Deus Ex Human Revolution EP13:Shoots & Ladders

By Shamus Posted Thursday Feb 2, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 168 comments

Link (YouTube)

A side note: I’ve updated the Spoiler Warning page. Hopefully this will make it easier to surf the archives. I know I get lost looking for particular episodes, and I’m thinking maybe being able to see the titles will help.

As I mentioned in the episode, the “vast underground complex filled with guards and control rooms” is pretty much a required component of the Deus Ex conspiracy-driven story, but it flies apart if you do something foolish like think about it. Having fifty or a hundred people all pile into an abandoned building every morning would be a pretty big giveaway. At lunchtime a half dozen people would file out, grab huge piles of Starbucks and take-out food, and disappear into the building again.

You could fix this by saying the people live in the base, but then you have the problem of needing to bring in truck loads of food every couple of weeks. You’d need laundry infrastructure, dorms, and a plan for getting rid of all the trash. There would be little bits of traffic every couple of weeks as personnel rotated in and out of their six-month shifts. Again, people would notice.

Which brings up the question of why this base needs to be in a city at all. What is this place for? I understand they were spying on Sarif from here, but certainly they didn’t need ALL of these people for a job like that. And those people could have worked out of an office tower downtown without really raising any eyebrows. What is it that the bad guys want to accomplish that requires a sprawling, Dwarf-like warren under the earth?

EDIT: For the record, I’m not saying these are plot holes or anything. I’m just musing.


From The Archives:

168 thoughts on “Deus Ex Human Revolution EP13:Shoots & Ladders

  1. guy says:

    It’s part of a long-term conspiracy to have FEMA force large chunks of the american population into hidden concentration camps.

    This is a conspiracy theory that actually exists.

    1. Jason says:

      Of course, in Deus Ex FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Mobilization Administration, which makes all this a little less ridiculous.

  2. rrgg says:

    When you guys say that this secret underground base is owned by FEMA, do you literally mean the Federal Emergency Management Agency?

      1. rrgg says:

        Oh good, I thought I’d just misheard them.

        Wait no, that’s not good, what. . . why. . . how. . .


    1. Shamus says:

      To elaborate:

      There are supposedly real provisions for FEMA being able to come in and lock a neighborhood down with little or no oversight. No due process, no review, no accountability, and no restrictions on what they can do. All it needs is a presidential order in response to some vaguely-defined “threat”. (Like a dirty bomb or something.) It’s probably a twisted version of an exaggeration of the truth.

      In the 90’s there was a conspiracy theory that the president would use this FEMA power to declare martial law, and the idea is that he would use that power on the whole country at once. The original Deus Ex incorporated this idea into its conspiracy theory stew.

      1. rrgg says:

        Yes, but wouldn’t they need to move the weather machine so they could create another fake hurricane first?

        1. SolkaTruesilver says:

          The idea of FEMA having theorical unlimited executive power in a time of crisis isn’t that bad of an idea, but they ARE accountable. I believe if they do ask to get that sort of power in order to use it, they’d have to answer for it later once the crisis has been passed, in front a Congress public hearing.

          Again, FEMA is meant as an emergency administrative structure that should take over in case the regular structure has collapsed or proved innapropriate. Kinda like the Commissars in the Imperium Guard. There is no single case scenario where they would be given permanent administration of anything, since the “state of emergency” wouldn’t be an “emergency” anymore, it would be a day-to-day problem, and a proper government structure would be fit to deal with it.

          What really makes me afraid is the case FEMA intervened and proved to be utterly clueless in their administration. Incompetence is scarier than Malevonence.

          1. FatPope says:

            The U.S. declared a state of emergency for the Korean War in 1950. This lasted until 1978. Various other democratic countries have similar records. Also, at the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, the German state of emergency after the Reichstag fire allowed Hitler to effectively turn a democracy into a dictatorship.

            States of emergency can be very scary and very much not temporary

            1. SolkaTruesilver says:

              It was more of a fluke than anything else. Congress belately realised the state of emergency declared in 1950 had never been receeded, and as of 1976, it was decided that no state of emergency can last more than 2 years except if the president intentionally extend them, and then only if he declares the legal provisions he intend to use. (Thank you wikipedia!)

              As you can see, again, it was more the product of incompetence than malevonence.

        2. 4th Dimension says:

          Create a 9/11 event, use furor of the people over terrorist act as cover up for declaring it national threat, bam, institute martial law and FEMA. win!

      2. guy says:

        Yeah, FEMA has no such authority. The capacity to imprison vast numbers of people for nebulous public safety reasons is actually only possessed by the CDC, and they don’t use it that often.

      3. Marlowe says:

        It all goes back to the Gipper, his old pal USMC Lt. Colonel Oliver North and the notorious REX84. Walton Simons is a fictional version of North.

  3. Vextra says:

    There are actual in-game emails you can read which confirm that this is true, and that the bases are being used to test out the Grey Death plague which we learn more about in DE1.

