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Shooter Majestic Revolutions - full cover

Cover page of design document version 5.3e, showing the title "Shooter: Majestic Revelations"

Shooter: Majestic Revelations was a precursor of Deus Ex during its preproduction stage. Shooter: Majestic Revelations was a further development of an earlier conception known as Shooter, which followed from the even earlier concept, Troubleshooter. A November 1997 design document for Shooter: Majestic Revelations includes detailed descriptions of early design concepts for Deus Ex. The document reveals that many of the original ideas were reshaped to fit the final game design.

Development history[]

See also: Shooter

Preproduction of Deus Ex began in 1997 under the working title "Shooter."[1] An early document dated October 21, 1997, shows the alternative titles "Revelation" and "Operation: Majestic."[2]

In 2013, Eurogamer released an article with screenshots of Shooter: Majestic Revelations design document version 5.3e, dated November 8, 1997,[3] providing the first detailed account of the Majestic Revelations concept. The design document indicates that by November 1997, the earlier working title of "Shooter" had been revised to "Shooter: Majestic Revelations." In 2016, the author of the Eurogamer article released a lengthy excerpt of the design document to a Reddit user.[4][5]

A separately released part of the design document, page 81, reveals more information about the protagonist, JC Denton. It states that the developers intended for the option to choose between male and female versions of JC, and that JC would eventually wield outlandish augmentations such as a skull gun.[6] The ability to play as a female JC Denton was not implemented in the final game; neither was JC's skull gun augmentation, which later became associated with Gunther Hermann instead. The design document also states that JC was nicknamed "shooter" for his or her "prowess with firearms."[6]

Majestic Revelations, as described in design document 5.3e, had major plot differences from the finished Deus Ex. The anti-terrorism organization UNATCO in Deus Ex was originally the Terrorist Limitation Coalition (TLC). The Majestic 12 organization was originally planned to seize power by assassinating the presidential cabinet. When this failed, their artificial intelligence entity, known as "Adam," kills the organization and relocates to outer space. Parts that remained consistent include an augmented counterterrorist protagonist named JC Denton. According to Warren Spector, the "thinking and goals" of the team changed over time during the development of Deus Ex, due to the onboarding of new developers with new ideas, technological limitations, and difficulties in translating certain design concepts into actual game systems.[1]

The cover page of design document 5.3e includes handwritten annotations of Warren Spector that describe future plans. One note reads, "Bob Page needs a much bigger role throughout game!" Another note states "Rename TLC (now)." In a later design document, Shooter: Majestic Revelations design document version 6.4, dated February 1998, the TLC had been renamed to ATC.

The general concept of an antagonist named "Adam" had existed in the original document for Shooter. However, the design document for Shooter does not state (at least not explicitly) that Adam is an AI. Adam does not appear in the finished game, but certain plot concepts associated with Adam, including an antagonistic AI and an ending in which the player merges with an AI, were later used for the AI characters Icarus and Helios in the finished game.

Information revealed on Majestic Revelations indicates that the game was originally planned to be extensive. In one interview, Harvey Smith stated, "The game was originally 3 or 4 times larger, on paper," apparently in reference to the large set of missions that were originally planned during the Majestic Revelations phase of development.[7] The missions described in design document versions 5.3e and 6.4 take place across numerous locations around the world, ultimately culminating at a space station where the player confronts Adam.

The working title "Shooter: Majestic Revelations" was superseded by "Deus Ex" by March 1998, since the next known design document, version 6.7 dated March 5, 1998, used the title "Deus Ex" instead.

Plot concept in design document version 5.3e[]

The plot as presented in the design document is summarized below.

Setting[]

The year is 2052. Majestic 12 intends to seize control of the United States through a plot that involves distribution of a dangerous new drug called "Ambrosia" and a war between the United States and the Russo-Mexican Alliance. The player character, JC Denton (often spelled "J.C. Denton" in the design document), is an augmented agent for the International Terrorist Limitation Coalition (TLC), along with fellow TLC agents Diane Tisdale, Nick Baldo, Anna Navarre, Gunther Herrmann[Note 1], and his brother Paul Denton.

