Deus Ex Human Revolution EP32: The Problem Solver

By Josh Posted Thursday Mar 8, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 73 comments

Link (YouTube)

On yet another exciting episode of Spoiler Warning: Chris forgets that Walther’s forgot, I talk about Jensen’s character some more, Rutskarn ruins everything, and Shamus forgets to post this episode!


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73 thoughts on “Deus Ex Human Revolution EP32: The Problem Solver

  1. Hitch says:

    C’mon, Shamus, your house being on fire is no excuse not to post Spoiler Warning. ;-)

  2. Rasha says:

    I’m sorry what was that about test tube babies? I was busy watching the experiment to create a human-locker hybrid species.

  3. Dave B says:

    Adam Jensen – Solving problems while creating them. The ultimate in efficiency!

  4. Hal says:

    Okay, so let’s run through the timeline, ’cause I’m a bit rusty:

    Adam Jensen is genetically manipulated in a lab (probably during in vitro fertilization). Michelle Walthers hides him and gives him away, since otherwise Adam would remember her raising him.

    Adam grows up to be a cop for the city of Detroit. Somewhere along the way he meets Megan Reed and they date. It doesn’t work out.

    Later, Megan Reed is working for David Sarif. Sarif wants private security; instead of hiring a PMC, he brings in Adam at the behest of Megan.

    When does Megan figure out that Adam is “special?” It seems like it would have to have been before he came to Sarif Industries, since it’s hinted at during the game that she had ulterior motives for having him hired. I’m just not certain when, and who, figured out that Adam wouldn’t reject augmentation before that detective started looking into Adam’s past.

    1. Dude says:

      I’m going to be extremely pedantic and say, Megan realized this when the writers realized Adam Jensen wasn’t special enough to be involved in the main story, and could easily be replaced by any other grunt.

    2. James says:

      i can only assume, she was getting a wide sample of DNA to run tests for implants, that or she got a tip off/ new something about white helix, though she doesnt seem to know anything about page, so im going to say the former

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Before they broke up.In fact,its strongly implied that that is why they broke up:She felt bad for using him like that,and she couldnt stand lying to him every day,so she decided to take the cowards way out and break up.But,she still felt obligated to do something for him,hence why she recommended him to sarif.

      1. Luhrsen says:

        Feeling guilty seems unlikely considering what she does later…

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Why?People arent just simple one emotion automatons.They can do various contradicting stuff.

          1. Gruhunchously says:

            It would be easier for her to do what she did if she didn’t have to personally confront Adam and lie to him on a daily basis. When he wasn’t around, she could distance herself from him personally.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              She wouldnt.Working with someone isnt the same as being in a relationship with them.

              It doesnt make sense when you look at it from a rational perspective,that is true.But emotions are not rational.Guilt specially.

  5. Hal says:

    Also, that is one hardy ass-door.

  6. Fawkes says:

    Really though, what would a week of Spoiler Warning be if everything went right? Shamus had to forget to post this! That or he’s hoping to give you the satisfaction of griefing him on his own website so you’d get the Icarus Aug and stop griefing him on the stream.

    It’ll never work.

    As for the episode itself, I never felt that Jenson’s past was meant to be the big reveal. Nor really did I find Megan to be a big reveal either. The story was never really about Jenson really. I honestly don’t think this game had any huge reveals beyond the conspiracy stuff, and even that was obvious if you’ve played Deus Ex 1 and sort of knew that these conspiracies existed. I actually like that about the game too, this isn’t a game that is trying to build up to some huge twist like Bioware or M. Night Shyamalan might.

    The game has a lot of mini-reveals, but nothing on the level that has become the norm for this type of game genre. Even allowing that though, two small but understandably difficult changes would have likely made this flow better. The first would have been with the Detective. Letting us have an option that says, “I know, Sarif showed me the files you sent him.” if you convinced Sarif to do so earlier. The next would have been when the actual non-optional version of the reveal happens with a similar response. It’d also be a perfect time to have Jenson let out with his take on it. Like when he told Taggart about the mirror, it’d feel like a valve that frames all the times he was quiet about it before as bottling it up in order to continue doing his work.

    Also, yeah, Deus Ex: HR is filled with those things the developers seem happy to let you miss. This Convo for Rutskarn and Chris, Wayne’s Convo for Shamus, Icarus for Josh, and myriad more sprinkled throughout. I’ve really found myself growing more impressed with this game watching this season and reading comments of people who just completely missed out on parts I took for granted.

    1. Gamer says:

      I think the whole “second reveal” with Megan would have been much better if they just had some alternate lines of dialogue. Like what they did with Zhao and the biochip.

