The Abridged Deus Ex

By Alec Meer on June 22nd, 2010 at 6:56 pm.

A quick refresher on the epochal events of everyone’s favourite ten-year-old videogame… If you find any inaccuracies in this meticulously-researched document, that’s because you’re wrong. Spoilers, obv.

INT: A BIG RED ROOM WITH A GIGANTIC CREEPY HAND IN IT
BOB PAGE: Underneath this gigantic creepy hand is the perfect place to openly discuss our plans to take over the world.
WALTON SIMMONS: Yes. And I seem to have been promoted into a position of immense power despite being incredibly and obviously sinister. No-one would ever suspect me of unleashing synthetic plagues and killer cyborgs.
BOB PAGE: Aquinas spoke of the mythical City on the Hill. Soon that city will be a reality, and we will be crowned its kings. Or better than kings. Gods.
THE PLAYER: I do hope you’re not expecting me to be surprised when you two turn out to be evil later.

EXT: LIBERTY ISLAND
PAUL DENTON: JC! I’m your brother, you know.
JC DENTON: Yes, I know.
PAUL: Just checking. Right, go over there and kill all the men over there. Or, don’t. Clever, eh? Bye!

JC attempts to sneak into THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. He seems strangely incapable of effective stealth, and ends up messily killing ALL THE MEN in a blind panic.
JC: Whoops.
TERRORIST LEADER: Don’t kill me. I’m a good guy really!
JC DENTON: I’m having a bit of a moral dilemma about this. Didn’t seem to matter when I killed all those other guys, though.

EXT: NEW YORK
JC continues to kill lots of terrorists around town anyway.
PAUL: You know all those terrorists I told you to kill? Actually I’m working with them. And the other guys who keep telling you what to do are making up a plague so that they can rule the world. Bye!
ANNA NAVARRE: Don’t worry about that. Kill this slightly more important terrorist instead. If you do I might flirt with you a bit.
JC: I don’t wanna. You’re scary.
ANNA: Meh, no biggie. Killing is fun!

INT: NEW YORK HOTEL
GIRL: Daddy!
JC: What a shame.
PAUL is killed. Maybe.
PAUL: If you reload about 17 times you can save me. Doesn’t matter either way, as I’ll miraculously still be alive in the sequel whatever you do.
JC: Ow, my head.
PAUL: Yeah, that’s your killswitch activating. Bye!
JC: So whose side am I on now? Oh, I’ve been captured.

INT: SOME LAB
MYSTERIOUS VOICE: Go over there and kill all those other men. They’re the real baddies, honest.
JC: Oh look, I’m in my office now. Strange I never noticed this vast labyrinth full of evil men with guns just behind it before. I’d better kill them all.
ANNA NAVARRE: But you won’t kill me!
JC: Flatlander woman.
ANNA NAVARRE: Oh. [Dies].
JC kills ALL THE MEN, then goes to HONG KONG.

EXT: HONG KONG. It’s big.
INT: HONG KONG. It’s less big.
TRACER TONG: You’re not dying any more. Now go to some other lab and find the plague.
JC: Rightio. Oh look, a sword. Chop!

INT: SOME OTHER LAB
JC chops ALL THE MEN.
JC: OK, I’ve found the plague. Looks like the Illuminati did it. They sound mysterious and/or important. Better go to Paris, famous home of mysterious and/or important things! This is like a Dan Brown novel, but written years previous and not horrifyingly moronic.

EXT: PARIS
ILLUMINATI LEADER: Bollocks. Guess I’m not very good at this secret society thing, eh? Anyway, that spooky guy who hangs around under giant stone hands actually did it, then blamed me. Bet you’d never guessed he was evil, huh? It’s a conspiracy!
GUNTHER: Bonjour! I’m sad because you killed my scary lady friend, I’m slightly a robot and I can’t have my favourite drink. Eh? What’s a Laputan machine? Oh. [Dies].
ILLUMINATI LEADER: See, it’s a conspiracy! Now go to California.

INT: SOME MILITARY BASE
X-51 LEADER: Which group am I from again? This has just got stupidly confusing now. Anyway, it’s definitely a conspiracy. I’ll prove it by sending you to Area 51, most famous of all the conspiracies.

INT: AREA 51
JC kills some ALL THE MEN and then some ALIENS. No-one’s entirely sure why.
BOB PAGE: If I stick my brain into this computer, I’ll rule the world. The only thing that can possibly stop me is someone else doing it first. Oh, hello JC. I’ll stand over here while you decide what to do, then.
TRACER TONG: I’m a bit of a hippy and may not have thought this whole thing through. Let’s destroy all technology!
ILLUMINATI LEADER: I think I’m better than anyone else, and you can be in my gang if you agree. Let’s secretly take over the world!
MYSTERIOUS VOICE: I’m a computer, therefore heartless but objective. Maybe. Let’s also take over the world, but more noisily and without any of those other idiots!
JC: Actually, I quick-saved five minutes ago, so I’m gonna do them all. I’m allowed to do that because I have the same initials as Jesus. Bye!

