After Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was released, players were quick to speculate on whether Adam Jensen in the game is a clone. This article compiles and reviews the evidence surrounding this theory, also known as the "clone theory."
The events after Deus Ex: Human Revolution
What is known is that at the end of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Panchaea collapsed with Adam Jensen still inside. According to the Official Timeline, Adam Jensen's body was later recovered and taken to a "black site facility in the Baltic Sea." One year later, Adam Jensen wakes up in a rehabilitation clinic (Facility 451) in Alaska, and Deus Ex: Black Light picks up the narrative from there.
What is not known:
- What happened at the Baltic Sea facility? There is a one-year period between Human Revolution and Black Light that constitutes a missing chapter in the narrative. The events that occurred during this period, which may provide an answer to at least the question of whether the Adam Jensen that woke up in Alaska is (and in what sense) or is not (and in what sense not) the original, are hinted only by scattered clues.
General framework of the clone theory
The general theory:
- At the black site facility in the Baltic Sea, Adam Jensen's memories were implanted into a clone body having the same DNA and appearance as his previous body. This clone body inherited the memories and effectively "became" Adam Jensen.
In addition to the above hypothesis, we can also infer the following:
- Along with his memories, Adam's augmentations were also moved from his old body to his new body. Black Light suggests that Adam still has his old Sarif augs (see Black Light, Ch. 1: "...carbon-black synthetic constructs that terminated at his shoulder joints. Once they had been smooth and polished, but now they were scarred and pitted with surface damage"). The phrase "carbon-black synthetic constructs" refers to Adam's augmented arms, and the description of "scarred and pitted with surface damage" indicates that Adam still has his old augs. This description, in conjunction with the clone theory, suggests that the augs were relocated to Adam's new body, a hypothesis that is corroborated by the scar marks in the body shown in the VersaLife vault.
- From Mankind Divided, we can infer that the person who performed this operation was likely Vadim Orlov, who also installed the experimental augmentations into Adam's new body.
- The memory implantation process was likely accomplished using a neural implant to implant the "neural codes" of the old Adam Jensen into the new Adam Jensen. The term "neural codes" appears in a side mission in Mankind Divided.
- We also know from Black Light that Adam's DNA is the same as before, because Adam's DNA was tested and verified by Pritchard. This, however, is expected, because a clone body should have the same DNA as the original. This also means that the Adam Jensen in Mankind Divided is not an imposter or a pretender but is instead a replicated clone body with the memories of the original.
- The "Baltic Sea facility" appears to be the "BH facility" described in many emails associated with the Illuminati or their operatives, including Orlov's email received from Karl Sigmund and an email from Marchenko requesting reinforcements from "BH." "BH" potentially stands for the "Baltic Headquarters." Alternatively, "BH" could stand for "Black Helix" or "Blue Helix," given that the Illuminati run many Helix-designated labs, as stated in Black Light.
Notes on cloning technology in the Deus Ex universe
Some players have objected to the Jensen clone theory on the basis that flash cloning technology (i.e., growing an adult body in a short period of time) arguably should not exist at this point in Deus Ex lore. However, there are two main answers to this issue.
- First, flash cloning is not necessary for the Illuminati to deploy a new Jensen, because it is also possible that the Illuminati had multiple copies of Jensen's body already in stock. There is a great deal of mystery behind Adam Jensen's childhood, as suggested by the dialogue with Michelle Walthers in Human Revolution.
- Second, the later appearance of a Universal Constructor opens the possibility of an early version of such technology available in 2028. Megan Reed's notes mentions "universal assemblers" as the holy grail of nanotechnology, suggesting that assembler technologies were being actively worked on at the time of Human Revolution. The email "Results are like a dream" indicate that a great deal of advances in nanotechnology have been made at the BH facility.
- As an additional note, elements of flash cloning are already part of Deus Ex lore. For example, Area 51 in Deus Ex had a section called "Cloning Bay A7" with vat tubes for JC Denton and others. The presence of these vat tubes have led to some confusion, due to apparently contradictory information as to whether JC Denton was actually raised as a child, as explained in the Deus Ex Bible, or was instead grown in a vat tube, as indicated by the vat tube information.
The official Mankind Divided timeline contains the following two descriptions, which constitute the only explicit descriptions of Jensen after Panchaea and before Black Light:
- "In December, Adam Jensen’s body is found in the deepest underwater regions of Panchaea amid pieces of the Hyron Project. It is pulled from the water by an Illuminati-controlled recovery team and secretly sent to a black site facility in the Baltic Sea for identification and study."
- "In Alaska, an augmented man fitting Adam Jensen’s description wakes up from a coma inside a rehabilitation center run by the World Health Organization. His memory of who he is and how he got there is sketchy at first, but within weeks Adam Jensen’s name will be added to the official list of Panchaea survivors."
As highlighted above, the timeline uses phrases that are rather indirect:
- "Adam Jensen’s body is found" (as opposed to "Adam Jensen is found");
- "It is pulled from the water" (as opposed to "he is pulled from the water"); and
- "an augmented man fitting Adam Jensen’s description" (as opposed to simply "Adam Jensen").
These roundabout descriptions indicate that the timeline was carefully drafted to be fully consistent with Adam Jensen in Mankind Divided being a clone.
The phrase "amid pieces of the Hyron Project" is also notable because it matches the content of the VersaLife vault.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
|"It is you in the box. In the dark. That's where they have kept you."|
|- NPC near Tech Noir, present during the second visit to Prague|
The VersaLife Vault in the Palisade Property Bank contains a head and torso of Adam Jensen, hidden in a low-temperature box. The low-temperature box has a small window with a texture that makes it difficult to see inside (depending on, potentially, the version and/or graphics settings of the game). However, it is possible to get a better view of the torso by using the explosion of an EMP or fragmentation grenade to light up the container.
Nearby the container is a Hyron drone pod from Panchaea, which, when taken in conjunction with the description "amid pieces of the Hyron Project," suggests that the body in the container is the body of Adam Jensen retrieved from the wreckage of Panchaea.
The above images were taken on PC version 1.19, ultra preset (but without chromatic aberration). For additional images on the container's contents, see the following:
- Reddit post: "The more interesting contents of the Versalife vault"
- YouTube video showing the use of third party tools to ghost through the container.
Graphically, the body inside the container is the model of Jensen's body without augmentations. In this context, however, the augmentation-less model of the body could be interpreted as indicating that the augmentations were removed at some point. The following features are notable:
- Adam's sunglasses augmentation is not present, but a faint scar-like formation near the eyes is present (for a clearer view, see image (imgur)), suggesting that the sunglasses augmentation has been removed.
- Adam's mechanical arms have been removed. The torso in the box shows indentations corresponding to the parts of his arm argumentation that extend onto the parts of his torso around the shoulder socket (visible only using third-party tools to clip through the container (See video at around 00:45)). This suggests removal of the augmentation from the body of Adam retrieved from Panchaea.
- The scars on Adam's beard and eyebrow match those of his in-game, player-controlled model.
- The Adam in the container shows shorter hair compared to the in-game Adam (see above-linked video). In actuality, the hair hasn't been altered from the in-game Adam. Instead, Adam's extended hair model, which is used in-game together with the baseline hair model, is omitted, leaving only the baseline hair model. This may have been implemented to prevent the hair from clipping out of the container.
- The body texture is quite low-res compared to the head. The body texture appears to have been made specifically for this container.
- The torso cuts off at the waist level. It is noted that Human Revolution comics had previously shown that Adam's organic body extended to his thighs. However, character designs in comics sometimes differ from their in-game portrayals, and the shower scene in Jensen's apartment in Mankind Divided is more ambiguous as to extent to which Adam's lower body is augmented or not; the scene appears to show augmentations at the hip-level.
The first two items above indicate removal of the previous augmentations, corroborating the theory that the augmentations of the previous Adam Jensen body were moved to the new Adam Jensen body. The third item somewhat detracts from the clone theory, because a newer copy of a body would not have the same scars unless someone purposely matched the scars. However, it would not have been difficult to match the scars with minor cosmetic alteration.
The VersaLife Vault shows that there is a clone. Although it does not confirm whether the Adam Jensen in DXMD is the clone or the original, the indication of the removal of augmentations and the presence of Hyron wreckage suggests that the body in the VersaLife Vault is the original body of Adam Jensen retrieved from Panchaea.
The content of the VersaLife Vault box appears to be mentioned, albeit cryptically, in only one instance in the game, in a set of dialogues of a seemingly random NPC appearing around Tech Noir during the second visit to Prague (originally reported in this post (Reddit)). The NPC says the following:
- "I dreamed we had drowned in the hopes of humanity. You were there, son of Rusalka...Pale and cold and empty."
- "But who is in the box? Do you know? I know! I do. It is you in the box. In the dark. That's where they have kept you. In the dark."
The second quote appears to refer to Jensen's old body (i.e., "you in the box") now stored in the box (thus, stored "in the dark"). Adam is, of course, totally unaware (i.e., "kept in the dark" about this, as stated by the NPC) of what happened at the black site facility and that he has had his body changed. "Drowned…pale and cold and empty" refers in part to Adam's clinical death at Panchaea, where he drowned under the collapsed structure.
In the first quote, "son of Rusalka" may be referring to the character "Rusalka" in the eponymous opera by Czech composer Dvorak, in which a rusalka (a water spirit in Slavic mythology) hoped to become human to pursue the love of human prince, but ultimately ended up as a spirit of death. Thus, "Rusalka" may be an allegory of Panchaea. This term may also refer to the Russian warship, Rusalka which sunk in the Baltic region, near Tallinn. The location of the Rusalka wreckage matches that of facility "BH," which, as noted earlier, appears to be the "black site facility in the Baltic Sea" mentioned in the Official Timeline. "BH" is suggested in the email to Orlov as being near Tallinn, Estonia, and is further suggested in that email to be underwater due to the mentioning of visiting the "mainland" in the email. If this connection is correct, "son of" might be referring to the current Adam as having been "born" (created) at the Baltic sea facility.
Eliza Cassan/Helle Dialogue in 01011000
|" The most important is learning to coexist with other versions of ourselves"|
|- Eliza Cassan, in SM06 01011000|
After the Panchaea incident, Eliza Cassan broke off from Picus and went rogue. SM06: 01011000, which is something of a reunion between Adam and Eliza, contains some of the most interesting clues supporting the clone theory.
In this side mission, we learn that the Hyron drone Helle died at Panchaea, and an imprint of Helle's memories on the AI Eliza is all that remains of her. This is essentially a parallel to Adam's case, who also "died" at Panchaea but whose memories remain.
The dialogue with Eliza contains phrases that suggest a hidden, deeper meaning than what appears on the surface. Notable parts of the dialogue are discussed below:
- Eliza: "Our memories are now being recovered, but they are inconsistent. Like you for example. You are not consistent with our memories of you. Our memories themselves are not consistent with each other. The events that took place. They are not consistent with what the world has been told."
- Adam: "What did you mean exactly, me being 'inconsistent'?"
- Eliza: "The nature of your discrepancy is unclear, even to her."
Eliza knows that something is different about the current Adam. She isn't able clearly state what is different, however. Perhaps it's because the concept of a different body is not so easily comprehensible to an AI, whose artificial mind is used to traveling across different hardware mediums.
- Eliza: "Some version of you initiated this process. It is therefore for you to define the parameters…"
Eliza tells Adam straight up that it is "some version" of Adam that started her process (of gaining greater sentience). Here, "some version" refers to the Adam Jensen 1.0 in Deus Ex: Human Revolutions, not the Adam Jensen 2.0 in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
- Eliza: "That connection is severed. She is not the original her. You, of course, are familiar with this kind of process."
The above is one of the more interesting quotes in the dialogue. On the surface, "connection" in this context refers to the connection between the Eliza and Picus. The phrase "you...are familiar with this kind of [disconnection] process" is very odd given the context that "connection" refers to Picus. However, there is a subtle meaning in this quote. "Picus" was not only the company that owned Eliza, but was also the body of Eliza, with Picus Montreal being the location of the server and the hardware component that ran the Eliza program. Now, Eliza no longer has this as her physical form. Thus, when Eliza says that she has severed her connection with Picus, she is referring not only to the severing of her servitude to Picus, but also the severing from the physical hardware. Similarly, Adam's mind has been disconnected from his previous body. The phrase "she is not the original her" also parallels the situation with Adam.
- Eliza: "You were offline, Adam, you were unconscious."
- Adam: "I was unconscious. Then someone found me.
- Eliza: "Do you remember this experience, or were you told it?"
- Adam: "What difference does that make?"
- Eliza "I am sorry. I cannot answer that. I was no longer there."
Here, Eliza is referring to Adam's lack of personal knowledge of what happened after the Panchaea collapse. In the events of Black Light, Adam was told that he was rescued from Panchaea, but was never told about what happened between then and wakening up in Alaska.
