|"I once thought I could save the world... now look at it"
— Spoilers for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided follow!
David Sarif is the founder of Sarif Industries and Adam Jensen's employer during the events of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. By the events of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, he invests in other companies after his own went bankrupt.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Augmentations
- 3 CASIE Summary
- 4 Publications
- 5 Notes
- 6 Trivia
- 7 See also
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
David Sarif is the founder and CEO of Sarif Industries, a moderately-sized biotechnology company based in North America. He is a well-preserved male in his late 50s, of average height and build, and in decent shape. His features are Mediterranean.
The son of an immigrant family from Boston, Sarif was brought up to understand the value of hard work and dedication, and from an early age his insight into machines set the tone for the man he would become. He worked his way through university and from there to a scholarship at MIT, getting an MBA before entering the prosthetics field.
Sarif believes in justice, progress, science and technology, civilization, human endeavor, and people. He is direct when dealing with others and unafraid to show emotion. Some find him blunt or pushy, others refreshing, even invigorating. His sense of honesty applies only to his behavior - he has no aversion to keeping secrets when appropriate.
Founding Sarif Industries
In 2007, David Sarif promised to revitalize his home city of Detroit by introducing a new industry of mechanical augmentation to the city. Refitting disused automobile plants for the production of mechanical augmentations for military and civilian use, Sarif had nearly single-handedly revitalized the economy of the city and prevented its collapse. During this time he became close friends with Hugh Darrow, who was a mentor of sorts to Sarif, and the father of mechanical augmentation.
Sarif has a sister and a niece named Natalie and Nina Freeman, respectively. Nina is kidnapped in issue 1 of the Deus Ex: Human Revolution comic series, and it is there revealed that Natalie is the vice-president and a staunch supporter of the Humanity Front.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Sarif was preparing for the augmentation debate in Washington when a black-ops team, the Tyrants, attacked Sarif Industries HQ in Detroit and killed several scientists, including the company's top researcher, Megan Reed, and Adam Jensen, Sarif Industries' chief of security. Sarif opted to save Jensen and arranged for him to be mechanically augmented. While only Adam's left arm and chest cavity needed to be augmented in order to save his life, Sarif decided as Jensen's medical proxy (thanks to a convenient employment contract clause), to replace most of Jensen's body with cybernetic prosthetics.
Six months later, he pulled Jensen out of sick leave when an extremist anti-augmentation group, known as Purity First, attacked the Milwaukee manufacturing plant just as the Typhoon Explosive System, a top-secret military augmentation, was about to enter production. He sent Jensen in to secure the data before it was made public and to rescue the hostages if possible.
Upon Jensen's return, Sarif had him retrieve the neural hub of the augmented Purity First hacker from the Detroit Police Department morgue, implying that Adam either use old contacts to get inside or to sneak in. After this, he tasked Jensen with disabling the transmitter in Derelict Row district that kept a backdoor into the SI network open that Sarif himself had created and neither Jensen nor Frank Pritchard were aware of. Once the signal was shut down, Sarif sent Jensen to investigate where the source of the hacker's signal came from: an abandoned bot factory complex in Highland Park.
After Jensen discovered the secret FEMA detention facility and defeated Lawrence Barrett, Sarif had a meeting with William Taggart before sending Jensen to Hengsha to find the hacker, but diverted him to Juarez to save his niece from augmented captors. After a successful rescue, Sarif tried to reconcile with his niece and her mother, a high-ranking member of the Humanity Front, but was rejected. In the aftermath of an attack on a Humanity Front rally in Detroit, Sarif sent Jensen to Montreal to follow a hacker's trace that lead him to Katrina Sutherland. In London, Sarif had another meeting with William Taggart and a third person: Zhao Yun Ru. The three appeared to have a history together, and the latter two revealed considerable knowledge of the troubles Sarif Industries had endured and offered Sarif the chance to work with them rather than oppose them. Sarif immediately rejected the offer, knowing it to be a conspiracy. On the way back to Detroit, Sarif and Jensen were attacked by Quincy Durant, Jensen's former SWAT-commander and the mastermind of the attack on Humanity Front in Detroit. The ordeal eventually led to the death of Katrina Sutherland.
Jensen continued his original mission to Hengsha, where he found out the scientists lost in the attack six months ago were alive, and then headed to Montreal to confront Eliza Cassan. When he returned to Detroit, in the midst of heavy riots, Sarif warned him about the conspiracy. After a personal meeting with Hugh Darrow, Sarif sent Jensen back to Hengsha to find one of the missing scientists.
While Jensen disappeared, Sarif departed Detroit to visit Panchaea, where Hugh Darrow had gathered several political and corporate leaders to unveil the installation before activating the biochip that drove augmented people around the world crazy, making them hallucinate and commit violent acts. Sarif was not affected, and was able to barricade himself inside the facilities' submarine bay with other survivors.
When Adam Jensen finds him, Sarif admitted to his part in using Adam's DNA for development purposes. He also asked Adam to alter Darrow's recorded message to the world, framing Humanity Front for tampering with the distributed biochips. But when questioned by Adam, Sarif retreats and says he knows Adam will make the right choice.
Aftermath of the Aug Incident
Following the Aug Incident, the world plunged into chaos and society turned against augmented people, causing most of the augmentation industry to crash. While recovering in a hospital after Panchaea was destroyed, Sarif's fortune and dreams crashed with it. Having to declare bankruptcy, his company was finally absorbed by Tai Yong Medical, the only augmentation company to survive the aftermath.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
In 2029, Sarif is an older, wiser, and slightly more reserved version of the man he was before. He’s still wealthy, still direct when dealing with others, and still believes in progress, science and technology, and human endeavor. He also continues to hold onto an idealistic belief in a mechanically-enhanced mankind. However, he has learned to be patient and let others carry the banner into the spotlight for him, for now.
After the Růžička Station Bombing in Prague, Sarif sent a message to Jensen, resuming contact with him after two years of silence. Despite falling on hard times after the Aug Incident, he is doing better than others and is traveling to London to become part of a group of investors for an innovative company that wants to make renewable energy.
After Jensen learns about his hidden augments, Sarif will be surprised to know about them and is adamant that he never had any hidden augments installed in Jensen. However, after Jensen reveals the neodymium shield, Sarif recognizes it as a TITAN aug, an experimental augment the D.O.D had asked him about years ago as they valued his opinion. He further reveals the designer behind it: a Vadim Orlov. Sarif then takes it upon himself to help Jensen, having felt things did not end right between them two years ago. He eventually learns through contacts that Orlov had been visiting Prague around the same time Jensen started working there and passes this information on to Jensen. However, when Jensen learns that Orlov has been killed, Sarif decides to look for more answers and finds out that the facility Jensen was at never reported him being there. Furthermore, he reveals to Jensen that it should have been relatively easy to identify him, even if Jensen did not know who he was, because of the serial numbers on his augments. In the end, Sarif was not able to dig up anymore useful information and tells Jensen to make of it what he will.
An overheard conversation between two guests at the apex centre states that Sarif has been recently hired by Nathaniel Brown. They do not mention in what capacity, but do state surprise that he isn't present at the convention.
Sarif has two main augmentations: C.A.S.I.E. Social Enhancer (which has some discreet grooves on his forehead) and a very ornate mechanical right arm. He is said to have had his arm replaced with an augmentation so he could "play better baseball at the company picnic." It is fair to assume that all of his augmentations come from his own company, Sarif Industries.
He also appears to have an EMP shield aug, as he does not react if you throw an EMP grenade at him on Panchaea. He may also have others, however this cannot be confirmed.
As of Mankind Divided, his left arm appears to be augmented as well (as seen via gesticulation during his initial vid-call with Jensen). This is assumed to be a result of injuries sustained during the Aug Incident and explosion of Panchaea.
The following is the CASIE Social Enhancer's summary of David Sarif:
- Has a tendency to shift blame onto others, but will back down rapidly if resistance is felt.
- Is not afraid to use his authority to get his way and doesn't like to be defied.
- Will sometimes change the subject in order to win an argument.
Sarif wrote an article, "Building Wings: A Better Tomorrow", which highlights his personal beliefs regarding transhumanism. It can be seen as a contrast to William Taggart's "No Better: The Myth of Human Augmentation".
- When the player encounters Sarif in Panchaea, he will not be affected by Darrow's signal, nor will he be affected by EMP grenades.
- He can be killed on Panchaea, but this is non-canon, and will not affect the story.
- The name "Sarif" was chosen because of its similarity to "Seraphim," a class of angels. Šarīf (شريف) is an Arabic personal name meaning "noble" or "highborn" commonly used by Arabs and non-Arab Muslims.
- You can find Sarif's portrait in his office that pictures him with both hands augmented. In the game, however, Sarif is shown with only his right hand augmented visibly. This most likely means that the development team had Sarif's character model with 2 robotic arms when they made the painting, but later in development decided to change his character model to just 1 robotic arm and forgot about the painting.
- The chess set on Sarif's desk is actually a real chess set called the Mancini chess set.
- Sarif is a Detroit Tigers fan. The wall behind him in his office shows stats for a season. He can also be seen throwing a baseball up and down and toys with it when he is agitated or uncomfortable.
- Sarif shares similarities with Damien Knight of Ares Marcotechnology from the Shadowrun series. Both CEOs of a powerful megacorporation specializing in weapons and augmentation. Both of their headquarters are based in Detroit.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Character information on the official Deus Ex website
- David Sarif bio on 'DeusEx.com'
- How did David Sarif"s arm become augmented?
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution The Official Guide, Future Press (2011), p. 314