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The current cover art, Leviathan's image from Mega Man X DiVE.

"Everypony in this city is crazy!"

One year before Twilight Sparkle is sent to Ponyville, one of the four Guardians of Neo Arcadia wakes up on a rooftop in Equestria after being disintegrated by Omega's final explosion. Fairy Leviathan is damaged, everything that can help her out is a universe away, and she's living on borrowed time as a result. What's a Reploid to do in a world and society that isn't her own, with a technology base to match?

Manehattan's Lone Guardian is a crossover between My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the Mega Man Zero series written by Curtis Wildcat. The story can be read at FimFiction here, with a mirror at Archive Of Our Own here.


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Tropes seen in this story include:

     A-E 

  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Calmest Waters Often Hide the Deepest Depths" give Gray's cat Echo, who had made a few very minor appearances in earlier chapters, and Levi's navigator Coffee-and-Cream chances to shine as they deal with a major crisis in their own ways.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Trifecta resorts to this in his attempt to kill Leviathan, flooding the building she was in with as much hair spray as he could get his hooves on before having his Torchounds set the facility aflame. When questioned about it later, he admits it was because there wasn't any propane available.
  • After Boss Recovery: Reddocite serves as Full Restores for Leviathan, and are described by the author as the setting's equivalent to E-Tanks (though Levi initially tries to compare them to Cyber-Elves). It's described as a rare, tightly controlled, and incredibly expensive ore that, when destroyed, will fully repair everything inorganic in a certain radius. Shining Armor provides her with one after her fight with Gray, and each of Cocoa Mocha's agents are provided with them, strongly implying that Levi will be using them for herself.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Illudere is crazy enough to try utilizing one of these to get from place to place. It almost ends poorly for her: the vents are barely large enough to accommodate a pony, but her armor adds just enough width to greatly hinder her. As such, even with her magic aiding her, it takes her hours to escape.
  • All Part of the Show: When explosions rock Manehattan, Drama does her part to keep her audience from panicking by weaving the sounds into the fabric of her performance. Her decision causes the story to go off the rails, but she accomplishes her objective.
  • All There in the Manual: The author posts profiles of some of the original characters on his blog at Fimfiction; these often contain details that never come up within the story proper on account of not being plot-relevant. Metallium's profile, for example, states that she has a lazy older brother who would later be scared away by Fluttershy.
  • Alternate Universe: The reality that Illudere subjects Leviathan to via Luminous Cruelty takes place in one of these: Zero captures Elpizo before he could destroy X's body to release the Dark Elf, Dr. Weil and Omega inexplicably never surface, the events of the third and fourth Zero games don't take place, and Leviathan is able to patch things up with a former friend that she'd lost contact with. Ultimately, due to how much time passes from Levi's perspective before she mentally returns to Equestria, the whole thing is set up as a major case of Yank the Dog's Chain.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It is never made exactly clear who tampered with the Guardians' blueprints and bodies to hide their upgrades. Leviathan theorizes that the Eight Gentle Judges, the bosses from Mega Man Zero 3, were responsible after ruling out everyone else; however she has no way of knowing that for a certainty, and between her being in Equestria and the Judges being destroyed, investigations are impossible.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Leviathan hates it when non-combative civilians, especially her close friends, put themselves in danger for her sake. When Drama does this at one point, Levi snaps at her despite her having a good reason for doing so.
  • And I Must Scream: Hazelnut becomes trapped within her own mind when First Quarter steals her body and life. She is unable to escape or make her calls for help heard, and can only watch as somepony she once looked up to carries out their designs on Leviathan and Celestia. Her only saving grace is that Quarter's fear of Omega is keeping her stabilized for the time being.
  • Animal Motifs: Cats for Gray Ghost, given her tendency to sleep wherever she pleases, turn up in places where she has no right being, sneak up on others without being aware of what she's doing, and behave generally cat-like in casual situations.
  • A Rare Sentence: Multiple times, and it eventually reaches a point where Leviathan starts wondering if anyone's keeping track. As one example, she offers this line after Drama is discouraged from using her tail trimmer to remove a pair of thieves' nose hairs:
    "Good to know that controversial brain operations are on the same level as improper use of nasal scissors. And if someone told me a year ago that I would be saying that sentence, I would've had them committed."
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Gray Ghost is first found by Leviathan happily sleeping on her apartment rooftop. Those who don't know her well tend to assume she's homeless at first glance due to her habit of sleeping wherever she pleases.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The dragon scale mail given to Cocoa Mocha's agents are virtually impervious to damage, but they require magically enchanted chest pieces to prevent their wearers from being subject to the laws of physics. After Leviathan catches on to this weakness, she begins specifically targeting the added armor to end her fights quickly.
  • Attack the Mouth: In a combination of this and Kill It Through Its Stomach, this is how Leviathan defeats Metallium on account of her natural defenses being too tough to bypass otherwise.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: When asked why she was being forthright with Buried Lede as to the deaths she was responsible for in Neo Arcadia, Leviathan's answer is that while it would be easy to claim that she meant no harm to anypony, it wouldn't be the full truth. For better or worse, she wanted to share both sides of her story with the city's residents and give them a more complete picture of who she was.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Lyra, known in the fandom for her more human-like mannerisms, sees Leviathan sitting on a bench and decides to try mimicking her posture later. Her appearance in the episode "Dragonshy" would suggest that she succeeded.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Gray is very laid-back and friendly, albeit a bit detached from reality, and it's pointed out that it goes against her nature to hold a grudge. Threaten or otherwise antagonize her family, however, and it doesn't matter if you're a horror storyteller like Drama Heart or a battle-hardened soldier like Leviathan: she will make you feel fear.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": After being in close proximity to a Class 1 Driller and its unearthly shrieking for too long, Leviathan screams "WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP ALREADY?!" and destroys it with two Ice Slashers in quick succession.
  • Blatant Lies: When getting the Midnight Castles to raid the Pyre, Alexandrite tells them that Drama was responsible for taking away her performing arts center's business. She admits to Leviathan later that she herself was responsible and knew it, the circumstances of her husband's death some time before making her paranoid and afraid.
  • Bookends: Illudere's descent into madness begins when she accidentally hits herself with a dangerous spell she is learning. Her madness ends when Shining Armor causes her to be hit with her own Luminous Cruelty.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Automatic Crossbow that is provided to Glintlock is enchanted to have its ammunition return to its magazine a short time after use, letting him fire as much as he wants without reloading.
  • Brick Joke:
    • When the enemy group first gathers, Statuette guesses that the reason why the conference room is dark is because their leader likes hearing others hit their legs on the furniture. Sixteen chapters later, said leader sheepishly admits it when asked about the possibility of installing new lights.
    • When Leviathan first learns about her new enemies in "Prismatic", she hears one of their names and thinks that the pony it belongs to didn't earn it because of his candy-making abilities. Much later in "Buggin'", it's revealed that the pony was, in fact, a candy maker.
  • Call-Back:
    • Between the events of the second and third games, Leviathan learned of Zero adapting his enemies' techniques for his own use. This gets referenced when she does the same thing against the Midnight Castle gang.
    • A disgruntled Leviathan notes that her battles against Zero would probably have been more even if he didn't have access to the Flame Chip, and wonders who put the Guard Orotic—the boss that drops said Chip—in charge of the factory that the Resistance ended up capturing.
    • While telling a story to the Ghost-Guard children, Levi talks about Zero wasting time trying to pogo-jump into an alcove to claim a Cyber-Elf.note 
    • In one unrelated to the Zero series, the bugbear's escape from Tartarus and resulting dissolution of S.M.I.L.E. takes place shortly before the story begins. This is commented on by Celestia when Gray tries to get herself reinstated into the organization.
    • The technique that Leviathan picks up from dueling Statuette is called the Ice Slasher, and according to its description is strong against fire. In Mega Man, the Ice Slasher was Fire Man's weakness.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Due to differences in culture, Gray is surprised that Leviathan does this, while Levi is surprised that Gray doesn't.
  • Calling Your Nausea: After Leviathan realizes that the Guardians and most likely their blueprints were tampered with to reduce resistance to Omega's eventual return, she states that she feels like throwing up. She's able to suppress the urge to actually do so, though.
  • The Cameo:
    • Lyra Heartstrings turns up briefly as a tourist who sees Leviathan sitting upright on a bench, then leaves to try the stance herself.
    • Octavia Melody is one of those who watches Leviathan and Gray's discussion on the former's clothing. The same scene reveals that she was originally a Manehattan resident, but moved to Ponyville after getting hired as a cellist in Canterlot.
    • Smooth Beat (a.k.a. "Long Play"), Vinyl Scratch's older brother from the comics, puts in an appearance as the latest pony that Limefrost wants to date for his money. It's implied that he's The Voiceless just as much as his sister is.
    • Bon Bon, Fluttershy, and Applejack are among those seen learning about Leviathan's adventures in the second newspaper chapter.
    • Derpy Hooves/Muffins is strongly implied to be the one who delivered the letter from the Mocha siblings' doctor to a specialist in Canterlot. The main antagonist briefly contemplates recruiting her before deciding to leave her be. Derpy later makes a very brief appearance delivering a letter straight to Leviathan.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?:
    • There are several "do not gallop on wet floor" signs in Bronclyn High's pool area. Another sign posted in the same area calls out anypony who thinks that the aforementioned signs are there just for decoration.
    • The same sign posts a warning directed specifically to Gray that she is not allowed to sleep in the sunshine on the diving board, and that she is not allowed to use "but I didn't see the sign" as an excuse. Of course, she blatantly violates that warning in every respect while waiting for Leviathan to show up for their duel. It is stated that the sign dates back decades to when Gray attended the school as a teenager, implying that she was doing this even then.
  • Cessation of Existence: Whenever First Quarter steals another pony's body, their minds will disappear entirely within a day or two without something to stabilize them. Focusing on Quarter's memories of Omega is the only thing keeping this from happening to Hazelnut Mocha.
  • Character Narrator: The bulk of the story is told from Leviathan's perspective, with brief switches to third-person where necessary. She occasionally addresses "whoever is viewing my memories", implying that she's anticipating that someone will be able to access them in the future.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Leviathan initially views a letter given to her by a little colt and his mother encouraging her to return home as unimportant, though Drama tells her to hang onto it. Much later, when dealing with the after-effects of a nervous breakdown, re-reading the letter helps spark a series of reminders that tell her that her goal of going home isn't yet out of reach.
  • Circling Birdies: After getting smashed head-first into the floor during her duel with Gray, Leviathan briefly sees copies of her in miniature flying around her head.
  • The Coats Are Off: After Leviathan's self-repairs are completed, she whips off her coat to show that she's in pristine condition for the first time since her arrival before promptly bolting across Manehattan. Lampshaded by her patron, who states that she has a flair for the dramatic.
  • Comical Overreacting:
    • When Levi discovers that it wasn't even necessary to create a subroutine to activate her password-locked equipment after defeating the first of Mocha's agents, she flips out and angrily complains that she wish she'd known that previously. Her rant gets cut short out of embarrassment after she realizes she said everything out loud.
    • Levi has the same reaction later when first exposed to Pinkie Pie's brand of physics breaking, requiring Cadance to calm her down.
  • Commonality Connection: In the What If? scenario revolving around Leviathan ending up in the EG-verse, she discovers that she and Sunset have a fair bit in common where their pasts were concerned (i.e. ruining other people's lives for what they believed was the right reasons).