  4. Jeff R. says:

    Deeply disappointed that you didn’t immediately pick up and start carrying around the Rocket Launcher for the rest of the game, discarding who knows how much actually useful stuff to get it to fit. (And proceed to only hit scenery with the rockets when you actually use it in fights, of course.)

    I mean, this is still Spoiler Warning, isn’t it?

    1. SougoXIII says:

      Yeah I know. It’s like Josh is trying to play the game probably now. I’m extremely scared and confuse…

      Is this a new level of meta-trolling?

      1. Sumanai says:

        Surely that depends on whether or not you winced when Josh found it. I mean, why make your play harder when others are suffering anyway?

      2. Jeff R. says:

        At least he’s still spending time hacking terminals he already has the password to…

        1. anaphysik says:

          Hacking gives experience.
          Passcodes ridiculously do not.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            Hear hear, I’d give experience for completed quests, period. The system as it was made me carefully sneak up to and take down all of these guards here, then go around hacking the stupid alarm buttons cause hey, experience! I actually still have this “this needs to be hacked” urge whenever I see one of those on the wall in this playthrough.

      3. It’s really weird, this entire episode was a near-flawless stealth run, with appropriate comedy and the right amount of humour to keep it from getting too dull. It’s like this is an entirely different show now, and I’m not saying Campster has initiated some sort of bloodless coup and is forcing them to be professional against their will.

        I’m saying he probably killed them and is using their dessicated corpses as marionettes, while imitating their voices as part of a twisted ventriloquist act.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Oh my god,it finally makes sense!Chris is anti-Randy.Randy turned Josh into the murderous lunatic we all loved,and Chris has turned him back to a competent player.I didnt ask for this!

          1. Jokerman says:

            Did you miss that grenade he randomly launched into an area he has previously stealth through? By the heli pad during the last episode?

            Pretty Cuftbertian move there :D

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Its just an echo from the past.

            2. Peter H. Coffin says:

              Not random. Maybe not necessary in the game world, but if you’re waiting for helicopter extraction and you spot a couple of guys down there hustling up, dropping a grenade or two in case they might be wanting to set up an RPG to ruin your pilot’s day is only a prudent reaction.

        2. KremlinLaptop says:

          I’m just glad he turned them into marionettes and not hand-puppets…

  5. StranaMente says:

    For Josh, I discovered that when you hack, you can capture the main enemy node (the red AI) and when you do, you automatically unlock all the bonuses, without having to capture every node.
    Saves time and it’s way easier.

    1. StranaMente says:

      Some terminals, though, have one way hacking nodes (including the main one) that make this tactic impossible.

    2. Aanok says:

      You can also click on codes and passwords instead of manually typing them into the terminal. Feels less hacky, though.

  6. Thomas says:

    A stealth game full of NPCs doing silly little things? You mean Metal Gear Solid then :D

    Also it’s only watching this that I’ve learnt disabling cameras means they won’t detect you. I always thought you just froze their path and I was afraid of doing it ahead of time in case I freeze them in a way that meant I couldn’t get past. That armoury Josh went into I had to crawl into a hug the wall, just about able to reach up and grab the loot.

    Finally First-Person methods of going up ladders annoy me about as much as possible, not only does it not feel like going up a ladder I normally end up falling off or going down again when I wanted to go up. But I agree you should have been able to do more on a ladder, or it should have been faster

    1. Michael says:

      MGS. Exactly.

      Hitting an enemy with a tranq. round in the legs elicits the response of “Huh!? Who’s there?” Followed shortly thereafter by “Must’ve been the wind… ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.”

      I understand it’s occasionally windy in the jungle/on a boat/in the arctic/what-have-you, but there’s a hypo sticking out of your leg, guy. That probably wasn’t the wind.

      Additionally, the dirty magazine item is hilarious.

      Related: my gravatar.

    2. Simon says:

      Some gang members and police (like this guy next to the Restricted Area sign that Josh rushes past) in DXHR play games on their smartphones, I guess the Spoilerwarning crew must have missed them.

    3. Sumanai says:

      In Starfox Adventures, assuming I remember correctly, you moved pretty swiftly up a ladder. Down was rather fast, as you slid down if you held the stick close to the limit.

      Also it felt like a decent speed in Psychonauts, both ways.

      I don’t know about Starfox, but Psychonauts is animated, not motion capped, which I’d say is the reason for this. Because in animation you’re doing the whole movement, you might as well make it so it is expedient and not look like the frame rate has shot up.

    4. j0rdm31s73r says:

      MW has pushed the boundaries of annoying First-person ladders, if you approach them at an angle the character wil continue up the ladder diagonally, eventualy jumping off.

  7. Airsoft says:

    Is discussion of FEMA Straying into politics discussion?

    1. Shamus says:

      FEMA itself? I don’t think so. At least, I’m not aware of FEMA being a hot-button department.

