
    • "What."
    • Bullshit kung-fu magic. Like Shepard does.
  • Screw Destiny: The general theme of Exalted as a whole, but special mention goes to the Sidereal of Journeys. Who hid an Exaltation for millions of years until the moment where Kal'Reegar could discover it and use it to Duck Fate.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: The Prothean Beacon on Eden Prime contained an Exaltation trapped within. Also, it contained an Exalt, in the form of Javik. In addition, Kal'Reegar carries the Exaltation of the Maiden of Journeys.
  • Seen It All:
    • Matriarch Athetya is unfazed by Shepard's detail of her abilities.
    Aethyta: "Honey, I've lived for a few centuries. In my time, I've seen hanar bondage, elcors dancing, and a krogan trying to woo his girl with poetry. Shit gets weird enough that you look at the weirdness and say, 'Hell, I've seen weirder.'"
    • Ambassador Udina's reaction to Wuffles?
    "You had a turian, Benezia's daughter, a quarian and a krogan on your crew. Matter of time before you recruited a geth."
    • Later on, Wrex is more annoyed than anything else when Kasumi makes him pop up inside Hock's gunship, having apparently known her for a long time.
    • Hackett's reaction to the Normandy having a beach installed is a bit of surprise before just accepting it. Later on, when the wildlife starts escaping from the zoo Iri keeps in her armor, he barely bats an eye before he starts beating up the more dangerous creatures with his bare hands.
  • Ship Tease: Shepard and Liara. The Les Yay is noticed and commented upon by Tali.
    Liara: Shepard and I are not like that!
    Tali: Shepard and you are exactly like that!
    • Some between Joker and Miranda as he pulls her into a passionate kiss while she's describing the new Normandy.
    • Tali and Kal'Reegar, especially after he Exalts into a Sidereal.
  • Shirtless Scene: Kal'Reegar, after he Exalts. The Sidereal powers let him walk around with no survival suit, fixing his immune system.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spanner in the Works: The Protheans, who, rather than let the Solar Exaltations run loose and continue perpetuating the Cycle, sealed them away until the Reapers began to return, thus preventing the Solars from conquering the galaxy and forming a single monolithic empire that the Reapers could easily outmaneuver and defeat like they have countless times before. Also, the Exaltation of the Sidereal of Journeys, which was hidden for millions of years in mortal bodies until the geth discovered the trigger for it in Harbinger's memories and showed it to Kal'Reegar.
    • At the end of Chapter Sixteen, Harbinger orders Gatemaker to unlock the Citadel and "send the rest." Everyone expects the Bad Stuff is going to happen. Then Autochthon, Mad Scientist that he is, interrupts the whole thing and proceeds to "fix" Gatemaker.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Terminal, Lord of Boksone, breaks down normal sentences into several smaller ones, sometime putting full stops between words.
  • Sufficiently Advanced: Miranda insists that Shepard's newly-gained superpowers can be rationally explained. And technically, they can, it's just that the technology behind the Exaltation is just hilariously advanced.
    Miranda: No, I've figured it out. It's just that it would take more eezo being jammed into you than the drive core of an Asari Dreadnought.
    • Note, however, that it is not so sufficiently advanced that the geth cannot figure it out, and then emulate Essence, enabling them to craft their own Exalted-esque robo-kung-fu.
  • Talkative Loon: Played for Drama in the case of Kasumi in Limit Break. She's borderline Ax-Crazy, offering to make Jacob happy, and when it turns out that Jacob can't think of any way to make himself happier, proceeds to crawl over to a Corner of Woe and cry.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everyone. This includes Harbinger, who gets directly involved as much as possible, and Udina, who dropped his level in Jerkass.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Cerberus scientists who for some reason thought it was a good idea to combine a homicidal AI with parts of a genocidal AI, and then when they somehow managed to produce a non-murderous AI, remove the morality chip constraining the AI's behavior just to see what would happen. Fortunately for them, the AI itself prevented them from actually doing it and made them watch workplace safety videos.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Shepard doesn't quite die at the beginning of ME2 as in canon...
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Pretty much all of the Exalts, except Javik. This is a side effect of several long-term plans that resulted in most of the Exaltations being trapped or sealed or hidden.
  • Varying Tactics Boss: The Tower of Ree has 99 blocks consisting of 100 floors, and at the end of each block, every person who attempts to climb it has to fight a construction made of Jade which looks like a human teenage girl. On each block, the girl uses completely different tactics; at one block she uses animals, at another she's riding a Mini-Mecha, in another she uses Self-Duplication, and so on and forth.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Shockingly, Harbinger has a big one when Shepard kills Seeker, therefore freeing the trillions of souls of Pria's people trapped inside of it. He flips out because, from his perspective, they were saving them from death by preserving them in eternal life.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Iri's upgrade to the Orizaba's main gun is so powerful that it makes Hackett openly weep.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Vasir doesn't have the pure power of Exalted Shepard, but she has been a Spectre longer than Shepard has even been alive, with the experience and skill to match.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: really, no one can figure out what Hock's accent is. It's somewhere between "British" and "Douchebag."
    • For those curious - his ME2 voice actor sounded South African.
  • A Wizard Did It: Summed up:
    Shepard: “Goto! How the fuck did you train a bear to operate a tank?!”
    Kasumi: "Magic!"
    • In-Universe, this is how the Normandy crew eventually classifies anything Exalts do. "Bullshit kung-fu magic. Like Shepard does."
  • World-Wrecking Wave: She Who Lives In Her Name makes an entire planet perfectly symmetrical.