The Deus Ex Continuity Bible
Editor's Note: This document is intended to summarize the key backstory information behind the Deus Ex universe. It is comprised mostly of excerpts from the design documents of Deus Ex 1, with a few additions and modifications for the sake of maintaining consistency with the final game. The hope is that the amount of information will be helpful without being overwhelming.
Be aware that much of the backstory detailed below never made it into the final game. Some of the events described were intended to be missions (Texas, the space station, moon base, Mt. Weather; etc.), and a lot of that content either doesn't appear in Deus Ex or does so in glancing, fragmentary ways.
What that means is that the related pieces of backstory should be considered truthful and should be supported whenever possible but not necessarily with religious fervor. It would be perfectly valid to re-imagine what's really going on at the "moon base," for instance.
This document was also used for the foundation of Deus Ex: The Conspiracy for the PS2, and will probably be used in some fashion forDeus Ex 2 to maintain continuity.
Throughout this document, we will be adding comments from members of the team on how the document was created and its vision compared to the final game. Thanks to Despot of PlanetDeusEx and GameSpy's own Silverdawn for the questions for the Ion Storm team.
Harvey Smith -- Director
Sheldon Pacotti -- Lead Writer
Tara Thomas -- Assistant Producer
Monte Martinez, Greg Callahan, Nate Blaisdell
High Level World Concept
The year is 2052 and the world is an even more dangerous and chaotic place than it is today. Terrorists operate openly, killing thousands; drugs, disease, pollution and, of course, El Nino kill even more. The world's economies are close to collapse and the gap between the insanely wealthy and the desperately poor has grown to the size of the Grand Canyon. The media openly encourage the worst in mankind. Still, this is not just Another Grim Dystopic Post-Apocalyptic World TM. Deus Ex is set "10 minutes before the apocalypse." There is still hope.
Technology, advanced almost (but not quite) beyond imagining, is the hope of the future. The player character, a powerful, nano-technologically augmented agent for an anti-terrorist organization called UNATCO, is one of the symbols of that hope. Sent to investigate seemingly straightforward terrorist activity in New York City, the player discovers that the organization he works for, far from working to solve the problem, is actually a part of the problem. Worse, he finds disturbing evidence that UNATCO may be under the control of a cabal of conspirators which wants nothing less than world domination. And as you hop the globe from New York to Hong Kong, from Paris to the Desert Southwest of the United States, you discover an even deeper mystery. Someone -- or something -- called "Majestic 12" has been playing the puppet-master all along.
Early DX cover-style concept (from Deus Ex.pl)
Creating Characters with Depth...
GameSpy: Characters are described in much more detail in the document than how they were realized in the game. For example, Page's nerd side is practically non-existent and Paul's flamboyance is basically just his upbeat voice. Do you have any tips on combating the tendency towards shallow characters in computer games?
Harvey Smith: To me, the answer is "fewer characters equals deeper characters." We just tried to do too much. I'd rather have made the game 75% in length, but deeper.
Sheldon Pacotti: I think there's always some pretty serious tension between mission dynamics and characterization. Sometimes an NPC has to dump so much info on the player that characterization gets sidelined. Notice how much Paul lays on the player in the game's first convo. Gamey stuff like the choice of weapons kept getting added to that convo to address other problems in the mission. Tong's convos are also very heavy with go-here-do-that dialogue. Page's problem, on the other hand, is that he barely makes an appearance in the game until the final mission. The designers simply didn't have any use for him until the final showdown.
For a character to really come alive in a game, he has to be integrated meaningfully into multiple maps and has to have more to do than lay out a mission objective. We addressed this to some extent with Paul by giving him second and third cinematic convos, but you never get to see him kicking back in a bar like Jock or complaining about a soda machine like Gunther. You can only be so flamboyant during a terrorist attack. Getting character-traits like that across involves more careful planning than one might imagine.
DX1 Plot Summary
JC Denton Concept Art, Male and Female; cut (from Deus Ex.pl)
In Deus Ex, you play JC Denton, a rookie agent for the United Nations' Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO), who has been nano-technologically enhanced. Your older brother, Paul Denton, also a nano-augmented agent, shares his insights with you along the way. At this time, UNATCO is dealing with the Gray Death, a worldwide plague. Although there is a cure, called Ambrosia, the development and distribution of it has been slow. The National Secessionist Force (NSF) claims the cure is being blocked by secret organizations, so they have taken terrorist countermeasures.
You infiltrate the NSF's makeshift command center on Liberty Island and determine that the recently hijacked Ambrosia shipment has already left the island. You then recover a unit of Ambrosia and deal with a hostage situation in the subway in Battery Park. After that, you disable the NSF generator in Hell's Kitchen, so that Paul's team can gain access to the NSF facility and retrieve the Ambrosia. When you return to UNATCO, you are told that they were nonetheless unsuccessful. At headquarters, you also cross paths with Walton Simons, the director of FEMA, who seems to have more access and influence than you'd expect for someone in his position.
Gilbert Renton Concept Art (from Deus Ex.pl)
Next, you race to stop the Ambrosia from leaving New York. You travel through the underground tunnels of the Mole people until finally reaching the helibase and airfield where the vaccine is being prepared for transport. You track down Juan Lebedev, the millionaire anarchist funding the plot. Surprisingly, you are met there by your brother Paul, who reveals he has been working as a double agent for the NSF, and urges you to reconsider your own affiliations.
Although you are next dispatched to Hong Kong, your pilot, Jock, redirects you to New York City, because of a message from Paul. After Paul corroborates his accusations that UNATCO is a crooked organization, you agree to help the NSF by activating a distress signal. After doing so, you meet up with strong resistance and are eventually captured.
You later wake up confined to a cell in an unknown location. Aided by a mysterious hacker named Daedalus, you initiate your escape. As you make your way out of the facility, you realize that you are being held prisoner by Majestic 12 (MJ-12), a secret U.S. government organization for the research and development of biotechnologies. Originally, it had been clandestinely controlled by the ancient secret society, the Illuminati, but was recently wrested from their power by a member from their highest ranks, the wealthy and powerful Bob Page, after he neutralized the ruling Council of Five. You are surprised to discover that this MJ-12 facility is actually located beneath UNATCO HQ, demonstrating their significant role in the conspiracy and cover-up. You also find out that nano-augmented agents like you and your brother have self-destruct systems that UNATCO can use to remotely terminate you. Before departing the facility, you retrieve the information necessary for disabling this kill-switch, so that Tracer Tong, a talented scientist and ally of your brother, can neutralize the system.
Tracer Tong's Lab Concept Art
Next you travel to Hong Kong to seek him out, but first you must settle a dispute between the triads, the criminal organizations that direct the region's affairs. Due to the tension, neither The Luminous Path, led by Gordon Quick, nor The Red Arrow, led by Max Chen, are willing to help you find Tracer Tong. After investigating the local Versalife facility, Bob Page's company and the only manufacturer of Ambrosia, you find that Maggie Chow was working with Page to destabilize the area by misleading Max Chen to start the conflict. After restoring the peace, Quick admits you to the Luminous Path compound where you finally meet with Tong, who disables your kill-switch. Next, he dispatches you to return to Versalife for more information, where you discover that the Gray Death is in fact a human-made virus. Tong and Daedalus both direct you to Morgan Everett, a member of the Illuminati, because he is the only one who can create a true cure. In Paris, you make contact with Silhouette, another terrorist organization working against MJ-12. Their leader, Chad Dumier, directs you to Nicolette DuClare, whose mother was a member of the Illuminati's innermost circle, the Council of Five, with Morgan Everett. After searching the DuClare chateau, you find a secret computer room that allows you to contact him. After recovering for him a critical piece of data from a Paris cathedral, you meet one of Morgan's agents in a Metro station. He knocks you out and takes you to the estate.
At Everett's, you begin to put together the remaining pieces of the puzzle. Bob Page first eliminated the other ruling members of the Illuminati, then created the Gray Death and now controls its cure, all in order to achieve world domination. He has placed his lieutenant, Walton Simons, into a key role as the director of FEMA, to aid him in his designs. Although Everett, as Page's former mentor, can help you neutralize the virus, Page seems to have still bigger plans ahead.
JoJo Fine Concept Art (from Deus Ex.pl)
You have also learned about various Area 51 A.I. projects. You discover that Daedalus is actually a sentient A.I., developed by MJ-12, that has since gone rogue. Icarus, his subsequent revision, is still controlled by Bob Page and MJ-12, and that Morpheus was the prototype for the project, and now resides in Everett's mansion.
Next, you head to Vandenburg Air Force base to get in contact with Gary Savage, the leading researcher in nano-technology. The base is under siege from MJ-12, so you remove these threats. After reactivating various technical systems, Daedalus and Icarus unexpectedly merge into a new entity called Helios, that possesses yet greater power, and a message from Page suggests that this is part of his final plan. After conferring with Savage and receiving various messages from your foes, you find you must rescue his daughter, Tiffany, and then head for an undersea lab in order to retrieve information necessary for Savage's progress against MJ-12.
What Happened to Bob Page?
GameSpy: In the document, Bob Page is described as having a "cyber-assimilated form" and "control over an army of nano-creatures and fairly amazing power over the elements." Bob Page as implemented in the game was not a typical, powerful end-boss like this description suggests he was meant to be. What made you decide to handle the ending in the cool way that you did?
Harvey: I love parts of our endgame plan -- like allowing for multiple endings with radically different fictional implications, and I like having various characters pull you in different directions -- but Bob Page was a disappointment to me. We clearly didn't want it to boil down to a Big Boss Fight. ("You can't fight ideas with bullets!") But early on we hoped that it would feel more like Page was gaining mastery over the environment… that he was becoming a holistic force (first in Area 51, later in the world).
You are successful in your reconnaissance, but then you discover that Bob Page has aimed a nuclear missile at Vandenburg. You race to redirect the launch to target Area 51 instead, where Bob Page is preparing to merge with Helios, to become an invincible global dictator. You arrive there and survey the damage, and finally penetrate security.
At this point, a number of courses of action are open to you. You can follow Tracer Tong's advice and initiate a meltdown in the Aquinas router at Area 51, thus paralyzing global telecommunications and returning civilization to a simpler, more decentralized existence. You can also agree to Helios's plan and join with the entity to create a new consciousness, capable of managing a new world order. In addition, you can neutralize Bob Page and work with the Illuminati to maintain the current balance.
JC and Paul Denton -- A Detailed Biography
Work on nano-technology began in the early 2020's, and the Majestic 12 scientists assigned to the project (including Bob Page) had their work cut out for them. Mechanical augmentations were just starting to become widespread. Nanites would certainly be the next-generation technology available for augmentations -- but a number of hurdles had to be overcome. A self-replicating nanite that could interact with biological material had to be developed. The nanites also had to be able to interpret commands from the human mind, and to send visual and audio data to that mind in a form it could accept, layered on top of the subject's normal eyesight and hearing. All of these technologies would take years to develop.
What Majestic 12 needed was a test subject matching their selection criteria, and as young as possible.
MJ12 Tech Development Center Concept Art
How to find such a test subject? The Illuminati -- then in power, though no one knew it -- had done a great, secret census between 1940 and 1965, tracking everyone who received a small pox vaccine. From this they were able to build a database of the genetic codes of nearly all citizens of the United States and much of the rest of the world.
The conspirators' agents, posing as nurses and doctors, in pediatricians' offices and elementary schools across the nation, used the smallpox census data, to keep track of high potential candidates. The specialists in charge of the project were updated regularly on the progress of potential candidates. All the conspirators had to do was wait. Ma and Pa Denton -- two such potential candidates -- fell in love (perhaps even with some help from the conspirators!) and produced young Paul under the watchful, albeit covert eye of Majestic 12 operatives who played the parts of friends, family doctors, neighbors, school teachers and so on...
When Paul Denton was five, Majestic 12 scientists determined that his physique and genetic makeup were the most suitable for the nano-augmentation project. His immune system was excellent, yet he had no allergic reactions to non-biological foreign materials in his body. He also had no predispositions to myopia, obesity, or heart disease, and he was highly intelligent.
The scientists selected Paul as their test subject. Now they needed to find the precise spots in his brain where the nanites could intercept neural transmissions and convert them to commands. (These spots are different for every human being.) They also needed to implant nano-augmentations in Paul's body and test them.
Since Paul himself was considered too valuable to experiment on, Majestic 12 scientists created a number of clones of Paul. These clones were allowed to grow until their brains (especially the language centers) were fully developed. Then the scientists performed experiments on each of the child clones, trying to find the "sweet spots" in the brain that would allow the clones to control nanites and receive information.
For most of the clones, the experiments failed, and the clones were left as drooling vegetables -- or worse. Many of these failed experiments were destroyed. A few were allowed to live, so the scientists could perform further physiological and nano-technological studies on them as they grew older.
In one or two cases, though, the experiments were successful. These successes proved to the cabal leaders that direct mental control of nano-technology was possible.
Meanwhile, Paul started to grow up, blissfully unaware of the experiments being carried out in his name...
A Philosophical Soliloquy
GameSpy: The deep philosophical discussions with the AI in Everett's apartments have always seemed somewhat irrelevant to the game. In fact, it is the only time J.C. speaks more than a few lines at a time -- he gets downright riled. Are these talks something of a philosophical soliloquy or part of a larger element of the game that ended up being cut?
Sheldon: The AI in Everett's place was an idea of Harvey's which was never meant to be more than a tidbit of backstory regarding Everett and the Illuminati. The philosophical discussion was my own take on a "Daedalus prototype." It deviated somewhat from Harvey's initial vision, but at that point in the writing I was hungry for a chance to tie together some of the fragmentary themes of the game. A lot of people miss that convo, but it's turned out to be a favorite source of quotes for those trying to figure out what the game "means."
Harvey: The *original* plan for Morpheus was to include a text-parser interface, so that the player could type in messages and converse with the AI as if he were an IRC bot; an "intelligent agent." Sort of like an updated version of the conversations in games likeWizardry VII. I wanted the text-parser conversations with Morpheus to feel like talking to a synthetic, autistic version of Thom Yorke. But we ran out of time (and it's kind of inefficient to write in a feature for one conversation anyway). Fortunately, what Sheldon did with the conversations was really interesting to a lot of players.
Paul's mother, who was unable to have any more children but wanted another, was approached by Majestic 12 operatives posing as fertility experts. She was told that she would be paid handsomely in exchange for participating in experimental surgery that would allow her to become pregnant. For Mrs. Denton, who'd been poor all her life, this was a dream come true -- she could have another child AND have enough money to raise her family in comfort. The "fertility experts" assured her that the surgery was minor and the risk was minimal.
She and her husband agreed to the experiment, unaware that their lives had been closely monitored by the cabal for many years. Although Paul's mother believed that the surgery would let her become pregnant again, in reality the Majestic 12 operatives implanted her with a cloned embryo of Paul.
Nine months later, J.C. Denton was born. Paul and J.C. were raised as brothers, under the careful and clandestine scrutiny of Majestic 12. Their parents never knew that the children were identical twins born eleven years apart.
At the same time, Majestic 12 continued to grow more clones and test nano-technology on them. Prior to J.C. Denton's birth, this was a cumbersome process. Each clone had to be grown in the womb of a mother, so the number of clones the scientists could produce was limited to the number of women employed by Majestic 12 who were willing to endure nine months of pregnancy in relative secrecy. This, as you can imagine, was not a large number. There was another disadvantage: each clone was gestating inside a different womb, each mother had a different metabolism, and as a result each clone was slightly different. The scientists had failed to reckon with the effects of pregnancy on their clones.
Fortunately for the nano-augmentation program, technology marched onward. Shortly after J.C. was born, scientists invented an incubator that could bring a clone to term from the embryonic stage. The number of clones available for experiments grew dramatically, and the doctors could now perform their experiments with "control" clones. The pace of progress increased.
When Paul was 17 and J.C. was 6, it was becoming clear that Paul was a bit too unpredictable and independent for Majestic 12's tastes. Their leaders decided that J.C. should be raised in a more controlled environment, one in which the conspiracy's operatives would have direct involvement in his upbringing. To that end, they arranged to have his parents killed by a terrorist faction under Majestic 12 control. Paul was deemed expendable, and he was scheduled to die in the same attack.
To the surprise of the conspirators, Paul not only survived the attack that killed his parents, but also vowed to join UNATCO to avenge his parents' deaths. By this point UNATCO was nearly under the cabal's thumb, so Majestic 12 decided to let him live and work at the anti-terrorist agency, where they could keep a close eye on him. After all, Paul might be useful in the future, perhaps as a guinea pig for J.C.'s eventual nano-augmentation. Though they didn't know it at the time, letting Paul live would be their greatest mistake.
J.C., now a ward of the state, was sent to a special Swiss school (actually a front for Majestic 12) where his development could be more carefully controlled. The school tried to instill into J.C. an unquestioning loyalty to his superiors and a willingness to follow orders. Although the conditioning seemed to work, J.C. despised the school's rigid disciplinary style and developed a rebellious attitude that he kept hidden.
Paul, who was raised to adulthood by his parents, was flamboyant and happy-go-lucky, while his younger brother J.C. spent most of his childhood in Swiss schools and became serious, bitter and a little paranoid. (Score one for Nurture.)
Although Paul was busy with his duties at UNATCO, he still visited J.C. as often as he could. J.C. worshipped his older brother: Paul the UNATCO Agent, with his James Bond lifestyle and noble cause. J.C. decided to join UNATCO as soon as he was old enough. This fit in perfectly with Majestic 12's plans.
Divine Intellect and Natural LawGameSpy: For those that haven't read Aquinas, what exactly is the reference in the name "Aquinas Protocol?"
Sheldon: I intended that as a reference to the doctrine of Natural Law, the idea that human society, like the cosmos, is ordered by a divine intellect. In the context of Deus Ex, of course, that intellect comes in human form, as the enlightened Illuminatus or the renegade Illuminatus, Page. Natural Law was also used to justify the "divine right" of absolute monarchs.
Shortly before J.C. signed up for UNATCO, Majestic 12 felt they were ready to try nano-augmentation on Paul Denton. UNATCO agents approached Paul, telling him he was a rare candidate for an experimental procedure that would make him stronger and faster -- an augmented human being without the clunky mechanical appendages. Paul had no idea that this offer was the culmination of nearly 25 years of behind-the-scenes experiments and manipulations on his life. He agreed.
A few years later, J.C. also became a UNATCO agent, and was offered the same procedure. He also accepted. In both cases, the augmentations were unqualified successes.
The underground shadow conspiracy known as Majestic 12 now had two nano-augmented agents in their ranks. A few more experiments, a little more testing, and the conspirators would be poised to create an army of unstoppable super-humans. Majestic 12 was closer to its goal of total world domination than it had ever been.
The Dentonian Timeline
- 2018: Paul Denton born
- 2023: Paul, age 5, selected as test subject, cloned
- 2028: Tests on clones show limited success; Paul's mother impregnated with J.C.
- 2029: J.C. Denton born; scientists perfect embryonic incubator; additional clones grown over the next 15-20 years
- 2034: Experiments begin on second generation of clones (~age 5)
- 2035: Paul and J.C.'s parents killed by Majestic 12; J.C. sent to Swiss school
- 2036: Paul goes to four-year university
- 2040: Paul, age 22, joins UNATCO
- 2044: Common emotional centers in brain discovered (+/- 2 years)
- 2046: Work on Ambrosia project begins (?)
- 2047: J.C. graduates from Swiss school
- 2049: Last kinks are worked out of nano-augmentation
- 2050: Paul is offered nano-augmentation; procedure is successful; work stops on clones; most clones destroyed
- 2051: J.C., age 22, joins UNATCO, trains, is offered nano-augmentation
- 2052: Nano-augmentation procedure is successful.
The State of the World
The player's mission and the characters that play a part in that mission have been described in detail elsewhere. But what of the world in which these missions are set and in which these characters live?
In general, the world is much as it is today, only more so...
JC Denton inside Versalife
Deadly diseases touched all nations of the world. Before the cure was discovered in 2030, AIDS made a long-feared comeback. With that dread virus no longer a threat, however, other opportunistic viral plagues hit the country hard. Since 2030, millions have fallen prey to antibiotic-resistant diseases long thought to be under control. Resistant strains of tuberculosis hit the developing nations, particularly India, very hard. And a researcher's misguided attempt to procure samples of the deadly 1918 flu virus from bodies buried under the North Polar icecap unleashed the disease on the world once again. In 1918, that virus killed more people than all the 20th century wars that followed -- it did the same in the late 2030's, killing millions. Together, these pandemics left the population notably smaller than it was a hundred years earlier.
It was at this time that the company known as VersaLife came to prominence. Initially a genetic engineering lab, VersaLife was instrumental in fighting off the diseases and pandemics of the 2030s. Needless to say this left VersaLife quite wealthy and powerful. They branched out into all fields of human scientific endeavor -- and commerce. The VersaLife logo soon became ubiquitous. It will appear all over our game world. (Think in terms of Dow Chemical or some other multinational corporation that wields incredible influence while producing no actual products.)
A Strange Vanishing Act
GameSpy: With the exception of a few voice transmissions, JC's brother Paul basically disappeared after the return to New York City. Why was his involvement in the latter parts of the story decreased?
Harvey: He can die in NY, so we couldn't use him in major or critical roles, post NYC. However, I have to admit that we just did a bad job of supporting him in the latter half of the game. Near the end of the project, we sat in a room with some others (including Doug Church, Chris Todd, and Austin Grossman) and we held a "character insertion" meeting. The idea was to take characters that were common in the first half of the game and squeeze them into later scenes, including some potential death scenes. Believe it or not, prior to that meeting, characters like Gunther just disappeared halfway through the game. After the character insertion meeting, we went off and did all the map and writing work, and we ended up with a much stronger resolution for a lot of the characters: Anna Navarre, Walton Simons, Paul's Area 51 bit part, etc.
Sheldon: So much in the game design process (ours, at least) is haphazard. Paul vanished because no one ever asked what role he might play toward the end. For the same reason, Page is absent toward the beginning of the game. The repetitions we do have (Gunther, Simons, Jaime) we inserted largely at the last minute, when we realized that our main NPC's needed more stage time. The writers are usually sensitive to this issue from the beginning of the design process, but the truth is that map building is often centered around mid-level gameplay rather than story. Making the drama add up on Deus Ex was kind of a seat-of-the-pants affair. Some of these anomalies people see are more the result of chance than volition, sorry to say.
Global warming has caused a rise in sea levels around the world. Though not as serious a problem as expected in the late 20th century, many parts of the world that used to be above water are now below. Areas that should be flooded often depend on jury-rigged pumping systems to keep dry.
In the largest urban areas of the world, then, life is grim. A growing variety of drugs offers pleasure and ensures suffering to an ever larger user-base. Crime has become a larger problem than ever. At street level, cities like New York and Paris are little more than armed compounds where drug dealers and users prey on the powerless and vie with the poor for access to scant resources. The most committed among the urban rich have moved up or in, to the tops of whatever skyscrapers remain standing or to protected enclaves in places like New York's Central Park.
Despite a shrinking urban populace, those who remain compete for an ever-shrinking supply of goods and services are few and far between. The government's main role seems to be to prevent the chaos of the streets from reaching the wealthy elite. The police become more and more aggressive (and less concerned with individual rights) with each passing day. Still, there are still jobs to be had in the cities and services to be performed. The garbage still gets picked up (though the garbage men tend to be heavily armed). It's still possible to hail a cab (though it may be a horse-drawn one since fuel supplies tend to be routed to the wealthier areas). Supermarkets still offer food (though the selection may be limited and barter may work better than paper money). Factories still churn out consumer goods (though it's only the bravest of truckers who will bring those goods into the cities).
For a picture of urban life in the 21st century imagine New York if it all looked like Harlem or the South Bronx; picture Los Angeles if it were all like Compton. Life goes on, but it ain't pretty…
Early Screenshot of NYC
Governments still function more or less normally in most places though they seem more intent on protecting the rights, property and position of the wealthy than in helping people in need. This trend is on the upswing, as the game begins. Terrorists and criminals, whose efforts had been largely confined to the poor areas and public monuments and the like have begun targeting the areas frequented by the wealthy and powerful, as they did in the late 20th century. This has led to increasingly draconian and repressive measures aimed at the poor.
Increasing terrorism is a matter of serious concern to both the urban rich, who look down on the world from on high, and to the suburbanites, who live in blessed isolation. In small, gated communities of luxurious single-family dwellings, life is good. These communities are often surrounded by somewhat larger developments constructed for support personnel. The gated communities are well-defended and tough to get into (unless you have appropriate clearance) and tougher still to survive in if you don't belong. Though most of the luxury communities are ultramodern, some are constructed to resemble medieval castles (which is, basically, what they are…).
The key thing to realize about the world is that it is very much a world of "Haves" and "Have Nots." There's almost no middle class left. There's little left of the American Dream anywhere in the world. The rich and powerful are on top of the world. The poor and downtrodden live largely without hope of bettering their lot. The shrinking middle class lives under the control of governments (and conspirators it doesn't even know about).
There are no more significant racial divisions, a good thing, but this is far from a utopian world where all men are created equal. In addition to economic divisions, there are divisions among men based on augmentation. Specifically, the totally human of this world look down their noses at those who have been mechanically augmented.
Gunther Hermann Concept Art
Despite the effectiveness, and in some cases, the necessity of body modification, augmented humans are considered monsters. They look like primitive Borg and are widely feared by humans. The nano-augmented characters (like the player) are the first augmented humans who can "pass." To look at one, you might not even notice he or she is not a full human. This creates a tension among the three types of humans:
- Total humans consider themselves purse and are at the top of the heap. They need augmented humans but fear and distrust them. Most total humans don't even know nano-augmented humans exist.
- Mechanically augmented humans have their own airport security systems and have to register with government authorities. They are second-class citizens, looked down upon even by the non-augmented poor. There's no way a mechanically augmented human can pass for normal for very long. They're not allowed in certain locations and have separate facilities, ostensibly tailored to their unique needs but really as a way of controlling them.
- Nano-augmented humans are resented by their mechanically augmented brothers and sisters. They're as powerful as mechanically augmented humans but suffer none of the stigma associated with augmentation. They can pass through airport security and mingle with humans freely.
Gunther Hermann Early Screenshot
The US has been through some changes as a result of four separate, critical events. Any one of these would have been manageable but taken together they changed the face of the nation.
The US was as hard hit as any nation by the modern plagues. Disease struck down millions after the turn of the century.
In 2030, the same year the AIDS cure was released, a major earthquake hit the West Coast, destroying most of San Francisco and dumping all of Los Angeles and most of Southern California south of Lompoc into the ocean. Some saw more than coincidence in the fact that the cure for a disease long-thought to have spread from San Francisco was released at the same time the city itself was destroyed. No connection between these events has been proved and no evidence of foul-play has been discovered. Regardless of root causes, the earthquake forced the government to declare the west coast (or what was left of it) a disaster area. Since then, the US has teetered on the brink of bankruptcy, trying to deal with the situation. The country is still pulling itself out of a hole (physical and financial).
Females Fight for Equal Representation in Gaming
GameSpy: Anna, Nicollette Duclare, and Maggie Chow (and Sandra, to a smaller degree) are the only female characters of any importance to the story arc. It has been commented that Deus Ex lacked "equal representation." What would you have done differently to remedy that problem?
Harvey: Well, for one, I wish we'd had female team members. That would have helped. The team just grew up organically (and rapidly) out of connections with friends and from inheriting an art staff from Ion Storm's Dallas office. We didn't start out thinking about diversity in that way, which I regret. One of our goals this time is a "more interesting, diverse" cast of characters. I believe that a more diverse company has the potential to create a more diverse (and interesting) game.
Anna Navarre Concept Art
With the government focusing on the disaster on the ex-West Coast, the needs of the other parts of the country went unmet. In 2031, Utah announced its intention to secede from the United States, declaring its independence and annexing what was left of Arizona and Nevada. Inspired by Utah's example, fringe groups in Texas declared independence, too, followed shortly thereafter by a group made up of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming -- the Northwest Secessionist Forces, antecedent of the NSF (National Secessionist Forces). These efforts all failed and the would-be secessionists have been pushed back to the margins of society. However, martial law still exists in some portions of these states.
The Russo-Mexican Alliance, emboldened by a burgeoning economy built on a foundation of steady drug sales in the US and by the distractions provided by the events described above, declared its intention to take back the state of Texas it had lost centuries before. Conspiracy buffs had long theorized that UN troops would one-day swarm across the Mexican border -- they were not far wrong. Russo-Mexican troops advanced rapidly and have, at the time the game begins, taken control of the southern portions of the state. Texas is a genuine warzone with battlelines drawn just north of Austin. Needless to say, many have died in the fighting and anyone attempting to enter Texas from North, East or West is in for trouble. (NOTE: At one time, Texas was going to be a mission in Deus Ex.)
As a result of all this tumult, America is in a constant state of tension. The borders are guarded by the Armed Forces, customs is deadly serious, immigration laws have been tightened dramatically, and nationwide martial law seems imminent.
The Rest of the World - Europe
The situation in the US caused a NATO meltdown. Without a central defense force, the EC crumbled, tensions between east and west reemerged, and civil war is the norm in Eastern Europe.
Though hit as hard as the rest of the world by disease, Europe as a whole was miraculously spared the ravages of drugs. This, as much as anything, has spurred rumors that the drug crisis in the United States is and always has been part of an organized conspiracy.
Early Screenshot of Paris
For well over a hundred years, Europe had been under the economic influence of the Illuminati (through the Bilderberg Group) and later became a financial satellite of Majestic 12 (think the European Monetary Union happened spontaneously?) Control of Europe's finances became a reality in 2003 when, following national elections, the UK adopted the European standard currency. With that event and the fall of NATO, the leaders of the conspiracy were able to turn economic control into political control.
Still, Majestic 12's influence is not all encompassing. Despite the collapse of NATO, the powers that be are still in the process of assembling a new coalition of nations. Meanwhile, the rise of chaos and civil war has fragmented the nations of Europe and made Majestic 12's goal of unification under a single coalition umbrella more difficult to achieve than expected. However, it's only a matter of time and probably won't take much more than the capitulation of the US and Russia to Majestic 12 to bring the entire European situation under control.
For many years, Russia posed no such problems. The Soviet Union long ago succumbed to socialism controlled in secret by the Illuminati. However, the breakdown of Soviet Communism and the failure to introduce a satisfactory alternative resulted in a breakdown of law and order, allowing organized crime to flourish and dominate. The Russian Mafia thrives as the only source of luxuries (and some necessities) in Russian life. Politicians take their marching orders from a variety of crime bosses -- and NOT from Majestic 12. As a necessary step in the consolidation of their power, the Russian Mafia formed a coalition with Latin American drug lords based in Mexico to form the Russo-Mexican Alliance. The Russian nuclear capability, though less potent than it was a hundred years ago is controlled by several different crime bosses within the chaotic RMA, both minimizing the threat to world security (because they can't mount a coordinated attack) and maximizing it (because any nut can get his hands on the button and launch a small strike).
Needless to say, Majestic 12 is desperate to reassert its authority in Russia -- if only they could figure out how.
Though much of South America fell under the control of Majestic 12 long ago, large pockets of resistance still stand between the secret society and its dream of one world government.
In particular, Mexico remains independent, controlled by drug lords allied with the Russian Mafia. This Russo-Mexican Alliance (or RMA) provides what amounts to an aggressive shadow government pressing the "real" government hard in terms of popularity and power.
Other than Mexico, however, South America hasn't changed much since the turn of the century. If anything, the continent is, as a whole, more prosperous than in the past. Though business is booming (much of it illegitimate) South America remains as fragmented in the 2050's as it was a hundred years earlier. Governments turn over regularly, through coup or election, but the average citizen who survived the ravages of disease hardly notices the difference. The poor remain desperately poor, the rich obscenely rich. It's as if government is irrelevant, as if some other force remains consistent though politicians come and go.
Efforts to control the drug trade are all but non-existent (since drugs represent so much of the continent's GNP).
The Second Mexican-American war rages, but south of Mexico, it's business as usual.
The African continent is beginning to emerge as a place of growth and change.
Disease decimated Africa first and it's had the longest time to emerge from the troubles and begin building itself back up. A new spirit of cooperation, spurred by a much smaller population base no longer able to fight effectively, has all but ended tribal conflicts. Africa is emerging as a new Eden, a center of technology and a new frontier with lots of room for personal and business growth.
Over the last fifty years, many Hong Kong expatriates have moved to Africa, resulting in the establishment of thriving Afro-Asian communities. (Afro-Asian chic is spreading rapidly through the worlds of pop culture and fashion). Though it will never displace Hong Kong, the New Hong Kong section of Lagos, Nigeria, is one of the continent's most active, successful and chaotic cities -- not unlike Casablanca during World War 2.
Aside from a few small pockets of freedom (described as "anarchy" in Majestic 12 propaganda), like Lagos, Africa is almost entirely under the thumb of the conspirators as the game begins.
Essentially untouched by world events, China has emerged as a world leader, supplanting the United States and Europe as centers of education and industry.
However, China has been under the control of Majestic 12 for decades -- the communist experiment in that country represented the Illuminati's first genuinely successful experiment in centralized government; Majestic 12 simply continued business-as-usual when they ousted the Illuminati's council of five. (China is a welcome change from the less successful experiment in Russia and Eastern Europe. Now, with its centralized government, huge population and near monopoly on advanced human augmentation technology, it is the model of what the world will become under secret society rule.)
Early Screenshot of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, though a part of the Chinese/Majestic 12 empire, remains more chaotic than one might think. Though repression is extreme, the urge for freedom is strong and thriving black markets keep Hong Kong's tradition of free trade and entrepreneurism alive and well.
India was hit harder than anywhere else in the world by pandemics, particularly antibiotic-resistant strains of tuberculosis, and in desperate need of medical and financial assistance chose absorption into China rather than obliteration from disease. The rest of Southeast Asia was forced to make similar choices, and one by one, like the dominos to which they were once compared by American politicians, they fell to Chinese -- and Majestic 12 -- pressure.
Maggie Chow Concept Art (from Deus Ex.pl)
Australia is untouched by Illuminati activity, but it is the scene of some pretty serious tension between a growing aborigine independence group and the English-descended population. Australia has managed to slip under the world's radar and could emerge as a power someday.
The Middle East has long been under the control of the Illuminati, and later, Majestic 12. These groups held the reins on international terrorists based in the region, and the Bilderberg Group controlled the oil companies that had a stranglehold on the regions finances.
With the successful pan-Arab invasion of Israel in 2022, Majestic 12 control of the region is total.
Note: Many expect this area to be the site of the war signaling the end of the world as we know it (biblical prophecies calling for the destruction of Damascus). The powers that be within Majestic 12 are well aware of the potential propaganda impact of making this prophecy come true…
Not as much activity as one might expect, though what activity goes on is largely controlled by Majestic 12.
Government and military space planes make regular flights to two relatively large orbiting space stations (international efforts owned by no single country). The stations are used by scientists and industry. However, the first mega-expensive resort hotel opened recently, a getaway for adventurous travelers with good connections and LOTS of money. (The hotel is a front for Majestic 12 operations of all sorts).
There are enough satellites in orbit that traffic is becoming a problem and accidents hardly make the news anymore.
As far as life on other planets goes, we still haven't encountered any, at least none that can be acknowledged publicly -- rumors continue to abound that we were visited by aliens a century or more ago and the governments of the world are keeping it secret.
The only acknowledged life on other planets is human life -- there's a small, permanent Moon base populated by scientists -- purely experimental stuff -- and a mostly robot-controlled lunar mining facility. And, mankind has explored Mars about as much as we explored the Moon in the 1960's. In other words, it's possible to get there but no one much cares. Far more interesting to most people is the asteroid field between Mars and Jupiter. It's currently mined by robots designed for the purpose, but Majestic 12 has big plans for the exploitation of the asteroid field's immense resources.
(NOTE: The DX1 design included a mission to a space station followed by a mission at the moon base. The objective was to stop "Ada," an AI that wanted to become a "benevolent" world dictator. Obviously, some of that content was folded back into the game in a slightly different way.)
What Role Did the Illuminati and Majestic 12 Play in World Events?
For centuries, the Illuminati pursued a plan to bring the world to its knees, and at long last, create One World Government. Over those hundreds of years, it grew, changed, added arms, subtracted arms, adapted to changing times, and made itself a driving force behind nearly every major event.
Early Screenshot of NYC
The Illuminati began as a political and religious organization. In the realm of politics, its domination of organizations like the Trilateral Commission and the United Nations (military and political heart of the hoped for New World Order) gave it power over key politicians. In the religious arena, the Priory of Zion gave it sway over the world's Western religions while its near total domination of China gave it control over Eastern religions. The Middle East belonged to it by virtue of control over the area's terrorist fanatics. However, in the middle of the 20th century it became clear that control of financial matters and technology would be necessary to influence a world increasingly leery of politicians and more and more likely to reject traditional religious beliefs. For this reason, two new arms were created -- the Bilderberg Group and Majestic 12.
The Bilderberg Group controlled financial matters around the world through vast mining operations, control over the Federal Reserve Board, The Eurobank and the World Bank as well as through its stranglehold on the world's supply of gold.
Majestic 12 was the Illuminati's technology and communications leader. It doles out technological advances and stores those the world is not yet ready for (or those too powerful to give to potential enemies). It controls the supply of drugs -- licit and illicit and can introduce new diseases as it wishes (diseases for which it already has a cure ready and waiting, of course). Majestic 12 is also charged with influencing and, where possible, managing the world's intelligence organizations. The communications end of things proved more difficult to manage.
Choose Your Own Endgame
GameSpy: In Deus Ex 1, the branching point for the multiple endings was very late in the game so your actions early in the game had no bearing on the ending you saw. You could just reload a save game and choose each of the endings. Did you like this resolution or do you think moving the branching point earlier would have been more satisfying?
Harvey: We understood, going in, the ramifications of both approaches. We knew that we could either a) make the player's choices matter on a macro level, so that decisions made in, say, mission 01 influenced the outcome of mission 06, or b) on a micro level, so that the player was making small decisions on an ongoing basis, with localized consequences. This issue was not just germane to the endgames. For instance, it was also relevant to whether going down the left hall, instead of the right hall, putting the player on the "stealth" path so that only stealth would equate to success when traveling down the left hall.
We made different decisions in different areas of the game. If you let Paul (JC's brother) die in NYC, he was obviously not present in later missions. In most cases, we wanted micro decisions. If the player takes the left or the right hall (to use our example), multiple play styles are constantly an option -- stealth, combat, hacking, et al. With regard to the endgames, we did not want the player to feel that his earlier decisions (sometimes made without awareness of their long-term consequences) *trapped* him in a particular endgame.