      1. Thomas says:

        I feel the same as Fawkes. The big difference is that these reveals aren’t being guessed because that’s what the plot demands (Like it would have been if Sarif was evil) they’re being guessed because the game actually does tells you they’ve happened.

        I’m not quite so sure it’s deliberate, I just think they ended up doing things so well and so built up that it may have covered up what was a lesser flaw.

        It’s like a bad writer sat down and said, okay we need an interesting story, we’ll have these twists. And then a good writer took that and wrote everything so well that they stopped being twists and just a natural consequence of the story

  7. Hitch says:

    At 3:50 I don’t know if you were jumping down to the top of that tank, the lower roof, or that fence you hopped on just before the ground, but you managed to successfully miss all of them. That’s why you died.

    At 12:00 you wanted to know how many alarms you set off. I’m pretty sure it was all of them.

  8. JohnnySteps says:

    Oh man you guys need to do ME3.

    This game is too good and enjoyable.

    ME3 will allow you to unleash your hate.

    1. Deadyawn says:

      You’re not filling me with confindence here.
      I don’t WANT ME3 to suck.
      But I think it will.
      I guess I’ll just have to wait to see what Shamus has to say about it.

      1. Gamer says:

        To be fair, they fixed many of the gameplay problems in two. Also, the story makes much more sense.

        1. Luhrsen says:

          “The story makes much more sense” is sadly not equal to, “The story makes sense”. :(

        2. JohnnySteps says:

          The story makes much more sense?

          You talking about ME3?

          Have you finished it?

          Man I don’t even know…

          1. Tse says:

            The story starts with a deus ex machina. It’s not that good.

            1. Sumanai says:

              Is it a pointless deus ex machina like in ME2?

    2. Zukhramm says:

      I can’t wait!

  9. JPH says:

    I absolutely loved how Pritchard said “Yeah, yeah,” after Jensen thanked him. It really spoke to how the two characters respect each other, despite their constant bickering.

    1. RCN says:

      Yeah, but I love even more the nonchalant way he does it. So that Pritchard can still sound like a prick, but a prick with a heart of gold…

      I really like Pritchard. He is my favorite character in the game and, interestingly, he is the character that you interact with the most throughout the game. He is always giving you cyber-support and intel through your head-radio, as well as the odd bickering and calling up on the shit you ask him and do.

      The only part I felt odd was that, if you let Malik (what an odd name) die, he barely reacts. I guess they’re going for shock, but it felt more like mild surprise…

  10. This is my second favorite conversation involving revolver based suicide of all time. My first is the Benjamin Keane Russian roulette game in Killer7.

    1. Neko says:

      Gods yes, that scene had me and my friend who was playing grinning from ear to ear the entire time.

  11. JPH says:

    This is easily my favorite persuasion sequence in the game.

    Suicide is a topic that hits very close to home for me, and considering how the games industry usually handles controversial topics, I’d never expect a game of this size and scale to depict a man contemplating suicide in such a meaningful, well-thought-out manner.

    My only criticism would be that he didn’t seem quite as upset as someone about to commit suicide would be. He’d probably be very unstable. Hands trembling, crying, lip biting, hesitation, etc. The guy seemed just a bit too level-headed. I suppose I can understand why, though. Putting that in would take a lot of work and would probably make most players really uneasy or even offended.

    1. Hitch says:

      Second person in as many days that Josh has talked out of committing suicide. I really thought he’d more of a Rimmer at that:

      Rimmer: I used to be in the Samaritans.
      Lister: I know. For one morning.
      Rimmer: I couldn’t take any more.
      Lister: I don’t blame you. You spoke to five people and they all committed suicide. I wouldn’t mind, but one was a wrong number! He only phoned up for the cricket scores!
      Rimmer: Well, it’s not my fault everyone chose that day to jump out of buildings! It made the papers, you know. “Lemming Sunday,” they called it.

    2. Sydney says:

      All I’ll say: It’s possible to be seconds away from (attempting) suicide and look perfectly calm. Especially if you’ve made peace with what you’re about to (try to) do.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Especially for someone like sandoval.He had to keep his emotions hidden from everyone for a long time.So even the rage we see from him is already showing what state he is in.

      2. JPH says:

        Yes, but Sandoval obviously hasn’t made peace with it yet, since you can effectively talk him out of it.

