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Augmented Goons

Posted by Valerie Bourdeau

Last month, our good friend Tecman at the Something Awful forums held a contest to see what kind of augmentations the Goons would like to graft onto their own Adam Jensen. We were wildly entertained by the creativity on display, and we thought we'd share some of our favorite entries.

All the descriptions below are taken directly from the original thread.

Winning Entries

Ethanol Reprocessing Upgrade
From Gatac

One of the great early fights in the development of augmentations was the question of how to provide power to the implants. Although early designs favored a central power source for ease of maintenance, the nature of augmentations being spread around the body greatly complicated connecting every possible implant to any one place in the human body. In the end, decentralized fuel cells drawing on blood sugar won out, as the human body already uses this mechanism to fuel itself. That, however, quickly led to problems where overuse of augmentations rapidly depleted blood sugar levels. In lieu of subjecting users to the dangers of entering hypoglycemic shock from overuse, augmentations had to be limited in how much blood sugar they could draw, but on the other hand, the body's own regulatory mechanisms did not allow a great surplus of blood sugar to be introduced safely. The solution, imperfect as it was, was to rely on quickly digestible food to power bursts of intense augmentation use.

But what about alternative fuels available in the bloodstream? It had to be widely available, persist in the bloodstream and ideally have no negative side effects if depleted. In a stroke of inspiration, engineers hit upon the idea of using ethanol. Direct ethanol fuel cells, a category of proton-exchange fuel cells, had been tested before for other applications, but never considered for use in implants. Experimental rigs soon proved the concept, but also illustrated a flaw: at implantable sizes, ethanol-based fuel cells simply did not provide enough power, and with most engineering effort going into blood sugar-based technology, there were only small increases in efficiency over the development cycle. Even combined cycle sugar/ethanol fuel cells remain niche as the increase in power generation is generally considered too small to justify the increased cost. Some military-grade augmentations include these cells to decrease reliance on highly-processed "augment food" in the field - however, the function is rarely actually enabled, as logistics generally keep easy pace with supplying the lightweight and compact concentrated carbohydrate products, while commanders fear that the secondary effect of rapidly clearing up blood alcohol will encourage excessive drinking. (Some troops argue that it would also completely kill the buzz, taking the fun out of the whole experience.)

In-game effects: Costing 1 praxis point, this augmentation rapidly processes blood alcohol into usable energy. Each alcoholic drink consumed will recharge a little bit of an energy cell, with the harder stuff restoring up to a full cell. Further, the vision-blurring effect of alcohol will pass much quicker, making it possible to consume alcohol in the middle of a fight and live to tell the tale.

Social Media Enhancer
From Cleretic

The thing about designing augmentations within the Deus Ex world is that it's easy to forget how widespread they are. We only saw the things Sarif installed into Jensen, or what JC could find canisters for. There's a whole world of creations that we never got to see.

Some months prior to the incident at Sarif Industries, the conglomeration of Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, YTF, commissioned an alternative to the CASIE social enhancer. The Social Media Enhancer, much like its sister aug, has multiple functions, all tweaked to allow you to better interact with the world in which you live in.

-Upload your blood alcohol and glucose levels every twenty minutes!
-Take pictures and video of absolutely anything you may be looking at at the time. Everyone will know exactly what you're doing at any moment in your life!
-Upload tweets and status updates directly from your brain! (YTF is not responsible for any physical, economical or emotional damage that may be related to this function)
-Find out when your favorite celebrity is having an affair with their partner the moment that they start thinking about it! You'll be on the cusp of breaking entertainment news before it even happens!
-Convenience in purchase like never before! The Social Media Enhancer will immediately bring up the full-length commercial of even just a still billboard image of the same product, along with a full catalog of products from the same company and directly opening a PayPal window to buy it, right now!
-Instantly saved passwords for any account system you need! Not just YTF directly, but also PayPal, Picus Web, Steam-PSN, and even your work passwords and bank account are all safely stored externally; you'll never forget a password again!

YTF's Social Media Enhancer is already the most popular augmentation in the civilized world! All your friends have it; do you?

This one came with an awesome illustration created by another Goon.

Energy Siphon
From koreban

Energy Siphon
Location: Hand
Prerequisites: Sarif Series 8 Energy Converter Energy Cell Upgrade 1
Purpose: Microporous membranes in the augmented hand allow small electromagnets to interact with augmentation nanosystems in an incapacitated, augmented enemy, allowing energy to be drawn equivalent to 1 energy cell worth over 20 seconds. During this time contact with the target must be maintained for the flow of energy to completely charge an energy cell, early termination of the energy flow results in a microvoltage spike and thermal discharge, instantly depleting the charging cell, plus one additional cell or doing average damage to the user.