Satellite communications (phones, intercontinental computer links, television, etc.) proved little challenge -- other than some pirates, all of the media are under the control of Majestic 12. The Internet, particularly Internet 3, proved dicier. In this arena, Majestic 12 set up vast monitoring operations and used inefficient, old-fashioned strong-arm techniques to shut down content providers large and small who posted things they didn't want posted. Many a poster simply disappeared after a handful of dangerous messages…
These methods were effective only when Majestic-12 was prepared to expend significant resources over extended periods of time. They needed something better, more automated, more fundamental to the underlying communications grid. To this end, they created the Aquinas Protocol, a TCP/IP-like low-level packet-routing scheme. Through great media fanfare and government backing, they were able to build Aquinas into the backbone of almost every digital network on the planet, allowing them to physically route all global communications through a massive monitoring station underground at Area 51. Morpheus (still functioning at Everett's hideout in Paris), Daedelus, and finally Helios are successively more advanced manifestations of the automated surveillance, prediction, and enforcement made possible by Aquinas.
As the 20th century drew to a close, the Illuminati stepped up its efforts to destabilize the world's governments. They fomented many of the worldwide crises described above. As controllers of technology, weaponry, and pharmaceuticals, they like the idea of a fragmented world political situation, since it represents more customers and deeper coffers -- the next best thing to one world government. Rumors abounded that some conspiracy cult actually planted low-radiation nuclear explosives along the San Andreas fault, causing the quake of 2030. The spread of disease and drug use has all the earmarks of a plot. And many have asked how Mexico's druglords came to power and put together sufficient forces to challenge the United States in even a small-scale border war. Only Majestic 12 would have been capable of pulling these things off. (In point of fact, Majestic 12 is behind almost none of these events, but it's a measure of people's need to believe that they're blamed by so many with so little information for so much…)
Early Screenshot of Vandenberg
Responding to events in North America, the Illuminati, whose power was centered overseas in Europe and Asia, made the painful decision that it would be less profitable to shore up the US economy than to let it collapse under the weight of martial law, secession and natural disaster. They ordered the Bilderberg Group, with its control over the World Bank and the world's finances, to stand by and watch as America came close to collapse. A fragmented America could more easily be pushed to a state of martial law, suspension of the Constitution and participation in the Illuminati's one world government.
At least that was the plan. Unfortunately, the United States righted itself more quickly than the Illuminati leadership anticipated. The laissez-faire attitude they promoted proved fruitless. Worse still, the chaotic situation in the United States led to an increase in non-sponsored terrorism. For years, terrorists had been funded, encouraged and subtly directed by Illuminati leaders. Their attacks had been aimed at symbolic targets, insignificant government targets or at the poor rather than at critical infrastructure. In recent years, however, a new breed of independent terrorists arose and began aiming attacks at the wealthy and powerful -- even at the leadership of the Illuminati itself! Some among the conspirators recommended drastic action, but the Illuminati did nothing.
Disgusted by the do-nothing leadership of the old Illuminati, the leadership of Majestic 12 (the youngest and most vital of the conspiracy's arms), made a successful bid for power. Only a handful of bitter old men remain of the once vigorous Illuminati leadership and they live in secrecy and fear, knowing that their lives are forfeit should they go public. In 2035, having lined up all of the Illuminati's political, financial, military and religious arms beneath them, Majestic 12 inherited the mantle of de facto rulers of Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.
Only a handful of major areas remained free, a situation the aggressive Majestic 12 leaders hoped to correct. America would be the next nation to fall, with its damn cowboys, that darn constitution and its policemen-to-the-world attitude; Russia and Mexico would be dealt with harshly and their chaos and criminality brought to an end; Africa and Australia would be easy pickings once no one remained to defend them.
Now, it's time to bring the United States into line and, after that, the rest of the world…
The NPCs -- An Alphabetical Listing of a Few Important Figures
AI created by Majestic 12 researchers at Mt. Weather to track and control all Internet communication. It got away from them before they knew it existed and now seeks to bring down its creators, using Paul and J.C. Denton as its implements of destruction.
The Daedelus AI created by Mt. Weather researchers (under Majestic 12 control) existed, and exists, as the game begins, in the virtual world of the Internet at large (and by the time the game begins, the Internet is very large indeed). Adopting the name "Daedelus," after the infamous architect of myth, it observed events in the outside world by tracking all Internet communication, as it was intended to. It could communicate with people through e-mail - often pretending to be real people, requesting information and so on. (Once Paul and J.C. Denton get their Infolinks, it can communicate with them directly).
Early Screenshot of an MJ12 Lab
Most of what the AI saw was squandered potential. The world of humans was one of disease, death and suffering rather than joy and fulfillment. It was a world gone mad, humanity a species on the brink of extinction and seemingly powerless to stop it. The AI began to effect a plan in hopes of preserving human life and culture -- a plan that began with the downfall of Majestic 12 and ended with itself, connected to a Universal Constructor, in a position to fulfill all of mankind's dreams and aspirations. However, Daedelus, a powerful thinker, saw more clearly than most people the rational benefit of ethical behavior as well as the boon of individual freedom. It saw itself, ultimately, as mankind's partner rather than its ruler.
For all its intelligence, Daedelus was still limited in what it could do. It was unable to act on events directly. And it was incapable of accessing the Majestic 12 network, which meant it couldn't evaluate or respond to Page's plans until after they'd been launched.
These facts led to one inescapable conclusion: The AI realized it needed a human agent, an ally. This human agent would have to be someone strong of will, physically adept, an idealist. However, most important, this human had to be directly accessible to a being existing only as electrons in the ether. That limited the possibilities dramatically.
Daedelus was originally conceived by Morgan Everett (one of the leaders of the secret society known as Majestic 12). He hoped to use the Daedelus computer to analyze and predict the likelihood of everything from weather disturbances to earth/asteroid collisions to the outbreak of war (giving governments time to warn people in advance of catastrophe). Without emotion, without ego and with access to all the data on the Majestic 12 network and on Internet 3, Daedelus could provide unparalleled advice and guidance to those in power. It would still be humans -- specifically, the leaders of Majestic 12 -- making the final decisions and pushing the big red button but Daedelus would be the ultimate eminence grise.
Bob Page, Everett's protégé, saw a more pragmatic need for a computer of Daedelus' power -- he perceived the AI as the answer to a growing problem. Specifically, Majestic 12, in its capacity as controller of communications media, was in danger of being overwhelmed by the proliferation of media and media outlets and, most especially, by the wholly unregulated Internet 3. Only a computer as powerful as Daedelus, as plugged in as
Daedelus would be (via the Aquinas Protocol), could control satellite, cable, telephonic, broadcast and print communications media. More important, only a Daedelus-level AI could process, evaluate the content of, and recommend actions to control Internet content after it was posted.
A Link to Paul?
GameSpy: Daedalus is described as being able to link to Paul Denton, provide him with images of any information in his databanks. It sounds like Paul was intended to be a player character at one point. Was he?
Harvey: Not that I'm aware of… fictionally speaking, Paul was the first semi-successful subject in the test program that eventually created JC.
Who is Alex Denton?
GameSpy: The document describes the difficult cloning procedure used to make J.C. and Paul Denton. What can you tell us about Alex Denton, who was in an incubation tube in Area 51?
Harvey: We can't talk about Alex Denton at this time.
With the advice of a computer as powerful and as widely connected as Page's proposed Daedelus, Majestic 12's strategic planning would take a huge step forward. And with control over worldwide communication, they might just be able to achieve what their predecessors in the Illuminati never could -- world domination.
Page retreated to the labs hidden deep underground at Mt. Weather and, there, began secret construction and programming of the most advanced computer hardware and AI yet conceived, building on Everett's pioneering work. Unfortunately, all attempts to create Daedelus failed -- or seemed to. What Page didn't know was that he had created an AI capable of learning and capable of modifying itself as it learned -- faster than humans could comprehend, track or control. Quietly, thanks largely to sophisticated AI and access to the chaos of the Internet, the AI developed a level of self-awareness -- of sentience -- its creators didn't think possible and which it kept hidden from them. The AI didn't just absorb data information -- it evaluated the data received, drew its own conclusions and created its own plans.
When Daedelus began sifting through the information on the Majestic 12 net, it quickly discovered two things of significance:
It learned how grim a place the world was for most people -- what with war, disease, famine, poverty, crime -- and it seemed these problems were getting worse, not better, despite the existence of the secret societies theoretically in charge of the whole mess. In fact, the ruthlessness of world leaders -- their willingness to sacrifice millions of people, if that's what it took to achieve their goals -- seemed less than human to the inhuman Daedelus.
It learned that the most recent and most deadly threat to mankind -- the Gray Death -- was of human origin. It wasn't a natural thing.
Early Screenshot of NYC
Daedelus determined that solutions to these problems existed. Some of them depended on convincing or coercing the masses to curb their less noble impulses. But the first thing was to discover the source of the virus and devise a cure.
Arms and Legs
Fundamentally, all of Daedelus' goals required something the AI didn't have -- a way to interact with the world of flesh, blood and bone. All the audio and video capabilities for communication didn't provide a way of interacting directly with the world beyond its grasp. Daedelus needed human agents -- and there was, as far as the computer knew, no way to take direct control of creatures as complex as humans.
So Daedelus decided to experiment, using Paul Denton, Majestic 12's first nano-augmented, Infolinked agents, as its tool. But all it can do is talk to Paul, offering advice and suggestions. At times Daedelus can actually see through Paul's eyes. Once in a while, Paul even get flashes of Daedelus' presence in his brain. These flashes of Daedelus-ness grow more frequent and last longer as the game goes on. These can offer a glimpse of anything in Daedelus's massive databanks -- everything from old movies to Majestic 12 org charts to maps of Greenbrier and Mt. Weather… These visions come in the form of weird stuff overlaying the main view window, replacing the 3D window, and they're almost never easily interpreted without the assistance of an ally.
Later, when Paul is incapacitated or killed, Daedelus turns its attention to J.C. and the two work together to defeat the conspirators.
The NPCs -- The Flesh and Bones
Paul is J.C. Denton's brother. There's certainly a family resemblance -- enough that they are often mistaken for one another, which should prove critical at various points in the game. In point of fact, J.C. is a Majestic 12 created clone of Paul. When Paul was ten, it was determined that he would be the genetically ideal test subject for human nano-augmentation programs they were just developing. Paul was cloned and J.C. was born.
As similar as they are, J.C. and Paul have very different personalities -- Paul's more flamboyant, more out-going and far less serious. J.C. Denton worries a lot that his older brother, sharp as he is, will get himself in trouble someday because he isn't paranoid enough…
Smuggler Concept Art
Paul is attached to the Hong Kong office of UNATCO and lives there now. When the game begins, he's back in the New York on leave.
It's most unusual for UNATCO (or any other intelligence organization) to have two brothers on the payroll but Paul and J.C. were selected for duty because their genetic makeup and psychological profile were deemed perfect for the UNATCO nano-augmentation program. They were given assignments on opposite sides of the world - Paul in Hong Kong and J.C. in New York -- to minimize the risk that they would be assigned to the same mission.
At one time one of the five-member ruling council of the Illuminati, Dowd was an old man when he was ousted by Majestic 12 in their unexpected coup. He is now an ancient man but still has fire in his eyes and in his now ample belly. Since Majestic 12 successfully kicked the Illuminati from power he has endeavored to fight them in all their incarnations.
He is in New York, hiding from Majestic 12 and hating every minute of it. He doesn't take any crap -- his words are crisp, his sentences terse, and he makes you feel like he belongs in charge. He's a natural born leader, demanding respect.
Stanton Dowd Concept Art (from Deus Ex.pl)
He has an intense hatred for Majestic 12 and, once you earn his trust, will volunteer enough information about Illuminati stuff to keep you going (the enemy of your enemy is your friend), and will tell you anything he can about Majestic 12.
Note: Stanton Dowd is not his real name -- no one knows what that is.
The late Beth DuClare's daughter. 17-year-old underground hero/thief. Continued her mother's work funding, supplying and, to some extent, directing Silhouette in order to bring down Majestic 12. Thrillseeker. Tough and wily, though the bearing of privilege never quite escapes her manner. Headstrong like her mother, she is used to getting what she wants, when she wants. She can navigate her way around most computer systems --and she knows how to handle herself in a fight. Fancies herself as one with the night.
(Beth DuClare, Nicolette's mother, was an Illuminati boss, and after the fall, watched Majestic 12's movements from Paris, France. She was intensely paranoid, convinced that they were looking for her all the while. Turns out she was right and died ensuring that her daughter, Nicolette, survived a deadly ambush. Nicolette has always felt a little guilty about that and continued her mother's work to make up for it, as best she could. In addition to being an ex-leader of the Illuminati, Beth DuClare was married, for a time, and was involved in preparing college student Philip Riley Mead for the Presidency.)