  • Converse with the Unconscious: During her interview with Buried Lede, Leviathan states that her meeting with the original X took place while she was comatose.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Whoever it was that tampered with the Guardians' blueprints and upgrades did not want them getting activated in a timely fashion. The password system requires the user to enter in a password two billion characters in length, with hundreds of characters to choose from, plus a set of memory blocks to prevent them from knowing they even had the upgrades in the first place. Leviathan's able to work on cracking them thanks to having a computer for a brain, but much like her auto-repair, it will take time. According to the author in the story's comments, the fact that the possibility of reactivation even exists was actually intentional on the part of the programmers, who hated having to work against Neo Arcadia's best interests.
    • The Pyre of Fears' front door has a window in it created specifically to shrug off ballista bolts, installed by one of the building's prior owners.
  • Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle: Leviathan inwardly winces when Gargoyle gives her real name as "Maverick". The former's from a society where Reploids with that moniker were hunted down and killed, whereas Maverick was given that name on account for her taking longer than most foals before receiving her Cutie Mark.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Leviathan's first fight in Manehattan against the Midnight Castle gang turns out like this. Even at subpar functionality thanks to Omega, two attacks are all she requires to incapacitate the entire group.
    • Likewise, Statuette is completely outmatched against her: her weapons can't pierce Levi's frame, and she completely no-sells the skater's ice attacks. When it becomes clear that nothing she has can faze her, the agent surrenders.
  • Curse Cut Short: Ignition tries to go into a profanity-laden outburst after Gray pulls a fast one on him at one point, but the narration deliberately cuts him off and ends the chapter.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Time and again, Leviathan finds herself suppressing the urge to squeal and/or cuddle with the ponies she meets, defending herself by saying that they're very adorable by her homeworld's standards. She finally breaks and squeals when Gray's youngest foal kisses her to cheer her up.
  • Death Glare: Hazelnut Mocha shoots Leviathan one of these when they briefly cross paths for the first time, something that she is taken back by due to the sheer amount of hatred.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: Leviathan eventually begins to believe that Gray's cat-like habits stem from an un-diagnosed mental problem. Gray herself has stated that she has tried visiting doctors multiple times over the decades to find out what's wrong, but her idiosyncrasies have proven to be too much of a turnoff for them for her to get a proper diagnosis. Thanks to Juniper Leaf's journal, she finally discovers well into adulthood that her issues aren't purely psychological, putting the matter to rest.
  • Description Cut:
    • When Shining Armor expresses doubts that Gray has been out of the game for fifteen years and isn't really up to the task of challenging Leviathan, Celestia states that she firmly believes that Gray is training on a rooftop somewhere and getting herself in shape. The scene immediately cuts to Gray having a staredown with a grouper at a public aquarium.
    • After her family is abducted, the next day Gray worries that they're distressed or in pain from their experiences with the kidnappers. The scene immediately cuts away to Pure Energy stealing Ralph from Illudere and leading her on a merry chase, Calico freaking out over Fiver's emotionlessness, Bushwhacker and Zig-Zag getting along just fine, Ebony having her usual response to seeing something mannequin-esque, and Bastion agreeing to Ocean Guard's request regarding his absence from work.
  • Despair Event Horizon: For most of the story, Leviathan is confident in her abilities and maintains her focus on getting home. Illudere's Luminous Cruelty bodily drags her near the line, and after she wakes up she finds her self-confidence shattered and her end goals in serious doubt, invoking a serious nervous breakdown. Her friends and allies are forced to step in to prevent her from crossing the horizon entirely.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Gray at one point becomes so overwhelmingly angry at Leviathan for taking her children out of her sight without permission that she rips apart the Pyre's stairwell. This comes back to bite her when Drama Heart returns home, learns what happened, and forces her to work for the puppet master until all the remodeling is paid for.
    • Leviathan, who left a note for Gray but didn't think to ask her directly if she could take the pegasus' children with her, is no less guilty. As a result, Gray's anger and willingness to get in her face over the foals' safety leads the Reploid to dwell on her mistakes until Drama comes home and snaps her out of it.
  • Dramatic Irony: After she demonstrates her family martial arts style, Caramel Mocha states that it's restricted for use by her family alone in order to prevent more ambitious and unsavory individuals from mastering it, completely unaware of the designs that the pony who was once her sister has on Celestia and Equestria.
  • Due to the Dead: While within Illudere's Luminous Cruelty, Leviathan takes note of Axl's remains being discovered and subsequently taken to Neo Arcadia so that he can be given a sendoff worthy of his status as a Maverick Hunter.
  • Easily Forgiven: Gray briefly discusses the trope when she explains why she decides to forgive Juniper Leaf so quickly, citing her criteria for the action: whether or not the pony genuinely wants to change, any remorse they may or may not feel, whether or not they want to choose a better way of life, stopping the wrong action entirely, and improving themselves if they regress. Talking to her children and hearing the other party's thoughts on the topic helped her solidify her decision.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Trifecta theorizes that the S.M.I.L.E. agent that broke into Mocha Corp. HQ was going rogue, on account of Celestia disbanding the organization. In reality, Gray fully understood what Contingency Ultimus was all about and had the Princess's backing. The whole thing implies that while Trifecta may have been part of S.M.I.L.E., he did not understand Celestia's mind as well as he thought.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The main antagonist makes it clear to their agents that under no conditions are they to go near Discord's statue, stating his fate to be the only thing they will agree with Celestia on.
