Deus Ex - The Non-Lethal Ass-Zapping Approach

Deus Ex, such a wondrous gem of paranoid, conspiracy-filled, magi-nano-tech-powered, multiple-solution gameplay. I popped my UNATCO cherry this year, and now trying to get through the game without killing anyone. It’s a testament to this game that this is almost completely possible (with one exception); the first time through I became Rambo after my first few missions, but this time I truly feel like a ninja. The stealth approach is really only satisfying in games where it isn’t what you HAVE to do. I’m not avoiding confrontation; I’m merely making it so that my opponent never saw me coming but will be able to live to talk about it…

Some things I’ve noticed:

  • Zapping people in the ass with a riot prod is both effective and hilarious.

  • Enemies have no peripheral vision and very bad hearing, which makes threading the needle both intense and ludicrous.

  • The GEP (rocket) gun is the best lockpick.

  • Gas grenades are a great appetizer for the main course of riot prod in the ass.

  • Pepper spray has a surprisingly large range, and is fun to use while screaming “RAPIST!” at the guy tearing up (yes I’m 13).

  • The Leg augmentations are great for just ignoring everyone on the level. They’ll see you, but you’ll just be a vague blur in the distance by the time they’ve got their weapons drawn. In combination with the improved jumping and falling capabilities, you can just bypass huge chunks of levels and they can’t do a damn thing about it.

  • Starting fights between groups of NPCs is awesome and doesn’t count as lethal, in my book. Just run between two groups (like police and MJ12), and if one of them hits the other group while trying to hit you, watch the fireworks! I don’t allow myself to reprogram turrets to fire on people, but if it’s live humans killing other live humans, I abdicate all responsibility.
    Spoiler-ish things I’ve noticed:

  • The canals in Hong Kong are extensive, and there’s even a collapsed tunnel hidden deep away with a great item inside. Swimming pays off!

  • Letting Paul Denton kill everyone in the 'Ton is kind of funny, considering he berates you for being trigger-happy if you’re doing a lethal playthrough. Who’s King Hippy now, bro?

  • Anna Navarre, unfortunately, has to be killed. She can’t seem to be knocked unconscious. I heard there was a glitch to get around her, but that’s not how I roll. In any case, couldn’t happen to a nicer lady. :smiley:

  • In the Naval shipyard, you can take the sewers + swim all the way to the ship. On a related note, if you blow up the ship, everyone you knocked unconscious will die…

  • Carrying people out of a ship to save their sorry asses is extremely tedious.

I’m now in Paris, and am currently enduring Tracer Tong’s unrequited desire to be a tour guide. Ugh! :wink:

I’ve played through the game probably half a dozen times. I always end up killing somebody accidentally on a no-kill play through, and I say “fuck it” and turn into the terminator.

I imagine there are lots of things you haven’t noticed on your first play through, and probably won’t on your second. The level designers for that game were fantastic. New York and Hong Kong both have secret areas that are a bit out of the way, completely unnecessary, and awesome.

I mostly played through non-lethal. I loved the sneaking, the prodding and the thwipping with the dart gun. But toward the end of the game I found it impossible to keep myself supplied in non-lethal ammo, and, well… I had this sniper rifle, which was still quite interesting from a stealth perspective. Suddenly I became the scourge of intact skulls everywhere.

I always tended to stay non lethal for the first couple missions, but after that no one cares whether you kill people or not anymore so, well, when in Rome…

My problem with the game is that I am wayyyyy too much of a perfectionist. If I can solve a problem without using resources, I will, even if it takes much longer and is way harder. I end up maxed out on ammo, lockpicks, multitools, and LAMs much too early and stay there. And I can never bring myself to use scrambler grenades either, since they’re so precious. I even saved all the zyme vials I found so I could sell them near the end of the game, by which time money was worthless. The GEP gun does make a great lockpick, but I prefer the sniper rifle at max skill. Popping turrets with a single bullet is extremely useful.

Also, for anyone looking to get their Deus Ex fix, I would strongly recommend The Nameless Mod. It’s a free mod for Deus Ex that was released last year after an absurdly long time in development. It’s not as polished as Deus Ex, but it’s still an extremely impressive mod that retains all of the Deus Ex gameplay elements. The premise sounds very odd, but somehow it all ends up hanging together very well.

Despite my love of ass-prodding, the baton is actually just as effective at one-hit KOs if you hit them around the upper back area. Quite good for conserving prod ammo for when you’re not surprising people or up against those pesky MiBs and MJ12 commandos. You can actually prod the commandos, too, you just have to zap them in the small of their backs (ass doesn’t work, unfortunately).

But usually, pure avoidance wins the day for this playthrough. For the subway hostage crisis, I was surprised to find out that you could get the hostages boarded on the train and follow them yourself without even touching a single NSF guy or their booby traps. I snuck through to the very last vent to where the hostages were, started a conversation with them while hiding behind the pillar, then opened the subway door while they spazzed themselves aboard. The only tricky part was one terrorist dude who kept walking back and forth; you had to time your conversation to when he was walking away.

Brilliant game design, I must say.

My stealth play-through rapidly turned in to a melee play-through when I got hold of that sword. It’s just so damn powerful it’s hard to resist. Even when playing stealthily I’ll level up sniper rifles though, it allows you to shoot open locked doors.

Wow, I didn’t know that the Sniper Rifle could get through doors; I knew it could destroy cameras and turrets, but never thought to use it on other non-enemy things.

I totally hear ya about being an anal-retentive ammo packrat. You know how rocket packs would give you exactly 4 rockets and your maximum is at 20? I would never pick one up unless I was down to 16 or less; if I was at, say, 19, I would look for 3 doors/robots/cameras to blast and then come back to it, just so I wouldn’t waste a single rocket in the pick-up. I have trudged back 3/4 of the level to do this…

Hmm, sounds interesting. I think I’ll check it out at some point.

I can empathize. If a level had explosive barrels, ALL of them would have to be used up before I even considered dipping into my inventory. Regardless of how much backtracking would be necessary. And naturally, once I had the spy drone aug, I never used another EMP grenade since bio energy was free if I was willing to backtrack to the repair bots. I’ve gotten better, but there was a time I would have reloaded if it took me three bullets to kill an enemy instead of taking them down in one shot.

I’m starting to think the Thief games made a brilliant design choice in taking away all of your equipment at the end of a level.

Heh, I only did that with rockets, since other type of ammo (esp. assault rifle and pistol) was so plentiful. If I did end up wasting a few clips, I would know where enemies had dropped some before, though. Clearly, one had to be fully loaded before one left the area. Of course, once you get the Dragon’s Tooth, you don’t even need guns anymore…

EMPs I was willing to use, simply because Rockets and LAMs did everything EMPs did and more. As long as I hoarded my high explosives, the lesser grenades were used fairly liberally.

Good times…
Clearly, I only have a minor form of whatever it is you have :slight_smile: