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Recently I read an old article about violence in video games. This article was astonishingly informed, since it mentioned that Deus Ex can be played without actively killing a single enemy.

I played Deus Ex a lot some years ago, but I can't think of a way to really complete the game without killing. I think the way to use is to use a lot of sneaking and tranquillizers. But I can't imagine that this is enough for the whole game. So my question is, has anyone of you completed the game without killing or has a serious source that mentions how it works?

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I'm inclined to think you need to kill at least one boss character because she doesn't give you any alternatives. – Raven Dreamer Apr 5 '11 at 1:47
If you're interested in other games in which it is possible to sneak trough without killing a single enemy you should try the thief series. – Pieter888 Apr 5 '11 at 7:21
Also, Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4 promote non-lethal takedowns with the use of tranquilizers. Have to recommend Thief series as well. – Solivagant Apr 5 '11 at 10:19
@Solivagant - Pretty much every MGS game does that. Hell, Sons of Liberty gives you a NON-LETHAL KATANA. (The original didn't have tranqs, since they weren't introduced until MGS2, but the Gamecube remake has them.) – Shinrai Apr 5 '11 at 17:38
@Roflcoptr - Well, it's actually a katana (an electric one, not sure how that works...) that you can switch from lethal to non-lethal, so I guess you're hitting them with the blunt side? – Shinrai Apr 5 '11 at 17:42
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Actually, yes, and I believe it even extends to all of the bosses. If you stick to tranquilizer darts, gas grenades, batons, and stun guns, you can get through most fights without actually killing anyone.

This is really easier said than done though, since non-lethal ammo is very limited, and you'll find that the some of the boss fights are nearly impossible.

If you're going to actually try this, sneak past as many guards as possible, conserving ammo for when you really need it.

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It's possible but you have to run away from a boss character at one point. You can just leave the character behind and move to the next level. – Solivagant Apr 5 '11 at 10:17
This isn't the answer because you need to run away from one boss. Meta gaming is still meta gaming. But good effort. – Solivagant May 12 '11 at 11:11

It can in fact be done, and here is a step-by-step walkthrough proving it.

Be aware that getting past

Anna Navarre

without killing her requires the use of what some would call "finesse" and others would call "AI exploiting".

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+1. I was going to disagree: I was sure you had to kill she-who-must-not-be-named sooner or later. Even the walkthrough link says it's necessary (step #60 at But apparently it's actually possible; maybe that's the "AI exploit" you mentioned ( – Feral Chimp Apr 6 '11 at 0:29
@Andy - you are correct, that was the exploit I was talking about. – Steve V. Apr 6 '11 at 3:47
+1, this comment should have been marked as the answer – Shaderach Apr 11 '11 at 8:34

I imagine you have to kill a few people, like Walton Simons and Gunther Herman. But I also found that the game treats a lot of your non lethal take downs as lethal ones. If you knock people unconscious, your female superior praises you for using lethal force, and the general working in the armory refuses to give you bullets. This is either because they assume knocking ppl out is lethal force, or because I kept firing my silenced pistol as a distraction.

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It's neither. It's because you've triggered a fight in Castle Clinton by either getting to close to the main entrance outside or by being spotted when you emerged from inside. Also, you don't need to kill Walton or Gunther, but you need to kill Navarre (and even if you exploit AI as noted in the answer above, the game still assumes you did it). – Sergey Tachenov Jun 2 '13 at 17:23
@SergeyTachenov very good observation wrt Castle Clinton. Thanks. – puk Jun 2 '13 at 22:58

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