JC enters Versalife through an elevator located near the Wan Chai Market. He goes up to the front desk and lies to the receptionist that he is a temp who has arrived on a work placement. The secretary directs him upstairs to the supervisor, Mr. Hundley.
As JC walks around the offices, various employees tell him to stay out of their way because they're working. JC finds Hundley and introduces himself, and bribes the supervisor to allow him access to the Level 2 Labs. He also finds a nervous and paranoid man named John Smith near the upper elevator, who asks him to kill Hundley. When JC does so, Smith tells him that he's become aware that there are strange occurrences happening down in the labs, and various employees who've gone looking there have disappeared.
JC takes the elevator down to the Level 2 Labs, where another supervisor arrives and tells JC that he's been cleared for access and that his actions will be monitored. The agent walks out into the foyer seen in the opening cinematic, and visits a conference room where scientists are discussing the effects of the Grey Death. Using a nearby keypad, he access a ramp leading down from the foyer into the labs.
Down below, JC finds the Level 2 Labs and sees Chow and Bob Page standing behind a window discussing a plan to infect the populace with Grey Death. He also finds several homeless people being worked on, as well as aliens (nicknamed "Greys") which are stowed in secure holding cells and being experimented on.
JC retrieves the ROM encoding from the central computer, and Tong radios to tell him he's stumbled onto something bigger than they realized. JC heads back through Versalife, though not before telling John to get out of the company as soon as he can.
At Tong's hideout, he tells JC that Versalife is the one manufacturing the Grey Death via a device called the Universal Constructor. He says that they have to stop it before Page and Chow use it to infect mass numbers of people, and JC heads back to the Versalife building...
- Air-Vent Passageway: Used extensively throughout the Level 2 Labs, with conduits that run above, throughout and underneath the labs — and unusually for this trope, several enemies (escaped Greasels) make use of them as well!
- Apocalyptic Log: Dr. Feng (a Versalife employee) has one if the player finds his body in the flooded section of the Canal Road Tunnel.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Once peace between the Triads is made official, JC can tell the newsstand vendor in the Wan Chai Market that Chow was behind the theft of the sword. Despite this, she refuses to accept it, and claims that Chow will still "withstand the attacks of her critics."
- Brick Joke: When the player first entered the Wan Chai Market, a Red Arrow Triad member threatens the owner of the nearby tea house, claiming that he knows people on the health board and that they don't like rats. When you go back to visit it after coming back from Versalife, the tea house will be swarming with rats (likely placed by said Triad member).
- Crazy Homeless People:
- A homeless man (who was most likely brought to Hong Kong to be experimented on) can be found in the Level 2 Labs. Interacting with him causes him to yell "I'm the sheriff now!", amid strange high-pitched squeals.
- A datapad written by John Smith also mentions that he discovered one of the homeless test subjects in a bathroom on Level 1, ranting about what's happening in the "basement."
- Developer's Foresight:
- If the player kills Hundley before talking to John Smith on the top of Level 1 (and getting the request to kill him in the first place), Smith will remark in surprise, while JC will claim it was part of a special operation he is taking part in.
- It is possible to kill Maggie while she is behind the window talking with Page in Versalife, and she will not appear in the following UC confrontation. Although Page can also be killed, the game doesn't recognize that as a viable possibility because he is essential to the plot.
- Disconnected Side Area:
- The corridor where Page and Chow discuss latest developments cannot be accessed in normal gameplay, and there is no indicator of a passageway or door they came from; clipping through the wall and looking at the corridor reveals nothing beyond what you already see from your regular vantage point.
- There's also a disconnected platform high above the Level 2 Labs that is impossible to reach; in GMDX, making it up here nets the player a Damage Upgrade weapon mod.
- Elite Mooks: The MJ12 Commandoes, which first appear in the Level 2 Labs. They are much more resilient than the rank-and-file soldiers, resist all knockout attempts save for being stunned from behind, and have upgraded weaponry.
- Fascist, but Inefficient: The authoritarian Versalife promotes itself as a corporation that does fulfilling, meaningful work for society, but in reality, it is full of ineptitude. This ranges from extreme compartmentalization of its various divisions (causing at least one employee, Dr. Lundquist (the individual responsible for supervising the delivery of the Gray Death via the superfreighter) to complain that Psionics isn't giving up enough research), repeated usage of Subliminal Seduction (which many employees either don't believe in or are questioning its purpose), a mole (Hundley, who was bribed to leak information to the Luminous Path), Swiss-Cheese Security (multiple test subjects escaping) and repeated instances of Team Killer antics (to such an extent that employees like Smith are fearful that they'll be killed).
- Forbidden Zone: The Level 2 Labs, and with good reason — it's where the higher-ups at Versalife are experimenting on homeless people and manufacturing the Gray Death.
- Foreshadowing: Chow tells Page that the Universal Constructor can create multiple items at once, with Page remarking that he'd like to have it tested at "Area 51". In the final level, Page utilizes multiple UC rooms to stall JC as he attempts to merge with Helios.
- The Greys: Discovered in the Level 2 Labs in a containment area.