      1. KremlinLaptop says:

        It definitely can be. Get enough members of blue team and red team in the same space and make the conversation topic FEMA and there will be arguments. Heated arguments.

        Though, to be fair, it’s usually a few red and blue team representatives passing around the tinfoil hat convinced FEMA is going to put the whole of the United States in lockdown, re-education camps, etc, etc. Team members will accuse the other team of orchestrating it all too.

        So it can be in the right crowd. (Dear me, I’m Scandinavian, why am I even aware of this being a thing?)

        1. Sekundaari says:

          And here I thought you were a Finn.

          1. KremlinLaptop says:

            “Oh! You’re from Finland.”

            “Why yes, I am.”

            “How exciting. I’ve never met a Scandinavian before!”

            “Well, I’m not Scandinavian.”

            “But you’re from Finland…?”

            “Oh yes, but you see Scandinavia refers to Sweden, Norway and Denmark due to their shared heritage and…”

            I talked for a whole ten minutes about the history of the north and thus became that boring pedantic man at the party who just wouldn’t shut up. Though I could have just called myself Nordic in the post instead of Scandinavian, but then again no one would have ever known of me using the term Scandinavian wrongly were it not for you Sekundaari!

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Well, I didn’t know Scandinavia didn’t include Finland, but even I, dirty Balkaner know Fins and Swedes-Norwegians-Danes are different. I mean as far as know Finish language is even in a completely separate language group, Fino-Ugric or something.

              1. Sumanai says:

                It’s part of the Finno-Ugric language family, yes. The rest of the Nordic countries use languages that are part of the North Germanic language family. Note that despite apparent similarities, they’re still different languages. If you know Swedish, you might still want to try English first in Denmark.

                1. KremlinLaptop says:

                  In fairness no one can make very much sense of the Danish. First time I went to Denmark I thought knowing Swedish would get me by just fine, not quite…

            2. CTrees says:

              This is interesting, considering that in the US, I’ve most commonly seen Scandinavia used interchangeably with ” Nordic states”

              1. Eärlindor says:

                Same here. Thanks for the mini-lesson, Kremlin. :)

              2. Sumanai says:

                Well, Nordic countries. I only state this in order to keep up the pedantic tradition.

            3. krellen says:

              I learned this lesson only because of all the Finns that yelled at me about it way back when (almost 20 years now.)

              Now I call Finns Scandinavians specifically to mess with them, so stop taking all my fun away.

            4. Sumanai says:

              I’ve heard that “that annoying and boring pedant” that tells you, at length, that Finland is not in fact part of Scandinavia and why, is a common occurrence. Someone mentioned before that they frequented a chat room (IRC?) where you’d get a lesson from one of the several Finns the second there’s a chance to correct someone.

              I try not correct on this particular topic, for this very reason. But I can’t really halt my pedantic tendencies, although I’m doing better nowadays than in the past.

              1. krellen says:

                I’m probably that someone, and it was a MUD.

                1. Sumanai says:

                  The second I posted that and saw your comment above I thought “must’ve been krellen”.

                  MUD, IRC, VIM, same difference.

            5. Daemian Lucifer says:

              So,you arent related to hagar the horrible then?

            6. albval says:

              The right term would of course be Fennoscandian.

              < /pedanticfinnishgeographyteacher >

              What, that’s not a recognized tag? What is wrong with this blog?

        2. ClearWater says:

          When you say blue team and read team you’re talking about Halo, right?

          1. Adeon says:

            No, he clearly means Team Fortress 2. I’ve heard that the Heavy has very strong views on FEMA.

    2. This is magic conspiracy FEMA from Deus Ex, which I’m lead to understand is very different from the regular variety. I wouldn’t worry about it.

      1. Klay F. says:

        I was only vaguely aware of the whole FEMA conspiracy thing back in 2004, so when Katrina hit, and FEMA showed just how catastrophically incompetent it was (like pretty much all government organizations), all possibility of that conspiracy being true just flew out the window.

        1. That’s the funny part of conspiracy theories – they require generally incompetent groups of people to suddenly be ludicrously competent for the sake of evil Bond villain level schemes.

          1. gyfrmabrd says:

            But you see, that’s all part of the masquerade!
            “Oh, don’t worry, they are a typical bumbling government agency, they could never pull off this sort of machiavellian super-scheme…”
            And then, BAM, instant fascist Orwellian police-state takes away your kittens and locks down your Steam account.

  8. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

    I was under the impression that the building was being used for something else and FEMA came in and set up shop. At least, from what I remember from the e-mails I skimmed through.

    1. MrPyro says:

      I thought it was the other way round; it was an existing FEMA base and the Tyrants came in and commandeered it. I wasn’t hacking every computer in sight at this point though, so I may have missed some emails.

      1. Infinitron says:

        You’re correct.

  9. Gamer says:

    I noticed that you activated the cloak when you began one of your hacking attempts and that reminded me of one small complaint that I had. When you start a hack, Jensen always decided to stand up tall and proud while hacking instead of staying in crouched (and hidden) position. Screwed me up a few times.