  12. Imposing Snail says:

    Right back in basically the first mission while you’re in the warehouse/FEMA base, just before the first bossfight, there’s the note about a botched surgery, the man not blaming himself, he did a good job, etc. which the crew said they’d never worked out what it was for or about. I’m pretty sure it’s about the same thing as this conversation. (sorry if it was mentioned in the comments for that episode, I can’t remember and I’m too lazy to check)

  13. Spammy says:

    This is one of my favorite conversations in the game from a mechanical perspective, as it seems like you have to change up your approaches in order to succeed, you can’t just lean on the same one like you could with Taggart or Darrow. But I also liked talking Sandoval down from a character perspective, the man wasn’t part of the conspiracy or out for personal gain, his good intentions were just used.

    Also, for maximum asshole points you can convince him to live for his family’s sake as you leave his brother lying in a pool of his own blood upstairs. I didn’t, but you could.

    1. Gamer says:

      I had a laugh towards the end of the conversation because the first time through using “Tough Love”. He told me to go screw myself and that he would live just to spite me.

      But I agree, this was one of my favorite conversations.

  14. Roll-a-Die says:


    You use KotOR as your reference for a slow surprising reveal. Why do you do that? Planescape: Torment would have been the better choice. It did what has come to be known as the KotOR style reveal the best out of any video game, pretty much ever.

    KotOR’s build up was practically nill, meant to mirror the build up of the “NO, I AM YOUR FATHER.” moment from Star Wars. Which comes near completely out of left field with only minor build up. It(and the whole game really) reeks of cheap copy catery of moments in the original series of films, but what in the Star Wars EU isn’t cheap copy catery(BANE and Thrawn, that’s what.)

    Planescape: Torment’s, in comparison, is the slow winding reveal that anything and everything you have interacted with is completely connected with you. And the ones that aren’t are the new threads being added to the pattern. It also did the, “HEY, YOU WERE A SUPREMELY POWERFUL DICK BEFORE YOU LOST YOUR MEMORIES,” far and beyond better than KotOR did. And is a closer mirror to how they fucked up with this reveal. They attempted the slow wind up, but failed because they revealed too much info to the player too rapidly and early on.

    1. Grampy_Bone says:

      I tend to agree, that Kotor’s “reveal” was poorly planned, implemented, and foreshadowed; to the point I’d argue it was not intended when the game began development, and was only added later. The idea that the PC is the bad guy causes all sorts of headscratching plotholes throughout the rest of the game if you actually think about it.

  15. Michael says:

    These episodes feel … weird this week: I’ve never heard Rutskarn swear so much before.

    1. Hitch says:

      It’s just a phase he’s going through.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yeah.You know how it is with kids when they reach 13.

    2. Dante says:

      Its all Mumbles fault.

      1. Mumbles says:

        The weird thing is that he swears more when I’m not around.

        1. X2Eliah says:

          Come to think of it, maybe you are the only person he is genuinely scared/afraid of? So when he doesn’t have you watching his every misstep, he’s letting go a bit.

          1. Mumbles says:

            That’s fucking adorable.

          2. Destrustor says:

            No, it’s just that when she’s around, he tries to be a polite guy to woo her.

            1. Michael says:

              I’d like to think his attempts are literally him saying “Woo, woo,” and waving his fingers in her direction.

              Politely, though. So in a top hat.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wow,Josh,that was a very good jensen.I had to back up a few seconds because at first i thought he said it.

  17. Sydney says:

    Why didn’t Zeke use frag mines?

    1. Logan says:

      Maybe they wanted a trap specifically for augs. It’s got bait that only an aug would want and mines that would only affect an aug. Make the person’s augments become their downfall.

  18. X2Eliah says:

    Hm. You guys aren’t exactly right – I skipped the previous conversation constantly (the one with Taggart, on account of not knowing there even was one), and I always got to talk with Isaias here..

    Maybe you don’t get to talk to him if you kill zeke at the start of the game, in the hostage mission? And if you let zeke go / live, Isaias won’t be insta-hostile to you.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      Well, if you take Sarif’s suggestion and upload the evidence incriminating Isaias onto Taggart’s computer, you get the conversation, but if you don’t do that…I think it’s a bug that happens sometimes. It’s never happened to me, but I’ve heard of it. Or maybe there’s some factor that I don’t know about.

      1. X2Eliah says:

        Aha, yeah, that uploading-thingie might be the key in that case – I always uploaded the evidence, so… that’s how the video got out to the news, and that’s why taggart was forced to make a statement incriminating Isaias.

        Makes sense, and actually, wow, very clever on the dev’s part.

    2. Shamus says:

      An interesting thought, but in my current play-through I blasted Zeke, sweet-talked Taggert, and then helped Sandoval.

