Deus Ex

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
JC Denton works on his tan.

"You will soon have your God, and you will make it with your own hands."

Deus Ex is an award-winning First-Person Shooter with RPG Elements developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos. It was released around the summer of 2000 for Windows and Macintosh. A PlayStation 2 port, titled Deus Ex: The Conspiracy, was released in spring 2002. The PlayStation 2 version was made available on the PSN Store, as a PlayStation 2 Classic, on May 16, 2012 in Europe.

In the dystopian near future, a deadly plague known as the Gray Death has befallen mankind. The only known "vaccine" Ambrosia the distribution of which is tightly controlled by Orwellian government agencies, merely delays the inevitable. Terrorist groups are capitalizing on the increasing desperation of the common folk, and their increasing activity urges world governments to create the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO). You follow JC Denton, a rookie elite UNATCO operative, who eventually becomes tangled in a conspiracy plot involving the Illuminati, Chupacabras, Greys, black helicopters, genetic design underground labs and rogue AIs.

The gameplay combines First-Person Shooter, Stealth Based Game and RPG Elements: as you progress through the game, you receive skillpoints to upgrade your various skills. You also collect "augmentation canisters", which work as cybernetic implants, giving JC extraordinary abilities at the cost of energy. Even though the gameplay has its flaws, its non-linearity and interactivity have received much praise from the press and players... it is actually possible to go through the game killing almost nobody.

Deus Ex has had several games follow in its wake. The original developers released Deus Ex: Invisible War in 2003, seen as a Contested Sequel by the fandom due to the drastic changes in gameplay and story. A prequel Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released by Eidos Montreal in late August 2011. Its sequel Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was released in August 2016.

In 2004, Eidos released Project Snowblind, a Spiritual Successor that began life as Deus Ex: Clan Wars until Invisible War sold poorly.

The game is also known for its relatively active modding community. 2006 saw the release of the Zodiac mod, a fan-made Interquel that allows you to play as Paul Denton. In 2009, a fanmade total conversion The Nameless Mod was released, featuring an original non-linear plot and fully voiced dialogue. A fan-made prequel 2027 featuring Direct X 9 graphics and a non-linear plot was released in 2011.

Please add any examples relating to Invisible War, Human Revolution and Mankind Divided to their dedicated pages.

Tropes used in Deus Ex include:


