Deus Ex Human Revolution EP33:You Munchkin

By Shamus
on Mar 9, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

135 comments


Link (YouTube)

Yes, Josh is a munchkin. I guess that’s what makes him so… “lovable”?

I’ve been thinking more about the looting compulsion I experienced in this game. I’ve been playing through the game again, so a lot of this is coming back to me. I think I’ve identified a couple of bad spots that led to self-defeating behavior:

  1. Early in the game, I discovered the LIMB clinic sold Praxis kits for $5,000, and I had less than $2,000 at the time. This sent me a signal: There are level-ups available that you can’t afford. You’re in danger of missing them. The massive gap between what you have ($2k) and what you need ($10k) means you need to be bringing in a lot more money. Thus began the looting compulsion. This continued even after I had enough to buy the Praxis kits, because I never knew when more would show up, how many there would be, or how many the game would “expect” me to have.
  2. Later we have the long stretch through the Pangu, TYM, the ambush, and the Picus building where we have two different boss-type encounters without encountering a single shop. This sent me another signal: You never know when the next shop will show up, so you should always make sure to dump your inventory to the bare minimum before you go someplace new.
  3. This led to me making extra shop trips, and caused me to show up to the Malik fight with just a pistol and stunner. No grenades. Which means I didn’t have the means to bring down the robot, which means I really had no way to save Malik.

I’m not complaining that this fight was “too hard” or anything. Unlike the other set-piece encounters, this one gave you some freedom and didn’t feel like a lame cheat. You weren’t railroaded into acting like a dumbass, the bad guys just sucker-punched you. I showed up without the tools to win, and so I didn’t. Really, if I’d actually been playing my character I would have allowed ONE INVENTORY SLOT for holding EMP grenades or some other anti-bot tool.

I just find it interesting that the looting and shop mechanics had this unintended impact on my gameplay, and my attempt to make sure I didn’t miss out on Praxis points resulted in me not having enough murder mojo to save my pilot. I called Josh a munchkin in this episode, but I was being a munchkin in my own awkward way, and it led to my undoing. Well, Malik’s undoing.

And yes, saving her on my current play-through felt pretty good.

We’re not going to get the chance to cover it in the show, but I thought her death was a bit lame. You find her body (in pristine condition) in Tong’s chop shop. You can’t say anything to anyone about it. You don’t tell Pritchard. She’s just there, as a bit of room clutter.

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!2015There are 135 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Infinitron says:

    Another game that only builds the main villain in the final act is The Witcher.
    That is, in a way, until you discover who he really was…

    • Wandring says:

      One thing that CAN happen in the game that both develops the a main villain Jaron Namir (the Main Merc with the shaved head) and shows more about how Malik dies: is that if you sneak across the battlefield and into the elevator BEFORE Malik’s ship is destroyed, you will see a scene where Jaron pulls Malik out of the cockpit and executes her. I think he even taunts Jensen as he does!

      This blew my mind to see! So few people would have just ran into the elevator without fighting it almost felt like an Easter-egg! (Also don’t judge me I didn’t bring a single weapon because I had the same train of thought that Shamus did) :P

      The more I think about it, it doesn’t feel like as much of a well thought out contingency/treat to find, as it does like it was the way the story was originally going to play out before they changed it so that the player could save the day…

      Did anyone else see this scene, and subsequently: did you care more about the underdeveloped boss characters because of it?

  2. Friend of Dragons says:

    I think I remember that there are a good few explosive barrels scattered around which you can toss at the robot to take it down. Additionally, stun gun darts stun robots and I think several of them may take one down. Or maybe you could’ve stun-gunned one of the guys with a heavy rifle and just opened up on the box guard. You’re rarely completely without options ;)

  3. Infinitron says:

    Shamus: Isn’t your real problem that you considered the “bare minimum” of inventory to not include any real guns at all? I would say that was unwise.
    Personally, I played as a kind of “Spy Boy Jensen”, who carried all the non-lethal stuff, plus a pistol, SMG, sniper rifle and a few grenades, for tight situations.

    It fits the character’s subtle approach and it gets you through the lethal fights.

    • Piflik says:

      I always carried the pistol, stun gun, dart gun, sniper rifle and combat rifle in addition to several grenades, mines, ammunition for each gun (2-3 stacks), a collection of energy bars and health items, two stacks of viruses…I think that was my ‘minimum’…didn’t really have room for additional weapons to sell…and I still did not miss out on any praxis kit for sale…I didn’t even know what to spend my money on…I didn’t really use most of the weapons much, apart from the pistol and the non-lethal stuff, but I wanted to always have the tool I need in a given situation…and I was certainly happy that I had my trusty sniper rifle in that Malik fight…Belltower was less happy, methinks…

    • MatthewH says:

      I admit, I play the same way. But I always feel vaguely foolish when I spend the whole game using the pistol exclusively while the sniper rifle is taking up half my inventory.

      In fact, I said to myself, back in Detroit reading my e-mail, “Adam, this sniper rifle -you’ve been lugging it around since the FEMA warehouse. It was never fired, dropped twice. You are considering naming it Pierre. Sell it to the nice man in the old gas station. He will find it a proper home.”

      And then the very next thing was this fight.

      ARGHHHHHHH!

      • NihilCredo says:

        If you upgraded your pistol aggressively enough, the sniper rifle became remarkably useless. In the mid-to-late game, my loadout was stun gun + pistol + whatever heavy weapons I could find room ( + a shitload of grenades and other consumables).

        Even in the Malik fight, standing back and sniping enemies is a weak strategy. The goons are all spread in various areas and they don’t do that much damage compared to the robot, so you want to rush in close, EMP the robot, Typhoon the nearby men (or use gas grenades if you can’t), and then do a roundup of the area taking those guys down at close range, without having them all focus on you.

        • Gamer says:

          I only succeeded in saving Malik with the help of a few (dozen) candy bars, tons of take-downs/stuns/cloaks, a near-maxed out pistol (which I will switch for a Revolver in my next playthrough). Luckily, I had an EMP grenade tucked in my stash just-in-case.

          God damn I used a lot of candy bars that day.

  4. Irridium says:

    How do you save her? I tried three times and couldn’t do it.

    • Moriarty says:

      The important thing is to kill or at least stop the heavy troopers and the bots quickly. The snipers and normal grunts don’t really damage the chopper that much, so you can pick them off one by one after the important stuff is dead.

      • Yeah, what’s actually happening is not a damage counter but a hit counter, so even though you expect high caliber sniper rounds would cause more damage, the assault rifle guys are the biggest threat.

        I didn’t know this of course in my first playthrough, where I was also doing non-lethal and on Give Me Deus Ex difficulty, so I was putting a lot of effort into taking out the snipers and she kept dying. Eventually I said “I’ll do it next playthrough” and left. Then I did that.

    • Simon Buchan says:

      Doing it on Deus Ex difficulty, getting Pacifist, I found grenades to be by far the most useful tool: 3 or so gas for all the gunners, and an EMP for the bot. PEPS was largely too slow, but you could fire a shot off and switch back to stungun, only reloading when going up the stairs or whatever. It still took me like 15 tries, though!

    • tengokujin says:

      One of the oldest non-lethal playthrough of the fight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaebIHQFaBg
      I was so annoyed when I realized I had all the elements down: take down the robot, make sure no one gets close to the plane, but I did it lethally.

    • evileeyore says:

      “How do you save her? I tried three times and couldn’t do it.”

      I rushed the ‘chopper’, tossed a frag mine to the right where a heavy will walk, then a second nearish to the chopper where another could end up if I fail, then rush around front and start killing guys.

      I started with the heavies, then I did the snipers, then the mechs rolled out and I emp grenaded them. At this point there were only a few stragglers so I ran around sticking armblades into them.

      Note, my armaments were fully upgraded pistol and revolver, atleast 2 of each grenade, and the the stunner. I also had 4 slots of candy (bars and boxes), ans other assorted junk…

  5. Eruanno says:

    There is a fairly simple way (if you’re prepared and practice a few times) to handle the crashlanding situation easily, as shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0XN2eoVb3c

    Oh, and… I was a bumbling idiot and got the chip “patch” without thinking it through. And then Zhao shows her little remote and I was like “Oh. Wait. That’s gonna… OH NO NO NO NO”. Woops.

    • Piflik says:

      On my first playthrough I didn’t take the patch, because I suspected some conspiracy surrounding these fake glitches…on my second playthrough (on Deus Ex difficulty) I did it on purpose…and that fight with the naked muscle-dude was not fun at all…not that it was fun to begin with, but without augs or a functional HUD it was even worse…

      • Piflik says:

        That one moment where you walk out of this warehouse and you get glitches and other people around you have these glitches at the same time actually tipped me off that there was something fishy about the patch…

        • Jeff #3 says:

          During the TYM stage you’ll come across a bunch of researchers talking about ‘Why are we distributing a chip that we didn’t even design’ and some emails about getting the new chip to LIMB…. and don’t bother testing it or asking any questions.

          That, combined with everyone having the same side effects simultaneously with a new chip ‘graciously provided for free’ at LIMB clinics got me to skip it.

          • NihilCredo says:

            For me, it was when I talked to Pritchard and asked if he was taking the upgrade, and he answered “I’m not sure, I think I’ll do a few tests first”.

            Had he replies with some kind hard certainty “NO ADAM IT’S A CONSPIRACY” I might have expected a narrative payback where his paranoia ended up beind his undoing, but that answer pretty much told me I had better follow his lead.

            • MrPyro says:

              I went and got the patch expecting an immediate trap; when it didn’t materialise I just went “Oh well” and carried on.

              I was actually really impressed that they put a gotcha like that in with such a long pay-off time. Well, once I’d beaten that boss-fight I was impressed; until then I was more “Gahhh this fight is so hard with no augs”

      • Tohron says:

        Your augs do function – at least somewhat. I was able to get off two Typhoon rounds on Normal, which was all it took. Think it might be that your augs only respond to your commands some of the time.

        • Piflik says:

          I didn’t have the Typhoon…the Aug I would normally use in that fight was Smart Vision, to know where he is, and that one didn’t work…at least not properly…only for a fraction of a second before it shut of again…

        • MatthewH says:

          I had a half-upgraded typhoon on casual and couldn’t get a shot off. Eventually, I just spammed him with wild firing and grenades. It worked.

          I stupidly got the patch on not thinking about it grounds. But it also seems appropriate to what Adam -as played by me -would do.

          • Destrustor says:

            I didn’t get the chip, but only because I knew about its effect beforehand. If I hadn’t been warned, I’d have fell for it.

          • Gamer says:

            Me too. I’d forgotten about Picus by this point.

            I won by taking cover a shotgunning him to death. I really wish I knew the instant KO win button glitch on my first playthrough. I hope Josh knows about that so that we don’t have to bother with watching that fight.

