Gunther Hermann is a mechanically augmented agent working for UNATCO in 2052. He is well-versed in the use of deadly weapons like assault and plasma rifles, flamethrowers, and combat knives. It is said that Gunther has killed close to a thousand people by 2052. Gunther appears in Deus Ex as an ally of JC Denton at first but later becomes an adversary. His backstory was expanded in the novels Deus Ex: Icarus Effect and Deus Ex: Black Light.
At around 2027, the young Gunther Hermann is described as a man in his twenties with few visible augmentations. Previously, Gunther had served in the German counter-terrorist unit GSG-9 but was not satisfied by the way they operated. Gunther thought that his unit, which was part the German police force, was too constrained by the law. After getting into trouble, he was recruited into the Tyrants by Jaron Namir. Gunther was more than willing to join. He would later tell Ben Saxon that he joined because the Tyrants are not concerned with laws, and are only concerned with justice. As a member of the Tyrants, all of his connections with the police force were erased.
One of Gunther's early missions with the Tyrants, taking place in the year 2026, involved assassinating Garrett Dansky, chief executive of Caidin Global. During that mission, he murdered secret service agent Matt Ryan, Anna Kelso's superior and close friend. Kelso caught a glimpse of Gunther's face, described as "all fury and exertion, sallow and Nordic, with a shock of ice-blond hair."
During one of the Tyrants' major operations, Gunther, Saxon, and Scott Hardesty are sent to assassinate Mikhail Kontarsky, an administrator of the Russian committee on human augmentation, in the Hotel Novoe Rostov in Moscow. They find Kontarsky in a secret room, speaking to a mysterious figure known as "Janus." Saxon hesitates, but Hardesty kills Kontarsky from a sniper perch across the street.
Later, Gunther and Saxon are both tased and knocked out onboard the Tyrant Jetliner. When they awake, Jaron explains that one of the two is not loyal to the group, and the two must fight to the death to determine who will live. He throws a handgun with a single round, and the two fight over it. Saxon eventually gets the pistol, but he refuses to kill Gunther. Jaron says that the fight was just a test between the two, and that the round is a blank. Afterwards, he, Saxon, and Hardesty are sent to Virginia to kill Ron Temple and anyone currently in his house.
When Saxon decides to defect from the Tyrants and escape from their jetliner, Gunther confronts Saxon for another fight onboard the plane. Saxon shoots Gunther in the eye with a taser slug and breaks several bones in his torso, physically scarring him. Saxon eventually escapes from the jetliner. Gunther uses an adhesive patch to cover his ruined eye, but shows no other signs of suffering from injury.
The Tyrants' next mission is in Geneva, Switzerland, where they plan to assassinate William Taggart of Humanity Front on the steps of the Palais de Nations, making him a martyr for the anti-augmentation cause and push for a vote on UN regulation. Gunther is driving a van loaded with a truck bomb when Anna Kelso, riding in a nearby vehicle, recognizes him as Matt Ryan's killer. After damaging Gunther's van with gunfire, Kelso jumps onto his van and fires into the driver-side window. Gunther attempts to return fire but his shots are wide. Kelso then hits Gunther in the head with a shot that carves across Gunther's skull. The impact of the shot causes Gunther to lose control of the van, which swerves and throws Kelso off. The van plummets into the Rhône River and the truck bomb detonates.
Gunther is recovered from the Rhône River by Majestic 12 operatives. Gunther has been heavily crippled and scarred by the explosion. However, Bob Page, leader of MJ12, proceeds to extensively reconstruct Gunther using cybernetic augmentations so that he could be redeployed at a later time.
In 2029, Gunther is deployed as part of a strike team of augmented operatives commanded by Illuminati agent Jenna Thorne. Gunther and his team are tasked with retrieving a shipment of military-grade augmentations from a military train guarded by Task Force 29. By now, Gunther is heavily augmented, described as being almost a full-body prosthesis cyborg. It is also stated that Gunther is now an "ogre," classified by the United Nations as lethal weapons rather than people.
Gunther and his team easily and ruthlessly dispatch the TF29 personnel on the train, but their operation is interrupted by the arrival of Adam Jensen. Thorne orders Gunther to attack and kill Jensen, but Gunther rebukes her, saying that killing Jensen is contrary to the original orders. Gunther nonetheless complies and pursues Jensen, who had fled to another part of the train. Gunther's ceramic-metallic armor proves effective in deflecting Jensen's monomolecular blades. Although Jensen is able to damage Gunther's eye augmentation, Gunther gains the upper hand by breaking Jensen's armor and ribs with a single punch to the chest and then throwing Jensen against the wall. However, Jensen manages to destroy the train's control panel, turning the train into a runaway. Jensen taunts Gunther and tells him that if they continue fighting, they will both die when the train crashes. Without hesitation, Gunther escapes from the train.
In 2052, Gunther works for UNATCO, and he is resentful of the arrival of a new breed of nano-augmented UNATCO agents, whom he fears will replace his generation. Like fellow UNATCO mech and friend Anna Navarre, Gunther has sacrificed social acceptance for enhanced mission performance by undergoing first-generation mechanical augmentation. He bears resentment toward the so-called "infinite power of nano-augmentation," as well as the agents who utilize them. While his augmentations grant him strength and speed far beyond that of normal men, they have also left him disfigured. His ability to upgrade his biomechanical mods is also finite, and they are prone to the degradation of any constantly operating piece of machinery. He receives significant wear in his line of work, and is often returning to Dr. Jaime Reyes for a tune-up.
Gunther apparently has self-esteem issues. An overheard conversation between Gunther and Anna Navarre reveals that his large fingers may also hinder his ability to operate soda machines, although he insists that the "maintenance man" switched the cans of orange soda in the machine with lemon-lime, as "he knows I like orange." His augmented fingers may also cause him considerable difficulty performing other common tasks such as typing, as his consistently misspelled emails generally either have missing letters or contain additional letters that are adjacent to the intended letter on a standard QWERTY keyboard. An e-mail from Jaime Reyes quoting an anonymous e-mail from a mech-aug (clearly Gunther, judging from the spelling) in which he expresses concern that he and those like him "well be sld at flee markets... old gray golems for scareing the children".
Gunther often finds himself fantasizing about ever more impractical augmentations he believes his superiors might offer him, such as a head-mounted gun, or "skul-gun," that would allow him to kill without using his arms. According to Gunther, the maintenance men in UNATCO HQ intentionally swap the orange soda's for lemon-lime ones in the vending machine. Anna suggests that his hand might have slipped, but he rejects this theory. In actuality, Gunther was indeed a victim of conspiracy by the maintenance men.
Gunther was present on Liberty Island when it was attacked by NSF terrorists, but was captured by the NSF after refusing to following orders to retreat. Gunther is freed when UNATCO regains control over the area thanks to the actions of JC Denton, UNATCO's new nano-augmented agent. Later, after JC destroys the NSF's power generator in the warehouse district of Hell's Kitchen, Gunther arrives on the roof of the warehouse to clear out remaining hostiles. Soon after, Gunther is deployed to LaGuardia Airport to secure the area following JC's infiltration of the aircraft hangar where Juan Lebedev is to be assassinated. By this time, Gunther is aware that JC's brother Paul Denton is a traitor, and has requested the assignment of assassinating Paul Denton.
When JC Denton escapes from UNATCO, after having defected and killed Anna Navarre in the process, Gunther vows to hunt JC down. Gunther follows JC to Hong Kong and back to New York City, but is unable to track down JC. While in New York, Gunther leads a large UNATCO raid on Hell's Kitchen, but JC had already left for Paris. While in Paris, Gunther finally manages to confront JC at the Knights Templar Cathedral. The journal of an MJ12 trooper at the cathedral reveals that Gunther had been passionately awaiting JC for a while and that the trooper thought he heard Gunther cry once. Walton Simmons had told Gunther that he can have any upgrades he wants if he manages to defeat JC. However, Gunther meets defeat at the hands of JC.
In Deus Ex, Gunther is initially JC Denton's ally, but eventually becomes an adversary. Gunther first appears over infolink in the training mission, in which Gunther serves as JC's instructor on weapons and demolitions. Gunther is invincible throughout the game until the final confrontation at the Knights Templar Cathedral in Paris.
In the first mission, taking place on Liberty Island, JC Denton is given the secondary objective of rescuing Gunther, who is being held captive on the ground floor of the Statue of Liberty. JC's actions affect how Gunther feels about him later on.
- If JC frees Gunther, Gunther will request a weapon from JC.
- If JC provides Gunther with a weapon, he will earn Gunther's respect, resulting in more a favorable attitude towards JC later in the game. The player is given the option of providing either a pistol or, if no pistol is available, a combat knife. JC will also earn Gunther's respect if he is not currently carrying any weapons, but nonetheless expresses the intention of collaborating with Gunther.
- Otherwise, if JC refuses to provide a weapon, Gunther will express disdain, telling JC, "Excuse that I have forgotten your brother Paul Denton and the infinite power of nano-augmentation...Now I see the reason for the pull-back. They wanted to show off their new nanoaugmentation technology."
Later, Gunther can be encountered inside the UNATCO Headquarters, where he can be seen near a soda machine along with agent Navarre. JC can join in on the conversation. If JC earned Gunther's respect, Gunther will express optimism in JC's ability in carrying out a good offensive. Additionally, one of his random lines will be "I will not forget a favor. Always have trust for me."
Warehouse District and LaGuardia Airport
At end of the second mission, Gunther arrives at the warehouse rooftop to clear out remaining hostiles using a flamethrower, a task which he refers to as "peacekeeping." Due to his invincibility, he can defeat any number of enemy troops. If spoken to, Gunther will hint that Paul has failed in his objective in securing the NSF headquarters, telling JC that Paul was timid like a child.
Gunther appears again at the end of the third mission, after JC has completed (or subverted) his task of assassinating Juan Lebedev. If spoken to, Gunther will tell JC that he wants to be the one who takes down Lebedev. JC's reaction depends on what happened inside Lebedev's 747. If JC killed Navarre instead of Lebedev, JC will lie, telling Gunther, "There was shooting on the 747. I didn't see what happened. Maybe Anna beat you to it." In any case, Gunther will express his intention of killing Paul for being a traitor.
Battery Park and JC's escape from UNATCO
During the fourth mission, if JC manages to reach Battery Park after defecting from UNATCO, Gunther will be waiting outside the subway station along with a formidable force from UNATCO. Gunther will demand JC's surrender. He will also accuse JC of murdering Navarre, if she has been killed by this point. If JC refuses to surrender, a fight will ensue. This fight cannot be won because Gunther is invincible, meaning that he cannot take damage in any way. The game will not continue unless JC goes down fighting, resulting in his capture by UNATCO.
During JC's escape from UNATCO, Gunther will not be present in the headquarters. During this episode, JC may speak with Jaime Reyes and advise him to either stay at UNATCO or escape with him to Hong Kong. If Jaime is told to stay, he will later provide JC with Gunther's killphrase. Gunther will not make another appearance until Paris. However, various characters in the game will tell JC that he is being hunted by Gunther.
Final confrontation in Paris
If JC told Jaime to stay at UNATCO, Jaime can later be found in the Enfant Terrible café in Champs-Élysées in Paris. If spoken to, Jaime will provide JC with Gunther's killphrase, "Laputan Machine." Gunther is seen briefly at Champs-Élysées, right before JC leaves the area on Jock's helicopter.
JC finally confronts Gunther in the Knights Templar Cathedral during the 10th mission. Gunther is guarding the computer that is main objective of the mission. If Gunther's killphrase was learned, JC Denton is given the choice between calling out the killphrase, resulting in Gunther's immediate death, or attempting to reason with him. The dialogue with Gunther depends on JC's actions at Liberty Island.
- If JC earned Gunther's respect, Gunther will say, "I regret that only once we worked together. Now the game has changed."
- If JC freed Gunther but did not earn his respect, Gunther will say, "Now you see that you cannot succeed all alone against the whole world," referring to the fact that JC proceeded alone without giving Gunther a weapon.
- If JC did not free Gunther, Gunther will say, "I do not forget that you left me a prisoner of the NSF."
Attempting to reason with Gunter will inevitably result in a fight. Gunther is armed with a plasma rifle and has 400 HP, making him the most challenging single opponent so far. It is possible to take down Gunther non-lethally. However, poison damage (from tranquilizer darts of the mini-crossbow) is the only form of non-lethal damage that works on Gunther, and Gunther has a 90% resistance to poison damage. Whether Gunther is killed or left alive will not affect the story going forward.
If Gunther is killed, Walton Simons will inform JC that he only sent Gunther because he was tired of him complaining about wanting to avenge Anna Navarre and wanting a tune-up.
- Gunther has 400 health (head: 600 health). Prior to the meeting at the cathedral, Gunther is invincible.
- When no longer invincible, Gunther takes full damage against the "shot," "sabot," and "exploded" damages types, but takes only 10% damage against poison, gas, radiation, and shock damage.
- Gunther is immune to all other damage types, including stun damage (inflicted by the riot prod), knockout damage (inflicted by the baton), and flame and burn damage (inflicted by the flamethrower and plasma rifle).
- Gunther will explode on death. The explosion has the same base damage and blast radius as the explosion that occurs when men in black are killed.
- JC can completely avoid seeing Gunther in person until Paris, except for listening his Infolink messages. JC can also avoid speaking to him for all the game.
- In Deus Ex, Gunther is known for his line "No. I wanted orange. It gave me lemon-lime." Gunther's preference for orange soda is referenced in Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, which contains the description, "Hermann put down his tools and took a careful drink from a can of orange soda."
- Gunther has two lines spoken in German: "Mein Gott!" ("oh my god!"), which is one of his random lines for the "surprised" state, and "Unglaublich!" ("Unbelievable!"), which is one of his random lines for the "critical damage" state.
- While the prologue missions Deus Ex: The Fall depict Ben Saxon's mission in Russia and his escape from the Jetliner as described in Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, Gunther is notably absent from the game, despite the fact that he was a major character in these events in the novel. These discrepancies do not necessarily constitute an error, however, since the missions only portray a retelling of the events by Saxon.
- Gunther's killphrase is Laputan machine. Uttering the phrase in Gunther's presence discharges a 400 milliamp electric current into his midbrain. The phrase itself refers to the flying city of Laputa from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. In the novel, the Laputans are masters of theoretical engineering but completely lacking in practical mechanical knowledge; the devices they produce are tremendously innovative "on paper" but badly flawed in practice (like Gunther himself).
- In the concept art, Gunther Hermann appeared to be significantly less mechanically augmented, but he was dramatically changed before the final version of the game.
- In the concept art, Gunther highly resembles Rutger Hauer's character, Roy Batty, from the 1982 film Blade Runner. Both characters have a moral dilemma addressing their humanity.
- In Invisible War, a couple of homeless are raiding the old UNATCO break room and discover that the orange selection of the vending machine was indeed stocked with lemon-lime instead. One of their theories was that it was due to "office politics" with someone trying to get back at someone else. This is in line with Gunther's claim that the maintenance men purposefully swapped the drink selection to prank him.
- While the "Skull Gun" concept was first introduced in Deus Ex, an e-mail on David Sarif's computer in Deus Ex: Human Revolution discusses the concept as well, making the 'Skull Gun' idea date back to at least 2027.
- This is further evidenced in Deus Ex: The Fall, in an e-mail Gunther sent Namir telling him he is getting his augs redone and maybe he will get that skull gun aug he's been wanting, suggesting the Tyrants may have access to such early stage nano-augmentation, or at least have experimented with making a Skull Gun as a mechanical aug.
- In Deus Ex: Invisible War, it is revealed that UNATCO received a shipment of Skull Guns shortly after Hermann's demise.
- The Skull Gun idea was first introduced by Neal Stephenson in his book The Diamond Age, in which a character called Bud has a 'Skull Gun' implanted in his forehead. The skull gun uses nanotechnology to launch small but lethal projectiles from a concealed hole in the user's forehead. The weapon also comes with a voice-operated firing system and a variety of deadly ammunition like Cripplers, Hellfires and Electrostun rounds.
- "That will be adequate."
- "No. I wanted orange. It gave me lemon-lime."
- "I do not make mistakes of that kind."
- "I want to be the one to execute Lebedev."
- "Again they ignore me. Again they think they have a better punishment for a traitor than a shotgun to the head."
- "No, I cannot forgive. No... not the killing of Agent Navarre. I will follow you. Denton, I will get you!"
- "I see you, a thief on the roof. My new satellite link has both infrared and the x-ray spectrum. I see your heart beating. I see you are afraid."
- "You are a small, prowling mouse. And dumb like a mouse. You keep coming, like you forget about Agent Navarre. I remember Agent Navarre. I remember for everyone."
- "Manderley has assigned me the peacekeeping occupation of this district."
- "I-I-am not a machin-"
- "THAT is a gentlemen's agreement."
- "Agent, open the door!"
- "I believe I will enjoy this."
- "Unglaublich!" (Unbelievable in German)
- "If you stay here you will be bored!"
- "Advance up the stairs to the command center at the top. I will take my rusty metal bones and sweep away into the junk pile."
- Derived from 55.66 * 2 /16 = 6.9575 feet (where 55.66 is Gunther's in-game collision height and 16 is the conversion factor from UU to feet)
- One of Anna Navarre's random barks in the "area secured" state ("Nine hundred and ten. I'm catching up, Gunther")
- As confirmed in Deus Ex: Invisible War
- Random bark at the airport ("I will be truthful. I have requested the assignment of the Paul Denton assassination").
- Dialogue between Red Arrow members ("They say there is a German-speaking man looking for you") and dialogue with Tracer Tong ("...there is word of a UNATCO agent searching for you here. A German, they say. Augmented").
- Tracked by the flag "GuntherRespectsPlayer".
- The game includes dialogue for providing an assault rifle or stealth pistol, but these weapons are unobtainable at this point without using cheats.