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"Actually, Mr. Jensen, I prefer to think of myself as Daedalus, watching helplessly as his child crashes into the sea..."
— Hugh Darrow

Hugh Darrow is a Nobel Prize winner,[3] philanthropist, visionary, entrepreneur, mentor and friend of David Sarif and the secondary antagonist in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


Early Life[]

Hugh Darrow was the son of Sir Martin Darrow, founder of the Picus Network. His education began with his enrollment in the prestigious Scaitcliffe School and Stowe School. A natural athlete, Hugh was the head of the football, rugby union, and cricket sports teams during his years, but found school otherwise boring. He opted not to go to college and continue his education.[4]

He had a personal interest in robotics - designing his first crude robot at 10, a makeshift robotics lab at 16 and participated in Robot Wars in 1994. Despite losing the competition, it inspired Hugh to seek out influential bio-mechatronic research companies in the US, to allow him to research mechanical augmentation.

An ill-fated ski trip in 1995 left Darrow's anterior cruciate ligament in his knee ruined, and the failed attempts at allograft surgery left him debilitated; but for Hugh, it was the moment in which his visionary mind first drew a connection between robotics, prosthetics, and improving human capabilities to realize the trans-humanist potential of mechanical augmentation.

Hugh returned to England in 1996, and at the age of 23 he purchased a struggling prosthetics research and manufacturing firm. Merging the lab with his robotics company under the new name of Darrow Industries, he completely changed the focus of both firms.

Darrow's groundbreaking work with robotics, biotechnology and human enhancements has changed the face of industry over the years. In the late 1990's, he became David Sarif's mentor, inspiring him to found Sarif Industries in 2007. Around this time, he won a Nobel Prize. Sometime during the 2020's he created the Panchaea installation, designed to stem the tide of global warming.

Darrow became, probably by birthright to his aristocratic bloodline, a member of the Illuminati, a secret cabal dedicated to the control of humanity through any means necessary. As a scientific member of the society, Darrow personally directed inhumane and dangerous augmentation experiments on human beings, conducted at so-called black sites, such as Rifleman Bank Station and the Omega Ranch.

Despite being the father of mechanical augmentation, Hugh Darrow does not have any augmentations himself, as he does not possess the genes that allow for compatibility between the human body and augmented prosthetics. He is in the rare minority of people who are genetically incompatible with mechanical augmentation. Because of this, he feels a strong resentment of other people being capable of overcoming their physical limitations while he cannot. He also came to share the view that augmentation would eventually be the death of humanity, and that humans should be left to evolve naturally.

Events of Human Revolution[]

David Sarif wanted to have Hugh Darrow by his side during the augmentation hearings in Washington, saying that it would go much smoother with him there, given his popularity with the senators. Six months later, the two were talking via the holocomm, with Sarif accusing William Taggart, saying that his speech to the United Nations started the anti-augmentation riots, and pushed Purity First to attack the Milwaukee Junction manufacturing plant. Adam Jensen would later meet with Darrow for the first time upon returning to Detroit from Hengsha, with the Nobel Prize winner being quite interested in his augmentations.

Much later, Jensen would find Megan Reed at a secret installation in Singapore and learn that Darrow is actually one of the masterminds behind the entire sequence of events. But whereas the others from the Illuminati were planning to create a universal bio-chip with a master signal to control mechanical augmented people and force them under the thrall of corporate masters, Darrow had a much different plan in mind.

Giving a speech at Panchaea with the world watching, Darrow insisted he would show humanity the true effects of mechanical augmentation, and activated his universal signal; this caused all mechanical augmented people on Earth to suffer mass hallucinations, driving them insane. As the augmented humans of all nations began to slaughter everyone in their path, Jensen rushed to Panchaea to deactivate the signal, where he met Darrow again, on his broken throne. There, the elderly philanthropist explained his motivations to Jensen.

He claimed that, as a disabled man himself, Darrow once wished for his augmentation technology to enhance humanity and improve the quality of life for everyone, but now saw that his technology has been perverted by the powerful into just another means of control over the less fortunate. People always corrupted technology and used it against each other, and in the case of augmentations, Darrow felt mankind was on the verge of losing its humanity and its moral center.

Though his actions were extreme, Darrow believed they were necessary to show the world the dangers of mechanical augmentation, particularly as the Illuminati intended to use it as an advanced kill-switch for all of mankind. According to his vision, humanity should abandon mechanical augmentation technology and future generations should grow up whole and human, without the specter of enhancement over them. 

If Jensen engages Darrow in a CASIE conversation, he can make Darrow admit that the real reason he wants to destroy augmentation is because his body cannot tolerate augmentations, and he is bitter that he can't be part of the future he created.

After shutting down the Hyron Project Jensen will advance to its central hub, where he find the signal controller. There he can send to the world a message of his choice - one of them being Darrow's. Darrow had created a complete video confession, explaining the conspiracy, the Illuminati, and the consequences of mechanical augmentation technology. He intended to reveal the truth to the whole world, and thus start off humanity again on a clean slate. Regardless of whether Jensen broadcasts this message, it gets lost in the conflicting accounts of what becomes known as the Aug Incident. Darrow dies on Panchaea during the incident.[2]

CASIE Summary[]

The following is the CASIE Social Enhancer's summary of Hugh Darrow:

Personality Traits[]

  • Perceptive
  • Confident
  • Pragmatic
  • Excitable

Psychological Profile[]

  • Tends to dismiss other people and viewpoints, creating an emotional wall behind which he retreats.
  • Views himself as an educator of lesser people. May be destabilized if his arguments are proven wrong.
  • Can easily convert people to his cause. Is not used to resistance.

See Hugh Darrow Dialogue Challenge for additional tips.



About Darrow[]


Mission appearances[]


  • Ironically, while being the creator of mechanical augmentation, Darrow is one of the few people on Earth whose DNA is incompatible with the technology, and would violently reject the implants. This is also explained as a deeper reason for his entire plot - he simply feels jealous and resentful of those who overcame their disabilities with augmentations. Adam can use this information against Darrow at Panchaea to get the Hyron code from him. Even beforehand, though, he was saying that he believes his creation will destroy mankind, and Adam is a living example.
  • In Darrow's conversation with Jensen, he states that he thinks of himself as Daedalus, the ancient inventor, whose son fell from the sky. "Actually I prefer to think of myself as Daedalus; watching helplessly as his son crashes into the sea." This touches on the game's trailer where Jensen is shown as Icarus.
  • His blood type is O positive.

See also[]