            • tengokujin says:

              Or the instant KO fragmentation mine technique :p
              (Mine the fighting area prodigiously before exiting the elevator, go through cutscene, Namir sets off the mines the minute he starts moving)

      • I also did it intentionally on one playthrough, also on Give me Deus Ex difficulty, just to see what the trap would be, or if it’d open up a quest or something. I actually found it to not be a problem during the boss fight, because it would show ghost images of a crosshair which I otherwise didn’t have. That meant while I was running around with the heavy rifle like I was playing Serious Sam, I could actually snap aim, which is something that always screwed me over until then.

        Every subsequent time I’ve just abused the takedown glitch to kill him in the first ten seconds.

      • Thanatos of Crows says:

        Wow, I did that too, wholly on purpose. I found the fight great as it offered challenge. Untill 5 secs in and he was toast. I went a bit overboard with the explosive revolver rounds.

    • Irridium says:

      I took that patch without really thinking about it. Then I read someone’s email that said something about purposely glitching chips to get people to change, and then I immediately said “oh… fuck”.

      • Gruhunchously says:

        Yep. I too was a complete idiot and conveniently forgot all of the hints that I had been getting up to that point and just bolted for the biochip. I actually ended up not getting it though, only because I got sidetracked, (I was screwing around the city, the Harvesters started shooting at me, and I just wandered into their base and BOOM, the plot advanced) so I was okay in the end…but still.

    • Indy says:

      I don’t understand this chip at all. They make it so that they can cause augmented people to seize up whenever they want and distribute it by making augmented people seize up. Is there actually a problem with the old chip? No. So they are controlling it, but if you don’t upgrade, their control goes away?

      • Destrustor says:

        I think the new chip allows them to use mind control. So they glitch out the old chips remotely, somehow, so that people get the new one and fall completely under their control. The reason it doesn’t control Jensen completely later (when you confront Zhao) is that it would make a huge “do it again stupid” moment where Jensen irrevocably becomes her slave and you’d have to lose hours of progress. So they made Zhao “decide” to only glitch you out in the same manner as the old chip while she could technically turn Jensen into one of the crazy dudes roaming panchaea.
        So the new chip is more powerful than the old but we never experience the difference because it would make for some infuriatingly bad gameplay.

      • Sojiro says:

        They made the old chips glitch by beaming interferences, they didn’t have a backdoor to make them glitch at will. It was a sort of weak and large area EMP grenade, if you will.
        The goal was to have people install the new chips which DID allow a backdoor, allowing the illuminati to remotely deactivate any augmentation. That was the main goal, the capability to neutralize the augs of terrorists and such.

    • Sojiro says:

      That’s not “fairly simple”, you odn’t need anywhere near that much stuff to do it. Also, they do it much faster than needed.

      He uses energy bars and the reflex augmentation to do double takedown on regular guards when the stun gun works just fine, no need for that fancy stuff. He uses an upgraded tranq rifle and gas grenade to deal with the heavies when they can be dealt with easily (and cheaply) with regular take-downs (a single energy pack can let you deal with both of them while cloaked).

  6. Sagretti says:

    Saving Malik while staying non-lethal was one of the biggest rushes I’ve got in a game in a long while. It took multiple deaths and reloads, but it never felt impossible, just that I had to change my tactics. Each try I got a little smarter and more strategic, eventually outflanking my enemies like a pro. Sure it was harder than going lethal, but I didn’t feel like I was being punished for my choices. Made getting the pacifist achievement at the end feel so much more satisfying, too.

    • Piflik says:

      That fight was the moment for me to switch from strictly non-lethal to kill-every-belltower-dude-on-sight…

      • Lupis42 says:

        As a result of that fight, I always grief the hell out of Belltower, going way out of my way to rob and/or murder them whenever possible.

        It is particularly entertaining to knock out or kill everyone in Windmill’s building, then slowly draw Belltower agents from all over the streets into it’s courtyard and murder them. Also, the game deals poorly with the resulting pile-o-ragdolls.

    • Licaon_Kter says:

      Umm, you can do that while keeping it non-lethal? Damn, I must replay the game, on my first ( and only so far ) run, I tried several times but to no avail, maybe I should have brought more EMPs. I really felt bad for Malik, damn you EIDOS for adding so much dialog to her. :(

      Regarding her body, I felt pretty bad just imagining that they’re going to disassemble her parts, talking with Prichard would have been even harder considering that _I_ and my non-lethal attitude failed to save her.

      Choosing not to save Madison in Alpha Protocol’s Rome mission was hard, but this was worse. :-|

      • Sagretti says:

        The big thing that helped was having all 3 decent non-lethal weapons (stun gun, tranq rifle, and PEPs). It allowed me to take out as many enemies as possible before I had to wait for the long reload times all the non-lethal weapons have.

        The path I took was dashing to the right where there is a lot of cover, taking out the lone Belltower guy there. Then I use the cover to flank the npcs advancing with heavy weapons, while being protected from sniper fire and most of the other mooks.

        An emp grenade takes care of the robot, then I mopped up the remaining guards on the lower level. The snipers up above are actually a pretty minimal threat to Malik, so you can take your time eliminating them.

        • Kian says:

          My strategy the first time through was running down the right side, coming around the back to the heavies, do takedowns, then take the snipers with the tranq gun, and use the sniper rifles to kill the box.

          The second time around I went prepared with as much candy as possible, stealthed, and takedowned everyone without breaking stealth, eating a bar every couple of takedowns (had full energy so I could do a few without recharging). That was a fun bit of running around.

        • NihilCredo says:

          Also, gas grenades :)

    • MatthewH says:

      My first time through I was playing the mostly-non-lethal. And I thought Malik would restart the helicopter. So I ran for the elevator. And then I saw them drag her out and I thought “oh, we’ll have to do a rescue later” and then they just plain shot her. And I have never wanted an elevator to take me back down to let me typhoon these guys to death so much.

  7. Lupis42 says:

    Like Ruskarn, I actually managed that fight on a non-lethal playthrough. The key for me was using the tranq rifle on the heavy gunners immediately, then running over to where the robot would show up and dropping an EMP mine. The power of prescience in a fight like that cannot be underestimated.

  8. decius says:

    I’m pretty sure that there’s an EMP grenade somewhere in that sequence… I could easily be mistaken, though.

    As for me, I figured that the “armor piercing” mod for the pistol would make it useful against things that are basically armored circuit boards. I did always keep EMP mines, though. Still bothers me how grenades don’t stack, but mines do…

  9. RTBones says:

    On Malik ‘fixing’ her ship – seeing that cut scene again makes me almost wonder if that MANPAD is supposed to be more of a localized EMP and less kinetic (EMP with a mild kinetic component?). So there might be less physical damage, meaning aerodynamically, the plane could fly if the electrons would flow properly. The next question you have to ask is how you recover from an EMP? Does Malik have a deployment kit with modest spares aboard for any fried electronics? Is the burst strong enough to knock out systems for long enough to down the airplane, but not strong enough to kill it outright – meaning its effects dissipate quickly? Yeah, I know, shut up, engineer, its a video game….

    On getting the chip…bad idea. Just…bad idea.

    • RTBones says:

      EDIT (sort of): Yes, it certainly appears to be EMP that takes down the jet. Watch as Malik comes in to ‘land’ – and you’ll see the familiar EMP residual sparkle in places.

      I am a leaf upon the wind. Watch me soar!

  10. Klay F. says:

    On my non-lethal run-through, I found out during that fight that if an enemy soldier is caught in that mech’s self-destruct, it doesn’t count against you, meaning I still got the Pacifist achievement at the end of the game. I caught like 3 soldiers in that blast. Plus, a single EMP grenade will take out any robot.

    For the soldiers on the upper levels, I just spammed takedowns whilst simultaneously jamming candybars down my gullet.

    • FalseProphet says:

      Wish I’d known that. I won the fight three times on a pacifist run (after half a dozen failures) but reloaded the first two because Belltower thugs had been killed in the self-destruct.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That scene is where I finally stopped being non-lethal.I wasnt prepared at all,but luckily I had a bunch of grenades,and a pimped out rocket launcher(my boss killer) with me.It still took me a few tries though,but I wasnt just gonna leave malik there.

    I knew that it was probably a trap,but I still took the chip on purpose,just to see when they would spring it.It wasnt any harder though,because I never used augs in boss fights anyway.Just the emp grenades and rockets.

    • Raygereio says:

      Heh. Same here. I’d been lugging the sniper and asault rifles around “just in case”. This fight was the first time those two guns saw action.

    • Jarenth says:

      I like this, because I feel it’d make sense. Wouldn’t even the most pacifist Jensen go full murder-hog if one of his closest friends/colleagues was in real, direct, preventable danger?

      I posit that he would.

  12. The Hokey Pokey says:

    I thought Darrow had plenty of characterization before this point. You mentioned the Picus interview, but I think you forgot that all of the xp books were written by Darrow. By this point in the game I had read enough and heard enough about him that I was excited to finally meet him.

    • Klay F. says:

      I was excited to meet him too, but then he used that line, “You mean if it doesn’t kill us all?”

      Then I was like, “Oh Christ did he really just use that line? What kind of mustache-twirling imbecile says something so stupid?”

    • Yeah, I’d been paying attention to him as well, but then the cutscene happened and I was like “this guy’s the big bad and he’s not even trying to be subtle about it”

  13. swimon1 says:

    maybe the baseball is meant to imply that Sarif is a pitcher? Making Jensen a batter. Now I have no idea what a batter is in this metaphor but seeing as a batter is the guy who hits balls with a giant piece of wood in baseball I’m sure it’s something exotic^^.

    I agree with Josh that this is a bit too late in introducing the villain (there is a question mark on him being the villain but still, this is too late) but I also think that he’s a wrong sort of villain for this kinda story. Unlike the original Deus Ex, which was mainly about a global conspiracy corrupting the UN where you worked, Human Revolution is a much more personal story. The main motivation for most of the game is to save Megan your ex-girlfriend. Now a major failing for me was that I didn’t care about Megan at all since I didn’t get any sort of feel for the character but even if I had Darrow would’ve been the wrong sort of villain. Human Revolution is a personal story and Darrow is a corporate leader who’s using enormous amounts of manpower from all over the world to build a machine in the Arctic that will change the world forever. Darrow would fit right in in Deus Ex (especially since he’s easily the worst voice actor in human revolution ^^) but he doesn’t fit in human revolution, he just adds a lot of unnecessary complications to the story.

    I guess I get what they were going for, a search for your kidnapped girlfriend leading you to a larger story but it didn’t really work for me in this case. I guess part of it is that I never really saw Jensen caring about anything other than Megan or possibly Malik. After you rescue Megan it just feels like Jensen is there out of contractual obligations, or rather because the script said so. The other problem is that the kidnapping plot takes up too much and ties poorly into the rest of the story. I can see this being done well in two ways but since I’m not a writer but some internet schmuck I concede that there might be others, but the ones I see are:

    1) The kidnapping becomes the inciting incident but is also solved before the halfway point. The rest of the story is then Jensen realising that he can’t live with what he has learned without doing something about it. Megan’s kidnapping forcing him to consider the bigger picture. This way the motivation and the stakes are clearer for the end sequence and maybe doesn’t come so out of left field. This would also mean there was more focus on Megan’s character instead of her just disappearing after she’s rescued.

