Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by bobby 55 »

Jonas wrote:What the fuck is this guy talking about?

http://www.reddit.com/r/gamernews/comme ... lc/c2gofq8
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by chris the cynic »

For the love of fucking god, I thought that theory had died in a fire like it so richly deserved.

It's about the incept dates.

Deus Ex is set in 2052. As near as we can tell it starts on Friday the 17th of April. Yes, I know that in 2052 the 17th of April won't be a Friday, shut up. The incept dates listed in the cloning lab in Area 51 are all at various points in the future. One (Nick Pausback's) is in May of 2052*, two (Wade's and JC's) are in 2054, and one (Alex's) is in 2055.

Incept can mean a lot of things, it tends to mean when someone is inducted into a university. Make of that what you will.

Some people take it to mean birthdate. Which would mean JC would be NEGATIVE one year old when the game takes place. Make of that what you will.

So, the theory goes, that if JC was created in 2054 then he can't very well have grown up normally because, what with him being 23 years old, that would put the date of the game at 2087. They don't mind screwing with the date of the game to make it post date 2054, but even they recognize that 2087 would be a bit ... late. So if the game is set some time before 2087, and JC wasn't created until 2054, then JC is less than 23 years old and thus they ** conclude that JC was artificially aged.

My understanding is that the mention of artificial aging and growth acceleration in the email was probably a reference to an abandoned plan to have the White House mission involve a clone of the president. (Just like the stuff about Austin referenced removed missions, the stuff talking about the moon referenced those removed missions. So on, so forth.)

But anyway, even though it makes no sense and screws up the timeline in myriad ways and has no basis in any of the text or dialog in the game, some people choose to believe that JC's childhood was a lie, JC and Paul were both growth acclerated to adulthood in some kind of a vat (or something) and had false memories given to them. False memories of coming to the conclusion they were engineered. Because that's totally a memory you'd implant in someone when you didn't want them to suspect they weren't normal.

It really, really, really does not make any sense. I wish it would go away.

-

* It is a little under one month after the game is set.

** Can I not do strikethrough? Because this would be an ideal time. I wanted to have it say, "realize that either they misunderstood what incept means in this context" and be struck out, but I couldn't figure out how.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by AEmer »

I'll try to outline how I think a lot of the less obvious stuff in human revolution lines up. (massive spoilers)

On Hugh Darrows Early Role:

Hugh Darrow invented mechanical augmentation sometime around now - 2012+ a bit. In order to stop peoples immune defense systems from rejecting large mechanical augmentations, medication is needed - neuropozyne was invented by darrow industries. It's claimed to be highly addictive and some genetic makeups apparently still reject mechanical augmentations.

Being in the sad position of suffering from an auto-immune desease myself, I'm familiar with a lot of current day drugs. There are general immunosupressants, targeted immunosupressants, and biotic immunosupressants. The last category are highly targeted RNA medications. Get this - some of the stuff I've been on was manufactured using chimeric components...a mix of human and mouse. So purely as an aside, I can comment that neuropozyne isn't so far from the real world medications Remicade and Humira - but also, crucially, a special kind of multi schlerosis medication I've been on. I don't remember the exact brand name, but it prevented white blood cells from mingling freely with your brain, and had a few other effects as well.

Supposing the problem with mechanical augmentations is the immunological reactions to a chip around your brain-stem or inside your cranium - pacemakers aren't a problem much lighter drugs can't handle - then neuropozyne would indeed be very expensive, because it would have to be effective enough to prevent all swelling around that area.

Alright, so in 2012-2015, hugh darrow effectively invents mechanical augmentations, and a drug that allows for direct brain-prosthesis interfacing.

On Adams Origins:

Ok. Around 1993, Adam is born with DNA that's significantly different from the DNA of his parents. He's born in the controlled environment of a lab. He's probably a clone or somehow based on DNA taken from people using the smallpox data discussed in this thread. He may even have been subjected to something in vitro. That fact that his dna is so different from that of his genetic parents (according to his mitocondriae) makes it appear that he was innoculated with something that changed him. This ties in with the following.