      Sounds like this has a complex trigger.

      I like this game more and more.

    3. Even says:

      I had the insta-attack on my second runthrough of the game even though I “won” the convo with Taggart. It wasn’t a full win since I wasn’t aware of the randomization at the time and just wanted to skip it through and so I botched it a start, but still managed to convince Taggart to meet me backstage. I couldn’t really upload the stuff to his PC since he stays in the room indefinitely and is invincible.

    4. Destrustor says:

      I skipped Taggart, didn’t upload the dirt and I saved Zeke at the beginning but I think I killed him in his ambush.

      And I got the conversation with Sandoval.

      I have no clue how this works and what the triggers are.

  19. McNutcase says:

    I now predict that Josh will have every augment EXCEPT the parachute at the end of the game. He will also have sufficient praxis to activate it, and will do so no more than three seconds before pushing the button to roll cutscene.

    I want it on record that I have called it.

    1. Gamer says:

      Yep. It will definitely be this season’s incinerator.

      1. Thomas says:

        It’s gone too far now, if he caved in and used it, it wouldn’t even be cool and it would just make the whole aug really disappointing. Unless he does it by that one point in Pangea designed to use it but doesn’t comment on it at all.

  20. Friend of Dragons says:

    Yeah, this conversation was a good one. It’s weird though, I think I missed Taggart’s speech on both of my playthroughs (didn’t even realize it was possible), but I think Isias Attacked me once and I had this conversation the other time, so there may be other factors.

    1. X2Eliah says:

      Do you remember whether you uploaded the incriminating data onto Taggart’s computer when Sarif asked you to? As Gruhunchously said, that might be the trigger point for insta-attack-or-not.

  21. Deadyawn says:

    My lethal playthrough was basically just use whatever I could carry right up until I got the exploding revolver. Then the game got awesome.
    I really like that gun. It even kills robots in about 2 hits.

  22. Infinitron says:

    The Isaias Sandoval conversation is bugged. Sometimes you won’t get it even if you’re supposed to.
    Scroll down.

    1. Infinitron says:

      Another thing:
      If you talk to Sandoval again after the conversation, he reveals some information about the game’s three bosses, which is a rarity in this game.

  23. Infinitron says:

    1) The original Deus Ex was ambiguous and self-contradictory about the origin of the Dentons. It’s really never clearly stated whether JC and Paul are natural, whether JC was grown in a tube and only Paul was natural, or whether they were both artificial. There was a “Deus Ex Bible” that tried to clear things up but even that had strange contradictions with the games.
    2) It’s not clear that Adam Jensen’s purpose was to be able to use augmentations with no rejection. Actually, mechanical augmentation science was only in its infancy when Adam was created in the 1990’s. He may have been created for some other purpose, which coincidentally endowed him with that unique property.

  24. RTBones says:

    *regards the room*

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, with the usual apologies….

    I am the very model of augmented mercenary Man
    Whose bifurcated cybernetic ways enable any plan
    From malphesant coprorate avarice to noble altruistic glee
    A demented mix of mayhem-making murderous psychology
    Anachronisitic flesh to mesh the brain with the bionic hand
    I am the very model of augmented mercenary Man

    *silently raises glass, slides whiskey bottle down the bar*

    1. Destrustor says:

      In my head, I always have trouble syncing the words and the tune. I really want someone to actually sing this.

  25. Thomas says:

    I guess the problem is that if someone else invents aug-free rejection before Versalife, then they could just make Versalife irrelevant. This way VL could have even more of a grip by carefully adjusting things so that they’re very very selective who they give it to

    1. Cookie Of Nine says:

      I have an alternative, but not necessarily opposing reason for the augmentation-rejection cure:

      Bob Page, looking to become essentially the “god in the machine”, would not want to be dependent on a drug to live.

  26. Burek says:

    “I never asked for this homework.” oh man that cracked me up.

  27. RCN says:

    I liked how you purchased all the armor upgrades just to troll Zeke. Priceless. I guess he didn’t do anything because he opened the door and didn’t see anything. You were supposed to be incapacitated in the middle of the room and the AI only opens the door, but triggers as usual by having visual contact. Since you went stealth and went to the corner, he saw an empty room and just stood there in his room.

    Even though the armor upgrades are kinda useless. You go from lasting half a second of concentrated fire to 3/4 of a second. Huge noticeable difference, right?

    And you know, it speaks loads of how much respect you have for Deus Ex: Pagan Contribution when even Josh can’t bring himself to troll the conversations (maybe troll the gameplay and AI, but not the conversations).

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