Gunther Hermann is a mechanically augmented agent working for UNATCO. He is well-versed in the use of deadly weapons such as assault and plasma rifles, flamethrowers, and combat knives. In 2052, it is stated that Hermann has killed close to a thousand people.
The young Hermann is described as a man in his late twenties, with pale blonde hair, ice-blue eyes, a thick neck and physique of a body-builder. At this time his only visible enhancement is his left hand.
Sometime during the early 2020s, Hermann served in the German counter-terrorist unit GSG 9. Hermann was not satisfied by the way they worked. After getting into trouble, he was contacted by the Tyrants, who offered to make his problems go away in return for his services.
Gunther is more than willing to join the Tyrants. He tells Ben Saxon that he joined them because Jaron Namir assured him that things like the law would not get in the way of justice. During his time with the Tyrants, Hermann is involved in many assassinations, including the assassination of Garrett Dansky, chief executive of Caidin Global. During that mission, he murders Matt Ryan, Anna Kelso's superior and close friend.
During one of the Tyrants' major operations, Gunther, Saxon, and Scott Hardesty are sent to kill Mikhail Kontarsky, an administrator of the Russian committee on Human Augmentation, in the Hotel Novoe Rostov in Moscow. They find Kontarsky in a secret room, speaking to a mysterious figure, "Janus." Ben hesitates, and Hardesty kills Kontarsky from a sniper perch across the street. Hermann and Saxon are both tased and knocked out onboard their private plane.
When they awake, Jaron explains that one of the two is not loyal to the group, and the two must fight to the death to determine which. He throws a handgun with a single round, and the two fight over it. Ben eventually gets the pistol, but he refuses to kill Gunther. Jaron says that the fight was just a test between the two, and that the round is a blank.
After that, he, Saxon, and Hardesty are sent in Virginia to kill Scott Temple and anyone currently in his house. During a fight with Ben Saxon onboard a Tyrant plane, Gunther is shot in the eye with a taser slug and breaks several bones in his torso, physically scarring him. Their next mission is in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Tyrants plan to assassinate Bill Taggart of Humanity Front on the steps of the Palais de Nations, making him a martyr for the anti-augmentation cause and push for a vote on UN regulation. Gunther is driving a car-bomb when Anna recognizes him as Matt Ryan's killer. She jumps onto his van and struggles with him, nearly getting knocked off, though she gets the upper hand and grazes Gunther in the head with her handgun. He swerves the car and knocks Anna off, shortly before sliding into the Rhône River and detonating the car bomb. Shortly after this, Morgan Everett and Lucius DeBeers discuss the event during a meeting in Paris. They recollect about the operation in Geneva: Bob Page, Morgan's apprentice, has recovered Gunther Hermann from the Rhône River. He would live, but needs extensive augmentation across his entire body, and his newfound respect for Majestic 12 will probably keep him from working for the Illuminati anymore.
|"He's not the most intelligent agent in UNATCO, but he's cunning, strong and steadfast. Gunther has given his loyalty to UNATCO and those he considers to have proven themselves worthy of respect. That does not apply, by the way, to any wet-behind-the-ears kid with a cool sense of fashion and no scars — i.e., you.
Gunther recognizes that the world is divided into the strong and the weak. The strong make the rules; the strong enforce them. He is not concerned overmuch with right and wrong, and in fact considers the concept unrealistic. He's given his allegiance irrevocably to UNATCO in return for power: both having his personal strength augmented and being a member of a world-changing organization. His loyalty to Anna Navarre borders on the dog-like. He holds no regard for death, either his own or others. The only thing he truly fears is that his augmentations may become outdated, rendering him weak and unable to perform his duties."
|- description of Gunther Hermann, Deus Ex|
In 2052, Gunther works for UNATCO, and he is resentful of the arrival of a new breed of nano-augmented UNATCO agents, whom he fears will replace his generation. Like fellow UNATCO mech and friend Anna Navarre, Gunther has sacrificed social acceptance for enhanced mission performance by undergoing first-generation mechanical augmentation. He deeply resents "the infinite power of nano-augmentation," as well as the agents who utilize them. While his augmentations grant him strength and speed far beyond that of normal men, they have also left him disfigured. His ability to upgrade his biomechanical mods is also finite, and they are prone to the degradation of any constantly operating piece of machinery. He receives significant wear in his line of work, and is often returning to Dr. Jaime Reyes for a tune-up.
Hermann apparently has self-esteem issues; an overheard conversation between Gunther and Anna Navarre reveals that his large fingers may also hinder his ability to operate soda machines, although he insists that the "maintenance man" switched the cans of orange soda in the machine with lemon-lime, as "he knows I like orange." An e-mail from Jaime Reyes quoting an anonymous e-mail from a mech-aug (clearly Gunther, judging from the bad spelling) in which he expresses concern that he and those like him "well be sld at flee markets... old gray golems for scareing the children".