At white helix labs, they were conducting gene therapy on a lot of babies. I believe it said somewhere what they were trying to research, I believe it was, an autoimmune illness, but for the life of me I can't find it right now.

Apparently, Adam was the only one to survive what they did. Michelle Walters - who's senile - says that Adam's parents started a fire when they found out white helix labs were going to use adam to innoculate the next batch of babies. I'm not sure exactly what she means by this (it's what she says), but if you decline to bring Adam his birthday money (she says there most be at least 10 she has missed), then she says they called adam ahead of his time, and that they prevented white helix from ripping a lot out of his dna. White helix labs were a subsidiary of versalife. My bet is that, white helix were going to use Adam as the basis for a lot of clones to experiment on.

It seems adam was 5 when he first appears as his adoptive parents son, so it's likely they kept him hidden til that point, since michelle says she nabbed him from his crib.

Apparently, Jensens parents - likely the woman who gave birth to him and her spouse - were part of the white helix staff, and decided that Adam shouldn't be cut up.

Either way, Adam Jensen was part of the illuminati research program till 93, then he was disappeared.

On Megan Reeds Role:

Ok. At some point, versalife takes over the production of neuropozyne, and darrow retires from medical research - at least on the face of it. Presumably, this is the point where the illuminati gets really interested in perfecting human-electromechanical melding, and they search for someone else like Adam...eventually finding Paul Denton. It's not such a stretch that the same biological breakthrough happens twice, 20 years apart.

Megan Reed is hired by Sarif Industries in 2018, at the tender age of 23. By 2023 she's the head of Sarif Industries science division.

At some point between she's hired, and 2027, she comes in contact with adam, takes his DNA, dates him, researches him, and starts heading towards the possibility of integrating mechanical augmentations into humans without the need for neuropozyne.

For a couple of reasons, I think Megan finds out Adam has unique DNA _before_ she dates him. At first, I thought she probably dated him, then used his dna as part of a control group "for fun" and discovered his special makeup, but then it seems obvious her first thought would be to share her discovery with Adam. Even supposing Sarif demanded that she didn't tell Adam...which noone truly suggests is what happened...and even supposing that she would tell Sarif first...I don't see how she would be better served keeping it from him. It's not like Sarif would fire her. Or pull her from her position. If anything, finding out that your boyfriend is the key to the next revolution of modern biology makes your position completely assured nomatter what you do.
The other reason is, as Jonas said, coincidentally dating Adam when she's the head of Sarif industries? Accidentally falling over the most favorable piece of biology in the world and simultaneously being one of only a few people able to do anything with it? And you're dating him?

There are happy coincidences, and then there's something that probably has a more direct cause.

So I think that somehow, Megan knew Adam's DNA was special, and she needed samples, and she tried to get to know him. Then, he turns out to be a nice guy, and she keeps seeing him after she's nabbed the samples...but she doesn't want to tell him she only got close to him in the first place because of his DNA. So she keeps seeing him, and grabbing samples (how she gets them, or what shape those samples take, isn't really explained). At some point, it's too much guilt and they either break up, or she stops taking them. Now, no more samples are available to sarif industries - this is confirmed an email suggesting that samples became available again coinciding with Jensen getting thrashed...which makes sense, given that they probably kept his body parts after plopping them off.

This all adds up to Megan being secretive about finding out Adam is special, which I can find no other way to explain (I know this is hardly a good argument, but there it is). It also appears noone knows that Adam is patient X, apart from Megan and Sarif, so Megan probably found out because Adam was at some point treated by Sarif Industries. Considering Adam was a part of detroit PD, Sarif Industries may well have had access to information on the biology of the police officers if they were on contract for providing health benefits. In fact, if you're a member of SWAT, you definitively have a blood sample taken and analyzed so if you get shot, you can get transfused easily. So that's a plausible way for this to have started out.

It doesn't seem like that, at any point, the illuminati realizes Adams origins. It's just megan, her research, and encroaching on the elimination of neuropozyne, which has become a control-valve for the illuminati at this point. This is why they attack Sarif Industries.

Also, Sarif can have gotten Adam fired. He may not have known the origins of Adam, but he could have connections at detroid PD, and if he knows the only way to get more samples from Adam is to bring him over and have him go through a complete physical, he might push for that. He _did_ decide to aug him up as much as possible, removing lots of healthy tissue and limbs. Hiring the detective to look around afterwards could just be a matter of figuring out the details he didn't know.

On Ties To Deus Ex 1

So. How does all this relate to Deus Ex 1 ? Well, Megan is essentially working on doing for mechanical augmentation what the Grey Death is meant to do for nano augmentation, and Adam is the key to that. When she joins up with the illuminati, she brings with her all the research on mechanical augmentation immunology. Pages end goal is to merge with an AI directly; to transcend his human form, and Megan may well be able to help with that. The Hyron project appears to be a prototype on how to approach the problem. Megan ties in with that rather neatly. The goal with JC, after all, is to be a prototype for Bob Page and Walton Simons. JC Denton may have been "innoculated" with part of Adams DNA, as part of getting to the point where it's possible to re-write the DNA of a living person. That's ultimately both Megan Reeds and Bob Pages goal, so it lines up rather nicely.

I don't necessarily believe Bob Page was aiming for nanite augmentation from the start, but comparing the crudeness of the mechanical augmentations to the nanites, and considering that being nano augmented is almost like having a universal constructor inside of you, Page has probably seen the light by 2027 and decided nano augmentation is where it's at. He'd have to, since that's the overarching goal with the grey death virus, and he's developing it in 2027, yes?
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by DDL »

Didn't read coz spoilers, but unrelatedly: holy fuck it's aemer.

POST MOAR OFTEN.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by AEmer »

Hahah I may just take you up on that XD I was linked to the topic by Jonas, that's why I came in from stage right.
Nice to see some of the veterans are still around :-)

Also, Chris, if you're still curious on how people feel about HR's Setting/Endings

Human Revolution generally extrapolates from two places - Deus Ex and current day reality. It might be a prequel, but it's just as much a piece of sci-fi in its own right.

I had some pretty fundamental issues with the story up untill tonight; and either there _are_ issues with it, or it counts (strongly) on players assuming that there aren't. Thing is, it's a video game - so if something appears to be out of order, on the face of it, I'm likely to assume it's a mistake, rather than assuming that there's more to it. It's just so horribly common, and being a programmer I'm trained to look for special case errors, and that's really hard to turn off.

But if things fit together, moving onwards - and I _can_ make them fit together now, I think - then the story may well be sound.

---light spoilers from here---

The endings themselves aren't really something you're likely to concern yourself with overmuch. They're poorly integrated into the last part of the game, and aside for allowing you to make a philosophical choice, there isn't much to them. The choice you make could have an impact, or it could have less of an impact. You don't fundamentally change any kind of established power structure. No matter what you do, the facility you're in won't last till the end of the day. And no matter what choice you make, the only real difference is the contents of a one-time broadcast of information.

Theoretically - and according to the lofty ideas of the protagonist - the broadcast will leave an impact on people, and make them luddites or technology-worshipers to some degree, depending on your choice.

That can't - won't - be whisked away by the starting point of Deus Ex, 2030.

---light spoilers end---

But listen, I'm not saying your actions will leave no impact. They do leave a very major one. There's a strong sense that if Adam wasn't there at all, the world would regress into complete social collapse. You might not be able to prevent a coming disaster, but you're certainly preventing a current one. You just don't get to choose who should be in power.

If Deus Ex was about the ethics of government, then Human Revolution are about the ethics of technology and innovation. It might sound like much more traditional sci-fi, and in a sense, it is, but it also isn't. Controlling technology and progress - owning inventions - even when those things can change the very fibers of our bodies? It's a different kind of power over the individual than laws. In the world - the setting - of human revolution, the implications for the individual are as far-reaching as and powerful as those of any style of government. What good is freedom if you have no arms or legs? Turns out, a lot, if you have good prosthesies, but not terribly much if you don't.

