Warren Spector’s beloved sci-fi RPG Deus Ex would’ve originally taken players to the sinister Citadel Station from Looking Glass Studios’ System Shock.
Revealed through an interview with TechRadar, Deus Ex programmer Scott Martin told stories of the game’s development to commemorate the game’s 20th anniversary.
The full interview tells of rough development issues – like an early release that made them with they “had about three more months to polish the game” and their inspirations for the game.
However, amid all of these intriguing developmental details, one tidbit was the most interesting: the ending of Deus Ex was originally going to take place on Citadel Station from the fantastic System Shock games – one of the many pieces of cut content that never saw release.
“For me, the biggest [cut] was the space station,” Martin reminisced. “I was looking forward to coding combat and movement for a low-gravity environment, so I was crushed when we decided to cut the space station and the Moon base. But, it was ultimately for the best. In hindsight, if we’d kept them, I think we would have lost some of the real-world grounding that made the game special.”
The introduction of System Shock’s Citadel Station was a moment that was heavily wanted by Deus Ex creator Warren Spector. With the studio confident that System Shock 2 wasn’t going to release, they wanted to make Deus Ex a prequel to the sci-fi game, showing the precursor to SHODAN.
“In the final levels of Deus Ex, we were going to drop little hints that the space station was actually Citadel Station, and [Deus Ex’s] rogue AI was a precursor to SHODAN, making Deus Ex an unofficial prequel to System Shock,” Martin revealed to the outlet. “To our surprise, early in development, we learned that Irrational Games had acquired the rights to System Shock and was making a sequel, so we scrapped the idea.”
System Shock 2 eventually saw release and has become a cult classic. The series is coming back with a full remake of the original game by Nightdive Studios; a third game is also in development.