JC Denton is the nano-augmented player character and protagonist in Deus Ex and a major character in Deus Ex: Invisible War. JC, along with his sibling Alex Denton, is a clone of his brother Paul Denton.
Initially working for UNATCO in 2052, JC's main job is to combat and stop terrorist organizations such as the NSF. He and his brother, Paul, start off as UNATCO agents having been nano-augmented and developed at Area 51. JC then switches allegiance to the NSF, stops Bob Page's conspiracy and causes the Collapse.
J.C. Denton is a codename. He is revealed to be sharp, intelligent and perceptive, yet cold, stoic and a bit of a loner. This is in contrast to his brother, who is passionate and empathetic. In an early conversation with his brother, he states that he is "used to being on his own" after Paul fondly remembers his UNATCO initiation ceremony. Paul then wryly remarks that "one can be TOO self-sufficient...". However, JC is also highly idealistic and believes his work in UNATCO to be heroic and for the greater good. JC's personality is, however, largely down to the player, as the game gives the ability to carry out whatever action he or she desires, whether it be morally reprehensible or admirable, or anywhere in between. One of the childhood heroes of J.C. Denton is Sam Carter, whom JC read about in school.
In 2028, Paul Denton's mother, who is unable to have any more children but wants another, is approached by MJ12 operatives posing as fertility experts. She is told that she will be paid handsomely in exchange for participating in experimental surgery that will allow her to become pregnant. Mrs. "Denton" had been poor her entire life, but now she could have another child and have enough money to raise her family in comfort. The "fertility experts" assure her that the surgery is minor and the risk is minimal. After the parents of Paul agree, the mother is implanted with a cloned embryo of Paul. Their lives have already been carefully monitored by MJ12 for many years.
Nine months later, on March 17, 2029, JC Denton was born. In 2035, Majestic 12, displeased with Paul's progress, decided that his parents should not be allowed to raise JC. Paul and JC's parents were killed and JC was sent to Majestic 12's Swiss school, where he spent the next 12 years of his life. During this time, Majestic 12 attempted to instill in JC an unquestioning loyalty to superiors and a willingness to obey orders. Nonetheless, JC still developed a hidden rebellious attitude. In 2047 JC graduated from the Swiss school. In 2052, JC was nano-augmented and became a UNATCO agent.
Birth of a Legend
- Main article: Deus Ex#Plot
In 2052, JC is a new anti-terrorist agent working for the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition, based on Liberty Island. His first mission is to investigate an NSF terrorist attack on the island itself, and find the leader in the Statue of Liberty. After this he is sent to follow the terrorists' trail to recover stolen Ambrosia, a cure for the Gray Death virus that is plaguing the planet. Once he has found the final stolen barrel of Ambrosia, he is given the choice of killing the terrorist leader, Juan Lebedev, allowing his partner Anna Navarre to kill Lebedev, or to kill agent Navarre. Regardless of his decision, he returns to UNATCO headquarters and is sent on a mission to Hong Kong. Before leaving, he rebels against UNATCO and is captured and imprisoned in an MJ12 base beneath UNATCO headquarters. He escapes to Hong Kong to meet Tracer Tong, who, he is told, can deactivate his killswitch.
After uncovering a conspiracy in Hong Kong and uniting the warring Triads, JC goes to a naval shipyard to investigate ties the Illuminati may have to the global conspiracy. Stanton Dowd, owner of the ship and high-ranking Illuminatus, sends JC to Paris to meet the leader of the Illuminati, Morgan Everett. Everett sends JC to Vandenberg, where he meets and helps a group of scientists called X-51 who are trying to make their own cure for the virus.
JC finally goes to Area 51, and is given three choices:
- kill Bob Page, leader of Majestic 12, allowing the Illuminati to come to power,
- merge with Helios, an artificial intelligence, and rule the world, or
- destroy Area 51, plunging the world into a new dark age.
JC Denton becomes central to the plot of Deus Ex: Invisible War despite making an appearance only towards the end of the game. Invisible War takes place after JC's actions at Area 51. Due to multiple endings in the original, the developers decided to make all endings canon. After JC merges with Helios with the goal of creating the world's first true benevolent dictator, he then destroys Area 51 (it is unknown at which stage JC decided to kill Bob Page). Unfortunately, defects in JC's nanite architecture resulted in an imperfect merge. JC would be forced into stasis to wait for a cure, lest he die from the merge.
JC's goal was to bring about the world's first "post-human civilization". By giving all humans the mental and physical advantages of biomodification, JC hoped to eliminate the stratification of humanity encouraged by the Illuminati. Additionally, biomodification would allow all human minds to communicate with the Helios A.I., which has the processing power to gauge the desires of each individual human. It would instantly respond to these desires, and thus bring about an "instantaneous democracy". JC intended for Helios to communicate, not to assimilate, unlike the Omar cyborg collective. However, because Helios would know each and every human thought, many of JC's enemies (such as the Illuminati and Knights Templar) feared the "Great Advance" would bring about universal slavery rather than universal democracy (the Illuminati believe that perfect slavery and perfect democracy are exactly the same thing). Also, many feared the complete loss of privacy the "Great Advance" would bring about.
The merge with Helios gave JC total control over nanotechnology, transforming him into a walking Universal Constructor. He receives the power to control the weather, to alter matter on an atomic level, and to shape objects and buildings from the material he walks on.
In the finale of Invisible War, JC behaves the same as every other human in combat, should the player choose to oppose him. He is tougher than any other character in the game, making him harder to kill.
If Alex decides to follow JC, the closing cinematic of the game shows all of humanity uplinking with Helios, who instructs them to break down the boundaries between themselves.
If Alex kills JC, and sides with either the Templar or the Omar, the Helios A.I. right before destruction revives JC. In one final attempt to prevent what JC and Helios perceive as the end of the world, JC will engage Alex and say "You want to plunge the world into chaos? Come and take it from me".
The surname "Denton" is a reference to Warren Spector's friend, sci-fi author Bradley Denton.
The name "JC" is derived from "Jesus Christ." During the 2017's Game Developers Conference, Warren Spector revealed that JC got his name from an anecdote where his friend, Bradley Denton, was too helpful so Spector would jokingly respond "Jesus Christ, Denton, don't be so helpful." When he decided to use his friend's last name, he decided to also borrow from this saying, confirming that JC "stands for Jesus Christ."
- According to Harvey Smith, an idea was considered during development that JC Denton would be a descendant of Jesus Christ.
- Warren Spector stated in an interview that the player was originally to be able to choose the gender of the character, with the ambiguity of JC being a "nice, unisex name" to flow with Denton. Although the feature was not implemented, the name was left unchanged. This feature was later implemented into Deus Ex: Invisible War.
- JC Denton is 5’11”(180cm) and weighs 212lbs (96kg).
- His name can be designated by the player in character customization stage at the beginning of Deus Ex.
- JC Denton bears a close resemblance to Neo from the Matrix movies. The game's cover art suggests that he may have been modeled after the film's protagonist, Keanu Reeves. Also, his outfit seems to be modeled from the titular character's outfit in Blade 1998.
- JC Denton appears as a CPU-controlled opponent in the mobile game Lara Croft's Poker Party, along with several other characters from games published by SCi/Eidos.
- Statis pod datacubes in Area 51
- Deus Ex Bible
- Classic Game Postmortem: The Making of 'Deus Ex' by Warren Spector, at 51:19
- DX: Visible Interview, page 3
- Warren Spector Interview - Q11 - 20. Archived from the original on March 18, 2009.