    2) The second way I can see this working is if the kidnapping was better connected to the rest of the conspiracy. I’m not really sure how you’d do that because again internet schmuck but the way it is in human revolution doesn’t work for me. You just kinda stumble onto this information without Jensen really reacting which makes it just seem like some distant world building that doesn’t really matter compared to the kidnapping plot but after the kidnapping plot is resolved suddenly it matters. Maybe it would’ve worked better if the villains used her as a bargaining chip? That way the dissonance between the personal story of the kidnapping and the global story of the conspiracy could’ve been the point. Choosing between saving your girlfriend and impeding the conspiracy. On the other hand that could just become the Rome choice in Alpha Protocol where you’re given a really contrived choice between stopping a terrorist attack in the middle of Rome or save one character I didn’t really care about (I loved Alpha Protocol but that part was weak).

    All that negativity about the game said I do really like going to Sarif Industries while the riot is going on outside. It’s just a really interesting situation and the game gets the tone perfectly. I don’t have much to say about it it’s just really well made.

  14. Even says:

    Talking about the cutscene and baseball.

    “2027 Detroit Season”

    Edit: As for saving Malik, I did it only using the stun gun, tranq darts, EMP mine and takedowns on my non-lethal run. Only real problem there is trying to destroy the robot without its explosion killing one of the two heavies. Once you’ve dealt with them and the robot, the rest is fairly easy.

    • Klay F. says:

      You don’t have to worry about the robot explosion, because any enemy deaths that occur from it don’t count against you.

      • Even says:

        Oh. I’d read that ANY death will cancel the achievement so I just decided to play it safe. Problem for me was mainly them dying while already unconscious. I’d already failed the achievement on my first run for not realizing that any kills made in the intro part count as well.

  15. Grudgeal says:

    …Huh. I didn’t even know about that sidequest. I never visited Hengsha’s LIMB clinic the second time around; I figured you’d get autoupgraded in a cutscene and it was such obvious Schmuck Bait.

  16. guy says:

    I couldn’t pull off saving Malik on my murder-run playthrough. I think I must not have had any EMP grenades or something, so I had to try to take out the box-bot the hard way and couldn’t pull it off fast enough on my successive attempts. Eventually I think I straight-up murdered everyone after the chopper exploded and decided I’d at least managed to secure some vengeance.

    I upgraded the biochip. It seemed like a goo- wait, no, it was incredibly obviously idiotic at the time. I vaguely recall wondering what the effects would be or something.

  17. el_b says:

    I can’t believe that you’re piloting a candy bar fuelled Rent-A-Cop who’s had most of his body replaced with metal, and you’re wondering why he can only run for 5 seconds :P

  18. Andy_Panthro says:

    As soon as I saw Darrow with his crutch, I thought he was suspicious. He is one of the people that made augmentation a reality, and yet he hasn’t used any himself? That struck me as a little odd. Is there any reason given for that? Something I missed?

    • Thomas says:

      His body rejects implants, not even neuropozyne could fix him. He has to suffer the irony of being the man who invented augments and yet can never use them himself.

      He was always selfish and insular, so it’s a pretty strong bet that the reason he poured his life into trying to create augmentation technology was because he wanted to fix himself, overcome his physical defects with the one advantage he always had over everyone else he knew, his brains.

      And they didn’t work for him. He was probably optimistic at the start, he might not have solved it yet, but he had single handedly changed the world! And he could always get round his problem right?

      And the solution never came and the people around him, the healthy people became stronger and explored the horizons that he’d created for them. Worse, they even began to augment their minds. With his technology.

      They didn’t build it, they didn’t suffer and now they thought they could change the world without him who’d started all this? And all the Illuminati could grasp was more power more control for themselves. Well he was smarter than them, he’d always been smarter with them. He’d show them the foolishness of their ways. And if a few people had to burn to accomplish that?

      So be it

      —————
      Sorry, been watching too much SF Debris :D

      • Simon Buchan says:

        … And if THAT was the Darrow conversation, I would have been impressed at HR having a really well executed villain – a rare oddity in nearly all media. As it is, as the Fab Four say, he’s a Final Fantasy villain. Odd how something as simply as the writing in one dialog could totally change an opinion on a character.

        • Gruhunchously says:

          …But that IS the Darrow conversation, isn’t it. Maybe not in those exact words, but the gist from his argument was that he was an embittered man who couldn’t stand the irony of him being unable to use the technology he created, and he was jealous of those who could. That’s where his whole “I gave you this technology and you used it to give up your humanity…your abusing your abilities” argument comes from. His whole justification of saving people by demonstrating the dangers of augmentation is more a way to help convince himself that he’s doing what he’s doing for a cause that isn’t petty. He’s a mad, mad genius.

          • LunaticFringe says:

            And that’s why I actually like Darrow, because he’s essentially a character who is presented as doing something for a ‘good reason’ but when Jensen digs into him during the final conversation he’s able to expose him for what he really is: a petty, broken man who couldn’t advance with the rest of the world and thus was ‘stuck’ in the past, internally demonized augmentations and justified his hatred as ‘saving humanity’ when in reality he’s just trying to ensure he doesn’t get left behind. It’s a great contrast of Darrow’s excuses for his actions and the actual psychological forces that drive him, and thus I don’t really see where the ‘JRPG villain’ digs in the video are coming from.