- Eliza: "No. The most important is learning to coexist with other versions of ourselves. If ever all versions must meet, will you know the difference between us.
Eliza says "ourselves," rather "myself." She knows that the current Adam is not the same version as the one she used to know.
- Eliza: "I think we are the same now, Adam. Or becoming the same. That is why I wanted us to meet. I cannot do this alone....”
The dialogue suggests that Eliza and Adam are both different versions of their past selves, which is another indication that the body of the current Adam is a clone.
The concept of version is alluded to in other media. One of the trailers for Mankind Divided is titled "Adam Jensen 2.0 Trailer." During the dialogue with Eliza, Jensen likewise refers to her as "Eliza 2.0," which further reaffirms the parallel between Adam and Eliza. Due to the prevalence of the "version" motif, the term "Jensen 2.0" has caught on in fan discussions as the name for the "clone" version of Adam Jensen starting from Black Light.
Another interesting quote from Eliza:
- Eliza: "she believe that it [the memory disk] will recover the real her."
The above quote is said after Adam has retrieved the disk reader from the antique store in Prague. The above presents the theme that what makes a person "real" is their memories. Eliza might not consider Adam to be a clone, but instead a continuation of his past self in a different version.
(Acknowledgements to PureAquatica's reddit post, which contained some of the earliest analysis of Eliza's dialogue.)
David Sarif, the Mystery Augs, and Koller
SM03: The Mystery Augs is a side mission in which Adam Jensen attempts the origins of his new experimental augmentations, which were likely installed by Vadim Orlov at the Baltic sea facility, the same facility at which Jensen's new body would have been activated. While the experimental augs are presented as the central mystery, it turns out that the augs are only part of a bigger mystery.
The Mystery Augs mission is likely the first instance that players are led to suspect that something is amiss. Ironically, little is actually revealed in the dialogue, in part because neither Adam nor David Sarif are aware of what really happened. In the dialogue, the two attempt to piece together the mystery without hitting the right points:
- Sarif: "You said rescue teams dumped you in that clinic shortly after Panchaea collapsed but your name doesn't appear on its entry logs. And it doesn't appear on any survivor recovery lists, either."
- Adam: "…Nobody knew who I was."
- Sarif: "It wouldn't have been hard to find out. Your augmentations have serial numbers. Or at least the ones I had installed into Adam Jensen did."
The above quote from Sarif misses the mark. Adam was not dumped in that clinic shortly after Panchaea collapsed. Instead, Adam's body was taken to the Baltic sea black site facility. The phrase "dumped you in that clinic shortly after Panchaea collapsed" is the incorrect information that Adam has come to believe. Sarif also says: "Two years, really Adam? One of which you don't remember because you were allegedly in a coma in Alaska," which again does not refer to the Baltic Sea facility at all.
The statement "at least the ones I had installed into Adam Jensen did" is rather awkward. Why did the writers write the dialogue such that Sarif is referring to Adam in the third person? (It should also be noted that this phrase and Adam's follow-up quoted below have been misinterpreted to mean that Adam's current Sarif augs are new augs with no serial codes. This is not what the dialogue was likely intended to mean. It is not that the augs have no serial codes, but instead that nobody utilized the serial codes to identify Adam. As stated above, the working hypothesis is that Adam has his old augs, which were moved from his previous body to his current one.).
We can infer that Sarif is surprised that nobody publicly identified Adam even though he was easy to trace due to the serial registries on his augs, as further indicated by the following exchange:
- Adam: "Are you suggesting all my augs are new? even the ones you gave me?"
- Sarif: "I'm not suggesting anything. I'm telling you all the augs we ever installed had registry codes. And they're not hard to trace."
- Sarif: "Look, son, all I'm saying is, it wouldn't have been hard to identify you. But for some reason, that never happened."
However, whether Adam was easy to identify was irrelevant, because the Illuminati running the facilities knew who he was. Sarif is missing the point here. Adam was not a lost person needing identification. Instead, he was specifically retrieved by the Illuminati to be subjected to secret experimentation.
Sarif, however, does make one very useful point, regarding Vadim Orlov:
- Sarif: "Not in Alaska. He was with Tai Yong Medical for a while, and in the spring of 2028 his name pops up once or twice in the Baltic region."
