Deus Ex design documents reveal the game that never was

Early design documents for the original Deus Ex reveal an X-Files influenced game that never came to be, according to a recent report from Eurogamer.

This early iteration of the project, then called Majestic Revelations, is described in its original design document as a "near future science fiction" game, which featured "elements of conspiracy theory and X-File weirdness." The "RPG adventure" game was first slated for a holiday release in 1998; However, its eventual release as Deus Ex didn't happen until mid-2000.

Early scripts feature the familiar JC Denton, who would later appear in the final version of the game. Other aspects of the title changed, however. In earlier drafts, Deus Ex's anti-terrorist group UNATCO is called TLC, or Terrorist Limitation Coalition. Characters such as hacker Tracer Tong are similarly altered, described in the document not as the anarchist of Deus Ex but rather as a "mercenary ally." UNATCO head Joseph Manderley is described as a "ruthless bastard" who pursues your character across the globe, and appears to be less like the bureaucrat seen in the final version.

In Revelations, secret committee Majestic 12 shifts from an untouchable group attempting to control the world into an aggressive force who are easily killed by AI. This Majestic 12 plans to begin an invasion of Texas via Mexico, followed by assassinating the cabinet of the U.S. government.

Some aspects of the game were cut entirely, including a mission within the White House. Others, set in a war-ridden Texas and around Denver airport were never prototyped, while an underwater city set in a flooded valley in Hollywood was re-purposed to become a secret research base of Majestic 12.

Levels designed around the White House and the President's nuclear bunker were, however, developed but cut from the game later on. According to lead writer Sheldon Pacotti it is "possible" these scenes exist on DVD "in someone's attic, somewhere."

More from Polygon

Enemy Starfighter: Homeworld from inside a fighter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare gameplay trailer

  • Diablo 3 - Xbox One vs. PC comparison

  • Hearthstone - Military Quarter gameplay video

  • Elite: Dangerous Overview video

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.