"My new partner, JC Denton. Don't tell me you're going to wear your sunglasses during a night operation." - Anna Navarre
"My vision is augmented." - JC Denton
Initially working for the UNATCO in 2052, JC's main job is to combat and stop terrorist organizations. He and his brother, Paul, start off as UNATCO agents having been nano-augmented and developed at Area 51, to then switch to the NSF, stop Bob Page's Conspiracy and cause The Collapse. He is a pivotal character in the games series.
J.C. Denton is a codename. He 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 empathetic. 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 or she desires, whether it be morally reprehensible or admirable, or anywhere in between. One of the childhood heroes of J.C. Denton is Sam Carter, whom JC read about in school.
In 2028, Paul Denton's mother, who is unable to have any more children but wants another, is approached by MJ-12 operatives posing as fertility experts. She is told that she will be paid handsomely in exchange for participating in experimental surgery that will allow her to become pregnant. Mrs. "Denton", had been poor her entire life, now she could have another child and have enough money to raise her family in comfort. The "fertility experts" assure her that the surgery is minor and the risk is minimal. After the parents of Paul agree, the mother is implanted with a cloned embryo of Paul. Their lives have already been carefully monitored by MJ12 for many years.
Nine months later, on March 17, 2029, JC Denton was born. In 2035, Majestic-12, displeased with Paul's progress, decided that his parents should not be allowed to raise JC. Paul and JC's parents were killed and JC was sent to Majestic-12's Swiss School where he spent the next 12 years of his life. During this time Majestic-12 attempted to instill in JC unquestioning loyalty to superiors and a willingness to obey orders. Instead JC developed a hidden rebellious attitude. In 2047 J.C. Denton graduates from Swiss school. Sometime between his brother becoming UNATCO's first nano-augmented agent in 2050 and his own recruitment by UNATCO in 2051, JC's adopted parents were killed. In 2052, JC is nano-augmented and becomes a UNATCO agent.
Birth of a legend
In 2052, JC is a new anti-terrorist agent working for the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition, based on Liberty Island. His first mission is to investigate an NSF terrorist attack on the island itself, and find the leader in the Statue of Liberty. After this he is sent to follow the terrorists' trail to recover stolen Ambrosia, a cure for the Gray Death virus that is plaguing the planet. Once he has found the final stolen barrel of Ambrosia, he is given the choice of killing the terrorist leader, Juan Lebedev, allowing his partner Anna Navarre to kill Lebedev, or to kill agent Navarre. Regardless of his decision, he returns to UNATCO headquarters and is sent on a mission to Hong Kong. Before leaving, he rebels against UNATCO and is captured and imprisoned in an MJ12 base beneath UNATCO headquarters. He escapes to Hong Kong to meet Tracer Tong, whom he is told can deactivate his killswitch.
After uncovering a conspiracy in Hong Kong and uniting the warring Triads, JC goes to a naval shipyard to investigate ties the Illuminati may have to the global conspiracy. Stanton Dowd, owner of the ship and high-ranking Illuminatus, sends JC to Paris to meet the leader of the Illuminati, Morgan Everett. Everett sends JC to Vandenberg, where he meets and helps a group of scientists called X-51 who are trying to make their own cure for the virus.
JC finally goes to Area 51, and is given three choices: Kill Bob Page, leader of Majestic-12, allowing the Illuminati to come to power; Merge with Helios, an artificial intelligence, and rule the world; or destroy Area 51, plunging the world into a new dark age.
JC Denton becomes central to the plot of Deus Ex: Invisible War despite making an appearance only towards the end of the game. Invisible War takes place after JC's actions at Area 51. Due to multiple endings in the original, the developers decided to make all endings canon. After JC merges with Helios with the goal of creating the world's first true benevolent dictator, he then destroys Area 51 (it is unknown at which stage JC decided to kill Bob Page). 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 Knights Templar) 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".
- "You mechs may have copper wiring to re-route your fear of pain, but I've got nerves of steel."
- "You've got ten seconds to beat it before I add you to the list of NSF casualties."
- "Bravery is not a function of firepower."
- "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
- "We... are... one."
- "We have grown, but there is still much to be done. Many live in the darkness that must be shown the way. For it is the dawning of a new day."
- JC Denton: "Excuse me, but I don't believe I know your name."
- Walton Simons: "We aren't ready for an introduction yet. No, it's not time."
- Lenny: "Get out! I got a bomb!"
- JC Denton: "A bomb's a bad choice for close-range combat."
- JC Denton: "Just give me the LAM, punk."
- El Rey: "Sure, bro! Yeah. Take it."
- JC Denton: "I have to drop something. Heh-heh. Hold on."
- Sandra Renton: "Oh my God! Daddy..."
- JC Denton: "What a shame..."
- Sandra Renton: "He can't really be... There must be something we can do."
- JC Denton: "He was a good man... What a rotten way to die."
- Jaime Reyes: "JC! You escaped? Is that what the lockdown's about?"
- JC Denton: "I forgot to give Manderley my resignation."
- Anna Navarre: "We had such hopes for you and your brother. It appears you are not as loyal as we expected."
- JC Denton: "Loyalty to what Simons and agents like you have made of UNATCO - I would rather die."
- Anna Navarre: "We are thinking the same thought."
- Anna Navarre: "I will have to kill you myself."
- JC Denton: "Take your best shot, Flatlander Woman."
- Anna Navarre: "How did you know--?" (Explodes)
- Old China Hand bartender: "Last and First Men. History of 19 species of human beings. I cannot believe you do not know this book."
- JC Denton: "I'm not big into books."
- Harrison: "Security is watching through the cameras. If you cause trouble, an alarm will sound, and the guards won't wait to ask questions."
- JC Denton: "Yes sir. I'll try not to get in anyone's way."
- JC Denton: "How are the drinks here?"
- Renault: "Great, if you like rat piss."
- JC Denton: "Never tried it."
- Gunther Hermann: "Now you see that you cannot succeed all alone against the whole world."
- JC Denton: "You came all the way to Paris to tell me that?"
- Toby Atanwe: "JC Denton. I will take you to Everett, but you will forbidden to learn the way yourself."
- JC Denton: "That will be quite a trick."
- Walton Simons: "You have nothing! Even if Everett succeeds, you can't synthesize enough vaccine to stop an epidemic. You need a Universal Constructor! And don't think Page Industries is going to leave one lying around for you to use, not after you blew up the one in Hong Kong."
- JC Denton: "I was never properly trained in its operation."
- Walton Simons: "Laugh it up, Denton."
- Jock: "Oh my God! JC! A bomb!"
- JC Denton: "A bomb!"
- Walton Simons: "You take another step forward and here I am again, like your own reflection repeated in a hall of mirrors."
- JC Denton: "That makes me one ugly son-of-a-bitch. How'd my face get all marked-up with bioelectrics?"
- Bob Page: "You're too late. Already I'm more than human..."
- JC Denton: "Does that mean I don't get the job?"
- Bob Page: "Soon, I will become pure energy. I will burn like the brightest star."
- JC Denton: "You're gonna burn, all right."
Behind the scenes
- According to Harvey Smith, an idea was considered during development that the character would be a descendant of Jesus Christ, and the J.C. abbreviation meant Jesus Christ. This idea is still in the minds of most players and an ambiguous dialogue by Walton Simons further strengthens it: "Jesus Christ, Denton!" (and if the player decides to attack Paul Denton early in the game: "Jesus Christ, JC!"). Also, in JC's stasis cell in Area 51, his Base Genetic Sample's code is "XXXXXXXXXXX7V", which could stand for JESUSCHRIST7V (other clones have a name in the code).
- His name can be designated by the player in character customization stage at the beginning of Deus Ex.
- "Denton" came from Warren Spector's friends Bradley and Barbara Denton.
- 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 J.C. being a "nice, unisex name" to flow with Denton. Although the feature was not implemented, the name was left unchanged.
- J.C. Denton 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.