So what is the true ending? (SPOILERS)
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My guess is the David Sarif Ending.
The cutscene at the end introduces the main antagonist of the first game, and apparently he worked with Megan Reed to construct a virus. IIRC in the first game, Bob Page and the Illuminati release this virus into society.
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Most likely the Hugh Darrow ending or the William Taggart ending. Since augmentations aren't as common in the original.
TODD HOWARD is actually a dragon shout. It makes the user and everyone around them orgasm immediately from every orifice. It gets messy. - parradox1992
Taggart. Think about who he represented and who were the power players in Deus Ex. Unregulated access is the opposite of what they want. Complete destruction will never happen. The only other feasible ending is the completely altruistic one. They could just continue with no interruptions.
The lack of augments being widely available in Deus Ex doesn't really offer any proof that Taggert's ending has any special bias. The economy by the time Deus Ex starts has pretty much collapsed and augments are still very expensive. Augments are not widely spread because very few people can afford them. Any regulations would be secondary.
Also keep in mind that Taggert outright says he is not actually anti-augment. He just thinks that there should be regulations on what can be done. He never clearly states just what level he thinks the regulations should be. There is a difference between banning augments and regulating them so weapon augments are limited to military personnel.
All four endings are completely possible. They aren't really particularly relevant, to be honest. Overall, the events between DXHR and DX1 are far, far more significant to DX1's plot than anything added by the endings, which are going to only be minor differences by the time DX1 starts.
His being a member in the Illuminati was more my thinking than anything else, or rather his casual invoking of the name as a means to an end. Do you think he was simply a shill for them? I'm not filled in completely with the series, so I might have read more into his representation than the others. The way the first game was laid out though, there were also four choices. I'd lay out who I think correlates to who, but it would spoil the first game for anyone not familiar. I'm only familiar with the story of the first, not the game itself so there might be nuances visually that I can't know.
It's because he's not for pure outlawing that I think his ending fits the most. If it were Sarif's ending, the market would be saturated with augments and people would be able to afford them easily because there wouldn't be shadow oversight to artificially control prices. Darrow wanted a new Dark Ages, which also is no good for trying to control through technology since a stigma would be attached. Taggart's ending allows for slow, but steady progression. A progression that is guided and always monitored. That sounds a lot like the first game to me. The reason I think the other ending could work is the people may not have a story being fed to them, but how does that matter in the scheme of things. No narrative just allows for whoever is in the right position to create whatever they want for public perception.
It's more an exercise in theorizing which is more plausible and likely than true. As you said, it's the events between that really matter more. I just think those two endings are more likely. The difficulties of the other two aren't insurmountable though, so you're probably right about the lack of import in which ending is used and the effects will be confined to a news story for the next game at best.
To me it seems no, or i guess, any ending is the definitive cannon ending. Nanoaugmentation begomes a reality regardless of your actions on Panchea, Paul and JC exist regardless of which button you press. Humanity progresses along the same line regardless of what Adam does. Speaks to the reaches of the Illuminati i suppose, or that some things, when set in motion, progress to a finite conclusion.
Page continues work on his epidemic after any of the endings.
It's either a combination of all the Deus Ex Human Revolution endings similar to how they merged the potential endings of Deus Ex 1 for Deus Ex 2 (Invisible War).
The self destruct ending whereby most of the major players from Deus Ex Human Revolution are dead, the Illuminati needs to rebuild, augmentations are still allowed but become more regulated resulting in them being less common due to super soldier fears / Humanity Front actions.
None of the endings exclude the "canon" plotline, in that you can still connect the dots from HR to DX1 regardless of the ending.
It's because he's not for pure outlawing that I think his ending fits the most. If it were Sarif's ending, the market would be saturated with augments and people would be able to afford them easily because there wouldn't be shadow oversight to artificially control prices.
Just because prices go down does not make things cheap. Warren Spector, the major designer behind the first Deus Ex, pointed out a very logical reason why there is such a huge technology difference between Human Revolution and DX1, even though Human Revolution takes place earlier.
DX1's primary setting consists of slums and the vast majority of NPCs are homeless or, at least, extremely poor people. Meanwhile, DXHR takes place around the nicest parts of several major cities around people with the finances of entire corporations behind them.
It's like a car. They might not be super expensive now, but most homeless people don't have a Mercedes.
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