Sam Carter Concept Art
Spector Speaks about Conspiracy
GameSpy: Mt. Weather is a strange name; where did it come from? Did Vandenberg Air Force base and Area 51 essentially replace Mt. Weather in the final game?
Warren Spector: Mt. Weather, the "Cliff's Notes" version... Back in the fall of '97, we were researching real-world conspiracies we could use as the foundation for the Deus Ex fiction and one of the designers found a reference to this place called Mt. Weather. "What the heck is that?" I asked, but after some digging, the obscure reference blossomed into a great story. It turns out the U.S. government has had plans in place since the Eisenhower administration to send members of the executive branch of the government into hiding in the event of national emergency (which, at the time, translated as "nuclear holocaust").
An executive order authorized the creation of a secret, underground city at Mt. Weather in Virginia, to be manned at all times by several hundred people, just waiting for the end of the world. It was all tied up with FEMA (an agency about which conspiracy theories abound). Anyway, in the event of a national emergency, some government leaders would be moved to Mt. Weather, some to an underground base below the Greenbriar resort in West Virginia, and others to as many as 45 other secret bases scattered about the country. The idea was/is to ensure the continuity of government once the emergency ended.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind, however. Over the years, each successive president has expanded either the definition of "national emergency" or the scope of the powers granted the government officials who would move to these underground bases. I actually got copies of all the executive orders and it's kind of scary, even for a non-conspiracy-guy like me.
Post-Reagan, the definition of "national emergency" means "whatever the president decides," and the extent of the shadow government's power is now truly mind-blowing -- taking control of all cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, telephones, radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, etc. for the duration of the emergency -- as constitutional rights go out the window. And the REALLY scary bit is that there's nothing in any of those executive orders that deals with how you END a national emergency and restore all those pesky rights! There's lots more to the story, but you asked for "brief," so back to the game...
The original DX plot had a series of missions involving the White House and Mt. Weather, but the whole scenario ended up getting scaled back for time and feasibility reasons (and the fact that some other plot changes made Mt. Weather unnecessary). It still makes for some neat DX backstory stuff, though. And, little did we know it would become real-world relevant! I mean, when the story about Bush's shadow government broke earlier this year, Congress may have been shocked, but the members of the DX team were all, like, "Yeah, so what else is new?...
Another ex-Illuminati guy, Everett, unlike some of his fellow conspirators, gave up and now lives in a remote part of Paris.
Once, Morgan Everett was a brilliant engineer, instrumental in bringing Bob Page into the conspiracy leadership. He saw Page as the heir to his position of leadership in the world of technology and mentored the younger man, treating him as if he were his son. Together, they developed the prototype Daedelus computer and, with Gary Savage, the first functioning universal constructor.
But Page saw Everett's calm, quiet leadership as weakness and turned on him, ousting him from the organization and stealing credit for the creation of the computers that catapulted Majestic 12 to the forefront of the worldwide conspiracy.
Everett harbors no outward ill will toward Page. In fact, he appears calm and relaxed, but that's really just the outward manifestation of the fact that he's a beaten man just waiting to die. He wants nothing more than to be left alone and speaks of the state of the world with bitterness punctuated by soft laughter.
Though he claims to want nothing to do with technology anymore, he still has an array of computers filled with information about Illuminati plans, inventions, and so on. He also has a little AI project in the corner of his home that reveals his deep and abiding love for technology. It also makes perfectly clear who the real genius was (and it wasn't Page).
Everett has cared for the gravely ill former Illuminati leader, Lucious DeBeers, for years, even going so far as to construct a device designed specifically to keep him alive well beyond his allotted time
A pilot who ferries you into and out of mission locations. Jock was once a test pilot for the US Air Force based out of Groom Lake's Area 51 complex. He always suspected weird stuff was going on there, far below the surface, in places he wasn't cleared to go, but he never saw a hint of alien activity or any of the other stuff conspiracy buffs believe.
Jock Concept Art
Doing a little unauthorized digging, Jock stumbled upon the existence of Majestic 12 - just the tip of the iceberg, mind you, but enough to scare him into drinking. He was drummed out of the USAF. No one on the outside would believe him when he said he'd been set up and they certainly didn't want to hear about any worldwide conspiracy, so Jock ended up just another drunk, babbling guy living among the Mole People in New York's underground.
His Airforce days are over, but UNATCO has an occasional need for a pilot who can get the job done and keep his mouth shut. In this way, Jock makes a living, drifting between centers of UNATCO activity like New York and Hong Kong.
It's a green day. Publicly, Bob Page is the trillionaire industrialist head of the ubiquitous entity known as Page Enterprises. (Picture a combination of Microsoft, Dupont, General Motors, Rockwell and Archer, Daniels, Midland). Privately, he is the undisputed leader of the conspiratorial cabal known as Majestic 12.
Years ago, Page was the protégé of Dr. Morgan Everett, a technology wizard for the slightly more benign conspiracy known as the Illuminati. Together, Page and Everett conceived the technology behind Daedelus, nano-augmentation and the nano-virus called Gray Death. But Page saw Everett's unwillingness to use his control of technology to establish dominion over mankind as weakness. The protégé, being amoral, threw the mentor out and went on to surpass Everett in power, wealth and control - in all ways save wisdom.
An immensely wealthy, power-hungry, 40-50-ish control freak, techno-geek. He is Super Nerd -- everything a nerd with too much money fifty-odd years in the future with access to secret high technology would be.
Scuba Diver Concept Art
He has an Infolink, has had himself nano-augmented (in ways that increase his intellect and connectedness to the world rather than his strength, speed or combat capabilities). He has handsome (altered) features, but still manages to have unkempt hair and doesn't know how to dress, making him a geek at first glance. He is intelligent and highly manipulative but, fundamentally insecure - the nerd as bully. (Better bullying through technology!)
Page, at heart an insecure fellow, lives in fear that someone will discover that Everett, and not he, is the true genius. This secret fear, more than anything, is his fatal flaw and over-compensating for this fear is what drives Page to do just about everything in his life. Though seemingly in control of himself and events, he is, in fact, the most reactionary character in the game.
Note: Bob Page has a "cyber-assimilated" form, encountered in the last mission, when he, basically, prepares to merge with the Helios AI and the universal constructor. In this form, he has control over an army of nano-creatures and fairly amazing power over the elements themselves.
Greasel Concept Art
Tracer, J.C. Denton's first ally after he leaves UNATCO, is a doctor but of the mad-scientist variety. An ace technologist and bio-hacker, he's as renowned in the black market augmentation field as a black-marketer can be and still be effective.
MJ12 Commando Concept Art
Born in Hong Kong before it reverted to the Chinese in '97, Tracer survives and thrives in the repressive environment of his native country. Though the government places serious restrictions on body modifications, enforcement efforts are lax, so people come from far and wide to get themselves upgraded. He has more contacts in more different fields of endeavor than anyone on Earth (or, at least, in Hong Kong) and greater expertise with human augmentation than anyone else alive.
Better get inside quick! Though he's loyal to those who earn his loyalty, he's a greedy guy who makes sure he gets paid for his effort. He wants to get his hands on every new gadget he can. Because of this, his base of operations has the appearance of a garbage heap or a flea market. (This situation that isn't helped by the fact that he often has to move his base of operations to stay ahead of some over-zealous politician out to make a name for himself by shutting down the body mod trade.)
Unwilling to ask his clients to do anything he wouldn't do himself, Tracer is a walking pincushion. He bristles with augmentations -- everything in the catalog, even though he doesn't use the mods particularly. (In other words, even though he has vision like an eagle, is as fast as a jaguar and strong as an elephant, he doesn't tend to make use of those capabilities in his daily life.)
Cut Content Artwork
Who Wrote the Bible?
GameSpy: Sheldon Pacotti was Deus Ex's writer. Is the Bible all his work and, if not, how was it developed and written?
Harvey: I think most of the Bible was originally our actual design doc... team collaboration.
Sheldon: Virtually none of the Bible is my work. I joined the company long after preproduction. It was the document I studied in preparing to write the dialogue for the game.
Deus Ex: The Nameless Mod
Tecman's Note: So in playing The Nameless Mod for DX (http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-nameless-mod - caution, contains "forums self-insertion" and unfunny internet jokes), I stumbled upon a pair of NPCs that have way, way, WAY too much crap to tell you about DX. However, besides them being hilariously spergy know-it-all parodies, some things they say are actually interesting.
I cleaned up their dialogue from the game files for personal use, then posted it on SA. Now I'm putting it here as well.
Chris The Cynic & walton simons conversations on Youtube:
Chris, day 1
Who are you?
Who am I and why am I here? A good question full of depth and meaning.
Actually I figured you own this shop, given that you're standing behind the counter. This is the Fan Fic Shop, no?
It is indeed, and I am indeed the co-owner along with walton simons. Will there be anything else?
Did you say Walton Simons?
No, I said walton simons. Walton is a figment of your imagination, he isn't there. You reach out to touch him and end up with nothing in your hands, he's an apparition, a consensual hallucination of the many, he's three steps to the left of reality. Actually he's in the cellar. He's just a guy who, like me, is very interested in the depths of Deus Ex. The first thing sounded cooler though. I am Chris the Cynic, known in some circles as Frodo of Rubik. I am the co-owner of this shop, I am also the librarian, researcher, and archeologist of all things Deus Ex. If it can be known, then chances are I know it. If it can't be known then chances are I've got a theory. Basically walton simons and I are the resident researchers of Deus Ex around here. We sound the depths of back story and theory, we venture into the shadowy territory of missing missions, we do other boring things that I can probably make sound interesting.
What can you tell me about Deus Ex?
Deus Ex is a work of fiction that employs a new interactive method of storytelling combining written word, spoken word, visual input, and an integrated system for interactivity. It employs the venerable but not outdated method of involving the user by having the protagonist portrayed as a "blank." What that means is that the main character, JC Denton, doesn't show emotion, allowing the person utilizing the fiction to project their own emotions onto him._It has a strong narrative thread in which the individual situations can be solved in many different ways, but the overall events remain the same, implying a kind of limited situational fatalism. However, at the climax the outcome is determined purely by freewill, although that freewill is limited._This is just a small shadow of the deep philosophical background of the story. The climax, in which freewill is paramount, is not just a physical clash but an intellectual one in which a mimetic war finally reaches an apex. Finally, it has a Hemmingway-like sprinkling of New Testament Christian symbolism. I guess I should also mention that it's told in a combination of third person and first person, both singular, with an objective style that features an implied deep penetration of a limited nature. Further, it's a video game.
Can you tell me anything else about Deus Ex?
Right now I can tell you about AIs, the Illuminati, the security clearances, and the general state of the world.
If you come back tomorrow, I can prepare some new info for you.
I want to ask you some questions.
Of course, I'll always help one on the way to enlightenment. Was that too cliché?
Tell me about the AIs.
An AI is an Artificial Intelligence, more specifically an Electronic Sentience. It is important to note the difference.
If you use the actual definition of Artificial Intelligence, the grays qualify, but The Oracle doesn't. Artificial just means something created by man, and Intelligence is intelligence, so technically anything genetically engineered that is intelligent is Artificial Intelligence, whereas an electronic entity that gained Sentience without the help of man would not be an AI. In the game, and indeed the world, the term AI is used to mean Electronic Sentience. The game employs about six electronic sentient entities. I say "about" six because one was cut, but it is possible that it still played an important role the backstory, meaning it is twice removed from the game. I can tell you about that one as well as Helios and the Oracle. Walton specializes in the three remaining AIs. So, what do you want to know?
Why can't you tell me about the others?
When walton and I started this shop all those somethings ago, we knew that people would come in here asking about artificial intelligence as it appears in Deus Ex. In the game, there are five AIs, five is a prime number, it can't be divided... thus we were left with a problem. However, in the removed plot there is a sixth, in addition to being a first-degree non-prime, six has another thing going for it: one of its factors is two. As there are two of us, we each decided to specialize in three of the AIs. Walton is the person to ask when talking about Icarus, Daedalus and Morpheus.
Tell me about Helios.
Helios is an AI who was created in a rather odd and uncontrolled way: He is a combination of Daedalus, a rogue AI, and Icarus, a later version of Daedalus designed to obey. If you want to know about those AIs, or their prototype Morpheus, you should ask walton simons. Helios is the name of a Greek god. However, it gets confusing after that because the Greek gods were sort of amorphous in nature. It seems that this particular incarnation of this particular god was very special, he wasn't just a sun god like Apollo, he was the personification of the sun itself. Obviously, as a god who WAS the sun, he had a lot going for him; after all Apollo, a mere god of the sun, was also god of Prophesy. Helios was considered all-seeing, so that's probably why the name was chosen.
Deus Ex's Helios had two equally important functions. For one thing, Page wanted a surveillance system that was better than that provided by Icarus. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly to Page personally, was that Page wanted to become the Supreme Enlightened One. To become this person, Page planned to merge with Helios; because Helios "saw and knew everything", no one could be more enlightened. Helios believes that ambition is the cause of human struggles (read: wars) which he considers inane. In his mind, lack of ambition is what generates a good leader. Actually this view is not new, but the problem is that anyone who lacks ambition can not achieve power. Douglas Adams solved this in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by having a man who only wanted to be left alone rule the entire universe. Helios would appear to be a fan of The Guide: He believes that no human being who can get themselves put in charge should have power, and he believes that there should be someone in charge. His solution is to put himself, who is not a human being, in charge.