    • Copy X doesn't like it when humans—the very people he's out to support—decide to harass his Guardians for stupid reasons. After people draw the wrong conclusions by Leviathan returning synthesized chocolates to them, the Copy passes a new law that punishes such individuals with fines and jail time.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: In-universe, this is what happens to the plot of Drama Heart's play when she invokes "All Part Of The Show" above. All of those that the play focused on, including the mysterious third party that attacks the castle, are dead by performance's end.
  • Everyone Has Standards: This is cited by a Professional Gambler after a friendly round of poker against Fiver, stating that he has too much respect for Gray Ghost to regularly meet up with her child for cards without permission.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: The initial meetings between Cocoa Mocha's agents and his proxy, Ignition, takes place in a completely darkened room. Comments are made that the agents can only see each other because of whatever gear they're equipped with, with the possibility of replacement lights being brought up. New lights are eventually installed, putting an end to this.
  • Exact Words: When leaving Bronclyn High's pool area, Gray slips and falls. When told that the sign said "do not gallop", she tries to utilize this trope by saying that she was trotting, not galloping.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Played for laughs. Levi wonders briefly why one of the greatest Reploids of X's time was called "Green Biker Dude" and says that it sounds like the sort of name that she would give him. She realizes in mid-sentence that she had just zinged herself.

     F-O 

  • Face Your Fears: One of the developing subplots of the story revolves around Ebony Evening working to overcome her pediophobia in the hopes of being able to interact with Leviathan normally.
  • Fake Memories: Illudere's Luminous Cruelty bestows Leviathan with more than two centuries' worth of these. While she directly experienced all of them while detecting little out of the ordinary, the fact remains that it was all a monstrous illusion that never actually took place in reality.
  • Feghoot: The description of the Lonely Heart nightclub is crafted as one of these. It talks about how mediocre the club is as an establishment, then points out that for all of its faults, it's still rated higher than the Broken Heart nightclub. It finishes with:
  • Fish out of Water: To say the least. Being from a tech-centric world where magic doesn't exist, Leviathan is constantly being thrown curveballs by what she witnesses. Whether it's as basic as unicorn levitation or the world allowing its residents to use their musical numbers to temporarily warp reality, it frequently leaves her surprised and shocked. This also applies on a temporal level, as the tech level is centuries behind Neo Arcadia: Levi is temporarily stymied by a door that does not open on its own or with a button press.
  • Foreshadowing: In "A Limitless Chest of Tales", Leviathan is caught in the illusion generated by Salamandra's heartsong, showing that even as a Reploid her mind can still be influenced by such things. This serves to foreshadow the illusion-happy Illudere catching her with her own bag of tricks in "Curveball On the Outside Corner".
  • Freaky Is Cool: The stated reason for Gray having no issue speaking with Leviathan face to face is that she's heavily into horror; when she meets a bipedal pile of sapient metal that's damaged enough for her to catch a glimpse of its insides, it makes her heart race but nothing more. Drama Heart, who actually runs a horror-centric theater, is just as enthused.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Decades before the story began, a drug called Zoolinef was created to try and give ponies more animal-like physical qualities. This came to an end when the one pony injected with the drug was subjected to more mental changes than physical.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Calico Driftwood, one of the enemy agents, takes part in a kidnapping and becomes responsible for looking after Five-of-a-Kind. After a few days, any pretense of being antagonistic flies out the window when the abducted pony starts teaching her how to play FreeCell.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When the squadron Quarter commanded during a prior life is killed by Omega, their individual deaths aren't seen. All the audience knows is that Quarter ordered them to attack:
    "...and the ground, soaked crimson less than half a minute later."
  • Grand Theft Me: First Quarter steals control of Hazelnut's body and life after their previous identity, Cocoa, dies of old age.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Neither Magnum nor Maverick are keen on admitting to anypony—least of all Leviathan—that they enjoyed having her scratch them behind the ears.
  • Headbutt of Love: Ocean Guard exchanges one with Gray after the family learns some key details about her background, assuring her that he doesn't think any less of her.
  • Heel Realization: Several of these.
    • Leviathan goes through one as she comes to grips with Neo Arcadia's "retirement" of Reploids and her worsening obsession with fighting Zero.
    • And another one when it sinks in that she attempted the below Interrogation Technique on flesh-and-blood entities, which drives her to kneel and apologize in view of the Royal Police after the fact.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Learning that magic is a legitimate concept will do that to a robot. Leviathan's hardware crashes and causes her to faint when she first hears about it.
    • This later happens to Levi a second time when Celestia briefly messes with the sun's movement just to say hello to her. Her response is to invoke Screw This, I'm Outta Here, switch her systems to Standby, and collapse.
    • More seriously, Leviathan suffers a nervous breakdown upon awakening from the Luminous Cruelty, and it takes her time to start focusing on what's going on around her. Even then, she becomes more susceptible to mood swings, her ability to narrate the story in detail takes a hit, her memories—both real and imagined—have to be untangled several times, and she starts struggling with an almost overwhelming sense of loss and emptiness.
  • High Heel Hurt: After one of Levi's falls down the Pyre's narrow stairs, Drama suggests that her insistence on wearing high-heeled boots isn't doing her any favors. Levi dismisses it on the grounds of her preferring water to land. It continues to cause her issues when she engages in combat, most notably when an evasive sidestep results in her faceplanting.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Illudere is not immune to the effects of her own spells. Shining Armor reflecting her Luminous Cruelty back at her takes her out of the running immediately.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: This is the basis of the hunter Glintlock's challenge. He has had Median Park blockaded off and riddled with traps and snares, all with the intent of capturing and killing either Leviathan or Gray Ghost. The former is the one who answers his challenge.
  • "I Am" Song: The as-yet unnamed version of Nightwish's "Storytime", sung by Drama Heart in her Burning Salamandra persona. In it she describes herself as a restless storyteller, eager and willing to terrify others in a way that makes all parties happy.