Gunther often finds himself fantasizing about ever more impractical augmentations he believes his superiors might offer him, such as a head-mounted gun, or "skul-gun," that would allow him to kill without using his arms. According to Gunther, the maintenance men in UNATCO HQ intentionally swap the orange soda's for lemon-lime ones in the vending machine. Anna suggests that his hand might have slipped, but he rejects this theory. In Deus Ex: Invisible War, it is confirmed that Gunther was indeed a victim of conspiracy by the maintenance men.
Gunther takes over from JC Denton once he has destroyed the NSF generator in the Warehouse District, New York City. Soon after this, he is deployed to LaGuardia Airport to oversee the UNATCO peacekeeping occupation. Afterwards, he can be found near the entrance to the Battery Park subway station, if JC gets that far after UNATCO raids the 'Ton Hotel. Once JC has defected from UNATCO, Gunther is sent to kill him, whom he engages in Cathedrale de Payens, Paris.
In the cathedral, an MJ12 trooper's journal can be read, revealing that Hermann had been passionately awaiting JC for a while. And that the trooper heard him cry once.
- JC Denton's first real encounter with Gunther, apart from the training course, is optionally rescuing him from the NSF terrorists at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Whether JC does this (and whether he arms Gunther, or makes him run back to base unarmed) sets the stage for how Gunther feels about him throughout the game.
- JC Denton is given the choice between calling out Gunther's killphrase or attempting to reason with him. If he is killed, Walton Simons informs JC that he only sent Gunther because he was tired of him complaining about wanting to avenge Anna Navarre and wanting a tune-up. It is possible to avoid fighting Gunther Hermann several ways. Gunther is supposed to be killed here, and, like Anna, while it's hypothetically possible to go around him, the game treats him as dead after Paris.
- Gunther's speech is slurred, but it is never revealed in the game if this is due to a speech impediment or to him not completely learning English. Though we never hear him speak German at length, if you later attack him on the roof of the compound housing the destroyed power generator -- in the third mission -- he will say "Mein Gott!" In the cathedral in Paris, if you manage to resist his attacks for a long time, he will eventually exclaim "Unglaublich!" which is German for "Unbelievable!"
- Gunther's killphrase is Laputan machine. Uttering the phrase in Gunther's presence discharges a 400 milliamp electric current into his midbrain. The phrase itself refers to the flying city of Laputa from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. In the novel, the Laputans are masters of theoretical engineering but completely lacking in practical mechanical knowledge; the devices they produce are tremendously innovative "on paper" but badly flawed in practice (like Gunther himself).
- In the concept art, Gunther Hermann appeared to be significantly less mechanically augmented, but he was dramatically changed before the final version of the game.
- In the concept art, Gunther highly resembles Rutger Hauer's character, Roy Batty, from the 1982 film Blade Runner. Both characters have a moral dilemma addressing their humanity.
- While the 'Skull Gun' concept was first introduced in Deus Ex, an e-mail on David Sarif's computer in Deus Ex: Human Revolution discusses the concept as well, making the 'Skull Gun' idea date back to at least 2027.
- This is further evidenced in Deus Ex: The Fall, in an e-mail Gunther sent Namir telling him he's getting his augs redone and maybe he'll get that skull gun aug he's been wanting, suggesting the Tyrants may have access to such early stage nano-augmentation, or at least have experimented with making a Skull Gun as a mechanical aug.
- In Deus Ex: Invisible War it is revealed that UNATCO received a shipment of Skull Guns shortly after Hermann's demise.
- The Skull Gun idea was first introduced by Neal Stephenson in his book 'The Diamond Age,' in which a character called Bud has a 'Skull Gun' implanted in his forehead.
- "That will be adequate."
- "No. I wanted orange. It gave me lemon-lime."
- "I do not make mistakes of that kind."
- "I want to be the one to execute Lebedev."
- "Again they ignore me. Again they think they have a better punishment for a traitor than a shotgun to the head."
- "No, I cannot forgive. No... not the killing of Agent Navarre. I will follow you. Denton, I will get you!"
- "I see you, a thief on the roof. My new satellite link has both infrared and the x-ray spectrum. I see your heart beating. I see you are afraid."
- "Manderley has assigned me the peacekeeping occupation of this district."
- "I-I-am not a machin-"
- "THAT is a gentlemen's agreement."
- "Agent, open the door!"
- "I believe I will enjoy this."
- "Unglaublich!" (Unbelievable in German)