Prerequisite for:
Instant Takedown Energy Siphon
Location: Hand/Armblade
Prerequisites: Requires Instant Take-Down, Sarif Series 8 Energy Converter Energy Cell Upgrade 2
Purpose: When utilizing a takedown, either lethal or non-lethal, microporous membranes on the hands and located on the armblades allow tiny electromagnets to interact with the nano-electrical systems of augmented enemies, siphoning some power from their augmentation systems during the takedown maneuver. For each enemy disabled in this fashion, after consuming the inital power cell cost to perform the takedown, this augmentation system instantly regenerates 25% energy to the consumed cell (25% full for single takedown, 50% for double), allowing for faster regeneration of the cell following a takedown.

The three winners got a key for The Missing Link DLC. Nice work, guys!

Honorable Mentions

Remote Spider-Hand Drone
From randombattle

Location: Arm
Visibility: Yes
Purpose: Since Jensen has a crazy set of hands that can turn into like crab spider hands I think it would be hella awesome if he could detach his hand and have it act like a primitive spy drone. It would crawl around real low to the ground and go up walls and would be able to scout a head and help tag people for the mark and track aug. Naturally you would be able to use computers since it is your hand but I don't think the base aug should allow you hack anything.
If you are discovered the hand will automatically recall back to you but you would have to avoid combat since you cannot shoot people with no hand.
I always kind of frustrated trying to figure out a good way to actually use the mark and target aug. It always seemed easier to just take a dude out if I could see him.
If we are allowing upgrades for these augs then naturally you should be able to upgrade it so you can hack but I think the coolest possibility would be have it be able to remotely control robots by latching onto them like that one zombie game with the severed hand.

The Artisanal Curator
From Einhorn is Finkle

The newest in augmented reality development for the urban accomplisher. Are you tired of waiting in line at the post office and just staring blankly into back of the head of the stranger in front of you? Snap out of the scalp trance and snap into The Artisinal Curator augmentation from HipstaCorp.
The Artisinal Curator is an augmented reality visual/aural/taste modifier that simultaneously preserves your current environment but enhances its cultural richness. Working directly with your nervous system the augmentation interrupts, filters out, and/or replace the undesirable stimuli with something better. The Artisinal Curator is the ultimate in real time cultural enhancement.
Suddenly the placid stacks of post office boxes are replaced with the latest visual media downloaded directly from art galleries around the world. As for that flat diet soda you were sipping it has been exchanged for a selection from the finest of organic imported wines. Topping it all off any music detected by the augmentation hardware will be seamlessly replaced with a Pitchfork approved track for your listening pleasure.
Firmware updates currently under development will make it possible for The Artisinal Curator to completely replace banal conversation about the weather with insightful philosophical discourse.
Stay enlightened always and everywhere with The Artisinal Curator.

Augmentation Pack
From Tiger Crazy

Threat Down Shield
Where: Located in the arm\Rhino Armor Section of Augs
Visibility: When Activated
Purpose: Ever feel the need for a quick mobile cover that doesn't require batteries? If you answered yes, then try our Threat Down Shield activate when you are randomly caught in the open without any nearby cover. With the shield activated it will give you that extra three seconds to get to some nearby cover and deal with that nuisance and taking no damage while it is active. Returning fire not allowed for 2 seconds after activation. Remember You didn't ask for this.

USB Battery Charger
Where: Finger (Upgrade to the vibrating dong version for extra praxis)Hacking Ability
Visibility: None
Purpose: Missing that pep in your step? We have got the answer for you. With this Aug charge those batteries on the go with any nearby computer. Helps for the time when you need to take down those two pesky patrols walking around. Be careful though it is loud and only lasts for a few minutes before the charge wears off.

Get Over Here, Scorpion Aug
Where: Arm
Visibility: When activated
Purpose: Ever wanted that guard closer to you so you could punch in his smug face. We feel your pain, this Aug extends the arm to reach out and grab that smug guard. Also use it for picking up out of reach items with out being seen. Be careful though guards can break free out of the weak hold and call for help. Intended for advanced users only.

There were so many great entries, we haven't even scratched the surface. We didn't even get to the Bowel Stimulus Aug yet! Treat yourself, check out the full thread on the Something Awful forums.


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