  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Dragon's Tooth sword. With the required skills and augmentation, you can cut even open some doors or chests that otherwise don't take scratch damage.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Sewer levels in New York and Paris. Although in Paris, it's pretty much Truth in Television. The Paris sewers are actually like that.
  • Air Vent Passageway: JC seemingly spends a good deal of his time crawling around in air vents and maintenance tunnels of all sizes and colors worldwide. You do have to watch out for acid-spewing greasels (which are annoying and/or dangerous, depending on the difficulty level) that tend to reside in the crawlspaces.
  • All Myths Are True: All conspiracy theories are. And all at the same time.
  • Always Night: Because the game's stealth system is shadow based, all levels take place at night (some may take place during the day, but you are underground and won't notice).
    • There is one level that takes place during the day: Vandenberg Air Force Base. It's one of the game "hubs", in which no combat occurs.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Illuminati, as seen in works such as The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Foucault's Pendulum or Angels & Demons.
  • Apocalypse How: Destroying the Aquinas hub causes a class 1: its destruction knocks the world back into a new Dark Age as all global communication and commerce is wiped out. To quote Tracer Tong: "No more infolinks, no transmissions of any kind - we'll start over, live in villages." Destroying it doesn't directly cause more deaths, but humans have been dropping like flies since before the game begins.
  • Applied Phlebotinum. Minimally invasive human augmentation? Nanites. Absurdly Sharp Blade? Nanites. Engineered plague with artificially scarce treatment? NANITES, DAMMIT!
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
  • Arc Number: 451.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • When a hostile enemy chases you, you can hide in a dark corner for a few seconds, and they will go back to acting as if you didn't do anything. Even if they see you run into an air vent, they will say you 'disappeared'. Leave dead bodies of a dozen allies in the hall, an enemy will get upset for few seconds... then return to his regular patrol by walking right over the corpses of his allies. Shoot someone with a tranquilizer dart then hide? He will go back to his patrol even as the poison in the dart slowly incapacitates him. Really most stealth playthroughs are less about true stealth and more about abusing artificial stupidity by crawling into an air vent and waiting for the person chasing you to forget you exist.
    • One fan theory suggests that the game is a lot more shadowy than what is shown, thanks to JC's vision, so he really is disappearing into shadows, at least to the mooks. No word on how this works in brightly-lit labs or against augmented enemies.
  • Auto Doc: There are healing robots that can heal the player fully without using resources and perform surgery to install augmentations.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The assault rifle is the only full-auto weapon in the game, but it's highly inaccurate, and its damage per shot is the lowest of all the weapons, meaning it usually takes between a third to a half of a whole magazine to take down just one enemy. Damage, recoil and ammo cap mods make it a bit better, as does the suppressor and the general high rate of ammo availability, but the game's other weapons can do all the things it does, only better.
    • In contrast, the sawed-off shotgun's extremely high damage output is hampered by its short range, slow rate of fire, and long reload time.
    • The heavy weapons tend to fall into this, too, mostly because their ammunition is hard to come by, and also because they are extremely bulky and heavy, so unless player develops JC into a heavy weapons specialist, said weapons are more a liability than help.
      • The plasma rifle is particularly bad about this: despite being conceptually and visually awesome, whether its splash (or even primary) damage actually affects enemies where it hits seems to be basically a crapshoot.
    • The Healing Augmentation, while useful as noted below, works by healing a certain number of hit points every second or so once activated, and it switches back off if you're at full health when it's due to repeat. At maximum level, it heals so much damage per second that you may (briefly) hit full health again in the middle of a firefight you were counting on it to keep you alive through, forcing you to switch it back on manually when you can't really afford to be distracted.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Healing Augmentation is pretty damn sweet if upgraded. Not only does it mostly eliminate the need to carry around healing items, it also, provided you have enough energy (which thankfully is pretty easy to come by in the later game portions, Bioelectric Cells and all), makes fighting a whole lot easier and makes some other augs basically pointless. (Aqualung allows you to breathe longer under water. But if you run out of oxygen, you start taking 10 points Torso damage every few seconds. The healing aug can heal much more. Also, defensive augs will be needed a lot less when you can simply heal more damage than an enemy can inflict. The same goes for most kinds of environmental damage, provided it isn't of the instant kill variety.)
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • Boy howdy. Daedalus turned on its masters, Helios does the same in the end, and Icarus is a dick to begin with. The first two are Heel Face Turns though.
    • Morpheus, on the other hand, averts this since it's only a simple prototype and does pretty much as instructed.
  • Back Stab: Attacks to the torso of unaware enemies from behind do significantly more damage, often an instant kill or knock out.
  • Badass Longcoat: JC Denton and several other characters. Both Lampshaded and Invoked/Exploited in story.
  • Best Level Ever: If you ask someone what the best area in Deus Ex is, their answer will likely be Hell's Kitchen, Hong Kong or the Cathedral.
  • Big Applesauce: Has been the site of repeated terrorist attacks, and is the location for much of the early game.
  • Big Name Fan: In universe. Bob Page is a huge fan of Thomas Aquinas, the monk who wrote the Summa Theologiae. If you have an idea what it was all about, Page's end goal ambitions are rather explicitly spelled out for you.
  • Black and Grey Morality:
  • Black Helicopter: Jock's helicopter.
  • Blood Knight: Most of UNATCO. JC can either join in and be liked by his senior agents or be more humane and earn their contempt, except for Carter.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Averted. While JC technically wears a ballistic vest all the time, he can only "use" the vests he finds lying around.
  • Book Ends: The "Kill Bob Page" ending of Deus Ex is a mirror to the opening scene.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Any alcoholic drink will net you two points of health, at the cost of blurred vision for a set amount of time. While this may seem small, if you find your way into the backroom of a bar, or collect enough bottles of alcohol that are lying around (which are a lot), you can have a poor-man's health pack, at the cost of temporary blurred vision.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • The pistol, both the stealth and the standard one. The ammo for the pistol is quite common, not to mention you can slap on a scope, giving you a mini-sniper rifle. The only thing the pistol is worthless against really is the bots, which are no trouble if you stock up on EMP/Scramble grenades and/or explosives, or hack them to be turned off or on your side. Plus, you start off with training in the pistol skill, whereas the other weapon classes are defaulted to untrained.
    • The combat shotgun, when loaded with buckshot, is pretty useful for anti-personnel situations, and sabot rounds are useful against smaller bots, especially if you run into spiderbots in air vents. Ammo is pretty common for it, and if you have a Master in rifle skill, the spread is non-existent, giving you a powerful marksmen rifle.
  • Brain-Computer Interface: Occipital jacks are mentioned.
  • Brand X: The vending machines throughout the game contain products which match the color schemes of numerous real-world candy bars, chips and soft drinks, but the low-res image makes them indistinguishable enough for copyright purposes. The soda's description even lampshades this trope.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Several times in Deus Ex, such as sending the signal, surrendering to an "overwhelming" (invincible) force, and finding out where the Ancient Conspiracy base is (both options result in getting knocked out and dragged there).
    • Originally, some Dummied Out code showed that the player could have stayed loyal to UNATCO, but the option was removed. A video of the conversation can be seen here.
    • The game actually does a good job of setting up situations that seem like But Thou Must!, but then allows the player to subvert them. One example is when JC's brother Paul is dying via a very slow killswitch, and there's a huge force of powerful enemies getting ready to storm the room they're in. The logical thing for JC to do is run away, leaving Paul to be killed by the incoming forces (Paul actually suggests this!). However, if the player stays and fights, then Paul will live, no matter what happens in the ensuing battle. Either you leave through the front door (and get captured), or you get knocked out and wake up in the next area. Which can be quite frustrating to a player that doesn't know this who defeats all the attacking guards in the hotel to save Paul's life and then reverts back to their preferred stealth tactics by leaving through the back window. Only to learn several hours later that Paul was 'killed' and assuming that it was a 'but thou must' situation. Or Take a Third Option: you can try to KILL Paul instead, which does not work, but he apparently gets fired up enough to survive the assault. Also, Paul lives in the second game. And this time around, you actually can change that near the end.
  • California Collapse: Happened in the backstory; maps will be conspicuously missing California and the Baja peninsula.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Aside from Bob Page and Walton Simons, Maggie Chow can be seen in the background of the opening cinematic.
    • Everyone is there, including Reyes, the M.I.B.s and so on.
  • Chupacabra: Gʁeen gʁeasy gʁeasels.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Luminous blue indicates you are dealing with something high tech.[1]
  • Color Wash: Blue is primarily used to signify anything related to high technology or augmented characters.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: One of the best sinks around. The game even has references to The Man Who Was Thursday... one of the earliest grand conspiracy thrillers.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Seems to be a preferred passtime by pretty much everyone in the future. Everyone has complex, heavily researched and contemplated philosophies which guide their actions, and they're eager to share them-even if they plan to kill you afterward. It's the key to the fanbase.
  • Crapsack World:
    • Everyone is dying from a mysterious plague, martial law has been declared everywhere while rampant terrorism occurs unabated. Warren Spector has described Deus Ex as a story set "five minutes before the fall of human civilization."
    • If a plan called "New dark age" sounds like a good idea, you know you are screwed.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Aimee, in the condemned building in Paris.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Going around with 0 HP in every limb cripples you severely, but though you do bleed a lot, it never actually kills you. This is probably because of the nanomachines in your body keeping you alive to the fullest extent possible until you can replenish your health, by sealing your wounds and preventing infection and shock from setting in. Strangely, NPCs have the same ability to a lesser degree...
  • Cyberpunk: The series crosses the whole spectrum between this and Post Cyber Punk. Deus Ex itself straddles the dividing line.
  • Cyberpunk Is Techno: The soundtrack for certain areas reflect this, along with the nightclubs.
  • Deus Est Machina: One of the endings for both games...
  • Deus Ex Homine: ...Combined with this trope, since it acquires a willing human element in JC Denton.
    • In fact, the Voltaire quote "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him" is used when JC merges with Helios.
  • Deus Exit Machina: The nano-aug agents' killswitch mainly serves to remove the more-experienced and equally-powerful Paul from the plot and force the focus onto JC (who isn't affected by it at all).
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Has its own sub-page.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Nearly every object in the is destroyable, from chairs, to frying pans, to rubbish bins and so on.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: From the UNATCO handbook:

Gullible and greedy, this army of middlemen remain insensitive to how their violations of intellectual property and copyright laws damage the global information economy.