  • I Have Your Wife: Via an ambush and the combined abilities of the remaining agents, First Quarter's forces kidnap Gray's family before her eyes. The deal that Bastion makes her is that she is to turn herself over to them by noon of the next day, or risk not seeing her family again.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: A non-alcoholic example. After discovering that she's surrounded by ponies someplace other than Neo Arcadia, Leviathan expresses envy of humanity for their ability to drink tea to calm themselves down from stressful situations.
  • Internal Reveal: While cross-referencing her false life with her real one in regards to the trip Startide made to Earth, Leviathan realizes that she had family she never knew she had: X's creator could be considered her grandfather, and his brother—who players of the Classic series know as the original Mega Man—is technically her uncle.
  • Interspecies Romance: In the Lotus-Eater Machine-spawned alternate timeline Leviathan gets trapped in, she reconciles with her human friend Honoré and eventually marries him after three years of developing their relationship.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Leviathan attempts this on the Midnight Castle pegasi after their defeat by threatening to remove their wings if they won't give her the information she needs. While the threat succeeds in its intent, the realization that she tried this on flesh-and-blood beings as opposed to mechanical entities rattles her enough that she kneels and apologizes for her actions after the Police arrive.
  • Jump Scare: On a few different occasions Leviathan and Drama are on the receiving end of these from Gray Ghost, who doesn't seem entirely aware that she's invoking this reaction.
    Leviathan: "GRAY! Don't do that! What are you, a ninja?!"
    Gray: "No, I'm a housewife."
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Levi has one towards herself after she uses the expression "not looking a gift horse in the mouth" for the first time.
    "...Gift horse? Sigh... Well, I guess I had to use that one sooner or later."
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Due to equal parts betraying Equestria and not understanding the true nature of Contingency Ultimus, Trifecta's memories of S.M.I.L.E. are erased by an infiltrator after his capture. It is implied that this will happen to Statuette as well in order to keep information on the organization from spreading.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Illudere had previously used the Luminous Cruelty on several other individuals without any sort of remorse and played multiple characters—most notably Leviathan and Starlight Glimmer—like fiddles. When her own spell is turned on her, only her parents mourn her.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Bastion and Gates suit up in their new armor post-breakout, Agent #6 wonders if anypony else is hearing an ominous guitar. This is strongly implied to be the selected background music for the scene, "Soul Clef XI".
  • Lemony Narrator: Averted, by and large. Most scenes that aren't narrated by Leviathan are told normally. However, the end of "Gray's Analogy" has Ignition start to launch into a profanity-laden tirade, only to have the narration deliberately cut him off to end the chapter.
    "Eyes flaring, Ignition opened his mouth to utter the first of the curses that he'd been suppressing—
    "The narration quickly took steps to supersede his authority, cutting the chapter off."
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: First Quarter is a firm believer of this trope; they've been jumping bodies since before Discord's reign ended, and they've grown to enjoy their increased lifespan. They state to their underlings on one occasion that ponies in general underestimate just how much there is to learn.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Celestia subjects Twilight Sparkle to this when Leviathan's existence becomes known, keeping her from hearing any sort of news about the Reploid at all. According to one of her letters, this is done to prevent her from thinking that Levi is a sapient golem and thus hound her for details as to how she's able to live. Spike is already aware, but he has been sworn to secrecy.
  • Loose Canon: The "1st Anniversary" episode, which takes place months after the events of the main story. It features an illusion-based stageplay about Neo Arcadia; Leviathan interacting freely with Caramel Mocha, whom she hasn't met yet and has expressed thanks for assisting her with something; and Levi having a sleepover at Gray's apartment, with Ebony having sufficiently overcome her pediophobia. According to the author, whether or not any of this takes place in the story's canon is dependent on how events turn out from the battle with Glintlock onward.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The entirety of "Shine Aqua Illusion" depicts Leviathan placed in one of these by Illudere, forcing her to sleep and experience more than 200 years of life in an alternate timeline where Weil and Omega never surfaced. Despite noticing a few things off about it, she ultimately dismisses them and doesn't escape the illusion, instead being released back to Equestria at the end of her "life". A later chapter reveals its name to be Luminous Cruelty, a fitting name for what's essentially the Black Mercy.
  • Luminescent Blush: Leviathan is left sporting one of these after giving in to temptation and scratching Maverick and Magnum behind the ears, thoroughly embarrassed as the three of them frantically apologize to each other.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Discussed by Shining Armor and Gray as to the latter's phasing abilities. Shining points out that Gray is pushing the limits of what a pony can do with their special talent; even if their Cutie Mark comes from acting like a cat, that doesn't mean that they should be able to pass through solid objects. Gray says in response that she's not breaking the setting's rules on magic, just exercising them in a different way: logically, if she were trying to break the rules, she wouldn't be able to do anything of the sort.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: The aptly-named Five-of-a-Kind is playing poker with three gamblers 4-5 times her age in one scene. One has to settle for a high card, the second plays a pair of jacks, while the third plays a royal flush. Since the game is being played strictly for fun with nothing at stake beyond potato chips, they decide to see if Fiver has anything of note before moving on. She proceeds to make one laugh and stun the other two when she lays her namesake on the table. This is downplayed by two things: the implication that she didn't know what her own name meant, as the gamblers' reactions puzzle her, and the fact that the dealer had forgotten to remove the joker from the deck beforehand.
  • Million to One Chance: Experiments with the Zoolinef drug prior to it being used on a pony gave every indication that it would work without fail. Juniper Leaf later admits that they didn't account for the one-in-a-million chance that it would fail, resulting in Gray's mind being tampered with.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Day Three, Part Two" sees Leviathan being built back up, her confidence being restored, her relief on display for everyone to see, Honoré unexpectedly showing up to reunite with her... and then suddenly Illudere spikes the emotional volleyball back down to the ground and sets the stage for Levi's darkest battle up until that point.
  • Mundane Utility: Levi's "Spirit of the Ocean" is a powerful ice-element attack that uses either her internal generators or nearby water as fuel. She uses the latter source to clean up after her duel with Gray, forming mini-dragons from the water on the floor and directing them back into the pool, where they dissolve.
  • Mythology Gag: The difference in appearance between X-era Reploids and those from the Zero era is noted in "Shine Aqua Illusion". When meeting X for the first time after he returns to his original body, Leviathan states to herself that the armor he's wearing is a total throwback and that she's never seen a Reploid wear boots that big before.
  • Noodle Incident: Several of these crop up where Gray is concerned.
    • The first is what her family refers to as the "cornbread incident", which is cited as why she leaves any cooking to her husband and oldest daughter. All that is known about it is that she signed an affidavit afterward that stated that she would never try to cook again.
    • Another one took place during her time with the Police: while a rookie, she went on a work lunch with a griffon. Afterward, the local Griffons For Equestria chapter named her an honorary member, and she was never able to figure out why.
  • No-Sell: Per her source game's elemental triangle, Leviathan completely negates electricity. She takes advantage of this early on to protect Drama Heart from an incoming lightning strike.
  • Not Hyperbole: Shortly before Statuette's duel, Cocoa tells her that "from disaster to death and everything in-between, I always come back". Statuette takes that to mean that a die-hard supporter of his will take the group's reins and lead it by following his ideals. She's wrong. At his death, Cocoa steals Hazelnut's body for his own use and returns to lead the group personally.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Limefrost Spiral successfully fights off two thugs in an alley and leaves the stallion unconscious on top of the mare, with a knife pinning the mare's tail to the ground. When Coffee and Drama investigate the alley for unrelated reasons, the mare frantically declares that it's not what it looks like. After the thugs leave, Drama's dialogue suggests that she thought they were having sex, while Coffee was able to discern the truth behind the matter.
  • Now, Let Me Carry You: Following Leviathan helping out the local Police with capturing enemy agents, she suffers a nervous breakdown after her release from Illudere's Luminous Cruelty. After she is located, Officer Coffee assures her that the MRPD is ready to return the favor and gives her an escort back to the station.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The meeting between Cocoa Mocha's proxy, Ignition, and his agents hits some of the marks: a completely dark room (passed off by some of them as needing some new lights), the agents being referred to almost entirely by their numbers (except for a few prior antagonists that are already known to the audience), ominous discussions revolving around the protagonists, and a plan to punt Celestia off of her throne that's not entirely clear to the readers.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gray Ghost panics when the ever-bombastic Drama Heart starts into a heartsong, knowing that her children are within range.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Levi smacks into a door all of once. Her friends are quick to remind her of this at every opportunity.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Luminous Cruelty does this to whatever target it hits, putting them into a Black Mercy-esque dream world immediately on contact and forcing them asleep.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Leviathan is noted to be leery of Drama Heart, to the point that the pony threatening her with a friendly hug is enough to make her do things she doesn't necessarily want to do. When she does pull Drama into a hug of her own initiative, the puppeteer is quick to figure out that something is seriously wrong.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Leviathan is forced to flee a science facility's basement when Trifecta sets fire to it, requiring her to stay ahead of the flames as they race through the air towards her.

     P-Y 
  • Pain to the Ass: Echo's solution to ponies who ignore him is to hold out his claws and give them a good swat across the rear.
  • Person as Verb:
    • The narration refers to Leviathan Foot Diving into a random pony's swimming pool as the pool being "Dr. Doomed".
    • After having her helmet and boots stolen, Leviathan refers to this experience as having her equipment "samused". She later spells out the Bag of Spilling trope to Coffee when she asks what the word means.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: When Gray's family is kidnapped, Fiver and Zig-Zag avert the trope entirely by being generally well-behaved. Ebony and Pure Energy, on the other hand, play it straight: the former doesn't hesitate to speak her mind, forcing Ocean Guard to hold her back, and the latter gives Illudere the run-around and ultimately escapes his confinement.
  • Power of Trust: Statuette states herself to be a firm believer in this trope, claiming that ponies need to be able to support one another if they're to survive as a species. She also cites this as her reason for standing against Celestia, believing that the princess hasn't done enough to meet her standards, but also says that if Celestia lives up to her statements regarding sending Leviathan home, this would help change her mind.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Each of the enemy agents get one of these when commencing battle against Leviathan.
  • Professional Gambler: A trio of these appear in "The Definition of Terror", playing cards with Fiver. They note that she has the potential to be one of these herself when she grows up, given her generally good playing ability and excellent poker face.
  • Protectorate: Leviathan eventually establishes Manehattan and its waters as hers, promising in her heart to safeguard it until a way back to Neo Arcadia can be found.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Leviathan reaches hers after Illudere modestly explains the Luminous Cruelty to her, making her start screaming the other party's offenses. Said party's non-chalant response only makes things worse.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Drama Heart finally meets with Illudere, she tears into the insane agent on all the reasons why she'd fallen so far from the decent pony she used to be, with emphasis on the facts that she threw herself away for the sake of one-upmanship and grew to be a threat to the city.
  • Recursive Canon: The "1st Anniversary" chapter features Tale of the False Paradise, an illusion-based stageplay by Salamandra based on Leviathan's descriptions of Zero and Neo Arcadia. Leviathan herself plays the role of Zero.
  • Robot Hair: Leviathan lampshades the trope when she explains that Reploids modeled after their creators can be provided with artificial hair depending on design choices. She goes on to explain that she had never removed her helmet in her life, so she didn't know what her own hair looked like until Charity Kindheart and a curious foal helped her overcome her anxieties in that regard.
