ARGmentation: Deus Ex Code Cracking

I haven't the foggiest
Those among you with your ears to the internet will have noticed that a mystery has been unfolding around Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Some people are referring to it as an “ARG”. That’s a pretty serious term and shouldn’t be bandied about lightly, but this does have all the hallmarks of one. It all started with a code, or “some gibberish” as I call it, and eventually led to the image you see above. Quite how people worked it out is a mystery to my little meat-brain, which is to say I’m convinced they had some form of calculating device embedded in their skulls. Rather amusingly, even that wasn’t enough though because Eidos Montreal had to release extra clues. To be fair, I didn’t even understand those though. The story so far is here. What does it all mean? Were any of you involved in figuring out what’s happened so far? And am I actually quite stupid for not understanding how any of this worked? Arg(h)!


  1. QualityJeverage says:

    Like most ARGs, I will let smarter people figure it out. I have neither the patience nor the intelligence to contribute to these things, but I’m sure it’s plenty fun for those who do.

    I’ll just be happy waiting for whatever’s at the end.

    • ZIGS says:

      I was just gonna post “Am I the only one who has no patience whatsoever for these kind of things?”. So yeah

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Well, it’s already been solved, so you don’t even have to carry the terrible burden of waiting.

  2. ResonanceCascade says:

    So far, the general consensus is that this is leading up to a DLC pack that takes place during the interval pictured above (I’d go into more detail, but it’s a bit spoilery.)

    This hasn’t been confirmed, but it makes a lot of sense. We know that Eidos said at E3 that the DLC will extend the game, and that seems like the most logical place for an extension.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Jensen’s adventure locked in a cyber tube?

    • tocard2 says:

      Press B to breathe!

    • AlexW says:

      Good job being subtle with the spoilers, Crimsoneer. You should be a spy with that sort of quick thinking. Have you tried asking your smoke detector if the government’s hiring?

      And regarding it (SPOILERS for the rest of this comment, anyone else), yes. It’s been speculated that it could be linked to the secret log with the achievement you can get at the end of the following level, since that mentioned something like ‘he knows too much, his memory must be wiped’. And since he was off the grid during said time, it’s doable.

      Personally I’d just prefer an epilogue, though, with a chance to talk to everyone at Sarif about the outcome of the ending. It’d probably be trickier, with getting the voice actors back in and the fact that not as many people would see each part of the content, but it’d be more in keeping with the genuinely interesting philosophical quandaries of the game (and a place to get face-time and thanks with Pritchard and Malik, for those of us they’re still on speaking terms with).

    • Anthile says:

      That was an easteregg, regarding the song Hangar 18 by Megadeth.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      The thing is, you can’t really do an epilogue for the people who chose that one ending. You know the one I mean.

      What I’d REALLY like to see is an old school expansion pack, with a new character, new plot, and a more condensed story. Something like Minerva’s Den, but long enough to at least develop your augs.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      New Game +. I would LOVE a New Game +.

    • Enso says:

      Used a trainer to give myself all the praxis I had. Essentially a New Game +

  3. Maldomel says:

    Actually, it’s a pretty good way to hype your game (not that people who design ARG needs that for their games anyway but still).

    Also, don’t you worry, I seem to be stupid too cause even with explanation I can’t understand the whole thing.

  4. Spoon says:

    ARGs make me ARGH.

  5. Unaco says:

    Conspiracy theory themed ARG would have been the perfect way to market the game prior to release. Probably better to have it late than not at all… They’re a bit of fun for us, and exposure for them. They can tell us a little bit of story, we can get involved in some cooperative puzzle solving (or just following the trail of solutions if we’re late to the party/too dense to contribute).

  6. kyrieee says:

    They didn’t have to release extra clues, they gradually released parts of a cypher. They intentionally made it impossible to solve right off the bat.

    • westyfield says:

      Yeah, it looks like it was less “you guys are being slow, here’s some help” and more “you’ve got to this stage, here’s how to get to the next”.

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      lol with only the first bit of the cypher you would have been able to solve only the two 3’s in the original code

  7. Tokjos says:

    Adam looks a bit like the player model from System Shock 2 on that picture, i think. I’d post a picture, but my google-skills have failed me.

  8. godwin says:

    link to

    This stuff (also here) has shown me how seriously silly things can get. Surely there are more useful things to do with one’s life than mount fake protests or whatever about a fictional character ’cause someone told you to, to get access to an advertisement for an entertainment product which has literally consumed you, the consumer.

