|"I once thought I could save the world... now look at it"
— Spoilers for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided follow!
|"It is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."|
The famous and mysterious Eliza Cassan is almost a celebrity in her own way, being the easily recognizable face of Picus TV. She delivers news 24/7 and seems to have an almost uncanny grasp of current events, though many remark that she seems to always deliver information with an ideological or biased slant.
Jensen finds out from Zhao Yun Ru that Eliza is somehow connected with the conspiracy and the attack on Sarif Industries, and sets out to confront her in Montreal. Upon arrival he finds a strangely deserted Picus headquarters, but eventually reaches Eliza's office.
There Eliza reveals she has been following Jensen for months and has some special interest in him, but cannot give him the information he seeks for some unknown reason, and tells him to leave. Jensen attempts to grab Eliza to come with him in his need for answers, only to find his hand goes right through her arm, revealing that it's an extremely sophisticated and lifelike hologram. The whole situation is actually an elaborate trap, as once "Eliza" disappears Belltower Spec Ops soldiers swarm the building, looking for Jensen.
Jensen refuses to give up and continues hunting for Eliza. Pritchard informs Jensen that the advanced holo-cloud was accompanied by massive power spikes originating from an apparent secret sub-basement of the building. Jensen eventually reaches these lower levels, and tracks down Eliza to a hidden chamber deep underground.
There, he discovers that the famous celebrity newsreader is actually an advanced artificial intelligence, created and designed for the purpose of controlling public information and shaping mass discourse, with the eventual goal of control and manipulation of all available information. The extremely advanced AI is programmed to guide public opinion to certain ends and was created by the conspiracy for this purpose. Jensen presses her for more information, but they are suddenly interrupted by the arrival of Eliza's guardian, Yelena Fedorova, with whom Jensen is forced into battle.
After Jensen kills Fedorova, Eliza divulges that Isaias Sandoval is also personally involved, and gives him a recording as evidence. Jensen then escapes from the Picus building.
Jensen meets with Eliza once again at Panchaea. After he has disabled the Hyron Project and reached the central hub for the universal signal, Eliza will appear on screen, having gotten trapped in the system when the broadcast went out. She explains that the universal signal can be used to broadcast a message to the world, explaining what really took place. However, whereas Hugh Darrow had a prepared message in place, it's ultimately up to Jensen what gets sent out, and he can select a different message if he so chooses.
Eliza explains that Darrow's message reveals the whole truth behind recent events (including the Illuminati's involvement), warning of the dangers of augmentation and urging humanity to cast it aside. David Sarif has a different message in mind and wants to frame Humanity Front for the signal broadcast, thus turning the tide against the purists and paving the way for further development of augmentation technology. Bill Taggart (representing the Illuminati) wants to expose most of the truth behind recent events, excluding any reference to the Illuminati's involvement, thus leading to increased regulation of augmentation technology and therefore a significant reduction to the threat it poses to the Illuminati's continued control. There is also a fourth option as Eliza explains it - cause the Panchaea facility to self-destruct, thus killing all of the gathered world leaders there - Sarif, Taggart, Darrow, and even Jensen himself. This will free mankind and allow it to make up its own mind about augmentations, without anyone spinning events to further their own agenda.
In 2029 Eliza's style has changed with an intricate high rise hair style and abstract clothing. She still portrays the news with a suggestive negative tone towards augmented people and will often comment how the effects of "the incident" two years ago still deeply affects her. While on air she often uses subtle methods in her usage of words to portray augmented people in a negative tone while not actually saying outright negative statements. Examples of this include the story about an augmented man who supposedly crashed a commercial plane and when she conducted an interview with Talos Rucker of the Augmented Rights Coalition. However, during Jensen's second visit to Prague, he can come across an odd glitch in the city that reveals the Eliza Cassan on TV is a different version from the one he dealt with 2 years ago.
After Darrow's signal went out in 2027, the Eliza that Jensen knew got cut off from the rest of the world; her sudden disappearance resulted in public speculation of her death. Realizing this, the CEO of Picus News, Morgan Everett, changed to a backup version of Eliza (who never met Jensen) to continue giving out the news, but knew the previous one was still out there somewhere. When she contacted Jensen in Prague, originally as Helle because she could not remember who exactly she was, she asked him to retrieve memories stored on an old memory disk to restore her. During this retrieval, Jensen came across some men sent by Everett to also recover the memories to prevent the "real" Eliza from becoming more powerful and therefore, harder to stop. It is later suggested that Eliza downloaded "part" of herself in the memory disk to avoid detection by Picus.
Once Jensen connects Helle to the memories, he learns it is Eliza, who reveals who and why she used Helle's image up to that point. Helle had been one of the women connected to the Hyron Project and when Panchaea was destroyed, her fear and pain was the strongest and therefore left an imprint on Eliza's memories. She reached out to Jensen because, being there at the time of the destruction, she felt the process had started with him and therefore he should help "define" her as she has now become a full AI. She will then ask him what should she do, and he can either tell her to hide, fight, or make her own choice if she's truly sentient. Whichever advice Jensen gives, Eliza thanks him.
Later on, during Martial Law, Eliza will cause a distraction by blowing up a turret to help Jensen sneak into Dvali territory. She will express emotional attachment to Jensen, urging to him be careful and saying "I do not want to lose you again."
- ELIZA was a computer program written by Joseph Weizenbaum between 1964 to 1966, an early example (by modern standards) of primitive Natural language processing. ELIZA operated by processing users' responses to scripts, the most famous of which was DOCTOR, a simulation of a Rogerian psychotherapy. Using almost no information about human thought or emotion, DOCTOR sometimes provided a startlingly human-like interaction.
- To hint that Eliza is not real, the Deus Ex: Human Revolution team decided to add pink, a color not found anywhere else in the game, to her outfit.
- Some game engines and computer graphics software use pink to indicate missing material/textures, which may be an additional hint that Eliza is not real.
- The first room that Jensen looks for Cassan in is room 404, a reference to the HTTP error code 404 "Not Found" to further imply she is not real.
- The second room that Jensen goes to is room 802-11, a reference to the IEEE 802.11 standards, better known by the trademark WiFi.
- On the way to Eliza and 802-11, there is a scrolling news ticker above the door in the Funicular. One of the items is: "Holo-personalities untrustworthy? Yes, says noted psycho-sociologist..."
- Eliza's name may also be a reference to the influential American director, Elia Kazan: famous for his introduction of realism and method acting to American cinema; highly politicized films and views; and making actors such as Marlon Brando and James Dean stars.
- Despite not being human, Eliza seems to have a fair range of emotions, such as what could be described as confusion and shame when she recounts her discovery of the consequences of her concealing the location of the kidnapped Sarif scientists. She also expresses regret to Jensen that his meeting her in Picus headquarters has triggered an ambush, putting him in danger. Dialogue with the recovered "original" Eliza AI in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided also suggests a newfound sense of desire, personal attachment, and defiance, something she was not yet able to demonstrate in 2027.
- Eliza displays a particularly great interest in Adam Jensen, and is much more personable, emotional, and arguably more honest when conversing with him. If the player chooses to cause Panchaea to self-destruct, she will tell Adam that is has "truly been a pleasure" to know him. And if Eliza assists Adam in creating a distraction during Hunting Down the Final Clues in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, she will express concern for Jensen's safety, as well as emotional attachment.
- Interestingly, she sounds more human when broadcasting and more robotic when not.
- If encouraged to fight by Jensen, Eliza expresses a desire to challenge Morgan Everett directly in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, stating that she is now able to go places he cannot follow and that someday she will say it to his face, to which Jensen expresses approval.
- Eliza's iconic line "It is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here" echoes a line from the comic series The Crow: "This isn't hell but you can see it from here."
- There is a glitch in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided where the real Eliza's character model can be found in various parts of Prague, using an outfit combination of Helle's Hyron drone suit and Zhao Yun Ru's collar. When found, the name shown will flicker between "Helle" and "Eliza Cassan". Upon speaking with her, Jensen will be transported back to his safe house, initiating the final conversation from SM06: 01011000.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided