JC Denton

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JC Denton
Deus Ex character
JC Denton promotional depiction for the sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War
First game Deus Ex (2000)
Created by Warren Spector, Harvey Smith
Voiced by Jay Anthony Franke[1]

JC Denton is the player character and protagonist of the first-person role-playing video game Deus Ex. He is voiced by Jay Anthony Franke in both Deus Ex and its sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War.

Character design[edit]

What the letters "JC" stand for is never revealed in either game. According to Harvey Smith, an idea was considered during development that the character would be a descendant of Jesus Christ.[2] Warren Spector stated in an interview that the player was originally to be able to choose the gender of the character, with the ambiguity of JC being a "nice, unisex name" to flow with Denton. Although the feature was not implemented, the name was left unchanged.[3]

In video games[edit]

While there are several choices of appearance for JC, the image at the top of this page is considered the canonical version, as it is also used in the PlayStation 2 version of the game, and in Deus Ex: Invisible War. The other appearances are ginger hair, brown skin, black skin and albinism. JC has solid, bright blue eyes as a result of nano-augmentation to enhance his night-vision, which he obscures by wearing sunglasses. In the PC version his hair and skin color can be chosen by the player at the start of the game from a pre-generated set; changes made to JC's appearance affect those of his brother Paul as well. JC Denton is revealed to be sharp, intelligent and perceptive, yet cold, stolid and a bit of a loner. This is in contrast to his brother, who is passionate and empathic. In an early conversation with his brother, he states that he is "used to being on [his] own" after Paul fondly remembers his UNATCO initiation ceremony. Paul then wryly remarks that "one can be TOO self-sufficient". However, JC is also highly idealistic and believes his work in UNATCO to be heroic and for the greater good. JC's personality is, however, largely down to the player, as the game gives the ability to carry out whatever action he desires, whether it be morally reprehensible or admirable, or anywhere in between.

JC is a clone of his older brother Paul Denton (thus, he is referred to as the "Secondary Unit" by Bob Page and Walton Simons and why Morpheus makes no mention of Paul as a relative) and a prototype created by shadowy organization Majestic 12 to test their nano-augmentation program. As a result of screening, Paul was found to have the right combination of biological and genetic factors to make him a good candidate for the nano-augmentation program. To create more compatible test subjects, Majestic 12 produced clones of Paul, but most failed to accept the augmentations. His parents, however, were infertile after Paul's birth. They approached MJ12 looking for a method to have a new baby. MJ12 offered one, in the form of the implantation of an embryo. This procedure produced a clone of Paul, which would later become JC Denton. Paul and JC are, thus, identical twins born eleven years apart. However, later on in the game, it is shown that a third clone (revealed to be Alex Denton, the player in the sequel) was being constructed in a tank filled with liquid and wires going into its body. This is presumably either the growth acceleration procedure carried out by MJ12 or the nano-tech augmentation embedding for the subject. Later, as Paul reached adolescence, he became more independent and MJ12 decided to have him and his parents killed, while JC was sent to a Swiss school where he could be more closely supervised. Paul escaped this attack, and JC grew up unaware of his early childhood with Majestic 12. After graduation, JC joined UNATCO, United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition.[4]

JC's first assignment after joining UNATCO is to track down the barrels of the plague vaccine Ambrosia stolen by the NSF. On his way to the final barrel, he discovers that Paul had been working with the NSF. The player is then given the choice whether to assassinate the NSF leader Juan Lebedev, leave it to Anna Navarre, or kill Navarre and save Lebedev. Whatever his decision, JC ultimately chooses to side with the NSF, and transmits a warning signal to Paul's allies. (Whether Paul survives the repercussions of his and JC's betrayal is up to the player, however given his appearance in Invisible War, it can be said that canonically Paul survives.) JC's "killswitch" is then activated and he is imprisoned by Majestic 12, but quickly escapes with Jock to Hong Kong where his killswitch is deactivated by Tracer Tong. After settling the conflicts between the Triads in Hong Kong and destroying the Universal Constructor in the VersaLife facility, JC is dispatched by Tong to New York, where he scuttles the superfreighter carrying the Gray Death virus. The previous owner of the ship, Stanton Dowd, instructs JC to track down his Illuminati associate Morgan Everett in Paris, who in turn sends JC to Vandenberg Air Force Base where a group of ex-Majestic 12 scientists were working on a cure for the virus with their own Universal Constructor. After the UC is brought online, the rogue artificial intelligence Daedalus and the MJ12 construct Icarus merge to create a new entity, Helios. JC finishes the UC by uploading the final software component from the computer system of an undersea Majestic 12 base. After diverting a MJ12 missile launch against Vandenberg, JC goes on to Area 51, where Helios, Tong and Everett give him his options for changing the world using the advanced technology in the base. The player can choose to merge with Helios and give the AI's almost limitless power the advantage of human compassion, overload the antimatter reactors and destroy Area 51, crippling the world's communications systems (and destroying Helios); or kill Bob Page but preserve the equipment in the base, giving the Illuminati the power to rule the world in secret.

JC Denton becomes central to the plot of Deus Ex: Invisible War despite only making an appearance towards the end of the game. Invisible War takes place twenty years after JC's actions at Area 51. Rather than choosing between the three possible outcomes of the first game, the plot of Invisible War works on the assumption that a combination of all three events actually occurred. JC merged with Helios with the goal of creating the world's first true benevolent dictator, which destroyed Area 51, plunging the world into a minor Dark Age and killing Bob Page in the process. Unfortunately, defects in JC's nanite architecture resulted in an imperfect merge. JC would be forced into stasis to wait for a cure, lest he die from the merge. JC's goal was to bring about the world's first "post-human civilization". By giving all humans the mental and physical advantages of biomodification, JC hoped to eliminate the stratification of humanity encouraged by the Illuminati. Additionally, biomodification would allow all human minds to communicate with the Helios A.I., which has the processing power to gauge the desires of each individual human. It would instantly respond to these desires, and thus bring about an "instantaneous democracy". JC intended for Helios to communicate, not to assimilate, unlike the Omar cyborg collective. However, because Helios would know each and every human thought, many of JC's enemies (such as the Illuminati and Templars) feared the "Great Advance" would bring about universal slavery rather than universal democracy (the Illuminati believe that perfect slavery and perfect democracy are exactly the same thing). Also, many feared the complete loss of privacy the "Great Advance" would bring about. The merge with Helios gave JC total control over nanotechnology, transforming him into a walking universal constructor. He receives the power to control the weather, to alter matter on an atomic level, and to shape objects and buildings from the material he walks on. In the finale of Invisible War, JC behaves the same as every other human in combat, should the player choose to oppose him. He is tougher than any other character in the game, making him harder to kill. If Alex decides to follow JC, the closing cinematic of the game shows all of humanity uplinking with Helios, who instructs them to break down the boundaries between themselves. If Alex kills JC, and sides with either the Templar or the Omar, the Helios A.I. right before destruction revives JC. In one final attempt to prevent what JC and Helios perceive as the end of the world, JC will engage Alex and say "You want to plunge the world into chaos? Come and take it from me".

In the prequel Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it is implied that both he and his brother are clones made from Adam Jensen, the protagonist of the prequel. JC Denton also appears as a CPU-controlled opponent in the mobile game Lara Croft's Poker Party, along with several other characters from games published by SCi/Eidos.


In 2012, GamesRadar ranked him as the 36th "most memorable, influential, and badass" protagonist in games, commenting: "like some sort of futuristic Sherlock Holmes", he’s intelligent, incredibly resourceful, and just enough of a loner to ensure that he won’t let anything get in the way of his objective. [...] While it’s ultimately up to you where JC’s loyalties reside, one thing’s for sure: This guy’s always up to the task, no matter how dangerous it might be."[5] GameSpy's Mike Sharkey called JC Denton a noticeable omission from the 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition '​s top 50 video game characters.[6]


  1. ^ BigPond GameArena Industry Insider Jay Franke Interview, BigPond, 22 April 10
  2. ^ Butts, Stephan (February 18, 2003). "DX: Visible Interview". IGN. Retrieved September 28, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Warren Spector Interview - Q11 - 20". DeuxExGaming.com. Retrieved 2006-07-24. 
  4. ^ The Deus Ex Team, Continuity Bible, GameSpy, April 17, 2002 (archived)
  5. ^ 100 best heroes in video games, GamesRadar, October 19, 2012
  6. ^ Sharkey, Mike (February 16, 2011). "Guinness Ranks Your 50 Favorite Video Game Characters of All Time". GameSpy. Archived from the original on February 21, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 

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