Recent graduate John Brent and Michael Jacobs have grown tired of seeing their graduating class dying. The year is 2552, the last surviving city on Earth is Salvation City, a city plagued with crime and augmentation drugs. There are no cops as the UNSC needs every soldier up in space to guard against Covenant attack, so thus they equipped everybody with Mark VI powered armor, and let the city police itself.
Does this sound like a really, really bad idea? Well, that's because it is, the city has gone to hell, and it's so dangerous that everybody has to carry around tasers (plasma pistols). The backstory may sound silly, but the whole thing is to Hand Wave the required character models that Halo 3 provides, given that it is a machinima.
Moving on, the aforementioned Michael Jacobs modifies John Brent's suit to have super human strength, temporary invulnerability, invisibility, and thermal/night vision. John decides he must have a nickname, so after hearing the page's quote at the top, decides on Deus Ex Machina.
Surprisingly good cinematography for a machinima series, the camera angles and lighting effects make for a very theatrical experience. Sadly, the writing isn't quite so good. John hardly ever uses his suit's abilities when they would actually be helpful. See Idiot Ball for details.
The series has since been discontinued by its creator.
Tropes used in Deus Ex Machina:
- Avenging the Villain: Derick's son Patrick takes over as the Big Bad in the finale
- Buried Alive: John is buried alive by Owen and his men so as to force Michael to build a suit with the Deus ex Machina armor's temporary invulernability.
- Chekhov's Gun: It happens a lot, to say the least. The most prominent one is the pheromones used to control the Decapitators, which John uses to prevent himself from being killed by them and get free of his predicament.
- Christmas Episode: Subverted. Episode 3 takes place during Christmas, but the story has little to do with the holiday itself.
- Crapsack World
- Darkest Hour: Happens about twice in the entirety of the series.
- Deus ex Machina: Naturally, if a sudden resolution to a crisis isn't a Chekhov's Gun.
- Differently Powered Individual: According to John Brent: "I guess you could call me a superhero, but that makes it sound kinda retarded".
- Disney Villain Death: Plague seemingly falls to his death.
- The Dragon: The Behemoth is this to Plague.
- Hand Wave: All Salvation City citizens were given mandatory MJOLNIR armor and stun guns due to the high crime rate, even the homeless people. Now stop asking about why everyone is wearing armor and holding a gun.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: After bonding with a symbiote in a homage to Spider-Man, though he was already the victim of slander by television personality Phil O'Malley beforehand.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After accidentally killing a youth, John goes through one of these.
- Idiot Ball: John Brent seems to carry and collect them. Mainly not using his temporary invulnderability outside of one instance.
- Killed Off for Real: Michael Jacobs.
- Malicious Slander: John suffers from this by television personality Phil O'Malley under orders from Derick Owen.
- Not Quite Dead
- Not Wearing Tights: Not that the game engine would allow tights, but...
- Off with His Head!: Michael. Slowly.
- Oh, Crap!: John when he realizes that Patrick had trapped him with a whole herd of Decapitators.
- Orphaned Series: Jon has no plans to finish it. Or even acknowledge it.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Thank you for flying Air Deus! Enjoy your flight!"
- Red Herring: The assistant seen at the end of the first arc turns out to be a minor character who dies in the same episode he has involvement in.
- Shout-Out: There's a lot of homages to Spider-Man, right down to an alien symbiotic parasite taking over the hero and increasing his aggressive emotions.
- The Speechless: The Behemoth is a mute.
- Storming the Castle: Deus ex pulls this when he escapes from being Buried Alive. It didn't last.
- Talking to Himself: Everyone is played by Jon Graham using the same voice but with different pitches.
- Voice of the Legion: Derick Owen speaks in this in his Plague persona with a small robotic touch.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Derick Owen.
- We Will Wear Armor in the Future: Exaggerated and justified at the same time.
- Whole Plot Reference: The Parasite arc is basically a Machinima version of Spider-Man 3, right down to having Christopher Young's score as the soundtrack.