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What Could Have Been / Deus Ex

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    Deus Ex 
Deus Ex was originally intended to be three-to-four times bigger in terms of content while in development. A large number of ideas were either scrapped or not fully implemented due to time constraints:

  • Warren Spector's original pitch (to Electronic Arts), "Troubleshooter", involved a security specialist who could use different solutions for hostage situations, covert missions and more. The concept was shelved for several years because the technology wasn't available to make the concept a reality, and Spector eventually moved from EA to Looking Glass Studios, where he began to experiment more with the idea (renaming it "Shooter"), resulting in moving to Ion Storm and commencing the project.
  • The "Shooter: Majestic Revelations" design document, released in 2020, had a hoard of unused ideas for gameplay mechanics, characters, situations and ideas that never came to fruition. While the general beats of the story were similar to the final product, the specifics of the plot veer away wildly:
    • The first act would have had JC working for the "Terrorist Limitation Coalition" (TLC), with additional characters who were removed in development, including Mission Control Diane Tisdale and hacker Nick Baldo (later merged as Alex Jacobsen). In the design draft, the opening mission was completely different — JC would start in UNATCO, where Gunther, Anna and Paul all had larger roles to play with descriptions about various combat functions. Manderley was much more authoritative, and would send the player off to bust local drug dealers; the first few missions would consist of JC busting JoJo Fine (who would be argued with at the end of the mission for more info), a drug lord named "Rat" (JoJo's boss) and Juan Lebedev, who is revealed to be in league with Manderley, not part of La Résistance in the final game. JC would have had to escape the TLC (like the UNATCO Escape), and is then told by Tisdale to seek Tracer Tong (whose logos the player would have found throughout the opening missions) in Hong Kong. The remainder of the act would involve JC meeting Tracer (who restores his augmentations and removes the ability for TLC to track him) and rescue Paul from a sanitarium where he has been placed by MJ12 because He Knows Too Much.
    • The second act, while still retaining elements that would appear in the final game (Versalife, the destruction of a lab with a virus), was radically different, as a large chunk of the plot would involve JC finding Stanton Dowd to help him stop an MJ12 siege on Texas, where the U.S. Secretary of State is in hiding (and MJ12 wants his command codes to kill the top levels of government holed up in "Mt. Weather," a secure facility where the President and his closest advisors are located. The following levels would see JC play a decisive role in changing the outcome of the continuing fight between U.S. and Mexican forces in order to save the Secretary. Later missions would have JC attempting to get help to infiltrate Mt. Weather through a variety of sources, including "Nigel Naismith" (the leader of the Mole People — in London, England, not New York), Gunther (who could either be killed or reasoned with during a mission to recover the body of a high-ranking Illuminati operative) and Toby Atanwe. The act would end with JC infiltrating Mt. Weather through Camp David and get the support of the President, Philip Mead, to stop MJ12, only to discover that a nigh-omnipotent AI named "Adam" has been pulling the strings all along. Adam "hacks" two augmented agents in a bid to destroy the leadership of MJ12, and Bob Page (who in this plot is more of an Anti-Villain) suffers mortal wounds, but manages to communicate to JC that Adam must be stopped by any means necessary. It would also be revealed that Tisdale had been captured and imprisoned by Adam, and the player could rescue her during the mission at Mt. Weather, where she would once again become JC's Mission Control.
    • The third act would have had JC in a Race Against Time to stop "hacked agents" (former TLC augmented agents whose identities were still unknown, but had their bodies "hijacked" by Adam) from launching in a shuttle to the "Helios Space Station", where they would upload and interlink Adam's systems in a bid to create an omnipotent AI. Based on the player's decisions (and what missions they played), they would either stow away onboard the same shuttle as the agents or miss them altogether, necessitating they commandeer a second shuttle from Cape Canaveral. Onboard the space station, it would be revealed that the hacked agents were Gunther and Alex Jacobsen — JC would try to convince Gunther to shake off Adam's programming, but the latter would kill him before Gunther was successful. The game would end with Alex pulling a Heel–Face Turn and rejecting Adam's programming, then helping JC take one of three actions — either blow up the space station (preventing Adam from getting loose), purging the program completely, or merging with Adam and escaping the station alone (at which point Adam pulls a Heel–Face Turn and admits he underestimated humanity and wants to help them).
    • One of the biggest gameplay mechanics that went unused was a system where the player could recruit various characters, who would either reside in Tong's residence (in Hong Kong) or at Vandenberg, and the list of potential recruits including Smuggler, Ford Schick, Lebedev, Chad, Joe Greene, Nicolette, Jaime, Alex, Carter, Paul, Daedalus, Jock and Tong. The player could only recruit a maximum of eight characters, and some of them would confer exclusive skill upgrades.
    • Some enemies planned but never implemented including flying robots (who would have EMP attacks), mechanically-augmented dogs (a concept that was floated again for Invisible War and cut late in development) and "virus mutants", among others.
  • There were many scrapped level concepts early in development, including missions set in Siberia, London and Los Angeles (post-earthquake). A mission set at the Texas border would have shown a war between the US and Mexico, and a Moon level would have had JC confronting a rogue AI named Ada. A handful of textures remain in the files for the Moon level.
    • Textures and various furniture models are present for a scrapped "White House" level, which supposedly involved JC going to meet the President and his wife and getting advice on what to do. It was cut due to the developers feeling that the White House was "really boring" in terms of gameplay.
    • In tandem with the White House level, there were a series of planned levels revolving around "Mt. Weather", an underground bunker in Virginia where government leaders would be placed by FEMA to ensure continuity of government.
    • A plotline (scrapped early in development, but had voiceovers done for two cutscenes) allowed the player to stay loyal to UNATCO, hinting that there could have been a separate storyline in which you continued to hunt down resistance forces. It can be seen here.
    • There was a scrapped level concept in the Hong Kong section where JC would find a slave trader in Old Canal Road. He would be able to board the slaver's boat and free the slaves (as one was mission-critical), but would be attacked by MJ12 troops while escaping.
    • The Vandenberg plotline was intended to be completely different, and involved two factions (the Raiders and the Salvagers) constantly fighting each other to gain control of the base. Gary Savage was originally intended to be betrayed by Howard Strong and killed, with the player finding his body in the radiation tunnels below the facility, and his daughter (Tiffany) agreeing to help if JC promised to get revenge on Strong. This plotline would have culminated with JC fighting one of the robotic spider-bots in an arena. There was also a scrapped subplot between Strong's son, Ned, and Tiffany.
    • The optional encounter with the Morpheus AI in Morgan Everett's home was originally intended to have a built-in text parser, which the player could use to interact with the AI in a limited fashion.
    • At one point, the developers discussed having a unique death scene if the player dies in Area 51, as well as an additional ending for players who wanted to side with Bob Page in the final mission. It was scrapped due to time constraints.
  • Ion Storm Austin tried twice to create a Deus Ex 3 after the release of Invisible War, but both attempts never got off the ground, for a variety of reasons:
    • The first attempt, Deus Ex: Insurrection, went through several different design ideas and concepts. There was one for an Interquel where the main character was a soldier who had seen the destruction of Area 51 in the original game and later became a black-ops member working for the President to stop Illuminati agents. Another idea had a foster family who worked for the CIA as the main characters, and they were all working to stop an unmentioned conspiracy. Another was set after Invisible War and would have canonized the JC Denton ending, and would have followed his brother Paul as he worked against his brother's interests. Ultimately, the team tried to develop a concept that was a Prequel to the first game (following the exploits of JC's father, Blake, who was affected by alien technology and worked to stop a Chinese invasion of the U.S.), but the project was never realized and was abandoned when Warren Spector left Ion Storm.
    • Soon after, there was another pitch brought forward for the then-untitled "Deus Ex 3", which was to be developed by a different internal team and would have been an open-world cyberpunk game. Like Insurrection, the player would assume the role of JC's father, except this time they were a failed clone who was literally thrown out in the trash and forced to become a mercenary in a futuristic New Orleans to make ends meet. It would have allowed the player to "flatline" characters (momentarily render them dead) to access their memories and learn more about the world, as well as have randomized missions. The project got as far along as design documents, but competing egos, budget cutbacks and the closure of the Austin office rendered the project dead.
  • The early character designs were slightly to drastically different. A few of them can be seen here. Notably, the player was originally supposed to be able to play JC as a woman (which eventually became the case with Alex D of Invisible War), and early Gunther looked like Roy Batty from Blade Runner.
  • Originally, the decision to save Paul would have affected the ending. However this was soon cut, since it would have required cramming three more endings onto the CD. In the finished game, Paul (if he's alive) will appear to JC and take him through his choices (with some added commentary) for which path to take, but he does not directly influence the ending in any other fashion, and his dialogue is left-open ended.

    Deus Ex: Invisible War 
  • Prerelease footage and images show that the Greasel Pit Bar was originally larger, more detailed and had a different name (possibly "The Gravel Pit"). The bar was scaled back for unknown purposes, though it was suggested by some that this was a byproduct of the decision to trim down the game to get it on consoles.
  • There was a plan to include augmented dogs, called "Sentinels", earlier in development, though they were cut for unknown reasons. However, their combat barks and dialogue about them still exist, fully finished, on-disc.

    Deus Ex: Human Revolution 
  • Eidos Montreal considered the idea of creating a Montreal hub in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, though it never made out of the concept stage. The intention was to create an unique look with housing areas built up of triplexes with wrought-iron spiral staircases. Singapore and Upper Hengsha were also considered. The latter was even partially implemented and one of the most impressive (visually and conceptually) elements of the game. Unfortunately, it had to be excised due to time and budgetary constraints, like many, many other elements.
  • The beginning level would had been Adam breaking into Sarif industries with Megan as Mission Control. The fact that you were breaking into Sarif and not into a competitor industry would not be revealed until the end of the mission. The end would also have a conversation boss fight with Megan, that would give detail about their failed relationship.

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 
  • There was originally a planned character named Hiroshi Saito, who would have acted as a supporting antagonist during the Golem City mission, though he was cut fairly early in development. His role would have been to act as a sleeper Illuminati agent (working in tandem with Viktor Marchenko) against Talos Rucker's interests.
  • There were planned to be at least five extra side missions, with all of them getting far enough long that their mission descriptions were written. Among the scrapped side missions were one where Adam would be able to give gun permits to an NPC named Renata, and one that would involve (in a Running Gag in the series) Adam's infolink getting hacked and a quest to find out who did it and why.
  • Interestingly, a cut piece of scripting in the final mission is called "didMarchenkoDieInGolem2", suggesting that Marchenko could be fought and killed earlier in the game during the first meeting with him in Golem City. That there's an entire section of the city, The Throat, that has nothing but a big open area at its base has lent credence to rumors that Marchenko could be fought (and possibly killed) there.
  • Cut script files in the final mission indicate that there were additional objectives that were never implemented. Not only was David Sarif (who confirms to Adam in the final product that he would be traveling to the summit in London) intended to be part of the delegates in the reception hall, but Delara Auzenne was intended to be fought, though whether as a sub-boss or social battle isn't clear. Interestingly, the game itself lampshades this by having several of the delegates in the convention hall express confusion as to why Sarif isn't present, lampshading the cut content.