  • Robots Think Faster: Explained by Leviathan as Reploids having more focus to spare than organic lifeforms. According to her, organics are completely blind to what goes on behind an average thought process. They can't consciously comprehend everything their own brains can do, so it feels like they think slower despite them being capable of making trillions of calculations a second. In contrast, Reploids have a fraction of humanity's brainpower, but are fully aware of their body's inner workings and can shut out everything in order to focus on a given thought process. It is noted by Levi that some, such as Fefnir, deliberately keep their thought processes set on 'human' at all times, however.
    • This ability aids Leviathan at least twice. The first time against Gray, she is able to piece together how the former MRPD officer is able to damage her and work up a counter against it. The second time outright saves her life against Metallium, allowing her to attack the dragon someplace where her defenses were weakest.
  • Running Gag:
    • Gray crashing into windows, thinking that they're either open or easily breakable.
    • Leviathan tripping while going down the Pyre's narrow staircase. This comes to an end when... "circumstances" necessitate the need for remodeling, then is briefly revisited during the mission to the Zoological Institute.
  • Running into the Window: The basis of one of the story's running gags is that Gray will try to fly through a window, thinking that it's either open or easy breakable, only to hit her head on it when her attempt fails. Ebony tries to keep an apartment window open to subvert this, only for Gray to fly at a different window instead. This reaches its peak when she throws herself at high speed at the Pyre's front door while infuriated, only to be thwarted by ballista-proof glass.
  • Say My Name:
    • Illudere, after somehow picking up on one of her former rival's heartsongs from across the city, utters her name while fast in the throes of derangement:
      "Sallll-aaaaa-mannnnn-draaaa!"
    • In a Shout-Out to For the Man Who Has Everything, when Leviathan figures out who was responsible for subjecting her to a powerful illusion and kidnapping her, she first whispers the culprit's name before outright bellowing it at maximum volume.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Some time after the raid on the Pyre fails, Alexandrite makes the decision to sell all of her property in Manehattan and move to Los Pegasus out of fear that whatever killed her husband will come for her next.
    • After seeing Celestia make the sun shift around just to say hello, Leviathan temporarily gives up on logic and deliberately passes out to keep from thinking about what just happened.
  • Sea Serpents: Tiffany Polari, who lives in the deep water between Manehattan and the mainland. She's a 150-foot sea snake with a dragon-like head, midnight-blue scales, and a "tremendous mop of fruity red hair" done up in a Beehive Hairdo. She looks threatening at first, but she turns out to be genuinely friendly. It's all but stated that she's Steven Magnet's mother.
  • Secret Diary: One of these is found hidden in the Zoological Institute, with entries written by a scientist that worked there decades before the story begins. The journal is eventually turned over to Gray Ghost, as it contains information that pertains to that particular pony.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Gray and Leviathan get into a discussionnote  as to whether the white undersuit the latter wears is a unitard or a bodysuit, a discussion that goes all over the place. According to Bossa Nova, it's actually a jumpsuit.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Slasher Smile: The deranged Illudere shows off one of these after she picks up on one of Salamandra's heartsongs. The narration describes it as an ear-to-ear smile that leaves no doubt that she's never had serious dental work done.
  • Spikes of Doom: Discussed by Leviathan while she's tracking down Trifecta. She notes that these and Bottomless Pits aren't anywhere around, and thinks about a hapless Reploid who was helping to install these once and accidentally destroyed himself by touching the explicitly non-sharp sides. Delves into Leaning on the Fourth Wall a bit when the thought of dealing with them herself makes her imagine millions of people screaming angrily.
  • Spontaneous Choreography:
    • Drama explains the phenomenon of "heartsongs" to Leviathan, saying that one is triggered when whoever is singing it is experiencing an emotional high at the time. She then says that because of her sheer love of entertaining ponies through horror, she's always at an emotional high—and proves it by subjecting the Reploid and two hapless passers-by to an altered version of "Storytime" on the spot, complete with full instrumentation and visuals (the latter of which leads Leviathan to believe that ponies are low-level reality warpers).
    • Levi is briefly able to tap into this herself using her stage music from Zero 2 during her confrontation with Ebony, but it doesn't last. Her grasp of the concept improves by the time she duels Statuette, resulting in "Ice Brain" from the same game serving as the battle's designated music.
  • Staircase Tumble:
    • Happens to Leviathan repeatedly in the Pyre's stairwell, which is made more for ponies than for bipeds in high heels, and it culminates in a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff reference after enough incidents. After the stairs are destroyed later, Drama decides to get some remodeling done to keep it from happening again.
    • The stairs at the Diarchs Zoological Institute are somehow worse, causing her to take another fall. She notes that stairs in general have become the worst thing she's ever faced, at least in Equestria.
  • Starter Villain:
    • The Midnight Castles in the "Crumbling Castle" chapter directly oppose Leviathan her first night in the city and pay the price for it. Despite their implied skills, they don't really have anything at this point that can do serious damage to her. The leaders are later revealed to be part of Cocoa Mocha's inner circle, and have more powerful gear waiting for them once they are broken out of prison.
    • The 'Gorridra', as Leviathan calls it, from "Intro Stage: Warming Up". It's the first antagonist that poses any serious threat to her post-recovery, but it is meant to be a mirror of the warmup bosses from the X and Zero series in that it's the first thing the Big Bad has to throw at her, dwarfs her in size, and is brought down quickly.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: When confronted with Levi discovering her weakness during their battle, Illudere decides that enough's enough and causes X1-era Sigma to materialize.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: The basis of the fighting style practiced by the Mocha family involves a mix of standard magic and what is strongly implied to be ki. Caramel demonstrates it on a metal safe, tearing through an inch of steel with a flurry of hoof strikes after Leviathan weakens it with her ice. Levi tries to determine how she's pulling off, but is only positive about the magical aspect of it. Afterward, Caramel makes it clear that the style is restricted to her family to prevent misuse by more unsavory types.
