Early Deus Ex concepts involved "elements of conspiracy theory with X-Files weirdness"

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Deus Ex poison clouds

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The rough preliminary outlines for Deus Ex described a more brutal world with more aggressive foes than the enigmatic cabals encountered in Ion Storm's cyberpunk RPG. Eurogamer (opens in new tab) 's report goes over the design documents in detail, but a few highlights include an original vision incorporating "X-Files weirdness" and significant personality changes for major characters such as Tracer Tong and Joseph Manderley.

Designer Warren Spector's early iterations of a "near-future science-fiction" game were initially called Majestic Revelations. Instead of corporate intrigue and dystopian societies, Revelations would draw parallels from X-Files' paranormal focus.

Main character and trenchcoat devotee JC Denton existed from the very start as a UNATCO agent, though the organization's first incarnation was the harsher-sounding Terrorist Limitation Coalition, or TLC, which definitely didn't dabble in chart-topping R&B. UNATCO boss Joseph Manderley was a "ruthless bastard" hunting JC across the globe instead of plotting behind a desk, and hacker ally Tracer Tong transformed from a "mercenary" figure into the reclusive data-digger encountered in Deus Ex's second half.

Also undergoing a large shift was Majestic 12, the mysterious group of shadowy puppeteers. Spector initially had Majestic 12's actions become far more public, even planning a Mexican invasion of Texas and the assassination of a White House cabinet. Players would eventually visit these locations, but Ion Storm ultimately scrapped the complex idea.

Some older Majestic 12 level concepts lived on in the final version, such as an underwater base located in a flooded Hollywood valley turning into the late-game research laboratories. Deus Ex Lead Writer Sheldon Pacotti believed the deleted scenes "possibly exist on DVDs in someone's attic somewhere," but he wasn't hopeful of finding them anytime soon. And if you haven't re-installed Deus Ex by now (which always tends to magically happen whenever someone talks about it), grab the New Vision mod (opens in new tab) before you do to spruce up its aged visuals.

Read more at Eurogamer .

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?