[This piece was written several years ago, for something that was never published. Unsurprising, perhaps.]

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59 Comments »

  1. Nomed says:

    Fantastic! Really this article and the other videos are over the top! :D

  2. Meat Circus says:

    In the future, everybody will be an idiot.

  3. DMJ says:

    That’s precisely the way I remember it.

  4. zak canard says:

    I can’t believe you missed the best bit out!

    Sailor: I speel my dreenk.

  5. McTecman says:

    I laughed.

    (They aren’t aliens, though)

  6. Steelfists says:

    That was very funny. I should probably play Deus Ex.

  7. Quasar says:

    This is literally the most accurate summary of any game ever.

  8. MarkSide says:

    Yeah my memories of the game get a bit hazy after Tong stops the killswitch. There was a guy with a beard and this other guy without a beard or something… in France? And an oil tanker. What was that about? And spiders robots. hm.

  9. Kester says:

    “JC kills ALL THE MEN” may be my favourite piece of stage direction ever.

  10. Metalfish says:

    I distinctly remember saving Paul and then the game deciding he’d been killed as soon as I got into that secret base.

    • McTecman says:

      How did you leave his apartment? The “trigger” for his “death” later on is you leaving his apartment via the window.

    • Bhazor says:

      Or if you get killed when the g-men/super agents bust in then Paul is counted as alive.

    • Zaphid says:

      It’s a bit more complicated, he vanishes or “dies” as soon as you lose sight of him, so you have to babysit him until he gets to the door and then leaving through there.

    • Archonsod says:

      IIRC you can kill the various agents until he thanks you for the rescue and tells you to get going, then Tracer will tell you he’s safe when you get to Hong Kong. I managed to save him completely by accident on my first run through by trying to leave via the door rather than the window.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Bhazor is right. The trigger for Paul dying is you leaving through the window, full stop. Even if you kill every single enemy in the building and leave through the window, he still dies (exception: you have Shifter installed, where leaving through the window only kills him if you didn’t help him fight first). On the other hand, leaving through the front door in any way (even without killing a single enemy if you just use augmented legs to pelt it) or getting killed means Paul survives (even if you kill yourself).

      Amusingly, there’s a glitch that lets you take all your items with you to the MJ12 HQ if you die (supposedly they magically knock you unconscious, but considering I suicide with a GEP rocket at my feet I’m not sure how they glued my gibs back together, let alone kept me alive) – there’s a couple of seconds of pitch black after you do and before the loading screen and if you empty your inventory during those all your items will spawn in your cell.

  11. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    What was the manor i was in?
    Also, stealth at the start is easy. Prime melee, sprint up from behind, instakill.
    I had a sword at that point.

  12. Cooper says:

    Someone needs to make a mini-mod where you play as the vending machine operator who sabotages the drinks dispenser

  13. Veret says:

    All right, ALL RIGHT. I will finally GO PLAY FREAKING DEUS EX. Jesus.

  14. Danny says:

    I’m pretty sure I just saw a Fallout Online article on RPS.

    My poor head :(

  15. Vinraith says:

    A whole day’s worth of coverage I dare not read because I only made it about 2/3rds of the way through Deus Ex back in the day, don’t remember those 2/3rds very well, and would like to replay it (and finish it) without having been spoiled. *sigh* It’s my own damn fault, of course.

  16. Xurathar says:

    Just finished it as my wish lists of games needing completion at my roster, and then, I come here and.. Wow! Deus Ex day. I’m mostly opportune :P.

  17. Zaphid says:

    Someone has to make a video out of this, just like Half Life: Full Life Consequences. I read it with the voice of that guy.

  18. ZIGS says:

    That was a previous awesome read but not as good as this one (not by me):

    Spector: (project manager dx 2 and desiner for dx 1)
    Your appointment to Microsoft should be finalized within the week. I’ve already discussed the matter with Eidos.

    Smith: (dx 2 desiner)
    I take it they were agreeable?

    Spector:
    They didn’t really have a choice.

    Smith:
    Have they been infected?

    Spector:
    Oh, yes, most certainly. When I mentioned that we could push more copies on the XBox, they were so willing it was almost pathetic.

    Smith:
    This demo – the rioting is intensifying to the point where we may not be able to contain it.

    Spector:
    Why contain it? Let it spill over into the fan sites and chatrooms, let the posts pile up on the server. In the end, they’ll beg us to ship it.