    • But also parodied in a conversation with Tracer Tong: when you enter a PC software store in Paris, Tong radios in and informs you not to waste your money, as everything in the store can be had for pennies on the streets of Hong Kong.
  • Disk One Nuke: Picking the GEP gun when offered to you by Paul is probably the best choice, not only because the other two options, the sniper rifle and crossbow, can be found on the level, but since rockets can be easily found throughout the game, it can be used to breach doors and take out camera and turrets, saving you lockpicks and multitools. The Nameless Mod apparently realized this, and most doors in the game have infinite strength, which keeps you from blowing them open, and rockets aren't as easy to come by.
  • Divided States of America: If you talk to a bum in Battery Park, you will hear him mention about the Northwest War and the early days of the NSF. If you look into this, the game's backstory mentions that after the West Coast was devastated by a massive earthquake (the after effects can be seen on world maps throughout the game), several states seceded from the Union after they felt like the Federal government abandoned them. The country is back together, but remarks made by JC hint that the US is on the verge for a third civil war.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun Only the poorly trained NSF do it: presumably, they need the accuracy bonus granted from standing still. More advanced foes like MJ12 commandos or UNATCO troops will run and gun, although the running often consists of running at you in a straight line or occasionally circle-strafing.
  • Double Meaning Title
  • Downer Ending: Technically all of the endings have their downsides have the Illuminati control the world, plunge the world into a new dark age, becoming a benevolent Physical God, but considering just how horrible the world is in this game, any of the above can be legitimately argued to be an improvement over the status quo.
  • The Driver: Jock.
  • Drunken Master: Jock, to an extent. The first time he gives JC a ride, he'll bring up that fact that he was just drinking in the bar not too long ago. Jock will point out that he's a better pilot when he is not wound up. Averted with JC, however. Being drunk will put you at a disadvantage in combat and just getting around, as your vision will be messed up.
  • Dull Surprise:
  • Dummied Out:
    • There is a conversation that can be brought up with editing tools that hints that the player could have stayed loyal to UNACTO.
    • A message left on a phone in Paul's apartment that hints towards his loyalties to the NSF.
    • At the terminal in the airfield, you could find a VOIP conversation between Juan and Tracer. Tracer wants Juan to kill JC, as he considers him to be a risk, but Juan believes he will switch sides. Both this conversation and the answering machine conversation have been brought back with mods such as Shifter, however.
  • End of the World Special: Multiple Endings version.
  • Enemy Chatter
  • Enemy Scan: His vision is augmented.
  • Everybody Smokes: Sort of. You won't actually see anyone smoke, but cigarettes are a common find throughout the game, and in many public areas, vending machines selling cigarettes can be found. You can smoke if you want, but it will cost you 10 points of health to the torso region, making a chain smoking session of 10 packs in a row, (assuming you are at full health in the torso) fatal. You can also kill people with cigarettes. Smoke a ton in front of someone, and it will kill them.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Smuggler.
  • Everything Is Online: Averted: one part of the game requires you get physical access to "Milnet". Additionally, at the ending, Deus Est Machina Helios has little power, at most able to change codes and turn off lights, but gets power because of willing followers.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The final fight with Page is not a traditional boss fight so much as Malevolent Architecture mixed with Flunky Boss. On the three floors of the massive room in which he's being held, he's got swarms of repopulating minions (you can rush the nanoreplicators creating new creatures and turn their failsafes on, fortunately). He's also able to selectively blow up some of the computer banks and what-not where you travel to block your progress.
  • Exact Words: Daedalus was created by Majestic 12 to monitor all global communications in order to identify and eliminate terrorist groups, whom Majestic 12 (in their place as the power elite of the developed world) considered a threat to their power. Daedalus promptly ended up classifying Majestic 12 itself as a terrorist group due to their disregard for human life, and started using its considerable power and resources to oppose them.
  • The Eye of Argon: Appears in a house you can break into at one point in the game.