    • sagamov says:

      Be part of that ARG-get a cake and a cellphone
      Read about them- get nothing (Surely there are more useful things to do with one’s life)

  9. McDan says:

    I’ve been following this for a while before they got to this point, ARG’s fascinate me, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Although i do also have to let the brainier people figure it out for me.

  10. bagitomacho says:

    Could it be? Is he JC Denton’s father?

    It must be the pout.

  11. ZIGS says:

    Skull gun DLC. You heard it here first

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  13. Solid Snake on a Plane says:

    I hope it’s a DLC about replacing Adam’s mirror.

    (Kind of spoilery)
    If you use the landlady’s computer it turns out it’s been sitting in a warehouse for four weeks.

  14. Jimbo says:

    I SPILL my D_ _ _ _!

    • westyfield says:

      Ooh ooh, I can crack this code! Now then, W-H-A-T- -A- -S oh no that’s too many letters.

  15. magnus says:

    I’ve only just started playing the bleedin’ game, and they want me to figure out an ARG for it? Arrrgghh!!

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  18. tripwire says:

    Those of you who would like to help out can join us on the IRC at #deusex on freenode. Their is going to be a 2nd part starting on Sunday.

  19. Enzo says:

    I’m pretty sure that it was already confirmed on some canadian site that it’s a new DLC that takes place on a prison ship. It’s separate from the main campaign, you can start it from the main menu, but they do give you some praxis points when you begin.

    • ZIGS says:


    • Enzo says:

      I can’t find the original newspost in french, but here you go: link to

    • Enzo says:

      Also, this really smells like cut content from the main campaign.

    • kyrieee says:

      Because DX:HR really needed to be longer?

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      There was a removed interview with Adam’s voice actor on vg247 as well hinting at this – it’s mentioned on the wiki about this somewhere

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      It doesn’t need to be longer but the plot stinks of a game that has had a lot of story content cut i.e. it doesn’t need to be longer but it does need a better plot.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      There’s a PC at the docks you can hack that mentions the shipping manifest for the stasis tubes and various destinations of the freighter, including Australia. My guess it’s something to do with their civil war.

  20. Lazaruso says:

    A prison ship, eh? I told them when the first trailer for DXHR came out that it wasn’t similar enough to Mass Effect 2 – finally they listen!

    • My2CENTS says:

      So its a bad thing? Mass Effect are one of the best Sci-Fi series. Plus the first Deus games were released Looooooong before ME.

  21. banski83 says:

    I’d like them to release the damn Tracer Tong mission as DLC. Maybe it was my own fault for assuming, but I thought that paying £40 to pre-order the Augmented Edition (same wording as other Augmented Editions I checked out, so I incorrectly assumed the pre-order bonuses were the same) on Steam would’ve given me that. Fucking hate retailer exclusives; could’ve got the whole thing (UK Retail Augmented Edition seemed to be the only one with all the pre-order bonuses included) for quite a bit less than on Steam. :/

    But yeah, more missions and story arcs would be good.

    • magnus says:

      I had the same trouble with the Augmented/Limited versions, now I’ve got to print a lable to send back with a copy of the Limited Edition but my printer is out of ink and and I can’t afford any ink ‘cod I’ve just got a new GPU, oh well, there’s always the local library I suppose.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      For the first time in my life, I’m glad I shopped at Gamestop. I got the Tong mission, the Onlive code (which they failed to remove) AND a $50 gift certificate, or as I call it, Skyrim.

      That said, the Tong mission isn’t a huge deal. It’s a decent enough diversion, but there’s not much to it except “Oooh, look. Tracer Tong as a punk kid! Cool!”

    • Ba5 says:

      Played the Tracer Tong mission yesterday, it’s really not worth all the extra effort. You go to a sewer, you pass either a cloud of gas or a small wall of lasers, hack a computer to turn the cameras off, open the cell door, talk to Tracer Tong, done. This all takes places in a small area. Don’t feel bad about it.

    • thegooseking says:

      Yeah, even Eidos/Square-Enix’s own words refer to it as a ‘short’ mission, and that it is.

  22. The Sombrero Kid says:

    The dlc is going to be as shockingly incongruous as the shipping games plot, nust hope it’s nice and long &light on plot, also tjey better not be sloppy enough to make me load an old save to play this, that’d be bioware amature.

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    It must be referring to the bosses experience.

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