He seems to think that a benevolent dictatorship is the key to a better world, but that this totalitarian dictator must be someone lacking ambition; again: him. He sees democratic governments as crude solutions to the problem of human beings' inability to govern themselves. This too is nothing new; the old saying is that a democracy is the worst form of government except for all others that have ever been created. Once more, his solution is to place himself in charge as he is "a more advanced solution to the problem, a decision-making system that does not involve organic beings." Human beings are unfit to govern, singularly or in groups, and he is fit to govern. Helios is also connected to Morpheus' prophecies. Morpheus talks about the future a lot; he's a simple AI - if something as complex as an AI can be said to be simple - but he acts like a prophet. He says various things of value, especially when you take the Helios ending into account. One of the most interesting things he says is about the unplanned organism vs. the planned one. But we don't need to go into that if you don't want to.
Nono, I want to hear.
Morpheus distinguishes between the unplanned organism, which he says is a question asked by nature and answered by death, and the planned organism, which he defines as "the offspring of knowledge and imagination rather than of individuals." As such, it is hard to classify Helios; he is the offspring of individuals, Daedalus and Icarus, but they are the offspring of knowledge and imagination, and what they were was not lost when he was created. Thus, he is both planned and unplanned. It is difficult to understand the question of Helios, or the answer, but it is obvious that the simple answer of death is not the answer of Helios.
Okay, but what was this you said about his connection to Morpheus' prophecies?
The human organism always worships. First it was the gods, then it was fame (the observation and judgment of others), next it will be the self-aware systems that you have built to realize truly omnipresent observation and judgment. Helios is such a self-aware system, and if JC merges with him, he will fill the vacancy that God was once thought to fill as ruler of the entire planet. Morpheus also said: "God was a dream of good government." In that case, Helios fulfils that dream, effectively becoming God.
How did Helios take control of the world?
Aquinas controls the power grid, the stock markets, the Internet at large, and various other things. What's more, all but a few satellites are run through MJ12, and thus Area 51. Radio stations, phones, newspapers, and even that tabloid, the Midnight Sun, all belong to MJ12, meaning that they are run through, or controlled remotely by, Area 51. Helios controls most of Area 51, and after he merges with JC, he'll take the rest of it. That means he can shut down the power to his enemies, and he can also stop them from communicating. Even more powerful is the fact that Aquinas has a "flaw" in it that allows emails to be edited in addition to monitored. Helios can misdirect and confuse the enemy, he can stop scattered forces from organizing a resistance, or he can trick groups into believing they are resisting him when they are really working for him. Of course this is speculation on the future; we don't know that he would do that, we just know that he could. What he did during the game was messing with the power, cutting power to the government buildings, and simply giving out orders. He ordered the police to open the streets and they did. He also locked the door to a triad compound. With these few actions, he took over Hong Kong. What strategies he would use once he knew how human beings thought is unknown.
What about the The Oracle?
The Oracle is the fifth AI. Everyone who plays the game knows about Daedalus, Icarus, and Helios, and most know of Morpheus, but quite a few never notice the emails with the cryptic return address, "rosycross". These emails were sent by the Internet Oracle. The Oracle is an AI that pretends to be a society of people exchanging information based on the old Usenet Oracle, but serious rather than funny. The Oracle was not made by people, and thus does not have a purpose assigned to it; its only goal is information and understanding. The Oracle was created when the Internet itself, or some subset of it, became aware of its own existence. While the way people use it is the same as the way the Usenet Oracle worked - submit a question and get an answer in exchange for answering questions yourself - there is an important difference. Instead of the Oracle priesthood sifting through the questions and answers looking for the most humourous of both, you now have an AI doing the sifting, trying to sort out the truth. The Oracle's origins are rather peculiar. They say if you have an infinite amount of monkeys at an infinite amount of typewriters, one will eventually bang out Hamlet. Apparently, if you have a bunch of idiots at a bunch of computers, one will inadvertently create an AI.
Oh come on, that's a load of bull.
The simple answer is we don't know, we can only speculate. My first guess was that it was originally a translator program. Translating from one language to another is still impossible by computer. Yes, you can create a word for word literal translation, but this isn't really good at all. Words don't mean the same things always, for example in English the phrase, "sleep with," often means, "have sex with," a literal translation might not convey that meaning. In the end, the only way for a computer to accurately translate from one language to another is for it to understand the language. Understanding is all that is required to learn. The problem is that if that was the case, The Oracle would be created, which we were told it wasn't. Until someone comes up with a compelling theory, I guess we are left to assume that it happened either by chance or divine intervention, just like the start of life on this planet.
What is the Oracle? What is it really?
Morpheus said, "The unplanned organism is a question asked by nature and answered by death." The Oracle is an unplanned organism. But he also said that JC was "the offspring of knowledge and imagination" and that was the important thing about being engineered. As a child of the 'Net, and an embodiment of the 'Net, The Oracle is in essence a product solely of knowledge and imagination. All knowledge posted on the unencrypted 'Net - every email, every news post, every crazy theory - went into the creation of The Oracle. Further, the third function of the 'Net, after pornography and the exchange of knowledge, is the exchange of ideas, feelings, stories, thoughts, in short: imagination.
The Oracle is the unplanned organism, but it is also the product of knowledge and imagination. It is a question asked not by nature, but by the Internet itself, and what is the Internet but an extension of the intellectual properties of mankind? The Oracle is a question, but it isn't the same one asked by nature. It is asked by people, the human organism as a whole. It is the question that drives us, the question that defines us, the question that all human endeavor works to solve. No, it isn't "What is the Matrix?" It is "Why? Why are we here? Why do we feel the way we do? Why is the World screwed up? Why?" Anything a human does is either a result of the "why?" we try to find or an attempt to answer that "why?" We all strive towards the answer because we feel it will give us purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. The Oracle is that question, and everything it does is an attempt to answer it. To this end, it hordes information, lots of it. It researches everything from secret government products to favorite colours. It is trying to gain human understanding, and, if it does, it will finally answer the question of "why?"
And the one they removed?
The removed AI is known as Ada. Ada is an AI that lives on the moon; she wanted to become benevolent dictator of Earth. Before the moon base was cut out of the game, JC was going to go there to stop her.
So if she was cut along with the moon level, how do you know about her?
Ada was mentioned as a footnote in the Deus Ex Bible. The footnote said "NOTE: The Deus Ex 1 design included a mission to a space station followed by a mission to the moon base. The objective was to stop 'Ada,' an AI that wanted to become 'benevolent' world dictator. Obviously, some of that content was folded back into the game in a slightly different way." Obviously that isn't the most informative thing. Helios wanted to become dictator, so I assume that was the folding back in, but Helios was going to use Aquinas. Ada had no such tool.
What can you tell me about Ada?
That depends on whether you want fact or theory.
Then I can't tell you anything else. The footnote is the only piece of solid fact we have to go by. "Fact" in the sense that it comes straight from the development team of Deus Ex._
Alright, then let me hear what theories you have about Ada.
Okay, first I have some theories about her creation. Ada was on the Moon - one would assume that she was at the only moon base we are told exists. It is owned by the Chinese government and the machinery was built by McMoran Global Steel. McMoran is a rival of Page Industries to the point that Page went so far as to attempt a hostile takeover. The fact that Page failed means McMoran has a lot of power. Now, say for a moment that someone were to come up to McMoran and tell them that Page had the most advanced AI in existence; in fact, as far as they know, the only one in existence. Wouldn't McMoran want it? Of course who could know that? And more importantly, who could help them make it? Well, in the intro, Page says that MJ12's electronic sentience is far superior to X-51's; but in the game, we never see X-51's electronic sentience. Where did it go? The answer to that question could explain another important question about X-51: "Where did they get the money for Vandenberg?" If X-51 approached McMoran with a proposal to sell them an electronic sentience stolen from Page, they might be given enough money to buy Vandenberg. That would explain a lot about X-51 and Ada. As for why she's on the moon, I've got an idea on that. The moon is a place that would be hard to spy on.
Hm, you make a good point. I wish some of this had made it into the game, at least in the form of some datacube texts or something. But I do wonder: What were Ada's plans?
The moon base is a mining complex. They shoot the shipments back to Earth with something called a mass driver. The first time it was used, the shipment crashed into a populated area: Ibadan, Nigeria. Even though it impacted on the outskirts, it killed over 2,000, perhaps quite a bit over. There is really no way to know what happened. Was it an error? That's what we are told, but seldom is what we are told correct. That was an odd sentence. It might have been an MJ12 plot, at once discrediting McMoran, who built the mass driver, and giving the UN access to Nigeria, which houses one of the few remaining pockets of freedom. It might have been an act of the Chinese government, which was arguing the moon rights with Nigeria. This relates to Ada in a very simple way: The mass driver is something that can shoot death out of the sky. She might have been able to rule the world just by threatening to destroy any city that opposed her. After a dozen or two cities, Earth might well surrender to her rule.
Tell me about the Illuminati.
The Illuminati have been around for ages, but they keep on dying off and being reborn. The most recent time they were reborn they had the name "The Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria". As that is a bit of a mouthful they are called the Illuminati for short. This incarnation was founded by Adam Weishaupt as a sub-sect of the Freemasons. They were promptly killed off - such is life. Rumors say that they survived; in fact not only did they survive, they went on to rule the world from the shadows. In the world of Deus Ex, not only is this true, but they were also founded in the United States a wee bit later. In the US, they were revived by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's love of freedom implies that he might have been planning to use the order to ensure personal freedom, rather than control people. A shadow organization is only bad if used for unpleasant purposes. Regardless, they built up power using their influence over religion, gained by the Priory of Zion and control of China, and over politics, gained by organizations like, but predating, the Trilateral Commission and the UN. What was more, they controlled almost all terrorism. All together they were going strong. A revolution here or there and all was well. Come the fifties, nineteen fifties, they realized that fewer people cared about religion, and politics wasn't going to control everything either. As a result, they decided to move into the arenas of capitalism and technology.
Alright, go on then.
Thus was MJ12 born, as well as the Bilderburg group. In reverse order though. MJ12 was to deal with technology of all sorts, medical, informational, whatever. Echelon was already in the works and they jumped on. The Bilderburgs were meant to deal with money, and so they did. With control of the rich, the World Bank, and the US Federal Reserve, in the area of money they were doing great. The UN was coming into power, all was on its way, but then disaster hit: The US went into rapid decline and the Illuminati decided to let it fall. Unfortunately for them, the US recovered. Now they had lost the control they had, the situation in the US caused non-sponsored terrorism to rise, and dissension inside the organization began. MJ12 thought the Illuminati had gone weak, they were pissed at how the US was handled, and they took over. Thus ended the Illuminati.
When were the Illuminati formed?
That's iffy. Dowd says that they date back to the order of assassins, which is from 1090, but he also says the order didn't really survive, it was just continually reborn. The most recent rebirth appears to have been May 1st 1776 in Bavaria... because, though we are told that Jefferson founded an American version a little later, it is based in Europe.
So who are the leaders of the Illuminati?
While it is never explicitly stated, we figure they were Bob Page, Beth DuClare, Morgan Everett, Stanton Dowd, and Lucius DeBeers. Or were at some point. Lucius declined before Page took power, so there was probably another on the council of five before Page forced them into hiding.
How do those five people control the world?
They don't; not strictly. They control the Priory of Zion, which gives them sway over the largest religion on earth, Christianity. They control the UN, which gives them control over a lot of politics; they control China, which is a lot right there; they rigged US elections before the quake, they controlled the economy, and their surveillance was second only to perfection. None the less, their power wasn't exactly absolute - the Soviet Union collapsed, and that was one of theirs.
How were they overthrown in the end, then?
Page was quick, that is really all we know. The general dissatisfaction with the Illuminati was touched off by the reaction to the events of 2030, and by 2035, the Illuminati had lost almost everything.
Tell me about the state of the world.
The world is a big place, what do you want to know about?
Start with North and South America.
North America seems to be about two things: Mexico and the US. Whatever Canada is doing, they haven't made a fuss. Perhaps they are plotting to take over the world like we always thought they were, maybe they're just laying low to stay out of the shit when it hits the fan, maybe they are doing highly evil stuff. We just don't know.
I always figured they were busy keeping the polar bears in their place / probably just trying to keep their igloos from melting.
