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The pacifist achievement text says:

Complete Deus Ex: Human Revolution without anyone dying by your hand. (Boss fights don't count.)

What about me hacking a security system and setting turrets/robots to kill enemies? Does that count as "by my hand"?

On a related note, does knocking and and dropping the guy from the roof in the Rotten Business sidequest count as a kill?

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When a hacked turret kills an enemy, you'll see a "Man Down" warning/award at the left of the screen, indicating that you've nuked your pacifist karma. –  Feral Chimp Aug 30 '11 at 19:56
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4 Answers 4

Yes it does count as killing people, according to the sources I have read because you created the death indirectly by your own hand.

The related note you mentioned: If the man you walk up to laying on the ground has a Zzz its a knock-out icon. If he has a skull its a death icon. The environment will always tell you these things. If the roof is such a far drop that you cannot ID him, assume you killed him.

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Note that the Dirty Business side-quest can also be achieved by knocking out the gang-leading and planting evidence. –  Darien Aug 30 '11 at 18:43
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On the 'Rotten Business' sidequest, there's a second option you can take that doesn't involve you killing Chan.

When talking to Mei about Chan, select the option 'Other Way' or something like that. Jensen will say something along the lines of, "Is there any other way to get rid of Chan that doesn't involve murder?" Mei will give you a package of drugs to plant in Chan's apartment.

All you have to do is go to Chan's apartment, knock him out using a Takedown and interact with his coffee table. Once you plant the drugs, go back to Mei for your reward.

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I killed a few people and still got pacifist:

  • Used a tank of chlorine to kill 2 people in the opening intro.
  • EMP'd a robot, which then self-destructed and killed a heavy while saving Faridah.
  • Killed some of the psychos during the final boss battle.

So, based on my experience it seems like some types of indirect kill (chlorine and robot self destruct) don't count.

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Robot self-destruct is not by your hand, so it doesn't count, nor do boss fights. –  user56 Sep 6 '11 at 14:48
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It appears that killing Chan in "Rotten Business" does not affect the Pacifist achievement, because I threw him off the building and still got it. Note that I didn't really throw him off the building, I just kinda dragged him into a position so that he fell down by himself. I don't know if this affected the outcome, but thought it would be wise to specify it.

Also, destroying robots so they self-destruct which kills others also does not affect the achievement.

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