    Like I said, that was a minor complaint.

    1. MrPyro says:

      I found this really annoying, especially during the Huron fight, where I was trying to hack a terminal while hiding from turret fire.

      1. 4th Dimension says:

        Auto hackers

  10. Nerm says:

    I thought the stun gun was really useful during the boss fights since i could just use my silenced pistol when they were stunned, often doing repeated headshots. They all went down really fast.

    1. SougoXIII says:

      Yep, that’s pretty much what the stun gun is for: Stun them, switch to any other weapon, empty the clip, run screaming like a girl when the stun wear off. Reload and repeat.

      1. Destrustor says:

        From the way he spoke about it, I got the impression that Shamus tried to use the stun gun alone to kill the bosses.
        I don’t know how to say this in a non-douche way but I assumed it was obviously not going to work, ever. A non-lethal weapon against dudes that can ONLY be killed and are basically immune to take-downs? Of course it got him nowhere.

        And yes I know I sound like a jerk and I’m sorry. I just had to get this off my chest.

        1. Shamus says:

          The stun lasts as long as the reload cycle of the weapon. By the time you reload and weapon-switch they’re moving again, which means stunning them doesn’t get you anywhere.

          Either way, you can only waste their time as far as I can tell.

          1. Destrustor says:

            On the second boss, she usually wobbled her head in a daze long enough to whip out my pistol and shoot her at least once before she’d cloak again and run. She seemed to be dazed some two or three seconds after the sparks themselves stopped, about five seconds total stun time.
            I thought the in-universe explanation was along the lines of “she did get knocked unconscious and her augs are rebooting her”

            So I did manage some streaks of three or four headshots after stunning her. I don’t know what voodoo luck made her get stunned so much longer with me. It may be a platform difference (PS3).

            1. j0rdm31s73r says:

              I found the PEPS much more effective, especially when the game bugged after i hit her and she just stood there, staring down at my revolver…

        2. Peter H. Coffin says:

          weirder crap than that works in video games…. And I don’t think anyone would expect that getting Tasered would be completely non-damaging.

        3. Thomas says:

          Non-lethal weapons work fine against the bosses. I tranqued all but the guy I took down. I’m almost 80% certain that you can take them out with pure stuns too, it just takes some time and ammo

    2. Aanok says:

      All my bosses eventually bugged out and decided it was funnier to stare into the void, taking bullets, than killing me.

      I was too annoyed to reload and do it the honest way.

    3. Ateius says:

      I’ve gotten most of the way through the game and I’ve yet to meet a boss fight that cannot be expediently resolved through liberal application of frag mines.

  11. Marlowe says:

    FEMA simply employs persons who dress like street prostitutes and drug dealers so no suspicions are aroused at ground level.

    1. Shamus says:

      That would be awesome. I can see having to get a fur coat and a wide-brimmed pimp hat for my desk job.

      1. Marlowe says:

        And what do they do on casual Fridays?

        1. Adam says:

          Same, minus pants.

          1. Sumanai says:

            Man, sign me up. Chance of getting shot? Fine by me.

    2. ClearWater says:

      That’s why there’s so many prostitutes standing around. They’re just on a cigarette break.

  12. TJ GoofyFoot says:

    On stun guns in Boss fights, they actually work really well if you use them in conjunction with either frag grenades, or better yet, the fully upgraded Typhoon. Stun them, then rush them while they’re dancing the Electric Boogaloo and hit the Typhoon. Boss fight over! :D

    1. Nick says:

      This. I stumbled across this tactic in the second boss battle accidentally, when she rushed me and I panicked, pulled the trigger on my default weapon… which was the stun gun. Blew typhoon twice, job done.

      I swear the boss fights get easier as the game goes on, at least if you know the exploits. For Namir I didn’t even need any, I just emptied my combat rifle into his head while moving forward and then typhooned.

      And the very last fight? Laser rifle + cloak. Done in twenty seconds

      1. 4th Dimension says:

        Namir can be even easier. You can execute a takedown when he tries climbing those walls. Simply camp on other side of the wall. Wait till he starts climbing and start holding takedown button. Might not get it on first try tough. So it’s:

        Barret: EMP Grenade/couple of clips to the head
        Yelena: Wait till she rushes you and Thyphoon her (note she is stunned by thyphoon)
        Namir: lethal takedown while climbing
        Last boss: Laser rifle to the head trough the shield.

  13. littlefinger says:

    I never bothered thinking about how the people entered the building.

    What stupifies me is: how the hell did they construct this underground complex without people noticing?! There must be metric tons of dirt, sand, mud and stone they had to transport from here to somewhere else without notice. Did they do it one sandbag at a time? And how did they supply the construction materials, the digging machines and still managed not to get word out? Enquiring minds wish to know.

    1. Sydney says:

      The facility was part of the slum all along. FEMA was about to construct a more modest underground lair, but some middle manager opened a basement door, stared open-mouthed for a minute, and said “Let’s just use this”.

