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Video Game / Deus Ex: Nihilum

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That is one weird-looking Eye of Providence...

DXN - Deus Ex: Nihilum is a 2013 total conversion mod for Deus Ex. Set in an Alternate Universe of Deus Ex in the year 2049, it follows the first nano-augmented UNATCO agent Mad Ingram as he heads to Hong Kong in order to solve the mystery of a terrorist attack committed in Shenzhen, and stumbles upon a conspiracy in the process. It won the 2013 Single Player Mod of the Year award and is generally considered to be one of the best Deus Ex mods, up there with The Nameless Mod.

This game provides examples of:

  • America Saves the Day: Subverted. After the capture of David Yoon, the MPS doesn't want to have the press giving any credit to the American UNATCO agent who actually did all the work.
  • Alternate Universe: The game is set in an alternate timeline of the Deus Ex universe. While most things are the same, the most notable difference is that Mad Ingram, not Paul Denton, becomes the first nano-augmented UNATCO agent. The Sacrifice ending leads into a similar, but slightly different beginning of the original Deus Ex however, and heavily implies the original game is going to come out from it, and the XVA ending explicitly shows JC coming on board with UNATCO.
  • Badass Longcoat: Mad Ingram.
  • Bad Guy Bar / Coolest Club Ever: The Forichi Club. It's done in a groovy, black-and-gold Human Revolution style and is a front organization for the Luminous Path triad, particularly David Yoon.
  • Big Applesauce: You get to visit Queens during the later part of the game. The same Manhattan skyline from the original can been seen off in the background.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Number One from MJ12 and Alexia Novikova from XVA.
  • The Cameo: In the introduction, Joseph Manderley, Gunther Hermann, and Anne Navarre can all be seen briefly on Liberty Island before Ingram's helicopter takes off. A couple of the endings have Bob Page, Walton Simons, and JC Denton making appearances.
  • The Conspiracy: Wouldn't be a Deus Ex story without one.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Yakedo isn't really one, but he is the first to suggest that the Chinese government might behind the attack. He's actually wrong. The attack was done by XVA Corporation so that they could get their hands on MJ12's nano-augmentation tech.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Alexia Novikova, CEO of XVA.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The sacrifice ending is probably the ending that will lead into the original game, or some resemblance of it being that this mod is set in an alternate continuity.
  • Cyberpunk: Just like the original Deus Ex.
  • Cyber Punk Is Techno: The Forichi Club of Kowloon, just like the Lucky Money in the original game, plays techno music in the style of "retro-2020s", just like its architecture. The whole club is an homage to the aesthetic of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
  • Da Chief: Robert Chen of the MPS.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: David Yoon. Not so much a boss, but a puzzle. You have to deactivate the 4 security tiers of his penthouse in order to bring him into custody. After that, it appears the plot is all wrapped up and Ingram is ready to leave back for New York, but he is captured by XVA and flown to Berlin, where the plot continues.
  • Dirty Cop: Vic Feng, who's trying to break into the Hong Kong drug business. Also counts as an example of Killer Cop, as when Ingram tries to reason with him, he takes out a flamethrower and torches you with it. Good thing there's a fire extinguisher near by...
    • Also, the cops in Queens later in the game have sold out to the local Zyme Gang. Apparently, this is public knowledge and the people are fed up with it. One such citizen remarks that it would be better if the United Nations took up police duties across America because they would be less corrupt.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Majestic 12 versus the XVA Corporation.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: UNATCO.
  • Government Conspiracy: Like in the first game, it's revealed that UNATCO and the United Nations are really a front for Majestic-12. The game also seems to set up that Chinese Government is involved in one of these, but it's really just the XVA Corporation who did the bombing.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Mad Ingram solves conspiracies in style.
  • False Flag Operation: What the terrorist attack in Shenzhen turns out to be, by the XVA Corporation so that they could lure Mad Ingram out to Hong Kong after learning that Majestic 12 was planning a false flag op to blow up the Statue of Liberty. However, this is a subversion because the building they blew up was controlled by the Chinese government, which by this time has been corrupted by MJ12.
  • Fake Memories: Turns out that Ingram has these.
  • Film Noir: Being cyberpunk, the game is primarily set in a dark cities at night, and involves a cop (albeit a "world cop" UNATCO agent) investigating terrorist activity and later, a conspiracy.
  • First-Person Shooter: Even the developer views the mod as more of this than an FPS/RPG hybrid like Deus Ex. It still has RPG Elements, but more of the gameplay is spent on stealth/combat sequences, even though there is a fair amount of exploration (particularly at the beginning of the game in Kowloon).
  • Mega-Corp: Page Industries, which owns VersaLife. Yumashev Industries could count for this, but it's appears to be only focused on manufacturing and is really just a pawn in XVA Corporation's plan to obtain MJ12 nanotech. XVA Corporation plays this trope straight.
  • Mission Control: Lana Zavich is this for Act I in Hong Kong, while Number One serves as this for the first part of Act II in Berlin. Lana takes it up again after she and Ingram head to New York.
  • Multiple Endings: Per a Deus Ex game.
    • Illuminati Ending: Launch nuclear rockets from Dynamene Station and destroy key MJ12 locations and kill Alexia, allowing the Illuminati to take over.
    • MJ12 Ending: Kill Alexia, have your kill switch removed, and merge the Dynamene Station's AI with the MJ12 networks, and join them as a high ranking member.
    • XVA Ending: After breaking into the Selected Individuals Unit, launch rockets at both M12 and Illuminati locations, allowing XVA to take over the world.
    • Sacrifice Ending: After breaking into the Selected Individuals Unit, rebel against all three factions and destroy Dynamene Station, preventing anyone from using its resources. This ending leads into the original game or a resemblance of it.
  • Mythology Gag: There are a few.
    • The Chef in Kowloon has a hunch that keeping some Ambrosia around will be beneficial in the near future.
    • The Forichi Nightclub is done in a black and gold "retro-2020s" style.
  • Off Screen Villainy: Bob Page and Walton Simons, who are the heads of Majestic 12. Another of their lead operatives, Number One, serves as part of the game's Big Bad Ensemble. Bob Page appears in two of the endings, one if the player joins MJ12, and the Illuminati ending, where he can be seen in prison.
  • Prequel: Sort of, since this is an alternate continuity to the original game. However, the Sacrifice ending cutscene ends with Bob Page and Walton Simons giving the speech from the Deus Ex intro, heavily suggesting the original game will come from this.
  • Recycled In Space: Sort of. The whole game is an homage to Deus Ex, but some striking similarities can be drawn between the plots. One of the first nano-aug agents at UNATCO sets out to find the culprits behind a terrorist attack, discovers a conspiracy, and goes on the run to put an end to it. Sound familiar?
    • Although, this game is actually less of a conspiracy thriller, especially once it delves into being a war between two shadow factions, Majestic-12 and XVA, rather than being about someone trying to go up against a One World Order-type conspiracy and put an end to it, like in the original.
  • RPG Elements: It features similar mechanics to the original game, such as branching conversations, the ability to upgrade your augmentations, and Multiple Endings.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Like JC, Ingram wears sunglasses in public to hide his augmented eyes.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: There are two main Triads that run Hong Kong: The Red Arrow and the Luminous Path, from the original Deus Ex. In Kowloon, there's a direct divide between their turfs.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The story takes place in the year 2049.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: In the MJ12 ending is is implied there was some between Lana and Ingram, or at least on Ingram's end.
  • The White House: It was cut from the original game, but shows up here towards the end of the game.