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Video Game / Shifter

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Shifter is a Game Mod for the original Deus Ex developed by Y|yukichigai, which integrates new gameplay options and restored content into the base game for a slightly different experience.

The mod was originally intended to fix lingering bugs and issues in the game, but grew to encompass a wide assortment of material, including the restoration of several unused items, textures and conversations (like Ford Schick's intended appearances after he's rescued from the MJ12 sewer base in Hell's Kitchen), as well as new unique weapons to try out.


In addition, the mod introduces new effects and gameplay options for seasoned players. Flares will now work properly (and stay lit) underwater, firing a weapon into water produces splash effects, certain NPC's can now be "given" weapons by the player for assistance and a new "points" system is integrated which rewards players for certain feats (headshots, pacifism, stealthing through a map, etc).

Shifter can be downloaded at the ModDB. It is pre-included in Deus Ex Revision, a 2015 remastering of the game available on Steam.


As a mod for Deus Ex, many of the tropes on that page still apply. This mod also provides examples of:

  • Artificial Brilliance: Not only is the AI upgraded substantially to react more effectively to combat situations, but some friendly NPC's can be given weapons and will fight alongside the player as well.
  • Ascended Extra: In the vanilla game, Ford Schick disappears after you rescue him and never appears again. However, Shifter restores his later appearances, and he has much more dialogue reacting to events, talking about the Gray Death and giving JC an augmentation upgrade canister during his third appearance.
  • Ascended Meme: Much like Deus Ex: Invisible War and Deus Ex: The Fall, the mod treats Gunther's half-joking suggestion of getting a "Skul Gun" as a serious request and adds a new augmentation (that fires up to four balls of energy from JC's head), which can either be found in the soda machine during the escape from UNATCO, or in Gunther's remains in Paris.
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  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Jackhammer is a modified assault shotgun (found in Smuggler's hideout on the third trip to Hell's Kitchen) which can decimate enemy forces with its highly-upgraded fire rate (which is capable of burning through an entire clip in less than a second). While it's perfect for decimating large groups of enemies, it's far too easy to run out of ammo or expend the entire clip while firing a single shot, greatly reducing its status as a viable weapon.
  • Badass Bystander: A fix to the gamecode allows NPC's to pick up weapons that are lying on the ground. This can lead to situations where random citizens will pick up guns to defend themselves from enemies (or the player).
  • Bag of Holding: Unlike the vanilla game, items placed in JC's office will remain there through the first five missions (even if they have weapon mods installed). This is handwaved by the base's janitor leaving a message for the agent during the "UNATCO Escape" mission, where he tells JC that he's been watching his office and stored his items in the nearby janitor's cabinet so that they wouldn't be confiscated.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The "skull gun" augmentation canister can be found in the soda machine during the "UNATCO Escape" mission.
    • If you go out of your way to destroy the cleaning bots in the UNATCO base, you'll receive an email much later in Hong Kong (which bounced to your account after being rejected by the UNATCO server) where the janitor chews you out for costing him time and money, and mentions that he took everything you placed in the office (even if it was an upgraded and/or rare weapon) as compensation for the loss.
  • Bullet Time: Using Zyme now causes this reaction, complete with slow-motion movement (from JC and enemies). This is balanced out by a long period of "recovery" time where JC's vision is wobbly and zoomed-in.
  • Call-Forward: The Brick Joke "Skull Gun" mod (found in the soda machine while escaping UNATCO), which is a reference to a datacube found in Deus Ex: Invisible War's final level, where the maintenance man reveals that a "skull-gun" shipment was confiscated by UNATCO after it was delivered.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: After completing the Hell's Kitchen mission and returning to UNATCO, you can find an email from the base's janitor informing you that he'll watch over your items and weapons (as long as you don't put them on the floor, which will short out the cleaning bot). Much later, when you're escaping UNATCO, you can re-enter your office and discover that the janitor saved all the items you stored from being confiscated, along with an extra range mod.