      1. littlefinger says:

        What drug gang built this then, and how do I get in?

        1. Sydney says:

          It was built by the information lady who digs in the trash can.

        2. 4th Dimension says:

          The Wizzard did it?

          1. littlefinger says:

            What’s Rincewind got to do with this? I thought he was busy eating ‘taters?

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              He just ordered his army of 2300009 invisible vampire ghosts to do it.

    2. Shamus says:

      Yeah. The mess, noise, and heavy equipment required for even a medium-sized road project can be pretty incredible. Hollowing out several gymnasium-sized rooms (stacked vertically, no less!) would create a mountain of debris.

      1. ehlijen says:

        Easy: You just dig another room underneath all the others to dump the dirt in :D …right?

        1. Sydney says:

          That nearly made my brain fall out. Congratulations.

      2. Ateius says:

        And that’s not even getting into the issues of budget (how are they paying for this? What are the people in the Treasury Department going to think when they see the budget requisition for “Secret Underground Deathlab #6”?) and construction personnel (who’s building all of this? What happens to them when they’re done? Do you let a few hundred witnesses go free, or create a sudden and very localized outbreak of missing persons cases?).

        It was one of the few plot elements that had me jerked out of immersion and shaking my head, because it relied on me accepting that the government could undertake a massive project and do it perfectly.

      3. It’s not really gymnasium sized, the basement’s just bigger on the inside.

    3. guy says:

      It’s entirely possible they just built the complex when they built the building. I mean, how much attention do you pay to exactly how much dirt a construction company is moving?

      Granted, it wouldn’t hide it from an actual intelligence agency, but I could buy random people on the street simply not noticing that they’re removing about twice as much dirt as a five-story underground parking garage would require.

      1. CTrees says:

        I would go for construction while some large building on top of the underground lair was being constructed.

        On the specific subject of “massive underground lairs in a city,” I used to be bothered by the same things which annoyed Shamus. However, the Whedon show, Dollhouse, actually addresses this problem! They brought in environmental engineers to help make the dollhouse completely self sufficient, including in terms of food and water (forget the hack used for power, but heck, just go for a nuclear reactor). In the Deus Ex future, one could assume such technology, and actually make it reasonable for everyone to live in the base, without any giveaways for food trucks, etc.

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          Morale problems.

          1. Kyte says:

            Staggered holidays. 30 people per week, let out every 6+-0.5 hours.

          2. Nick says:

            In the case of Dollhouse, this is solved through brainwashing.

  14. littlefinger says:

    Concerning Ladders:

    one reason I was less than thrilled about the Icarus upgrade is that, when descending, I quickly adopted the technique where you jump down a ladder shaft, and just before impact press ‘use’ on the ladder, instantly teleporting Jensen to hold the ladder, negating all vertical velocity.
    Then, Jensen quickly goes down the last 3 steps and continues on.

    With the Icarus aug, you replace this method with a comparatively longer (and unskippable!) animation. Which happens automatically, even when it is undesired.

    1. McNutcase says:

      To be fair, the “jump down and grab the ladder at the last second” technique is at least a little more believable with Adam Jensen than it was with Gordon Freeman. At least Jensen no longer has shoulder ligaments to tear like soggy noodles under this abuse…

      1. MikhailBorg says:

        Forget that, how does Gordon Freeman still have a head, given that he refuses at every opportunity to put his helmet on? Throughout the Half-Lives, I would get hit by something and think “Well, that should have caved in my skull…”

        It reminds me of playing Marathon II, when your power-armored security dude would swim in MOLTEN ROCK and survive, then you’d discover in the chapter title screens that he wears an open-faced helmet!

        1. Pete says:

          a) Gordon Freeman is REALLY lucky.
          b) The combine are good sports about not going for headshots.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Which happens automatically, even when it is undesired.”

      But its never undesired.

      1. Sydney says:

        He had just finished giving a case in which it’s undesired.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I really should put smilies at the end of my jokes.

          1. Thomas says:

            Yes, you should :D

    3. Adeon says:

      But you’re missing the most important part of the Icarus upgrade. It’s very, very shiny. I would frequently jump down randomly just to see the animation.

  15. Peter H. Coffin says:

    OBVIOUSLY it’s a matter of mechanics. You couldn’t put a evil organization in an office block disguised as an accounting firm. First off, nobody EVER associates accountants with evil-doing, so it would be unreasonable to expect decisions to be made anyplace near the mooks that actually plan the day-by-day logistics. Secondly, for cover-based games, stealth or shooter, how could you possibly find adventure in vast rooms full of cubical walls and desks, entire floors full of racks of paper records and research stacks, break rooms with vending machines with candy bars, and multi-level underground parking? Why, someone would have to expect to carry all the ammunition needed for a raid in with them and have to manage ammo levels and count shots and things.

