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The Tyrants (from the Greek word τύραννος, tyrannos) are a paramilitary group working for the Illuminati. They appear as antagonists in Deus Ex: Icarus EffectDeus Ex: Human Revolution, and Deus Ex: The Fall.


Formed by Jaron Namir at an unknown time, the Tyrants work in secret for the Illuminati, performing clandestine operations in various places across the globe. D-Bar explains that they are similar to the Icarus Effect, a social phenomenon where, to maintain "stability," society eliminates individuals who excel too far, before the public is ready to accept radical advancement. In the Tyrants' case, they either coerce, intimidate, or kill anyone involved in the spread and advancement of mechanical augmentation, as it presents a challenge to the total power and rule the Illuminati hold.

The term "Tyrant" derives from the Greek word τύραννος (tyrannos). Jaron Namir notes that although the term has gathered certain negative connotations over time, he prefers to interpret the original Greek word as "those who take power by their own means, instead of being awarded it through birthright or elective." According to Namir, this definition reflects what he describes is the purpose of the Tyrants, which is to restore balance from those who abuse power.[1]

Although the Tyrants sometimes operate in secret, for more important operations, they may openly kill people in public, and the Illuminati will use their influence to cover it up.


In 2026, the Tyrants conduct the assassination of Caidin Global CEO Garret Dansky, which was framed on the Red Arrow Triad. During the mission, Tyrants member Joe Wexler is killed by Anna Kelso, prompting Namir to recruit Ben Saxon as his replacement.

In 2027, the Tyrants kill Secret Service agent Ron Temple along with many of his friends in his own home. The Illuminati use their influence to frame Anna Kelso for the attack.

Later in the year, the Tyrants attack the Sarif Industries Headquarters in order to abduct Megan Reed to prevent her from going public with groundbreaking discoveries in augmentation research. During the attack, the Tyrants severely injure Sarif Industries head of security Adam Jensen.

Subsequently, the Tyrants are assigned to assassinate William Taggart, founder of Humanity Front, supposedly to drive up anti-augmentation sentiment prior to a United Nations vote. However, the plan is foiled by Ben Saxon, who had recently defected from the Tyrants. Shortly after the foiled assassination, Tyrants member Gunther Hermann is incapacitated after crashing into a river while inside a vehicle carrying a truck bomb, as a result of Anna Kelso's interference.

The Tyrants meet their demise at the hands of Adam Jensen, who becomes an augmented agent after recovering from the Sarif headquarters attack. During Jensen's investigation of the attack and the whereabouts of Megan Reed, Jensen defeats Tyrants members Lawrence Barrett, Yelena Fedorova, and finally their leader Jaron Namir, one-by-one.

By the end of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Tyrants have been eliminated due to the death of their leader and the death, incapacitation or defection of others. Afterwards, other groups such the Shadow Operatives took on the role as clandestine operatives for the Illuminati.

Organizational structure[]

The Tyrants are led by Jaron Namir, who is known to the group as "commander."

Only Namir communicates with the Tyrant's superiors, and then only through the Killing Floor, a communication system that stores small, unusable amounts of data across thousands of different drives. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to locate and use any data without legitimately logging in with the true password. The Tyrants' direct superiors include Bob Page, who is seen communicating with Namir on multiple occasions.[2]

Recruitment and personnel[]

The Tyrants recruit only the best operatives they can find. According to Namir, the Tyrants have ongoing dossiers on many potentials. In some circumstances, the Tyrants kill off a potential recruit's close contacts or relatives to place them in a position more suitable to commit to the Tyrants. For example, the Tyrants killed the wife of Joe Wexler so that he would commit to the group. Later, in order to recruit Ben Saxon, the Tyrants orchestrated the failure of Operation Rainbird to sever Saxon from his unit.

The Tyrants are paid handsomely and have access to cutting-edge weapons and augmentations along with Praxis software for the augmentations.[3] The Tyrants also have their own private airplane. In their line of work, the Tyrants must all execute their orders without hesitation or question, even when it involves killing civilians in cold blood.


Jaron Namir (call sign "Silver") - Leader of the group, Jaron gives mission objectives to the other members and leads most operations. He possesses an augmented musculature system and right retinal prosthesis. Jaron somehow manages a double life, both as a black ops soldier and as a peaceful family man at home. He is killed by Adam Jensen under the Omega Ranch in Singapore.

Lawrence Barrett (call sign "Blue") - Born in Missouri, USA, Lawrence is a very tall, muscular man with two artificial arms. During a fight with Ben Saxon, several concussion grenades around his belt detonated, severely scarring him. He is later defeated by Adam Jensen under Highland Park, before killing himself with a grenade while trying to take Jensen down with him.

Yelena Fedorova (call sign "Red") - An African-Russian woman who rarely speaks, Yelena has two augmented legs and a cloaking system. She is capable of speaking, but chooses not to. She initiated a brief affair with Ben Saxon after his initiation into the Tyrants. She is later killed by Adam Jensen in the basement of Picus Communications.

Gunther Hermann (call sign "Green") - A former member of the German Counter-Terrorism unit GSG-9, Gunther felt restricted by the extensive government supervision the job required, and he was recruited by the Tyrants in exchange for past troubles going away. He is a ruthless killer, feeling no regret after slaughtering several civilians. At first, he only owns a single prosthetic arm, though he wishes to augment himself as extensively as possible. He sustains significant injuries due to an explosion, but is later given extensive augmentations by the Illuminati and Majestic 12 that return him into operative state. By the time Gunther is deployed by the Illuminati in 2029 to seize a train from Task Force 29, the Tyrants have become defunct and Gunther is presumably part of another group.

Scott Hardesty (call sign "White") - The group's sniper. A former agent in the CIA, Scott felt close to Joe Wexler, though at the same time he is very skeptical of new recruits. He and Saxon clash, as he believes Saxon is too weak to be a Tyrant. Is killed by Ben Saxon in Geneva, Switzerland.

Joe Wexler - A former member of the CIA, Wexler got recruited after the death of his wife at the Tyrants hands. He was involved in the assassination of Garret Dansky, but was killed by Anna Kelso in Washington D.C. His death was most likely why Ben Saxon was recruited for the Tyrants.

Ben Saxon (call sign "Gray") - Ben first worked for the British SAS, and then worked for Belltower Associates, a private military company after leaving the service. During an operation during the Australian Civil War, his own group, Strike Team Six, were all killed due to misinformation by his superiors. After recovering from his injuries, he joined the Tyrants to find those responsible for his team's death. Jaron Namir clearly stated that Saxon was recruited because of his code of honor and the balance it would apply to the Tyrants. Saxon defects from the Tyrants and joins the Juggernaut Collective, after discovering that the Tyrants were the ones responsible for the deaths of his team in Belltower.

Sam Duarte - Saxon's former Strike Team Six comrade who became his Tyrant replacement. He assassinates a W.H.O. investigator while Saxon was trying to warn him of the danger. He hesitates to shoot Saxon, both being surprised to find the other has survived, before being forced to exfiltrate due to the investigators guards closing in on the room. He later appears along side Namir during a debrief with Bob Page, promising to kill Saxon the next time they meet. He does not appear in official Deus Ex media after the events of Deus Ex: The Fall. However, unreleased content found in game files indicates that a confrontation between him and Ben Saxon was planned for the story after the ending of The Fall.


  • Within the Greek mythology analogy that informs Deus Ex, the Tyrants are intended to represent the Minotaur guarding the Labyrinth.[4] To allude to this the Tyrants wear septum rings, as a bull would.


  1. Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, chapter 2. The quotation also appears in an audio recording in the Tyrant Jetliner in Deus Ex: The Fall.
  2. As seen in Deus Ex: The Fall.
  3. Ben Saxon's computer
  4. The Art of Deus Ex Universe, pg. 38.