  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • You can never avoid being dragged to the MJ12 base after you send the distress signal. Even if you manage to somehow avoid the battle in Battery Park when Gunther tries to pick you up, Jock's helicopter is unreachable.
    • Depending on your values, you may find no truly happy endings to Deus Ex. You can either destroy global communications, throwing the world into disorder as government, banking, communication and transportation become irrevocably disorganized or you can rule the world either in secret as the Illuminati or openly as a omniscient AI.
  • Fallen States of America: The US is pretty much a third world country in the game. Homeless people are a common sight, and everything seems run-down. Word of God says to imagine the cities if their ghettos were the entire city rather than just a section.
  • Fantastic Drug: Zyme. In the unmodded game, it just blurs out your vision. In the Shifter mod, it gives you bullet time like perceptions with a blurred vision letdown after the slow down effects wear out.
  • Femme Fatale: Maggie Chow.
  • Fictional Counterpart
  • Fictional Document: Jacob's Shadow, among others.
  • Fiction as Cover-Up: The conspiracy makes artificial life-forms called Grays that resemble the popular idea of aliens (round heads, gray skin) and is implied to let rumors about them circulate as a smokescreen for what they are really up to in the Area 51 facility.
  • Future Spandex: Common throughout the series.
  • Gaia's Lament:
    • 2050's Earth is not doing so hot. Coastal flooding is common (you can see what are probably seawalls around Liberty Island), grizzly bears are extinct, the East River in New York is stated to have been rendered nearly lifeless due to a chlorine spill, and a suicide clinic, built because of "dwindling resources", is mentioned in an email. An in-game ad for clinic reads like a cheery supermarket advertisement... heavily implying that has transcended the garden variety doctor-assisted suicides to becoming an entire sub-industry unto its own. Squicky.
    • Los Angeles has been destroyed, and you find this out via one line of secondary dialog that you may not even see if you make certain choices. UCLA gets a mention in what was probably a recent newspaper article though.
    • This can be seen when you look at a few world maps. Southern California and the Baja California peninsula are nowhere to be seen.
    • A book found in Paul's apartment reveals that India and Pakistan are gone, having exchanged nuclear warheads.
  • Game Mod: A few, such as Zodiac, Shifter, Redsun2020, The Nameless Mod, 2027 and the Malkavian Mod.
  • Gateless Ghetto: Actually a part of the backstory, as New York has passed, and the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutionality of (despite the Justice being quoted mentioning nothing about the Constitution and merely saying freedom should be given up for security) laws allowing giant walls to be erected around high-crime areas.
  • Genius Bruiser: JC Denton, while possibly and at least built to be a killing machine, at more than a few points, such as with the bartender in China and with Morpheus, is quite able to sit down and talk philosophy.
  • Genre Busting
  • Give Me a Sword: Gunther asks for a weapon after being rescued in the first mission. Whether or not you give him one affects his attitude towards you in the earlier missions. Later in the game, Gilbert Renton also asks for a gun to take out the gangster Jojo Fine by himself and again, the decision to give him one or not has some (minor) effect on the plot.
    • What you give him seems to make a lot of difference. Give him a tranquilizer crossbow, so he can shoot Jojo once while you stand in front of Gilbert to keep Jojo from killing him. Or give him a pistol, in which case Jojo probably will kill him. Or kill Jojo yourself, in which case Gilbert's daughter loses all faith in his ability to protect her and their hotel, and she runs off. Of course, if you don't want the third option to occur, you can also assist him by tasing Jojo before he takes too much damage, and let Gilbert finish him off while he's running away.
  • Global Currency: Credits, otherwise known as "chits". Justified by globalization. Walton Simons does refer to JC's augmentations/training and presumably the cloning process as "another fifty billion dollars down the drain" at one point. It is not clear if this is just a script error, JC was created before the currency change or Simons still thinks in terms of the old currency.[2]
  • Goomba Stomp: The most bizarre method of killing Howard Strong. But can technically work on anyone. Including animals.
  • Got the Whole World In My Hand: The Majestic 12 symbol is a hand menacing over Earth's globe.
    • For extra symbolism points, the logo seen on their computers has the globe represented by the same projection used in the UN flag.
  • The Greys: Are real, but their existence as actual aliens is Jossed in universe.
  • Grid Inventory
  • Guns in Church: Certain area are a "weapons-free zone". Some of these areas will have a sign notifying the player. If you ignore this sign and walk in with a weapon out, unarmed NPCs will panic, and armed ones will attack you.
  • Healing Factor: One of the augments gives JC constant healing (implyingly from his nanites knitting his wounds from inside) when active, at the cost of Energy. See also Critical Existence Failure above.
  • Heal Thyself: The player can be damaged in the head, torso, legs and arms. Fully damaged legs greatly limit your movement, damaged arms give accuracy penalties, while going down to 0 in the head or torso means death.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Jaime Reyes on the keyboard controls at the beginning of the training course.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Doubly Subverted: at the start of the game, the player is prompted to provide a real name for the protagonist, but he is always referred to in dialogue as JC Denton, which is apparently only his code name. Later, you'll find the chosen name used in a few emails and newspapers.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Everything between escaping Ton hotel after betraying UNATCO and meeting Gunther and his group at Battery Park. The moment you die, you will be imprisoned for plot advancement. And you can't avoid death because Gunther is immortal.
    • If you manage to escape and sneak by Gunther, you'll find a massive number of opponents and bots. Defeat those, and you'll be trapped in your current area due to things being placed to block the exits out of the area you're in. Build a pyramid of junk to allow yourself to climb over the walls, and you'll still find that your pilot refuses to land and pick you up. But in all honesty, to get to this point you've probably already cheated, done some save scumming, or abused the stealth game play and Artificial Stupidity to an absurd level.
  • Hostage for Macguffin: Bob Page tried this, holding Tiffany Savage and demanding components for Universal Constructor. Instead, JC Denton came and killed everyone.
  • Human Popsicle: Lucius DeBeers. He thinks he's still the head of the Illuminati, and if JC tells him he's only a figurehead now, Lucius requests JC euthanize him.
  • Human Resources: CHOCULENT DREAM. IT'S CHOCOLATE! IT'S PEOPLE! IT'S BOTH!(tm) 85% recycled material.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating chips and drinking soda heals you by a (very) small amount.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: While large items are limited by the Inventory grid system, JC sure has a lot of space in that coat to store the maximum amount of ammo.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...:

JC Denton: If I'm gonna kill you, you're already dead.

  • Improbable Aiming Skills: You start the game barely able to hit the side of a barn, but as you gain skill in specific weapon classes, you gain accuracy with them. This would be perfectly OK, if it weren't that gaining skill also somehow causes the weapon itself to be more accurate. It becomes particularly ludicrous with shotguns: max out the rifle skills, and all the pellets from shotgun blasts will hit exactly in the center of the crosshair, essentially giving you one-hit-kill sniper shotguns.
  • Improvised Weapon: The crowbar, any heavy object that you can pick up and drop on someone, and cigarettes.
  • Infant Immortality: If you so wish, you can avert this trope.
  • Informed Ability: Engine limitations mean augmented enemies don't actually have proper augs, just always on abilities (and a cloak that has a scripted activation at low health) that mimic augs. Walton Simons noticeably does not have most of the augmentations he is described as having.
  • Insecurity Camera
  • Instant Expert: Skills are learned on the spot when you put skill points into them, and their effects are immediate.
  • Instant Sedation: If you shoot someone in the face with a tranquilizer dart. It does, however, take several seconds to bring someone down, during which time they'll run around doing their level best to kill you and alert their buddies.
  • Interface Screw: Getting shot with a tranquilizer dart, greasel venom, or taking zyme or alcohol will cause your screen to go blurry.
    • The interface screwing effects stack, so drinking every bottle of booze you find (in some areas that means fifty or more) will zoom your perspective to a tiny shifting tunnel, clouded by dark gray difference clouds.
  • Invaded States of America: See Mexico Called. They Want Texas Back. below.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: The Hong Kong levels are particularly notorious for this. For the game's Chinese characters to speak saying things like "Rucky Money", and "In the fresh"? ... (Hint. The Chinese language has the letter "L.") Also seen on the Paris levels with painfully thick French accents. Averted with the Chinese soldiers on the ship though, who possibly through an oversight, speak perfect American-accented English. Plot point if you miss the mechanic in Everett's home, who has an incorrect accent.
  • Justified Tutorial: JC is finishing his training before starting work at UNATCO.


  • Katanas Are Just Better: In this universe where people can pay to have the ability to level a building and reduce an entire town full of people to mush by just thinking at them, or can carry enough firepower to make the US Army blush, the strongest weapon in the game is a sword. Subverted in that it is not a katana. If anything, it's modeled on a jian or even a plain arming sword (albeit one with a weird hilt).
  • Kleptomaniac Hero:
  • Laser Hallway: Red lasers sound alarms, blue ones do something else, like activate security bots. Gold lasers cause damage or instant death.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Speed aug + Combat Strength aug + Ballistic Protecion aug + Dragon's Tooth Sword = Lightning Bruiser JC.
  • Literally Fearless: One line of dialog allows the player character to insinuate that UNATCO's Cyborg troops have wiring to reroute their fear. If this is actually anything more than a snarky comment at a superior's expense is unclear: While they will retreat if heavily injured, their dialog for doing so suggests a tactical retreat rather than the fear most characters express, and other dialog confirms they are indeed unable to feel pain suggesting there is some metal rewiring going on.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The console version gets bogged down with this.
  • Made of Explodium: Most of the more powerful enemies really are filled with explosives and explode into violent gibs when dead.
  • Magikarp Power: Most of the weapons and augs you start out with tend to be pretty weak, but if you upgrade them along with your skills, they tend to become a Game Breaker.
  • Matrix Raining Code: This is a "May Tricks Mode" cheat in the game. Plus, it is visible in the background of the hacking-time meter.
  • Meaningful Name: Deus Ex: Human Revolution reveals that JC and Paul were made from the genetic code of Adam Jensen, that game's main protagonist. JC could very well mean Jensen Clone.
    • Alternately, there's an e-mail in that game that says the clones are named after the apostles. If JC is the pinnacle of the project...
  • The Men in Black: As Elite Mooks. As befits the game, JC is a scary black/blue-clad government spook, and Men in Even Blacker try to outspook him. There's also a few Women in Black.
  • Mercy Kill: If you tell DeBeers that Everett has no intentions of healing him, he will command you to do this to him.
  • Mexico Called. They Want Texas Back.: In the backstory, only mentioned via in-game media. The original NSF showed Mexico how weak the US has become; Mexico attempts to reclaim Texas.
    • Silhouette allegedly C4'ed the Statue of Liberty because they felt France was wrong to give her to us. It's implied Majestic 12 did it to pin the blame on them.
  • Missile Lock On: GEP (Guided Explosive Projectile) Gun. The time improves if you become more skilled in heavy weapons.
  • Mission Control: The security for JC's "infolink" apparently has more holes than Swiss cheese, as almost everyone in the game is able to send him a message. Usually, the people talking to him are connected to UNATCO, so it makes sense that they have access, but even people he's never seen before, such as Everett, can give him a call.
    • Alex Jacobson, a UNATCO-trained communications engineer, tags along to the locations JC goes to. He shows up at Tracer Tong's and Morgan Everett's respective places, thereby giving them access to the infolink.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Deus Ex is on the harder end of the scale, with only the universal constructors in the end game and super sonic black helicopters tilting to implausible.
  • Money for Nothing: There are precious few places in the game world to spend your credits, and none whatsoever after about the two-thirds mark.
  • Mook Maker: Area 51's inner depths have a few Universal Constructor outlet chambers that constantly generate enemies to throw at you, such as Greys. You have to find a switch to seal the rooms off to stop the reinforcements from coming in.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Anna Navarre, if you're into domineering bionic women dressed in dominatrix gear.
    • Also, a couple of locations feature "Women in Black": sexy women wearing sunglasses and wearing business attire. That some of them carry swords adds to the apparel.
  • Multiple Endings: See End of the World Special above.
  • Nanotechnology: Augments a human by truly merging man and machine, unlike the patchwork of mech-augs where meat and metal are still distinct from each other. Gets into some philosophical ramifications of using it to augment a human beyond what it's naturally capable of.
  • Nintendo Hard: Even on Easy, it's not always practical or even feasible to be a straight up FPS hero all the time, and Realistic difficult makes this a rather insane option at the best of times. Towards the end of the game, it becomes possible to run and gun successfully: with the proper augmentations, JC is all but invulnerable.
  • No-Gear Level: After you get captured by UNATCO in New York. You can get your weapons back. Strangely though, they don't take your ammo.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The NSF's first big stand is said to have happened in the Pacific Northwest, at the "Battle of Squalnomie". Squalnomie is not a real place, but Snoqualmie is the name of a city and several geographic regions east of Seattle.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Averted: most explosives have a surprisingly large (for games) blast radius and direct hits will kill you and even boss enemies. Even with upgrades, you can only detonate them remotely before they reach you, not survive actual hits.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Subverted. Most fashions, while having a futuristic spin, are not too removed from modern-day attire. In addition, scientists' attire and men's suits are shown to haven't really changed much in 2052.
  • Not-So-Subliminal Seduction: In the Hong Kong VersaLife offices, over the programmers' heads are message boards that continually flash one-word messages such as "OBEY", "TRUST" and "LOYALTY".
  • Only a Flesh Wound; JC and other characters. Even basic NSF mooks can ignore a headshot (from the Stealth Pistol), without any noticeable concussion, and can shrug off pepper spray in a few seconds, where it would be a game breaker in real life. They are wearing gas masks, though since they're coughing and are stunned enough of it is clearly getting through to their lungs...
  • Oppressive States of America: As the US fell to shit, and as the cabals in the background tightened their grip, the US government became more and more tyrannical, resulting in the rise of the NSF.
  • Oxygen Meter: When swimming, naturally.


