|"Howard Strong is the perfect MJ12 organization man. An engineer with training in tactics and black ops, he knows he has the skills and the determination to go in hard and get the job done. Howard Strong knows he's destined for big things.
It's been a long, slow climb, true. Every time he tried to step up in the organization, there was already someone there ahead of him, sucking up to the boss, making like the king of the world, taking credit for his work and underplaying his accomplishments to the big boys.
Now Strong's looking at his big chance. An important command assignment all to himself. He has the plan, he has the resources, he has the ability. Just the thing to show the bosses what he's capable of."
|— description of Howard Strong in Deus Ex|
After JC Denton recovers the schematics for the Universal Constructor's containment unit, Bob Page prepares to launch a nuclear warhead at the nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base via a Missile Silo. Howard Strong leads a large regiment of MJ12 Troopers, Commandos, and a few Men in Black, who either kill or imprison the entire workforce of the base. JC is sent to deactivate the missile, but he ends up rerouting it to the nearby Area 51 instead.
When he reaches the launch chamber itself, Howard is aboard a forklift, attempting to deactivate the missile's thrusters manually. He is guarded by some of the toughest enemies in the game, including MiBs and Commandos, and even 2 Chiang Arcbot M2 robots. When JC steps on his own floor, however, he will begin throwing LAMs and following up with his Plasma Rifle, which is an instant kill for most players across all difficulties.
By the end of the game he is dead, as the player must kill or incapacitate him to continue, and if left unconscious he will be killed from exposure to the rocket's takeoff.
- If the player manages to climb his forklift (a fairly difficult task, as Howard will be shooting at the player the entire time), he will attack the player with a crowbar, making him one of the only enemies in the game to do so.
- If the player goes to the level above him (level 3), Howard will be unable to hurt the player. A resourceful player can exploit this and kill him without facing his explosives.
- It is not uncommon for Howard to kill himself with his own LAMs.
- If the player has fully-augmented legs, it is possible to jump onto Strong's head from level six; this will understandably result in his immediate demise without having to fight him at all.