Louis Pan

"I can tell them you're a spy, and they will kill you." 

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Louis Pan is perhaps one of the longest-running jokes in many Deus Ex communities. While I would optimistically wager that most of us would find child abuse or killing utterly deplorable, few of us let Louis Pan live. Here's why.

First of all, he's just a fictional character in a video game world, and despite what some nutjobs might think, what we do in video games doesn't reflect what we do - or would even consider doing - in real life. That's why it's a video game.

Second, Pan represents the conspiracy that surrounds the game. While there are tons of mini-conspiracies throughout the game to keep the feeling throughout, Pan is one you can dispose of immediately.

We first see Louis Pan at the newspaper vendor. The following conversation takes place:

Louis Pan: I work for the butcher, too. Everybody in Wan-Chai Market.
Newspaper vendor: I have made other arrangements.
Louis: I never fall asleep. I am one of the best watchmen.
Vendor: Run along. I don't like little boys.
Louis: This is a bad market. Lots of bad people.











After being refused by the vendor, Louis Pan returns to Gordon Quick, and...

Louis Pan: I did it, I did it!
Gordon Quick: Did anybody see?
Louis: Yeah, I think so.
Quick: It doesn't matter.  We got her payment, plus interest.  Get back there and see if she learned something.
Louis: OK.

Well, sure enough he does...

Louis Pan: I told you, bad people around here.
Newspaper vendor: Get out of here!  Go!
Louis: I am your new watchman.
Vendor: You stole a hundred credits from me!
Louis: The Dragon Head said I am your watchman.  Fifty credits every day.  That's better than a hundred.
Vendor: I can't make a profit as it is... 

And then after that, Louis Pan just paces around.  But most of us don't let him live long enough to get all his lines out - or move on with the many mission objectives and ice him afterwards.

And as if he wasn't bad enough, when you kill him and search him - you find a pack of cigarettes.  But still, it does raise a good point: thousands of video games let you kill adults of both genders, but how wrong is it for a game to let you kill a kid?  Some games - such as Neverwinter Nights - have children, but they're invincible.  You can kill the parents, and you can attack the kids, but they won't die.  Some games, like Deus Ex and its sequel, have kids and they're as killable as anyone else.  But I think most games in which you can kill a lot of people, simply pretend kids don't exist, such as the Grand Theft Auto games.  I suppose what it really boils down to is that, like killing adults, it's something that, if you do it in a video game, you don't do it in real life.