- Guide Dang It!: Tong tells JC that one Dr. Feng (a Versalife employee who worked on the augmentations JC and Paul have) went missing in the Canal Road Tunnel. The actual tunnel (that is, the one accessed from a passageway right beside Tong's compound) is not where you need to go. Instead, the player must go to the Old China Hand bar, access an unassuming vent in the bar's freezer area (which is difficult to get into because the problematic controls) and follow a long passage and latter down to a flooded section filled with Karkians. However, doing so gets you another aug upgrade canister and rifle ammo, along with an Apocalyptic Log written by Feng.
- Human Resources: John Smith tells JC that other Versalife employees who tried to investigate the lower labs have disappeared. JC later discovers that MJ12 troops have been kidnapping homeless people and experimenting on them.
- Idiot Ball: Restored content (found in GMDX and other mods) has a supervisor in the Level 2 Labs blast her assistant for nearly causing a spore outbreak on a lab setup that was tailor-made to prevent any accidents of that type (and would have killed everyone in the Labs if it had been an actual outbreak).Supervisor: That's what the colored lights are for... so you don't have to think!
- Mega-Corp: Versalife, which has a set of underground laboratories. One of the scientists in the conference room even mentions that Versalife has a one-trillion credit equity. While it's unclear what the dollar-to-credit exchange ratio is, one could safely assume one trillion credits = a lot.
- Mission Control: Tong assumes the role of JC's advisor on the infolink.
- Mistaken Identity: Though the guards at Versalife's front desk are suspicious of JC (to the point that they write him up in their log as being extremely similar to the description in the bulletin for his arrest), the soldiers and scientists in the Level 2 Labs all assume that he was sent by Simons to check in on their progress, and have no problem discussing sensitive material around him.
- The Mole: Hundley, who leaked information about the Dragon's Tooth Sword to the Luminous Path, setting off the chain of events that have resulted in the current situation in Hong Kong. Searching through the Versalife security office reveals that the guards are suspicious that Hundley has arrived with an empty briefcase.
- Properly Paranoid:
- John Smith is extremely twitchy, and initially believes JC to be a government spook before letting on that he believes employees are being kidnapped by the company and never returning. As it turns out, the truth is even worse than what John thought — Versalife and MJ12 are experimenting on everything, including homeless people and genetically-engineered aliens.
- This extends to the receptionist, Destiny, who is noted in an email to be running a large-scale evaluation of employee behavior for those who display "non-contributory behavior" that is "counter to the ideological well-being" of Versalife, and that she is routinely transferred to other Versalife-operated facilities to monitor their behavior as well. Sarah Stern, the security chief, is also noted to be in on the conspiracy, as she has been told to carry a concealed weapon and to report anyone engaging in unauthorized activity to the guards.
- Psychic Powers: The Greys attack by firing yellow beams of energy out of their foreheads.
- Punch-Clock Villain: In the Level 2 Labs, there's an MJ12 soldier in the washroom who complains that he doesn't want to be bothered reprimanding JC because he's on his break.
- Research, Inc.: Versalife itself, which ostensibly manufactures the various aug canisters and upgrade canisters used throughout the world... but also harbors a number of off-the-books divisions, which aren't fully known to the rank-and-file employees.
- Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: In Versalife, there is an email written to William Gibson from an employee bragging he finally beat NetHack v54.3.1, with v54.3.3 coming out the following week.
- Sequence Breaking: If the codes to the three Versalife elevators (the one in Wan Chai Market, the one leading to the Level 2 labs and the one leading to the Universal Constructor) are already known, the player can skip the entire Hong Kong plotline, in the only major instance where sequence breaking isn't acknowledged or otherwise commented on by the dev team.
- Story-Driven Invulnerability: A partial aversion/subversion. Chow and Page can be seen in the Level 2 Labs having a conversation in an inaccessible corridor with windows. It is possible to fire a weapon through the window and kill both Chow and Page. The game partially accounts for this by having Chow not appear during the next mission, but Page still appears in later missions to address JC. Evidently, the programmers never expected that players would be able to use such an exploit, and never turned the appropriate "unkillable" flags on in the gamecode.
- Subliminal Seduction: In Versalife, over the programmers' heads are message boards that continually flash one-word messages such as "OBEY", "TRUST", and "LOYALTY".
- Swiss-Cheese Security: Previous bits of Foreshadowing (and Smith's log in Level 1 of Versalife) reveals that at least two homeless residents kidnapped by Versalife escaped, with one managing to make his way to the Lucky Money, and another being recaptured by MJ12 Commandoes after making it up to a bathroom near the cubicle farms. That means both of them (and possibly others) were able to get past several armed groups of security guards.
- Underestimating Badassery: Page refers to JC as a "punk from UNATCO", and tells Chow that Versalife's security is "adequate". This occurs as JC is standing right beside the window where they're talking.
- Wham Line: An otherwise-unapparent line said from an office worker gives the first indication (beyond Jock's suggestion in the Hell's Kitchen mission, initially written off as a crackpot theory) that psionic entities exist in the world of Deus Ex — foreshadowing the appearance of The Grays a short time later.Office Worker: You work with psionics? You look like you could have the 'gift'.
- What the Hell, Player?: In the event that the player is caught lockpicking cabinets, the employees' behavior will change from treating JC as an Unusually Uninteresting Sight to out-and-out aggression at the drop of a hat.
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: The alarms always go off when the player retrieves the ROM-encoding, even if all the guards were knocked out/killed and the alarms were disabled.