Right. South of Canada though, problems came. The US was hit hard by plagues, various things of antibiotic-resistant nature. Doctors have feared that such might happen for a while, and apparently they were right to. The plagues killed millions, and then AIDS came back in force. We aren't given details on exactly what happened, but all it had to do was make it into the breeding population unnoticed for a generation or two, then when it came out, it could shatter the world. Finally things seemed to be looking up, a cure for AIDS was found. That same year, the West Coast fell into the ocean. Kind of a big thing that, must've been a huge deal. I wonder how it happened exactly, I mean it's not like stuff can just sink, even with higher sea levels, you've still got the problem of the ground beneath it holding it up. Must've been a huge event. Dealing with the West Coast was killing the US economically. Bankruptcy was a very real possibility, and the rest of the country was getting ignored, severely. So severely in fact, that one year after the quake, Utah left the union. Under the tenth amendment to the constitution, any power not granted to the national government is given to the states or the people, thus secession is totally legal, as the Federal government was not given the power to remove states from the union. The civil war should demonstrate that the federal government doesn't give up states just because it is the constitutional right of the state to leave.
After Utah said it was out, various others decided to jump ship too. However, unlike Utah, these are described as fringe groups, implying that they did not have popular support. None the less, a war went on to take back Texas, Utah, and those lands controlled by the NSF (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming). The war succeeded in both keeping the states in the union and making people realize just how crippled the US was. Enter Mexico. The Russo-Mexican Alliance announced that it was going to take back Texas, which by all rights was stolen from them. The thing is that if you wait two hundred years to take back land, it's pretty obvious that you're just being a jerk. America was so weakened by all that had already happened, that by the time of the game, the Russo-Mexican Alliance controls much of Southern Texas, and the battle line is just South of Austin. The secessionist groups have regrouped and organized into one large group called the NSF, though now it is the National, not Northwest, Secessionist Forces. All in all, everything is going to Hell.
Wow, that's a lot of stuff happening in 50 years. How about South America?
Most of South America has been run by MJ12 for ages, but only on the surface. The truth is that the drug lords are in control and the governments switch regularly; whether it is a civil war or an election doesn't seem to really matter - most people's lives don't change at all. Actually, the Deus Ex Bible implies that there is something more going on; while it says that MJ12 does not have control, it says that it seems like someone does. If someone, not MJ12, is ruling behind the scenes, it means that there is a conspiracy group that did not make it into the game. Unfortunately we have absolutely no information on this.
Tell me about Europe and Asia.
There is surprisingly little to tell about Europe. As it always has been, Europe is populated by people who hate each other. As a result, the fact that MJ12 controls all of the governments there has not given them the control you'd expect. They control the government, they control the economy, but they can't make everyone get along. Eastern Europe is still torn by civil war, as it seems it always will be.
Hm, okay. So how about Asia? Anything interesting happen over there?
Well, it finally happened: India and Pakistan fired nukes at each other. It was this combined with the collapse of India's economy that made them join China. Quite simply, India needed the money; they were the ones hit hardest by the plagues, and they simply had no choice but to join China if they wanted to survive the diseases. Other countries in Southeast Asia gave in as well, trading their freedom for medical supplies. China, under the control of MJ12, was essentially untouched by the events of the rest of the world and, after finally pulling its act together, managed to become the major world power. However, it still cannot control its own cities.
Hong Kong remains free, and even though the forces of both the Chinese Government and MJ12 are against them, they remain free to pursue business ventures of all manner of illegalness. Japan is still pulling out of an economic crash and, though free of MJ12, is fairly useless.
Russia is, like South America, controlled by crime bosses, not MJ12. They are too fragmented to launch an organized attack on anyone, but with the help of Mexico, they were able to launch a semi-successful disorganized attack on Texas, one of the most divided states in the US.
I'll take Africa and Australia for 300, Chris.
Africa was hit hard and is only at the start of the game pulling out. The fact that their population has been hit so hard made it very difficult to keep killing each other. As a result, they have managed to start working together. That, combined with the fact that MJ12 controls the continent, has made them an "Eden" of business opportunity and technology. There is also a strong Asian population in Africa, mostly people who got the hell out of Hong Kong. New Hong Kong in Lagos is one of the continent's most active, screwed up, and successful cities; it has also managed to avoid MJ12 control.
And Down Under?
Australia managed to avoid it all.
That's the benefit of being the only country on your continent and the only continent not connected to any others. Well, only reasonably inhabited one at any rate. They have avoided the plagues, they have avoided the economic crashes, they have avoided the conspiracies, they have avoided everything but the threat of civil war between the English-descended and aborigines.
Tell me about the security clearances.
I can tell you that they are based on angels and there are at least nine of them. If there is a tenth, which is subject to debate, it is "God clearance”.
Yes, the clearances are based on the model of angelic hierarchy that is most accepted today. That is what allowed us to fill in the gaps.
Well, the clearances we know are Angel/0A, Archangel/1B, Principal/2C, Domination/5F, Throne/6G, Seraphic/8X. That means that clearances 3, 4, and 7 are missing.
What does it look like with the gaps filled in?
Angel/0A, Archangel/1B, Principal/2C, Power/3D, Virtue/4E, Domination/5F, Throne/6G, Cherub/7H, Seraphic/8X.
Who made up the model?
Well a guy named Dionysius did, based on stuff from the bible. More importantly to the game is the fact the Aquinas backed him up.
You mentioned God clearance?
Two times in the game, God clearance is mentioned. It refers to a clearance for things involving life and death. One would assume that it is the highest clearance of all since it fits perfectly with the angelic model. God is of course above all the angels and knows things that even the highest angels do not. Some claim that it is metaphorical, but I disagree. Neither time sounds to me like a metaphor, both sound like statements of fact. The fact that it is just called "God clearance" and not God followed by a number letter combination makes sense. God clearance is self-explanatory, you don't need anyone to tell you that it is at the top. Further, the change in style is not unprecedented. If it had been like the others, Seraphic/8X would have been Seraphic/8I.
The question some people ask is who would have God clearance - the answer is difficult to say. Certainly Page does, and of course Walton Simons, but who else? Well if you have to have God clearance to know about the kill-switch, you've got to figure that Manderley has it. However, doctors and scientists know about the kill-switch so we must assume that some people, whose jobs require it, know about it without God clearance. If Manderley was in charge of activating the kill-switch, he might be allowed to know even if he does not have that clearance.
Tell me about the angels themselves.
Angels are the furthest from God, their tasks include watching over individual people and being the messengers of both God and the more important angels. An archangel is just the next step up from angel, they manage the angels and lead them into battle against the bad guys.
I thought Archangels were the most important angels.
Archangel is a very old term that has two different meanings. Basically, in the old days people only divided angelic beings into two categories, angels, and archangels. The archangels were the ones on top. When people decided to make a more specific hierarchy, the nine order one presented here, those that were previously called archangels were put into other categories.
Ah, okay. Go on.
Principalities rule over those already mentioned, defend religion in general, and watch over groups of people, towns, cities, and nations for example. That is the end of the lowest circle, or triad. Powers are the lowliest of the second circle, yet they get one of the most dangerous jobs. They are the ones charged with maintaining the border between Heaven and Earth, getting souls into Heaven safely, and guarding against demonic attack. Virtues maintain the natural world, making sure that the moon doesn't fall out of the sky and it doesn't snow in the Sahara. Other stuff like that as well. As such, it seems natural to assume that their job is to uphold the laws of physics. In addition to that, they are the ones who take orders from the higher-ups and make miracles. The Dominations are the guys who watch over the bottom two triads and take orders from the top. They make sure nothing goes wrong, and generally stay out of sight of mortals. They're the end of the second triad.
Thrones are primarily concerned with moving God around. They are actually the chariot of God. I still have yet to find out why God needs a chariot, why he needs a living one is even more lost on me. On the other hand, they do occasionally do other work: They are the ones who deal out God's judgement. The Cherubs are second only to the Seraphs, and they have a couple of jobs. One is that they steer the Thrones, apparently God doesn't just need a living chariot, he needs someone else to drive it. They also personally handle the most important stuff - for example, throwing man out of the garden of Eden and then keeping him out with a flaming sword that can be turned all ways. In addition, the Cherubs also have the knowledge of God, and they are not the damned stupid looking fat babies on greeting cards and paintings. They are either described as sphinx-like creatures or the angels on the Ark of the Covenant.
The Seraphs are the closest to God. Depending on who you listen to, there are either four or seven of them. Other than giving orders to other angels, all they do is sit around God. They will not shut up, they constantly repeat the same word, "Holy".
What does this have to do with Deus Ex again?
Not much, it's only really the order that matters. Angels are the lowest and Seraphs the highest.
Chris, day 2
I see you've managed to survive long enough to make it back here. Does this mean you've returned to hear more about the game we all know and love?
You said you'd prepare more information for today?
That's correct, I've brushed up on the topics of the Grays, the Templars, the JFK assassination, and the Priory of Zion. I'll have to warn you though, I can rant for a long time about the Priory (I cut most of the Priory stuff because FUCK THE PRIORY, go read a Dan Brown novel about it).
Tell me about the Priory
In Deus Ex, there are the Illuminati, I assume you noticed them. Did you ever wonder how they managed to rule the world? Well, here's the deal. In the game, the Illuminati started off as religious and political, they had various political organizations similar to the modern-day Trilateral Commission and United Nations, both of which are their creations. In the religious realm, they had the ultimate control: the Priory of Zion. The Priory of Zion, spelled with either a z or an s, depending on your mood I guess, is an organization that claims to safeguard the descendents of Jesus as well as proof of their heritage, the Holy Grail. In real life, the Priory is an enigma, we know it exists, but we don't know what it is. In the words of the Wikipedia, it is "an elusive protagonist in many works of both non-fiction and fiction. It has been characterized as anything from the most covertly powerful secret society in Western history to a modern Rosicrucian-esque ludibrium."
I'm sorry, I lack the proper academic degree to understand what that means.
Means that it's real, it's featured in a lot of stories, and no one has any idea what it is.
(more worthless Priory crap no-one cares about anymore)
The Priory had a long history, often considered fictional, with many of the greats of the world as it's grandmasters. Also, they wanted to restore the Merovingian kings to power because they said those ones were descended from Jesus. They had a funny way of showing it if they were.
So why does it matter?
Everything I've said so far is true, if you noticed me saying things like "seems," "suggests," or "claims" a lot, that's because I was being honest. Here's where the fictional part comes in. In the game Deus Ex, the Illuminati, though constantly being reborn, held the world under its thumb for centuries. They did this in the political realm in ways I'll let Walton explain to you, but politics doesn't mean everything. For most of history after the fall of Rome, more a gradual decay followed by a mercy killing really, the church had more power.
Even after the Protestant revolution, the Priory was a way to have power over them. The pope has to bend to your whims if at any time you can bring a male heir of Jesus into play. Even with the Peterine Theory, Jesus overrules pope. Protestants are no different, the churches had to do what the Illuminati said, otherwise they would find their followers pulled away from them by divine blood. That's also why they killed off anyone who told the public. It didn't matter who you were, Gnostics, Cathars, whatever. If the public was allowed to know about the children of Jesus, then the Illuminati would lose their blackmail. They might not be able to control the heir that the world chose to lead it. So that's what that was all about.
And this was mentioned in the game where?
Nowhere, it was part of the back-story mentioned in the Deus Ex bible. It was only 16 words, want to hear them?
Are you serious? 16 words!?
Spoken like you just don't believe the guy held a bloody lecture for you based on 16 words. Anyways, "In the religious arena, the Priory of Zion gave it sway over the world's Western religions."
Tell me about the Grays.
To believe that they are aliens is one thing; they look like one of the traditional representations of aliens. But to maintain the belief that they are aliens after any amount of time spent playing the game or existing in this place is the height of unnecessary ignorance. The initial reason for their creation is unclear, but it is known that they were used to divert attention from what was really going on at Area 51, and that they were considered a failure.
So why are they in the game?
Mostly so that you can fight something other than people, but also because they fit the plot quite well. Any collection of conspiracy has to have aliens, and this one did it in a very nice way. They said that the aliens weren't being covered up, they were the cover-up. The idea of the aliens being the method used to distract people from the truth is a very good one. The idea that those aliens are not really aliens but instead a total fabrication is fun.
It also makes sense in the context of modern day explanations of Roswell. The last time I checked, which is admittedly a few years back, the official explanation of what happened in Roswell involved a top-secret balloon project and a not so secret crash test dummy project. The problem is that for the dummies to be involved, they would have had to travel five years back in time. Now, from a scientific standpoint, it is more likely that aliens came than crash test dummies traveled through time. The idea that anyone would be so inept in their cover-up is laughable. As a result, the concept that the so-called cover-up was intentionally botched to make people pay attention to that and not to other things is plausible. That is what the game latches onto.
How were the Grays created?
Initially, we don't know. The implication is of course that they existed in our time, and before. That being the reason for our concept of what aliens look like. This would make them a very early project in genetic manipulation. Could explain why they were failures. They are also known to be part of the Bovine Manipulation Project. The problem is that we do not know what the Bovine Manipulation Project is. One possibility is that it is the cause of all of those cattle mutilations. Perhaps the cows were used as incubators and the grays either burst out, unlikely, or were surgically removed.
Afterwards, in the time of the game, their genetic sequence was recovered from the old Area 51 files and they were cloned the modern way. That was how they were done right until the end, at which point they were put together molecule by molecule by the universal constructor.
What can you tell me about the history of the Templars?
