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Literature / Deus Ex: Hard Line

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Deus Ex: Hard Line is a science fiction novella set in the Deus Ex Universe and written by James Swallow. The storyline follows Alex Vega between the events of Deus Ex: The Fall and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, as she begins working for the Juggernaut Collective. The novella is available in digital format as part of the Collector's Edition and Day One Edition of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.


  • Aborted Arc: The planned plot of Deus Ex: The Fall never happened, and the resulting Sequel Hook from that game (Vega ferrying Saxon to Australia to stop Belltower's activities at a top-secret biotech firm that's flooding the market with a dangerous Neuropozyne knockoff) is reduced to a few lines of dialogue saying that they went to Australia and came back without any resolution. Justified as the issue of poisonous Neuropozyne knockoffs became irrelevant with the Aug Incident, as almost 90% of Augments in the world were killed during it.
  • The Bait: It is revealed that Vega intentionally got herself caught so she could get into the facility where the other Augs were being imprisoned and free them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Janus hacks into a fleet of police surveillance drones and uses them to take down the attacking cops non-lethally when Vega, Berk and the other Augs are pinned down by gunfire.
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  • Brought Down to Normal: The inhibitor chip placed on Vega by the cops makes her unable to use her specialized augs, necessitating that she rely on help from the other inmates to escape.
  • Bystander Syndrome: At the beginning of the story, when Vega is being attacked by several police officers, she cries out for help and notes afterwards that everyone ignores her because she's an Aug.
  • Call-Forward: Vega has a legitimate cover story, in that she works as a pilot for Lebedev Global, a key organization in the original game.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Vega first meets Janus, he reveals that he knows a great deal about her, displaying her employment history, social media feeds and photographs from when she was a child.
  • Hope Spot: Vega tries to convince Berk that there's a better way to deal with authorities than violent action, and prevents him from shooting a female cop. However, as the events of Mankind Divided show, Berk eventually spearheaded an attack on Prazicka Station. Even worse, Vega never learned that Berk was behind it.
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  • How We Got Here: The novella follows Vega's actions between the events of The Fall and Mankind Divided.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Vega repeatedly beats the cop who assaulted her early in the story, slamming him multiple times in the ribs, shocking him repeatedly with an electric baton, tearing off his helmet and repeatedly punching in the face, then sticking the baton in between his armor and giving him a full charge, which knocks him out (if not outright killing him).
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Vega refuses to leave the other Aug prisoners behind, despite Ivan's insistence that they need to leave. It nearly gets her killed because of this.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: When Janus states that the prisoners in the bombed-out station were unimportant considering the global threat, Vega counters that he's thinking just like the Illuminati. This is enough to cause Janus to have a moment of clarity, and he apologizes to Janus for the remarks. This becomes extremely ironic in Mankind Divided, when it's hinted (and corroborated by the artbook) that Illuminati Council member Volkard Rand is Janus.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Ivan has no problem beating up a female cop, and very nearly kills her before Vega intervenes.