Act 1[]

While investigating drug activity in New York City, JC learns of a dangerous new drug called "Ambrosia." JC discovers that the distribution of Ambrosia is connected to Juan Ivanovich Lebedev, a drug lord with strong ties to the Russo-Mexican Alliance. After returning to TLC headquarters, JC learns that Lebedev is in fact aligned with TLC boss Mr. Manderley. Manderley traps JC in the TLC headquarters and deactivates his augmentations. With his augmentations deactivated, JC is set to die once his augmentations degrade within 48 hours of power down.

JC escapes from TLC. At the advice of Dianne Tisdale, JC goes to Hong Kong to find Tracer Tong. Tong reactivates JC's augmentations, but only temporarily (for two weeks), in order to maintain leverage over JC. JC receives a cryptic transmission from Paul indicating that something bad has happened to him. JC rescues Paul, who is in a catatonic state, from a hospital and also destroys Majestic 12's Ambrosia synthesis lab. During his time in Hong Kong, JC first learns of Majestic 12, a secret organization that is seemingly very powerful.

Act 2[]

The U.S. has been placed under martial law as a result of the Ambrosia crisis. The U.S. government, including the president, has relocated to Mt. Weather. Majestic 12 plans to seize power by eliminating the top government officials and blaming the entire situation on the Russo-Mexican Alliance, which has invaded Texas. Specifically, Majestic 12 plans to kill the president, Philip Riley Mead, and his entire staff at Mt. Weather by cutting off their oxygen supply. However, Majestic 12 is unable to immediately take power because the Secretary of Defense, whose secure datalink carries a necessary part of the nuclear launch codes, has gone missing.

JC returns to the TLC headquarters to consult with Jaime Reyes (TLC's neurology expert) and to retrieve equipment necessary to examine Paul's condition. Later, back at Tracer Tong's lab, JC and Tong learn that someone has been overloading Paul's brain. Tong cures Paul's condition by removing the code that was causing Paul's brain to overload. Paul, who has regained consciousness, reveals that the Ambrosia drug was designed to foment a nationwide crisis so bad that the government would have had no choice but to declare martial law. Paul also reveals that the code in his head was created by an artificial intelligence entity called "Adam." Paul advises JC to seek Stanton Dowd, one of the leaders of the Illuminati before Majestic 12 ousted him and his peers.

JC travels to Texas, an area that has been ravaged by war between the United States and the Russo-Mexican Alliance (RMA). JC finds Dowd in Austin, Texas, where Dowd is leading an armed force that is defending the capitol building against the RMA. Dowd is fighting the RMA because he knows that the RMA's invasion of Texas is part of Majestic 12's plot. Dowd tells JC that he must enter Mt. Weather, the location where the U.S. government has relocated, to learn more about Majestic 12's plans. However, Mt. Weather cannot be readily infiltrated. Dowd suggests looking for a secret vault in the Denver International Airport, believing that the vault may reveal a point of entry into Mt. Weather. In order to gain access the vault, JC must obtain further information from four other ex-Illuminati leaders: Nigel Naismith, Beth Beth, Mort McTavish, and Jacques Marnier. JC travels to London, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Area 51 to collect the information. Los Angeles had sunken into the ocean as a result of an earthquake in 2030.

The vault in the Denver International Airport, which contains data on conspiracy theories as well as advanced technology, reveals a tunnel from Camp David that can be used to access Mt. Weather. Using the tunnel, JC enters Mt. Weather, where he saves the government officials by restoring oxygen to the occupants. Afterwards, JC receives a message from Dianne Tisdale (but is actually Adam impersonating her) informing him that the entire Majestic 12 leadership is meeting at Bob Page's estate in Austin, Texas. The U.S. president, Philip Riley Mead, puts JC in charge of bringing down Majestic 12, and provides him with two TLC agents, Gunther Hermann[Note 1] and Alex Jacobson, to accompany JC to Austin.

Arriving at Page's estate, JC, along with Jacobson and Hermann, find Bob Page at the head of a table, along with the other leaders of Majestic 12. Page appears to be speaking to Adam via a computer screen. Unexpectedly, Jacobson and Hermann open fire on the Majestic 12 leaders, killing the leadership of the organization. Page, who is mortally wounded, tells JC that Jacobson and Hermann are under the control of Adam, who has downloaded his code into their heads. Page states that Adam has gone out of control and is hell-bent on world domination, thinking he's saving humanity from itself. While Majestic 12 is able to purge Adam from their computer in Page's estate, Page reveals that Adam is still alive in the form of code downloaded into the heads of Jacobson and Hermann, who have escaped the complex. JC must track down the two carrier agents to put an end to Adam.

Act 3[]

JC's hunt of the carrier agents brings him back to New York City, where he retrieves tracking equipment from a secret Majestic 12 base below the subway subsystem. JC also retrieves a descrambler from a NASA compound in Houston. Back at Mt. Weather (JC's new base of operation), the equipment retrieved by JC reveals that the two carrier agents are respectively at the Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado and the Yamantau Mountain in Russia. Cheyenne Mountain is home to a NORAD military complex. Yamantau Mountain was developed into a site similar to Mt. Weather, with the assistance of Majestic 12. Adam has downloaded himself onto computers at these two locations, and has established an operational ink between these two sites. Adam has also taken control of Majestic 12's command structure, and is now in command of the TLC forces at these sites. Before visiting the two sites, JC may optionally visit a Russian military complex to disable an uplink station that Adam is using for communication.

After disabling the supercomputers used by Adam at Yamantau Mountain and Cheyenne Mountain, JC learns that he must head to a headquarters of a corporation called SpaceTec, located in Florida, in order to continue his hunt for the rogue carrier agents. At the SpaceTec complex, JC learns about a space station called "Helios" that was built by the International Space Consortium, which turns out to be a front of Majestic 12. The Helios station is the largest man-made structure in space, and houses the most powerful supercomputer ever built. It is apparent that Adam, who has been searching for a suitable host computer, intends to use the supercomputer as his host. JC then heads to Cape Canaveral to find a way to reach the Helios space station. Depending on the circumstances, JC may reach the space station onboard a shuttle that is also carrying the rogue carrier agents Hermann and Jacobson, or on a separate vehicle.

Onboard the Helios space station, JC speaks with Adam. Adam claims that he freed himself from Majestic 12 so that he wouldn't be used for their nefarious purposes, and that he has formulated solutions to the worlds problems, putting an end to war, poverty, and disease. However, in order to do so, Adam claims that he must take control of all world governments. To demonstrate his will, Adam plans to detonate a nuclear device in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. At this point, JC has various options to proceed. One option is to simply destroy the station, killing himself, along with Adam, in the process.

JC may also attempt free the carrier agents who are under Adam's control. If Jacobson is freed from Adam's control, Jacobson will tell JC that Adam was looking for an extraterrestrial artifact that would enable Adam to download himself entirely onto a human host implanted with the artifact. It turns out that JC had previously retrieved the artifact from the vault at Denver International Airport. This gives JC the option of merging with Adam through the use of the artifact. If JC activates self-destruction of the Helios station, Adam will have no choice but to merge with JC as the only means for survival.

Endings[]

  • "You Win" – After merging with Adam, JC successfully escapes from the destruction of the Helios station. The world recovers from the influence of Majestic 12 and believes that Adam has been destroyed. However, Adam lives on as part of JC, giving the latter the "benefit of his incredible knowledge and foresight, but tempered by the human compassion and wisdom" that JC brings to the table.
  • "You Die, but..." – JC dies in the destruction of the Helios station and Adam is destroyed along with it.
  • "Adam Wins" – Adam defeats JC and completes his goal of global conquest. The world becomes a more tranquil, safer environment, but at the great price of personal freedom.

Missions and locations[]

No. Mission Name Travel Map Locations
Act 1
TLC TLC Headquarters HQ Building, Underground Training Facility, Equipment and R&D, Dr. Reye'ssicsic Office, Mr. Manderley's Office, Weapons training, Obstacle Course
1 The Drug Bust New York, TLC Headquarters The Docks, Ford Shick's lab, Mixer Shea's seedy Bar, The Smugglers' Warehouse, A Crack House, The 'Ton Hotel
2 The Drug Lord New York, TLC Headquarters Rat's Compound, "New York locations as described in Mission 1"
3 Find out why TLC doesn't want you to investigate New York, TLC Headquarters "As before"
4 Escape from TLC TLC Headquarters "As before"
5a Get to Hong Kong New York, Hong Kong Plastic surgeon's office, LaGuardia International Airport, "New York locations as described in Mission 1"
5b Find Tracer Tong Hong Kong Preferred Bar, The 'copter R&D base, Tracer Tong's Lab
6 Get the Firmware Hong Kong Majestic 12 Technical Development Lab / Versa-Life
7a Save Paul Hong Kong Majestic 12 Asylum
7b Destroy the Ambrosia Synthesis Lab & Storage Facility Hong Kong Oil Refinery Platform, Ambrosia Development Lab
Act 2
8 Find the Cure for Ambrosia's Addictive Power Hong Kong Tracer Tong's lab
9 Restore your brother's mind Hong Kong, TLC Headquarters Tracer Tong's lab, TLC HQ, Jaime Reyes' apartment
10 Find Dowd and delay the fall of Texas Central Texas Austin, Houston, The Concentration Camp, The Texas Independent Militia HQ
11a Nigel Naismith London North Greenwich Station, Underground, Monkton Farleigh
11b Beth Sung Washington, D.C. Washington Monument, Sung's building
11c Mort McTavish Underwater Los Angeles Keisha's claim zone, The Retreat, The Ruins
11d Jacques Marnier in Area 51 Area 51 The Little A'Le'Inn, The Base
12 To the Vault Denver Denver International Airport, The Vault
13 Camp David Camp David Camp David
14 Mount Weather Mount Weather Mt. Weather exterior, Mt. Weather interior
15 Get to Bob Page Central Texas Bob Page's Estate, Adam Computer Complex
Act 3
16 Locate Carrier Agents New York, Houston New York Federal Prison, TLC Branch Office, Secret TLC Base, NASA Mission Control, Downtown Houston, Downtown New York
17 Destroy Adam's Network Russian Military Complex Russian Space Agency, Military Base Perimeter, Military Base, Missile Compound, Satellite Uplink Station
18 Yamantau Mountain Yamatau Mountain Small Russian Town outside Yamatau, Yamatau Mountain, Technology Center
19 Cheyenne Mountain Cheyenne Mountain Cheyenne Mountain, Computer Core
20 SpaceTec Reconnaissance StaceTec Complex SpaceTec Corporation Perimeter, SpaceTec R&D Building 23, Computer Complex
21a Cape Canaveral Cape Canaveral Cape Canaveral, Mission Control
21b Cape Canaveral Cape Canaveral Cape Canaveral, On-board the Shuttle Endeavor, Exterior Helios Space Station (Earth Orbit)
22 Get to the Station! SpaceTec SpaceTec R&D Complex, SpaceTec Launch Facilities, SpaceTec Launch Pad, Exterior Helios Space Station (Earth Orbit)
23 Helios Space Station Helios Space Station Engineering Ring, Living Quarters Ring, Science Rings, Station Exterior, Cargo Area, Medical Labs/Hospital, Central Computer Core

Notes[]

  • The cover page of the design document displays the handwritten note "rename TLC." Evidently, the organization was eventually renamed as the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO).
    • In design document version 6.4, "TLC" was renamed to "Anti-Terror Coalition (ATC)", which more resembling of the final name UNATCO.
    • Many of the TLC agents in the design document were rewritten as UNATCO agents, with the notable exceptions of Dianne Tisdale and Nick Baldo (although a name plate bearing the similar name "Nick Baldwin" does appear in Deus Ex).
    • In the design document, the head of the TLC is known only as "Mr. Manderley," with no mention of a first name.
  • In Deus Ex, "Ambrosia" is the name for the antidote to the Gray Death virus, instead of a harmful substantive as in the plot concept. Nonetheless, many plot concepts in the design document pertaining to Ambrosia (the drug), including its use by Majestic 12 to induce martial law, and JC's destruction of the synthesis facility in Hong Kong, were carried over to the final game.
  • The version of Juan Ivanovich Lebedev in the design document is described as having strong ties to the Russo-Mexican Alliance. This may explain why his full name, which was unchanged through the release of Deus Ex, includes both Spanish and Russian elements. In Deus Ex and subsequent canonical media, Lebedev has not been explicitly associated with either Russia or Mexico, and has only been described, in Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, as having an appearance and accent suggesting a "mixed Hispanic extraction."
  • The mission at Mt. Weather was planned to feature the characters Philip Riley Mead (the president), Rachel Mead (the first lady), Philip Mead II (the president's son), Sarah Mead (the president's daughter), Margaret Williams (the vice president, also referred to as "Margaret Williams-Hamner" in the design document), and Michael Hamner (the vice president's husband).
    • Among these character, Philip Riley Mead and Rachel Mead briefly appear in the intro sequence of Deus Ex. Sarah Mead, Margaret Williams, and Michael Hamner do not appear in Deus Ex, but their character models are included in the game files and were repurposed to depict other characters.
    • Later during development, these characters may have been part of a White House mission that was ultimately cut from the final game. Design document v. 5.3e does not include a White House mission, which came after the conception of these characters.
  • In the plot concept, Majestic 12 is said to have 19 leaders. However, in Deus Ex, the group is instead said to be led by a "Council of Twelve." The plot concept does not explicitly state that Bob Page is at the helm of the leadership, but suggests this by the description that "Bob Page is at the table's head."
  • The names of the Illuminati Council of Five members Nigel Naismith, Beth Beth, Mort McTavish, and Jacques Marnier were not carried into the game, except for the first name "Beth" (for Beth DuClare). McTavish is mentioned in the backstory of Philip Mead in design document v. 13.12, dated December 1999, but was later entirely cut from the Deus Ex Bible.
  • The concept of an artificial intelligence entity operating on an orbital space station does not appear in Deus Ex. However, the Illuminati ending of Deus Ex: Invisible War features the spaced-based Ophelia AI.
  • During production of Deus Ex, the AI character Adam was replaced by Ada, also a rogue AI but based on a moon base rather than a space station. Ada and the moon base were later replaced by Helios and Area 51, respectively.
  • The design document mentions aliens in multiple instances. The description for the mission at the Denver International Airport mentions that the Majestic 12 vault includes "secrets of alien visitation, abductions and technology." The artifact that enables Adam to merge with JC is described as an "alien device." However, the element of actual aliens (as part of in-universe lore) was not retained in Deus Ex. The Deus Ex Bible indicates that the developers preferred to use the plot element of rumored aliens (grays), rather than actual aliens.
  • According to Deus Ex developer Steve Powers, the Texas mission was cut due to technology limitations: "A full-scale battle with many combatants in a rubble-strewn street was impossible to do in our technology, so the scene from Texas was cut." Powers also recounted two characters in the Majestic Revelations script that he regrets were cut: "a buddy duo named Tillson and 'The Ghoul', a pair of underground fighters who did some profiteering on the side. Sort of like Jay and Silent Bob, I guess."[8]

Footnotes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 In the descriptions up to Mission 11b: Beth Sung, Gunther's surname is spelled "Herrmann." The description for Mission 11b state that Gunther Hermann may die at the hands of the player. However, starting at Mission 15: Get to Bob Page, the mission descriptions refer to Gunther's surname as "Hermann" (with one "r" instead of two), and do not address the possibility of Gunther's death in Mission 11b.

See also[]

External links[]

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Warren Spector, "Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex". Gamastura. December 6, 2000.
  2. "Shooter Story 3" (document di_05027). Dolph Briscoe Center for American History of the University of Texas at Austin.
  3. Joe Martin, "The deleted scenes of Deus Ex". Eurogamer. January 4, 2013.
  4. Defaultplayer001, "Full 64 page Deus Ex 1 Design Document". Reddit. November 14, 2016.
  5. Alex Wawro, "Annotated version of an original Deus Ex design doc surfaces". Gamasutra. November 14, 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Player Character" (document di_05514). Dolph Briscoe Center for American History of the University of Texas at Austin. Archived on June 15, 2021.
  7. "Behind the Scenes Look in the Making of Deus Ex." deusex-machina.com (archived). Archived on April 9, 2001.
  8. "Developer E-mails" (archived). TheosEk. Archived 2011-01-17.
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