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A bark is an expression uttered by a non-player character (NPC) in a one-off manner without involving a response from the player or another character. Barks are therefore distinguished from more complex forms of dialogue in which characters speak in turn. The term "bark" is not used in-game, but appears in internal game files and is also the conventional terminology in the game development industry for this type of dialogue interaction.

Implementation by game[]

Barks are used in all main games of the Deus Ex series as a form of character interaction, although the implementation differs from game to game.

In Deus Ex, barks constitute a substantial part of the game's conversation data. All interactable characters have a set of player-triggerable barks that play once their scene-based conversations (if any) have been exhausted. Story-important characters typically have a set of lines that is cycled through once, before the game replays those lines (or a subset of them) at random upon further interaction. In many cases, player-triggerable reveal information pertaining to the story.

Additionally, most characters in Deus Ex also have situational barks that are automatically triggerred depending on the situation, such as a set of TargetAcquired barks that play when the player has been detected, and a set of AreaSecure barks that play when a hostile NPC has eliminated the player. All barks are defined in conversation files that can be viewed using ConEdit.

In Deus Ex Mankind Divided, most characters have two lines of player-triggerable barks. The first line plays at the initial interaction, while the second line plays upon successive interactions.

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