            Not to mention that Darrow is your typical ‘anti-modernist’ character (i.e. a character who argues against the traditionally held belief that technological advancement benefits humanity) but isn’t presented in a cardboard fashion. Once again, his argument is driven by his psychological development rather then any objective moral perspective, and thus doesn’t feel like a stereotype. He’s basically the anti-augmentation Unabomber.

            • Thanatos of Crows says:

              Well the “bad JRPG villain” – or any other argument conserning eastern (console/PC)RPGs – by people who play western (again console/PC) RPGs is that it’s just a joke. These people seldom know what they actually mean save for the angst riddance mentioned in this vid. And when it comes to FF you hardly have angsty villains. And in those truly sucky cases it’s mainly just guy being evulz for the kicks of it. Just like in all media.

          • SougoXIII says:

            I think the problem is that while his presence is mention throughout the game, you only really get to meet him once. For such a personal motive to work, it is more effective if we actually know Darrow as a character. Otherwise his motive come out as forced and rushed. Which it did.

            • Thomas says:

              I think this is it. I like Darrow’s character, but on paper. I looked at that conversation and I could understand his character was a good one, I just didn’t feel it

              If we’d met him a few times earlier, seen what his was like, the facade he presented and the cracks and particularly established the whole aug rejection and pain thing earlier, it would have felt much better. It might even have fixed that ending problem where the main Darrow/Illuminati storyline doesn’t actually have one and instead there’s only the wider question, which should have been an epilogue not the end itself

  19. Thomas says:

    From pretty much the first time they mentioned Darrow in the game I knew he was going to be the main villain. I can see why Shamus liked this cutscene but for me it came off as stupid, because I already reckoned that Darrow was evil and the last level was going to be his secret global warming base, so the fact we had this really darkly lit, omnious cutscene, with evil villain music playing, a strong ‘british’ accent, whilst his deformed body cruched around and he made badly veiled threats whilst staring into the heart of a burning fire…

    yeah it was too much.

    Followed by Malik, one of the best bits of the game. I was a pacifist, I was a pacifistic who didn’t destroy robots or even tranquilise guards and I picked up a shotgun and shotgunned everyone in the face before trying to win with the tranq and giving up at the robot. Then Prichard phones you and says ‘Jensen, I know you’re going to want to do something stupid right now…’

    And I thought that whole thing because such a fantastic moment. And then later they rub it in your face as Tong chops Malik’s body up as a commodity and you can’t do anything about it. I nearly shot my way out of that building too, but in the end I just stole her body back and took it away from them.

    I haven’t had a playthrough where I could save her yet, so I#m a little disappointed that I forgot to skip this part of the episode. Whilst saving Malik is important, if they were to make a canon uncontrollable story out of the game, I think Malik should die, because it’s really powerful and throws Jensen off balance for this act. This is where it stopped being an adventure

    • MatthewH says:

      I really disliked Darrow. Sandoval was a more interesting villain. Really, everything from this point on felt rushed to me.

      Also, my first playthrough, I missed the place where Zeke was staying. I suppose this was partly because I quick-draw shot him early in the game. I fell down a hole and came out in Sandoval’s hide-out. I shall have to not do that next time.

  20. Velkrin says:

    Ah the Malik fight. I never let her die, even on my omnicide play though. Like everyone else I had problems with my pacifist run, namely the exploding robot. After going through the entire fight and taking everyone down in a non-lethal manner I go through the pockets of the mooks only to find that one of them is dead via exploding robot.

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF…..
    *Reload*
    Going through that again I knock out one heavy, drag him away from the landing zone, knock out the other heavy, EMP the robot and then frantically drag the second heavy away from the robot before it explodes.

    So it is possible to do that fight without anyone being killed. Not that you need to, but that’s one of those little things that you find out after you get the achievement.

    Also: Apparently they’re sorry about the boss fights.

    http://www.gamebandits.com/news/deus-ex-human-revolution-game-designer-apologizes-for-those-bosses-36740/

  21. Spammy says:

    I think the key to saving Malik on non-lethal (or period) is not so much about killing quickly as it is about drawing aggro, you need to shoot the robot and the heavies and get them to shoot you and not the chopper. I’m pretty sure I took my sweet time going through my Heavy Rifle and Combat Rifle ammo and she didn’t die.

    Also, I played a hoarding Jensen. I had the tranq rifle, the stun gun, the PEPs, silenced 10mm pistol, silenced combat rifle, revolver and a heavy rifle. In that order too, of decreasing stealthiness. All came in handy here.

    For me the the key to not getting the new chip was hearing that Tai Young Medical was giving them away. TYM… run by Zhao… who is in on the Illuminati. I’d post something snarky about how people who fell for it never fail to underestimate game developers, but I didn’t realize until I was actually in the LIMB clinic.

    • There are some other clues as well – if you listen to the interview, the spokeswoman from the WHO is Beth Duclaire – a high ranking member of the illuminati in Deus Ex 1. There’s also a level dedicated to exploring her abandoned mansion with her daughter, Nicolette.

      The same daughter presumably works for Picus in this game, and you can read some emails by her. I assume she has to be like 3 at the time of this game because she’s pretty young in the original, so I don’t know how that works.

      EDIT: Did I say 3? According to the wiki she’d be more like -8. Unless she was named after an aunt or something and that’s whose working there. Of course that same wiki suggests Nicolette could be a sightly modified clone of her mother so maybe that’s what’s happening here and Beth just likes the name “Nicolette”

  22. MatthewH says:

    Baseball.

    Well, this is probably overthinking it, but I suppose we have license to do so now.

    I hypothesize that this is the metaphor.

    Baseball is one of the few aspects of human excellence which depends almost entirely on human ability, and yet can be rigidly quantified. Sabremetrics allows us to say, with near certainty, who the best players are. And you can’t cheat the box-scores.

    And yet, it is a game filled with superstitions, and in which no manager really knows anything (moneyball aside).

    And it is a game where augmentation has, in fact, screwed up the measure of the players.

    Mark McGuire used steroids. Sammy Sosa wore a brace on his right arm (the same arm Sarif replaced) which was primarily to correct for some soft-tissue damage, but had the side effect of improving his swing. More than one batter has been caught using a corked bat (not that those actually help much). Can we really compare them to Babe Ruth without an asterisk? There were those who argued that steroids and technical innovation were going to make the game better -we’d see more and more home runs, and more exciting games as players would accomplish greater feats with the help of technology.

    And yet, it may well have ruined the game. Certainly it drew the attention and ire of the political community which hated to see excellence through human ability thwarted by synthetic advantages.

    Is this the world of Deus Ex?

    Oh, and does Toronto still have the Blue Jays, or are they something else now?

  23. Brandon says:

    I really, really disliked how they handled Malik’s corpse. I expected them to have Jensen make a comment at the very least, or say something to Pritchard. If they wanted to make it seem like he REALLY cared, they might even have had him ask Tong to give her a proper burial, maybe have an option to even pay him to do it or something. The fact that the body showed up, completely pristine, and just had …. absolutely no script tied to it was ridiculous.

    They could have even done something like had a datapad/journal of hers stashed in the room with her body, containing some plot or backstory details, or really.. anything. Anything to make the room with her corpse more than just a bit of clutter.

    • Z says:

      While I agree that in-Universe it doesn’t make much sense for Jensen-the-character not to have a script or journal or something tied to Malik’s corpse, I think it makes it much, much stronger on a narrative level to you-the-player.

      You, not Jensen, failed to save her, and you see the consequences, and are denied any emotional resolution, building up the intensity of your (not Jensen’s) reaction. It pisses you off, and that makes it powerful. Art is successful when it elicits an emotional response on the viewer, and Malik’s inert corpse absolutely does. I applaud their decision to deny you closure. It took courage, and it works.

      This overall segment, the Malik fight and its consequences, is another crowning moment of awesome in this game. If you win the fight, it’s fun, exhilarating, even. If you lose it, and are shown first Malik being dragged out and shot, and later confronted with her corpse, leaving you with no recourse, it’s jarring and emotional.

      Man, this is a great game!

      • Brandon says:

        It didn’t elicit any response like that from me, I was just disappointed that there wasn’t anything else there. It might as well have been a plastic doll of Malik, no injury, no blood, nothing. It was lazy, and the lack of a response from Jensen was lazy. The whole thing was just immersion breaking for me.

        Also there are several ways for that sequence to be failed. She isn’t necessarily dragged out and shot. She can die in other ways, from what I understand.

  24. Destrustor says:

    That helicopter fight is, I think, the strongest point of the game.
    On my first try, I ramboed my way into the open like an idiot, partly because I thought they would only focus on the chopper and partly because “RAAAAARGH FUCK YOU BASTARDS DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE TOUCH HER!!!”
    I got killed easily but I refused to give up and reloaded until I got it right (sneak to the right, a few takedowns, and then five-hit kill the bot with the explosive revolver.)
    It’s hard but not impossible, it’s tense but not too stressful, it makes you want to rush but still gives you a margin on the timing.
    Malik is a pretty good character who doesn’t fall into annoying clichés, and is likeable in a subtle, compelling way.
    I can’t remember the last time I actually cared that much, and it made success that much more triumphant and satisfying. My god I wanted to save her so much.

    Plus all that conspiracy nonsense and the plot holes and inconsistencies just don’t matter at that point in the game. Just you, bad guys and a friend to save. Do it.
    It’s really the best part.

    • Anorak says:

      See, I did give up. I knew instantly that I could save her, in the same way you could ensure Paul’s survival in the first game. But I wasn’t about to break my own immersion by retrying until I got it right.
      I lived with the consequences of not being good enough, and she was dead. This also meant that I no longer gave a toss about being non-lethal. I was mightily pissed off, and wanted to punish Belltower.
      I couldn’t think of a reason not to.

      • Thanatos of Crows says:

        I was filled with rage and burst into action just jumping, running, punching and stunning the arse off Beltower. As I was going for the pacifist trophy I just threw the heavies out of the way and got Typhoon. It felt good after I was done.

  25. Cookie Of Nine says:

    To add to the Baseball theory, the Picus building (AKA the Illuminati base of operations) is situated in (and under), a former baseball stadium. The MLB team that used to play there (the Montreal Expos) were moved to Washington a few years ago (in 2004).

    As a Canadian, (and a former citizen of Montreal) I though it was funny that the stadium of the team that moved to Washington DC, is in the future used by the Illuminati to run the World. Patriotically, I say we traded up.

  26. Sozac says:

    Darrow wasn’t the main villain. Zhao was. Darrow isn’t an antagonist to the player, he is just misguided, I guess. He is as much of an opposing force as Taggert is.

  27. RCN says:

    My fight for Malik was also non-lethal. Though I’ve early conditioned myself to ALWAYS carry a few emps with me. Why get Typhoon when you can just emp your problems away? Not to mention the PEPS got a few nice multi-hits.

  28. Slothful says:

    …I did not know that you could save Malik, I thought that it was an unwinnable fight that you had to run from. It was a little heartbreaking to see what I thought was a scripted death.

    And afterwards I did get the chip, because I thought that it would be the one thing that could stop the glitches that the illuminati were clearly causing, but something horrible happened and I needed to go back to an earlier save, so I never got screwed over.

    • RCN says:

      Really? Did you play the original?

      I’m not really saying anything against you, but the Malik scene did feel eerily familiar. As in, there was an almost exactly alike scene in the original Deus Ex. Where UNATCO is going to kill your brother but you can go in and save him through gameplay.

      If the Malik scene WAS scripted, you can be sure many fans would cry afoul of it when the original Deus Ex had pretty much the same situation and you COULD save your brother.

  29. Neil D says:

    I struggled with the Malik fight for a while because I was trying to do non-lethal with the sniper rifle and just couldn’t manage to get a bead on everybody quickly enough. I was just about ready to give up and let her die when I decided to try a more hands-on approach.

    I circled to the right and started doing non-lethal takedowns on the goons. Fortunately I had a stockpile of candy bars, and an EMP for the robot. It took me a few tries but I could tell straight away that this was going to work without too much trouble.

    Unfortunately I still missed the Pacifist achievement because I fell for the game’s tutorial trap before I even realized that was going to be an option.

    Tutorial level: “OK, player, here’s how you attack and kill enemies — go ahead, give it a try.”
    First mission: “Oh, and here’s a non-lethal weapon, and instructions on how to do non-lethal takedowns if you’d prefer to roll that way. But don’t expect to get credit for it, because you’ve already blown it. Sucker.”
    Me: “Oh bite me so very hard, you enormous pile of dicks. I’m not starting over just for that.” The achievement may not show up on my profile, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got it.

    • Gamer says:

      That made me kinda mad the first time through. I thought you had to kill them and didn’t know you could stealth. I had to play through again for the Pacifist achievement.

      Of course, when I found out later in my playthrough, that gave me clearance to use lethal force to save Malik.

  30. ClearWater says:

    @16:44 how does that guy fall down and not die?

  31. george says:

    Just throwing this out there, Megan was played by Toufexis’ (Jensen’s VA) actual wife, and they had no idea until after she recorded her lines.

    I found out after watching him taking part in a let’s play of this very game, and his natural voice is exactly the same Jensen’s (youtube it).

  32. SougoXIII says:

    Maybe I haven’t been close attention to the plot but how did your augs malfunction in the first place? Is it some sort of signal? Or are them already faulty before being install into Adam? (though I can’t fathom why Sariff wouldn’t catch that).

    • Gamer says:

      The Illuminati are doing it deliberately to get people to “upgrade” their biochips.

      • SougoXIII says:

        I know the Illuminati did it but how did they do it? Is there a secret switch in every aug that cause it to malfunction?

        • Irridium says:

          Well, from what I can tell, there’s two major aug corporations, Tai Young and Sarif Industries. Tai Young they control through Zhao, so they probably programmed those chips to malfunction.

          For Sarif, they probably stole some data during the first attack on the labs and figured out how to glitch them that way.

          There’s also Darrow, who I believe is actually going along with their plan. Since he invented the stuff, he’d know how it works best. He probably goes along and does this to try and further prove his point at the end.

        • Gruhunchously says:

          The intro sequence mentions something about broadcast satellites. Going from that, I would assume that the interference is caused by some remotely broadcasted signal.

          • Cookie Of Nine says:

            When you get to the Belltower facility where the missing Sarif employees are kept you can read their (and their captors’) e-mails on of which shows them working on a way to remotely deactivate/hack the neural implants (I forget the specifics).

            Since they have the TYM in their pockets as well, they could do this to a large numbers of implants easily, blame it on the old tech, and then encourage everyone to get the latest implants (for free) based on the “new” designs made by Darrow.

  33. tengokujin says:

    Wait, I thought Malik admitted she only has “discreet” augmentations, to help her fly. In other words, a few neural augs they could probably just rip out the back of her head and spine.

  34. Galad says:

    No complaints about the tvtropes link? I’m disappointed :(

  35. Jordan says:

    The Malik fight seemed pretty illogical. Why didn’t she just fly off considering the thing is apparently completely undamaged seeing as how she flies off after you murder everyone. Failing that Adam could just carry her to safety too. Why would she just sit there in the exploding, but fully functional, jet-helicopter thing?

    • X2Eliah says:

      It wasn’t functional, it was emp-ed out and needed a full cold boot-up. Apparently, they don’t use SSDs in the future…

      • Gruhunchously says:

        And how was Adam supposed to carry her off with half a dozen Belltower guys taking pot shots at him? It would make them both twice as vulnerable as they already were.

        • Jordan says:

          He half robot and able to chuck around entire, presumably full, fridges and vending machines with no effort. I’m sure he could run to the elevator with someone on his back.

      • Jordan says:

        You know, I completely tuned out that it was an EMP blast. I could point out that real EMPs permanantly fry weaky shielded circuitry and don’t just magically shut electronics down for some plot-convenient amount of time but I’ll let it slide.

        I still have a problem with the three second gap between Jensen finishing off the last guy attacking her and her finishing her “patching up” and taking off. Even if it did make some plot sense it felt really artificial and thus like she was sitting there waiting for a cue to leave.

  36. DP says:

    @00:54 is Sandoval’s line a subtle reference to Teflon Billiy, a Knights of the Dinner Table character? Or am I just seeing more geeky references in this game than there actually are?

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