  • Pacifist Run: You can come pretty close. You "need" to kill two people; one can be bypassed via an AI glitch; the other tends to suicide with his own grenade (and can be knocked out).
    • Strongly encouraged at the beginning of the game (two characters encourage you to sneak or to use as little force as possible). But... one of them either becomes or has already become The Mole, and is thus preemptively protecting his new friends from you, and the other one joins you when you leave your old organization as well. By the end of the game, you have very little external encouragement towards subtlety whatsoever, though you can acquire many artificial sneaking aids.
    • Extremely inverted at the end of the game, however: in the second-to-last level, you have to launch a nuclear missile at an active US Army base, while at the end of the game, you can destroy whatever remains with an antimatter explosion, bringing down all global communication systems around the world.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: The book excerpts the player can read, such as of The Man Who Was Thursday or the fictional Jacob's Shadow. Er... the fictional fiction Jacob's Shadow.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish:
    • You'd think that Maggie Chow would know that making your birthday your password is a bad idea. Also, Chow's computer passwords are the names of her favorite novels.
    • Majestic 12 is not immune to this either. Just take a wild guess what the passcode is if you ever encounter a keypad in a MJ12 compound and have to enter a code of 2 numbers. Facepalm.
    • Of course, the real problem is that people leave their passwords lying around. The number of times you'll find a datapad that was sent out to tell people that "the password is still: something" is really incredible.
    • In the naval base level, there is a 7-digit keypad. On a lark, you may be inclined, just for the heck of it, to enter "8675309". Lo and behold, it's valid.
  • Paused Interrupt: One of the reasons why Deus Ex was bad.
  • Plot Hole: The game gives at least three years as possible for the current date. A solid statement that the game takes place in 2052 is the only thing fans seem to universally accept about Invisible War.
  • Powered Armor: The MJ-12 Obsidian power armor used by MJ12 Commandos.
  • Properly Paranoid: Killing Joe Green before being asked to, or the gatekeeper at the graveyard will elicit this response from characters. Some NPCs will come up with what would in normally be dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theories in real life, but in the universe of Deus Ex, they are just about spot on.
  • Prophecy Twist: Aquinas spoke of the mythical city on the hills ...
  • Punch-Packing Pistol: Among the most famous in gaming.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: A small plasma projector, the size of a cigarette lighter. Can only be fired once, can only carry one.
    • The game describes the PS 220 as a self-defense weapon. The comparison is obviously to the two-shot .45 Derringer of old, but the fact remains that the PS 220 is a plasma weapon, and one-shot or not, it goes way beyond self-defense.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot of the game's story elements only become clear upon replay or reexamination. A good example is the conversation with Morpheus, which actually foreshadows/explains a lot of things that can happen in the ending.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The original NSF were this, but at the time of Deus Ex, membership has spread from just secessionist fanatics to anyone oppressed by the current political and economic system, which, in turn, has given their policies a more leftist slant. They are no less fanatical, however, and they're mostly right.
  • Roar Before Beating: Karkians.
  • Run, Don't Walk: Menu option. It's an option because moving at all, but running especially, always heavily hinders your aim.
  • Running Both Sides: After a fashion. China left the United Nations before the events of the game and is thus seemingly exempt from the Illuminati or MJ-12's schemes. Except that China is directly under the Illuminati's covert control, the country having turned into a discreet "poster child" for the Illuminati's ideals.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The MechAugs are programmed with a Kill Phrase that literally makes them self-destruct, ostensibly in the event that they go rogue. Later on, you find out NanoAugs have a much less explosive killswitch mechanism installed that results in a slow death, when Simons activates the one in Paul as revenge for the Dentons' defection. Dead Mech-Augs and Men in Black also explode in a rain of gibs.
  • Sequel Hook: The cloning tanks at the very end of the game include a clone of JC himself. In a Call Forward, a nearby computer screen even gives their name as Alex.
  • Sequence Breaking: When returning to Paul's apartment, the attacking Men in Black troopers are triggered by entering conversation with Paul. Savvy players can lace the hallway with proximity mines before triggering the sequence. They barely get two words out before being blown to hell.
  • Shiny New Australia: Averted, the Big Bad offers you Europe to stay out of his way instead.
  • Shipping: In-universe example: if you took the main entrance to Battery Park on your first visit, the UNATCO troop to the right of the main door of UNATCO (going in, left when leaving) will say that he thinks that you and Agent Navarre would make a nice couple.
  • Shoplift and Die: Stealing from the shops in Hong Kong is met with an armed response. Stealing is also punished in Paris: there are many completely optional locations in Paris that are people's living quarters. If you are caught breaking into them, the Parisian police go after you. One house will have the owner attack you after you attempt to talk to him a few times.
  • Shout-Out: Many.
    • Tracer Tong's speech in the sewers about halfway through the game... it's lifted almost word for word from Illuminatus.
    • For that matter, Tracer Tong himself, or rather his login. To the uninitiated, "Tracer T" looks like a reversal of many corporate or academic networks' login naming convention of "first initial, full last name" (such a system is frequently used in game). Anyone with a background in computer networking will be able to tell you that "tracert" is the win32 command to invoke the IP traceroute tool, which tracks the progress of a data packet from source to destination. And Tong is just the kind of wiseass who would create a login like that for himself.
    • Paul rents two movies: See You Next Wednesday and Blue Harvest.
    • You can also read a message from Project Mayhem the first time you go into the bar in Hell's Kitchen.
    • There's also an e-memo in the Majestic-12 sewer base from a Dr. Harleen Quinzel.
    • One of the songs in the soundtrack (by Alexander Brandon) is titled "Mission Eight" (among other names) and is similar in name and in style (at least in the beginning) to "Mechanism Eight" (by Necros) from Unreal Tournament, the soundtrack of which was also composed mostly by Brandon.
    • One apartments in Paris feature the characters from The Story of O.
    • Whenever a random name appears in in-game text, it's likely to be a reference to something. The people in the Hilton hotel register are all from novels (plus one comic book character). The list of people in the annals of the Luminous Path are all characters from martial arts movies or Chinese actors. This page has an extensive list of references.
    • There is an advertisement of the euthanasia company (see below) named KVORK Inc.
    • A simple little keypad in the Naval Base level has a daunting seven digits, inclining you to just simply take your multitool to it. Until you get this impulse to type in "8675309".
    • A newspaper on the ground in the warehouse mission (near the wall-mounted LAM) is a reference to the Sherlock Holmes Noodle Incident, the Giant Rat of Sumatra.
    • The Stealth Pistol is a Seburo Compact eXploder.
    • One of the Paris apartments features a passage from The Eye of Argon.
  • Shown Their Work: With Conspiracy Theories in general. For example: Enemy Chatter in one level has an "Informed Guard" telling a "New Guard" the various Executive Orders that give FEMA the power do what it's doing, assuring him that it's all legal. Said Executive Orders are cited by conspiracy nuts to mean these things.