  • Tears of Joy: Juniper Leaf outright begins wailing after Gray and her family express their willingness to forgive her for her role in creating Gray's mental disorder, thus allowing her to be able to forgive herself as well.
  • There Was a Door: Gray Ghost tries to enter her apartment through a closed window and succeeds only in bruising her forehead. Her daughter's complaints imply that this is a regular thing.
  • Title Drop: At the end of her Internal Monologue establishing Manehattan as her protectorate in "Rejuvenated Vow", Leviathan declares herself to be "Manehattan's lone Guardian".
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Due to Gray's behavior, ponies have joked that she's part cat. Gray herself doesn't know why she acts the way she does, only saying that it feels right to do so. After Leviathan's raid on the Diarchs Zoological Institute, it's discovered that those joking about it weren't too far off the mark: she was abducted prior to her starting kindergarten and injected with a drug that messed with her mind. Her discovery of this brings her to tears.
  • Trapped in Another World: Lampshaded in both the story description and in the story proper, the latter by Leviathan herself. When coming to terms with her unwilling transportation from Neo Arcadia to Manehattan, one of her first thoughts is that she's fallen victim to one of the oldest cliches in fiction.
  • Trash the Set: Trifecta utterly torches the facility Leviathan chases him to in an attempt to kill her. While the local weather team and firefighters were able to keep the blaze from going out of control, enough damage has been done that the facility is afterwards slated for demolition.
  • Uncanny Valley: Leviathan overall comes off as this to the city's citizens, to them being a living mass of metal that looks and acts as if it were alive but clearly isn't. In the case of Ebony Evening, this uncanniness is enough to trigger her pediophobia.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • "Nightmare Moon's sweet sorry keister!" is explicitly referred to as 'pony profanity'.
    • After Leviathan's poor first meeting with Caramel Mocha's sister, somepony asks her why Hazelnut was so peeved at her. Some of those nearby react appropriately.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Thanks to Illudere's illusions and First Quarter's scheming, Starlight Glimmer had no way of knowing that the Cutie Mark she transferred from the latter to Project Ashes would eventually lead to Cozy Glow causing problems for Equestria years down the line.
  • Variant Power Copying: In one of Leviathan's internal monologues, she remarks on learning about Zero's ability to copy techniques from defeated opponents in the aftermath of Zero 2's events.note  She decides to take a page from his book by cribbing his charged slash and adapting it for use with her Javelin, giving it noticeably different effects in battle from its source. However, due to Omega, she doesn't get to use it until after she arrives in Equestria.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Bushwhacker, one of the enemy agents, stops by a grocery store to buy some cheese. Gray is briefly surprised to meet him there on account of their open antagonism.
  • We Are as Mayflies: When dwelling on Gray's long absence after her retirement, the 1,000-plus year-old Celestia thinks to herself that just because she'd long since gotten used to her subjects' mortality, that didn't mean she enjoyed it.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Leviathan at one point muses on a friendship she'd made with a human while she was still involved in environmental work. The human in question was a decent and charming guy who approved of her work, and she stayed in contact with him for years. After Copy X took power, he called out Leviathan for supporting his murderous actions, forcefully rejected the Reploid's weak efforts at defending him, and ended the call they were on. From that point down to her "death" against Omega, they never spoke to each other again.
  • Wham Episode: "Shine Aqua Illusion". Leviathan is subjected to the Black Mercy-esque Luminous Cruelty, and is thoroughly crushed by the implications of her waking up back in Equestria, along with the theft of half of her equipment. This undermines the self-confidence she'd been showing up until that point and invokes a nervous breakdown, throwing her desire to return home into doubt.
  • What If?:
    • The "1st Anniversary" chapter makes mention of what would've happened to several individuals in the main FiM universe if Leviathan had never appeared in Equestria: Gray would never have discovered the truth about her mental disorder; Ebony's pediophobia would have persisted for the rest of her life; The Midnight Castle gang would have succeeded in emptying out the Pyre, leaving Drama Heart struggling to recover for a long time; and said gang, in addition, wouldn't have gotten caught until after Nightmare Moon returned as opposed to the night Leviathan dropped in.
    • The 2nd Anniversary chapter covers four of these: Leviathan is discovered by Limefrost Spiral instead of Ebony Evening; First Quarter was never traumatized by Omega; Celestia doesn't leave Twilight Sparkle Locked Out of the Loop; and Leviathan lands in the Equestria Girls side of reality towards the end of the first movie.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: After a slightly convoluted plan to kill Leviathan is brought up by Ignition, Gates wonders why he shouldn't just stab her and be done with it. Ignition rejects the idea, citing a possibility that Leviathan's death explosion could send him to another world like Omega's did at best, or straight up kill him at worst.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Barely averted in the Illudere-induced dream world Leviathan is subjected to. After she learns that she and the other Guardians had been killing their own race for what was basically no reason, Fefnir has to restrain her from snapping her Javelin in half.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The entirety of "Shine Aqua Illusion". 230 years of life in a world that showed humans and Reploids at their best, the joy of marrying her first real friend, seeing the world she lived in rendered suitable for global habitation once more, and many other things... and then Leviathan is released from Illudere's spell back into reality, leaving her with nothing but a confidence-breaking feeling of loss.
  • You Are Grounded!: Just prior to Levi's arrival, Ebony was grounded by Gray for stealing some cake from one of her friends, leaving her unable to go with the rest of the family on their trip out of town. This puts her in the unenviable position of being the first to interact with Levi directly, leading her to later ask if her grounding can be extended.


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