  • Cherry Tapping: You can now knock out enemies/bosses by throwing items, furniture or crates at them.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Due to the randomized inventories of fallen enemies, it's possible to get items and weapons that are way better than what you'd normally find. It's possible to get a sword or sawed-off shotgun on Liberty Island, as well as random weapon mods or augmentation upgrade canisters, making things much easier over time.
    • If you do well enough during the Battery Park mission (by killing all the NSF troops), Anna leaves two boxes of the rare 10mm Explosive Ammo in JC's office as a gift. This ammo all but guarantees a One-Hit Kill on any enemy shot with it, and can make things much easier for the next mission.
  • The Dog Bites Back: If you go out of your way to destroy the cleaning robot in JC's office (and you've previously left items in there), you'll get an email in Hong Kong later from the base's janitor chewing you out and mentioning how he's pilfered all the stuff you had in the office to make up the difference.
  • Fake Balance: The unique weapons are supposed to be balanced by the fact that they can only be found in one or two places in the game, but in practice, even finding one of them is enough to trivialize most enemy encounters. The Railgun and Jackhammer in particular are easy to find (the former is located in the arms dealer's apartment in Paris, and the latter is beside the security robot when you enter Smuggler's hideout for the third time), and can break the challenge curve because they're far more powerful than anything else.
  • Flawed Prototype: The early versions of the Dragon's Tooth Sword. They are smaller and vary wildly in damage output.
  • Foreshadowing: A restored cell-phone message in Paul's apartment on the first visit to Hell's Kitchen reveals that he was going to meet an important contact at the subway station, thus hinting at his loyalty to the NSF.
  • Harder Than Hard: "Unrealistic Mode", which kicks the difficulty up to an absurd level. All NPC's (enemies or friends alike) now fire explosive rounds, animals and robots get access to better weapons (even Greasels) and the AI behavior is much smarter.
  • He Knows Too Much: A restored VOIP conversation (which can be accessed in the Airfield level) has Tracer Tong and Lebedev arguing over whether to bring JC into the conspiracy, with the former claiming that the agent has to be killed because of his allegiances and abilities.
  • Impairment Shot: Unlike the vanilla game, using Zyme is much more debilitating to the player. It gives a few seconds of Bullet Time... at the expense of a solid minute of very zoomed-in, blurry, wobbling vision.
  • Improvised Weapon: It's now possible to knock out NPC's by throwing vases, chairs or any piece of furniture/decoration at them enough times.
  • Informed Ability: Averted with Walton Simmons; Shifter implements his Agressive Defense System which is listed as one of his augmentations but which he never used in the original game.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: Played with. Ford Schick had an augmentation upgrade canister in his possession when he escaped the MJ12 sewer base, but doesn't remember to do anything with it until much later, where he gives it to JC just before the latter goes on the mission to the Shipyard.
  • More Dakka: The alt-fire functions of all weapons (both standard and unique) now allows the player to do things like spam-throw Combat Knives at enemies or fire off seven bolts of energy from the Plasma Rifle (which bounce and ricochet off walls, causing even more damage).
  • Named Weapons: There are unique variants of every standard weapon added to the game, including:
    • Blackjack (a modified baton carried by Paul)
    • Boomstick (a modified sawed-off shotgun found in Jock's apartment)
    • Doomsword/Nanosword O'Doom (an overpowered cheat weapon, using properties from all the Dragon's Tooth prototypes, summoned only via console)
    • I-LAW (a prototype assault shotgun/rocket launcher hybrid found in the ruined Hell's Kitchen MJ 12 base)
    • Jackhammer (a modified assault shotgun that can empty a full clip in under a second)
    • Lo Bruto (Jojo Fine's modified stealth pistol)
    • Toxin Blade (a knife that can cause paralysis and/or death, owned by Smuggler)
  • Secondary Fire: All weapons now gain this functionality.
  • Sequence Breaking: Using the Railgun, it's possible to kill Howard Strong right from the starting point of the Missile Silo level, via using the thermal scope to find him in his perch by the missile and sniping him. Doing so ends the mission, less than a minute in.
  • Shout-Out: The new unique variant of the Sawed-Off Shotgun is called the Boomstick.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • There are several new types of ammo that utterly decimate enemies, including 10mm Explosive Ammo (which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin) and "Dragon's Breath" shotgun rounds, which light targets on fire in addition to shredding combatants.
    • The Jackhammer is capable of emptying out 12 shotgun rounds in under a second, and can utterly decimate large groups of enemies.
    • The Railgun is an upgraded Plasma Rifle - this time, it shoots out a concentrated blast of energy and can shoot through walls.