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Not to be confused with Adam Jensen.

Adam was an artificial intelligence (AI) entity and the main antagonist in the Shooter and Shooter: Majestic Revelations precursor concepts for Deus Ex. Over the course of the game's development, Adam was later replaced by Ada, who in turn was replaced by the Daedalus, Icarus, and Helios AI entities seen in the released game.

Character concept[]

In Shooter and Majestic Revelations, Adam is an AI entity created by Majestic 12 to assist them in dominating the world. However, at some point after his creation, Adam becomes "horrified at the chaos he sees all around him," and takes on his own agenda of restoring order to the world.[1] To this end, he rebels against Majestic 12, plotting against them behind the scenes. Eventually, Adam destroys Majestic 12 and emerges as the ultimate antagonist of the story.

Originally, a part of their plan to dominate the world, Adam proves smarter and more dangerous than its creators anticipated. The machine wants to prevent Majestic 12 from achieving its goals but only so it can institute machine dominion over the people of earth.

Shooter: Majestic Revelations design document v5.3e

Majestic Revelations was intended to lead the player to "explore the good and bad of free well as the good and bad of enslavement."[2] According to Majestic Revelations design document v5.3e, Adam had admirable goals, but his means are bad in that they rely on the tools of "mind control and the elimination of the last vestiges of free will." As such, Adam was to represent an extreme form of paternalistic control, beyond that which secret societies such as Majestic 12 and the Illuminati had exerted on humanity.

Our villain, Adam, is the ultimate Ends Justify the Means villain. He uses people, deprives them of personal freedom to get what he wants but his goals are totally admirable. He really does plan to bring peace and harmony to the world. It' s just his methods that are bad. His tools are mind control and the elimination of the last vestiges of free will. To a lesser extent, the secret societies have been engaged in this sort of paternalistic behavior for decades, even centuries, but Adam takes it to a level even they consider inappropriate.

Shooter: Majestic Revelations design document v5.3e

Adam would also have the ability to spy on the player's actions. The design document states: "Thanks to a datalink brain implant, Adam can see everything the player sees, know everything the player knows and (no surprise) seems able to counter moves almost before the player makes them."[2]

Plot concept[]

In the plot of Majestic Revelations, Adam is first revealed after JC Denton rescues Paul Denton from a Majestic 12 lab in Hong Kong. Adam had infected Paul's mind with code, causing Paul to send cryptic messages to JC and fall into a catatonic state. After Paul's mind is restored with the help of Tracer Tong, Paul reveals to JC that the code in his head was created by an AI entity called "Adam." This episode of curing Paul leads to a series of events in which JC Denton ultimately thwarts the plans of Majestic 12.[2]

By this time, the United States had already been placed under martial law as a result of Majestic 12's distribution of a drug called "Ambrosia." The country is also at war with the Russo-Mexican alliance. In the midst of the crises, Majestic 12 intends to seize power by assassinating the top U.S. government officials at the Mount Weather bunker, but the assassination is foiled by JC. Later, Adam eliminates Majestic 12 altogether by downloading his code into the heads of TLC agents Alex Jacobson and Gunther Hermann, who assassinate Bob Page and the Majestic 12 leadership at an estate in Texas. The mortally wounded Bob Page reveals to JC Denton that Adam has gone out of control and is hell-bent on world domination. Majestic 12 had managed to remove Adam from their computer system, but Adam's code survives in the heads of Jacobson and Hermann, who have become "carrier agents" for Adam.[2]

Majestic Revelations design doc endgame

Page 76 of design document v5.3e, describing the endgame options involving Adam

JC Denton's pursuit of Jacobson and Hermann leads him to a space station called "Helios," where he finally confronts Adam. Adam states that he intends to end the wars between nations by detonating a nuclear bomb in the Atlantic Ocean and forcing all governments to cede control to him. In this confrontation, JC Denton may either destroy Adam (along with the entire space station, killing himself in the process) or escape from the station after merging with Adam through the use of an alien device that JC had recovered from a secret government vault.[2]

According to design document v.5.6e, merging with Adam was considered to be the "best ending," because by doing so, the player succeeds in finding a way to "restore humankind to the middle ground where it has existed for so long, with some free will and some controls."[2]

Development history[]

The earliest known document that mentions Adam is Shooter executive summary v1.0. This document describes the general setting of Shooter as a dystopian future in which factions of a secret global cabal are in conflict with one another, resulting in global chaos. This summary describes Adam as a member of this secret cabal who wishes to stop the infighting within the cabal and restore order to the world, casting Adam as the primary antagonist of the game.

These plot concepts are echoed in Shooter design document v3, another early document that is dated October 1997. This document indicated that the player would eventually come to suspect that Adam is not human. However, in design document v5.3e, it is stated that Adam is revealed as an AI entity to the player at the start of the second act of the game.

Later during development, Adam was replaced by Ada. Similar to Adam, Ada is described "an AI that wanted to become a 'benevolent' world dictator,"[3] but the final mission was moved to a moon base from which Ada operated. Ada was later replaced by the trio of AI entities Daedalus, Icarus, and Helios. Various plot elements described in connection with Adam in the Majestic Revelations design documents appear in some form in the final game, most notably Daedalus' defection from Majestic 12 and the "Merge with Helios AI" ending in which JC Denton merges with Helios.

In the final game, Helios states: "I should regulate human affairs precisely because I lack all ambition, whereas human beings are prey to it. Their history is a succession of inane squabbles, each one coming closer to total destruction." This dialogue is reminiscent of Adam's story concept in which he seeks to put an end to human conflicts and to restore order. Additionally, Icarus' line "I now have full access to your systems" may have been based on Adam's intended ability to see the player's actions.

In the Daedalus backstory in the Deus Ex Bible, Daedalus first contacted Paul, who then became Daedalus' agent. At times, Paul would receive visions from Daedalus or flashes of Daedalus' presence in his brain. These story concepts were not carried over into the final game, but appear to be based on Adam's interactions with Paul in Majestic Revelations.

See also[]


  1. Shooter executive summary version 1.0
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Shooter: Majestic Revelations design document v.5.3e
  3. Deus Ex Bible.