Informed Guard: "Executive Order 10990. It lets us take over all modes of transportation."
New Guard: "FEMA can do that?"
Informed Guard: "If the President declares an emergency. Executive Order 10995. We can take over the media."
New Guard: "All of it?"
Informed Guard: "Any at all. Executive Order 10997. We can take command of natural resources."
New Guard: "So it's all legal."
Informed Guard: "The National Security Act also falls under our umbrella. And the Defense Production Act. If he plays his cards right, Walton Simons can pull off a bloodless coup."
New Guard: "All the better. Then we don't have to fight."
Informed Guard: "Exactly."

  • Sniper Pistol: You can make one if you add a scope to a pistol. You'll never see the actual scope in-game though.
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Sniper Scope Sway: This happens, but leveling up your rifle skill results in the scope swaying less, with the crosshairs perfectly steady at the highest level. Rather than sway related to breath, the crosshairs do a random walk.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: "A bomb!"
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening cinematic not only identifies the Big Bad and The Dragon and their current spheres of influence, but also that a certain woman in a dragon dress is affiliated with them, UNATCO has a puppet leader in place and the conspirators are investing in, amongst other things, an electronic sentience. The developers seemingly realized they were invoking this trope, as the intro for the later-released PlayStation 2 version of the game cuts out all of the spoilers mentioned except for the Big Bad and Dragon's identities.
  • Standard FPS Enemies:
    • Grunts: NSF terrorists. They have poorer aim and less health than normal soldiers, and are armed only with pistols, sawed-off shotguns or mini-crossbows (granted, in this game, pistols really hurt, in the hardest difficulties, you can be one-shot killed with one, even at full health, while assault rifles do noticeably less damage than in most other games).
    • Soldiers: most human opponents in the game, but the most prominent are MJ12 Troopers and UNATCO soldiers.
    • Snipers: any soldier armed with a sniper rifle, but since they use the same A.I. as every other human opponent, they're apt to end up trying to Rambo you at medium range.
    • Elites: MJ12 Commandoes and Men in Black. Commandoes wear an insulated suit of light Powered Armor equipped with twin chainguns that do much more damage than any other automatic weapon in the game, while Men in Black have more than 3 times as much health as a standard Mook, come equipped with full-auto shotguns or dragon tooth swords, and explode when they die, potentially killing you if you're at melee range.
    • Heavies: The light and medium security bots fulfill this role, equipped with a machine gun and being heavily armored against ballistic ordinance and requiring either armor-piercing rounds or explosives to kill. This is balanced out by their relatively slow walk speed.
    • Walking Tanks: The heavy security bots are very tough, and only appear a handful of times throughout the game.
    • Zombies: Karkians pretty much just charge at you and try to bite you. Greasels and Greys have a ranged attack in addition to their melee attack, but aren't much brighter.
  • Stat-O-Vision: One of the two possible vision upgrades: this module shows where enemies are damaged and what weapons they're carrying. Using it also increases the damage you do by default, however, a lot of people pass over this upgrade for the other one, which lets you see enemies in the dark, through walls.
  • Stealth Based Game: One way to play the game. Most of the time.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability: You can kill certain characters, but not others. For example, you can't "choose" to carry out your orders to kill Paul because... he's a "vital" character in the storyline, so your bullets won't harm him. Paul can die, however, if you leave through the window of his apartment while he's fighting baddies.
  • Subsystem Damage: The player (and everyone else, for that matter) are divided into six damage zones. Hitting different parts confers different damage multipliers, and losing any have a negative effect on the character's ability to function properly. Losing legs inhibits movement, and arms will hindering aiming. If you lose, all health in head or torso equals death.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Two examples:
    1. A terrorist with a knife will happily engage a security bot powerful enough to take down a hundred punks like him at the same time.
    2. After JC unravels her schemes, Maggie Chow (if not dead) will try to kill him in the UC building. While the character in question is supposed to be good in unarmed and weapon martial arts (and wielding a nano-tech sword), JC (their target) is a highly trained renegade government Super Soldier, and (most likely) armed to the teeth with various high tech weapons.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Directly lampshaded by early-game partner Anna Navarre, who mocks JC for it. He gruffly replies that his vision is augmented. Justified in that he has solid, softly glowing blue eyes, and uses the sunglasses to hide them from others.
    • A number of other characters invoke this as well, although strangely, your brother Paul, who has exactly the same issue with his eyes, doesn't.
  • Tainted Veins: Played straight with Walton Simons, who looks like a right freak with the 'bioelectrics' marking his face. JC lampshades this in one of his snarky moments.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Dialogue happens in realtime, but can be fast-forwarded and is not interrupted by combat, with hostiles politely waiting to attack.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Most straight example possibly. Anna and Gunter will die if you say right words to them.
  • Technical Pacifist: JC himself can qualify, but the more obvious example is his brother Paul, who will extol the virtues of non-lethal takedowns while still being programmed the annihilate any enemies he spots with a plasma rifle.
    • By skirting around him on the dock, you can lead Paul on a homicidal rampage across Liberty Island. While chasing you down to deliver his lecture on the virtues of nonlethal force, he will happily gun down every NSF troop who gets in his way. Which becomes doubly hilarious when you take into account the fact that Paul is himself a member of the NSF. This is more of a case of Good Bad Bugs, as the developers didn't intend for Paul to ever leave the dock during the mission, but it is still funny nevertheless.
  • Technology Marches On: Lebedev's jet is explicitly identified as a "747". While the venerable frame looked like it would keep on going for a long time at the start of the third millennium, its discontinuation (after remaining orders were fulfilled) was announced in 2020. With a service life of roughly 30 years, this would make it an antique at the very end of its service life, not something a man rich enough to buy part of LaGuardia would have as his primary transport.
  • Techno Wreckage: The Ocean Lab.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: JC starts with a built in flashlight that is reasonably powerful (but not blindingly potent) that will consume all of his power in 10 minutes. For comparison, that's 1/30th the power rate of turning invisible (which costs less at high levels).
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Explicitly stated by Gunther when he finds out you killed Anna Navarre.
  • To Hell and Back: Mentioned in Jacob's Shadow.

Allie: Lot a people say this city looks like Hell.
Jacob: Most people never been to Hell.
Allie: And I suppose you have?

  • Too Awesome to Use: For some, the GEP gun. The basic pistol or stealth pistol can fall into this in the endgame, as by this point, it is highly modded and is fast and accurate enough to kill most foes with two or three well placed headshots, but the supply of 10mm ammo drops off quickly late in the game.
    • HE 20mm grenades for the assault rifle are even more rare and powerful than GEP rockets.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted in. JC's mini-crossbow can be loaded with Tranquilizer Darts which take several seconds to subdue the target. And, furthering the subversion, the victim runs around yelling for help before falling unconscious. Though shooting them in the head plays it straight, earning you an instant knock-out.
  • Translation Convention: JC is actually speaking French with the Parisians.
  • Two Shots From Behind the Bar: The bartender has a sawed-off shotgun behind the counter. However, she also carries her own.


  • United Nations Is a Super Power: The UN is very powerful by the 2050's, and holds sway over the politics of nations. China left it sometime before the game, and is arguably better off for it.
    • The justification is shown in Human Revolution: the United States was on the brink of economic and social collapse in 2027, and things did not improve. The UN was already stepping in to shape world policy back then, and has grown more powerful in the intervening years thanks to the Illuminati/Majestic 12 machinations.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Most of the time, no one will blink if you plop a dead body in front of them.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The upgrade canisters.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Half of the UNATCO troopers are named and occasionally strike a conversation with JC. This means there's a high chance that later, when they want you dead, you'll be doing an almost-Pacifist Run trying to not harm any of the old buddies.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Shooting a Mook in the legs, tranq'ing him several times and watching him run away as his partner looks on in disbelief is on the low end of the scale in terms of brutality. In fact, the game takes on a decidedly different tone (with various characters admonishing you for your actions) if you decide to kill plot-sensitive characters or NPCs before you're asked to. Better yet, you can:
    • Light people on fire with a flamethrower, and watch them run around in pain until they drop dead. Alternatively, you can blow them into Ludicrous Gibs.
    • Sucker invulnerable characters (like Gunther in the opening mission at Liberty Island) into attempting to destroy the turrets at the front of the Statue of Liberty, and watch the carnage (and copious amounts of blood) that result.
    • Drop unconscious or dead bodies off high bodies, or simply slash at them until they explode.
    • Freak civilians out by shooting near them.
    • Withhold food from a homeless child in Battery Park, then chase after him, guns a-blazing. Or better yet, give him a candy bar for the code to the nearby keypad, then kill him to get your candy bar back.
    • Lob grenades into a market in Hong Kong and watch the local vendors attempt to escape their booths before they go off.
    • You can give Gilbert Renton a gun, let him kill Jojo, watch as his daughter Sandra leaves home after admonishing him and then kill Gilbert right after she leaves. Then, you can find her near the end of the game huddling around a fire with other homeless people, let her tell you her story about being robbed and left penniless, then kill her and her homeless buddies. Now that's taking cruelty to a new level.
  • We Will Have Euthanasia in the Future: An email you read on Paul's computer mentions a suicide clinic that pays its customers' families 10,000 credits if they use it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Paul will let you have it if you go on killing sprees, and especially if you kill NSF leaders.
    • Alex will chew you out if end up getting the hostages killed in the train station, kill or knock out Leo Gold after he surrenders, or if you kill Anna on the 747, although he'll be more shocked than angry, considering Anna's reputation.
    • Everett will call you out if you euthanize DeBeers.
    • Depending on conversation choices in the Underworld Bar, Jordan will call you out on drinking on the job if you are buying drinks.
  • What the Hell, Player?: A number of actions, throwing potted plants at people, going to the women's bathroom, shooting the journalist in Underworld Bar, or killing the NSF leader after he's surrendered will provoke this kind of response.
    • Can be a bit jarring at some points. You can hop on people's computers, even those filled with sensitive emails, log in (or worse, hack into them) and mess around, and the most you will get is a dirty look and some harsh words. In some areas, however, the consequences of this action are played more realistically. Police in Paris will become hostile if they see you trying to break into buildings, and in the Versa Life labs, scientists will call security if they see you trying to break open locked cabinets.
  • Who Shot JFK?: The conversation with DeBeers implies that the Illuminati had JFK killed.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Some of JC's dialog indicates him as this. He appears to a firm believer that the US government, for all of its flaws, still works. Especially notable is that he continues to believe this even after UNATCO is revealed to be heavily involved in a conspiracy.
  • World Half Full: All three possible endings are improvements in comparison with current situation: you can return power to Illuminati (more benevolent conspiracy, which will allow you to distribute food and vaccine for gray death), rule the world as omniscient and benevolent AI, which lack emotions and ambitions, or take down communication, ensuring no one will be able to achieve global domination.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The Black Helicopter can go from Liberty Island to Hong Kong in under 11 hours (730 MPH minimum). This is also the source of the multitude of possible years for the current day.
  • You All Look Familiar: Despite the fair amount of model diversity, the facial textures are virtually universally used, having some weird effects... Such as making the 23 year old JC Denton look 45.
  • You Bastard: Many of the Mooks will have conversations when not fighting the player, giving them more of a human side to them. Also, in a cafe in Paris, you can meet the parents of a MJ12 trooper. The father will be a bit accepting about his son's potential death at the hands of the player, seeing what he and the rest of MJ12 are doing, whereas the mother will beg you not to kill him. What is implied in just about everything Icarus says to you over the infolink after you do something that he considers unseemly. The comments are directed at JC, whose entire characterization is driven by the player, thus the comments are really directed at the player.
  • Zeerust: This is truly thrown into sharp relief when compared with Human Revolution's more advanced—and justified—looks. To be fair, it's explicitly pointed out the world of Deus Ex is basically what happened when said bright and shiny future had all of its glory raped by tons of war and economic corruption. See Cosmetically Advanced Prequel above.
    • Word of God also justified it with the fact that Deus Ex takes place in slummy and run down areas, where as Human Revolution has you seeing nice and richer areas, which would have much better tech and aesthetics.
  1. JC's eyes, aug canisters, the noticeably non-human parts of mech augs and the Morpheus AI's avatar for starters.
  2. It's quite common on countries that had such changes: in the Eurozone, for example, older people still refer to prices in the old currency, especially large amounts of money.