In a sense, Human Revolution deals with different aspects of control and power over individuals than Deus Ex did, but it shares a frightening number of similarities in spite of that. In a pre-2030 world, this actually seems more compelling than any other angle that could be chosen.

Bottom line - it's good sci-fi. It really truly is. Even knowing about the imminent collapse, I still feel my choices mattered, because the direction of technology, such as it is, will probably have it's influence reach beyond the collapse and remain with the world, so it doesn't even feel like too much of a pre-destined ending.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by Jonas »

chris the cynic wrote:Can I not do strikethrough? Because this would be an ideal time.
No you can't Yeah you can now, thanks for prompting me to finally add a BB code for that :mrgreen:
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by AEmer »

I went back and read through the entirety of the topic, which I hadn't done before. Then I made another long ass reply. You're welcome. :D

First...Chris, do we know what Alex Denton is doing inside his tank in Deus Ex, beneath

Area 51? Supposing it _is_ in fact alex inthere. And do we know why his name is Alex

Denton? He's obviously a Paul clone, but did he just happen to be coincidentally raised

by another family of dentons?

Re: Introducing the various possible ending philosophies throughout the game (short version: they do that about as well as they do in DX)

Also, the disparate factions of HR are introduced gradually, and you get to delve into

their philosophies all through the game.
The illuminati news organisation comes off as a parallel to Rupert Murdochs news empire,

and generally introduces the notion that public debate should be rigged for the common

good. It probably isn't a news-of-the-world comment, but it might as well be. You even

get to debate with one of the illuminatis puppets in public.

The Sarif philophies - being all that you can be, evolving humanity to it's next level -

is an integral part of the game as well. It cuts to the core of everything Megan Reed

stands for. In a sense, it is the option where humanity gets dragged forward into the

future, whether it wills it or not, much as Adam himself is dragged there. I must admit,

this philosophy reminds me an awful lot of what goes on in Repo Men (that movie with Jude

Law).

The Hugh Darrow option is also foreshadowed early on. Hugh Darrow is, in a certain sense,

this worlds Ozzymandias. The parallel to watchmen is quite staggering, and rather well

integrated. While you're not exposed to the philosophy behind his choices till the very

end, there's a sense that things are fundamentally fucked up all through the game. That

both humanist and augmentist factions are wrong. Futher, Darrows specific attack vector

is very well integrated, and is even used by a minor NPC during the very first mission.

Even so, the Darrow option closely resembles the Helios option, being the resolution

introduced last, only explained just as it truly matters. It is also worth noting that

the first time you see Darrow, the father of mechanical augmentation he's, himself, a

cripple. He walks with a crutch, and apparently has a disfigured, amputated, or just

useless left arm. At this point, he has long since chosen to reject his invention, even

on a personal level...though there's a slim chance he isn't compatible with augmentations

_at all_, since we know people like that do exist.
He is at once Daedalus - the father who invented the wax wings - and the sun, who casts

down icarus for his hybris. Of course, rather than tricking the entire world, Darrows

goal is to tell the truth, so the parallel to Ozzymandias ends there.

The fourth ending - essentially choosing none of the above - is Jensen trying to reject a

power which he recognizes as not belonging to him. No matter his choice, though, the

ramifications will go far beyond whatever reasons he has for choosing, unless he means to

accomplish specifically what is offered by those options. Perhaps it is mainly there to

illustrate that even doing nothing is a choice.

So the endings are poorly integrated into the last level, but the choice is, ultimately,

meaningful because of all the context that's given.

Re: Tidbits about the setting
You get a clear sense that the world is going through a kind of gradual degeneration.

Hugh Darrows current project is massive iron-seeding of the oceans from an artificial deep sea structure called panchea, located in the artic, to fight global warming.

As an aside I must admit, I did not read all the ebooks. When I played the original deus

ex, I wasn't much of an explorer, either.
I tend to get really, really into these games...and it doesn't help that this time, in

the very first mission, there's negative consequences for dilly-dallying too much.

Reading ebooks that didn't seem to have relevant titles just didn't happen...So there may

well be some continuity nuggets I missed.

Oh, and I disagree with most of Mr_Cyberpunks criticisms. I don't think the stock footage was abused; it was a heavy-handed way to illustrate that this little piece of sci-fi has current day philosophical ramifications, but really, it's a video game; being heavy handed is modus operandi. And I do think the fact that the illuminati were behind everything was handled with as much delicacy as possible. Most HR players won't be DX veterans. They won't realize that the illuminati are truly a shadow government. As of HR, it just seems like they're a very powerful secretive organisation. And I think it's a good thing MJ12 is never mentioned anywhere. It would just be confusing; much better to stick with more well known groups, like FEMA and WHO...and to underline that the Illuminati really is the group you're up against, and make it seem cohesive.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by chris the cynic »

AEmer wrote:I went back and read through the entirety of the topic, which I hadn't done before. Then I made another long ass reply. You're welcome. :D
Thank you.
First...Chris, do we know what Alex Denton is doing inside his tank in Deus Ex, beneath
Area 51? Supposing it _is_ in fact alex inthere. And do we know why his name is Alex
Denton? He's obviously a Paul clone, but did he just happen to be coincidentally raised
by another family of dentons?
Do we know? Not in the least. As I recall they refused to answer in the interview that accompanied the release of the continuity bible and if anyone has asked since then, I certainly haven't heard of an answer.

I was once asked by someone if I would look over their thoughts on the matter, and based on the way it was asked it sounded like they'd made a major breakthrough that no one had ever considered before, but I never actually got the email saying what they'd come up with.

Basically the only thing that we do know is that the fact you can walk right through Alex is almost certainly not accidental. But whether it's supposed to be that way due to the plot, or someone was just screwing around is unclear. What the hell is up with what you see there is really never explained.

Oh, and Alex wouldn't be with another family of Dentons because JC's family wasn't really named Denton. (Code name, real name, head desk.) Have I mentioned that it was a serious mistake on the developer's part to have the default code name be the same as the real name? The should have either picked a default real name, or left it blank and forced you to fill in something, or randomly generated one if you didn't mess with it and have a little pop up saying, "Your name is [whatever]" or done something to stop there from being things like, "I have looking for that trater J.C. Denton or "JC Denton" or whatever he calls himself," and all the rest.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by bobby 55 »

They won't realize that the illuminati are truly a shadow government. As of HR, it just seems like they're a very powerful secretive organisation.


It must be the same thinking that lead to the movie National Treasure's handling of them.

The illuminati news organisation comes off as a parallel to Rupert Murdochs news empire
Yeah, reading the emails at Picus gave me that impression too. Also combined with Eliza being what she is, they could be the holders of all knowledge as well. That'd be akin to Murdoch and Microsoft merging and taking control of the web. Now that's scary. :)
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by Jonas »

AEmer wrote:At this point, he has long since chosen to reject his invention, even on a personal level...though there's a slim chance he isn't compatible with augmentations _at all_, since we know people like that do exist.
This is actually how it is, once I rejected the Pheromone option and went through the entire final confrontation with Darrow "the proper way", it's pretty clear at least from the response I got to the options I picked, that Darrow is incompatible with mechanical augmentation, and Jensen suggested that much of what motivates Darrow is frustration and jealousy and fear that the human species is going to evolve in a way that he cannot, and thus leave him behind.

As for the Illuminati, HR doesn't go into the extent of their power or their organisation to the same degree that Deus Ex did. We find their members at the top level of every part of society (scientific, political, media, possibly military) but the only member of the Illuminati that we talk to claims there is no real organisation, and that they're merely a bunch of powerful people with a common agenda - but then, he would say that: "The Illuminati is just a name to get rich financiers to invest more money." It doesn't seem like any of the people working in the Illuminati compound beneath Picus actually knows they're working for Illuminati, for all they know they're just pushing the corporate agenda of Picus. For all a player of DXHR knows, the Illuminati may just be an even more elitist, slightly more activist off-shoot of the Bilderberg Group.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by AEmer »

@ Chris

That's kindof troubling. Do you think it's possible that the clone tank area and pages comments when you reach it are part of an elaborate setup to freak JC the hell out? That seems awfully contrived. If the tank for JC was really meant for JC...why doesn't paul have a tank? And Alex(presumably) is stored in his tank several years ahead of time, wheres the guys with earlier inception dates aren't present?...
Is it possible that the whole thing is just inconsistent with the rest of Deus Ex continuity?

@ Jonas

Little bit of background first:

In the purity first trailer, there's a brief picture of Darrow (apparently played by a real life actor) in a doctors gown, holding a syrringe. It appears to be taken from a magazine news article called "IF THE GENE FITS".

There's a little bit of text that reads as follows:

"Darrow Industries publishes "FittestXY" the first test capable of identifyin if a subject suffers from a rare genetic disorder that makes acceptance of an implant not only impossible, but also deadly. Prior to this, Darrow industries had created it's drug Neuropozyne, which prevents patients' immune systems from rejecting their implants and forcibly expelling them in painful, life threatening ways."

...I haven't really found anything else outside or inside the game about it. It does seem that everybody need to take Neuropozyne eventually, so the FittestXY people are probably those where even Neuropozyne won't help.

One thing I do find really strange is that Adam hasn't been put on Neuropozyne as a matter of course. It seems like patients don't need to take it untill their immune systems begin responding to the augmentations, so there is a sort of grace-period where they don't need the drug. It could be that as they're undergoing surgery they get a lot of drugs, and only as these wear off (which can easily be months...some drugs have an exceptional half-life) do they need to start taking Neuropozyne.

Re: The conversation with Darrow

I was confident in my ability to argue Darrow into the ground so I actually got that too.

I thought darrow was simply not the leap forward Adam was; having worked with Megan Reed, and apparently given her the impression that he'd taken her into his confidence by revealing that he was working against the illuminati from the inside, I figured that he may have known that Adam was essentially a leap forward for humanity, being Patient X. So when Adam talks about how Darrows's getting left behind it would be because he's been removed from any kind of influence over the direction of a technology he created...and when Darrow talks about having a poor genetic makeup, it would be in reference to Adams supperior genetic makeup.

Thus he would still be compatible with mechanical augmentation and have chosen to reject it of his own volition.

Your interpretation makes him out to be a far more bitter man, but then, some of the possible conversation choices _do_ make him out to be really bitter. I think overall, your interpretation is the better fit....though I wish we could have found some other ingame source to confirm it.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by Jonas »

It is definitely an interpretation rather than a presentation of indisputable facts (as indisputable as facts get, anyway), but yeah at least in the conversation I had with him, he was pretty damn bitter. The whole discussion didn't make his aug-incompatibility out to be the only reason for his 180 rejection of the technology, but it seemed like that was the seed that started his whole about-face.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by Jaedar »

Pretty sure I got Darrow to admit outright that he was just pissed about him not being able to get augmented.
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Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by chris the cynic »

AEmer wrote:That's kindof troubling.
It's a massive headache if you stop to think about it too much.
Do you think it's possible that the clone tank area and pages comments when you reach it are part of an elaborate setup to freak JC the hell out?
That's certainly possible. Page is trying to kill JC when he says that so it's possible be doesn't have JC's best interests in mind. Given that he's got an exploding door all set up what he really wants is probably a slow moving target. If JC is not rushing and taking a look around because he's trying to figure out, "Was I really made here?" that probably is better for the trap.

But:
That seems awfully contrived.
Yes it does. On the one hand, it would incredibly simple to stick JC's info on the datacube even if the tank had nothing to do with him, and in theory that would result in JC stopping to stand directly in front of the door that was supposed to blow up and kill him when while he read the cube and looked at the tank. On the other hand, this entire paragraph sounds too much like rationalization for it to be a satisfying answer.
If the tank for JC was really meant for JC...why doesn't paul have a tank?
If you listen to what Page says, he says that this is where JC was created. Paul wasn't created, he was born by ordinary means, so he wouldn't have had anything going on there.

The larger problem is... well ... what the fuck? First off a giant tank is almost certainly not a good thing to use to create an embryonic clone, which is what JC was when he was created. It is difficult at best to believe that that thing really played an important role in JC's creation. Second, JC was created 23 years prior to the game taking place. Are we to believe that the tank has been sitting there for the last 23 years without ever being used for something else?

And why the hell is Alex Denton intangible? Various people have dug around and found absolutely no logical reason, but the way things work are such that someone had to manually change a setting to make him intangible while the others were left tangible.

Also, the empty tank with JC's name in front of it? Different from the other tanks. No indication as to why.

There is no explanation for anything we see in that room. None.
And Alex(presumably) is stored in his tank several years ahead of time, wheres the guys with earlier inception dates aren't present?...
All of the incept dates are set in the game's future. Which means that none of them have come yet when the game takes place. I tend to think that that means we shouldn't trouble ourselves with them too much. Yes, Page's clone has an incept date less than a month after the game takes place. But, regardless of what that means it probably won't matter since by the time that date roles around either:
The facility will have been destroyed and the clone along with it.
The Illuminati will have been in control of the facility for weeks.
Helios will have been in control of the facility for weeks.

So my stance is basically, "Incept dates we don't know what they mean, but given that they haven't happened yet they probably don't matter that much."

And to reiterate, we have no idea what "incept" means in this context. None. Incept, in general, means to take in. As I mentioned before I think it's most common use today is that it's what happen to students when they join a university. It's not a common word. As you point out it could also be short for inception, which means beginning. (Or graduation, because for some reason this word had to have a higher learning related meaning too.) There's a pretty decent chance it's a Blade Runner reference, but it can't have the same meaning as it did in Blade Runner because, as noted, they haven't happened yet.

Doing anything at all useful with the dates doesn't work well. JC's date is the third of four, yet only the tank associated with him is empty (unless you count Alex's intangibility as a sign his tank is empty, in that case the tanks associated with the later two dates are empty, the ones associated with the earlier dates are full.)

If it means anything at all to do with the tank it doesn't make sense. If it is related to coming out of the tank then why are people with incept dates before his still in their tanks? If it is related to going into the tank then why is Alex, with an incept date after JC's, already in his?
Is it possible that the whole thing is just inconsistent with the rest of Deus Ex continuity?
It is possible, but unless someone turns up something saying exactly what the hell an incept date is, or what the tanks are actually for, I'm willing leave open the possibility that it would make perfect sense if we knew what any of it meant.

The incept dates don't bother me much. They're set in the game's future and there's no indication that they have any bearing on the game's present. It's true that we have no idea what they mean, but the same can be said of the vitals category listed on the same datacubes. I'm not all that bothered that we have no idea what it means that JC's vitals are listed as "50/75/0.98/25/1.4".

The troubling thing is the tank itself. If it does have something to do with JC's creation then why is it still there and labeled with his name after this much time? Why not use it and relabel it in the intervening time? Also, how does it have something to do with JC's creation? If it doesn't have something to do with his creation then what is it for, and does that mean that the data cubes in front of the other tanks are also forged?

And why the hell is Alex intangible?

-

There is something else worth mentioning. The original plan was for the moon, not Area 51, to be the final level. Ada and all that. Like the White House mission that was eventually scrapped this was something that was true far enough into production that they actually did work on making the moon levels. There are textures and apparently some parts of the Area 51 maps began as parts of the moon base.

