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Prerelease:Deus Ex

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Deus Ex.

Deus Ex: The game that was seemingly made from recycled levels cobbled together and somehow made to work.

To do:


Deus Ex started life possibly in late 1992/early 1993 by Warren Spector.[1]

Deus Ex is a game I've been thinking about since right around the time UNDERWORLD 2 shipped.

By 1994 it was named as 'Troubleshooter'[2] and proposed to Origin as a concept, where Spector worked at the time. The concepts of this game started making their way into Looking Glass' MMO, Junction Point[3].

You're an ex-cop turned "security specialist." That just means you get all the dirty jobs no one else has the guts to do. When the government or the police or business can't handle a problem, they call on you. Bomb threats? You get to check 'em out. Hijackers threaten to take over a plane? You end up on board. Some radical group takes a millionaire's daughter hostage? You get the call to go in and get her out.

You scope out the situation, checking maps and photos, walking around the site, probing for the best way in, the way that will put the fewest innocent people at risk. You try to talk a madman into surrendering before he blows himself and his hostages to kingdom come. You crawl through air ducts and sewers hoping you don't attract the attention of the bad guys with all the guns. You shoot it out with terrorists wielding enough firepower to take on a third world army.

Troubleshooter is a mission-oriented action simulation with no huge plot -- just get in and get out of each mission. Maybe 10-30 minutes of action per scenario. None of this 100 hours to finish the game and get your reward stuff. Like a flight sim, but it's just you, on the ground, with a gun.

I originally envisioned this as all new technology, but I could probably leach off of Bounty Hunter, once that project gets going. In game play, I see it being like Underworld in the richness of its world simulation, but like Wolfenstein in its emphasis on action over roleplaying and inventory manipulation. Ideally, I'd like to incorporate a head-to-head modem/network option, allowing one player to be the bad guy and the other to be the troubleshooter.

Shooterː Majestic Revelations

By 1997 the concept was redesigned and renamed to Shooterː Majestic Revelations[1][4], laying out most of the ground work for the later Deus Ex idea.

Shooter is the near-future, science fiction, roleplaying game that asks, is it better to live free in a world of chaos or live safely in an ordered world of someone else's design?

Ultimately, you will make that decision for all mankind as you uncover the secrets of an ages-old conspiracy and fight to stop their plan for world domination. But each layer of conspiracy you peel back reveals
another plan, more subtle, more diabolical than the last.

At the deepest level, a mysterious, soulless machine, plays a deadly game with humanity as its pawns. The machine offers an end to war, poverty, hunger and disease, but at a terrible price. You alone can see this.
You alone can stop it. But can you defeat an enemy that sees everything you see, knows everything you know and controls an army of deadly augmented humans who will stop at nothing to ensure your failure?

Set in a world very much like our own (if the conspiracy buffs are right), Shooter combines the action of a Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger action film with the over-the-top flavor of the best of the James Bond stories leavened by the dark, mysterious, conspiratorial tone of The X-Files.

The Denton brothers were named after Warren Spector's friends, Brad and Barb Denton[5][6]. The J.C. name was chosen as a unisex name as it "flowed nicely"[5].

Deus Ex

By 1998-1999 the game had moved its title over to Deus Ex, a name of unknown origin but embraced by Spector[5]. An updated design document copyrighted between 1997-1999 details the more familiar Deus Ex that became the final build. As this document was rewritten between 1997 and 1999, some of this information might contradict itself while being true at one point.

Old LAW Design

The old LAW used to be called the "Light Anti-Armor Weapon" vs "Light Anti-Tank Weapon". The weapon would go through a redesign, losing its gray color for green, losing its sights and getting a scope instead (that was likely made non-functional later). The LAW can be seen firing in this e3 1999 footage from 0:47 to 0:50. However, it is possible this is an old GEP Gun as the design is still similar to that as shown in the Majestic Revelations v6.4 document, the homing info can be seen in the lower left, the weapon doesn't seem to be discarded after use, simply put away and a pack of rockets can be seen on the belt.

(Source: Original TCRF research)


Shooter: Majestic Revelations Design Document

Deus Ex Design Document

Concept Art

Development Images

Pre-release Renders

Pre-release Images

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 6

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 14

Chapter 15


In-game Images

Pre-release versions of in-game images. Note that the pre-release versions have a resolution of a power of two, while the final versions are all 400x400, with a buffer mask to make them reach 512x512. Also note that the final images shown here are made from four 256x256 images combined into one image while the pre-release ones are as-is.


When comparing the images it becomes obvious that the additional walls were edited in. Perhaps they were added later in development to help rendering?

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image01 LibertyIsland-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image01 LibertyIsland.png


Different text. The Underworld/Lucky Money is called the Underground. Queens Tower vs Queen Towers.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image06 HK WanChai-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image06 HK WanChai.png
Prototype Final
Prototype Final
Prototype Final
Prototype Final
Prototype Final
Prototype Final
Prototype Final
Prototype Final
Prototype Final


The entire level is different. No mess hall exists in the final design. The sick bay is made of two rooms. The ship has 5 levels compared to the 3 in the final version.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image09 NYC Ship Top-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image09 NYC Ship Top.png


Completely different design. The area seems to be made of 3 rooms and a circular hallway.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image09 NYC Ship Bttm-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image09 NYC Ship Bttm.png


Nothing different other than the changed text font and "subject" removed.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image10 Paris Catacombs-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image10 Paris Catacombs.png


Different layout at the top left. Agent Hela's room isn't near the hostages in bunker 3 but is instead seemingly required to go through to get to the exit. The old layout is clearly seen to be poorly edited out of the final version. The "to sewer tunnels" text wasn't moved to the correct location in the final version.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image10 Paris CatacombsTunnels-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image10 Paris CatacombsTunnels.png


Mainly different fonts. The compass was removed and the lower part of the image extended to fit 400px. This might've been rushed as the pink mask at the can be seen in game.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image11 Paris Cathedral-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image11 Paris Cathedral.png


Image likely stretched from 256x256 to 400x400 for final version. The text has a different font and the internal view is missing.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image12 Vandenberg Command-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image12 Vandenberg Command.png


The "divers entrance" text was removed. The "U.V.B bay" was renamed to the "URV bay".

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image12 Vandenberg Sub-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image12 Vandenberg Sub.png


Changed font and loss of text detail, possibly due to the reduced space.

Prototype Final
DeusEx-Image14 Schematic-Prerelease.png DeusEx-Image14 Schematic.png

Beta Images

Images dated from approximately May 16th[7], maybe early May[8], a month before release. These images have the text "BETA VERSION" in each corner.

(Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20000815072944/http://www.avault.com/featured/deus_ex/)


E3 1999 Interview

From May 14th, 1999, an interview with Chris Norden. Originally for download and streaming on Ion Storm's website. The video was originally 9:47 long however the Wayback Machine only archived the first megabyte, resulting in the footage ending at 4:00. First 3:33 is the interview, the rest is footage of the character creation screen before being cut off.

(Source: https://web.archive.org/web/19991010230246/http://www.ionstorm.com/e3/)

E3 1999 Footage

1999 GameSpot TV - E3 Special

GameSpot's video of E3 1999, showing some Deus Ex footage.

1999 Preview Video

A 1999 preview video of Deus Ex.

Cybernet Preview

Not 100% if this is Cybernet.

  • In general older UI, weapon icons, and level geometry.
  • JC uses his old skin and shades.
  • Much longer detonation time for the LAM.
  • Fire extinguisher placed on slab above LAM instead of in a wall mount.
  • Different model for cameras.
  • Cameras can be destroyed with the pistol.
  • Large metal crate next to the pepper gun.
  • Assault rifle usable on Liberty Island.
  • Different sound for assault rifle firing.
  • Text above enemies shows "FOE", text above allies shows "FRIEND".
  • Different desk design outside of Gunther's cell.
  • Weapon mod on table may or may not be accuracy.
  • Camera in said room also potentially missing.
  • Mirrors broken or disabled.
  • Higher lock strength for statue doors (25%).
  • Pillar in Gunther's cell with a different ceiling.
  • A LAM placed in the hallway between the stairs, with a large proximity radius.
  • Different datacube design and able to be moved.
  • Large metal crate next to breakable ones on dock, no brush crates.
  • No name for highlighted object until hit, then shows ADS lines to it.

Transcript of Gunther's conversation:

Prototype Final
[JC] Denton
[Gl]ad you're not hurt, agent.

[Gun]ther Hermann
[I h]ave taken little damage. Please give me a weapon and move out of the way.
JC Denton
Glad you're not hurt, agent.

Gunther Hermann
Command should not have left us to be surrounded.

JC Denton
Risk is part of the job. I think you lucked out this time.

Gunther Hermann
Agent Navarre and I were ready to go in, but for no reason they said pull back. I do not retreat. Please give me a weapon and move out of the way.

