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Faridah Malik

Hengsha (Chinese: 橫沙) is a densely populated island off the coast of Shanghai in China. It is one of the locations visited by Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


Before 2027, a second street level was built above ground level, on top of an enormous structure called the Pangu. Nicknamed the Jewel of the Yangtze River, Hengsha is at the heart of the global augmentation industry, with Tai Yong Medical headquartered within the city.

The lower city is divided into three major districts, Daigong, Kuaigan, and Youzhao, with various levels and sublevels. The roof level of the main district is home to the Hung Hua Hotel and The Hive. The Daigong district to the east is the walking path through to the Jiu Schichang District where the LIMB clinic and Alice Garden Pods are located, although there is also a subway train to/from Youzhao. Finally, the Youzhao district to the west is primarily residential district and is where the Court Gardens are located. There is also a sewer network underneath the city.

Adam Jensen visits Hengsha in Deus Ex: Human Revolution twice. The first visit is to locate the hacker Arie van Bruggen and subsequently Zhao Yun Ru. The second visit is to find Vasili Sevchenko's GPL device. During the second visit, most Belltower guards will be hostile.

Upper Hengsha and Lower Hengsha are complete opposites. In Lower Hengsha, the city is a dystopia riddled with crime and poverty; Belltower Associates are the police force, and it is dark and gloomy. Whereas in Upper Hengsha, it is a utopia. It is daylight during the first visit, so it is brighter, and when inside the TYM tower just after the Pangu, the city floor has grass and trees and all sorts of vibrant life that can be observed. Apparently, the citizens of Upper Hengsha are snobbish and not very friendly towards their Lower City counterparts.


Lower Hengsha[]

Upper Hengsha[]


Main missions (part 1)[]

Side quests (part 1)[]

Main missions (part 2)[]

Side quests (part 2)[]


First Visit[]

  • One vendor is in the Alice Garden Pods, on the first floor, take a left.
  • One other vendor is in the Hung Hua Hotel, at the basement of the hotel, the first door (It can be difficult to spot, since the door is "hidden" in a red panel) on the left when you enter from the main street.

Second visit[]

  • The vendor from the hotel is still at the same place.
  • The vendor from the pods isn't there anymore, and is in the Youzhao district, in the street directly east of the downtown apartments.
  • There is a third vendor in the sewers.


  • The mailboxes in Hengsha say "Hengsha Post" on the side. However, the Chinese characters used to translate the word "post" refer to a post on a bulletin board or message board rather than mail.


  • The dual-layer principle with rich-poor divided was also used in Seattle in Deus Ex: Invisible War, and before that with Midgar in Square Enix's classic JRPG Final Fantasy VII.
  • Upper Hengsha was supposed to feature as a city hub in the game, but it was never finished and ultimately ended up as cut content.
  • The real Hengsha Island is just north of Shanghai (which the developers had originally considered for this city), and relatively rural compared to the giant city of Shanghai. The eastern part of Hengsha is an undeveloped nature reserve stretching into the mouth of the Yangtze river.

Developer quotes[]

Shanghai's Hengsha is a lot more into the trans-humanist thing. It's a lot more accepted there - it's the Silicon Valley of all cybernetics. Within the art direction everything that's more like that is more golden, and a lot more towards the cyber-renaissance. The dual layer is inspired by a mockumentary we saw quite a while ago, which appeared to be a real documentary about Hong Kong... In the game the idea isn't that it's the poor at the bottom and the rich at the top; the bottom used to be the Mecca of cybernetics, a lot of the headquarters of the great labs and manufacturing plants are there, it's just that when they built above it they chose a different architectural direction. So above they have new universities and new headquarters, but the bottom isn't a slum - there isn't an old school dichotomy. We put a lot of stuff in the game, like you'll see those student-types from the upper level coming downstairs at night to party, and hit the bars and brothels.

— Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, on Eurogamer



Concept art[]