The reason that this might be important is that it means that the Area 51 levels were built later in development (my memory says that they were 60% through the development process when they gave up on the moon) after they sat down and rethought the game's story. I sort of feel like that should mean that Area 51 is less likely to have a major inconsistency in it than something that was made before they reshuffled the plot. Something made beforehand might have some hold over from before that they forgot to remove (or didn't think was worth removing) but something made afterwards would seem less likely to have inconsistencies of that type.

Plus the text itself was written late enough in development that Chris Todd, it's writer, wasn't hired until after all the changes had already been made. So it doesn't make a lot of sense for there to be something wildly inconsistent there of all places. Of course fuck ups can happen any time any where.
AEmer
Illuminati
Posts: 1490
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:04 am

Re: Looking for general impressions on HR's Setting/Endings

Post by AEmer »

Well, he's intangible because (all the reasons I can think of for intangibility...)

- He's a hologram
- He's being made (universal constructor style)
- He's being taken apart
- He's a ghost
- Some weirdo experiment is going on

Of those, only the hologram one makes much sense to me. Considering Alex is alive and well in invisible war, I'm going to suggest that they went ahead and put a hologram inthere. Perhaps it serves as a kind of "scaffolding" for designing a refined analysis or modification process.

The Paul Denton research seems to still be ongoing; whatever Walton Simons got done to him - whatever Bob Page is doing to himself - might not be the last step in their own biological modification. Considering the Dentons are more or less research subjects with very special DNA, more experiments could be bound to take place.

This is why I was curious why there wasn't a tank for Paul Denton, but there are plausible explanations for that if JC and Paul aren't entirely the same DNA, JC has been modded further, or if age is a factor.

So how about this - Paul Denton appears to have been the model for making the human body accept and work with nano augmentation. Of course, the fact that he accepts nano augmentation is a concequence of inborn genetics, and even then, it's still not without problems for him. It seems two large problems remain for bob page, or indeed anyone, to become the perfect human being:

-Nanoaugmentation must be perfected

-A method to adapt adult humans such that they can be nano augmented must be found

Obviously, JC is involved in perfecting it, and he appears to be an even better candidate than Paul was...but even if JC has a perfected version augmentation, Walton Simons appears to have been nano augmented after the fact. He appears to be making references to being a newer version. This makes sense if Walton was nano augmented not because he had suitable genetics, but, rather, if he was altered later in life. We know that the grey death was part of this research, and we know that the dentons were the prototypes of working nanoaugmentation, but perhaps there were also plans for using at least JC and Alex as test subjects to futher develop the method for adapting living humans to accept nano augmentations.

As it is, Page obviously no longer cares to wait for the method to be further refined. He is probably moving things along much faster than he had anticipated. Given that very little time passes over the duration of Deus Ex he may be rushing, choosing a Walton Simons level nano augmentation, rather than something more advanced. Did you say that Bob Page had a clone? If so, it would be obvious to try out the procedure on the clone first.

What's going on in that tank area may be research on the human augmentation project. JC may have been born, altered or cloned there, not necessarily in that large tank, but just in the room. The tank that stands around, at the ready to take him, may simply be where he's supposed to end up. The Incept date may be the date where they intend to do _something_ to him as he is contained within the tank. If the other bodies, in the other tanks, were not cloned (because the tanks aren't life-size cloning tanks), then they may have been altered to some degree whilst residing within the tanks in preparation for whatever is supposed to happen once they're incepted.

So there's one suggestion: The tanks are there in order to continue research on the human augmentation project, Alex is a hologram scaffold type thing, and JC's procedure and tank don't have a hologram repressenting him because the team working on what he's supposed to undergo on his incept date are further ahead and have finished what they needed the holographic scaffold for. The room is both where JC was "born", and it contains his purpose, from Pages point of view.

Another, somewhat further outthere theory: After Page merges with helios, he will require a number of human avatars to act through. JC, Alex and the others are going to be 4 such avatars, hooked up with technology that essentially make them cyborgs under Pages direct control. Given what we see in human revolution, such a project wouldn't be impossible. It's essentially the same as the above theory, but with an additional twist. It's obviously also a lot less tidy, but hey.
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