Ion Storm Marketing Tape

A marketing tape showing Daikatana, Deus Ex, and Anachronox footage.

1999 Computec Preview

1999 PC Action Preview

A German trailer for Deus Ex, found on the German section of the Eidos France FTP site[9].

2000 Gamestar Preview

2000 preview, by German gaming magazine Gamestar.

2000 PCPlayer Preview

Incite Games Preview

A minute long video of Deus Ex from gaming magazine Incite. A possible placeholder sound for the robot can be heard at 00:10.


Unknown video, likely official due to the logos at the end.


A promotional video distributed before release, found on the UK section of the Eidos France FTP site[10], but also some other gaming news sites[11]. Possibly recorded in April 2000?

UNATCO grenade troops transcript:

Prototype Final
You want these?

JC Denton

Denton! Hey, it's Denton!

JC Denton
What do you want?

Give'm the grenades!


Denton! Hey, it's Denton!

You want these?

JC Denton

Give'm the grenades!



Cut Audio


An old version of the NYC bar theme, found on the German section of the Eidos France FTP site[12] or alternatively on the official Deus Ex site[13].

Cut Levels

Space Station

A level was planned to take place on the ruins of the International Space Station[3][4], but was cut for being too similar to System Shock.

Moon Base

After the space station was cut focus was put on a lunar mining base[3], the level would deal with low gravity, lack of oxygen, and a fight between a UN base and a Chinese base. The level was cut as the gameplay and setting would be too different to the rest of the game. Though the level was cut the Chinese lunar mining base can still be found mentioned in news articles in game.

White House

The White House was the first level designed for the game, as it was believed to be the hardest to make[2]. It was designed as a place "people would just enjoy poking around in ways they couldn't in the real world"[2]. One reason it was cut was because "there was no way any then-current renderer was going to allow us to do all that [exploring the entire White House]"[2]. Large areas such as the White House had speed issues, and knowing that they would have to be cut into smaller levels, the decision was taken to cut them entirely[2]. Little is known about the levels, but a groundskeeper/gardener may have been a character that could be interacted with[14][15]. The characters and decorations (at least some) for this level still survive in the final game. President Mead, the First Lady, and their daughter can be found in the intro cinematic.

The White House level was shown at the e3 1999 demo[16]. There was a rumor that Spector was visited by the Secret Service due to the level of accuracy in the White House map. When asked about this in 1999, he replied[17]:

So detailed were the plans, in fact, that rumour has it there was even a spot of bother with the White House security team due to the places within the building that the player was allowed to enter. We put it to Warren at the time, but he was quick to quash our rumours. "No, no, no, no" said he, looking suddenly shifty. "In fact," he says, "the scary thing is.. no, I'd better not tell you that…" And so, the mystery went unsolved.

Harvey Smith was also asked about the White House mission on June 14th, 2000[18]:

OnlyOne: The rumors are flying about multinational conspiracies, some ambiguous covert-op called Project Eagle Hunter, rednecks being abducted in Wyoming, and government cover-ups, tell us, what's the real deal on this 'White House level' issue?

Harvey 'Witchboy' Smith: I've been asked not to comment on this subject.

In 2020, Sheldon Pacotti said in an interview[19]:

There was a White House mission that seemed pretty pivotal at the time. The president was a puppet of the Illuminati – he’d been replaced with a clone, and you rescued his daughter.

"Pirate Island"

In 2020, Sheldon Pacotti said in an interview[19]:

A lot of locations and missions got cut as we tried to make the date. I wrote dialogue for rescuing people who had been taken out to a pirate island.



Some cut levels can be seen in the E3 footage:

  • 00_HongKong_TongJunk - Likely remade into HongKong_TongBase, as the design document shows Tong's base as a ship, a junk.
  • 00_HongKong_Xijiang - Unknown.
  • 00_NYC_Helibase - Prefix 00 unlike the final's 03, possibly for faster testing.
  • 01_NYC_UNATCOObstacle - The UNATCO obstacle course, back when the training section was much larger and attached to the UNATCO building.
  • 03_NYC_Drugwarehouse - Possibly reused as 02_NYC_Warehouse as it's missing.

Cut Skills


The E3 footage shows three cut skills: brawling, communication, and stealth. The brawling skill was likely for the cut fist weapons, while the communication skill was used to unlock choices in conversations, the coding of which still exists in the final game.

Cut Augmentations

  • AugAudioAnalysis and AugHearing were mentioned in the list of augmentations in the design document, but no other information was given. Anna Navarre has cochlear implants to hear LAMs, which may be related.
  • The skullgun is mentioned as an augmentation in this image of the 1997 documentation. The skullgun would later go on to only be mentioned and requested by Gunther Hermann.

Cut Enemies


A cut robot can be seen in the E3 footage. This is likely the missing "SecurityBot1" class, as 2-4 remain in the final game.

A female variant of the UNATCO trooper was cut in development; quote from Mission03.UNATCOTroop.TroopBarks1:

I toggle back-and-forth between conversations TroopBarks1 and TroopBark2 by using the flag M03TrooperBarkHack.  TroopBarks2 were for UNATCOTroopFemale. 
When the model was cut, I thought it would be easier to switch between conversations than to copy everything together one Event at a time.

Cut Characters

Jerry Wildman, Nikolai Gusarov, and Oscar Lemiuex all have concept art, but no other information available.

The Majestic Revelations document lists additional UNATCO agents, Diane Tisdale and Nick Baldo. Diane Tisdale can be seen in the e3 1999 footage sending infolinks to the player in UNATCO and may have been the old Alex Jacobson as he isn't mentioned in the document until chapter 15. Nick Baldo was possibly renamed to Nick Baldwin, as a UNATCO office nameplate exists in the final game with that name, but otherwise no other evidence exists.

Thomas Dieter exists in the final scripts as a character that would appear to meet the player and arrange the meeting with Stanton Dowd if Harley Filben was dead. This character would use the "janitor" model, same as the gatekeeper at the graveyard in the final game. In the final game Filben cannot be killed, which may be why this character was cut.

Cut Items

Access Card

The access card is likely meant to be combined with the cut cardreader to open doors. The access card is mentioned in an interview with Spector here[20]:

"Now, you see, this is a computer room" he explains. "I don't know how familiar you are with these, but we have the raised floors so you can run plumbing and stuff down through here… and so if I know about this, I can go down here by crouching and, look, here's an access card. So if you know about how the real world works, you'll know more about how this game works."


The PS10 and PS20 are both mentioned in the design document. While there's no specific info on the PS10 (at least detached from the PS20), it was a one-shot pistol type weapon that shot a single low damage round at a target (the sound for which still exists in final).


An MP5 can be seen on belt of one image and in the weapon collage. Interestingly this image is reused for a poster in Invisible War where it's called the "M-22 HotShot".


The shuriken can be seen in images and the design document, this was redesigned later into the throwing knives, which are still called shuriken internally.

Favored weapon among HK fighters. In the future, shuriken are made of non-metallic carbon-fiber and are virtually undetectable.


The design document mentions an AmmoRocketHE, while AmmoRocketWP is missing. The WP still uses meshes and textures with the HE suffix instead of WP.

Misc Items

In these old screenshots a headset, keycard, access card, and torch can be seen. The headset was likely redesigned into the infolink augmentation, the torch into the light augmentation, and the white card for the White House.


Sites for Research

Eidos websites

Ion Storm website

Deus Ex Linux (cancelled) developers

Official websites

Developer sites


Fan sites






  1. 1.0 1.1 Postmortems From Game Developers - archive.org, 2003
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex - Gamasutra.com, December 6, 2000
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 GameSpot Previewː Deus Ex - GameSpot.com, May 3, 2000
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shooterː Majestic Revelations - archive.org, 11/08/97
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Warren Spector Interview - deus-ex.org, June 29, 2000
  6. Classic Game Postmortem: Deus Ex
  7. Deus Ex Preview - bluesnews.com, May 16, 2000
  8. Deus Ex Preview - bluesnews.com, May 6, 2000
  9. Eidos France - ftp.eidos-france.fr, June 08, 2000
  10. Eidos France - ftp.eidos-france.fr, June 08, 2000
  11. GameSpot - GameSpot.com, May 3rd, 2000
  12. Eidos France - ftp.eidos-france.fr, May 16, 2002
  13. Deus Ex - deusex.com, August 24, 2000
  14. PC Paradox - PCParadox.com, 1999
  15. Gamerz Edge - Gamerz Edge, 1998
  16. U-Games - u-games.com, 1999
  17. U-Games - u-games.com, 1999
  18. Harvey 'Witchboy' Smith - Part 2 - dxnation.com, June 14, 2000.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Deus Ex at 20: The oral history of a pivotal PC game - rockpapershotgun.com, June 22, 2020.
  20. U-Games - u-games.com, 1999