    Smith:
    I’ve received reports of armed attacks on team members. There’s not enough of us to placate them, the PC gamers are starting to get desperate.

    Spector:
    Of course they’re desperate. They can smell their death, and the sound they’ll make rattling their cage will serve as a warning to the Thief fans.

    Smith:
    Mmm. I hope you’re not underestimating the problem. The others may not go as quietly as you think – they’ve had two games done properly, rather than just one, after all.

    Spector:
    A bunch of pretentious old men posting on TTLG.

    But the world left them behind long ago. Consoles are the future.

    Smith:
    We have other problems.

    Spector:
    The mod community?

    Smith:
    Formed by passion for good gaming, and a desire to be involved. I have someone in place, though. I’m concerned they’ll take matters into their own hands.

    Spector:
    Our development skills are far in advance of theirs, as is our distribution system. And their… ethical inflexibility has allowed us to make progress in areas they refuse to consider.

    Smith:
    Universal ammo?

    Spector:
    Among other things – but I must admit that I’ve been somewhat disappointed in the performance of the primary unit.

    Smith:
    The secondary unit should be online soon. It’s currently undergoing preparation and will be operational within six months. My people will continue to report on its progress. If necessary, the primary will be terminated.

    Spector:
    We’ve had to endure much, you and I, but soon there will be order again, a new age. Gates spoke of the mythical City on the Hill. Soon that city will be a reality, and we will be crowned its kings.

    Or better than kings, Microsoft lackeys!

    • ZIGS says:

      “previous” = “pretty”. I dunno what lead me to make a mistake like that :\

    • Lars Westergren says:

      That was BRILLIANT! <3

    • BooleanBob says:

      Yes. This was amazing.

    • Shazbut says:

      “The PC gamers are starting to get desperate.

      Spector:
      Of course they’re desperate. They can smell their death”

      This could hardly be more appropriate and thus must have been intentional. Warren Spector could see the future and the author of this wasn’t creating satire so much as unconsciously decrypting a coded message. I’d believe it.

    • ZIGS says:

      Deus Ex: Invisible War DID start the trend of focusing on console development while sacrificing quality by not using the full capabilities of computers (which were, are and will always be superior). The downfall of PC gaming started with Invisible War, make no mistake. It’s actually ironic, the original and the sequel are in completely opposite sides of the gaming spectrum

  19. Cynic says:

    “PAUL: If you reload about 17 times you can save me. Doesn’t matter either way, as I’ll miraculously still be alive in the sequel whatever you do.”

    Oops, looks like you always left via the window.

    • sinister agent says:

      Think about this: the people who didn’t realise that you could save Paul are the people who left their brother to die.

      Never befriend anyone without asking them about Paul Denton first.

    • Nick says:

      He told me to go.. I wasn’t prepared for a computer game allowing me to save him at the time it was released.

      OK?

      =(

  20. MarkSide says:

    Can I just post up a bit of love for the albino Dentons? They’re so the best!

  21. TheSombreroKid says:

    sheer brilliance although you missed some stuff out :P

  22. Casimir's Blake says:

    RPS are clearly enjoying their “lets whore ourselves out to Warren Spector” day…

    I bloody hope we get a “Twenty years of System Shock” in 2014…

  23. dadioflex says:

    Um… kinda neglecting the “I am an alien” storyline, which sucked but it was there.

  24. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Deus Ex 1 is on sale at Steam! 75 percent off (2,49 euros for me)…or the due-logy for a fiver… Great for us lazy types that want to dip into the nostalgy but are too lazy to find the friggin CD…it’s 10 years after all, it could be anywhere!

  25. Antlerbot says:

    I am rather curious about this as well…anybody know what he’s talking about?

  26. fcloud says:

    This play. The writing is intensifying to the point where we may not be able to contain it.

  27. Max says:

    You should post the 45 minute speedrun of DX. It will blow your mind.

  28. Frank says:

    Yeah, that’s how I remember it: NY, Bomb!, Hong Kong, Paris, bad guy place, bad guy place with greasels and water, bad guy place.

  29. Jugglenaut says:

    It should be noted that all the location lines should end in – NIGHT.

  30. James says:

    This never gets old:
    “Why contain it? It’s cool!”

  31. Igor Hardy says:

    Great – now I don’t have to finish the game myself.

  32. Fraser says:

    Thank you for making me realise that my secret shame (never having finished Deus Ex) was actually my secret stupidity (never having completed the very last level in Deus Ex).

  33. tomeoftom says:

    I just finished DX a couple of hours ago. This article was absolutely perfect, thanks a bunch. Also: does anyone know if K Gillen’s The Cassandra Project works with the Steam version of DX?

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