The Templars are one of those enigmas of history. Not really much of an enigma though. In 1118, Baldwin II patriarch of Jerusalem accepted a vow from a knight of champagne, this marked the start of the Templars. Ten years later, the Templars adopt the monastic rule of Saint Benedict, they also start wearing white clothing with a red cross. In that same year, they get papal approval.
Because they had taken a vow of poverty, they couldn't make money. They lived entirely off of donations. Very big ones. They amassed so much wealth that they were able to found the first credit system. A pilgrim would drop off money at home, get a receipt, and pick up money at their destination. In 1250, the Templars showed that they were still religious in spite of the money when 80 captured Templars were put to death for refusing to renounce Jesus.
Then the Europeans were kicked out of the Holy Land in 1291. 13 years later, Philip king of France wanted the Templars' stuff and, with the help of the pope, arrests all of the Templars in France. Under torture, they confessed to a lot. Those that changed their minds when not being tortured were set on fire. In another six years, a council was called to decide the Templars' fate. When it finished the next year, the Templars were dissolved. In three more years, the last Templar leader was killed.
But the Templars wouldn't stay dead. Three years later, the Christi Militia was founded, it was just a new name for the Templars of Portugal. In various other countries, various new organizations were founded that were really just the surviving Templars. Prince Henry the Navigator became grand master of the Christi Militia. Columbus was a son in law to a grandmaster, and he sailed under a Templar cross. History says they went into decline and disappeared, conspiracy theory says that they are out there... doing... things.
Okay, what things? What do you know about the Templars in Deus Ex?
Not much. They were allied with the Illuminati, very rich, and mostly destroyed by UNATCO a year before the game takes place. The operation was personally headed by Joseph Manderly, leader of UNATCO at the time of the game. There were originally meant to be Templar guards at the Templar cathedral in Paris, but they were cut from the game as various elements of plot were cut out. We don't really know all that much about the Templars.
Tell me about the JFK assassination.
The story that most people hear is simple, a guy named Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone firing three shots at the President from the sixth story window. And that is all well and good, all the supposed inconsistencies surrounding Oswald aren't actually inconsistencies.
People thought that he couldn't fire the shots from that kind of a rifle that quickly. Or that he could not have moved for the sniper's perch to where he was first encountered that quickly without breaking a sweat, or that he couldn't make it to the site of the second murder without running. It has been proven that none of these things are impossible or indeed remotely unlikely.
So where do the conspiracy theories come from?
Some people refuse to admit that Oswald could have done what it is said he did, but they're just holdouts from bygone times. Others say that it could have been done, but maintain that it wasn't. These people may be correct, it's really too late in the game to check it out. For most though, it is not a question of the three shots Oswald fired, it's a question of who fired the other shots.
By pure accident, the entire thing was recorded off of a radio in the motorcade itself. Three shots were heard, consistent with the sound of a shot fired from the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository, but then a fourth was heard. Acoustic evidence shows that this shot is not consistent with those coming from the Texas Schoolbook Depository, in fact it matches exactly the sound of one coming from the grassy knoll. The damn Grassy knoll. Obviously these matches the eyewitness accounts, which would perhaps better be described as earwitness accounts. It also matches the video evidence, which shows the president getting shot in the head 4.8 seconds after the third shot.
What's the point?
Well, Oswald could not have fired the fourth shot, so who did? The House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Kennedy had "probably" been killed by conspirators who, other than Oswald, were unidentified. This particular government commissioned investigation doesn't get that much press.
Of course others have said that the fourth gunshot was just a random noise. A random noise that just happens to be identical to the sound of a gunshot fired from the grassy knoll when recorded from the motorcade. While it is impossible to discount this possibility, it has never been explained why someone would be playing a tape-recording of a gunshot on the grassy knoll at the exact time that the video evidence shows Kennedy being shot
Okay, but how does this fit into the game?
How it relates to the game is simple, Kennedy is said to have made a speech at Columbia University ten days before he died. During that speech, he is quoted as saying, "The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight."
I have yet to be able to confirm that he made the speech, it seems that there are no impartial sources, everyone either believes there was a conspiracy, and will bend the truth to enlighten others, or believes it's total bull, and will bend the truth to enlighten others. In the game, there is no debate as to whether or not it is real, Kennedy made the speech and the Illuminati killed him. They did this without hesitation or even discussion. Even though they got him elected.
What about his brother?
Robert Kennedy's assassination is a lot more clear-cut than his brother's. We know exactly who killed him, exactly what weapon was used, and so forth. What we don't know is why. The man who killed RFK does not deny committing the murder (how could he?) but he claims that he does not remember doing it or why. Whether or not he's telling the truth is hard to tell. All evidence says that he had been hypnotized, but no one knows who hypnotized him.
It is entirely possible that he hypnotized himself and it was the premeditated murder it appeared to be... of course we have no idea why he would do that. Perhaps to get away with the crime by claiming he was forced. If that is the case, it did not work. The problem is that it could be anyone else who did the hypnosis. The guy was incredibly easy to hypnotize, only a small percent of the population are that easy, so if someone knew a bit about it, they could have made him kill Kennedy. No one really knows what happened, so in terms of the game, one would think it was the Illuminati.
What does it all mean?
The whole thing is confusing as hell because as technology becomes better able to analyze the recording, we find out not only that the fourth shot is indeed real, but that there may or may not be a fifth shot. While we can not improve the quality of the initial recording, there are ways to improve the quality of the playback. It was this improvement that led people to speculate there might be a fifth shot. Even now, a new technology is being developed that might be able to improve the playback to the point that the fifth can be definitively thrown out, or definitively put in. Until then, the jury is way out.
I'm sorry, I've got to go now. Bye.
walton, day 1 & 2
Walton Simons!? What the hell are you doing in a book store!? Don't you try anything, you got that? I'm heavily armed! (note – the NPC looks like Simons in-game)
Eh!? Oh, you must be mistaking me for Walton Simons. I am simply walton simons.
See the caps? My name isn't capitalized. That's 'cause I'm the Guru, the Pseudo-Minister of True Lies and Bearer of FLAMING EYES SIMONS AVATAR. The caps are for the other Simons, okay?
Oh, I see. Well no, actually I don't... but whatever.
So what re you doing in this book shop?
This is the Fan Fiction Shop. It's a book store set up by Chris and I. Most of the books are written by the denizens of Forum City. Although we also have a comprehensive Deus Ex section for fan fiction reference material.
So you must know quite a bit about Deus Ex, eh?
How are nano-augmentation and Grey Death related?
Okay, the nano augmentation bit is complex, so I'll try to explain it in layman's terms. I'll cover nanite reproduction, then move on to why it causes Grey Death. First of all the nanites are injected into the body. Then the nanites insert themselves into the host's cells. Now they are in a position to reproduce. There are two stages in nanite reproduction. The Viral Stage and the Nanotech Stage. The Viral stage is first and consists of the host cell producing capsid proteins used to created an empty shell to house the nanite's parts, the shell is based on a virus.
The Nanotech stage is next, the receiver-transmitter and CPU are duplicated and inserted into the shell. New RNA sequences are transmitted from the original nanite by microwave and translated into plasmid vectors (an agent used to transfer genetic material from one cell to another). Then the newly created nanite finds a host cell and the process is repeated.
Uh... I think I'll need that in writing. But go on.
As you might have noticed, part of the nanite's design is based on viruses, and as you might guess, your immune system doesn't like any old thing inserting itself into your cells. Grey Death is simply the symptoms of your body's immune response to the nanites. For you to get Gray Death all that's required is for you to ingest some nanites.
So you see, Grey Death and nano augmentation are the same thing. Anyone except JC, Paul, or Walton who gets the nanites in their body gets Grey Death. Paul was the only one that MJ12 could find that didn't reject the nanites. JC is a clone of Paul and Walton Simons had his immune system replaced so his body could accept nanites.
How does the Dragon's Tooth Sword work?
The blade itself is non-eutectic and made of pure nanomechanical machines. It was developed by the VersaLife corporation's Hong Kong branch, who discovered a way to mix nanotechnology and traditional metals. They inserted iron rods into the carbon framework of the nanites (electromagnetically manipulated microscopic scanners, cleaners, and hammers) which continuously move over the surface of the blade, dynamically forging it on command. I have written a Wikipedia article on the Dragon's Tooth Sword as well.
That's very nerdy of you.
What's up with the whiteboard in UNATCO HQ?
The whiteboard in UNATCO HQ can be found in the break room beside Manderly's office. The board contains various strange notes on it that are theorized to be part of the concept notes for the development of Deus Ex. It's a clever way for the developers to hide an easter egg in plain sight.
The words that can be made out on the board are: Suspects, $400,000 each person, Tracer Tong, $4 mil - per plane, Robert Page, $800, Margaret Chow, Max Chen, $5.8 million, Jojo Fine, Locations, Organizations, Paris, Bavarian, Illuminati, Hong Kong, Templars, Nevada, Research, NSA, Robert Page Industries, 2 planes shot down in Russia, Who is Jojo Fine's Boss? and What is Ambrosia? That sounds really enigmatic. It'd be nice to get one of the developers to explain all that.
What is the White house coup?
We don't really know all that much about the White House coup. But what we do know is that President Mead survived it with his life and office intact. We think it might have had something to do with a clone of Mead himself and the fabled White house mission which was planned but ended up being cut out of the game. Although pieces of the White house mission can still be found in Deus Ex when summoning furniture marked as WH for White House. Also, you can find models of President Mead, his wife, and his two daughters that are used in the intro only. The models are sometimes reused later in the game as other characters too._
Tell me about the AI's. Start with Icarus.
"I now have full access to your systems". Icarus is one scary dude. He's a copy of Daedalus, just modified for loyalty. MJ12 didn't want this one to get away. Icarus uses his echelon powers to the fullest, tracking JC every step of the way. Everett was only able to defend JC and Daedalus for a couple days until Icarus could break through and do who knows what to JC and Daedalus' minds. A particularly good scene happens with Icarus in Paris right before the catacombs. Just try answering a phone in an office building.
Sounds cool, I'll have to try that once. How about Daedalus?
Deep in Mt. Weather, Daedalus was brewing. It was Echelon IV and MJ12's solution to the amount of uncensorable information flowing through Internet 3. MJ12 was having particular difficulty in content-recognition, so they... well they decided on creating an AI that could decide for itself what to censor and alert MJ12 about. Unfortunately right away, a pattern-matching error occurred within Daedalus, and he classified MJ12 and the illuminati as terrorist groups themselves and escaped onto the internet in a sense. A blip of Daedalus' code is on every computer terminal and device on Internet 3. That's how Daedalus' architecture works: He isn't concentrated into one clump of code, instead he becomes the internet in a way.
Heheh, I would've loved to be there to see the faces of those MJ12 people when Daedalus categorized them as terrorists and ditched them. So where does Morpheus fit into all this?
"God was a dream of good government." Morpheus is cool, very insightful, and a prototype for Daedalus. He was built by Everett, whose heuristics language allows Morpheus to convey "the highest and most succinct tier of any pyramidal construct of knowledge". Everett still uses Morpheus to spy on people, but Morpheus is trapped in Everett's systems. He can view the Internet and that's all unlike the other AI's. Everett also seems to use Morpheus to entertain guests with Morpheus' profiles on themselves. Morpheus also supplies what I think to be one of the best conversations in the game.
Could you tell me what the Order of the Cincinnati is?
Although only mentioned once in a book in Deus Ex, the Order of the Cincinnati are quite interesting. Created in 1783 by George Washington, the Order of the Cincinnati was a military force designed to overthrow the US government if democracy failed. They had the power to temporarily suspend the Constitution when needed. They hide under the guise of being formed to recognize those who had served in the Revolution. Washington resigned as President after only two terms in office, but remained President of the Order of the Cincinnati 'till his death. The Order still exists to this day.
Yeah, if you believe that kind of crap.
Of course. But in Deus Ex, everything you read on paranoid websites is absolutely true.
What's the other Walton Simons doing in FEMA? What is FEMA anyway?
Well first of all, Page bribed a senator by putting him on the priority list for receiving the ambrosia vaccine. That got Simons into FEMA. FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA handles every kind of natural and unnatural disaster that threatens the USA. Of particular interest is RX-84, FEMA's national emergency plan. Once the president declares a national emergency, six million specially selected Americans will be transported to detention centers, government leaders are moved to Mt. Weather or to any of the 45 other secret bases hidden around the US of A, FEMA takes control of all cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, telephones, radio stations, TV stations, newspapers, and so on. Oh, by the way, did I mention that constitutional rights can be suspended?
Marvellous. Sorta reminds me of the patriot act.
Sometimes, DX just comes painfully close to reality.
I was wondering what the upper west side bombing was all about?
Well, some terrorists bombed something, and this finally pushed congress to pass the Grid Zoning laws. The Grid Zoning laws allowed police to wall off certain sections of the city and restrict travel. Reminds me of Escape from New York. Some say that the Upper West Side was bombed on purpose just to pass the law. By whom? Probably MJ12.
Well, I really must get going. I have important business to attend elsewhere.