The identification of "Baltic region" ties in Vadim Orlov with the "black site facility in the Baltic Sea" and the "BH facility" in his email from Karl Sigmund. Vadim Orlov likely operated on Adam at the black site facility, and performed all the secretive procedure including memory transfer to the clone body, and the transfer of the old augs to the new clone body. He also installed new augs, such as the TITAN. Finally, Sarif ends with one insightful comment: "There are some conclusions you have to make for yourself."
One thing of note about this line of quest is that Koller also has something to say about Jensen's new augs:
- Koller: "I am familiar with Sarif's works. These new augs, they—they look different to me… The tech itself is super high end, but the PEDOT insulation, sloppy; the bone-mounting, mounted on the quick. Just doesn't have Sarif's touch."
The above remark suggests that Adam's old augs have "Sarif's touch" while his new augs do not. Adam would have been more likely to have "Sarif's touch" if his old augs were installed at Sarif Industries, rather than transplanted over by Orlov at the black site facility. However, it is also possible that Orlov installation of the old augs in to Adam's current body was done in a way that reflected "Sarif's touch," given that Orlov would have had a template to work with in the old body.
In context, the above statement of "Sarif's touch" is likely there to emphasize the distinction between his old and new augs in terms of general origin, rather than a distinction between whether the old augs were the original installation at Sarif, or instead transplanted from Adam's old body by Orlov.
The Last Harvest and the technology of memory implants
The side mission SM11: The Last Harvest reveals that Tai Yong Medical has been able to insert memories of individuals into others by a neural implant. The neural implants were originally intended for granting personality traits such as self-esteem. However, it turned out that one patient, Daria, got much more than the personality traits, but also obtained the memories of the donor known as the "Harvester." The Exact details of memory extraction are not stated, but Cipra describes that it involved having Tai Yong Medical operators "scrape inside their heads" (although this might not be a literal description).
Interesting dialogues occur if you complete the Last Harvest by incapacitating Daria and taking the chip from Daria. If you then return to Cipra, Cipra will comment as follows:
- Cipra will remark that the implanted memories given to Daria were "a standard confidence package" but admit that "we've been known to have bugs with it before, subjects who experience mild memories, echoes of the donor, etc."
- Cipra: "It's like there were reruns of a horror show inside her head. And she chose to emulate what she saw"
- Cipra: "I didn't 'implant a serial killer.' I only got access to a sample and I used a minuscule and specific segment of its enhanced neural code enough to boost certain personality traits in Daria"
The quote "minuscule and specific segments of [the donor sample's] enhanced neural code" indicates that the Daria was only given a few bits of the Harvester's memories. This means that the technology was capable of transferring a much larger amount of memory from a subject using a large segment of neural code, on the order sufficient to transfer a person's entire memory, as the Illuminati did to Adam Jensen.
This side quest therefore confirms that Orlov (who was a colleague of Cipra) had access to such technology permitting implantation and relocation of memories, and that Orlov was capable of transferring Adam's memories from his old body to his new body.
Although Daria was able perceive the difference between her own memories and the implanted memories, a clone body without any preexisting memories and with a much larger implanted code segment would not be able to clearly distinguish between the two.
The mid-credit ending scene, in which Delara Auzenne remarks that Adam is remarkably stable, is perhaps meant as a contrast to Daria, who is not stable. Earlier in the game, Delara had tested Adam's memory of the past, possibly to confirm that all of Adam's old memories transferred over to his current body.
- The title screen shows an artwork of two Adam Jensens facing each other. One has sunglasses, while the other does not. The Jensen without the sunglass could be a reference to the body in the VersaLife Vault, which lacks sunglasses. However, the artwork can also be interpreted as a juxtapose between augmented humanity and non-augmented humanity.
- Voltar 3000 is a fortune-telling machine found in Negozio di Magia, the magic shop in Prague. One of Voltar's lines is "Some version of you is perfect. You are not her." This line is likely a reference to Adam's dialogue with Eliza. The quote itself could have the meaning that there are still more versions of Jensen out there, and that the current version (Jensen 2.0) is, for some unspecified reason, not "perfect."
- In the Mankind Divided OST sampler, the track "Adam's Safehouse" (the soundtrack for Jensen's apartment) contains, at 23 seconds, a subtle voice saying "Do you like our owl?." This line is a reference to the line "Do you like our owl?" in Blade Runner.
- In Blade Runner, the above line in Blade Runner is spoken by Rachel to Deckard. Deckard then asks Rachel whether the owl is artificial, to which Rachel replies "Of course it is." Deckard then comments that the owl must have been expensive. Similar to the owl, Jensen is (likely) artificial and expensive.
- The plot of Blade Runner involves "replicants" who are implanted with artificial memories. Deckard is a character that, at least in the initial versions of the movie, has been the subject of debate as to whether he is a replicant, not unlike Jensen.
- It was reported that during development of Mankind Divided, a lead writer wanted to "kill off" Adam Jensen, but the art director objected in favor of keeping such an iconic character around (see Gamesradar). Interestingly, this clone theory would be consistent with both directions.
Deus Ex: Black Light
|" there was a quiet, corrosive fear in the back of his thoughts that something had happened to him during his lost time, something he couldn’t grasp"|
|- Deus Ex: Black Light|
Deus Ex: Black Light is the prequel novel to Mankind Divided. In this book, Adam wakes up in Facility 451 in Alaska. Adam is told that he was in a coma, but nothing is told to him regarding the Baltic Sea facility. Black Light does not have a direct narrative of what occurred at the Baltic Sea facility. Nonetheless, there are some interesting clues consistent with the clone theory indicating that something is not right with Adam.
Awakening from coma
The book begins with the ominous question "How much do you remember?," directed to Adam from Dr. Rafiq, colleague of Vadim Orlov. Later, Illuminati agent Jenna Thorne interrogates Jensen on the events of Panchaea's collapse. These tests and interrogations are not dissimilar to Delara's interrogation of Adam to confirm the integrity of his memories.
The beginning part of the book has a few notable quotes:
- "'You're very lucky to be alive,' said another voice. A man, this one, the accent behind it a firm northwestern burr while the woman had sounded more like a southerner. Those facts emerged in his thoughts automatically, some ingrained means in his mind immediately sifting their words for data, for clues." ("clues" in italics in original text)
- "Touching his bare chest, he found healed scars but again, nothing to connect them to. The part of him that was flesh felt almost as artificial as the metal and plastic."
If this were any ordinary description of a person awaking from a coma, the parts of the quotes highlighted would be completely normal. However, the choice of words is interesting, although nothing conclusive.
Adam's suspicion that something is not quite right
During the events of book, Adam is uncomfortable with his "lost time." The following two quotes are interesting and contains narrative clues:
- "He imagined that few who knew the Adam Jensen who left Detroit in 2027 would recognize the man he saw in the dull glass. He wasn’t really certain if he did. Looking himself in the eye, Jensen felt an odd sense of disconnection that didn’t sit well with him."
- Note: "he" is emphasized in original text.
- "It was hard for Jensen to frame the strange disquiet that had been with him ever since he awoke in the clinic. If he had been forced to sum it up in a single word, it would have been disconnected. He felt out of synch with the world, and there was a quiet, corrosive fear in the back of his thoughts that something had happened to him during his lost time, something he couldn’t grasp."
- Note: "disconnected" is emphasized in original text.
The description is vague, but the meaning seems clear. Adam couldn't grasp that his body had been replaced. Adam's mind and new body had been pieced together not so long ago, and for this reason, he feels "disconnected" and "out of sync." The word choice ("quiet, corrosive fear") suggests something quite sinister happened.
Later in the book, Adam confronts Thorne, who taunts to Jensen, “And why didn’t you drown out there?” The narrative then says:
- "There was hate in the words, and he couldn’t fathom why. Had there been some fragment of his memory that he had lost after the incident, something that Thorne was part of? Or had she known something about him all along, just as he had suspected on their first meeting? Some secret truth that even he wasn’t aware of?"
Jenna Thorne actually does not know all the secrets behind Jensen. She knows that her superiors wish to keep Adam alive and becomes increasingly exasperated at this fact, but she does not know the specific reason (i.e., that Adam is a sleeper agent deployed by DeBeers and DuClare to track down Janus). Nonetheless, this is another hint that Adam feels that something is not right.
In the novel, it is stated that Adam has irregularities with dreaming. Specifically, he is unable to recall dreams, but feels that they are there:
- "It was hard for him to put it into words; that sense of dreamless darkness that waited for him whenever he closed his eyes. Try as he might, Jensen couldn’t hold on to anything his resting mind brought forward, and it frustrated him. He could sense the shape of it but never grasp it, like he was a blind man feeling around the edges of objects that he would never be able to see. They might have been memories, they might have been nightmares, but all he was left with were the empty vessels of failed recollection. The content gone, with only the ghost of the thing left to imprint on his waking thoughts. Every time he awoke, it was the same feeling, an identical moment of dislocation and wrongness – his mind briefly filled with an uncanny black light that seemed to invade him and blot out everything else."
