System Rift.png "You won't regret this."
"I already do."
— Spoilers for System Rift follow!
System Rift.png

"There're only ten hackers in the world who can [reprogram this thing]. And I'm two of them."
— ShadowChild

ShadowChild, also stylized as Shadow(hild[2], is a hacker operating from Klímová Apartments in the Blade Plaza of Prague in 2029. She is a major character in System Rift and also serves as the Ripper's handler in Breach.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Hacking since age six, the enigmatic ShadowChild is a world-class Ripper working to pull off the "hack of the century." By exposing The Palisade Bank Corporation's fortress-like Palisade Blade servers to hackers world-wide, ShadowChild intends not only to position herself as the world's foremost hacker, but also to take vengeance against the man who put a bounty on all Rippers: Palisade CTO and mastermind of the Blades, Masaaki Oshiro.[1]

In 2029, ShadowChild has an apartment space consisting of two adjacent units (3A and 3B) in the Klímová Apartments, an apartment building located in the Blade Plaza. She resides with Marta Romanowski, the registered tenant of both units.[3] One of the units has been modified to accommodate a secret room that houses ShadowChild's Neural SubNet (NSN) terminal.

When Adam Jensen is sent by Francis Pritchard to infiltrate Palisade Blade-01 to retrieve data from the Blade, ShadowChild assists Jensen by reprogramming a Pass-Port needed to infiltrate the facility. Later, ShadowChild assists Jensen in rescuing Pritchard's avatar when it becomes trapped in the Blade's mainframe. In order to bypass the Blade's AI virtual defenses guarding the mainframe, ShadowChild creates a hole in the Blade's outer defenses and invites some of her Ripper associates to attack the client servers of the Blade, thereby distracting the AI defenses from the mainframe. This process, however, creates the Breach.

In the aftermath of the creation of the Breach, ShadowChild tells Jensen that Rippers will be attacking the Blades' corporate servers day and night to extract the Terabytes of private data stored within. She tells Jensen that the creation of the Breach is a good thing, for the sake of exposing the truth hidden in the servers.

ShadowChild realizes that it's only a matter of time before the authorities trace her involvement with the Breach. She tells Jensen that her time in Europe is over, and that she and her partner (Marta) are moving to either California or Argentina.[4]

While the Breach is open, ShadowChild gives Rippers "Darknet Files," humanitarian cases where people go to the Darknet for help in uncovering and exposing the secrets of major corporations. ShadowChild has contacts with experience in the military, in medicine, and in analytics for assistance, who can assist Rippers in carrying out these investigations. These contacts include: Watchstan68, an ex-military personnel well versed in covert tactics, infiltration and fire teams; Fairbanks, an analytics specialist adept at unraveling the red tape of corporations and governments; and Shorthand, described by ShadowChild as an impatient but brilliant doctor.

As a Ripper, ShadowChild believes in operating under a moral code. If questioned by Jensen as to the possibility of Rippers invading the privacy of innocent individuals, ShadowChild will say that such is a line "real" Rippers will never cross, and that "real" Rippers only target people and companies that abuse the masses.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Although she mostly refers to herself using the handle "ShadowChild", her real name appears to be Bianca Cavaleri, and is used in multiple e-mail correspondences with her girlfriend Marta Romanowski.
  • The name "Bianca Cavaleri" is also an Italian name, while ShadowChild frequently uses Italian words and phrases in her speech, such as buona fortuna, suggesting that she is from Italy.
  • In the Breach Darknet File Sleight of Hand, ShadowChild makes an appearance in actual gameplay, either as an ally or an adversary to the player depending on the player's actions.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "Can I reprogram it?! There are only ten hackers in the world who can. And I'm two of them." (to Jensen upon Jensen requesting ShadowChild to reprogram the Pass-Port)
  • "Privacy stopped being a right when everyone started using 'free' e-mail accounts and smartphones."

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Transcript of e-mails on Marta's computer found in ShadowChild's apartment, containing correspondences with ShadowChild.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Her outfit features a Glider, a shape from Conway's Game of Life that is recognized as a subtle hacker emblem.
  • ShadowChild resembles Kate Libby from Hackers (1995). It is not known whether the resemblance is intentional.
  • The figurine ShadowChild ask to be put on Leona Rosolova's desk is Garrett from the game Thief (2014), also developed by Eidos Montréal. Completing the task grants the Go Figure achievement.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Character information on the official Deus Ex website
  2. Hacker activity
  3. Emails found on Klímová Apartments computers.
  4. ShadowChild's dialogue at the end of System Rift ("My partner and I are debating. We're either moving to California wine country or Argentina"). Her "partner" is Marta, as the quote matches the contents of an email on Marta's computer indicating San Francisco and Buenos Aires as the next possible destinations for ShadowChild and Marta.
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