    1. And further more, there’s already a shootout taking place in an office building, two if you count the police station.

  16. Rax says:

    Half-Life ladders are strange? In Halo you can do all those things, even reloading two weapons at once (Halo 2 and onward, at least) WHILE FLIPPING OVER A TANK!

    1. Destrustor says:

      While also standing on said tank

      1. Rax says:

        Then you wouldn’t be on the ladder anymore, would you?

        1. Destrustor says:

          Oh that’s what they want you to think.

  17. Hal says:

    These are all Belltower guys, yeah? In retrospect, I’m having a hard time understanding how they fit into the grand schemes here. It seems like they already had a pretty significant “evil scheme” going, considering they were the “real power” in most of the corporations, cities, and countries around the world.

    1. Infinitron says:

      They’re Belltower Spec Ops guys, with a different chain of command than the regular Belltower goons you meet in Hengsha.
      The Missing Link DLC touches a bit on the tensions between the two groups.

      1. guy says:

        Huh. I could have sworn the black-and-red was some sort of classified US special ops group. Admittedly, that was mostly because all their appearances were in North America or on the conspiracy bases

        1. Gamer says:

          In Human Revolution, there aren’t national armies anymore. All the manpower in the world is under the control of private corporations.

          1. Infinitron says:

            Nah, I don’t think so. Even DX1 has regular army soldiers (in the naval base). You just don’t meet any in DX:HR.

          2. guy says:

            Most of Sarif’s contracts are with the US Department Of Defense. So they’re definitely still around in some capacity.

  18. Paul Spooner says:

    It was always rather annoying how quickly the guards snapped into hostile mode. You’d think that after a few hours of shuffling along their patrol routes, they would at least need a double-take before hauling off and screaming. Then again, when the excitement started I suspect they wouldn’t calm down for hours, if not days. I realize it would make the game unplayable, but it would be fun to have a “realistic” mode where the inertia of attentiveness was about a hundred times higher.

  19. noahpocalypse says:

    Concerning awkward ladder animations:

    Have any of you seen the Gears of War animations for ladders? You just press a button, and your character holds onto his/her weapon the whole time, pulling him/herself and your refrigerator armor up with one hand and both feet. They just pull themselves up a bit with their hand, move up the rungs with their feet, then let go and catch on the next rung. It’s amazing how much pressure can be put open a rod of steel one inch in diameter. A hollow rod. It’s ridiculous.

    1. Adam P says:

      And then going down, they just grab onto the sides and freefall until the bottom, where they then jump off.

    2. Gabriel Mobius says:

      What’s obviously happening is that the sheer testosterone that a single Gear exudes has the property of strengthening any ladders they come into contact with, allowing them that method of climbing ladders.

      That or the dev team went ‘what is the single most absurdly manly way we can make an enormous human being climb a ladder?’ and came up with that.

  20. Zaxares says:

    Secret Underground Base: The problems you (rightly) pointed out are actually addressed in the game, Shamus! Firstly, all of the surrounding land for blocks around have been bought up by the government. (They used to be textile factories, apparently.) Thus, there isn’t anybody around to actually notice the large number of people coming and going, presumably even during construction.

    This changes when the DRB and MCB gangs start encroaching on the area, which is actually linked to the side-quest involving O’Malley (the crooked cop). Now, there’s potential witnesses here to see the truckloads of supplies, food and personnel coming and going, and questions will eventually get asked. He’s been told by his superiors to get rid of the gangs in a way that won’t arouse suspicion, and his method for doing so was by starting a gang war.

    Note that the facility wasn’t originally meant for the sole use of the ‘bad guys’. It was designed to be a secret internment camp located in the middle of Detroit that FEMA could use to detain suspected terrorists and political agitators (particularly separatist supporters. It’s hinted strongly through in-game e-mails, newspapers and radio broadcasts that the biggest danger to the US in the game is secessionist movements threatening to break up the United States). I won’t go into the conspiracy theories surrounding FEMA, but it all made sense to me when I was playing through the game.

    4:45: There ARE instances of guards who are texting on their phone found in the game. They’re rare, but you’ll see them sometimes. (However, that’s only if you haven’t alerted the guards and they’re in a relaxed state.)

  21. Dev Null says:

    There’s a Spoiler Warning page? Wow! That totally makes it easier to find back episodes…

    1. I’m really surprised it’s not linked off the main page yet. How are people supposed to find it?

      1. Thomas says: :D

        That page always amused me, it conflicts with the hub image that we have of most sites nowadays and this blog

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          *sigh*that just makes me miss the evil theme.

        2. And that’s the first time I’ve ever been to that page in my life. I always just assumed it would redirect here if I tried.

          1. Thomas says:

            Oh wow, I’ve been on the page before and I always I assumed I came to it from there. Maybe I just followed it when he linked to there a long time ago sometime?

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Before Youtube it did link to but after youtube he switched the link to point to theri account there.

  22. rabbitambulance says:

    Huh? Of course they’re plot holes, they’re just covered by WSoDb (Willing suspension of disbelief, shut up, it’ll catch on) if the story is well told.

