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Deus Ex is a PC game created by Ion Storm and Eidos Interactive and I feel it makes some very bold statements about what people are all about and where they are going. Especially the games 3 alternate endings-
Those who did not complete the RPG (now ÂŁ5 or less) look away now!
I know it seems somewhat odd to base a political discussion around the endings to a computer game but please bear with me as I explain.
Deus Ex has 3 alternate endings that affect the future of the game world itself.
As JC Denton you spend the entire game unmasking the evil conspiracy behind a plague known as the Grey Death. Bob Page, an insane billionaire who has the usual plan to rule the world by use of a Nano Tech Virus (known to the world as the Grey Death) to weaken the infrastructure of any country he desires.
Once he has sufficiently destabilised the country he can provide the Majestic 12 troops to uphold order and the vaccine known as Ambrosia. The grateful nations are subjected to a state of martial law unknowing that their saviours are the ones who infected them in the first place.
However ruling the world is not enough, Page has realised the frailties of the human form and decided that he must merge with an Artificial Intelligence to have a lasting effect upon the world.
Our intrepid hero reaches area 51 with 3 possible outcomes to the situation.
Mankind needs to be guided, however at the same time the illusion of self determination is essential to keep people going. Bob Page will be killed and an older conspiracy will take his place with you at the heart of it.
All will be made as it wasâ€¦.
"It Is Better To Reign In Hell Than To Serve In Heaven" - John Milton, Paradise Lost
New Dark Age Ending
Within Area 51 the unique opertunity to stop all Global communications presents itself, not only will Bob Page be killed in the blast but it will be impossible for others like the Illuminati to ever follow in his footsteps. Governments will only be able to exist on a local scale where they can better understand their people.
"Yesterday We Obeyed Kings And Bent Our Necks To Emperors. Today We Kneel Only To Truth." - Kahlil Gibran
Pageâ€™s plan to unite with the Helios AI may have some merit, for Helios was designed to help mankind in the same way a parent helps a child and is not evil by design. With the right human host Helios could make the world a paradise.
It has been said that God is a dream of a prefect government and prehaps the union of man and machine could create such a being. The logic of a machine with the heart and compassion of a human. A benevolent dictatorship that always knows what people want and guide them to it.
"If God Did Not Exist, It Would Be Necessary To Invent Him." - Voltaire
What would you do from those 3 choices and why?
I have the game and have played through a few levels from the start. Its remarkably good, in my opinion.
Well, I'd probably like a little more information on each option before I committed in the real world, but as a teacher, mentor and someone who's used to trying to dispense beneficant authority I would probably go for number III, the Helios ending.
Ryan Dancey, Vice President of Wizards of the Coast, believed that TSR failed because of "...a near total inability to listen to its customers, hear what they were saying, and make changes to make those customers happy." Are you listening, Games Workshop ?
New Dark Age. No question. It's essentially what I chose at the end of the second one. Kill all the dictators and let the people rule themselves.
Quote for probably forever 'cause it rocks:
"Slaughter them, men, and bring me their hats."
Well i'm inclined to agree with new Dark Age, i've noticed that the people who tend to spout lines like "people need guidence" tend to be the people who either have too much power already or crave more!
Would also think a God walking amongst us would do more harm than good!
I still hate Twiglets!
I think that I would prefer the Illuminati ending. IMO, most people have no idea whats good for them, and need to be ruled by someone who knows better. I also believe that the illusion of self determination and free will is nessecary, so that people does not protest against and oppose the system.
I find the second dark age ending and the Helios endings somewhat naive. The dark age ending will only lead to complete anarchy, lead by the unknowing masses of people who will never do what they must, but only what they feel like here and now. The helios ending strikes me as even more naive, as it seems to assume that everyone can be happy at once. Knowing what people wants is one thing, but there is no way that everyone can have it at once. The "logic of the machiene" also requires a predictability and reliability of people, that simply does not exist.
The three endings has a striking similarity to the three parts of the freudian personality model. The new dark age ending would represent the id, where our most basic needs and desires are thought of first, and where obligations and rules are of no concern. The Helios ending would then represent the super-ego, that is our conscience and counteracts the id by holding rules and limitations in high esteem. And finally, the Illuminati ending would represent the ego, standing in between both the super-ego and the id to balance our primitive needs and our moral beliefs. Your ego represents your personality, and gives you the illusion of free will, eventhough you are in fact a slave of your super-ego and id, always doing what you are "programmed" to do, mush like the Illuminati in this case would rule the world. A psycologist might be able to learn some very interesting things about your personality from your choice of ending.
I have the game but I have never played it.
I got it in the bargain bin, it was stuck together with another game I wanted and so I bought them both for the one and never got around to playing the other.
I would choose the New Dark Age. I believe mankind would wither away or suffocate without freedom to choose his future. Maybe the lesson learned from the all that went wrong in the Deus Ex world would help guide us more favorably.
Although learning from our past is not one of humanities strongpoints, it's too presumptious; and also historically proven to be dangerous; to assume the rule of a few or of one is better.
Personally, in the game situation i wouldn't even consider the Illuminati ending. Simply because if Majestic 12 has been able to gain so much power in the first place then the system must be iredeemably broken.Originally Posted by Farseer Sareld
Then again out of the game i wouldn't want to restart the world/become God for the heck of it! Would look kinda fun on my personal planner though
9 am- get up
10-11 am- meetings
12 pm- lunch
1-3 pm- aranging tours
4 pm- rest the world back to the dark age
5-8 pm- become God
9 pm- go on MSN and chat about my day
could be fun
I still hate Twiglets!
Gah.. I wrote a huge reply and my browser deleted it. Stupid thing.
Anyway, I would most certainly go with the Helios ending. Might seem an odd choice, but I believe that sacrificing humanity and personal ego is a small price to pay for evolution into something greater than our current existence.
Nietzche once said that humanity is a bridge, and not an end. I like being myself, but I'm not so proud as to suggest that I will be around for ever, and will not change and evolve in time. While losing my personal identity is terrifying to me now, intellectually I recognise that change is neccesary. Failure to evolve represents a slow demise, in the form of stagnation and exinction.
So, to summarise, I don't believe in god. But I would become a god, even at the cost of humanity. Humanity is nothing particularly special to me.
Although I don't want to bring Deus Ex 2 into this very much, because it's a seperate game (and a much worse one), I think it's worth exploring the final goal of Denton/Helios' transformation. Beware.. spoliers incomming.
One possible scenario at the end of Deus Ex 2 was the distribution of nanoparticles into the atmosphere which systematically infected every human being on earth, linking them to the Helios AI in the way Denton was at the end of the first game. This means that what Denton calls the 'topography of ignorance' is swept away, as everyone reaches the same enlightened, informed state, with everyone possessing abseloute knowledge of the thoughts of every human being on Earth. This is the end of individual human consciousness as it stands today, and the beginning of a period of abseloute consensus.
Again, from a Western standpoint, this is a terrifying prospect. We fear losing our individual ego and identity. But perhaps that fear itself is simply based on ignorance, which would be swept away following our initial connection. There would be no suffering, disagreement or war, and no ignorance to hold back human progress.
As Helios correctly states: 'The only frontier which has ever existed is the self.'
The New Dark age wasn't a bad idea either, as was it's successor, the century long war.. But that takes the opposite route, culling and pruning human society rather than advancing it. I still prefer the latter.
By the way, thanks for starting this post. A very cool idea.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; November 11th, 2005 at 21:59.