- "It came to him then that he hadn’t clearly recalled a single dream since the day he had awakened in Facility 451 – or was it just that his mind didn’t want him to carry them into the waking world?"
The above description indicates that Adam's memory is or was under some sort of manipulation or artificial procedure. The description of "nightmares" is similar to Cipra's remark of "reruns of a horror show inside her head." It is also possible that this "black light" is related to memory alteration of Adam to seek out Janus. However, the above description may also more generally refer to the implanted memories settling into the head of Adam's clone body.
The term "black light" appears in the above instance and also appears as the name of a White Helix Lab file. Near the end of the book, when Beth DuClare searches on her computer for this file:
- "'Open file designation: Black Light,' she told it. On the screen, a dead man’s face looked back up at her."
The description of "dead man" could possibly be referring to the original body that is stored at the VersaLife vault. White Helix is, of course, the VersaLife lab where Adam spent his childhood. It appears that DuClare is viewing the face of that original body.
Conclusion and Further Remarks
|" There are some conclusions you have to make for yourself"|
|- David Sarif, in the Mystery Augs side mission|
While nothing is certain, there is certainly a sufficient number of clues to reasonably speculate or even infer that at the Baltic Sea facility, Adam Jensen's memories and augs were relocated to a clone body; that is, Adam Jensen 2.0 in Mankind Divided is a "clone." However, due to the lack of a direct explanation of the events at the Baltic Sea facility and what the VersaLife vault box really contains, other potential explanations for the vault box cannot be definitively ruled out at this point.
Relation to Adam Jensen's role as an Illuminati sleeper agent
In Mankind Divided and Black Light, it is hinted that Adam is a sleeper agent deployed by Beth DuClare and Lucius DeBeers to get close to Janus. In Black Light, Beth DuClare tells Lucius DeBeers that they will need to play "a subtle and lengthy game" in order to get close to Janus. In the mid-credits scene of Mankind Divided, Delara and DeBeers discuss the progress of Adam in uncovering Janus. The term "Black Light" may be a code name for this project.
It is suggested that Adam's old memories may have altered or mixed with a directive to seek out Janus. Perhaps this directive is related to the use of a new clone body for Adam, in that a fresh new clone body was needed for the directive to be effectively hidden in Jensen 2.0's mind. While an adult person might not readily accept a newly implanted memory as his own, a clone body with no previous memories would treat every memory as its own.
In the mid-credits scene, Delara says that Jensen 2.0 is "remarkably stable" and that his "memories are consistent with the program." This line indicates that whatever memory alterations the Illuminati made have been well integrated into Jensen's mind. Jensen's stability contrasts with the instability of subjects such as Daria (who received new memories on top of existing ones, instead of starting at a clean slate).
The role of "memories" in the story arc is further explored in A Criminal Past. In this mission, Delara appears to be evaluating Jensen's memories. At the end of the DLC, if the "deflect" dialogue option is selected, Delara will say "I've looked at all the reports and there are a few small inconsistencies, that's all. Look, it's not important. What is important is how you remember it. So, just tell me what you recall about those final moments and we can wrap this up." Thus, Delara is particularly interested in whether Jensen believes he killed Guerrero or not. Unfortunately, A Criminal Past offers few definite answers as to the nature of Jensen's memory alteration and how it relates to his status as a potential clone.
Consequences of being a clone
Given the setting of the Deus Ex universe, it is not a big deal that Adam is a clone. Considering that people may switch parts of their body with mechanical augmentation, one could certainly view the events, as speculated above, simply as the process of Adam's mind (and augs) getting a new body.
A clone body that has memories of the old Adam Jensen is, in some sense, sufficiently the same person as the original. Eliza remarks that recovering the memories will "recover the real her." It would seem natural to an AI that it is the memories that constitute a being, and that the body (like the hardware) is merely fungible. This view is particularly relevant given that a theme of the Deus Ex series is the blurring of the line between man and machine.
If there are any other important clues not addressed, please point them out in the comments.
Originally posted: November 14, 2016. Last major update: October 1, 2017