    1. Shamus says:

      Well then, they’re not nagging plot holes, which are the things you really have to worry about.

  23. Eärlindor says:

    You know how long it took me before I figured out the stun gun actually had range? >.<

    1. Jason says:

      It doesn’t, really. More than a couple feet away, and you’ll be lucky if it hits.

      1. Eärlindor says:

        Yeah, which is why I’m not entirely sure I agree with Josh when he says you don’t have to worry about aiming.

        1. Gamer says:

          If the enemy is close to you, you don’t really need to aim all that well. you can blind-fire it from behind cover. I’ve taken down rooms full of people by having them come up to my cover and stunning them.

          1. Eärlindor says:

            Yes. If they are close enough. Key word there. ;)

          2. 4th Dimension says:

            But you can easily hit your cover by firing like that, and give up your position with that. Happened to me qiute a lot.

  24. Sean Hagen says:

    Just a question: would it be possible to organize all the Spoiler Warning videos on YouTube into playlists? Someone already did on the Spoiler Warning channel for Mass Effect 2 ( the other playlist is a reverse order of all uploaded videos — not exactly conductive to watching all the episodes in order ).

    It’d just be nice if I could load up a playlist and hit ‘go!’ while I’m working or sitting around doing nothing ( which both seem to happen at the same time, oddly enough ).

    Keep up the awesome work though! I just finished the ME2 season yesterday, and I’m looking forward to more of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. You guys have inspired me to think about doing my own Let’s Play, although I still have some stuff to figure out ( by myself? with others? what game? what style? ….basically, I still need to figure out everything ).

    1. Sean Hagen says:

      Okay, I just found out some of the videos ( ie, the Fallout 3 stuff ) is on Viddler, not YouTube. I can see how making YouTube playlists for stuff not on YouTube could be problematic.

    2. NotACat says:

      This seems to be the most relevant place (if not, where?) to suggest that the Playlist links on both Spoiler Warning pages (why and are subtly different is no doubt known only to Shamus himself) be edited to point to the actual Playlist rather than the first video on each list.

      You can now “like” a Playlist on YouTube, and it will also keep track of which videos you have watched, so it’s a useful way to track progress through a long series like we have here.

  25. Amazon_warrior says:

    PRO-TIP: The computers with greenish screens do security. The computers with orange screens do emails that bend over backwards to reference DX1. :p

    (I’m looking at *you*, Montreal! Was that one person even *born* when DX:HR was set, never mind in Canada writing emails?)

    Anyway. The thing with the bots and turrets being controllable only with the right augments confused me. Especially when Jensen is in his office, checking out a screen full of security devices he can’t do anything with… Dunno how I would have preferred it, though, but perhaps use the mini-game to capture nodes as per standard, but instead of chuka-chuka-chuka-XP! it’d give you control over any bots and/or turrets connected to the system depending on what you managed to capture. And honestly, if you have the damn password you should be able to control ALL of it. Silly game. >_>

    1. Infinitron says:

      She either wasn’t born yet or was just a baby. It was an oversight by the developers.

      1. This is a conspiriacy game so obviously Nicolette DuClaire and Beth DuClaire are codenames for high ranking members of the French Illuminati, and between games the ones we see here lost their standing and were replaced by the ones we know.

        Or Beth had another daughter called Nicolette who was killed and then out of grief, she cloned the Deus Ex era one and gave her the same name.

        Or maybe nanobots!

        I could do this all day – Conspiriacy theories are made on outlandish explanations for perfectly simple things.

        1. Amazon_warrior says:


          I like the nanobots one.

    2. Gamer says:

      I think they say that the hacking tree isn’t augments, but rather software upgrades for the already functioning hacking augment.

      Doesn’t explain why they though his brain couldn’t handle software and limited it or why passwords don’t help you “Assume Direct Control”, but it explains why the hacking upgrades make more sense.

  26. Sumanai says:

    Fun hobby I’ve gotten myself into: watch how long it takes before Josh remembers to use the “loot all” -button which was mentioned a few weeks back. And reminded last week. Maybe I should watch these through from the beginning and count how many times, if any, he has used it.

  27. That reminds me, I started drawing a title image for this season a while back, I should finish that.

  28. Tse says:

    I’m sorry that I’m kinda hijacking this topic, but I had a heated argument with a taxi driver and I’m as drunk as I’ve ever been. This guy questions my resolve to move to Canada, he thinks that since he is getting 1000 levs (1$=1,5levs) a month, everybody else is getting the same. He accused me of thinking that I would be held high in people’s minds and that I would get to build a skyscraper just because I studied in the best engineering and architecture university in my country. I know it’s a shithole by world standards, but I also know that I can live a normal life as a janitor in Canada, while I will be comming short on food bills every month for my whole life in Bulgaria as an architect. Again, sorry for the topic hijack, but I needed to say this to someone.

    1. Tse says:

      Sorry guys, I was really drunk last night and I needed to vent.

      1. Shamus says:

        Not to worry, THE INTERNET is here for you.

        1. KremlinLaptop says:

          THE INTERNET can be surprisingly understanding at times, but then at other times it’s… well the internet.

          Also doing “menial” jobs can be very rewarding, I’ve worked in construction, as deck crew on a few cargo ships, cattle farming, truck driving and so forth and so on. It hasn’t gotten me rich like a few degrees and an office job might have, but it has given me the opportunity to do and experience some wild things.

          There some folks (bitter folks) who take far too much glee in machine-gunning the life plans of other people.

    2. SolkaTruesilver says:

      Yhea.. I think you are right there. Sadly, Canadian professional associations are extremely protectionists. I have had ex-doctors and nuclear engineers as my taxi drivers and convenience store owner.

      Which is only maddening when you realise my home nation of Quebec is in huge shortage of medical professionals.

  29. guy says:

    My reading of the situation was completely different from yours on my playthrough of this section. I figured the red-and-black armored guys were FEMA, or at least US, special forces goons, and they were in the process of pulling out because Sarif was on to them.

    I guess my thought process went something like this: “Okay, Malik says these guys were special forces good, and they’re definitely military-grade in terms of gear. The DoD is trying to suppress information about the Sarif attack, so presumably elements of the military are in on it. Thus, they’re probably US special forces. Huh, the political situation is bad enough FEMA has internment camps?(At this point I had yet to learn it was a real-world conspiracy theory) I guess they might also have special forces.”

    And then I only encountered them in places where a globe-spanning conspiracy might reasonably employ US special forces, namely places near the US or sufficiently under their control that they could simply deploy the best soldiers available.

  30. Hal says:

    For what it’s worth, my understanding:

    The facility was built for FEMA, but was being shared by the (Belltower?) mercs since they’re both working for the same folks. The mercs are pulling out, though, leaving the facility to FEMA alone. I don’t remember why they’re leaving, though.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      They’re leaving because they’ve been spooked by the fact that someone was able to get ahold of their dead hacker’s neural hub, and they want to clean house before that someone uses the hub to discover their operation. At least, that’s how I understood it.

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      You can actually meet some FEMA people that are there to oversee mercs pulling out.

  31. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Just thought I could mention another good thing about the game,before it hits the fan:
    This facility is huge,and there are numerous alternate paths through it.One of them leads you to a couple of guys(in the cafeteria I think)who are working here,and are waiting for the fema guys to clear out.If you have found a password earlier,you can bluff them into thinking you are fema as well.After which you can,of course,knock them both out.

    1. MrPyro says:

      I think the guys you meet are FEMA guys, waiting for Belltower/Tyrants to clear out.

  32. Eric says:

    The target leading system is kinda broken unless you’re firing from a great distance away and if the target is moving. Otherwise it’s basically useless and will often give you completely ass-backwards advice. It also seems to not take certain animations into account, like the rail-leaning the sniper was doing.

    Regarding hacking (again) it’s worth pointing out that “hacker” was a viable build in the first two Deus Ex games. Hacking security systems often allowed you to bypass entire levels full of enemies, and combined with stealth it was extremely effective. Human Revolution, though, turns hacking into kind of a separate gameplay bonus that you can’t really built a play-style around – it’s just there if you want it. Once again this all ties into the fact that it supports role-playing in its level design and world but not in its game mechanics, which I still think is one of the game’s biggest weaknesses.

    Also, this RX-84 subplot was really disappointing for me. Something tells me that a lot of these nods to the original Deus Ex were actually intended to be bigger, but ended up getting dropped for one reason or another. Finding out what the facility was and what links it had to the original game was awesome, and then… they did absolutely nothing with it. Hm.

    Oh, and while we’re on stealth – it’s actually extremely easy, and compared to an older game like Thief or even Metal Gear Solid is pretty poor. I finished Human Revolution without killing anyone (except bosses) and with minimal takedowns in about 4 hours, ghosting every single possible objective… granted, I’d played it before, but it wasn’t much of a challenge even for a pretty poor stealth gamer like me.

    1. Agent says:

      “I finished Human Revolution without killing anyone (except bosses) and with minimal takedowns in about 4 hours

      Please tell me that was a typo.

      1. Eric says:

        Nope. It can be done. I skipped some side-quests and the cutscenes/dialogue/etc. but it really isn’t that big a deal. The game can be finished very quickly if you know where to go and how to get there.

  33. RCN says:

    Talking about ladders, I took the jump upgrade for one reason and one reason only:

    Jumping and grabbing the ladder right at the top.

    I didn’t care of bypassing obstacles or jumping over crowds (though it is fun jumping over guards in the office, they can’t get in your way), but from the moment I discovered I could grab ladders mid-jump in Deus Ex: Luskan Infiltration, I knew I could shave off 0.2, maybe 0.3 seconds out of the climbing animation with a higher jump, so I took the aug.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *