Deus Ex provides the player with the option of using non-lethal methods to take down enemies. Except for one character whom the player must kill during the course of the game, the choice between lethal and non-lethal approaches is largely the player's preference. In the early missions, the player's choices regarding lethality will affect the reaction of non-player characters.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Enemies are rendered unconscious if their last bit of health is removed by any of the following weapons, which are considered to be non-lethal weapons:

Items that emit tear gas or halon gas (gas grenade, pepper gun, and fire extinguisher) can also be regarded as non-lethal weapons. However, tear gas and halon gas are only capable of blinding and stunning targets, and are not capable of rendering them unconscious. Unconscious enemies cannot be revived, whether by the player or by their allies.

All NPCs that are not invincible can be rendered unconscious, with the sole exception of Anna Navarre, who cannot be rendered unconscious because she is fully immune to the damage types inflicted by the baton, riot prod, and tranquilizer dart. Navarre is the only character in the entire game that must be killed by the player, unless console commands, bugs, or exploits are used to circumvent her death.

Non-lethal incapacitation provides no inherent gameplay benefits to the player, except against men in black and women in black. MiBs and WiBs explode when killed, thereby destroying their inventory. Therefore, the only way to loot their inventory is to render them unconscious, so as the avoid triggering their self-destruct explosion.

Dead vs. unconscious[edit | edit source]

The game distinguishes between killing characters and rendering them unconscious only in certain specific contexts in the first three missions of the game, as listed below.

In all other situations (which includes the entire game after the third mission), the game does not distinguish between killing a character and rendering that character unconscious, for purposes of dialogue and other story-related interactions. For example, when the player is tasked with assassinating a certain character in the third mission, the game will consider that character to be killed even if only knocked out. Similarly, when the player is tasked with rescuing another character in the 11th mission, the game will similarly consider that character to be killed even if only knocked out.

1st mission[edit | edit source]

"Aggressive" flag[edit | edit source]

During the first mission on Liberty Island, the "M01PlayerAggressive" flag will be set to "true" if the player kills more than 5 out of the 28 NSF terrorists on Liberty Island. Kills made by NPCs (i.e. UNATCO troopers, Gunther Hermann, or the two UNATCO medium security bots) do not count, however kills by turrets reprogrammed by the player do count. For purposes of this flag, rendering NSF terrorists unconscious does not constitute a kill.[1] This flag affects dialogue with Tech Sergeant Kaplan, Paul Denton, Private Lloyd, and generic UNATCO personnel in the UNATCO Headquarters.

  • Paul prefers non-lethality. If the flag was triggered, Paul will say: "Yeah, well, pace yourself. You killed a lot of people tonight." Otherwise, he will instead say: "Just keep a level head. You're doing well so far."
  • UNATCO personnel other than Paul will compliment JC for acting aggressively. For example, Kaplan will tell JC, "Heard you cleaned the place out." Otherwise, if JC took the non-lethal approach, Kaplan will say: "Heard you went a little soft on the NSF; the guys had to mop up for you."

Specific characters[edit | edit source]

If the player fails to obtain the surrender of NSF commander Leo Gold, Paul Denton and Joseph Manderley will react slightly differently depending on whether Leo Gold was killed or rendered unconscious. Additionally, in the third mission, Harley Filben will charge only 500 credits for Curly's password if Leo Gold was rendered unconscious instead of killed (if Leo Gold was killed, Harley will charge 1000 credits).

If the player attacks the UNATCO trooper that greets JC Denton at the top of the Statute of Liberty, Joseph Manderley's dialogue will be slightly different depending on whether this trooper was killed or rendered unconscious.

2nd mission[edit | edit source]

During the Battery Park segment of the second mission, the "BatteryParkSlaughter" flag will be set to "true" if more than 1 of the 5 NSF terrorists guarding the above-ground portion of Castle Clinton are killed.[2] Rendering NSF terrorists unconscious does not constitute a kill. However, the game makes no distinction as to who made the kill, whether it was by the player or by Anna Navarre or her squad. Therefore, in order to avoid triggering this flag, it is necessary to avoid triggering any hostilities between the NSF terrorists and Anna Navarre's squad.

This flag affects interactions with Anna Navarre, Sam Carter, and generic UNATCO personnel.

  • Anna Navarre will react favorably if the flag was triggered, telling JC, "You are not afraid to kill; I am pleased. The last thing I would expect from the brother of Paul."
  • During the second visit to the headquarters (at the start of the third mission), Sam Carter will be more favorable toward JC if flag was not triggered. In this case, Carter will also provide ammo to JC.

3rd Mission[edit | edit source]

During the Brooklyn Bridge Station segment of the third mission, El Rey will give the player the optional objective of killing Rock. If the player knocks out Rock instead of killing him, the dialogue when reporting back to El Rey will be different.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. As defined in the class "Mission01" in DeusEx.u.
  2. As defined by the class "Mission02" in DeusEx.u. The condition of "count <= 3" requires 4 or more terrorists to be alive to avoid triggering the "BatteryParkSlaughter" flag.
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