A/N: Taken from http://theosek.sitesled.com/alexdentonhologram.html
There was a lot of confusion when people said „You’ll be playing a Alex Denton” and later said he was a five year old at the time of Deus Ex. The reason for this was that Alex Denton was in a cloning tank at Area 51 at the time of Deus Ex, we know because we saw him there. This Alex didn’t look like a five year old.
Some might have said, oh he was five years old but growth accelerated, we know that they were planing to growth accelerate clones, but then another wrinkle: Alex was raised mostly in Chicago. A growth accelerated memory in planted clone wouldn’t need to be raised.
So we asked ourselves, „Are there two Alex Dentons?”
Then came the boom, the moment when it all made sense.
Alex isn’t in the tank.
The Alex in the tank wasn’t there, you could walk right through him. A bug? Not likely (we will get to that soon). A solid looking hologram? Yes. Every other clone in the lab is solid. For a long time there was debate, was a solid looking hologram possible? That was the thing keeping the last of the holdouts from believing that the Alex in the tank wasn’t Alex at all. Then it happened, Deus Ex Invisible War screenshots, complete with solid looking holograms. Solid looking holograms notably after The Great Collapse.
The original Deus Ex, Alex was non-solid.
Then a patch that fixed bugs, Alex was non-solid.
Then the remake Game of the year Edition that among other things fixed bugs, Alex was non-solid.
Then in winter of 2001 Deus Ex for the PS2 was born, it was christened Deus Ex: The conspiracy. Ion Storm had spent a year refining and making the bug totally bug free. Yet Alex is still non-solid and every other clone in the room is still 100 percent solid.
Looking at the clone lab from a development perspective we can also see why it is unlikely that the non-solid Alex was a bug. There are two other clones in the clone lab. Both of them are solid. All three clones in the lab are exact copies of each other except the Alex D one is non-solid. When creating the clone lab one clone was made and then copied twice to make three clones in total. The original clone that was copied to make other clones must have been solid or it’s two copies would have been non-solid as well. Therefore the Alex clone must have been directly altered on purpose after its creation to become non-solid.
In short: Bug? Highly unlikely. The chance of it being a bug is astronomically low.
Another theory held by some was that Alex was non-solid because he was the clone used at the end of the intro cinematic. This can be easy disproven however. A different map is used other then the Area 51 cloning lab for the intro cinematic.
So now we know, Alex is a hologram. But why?
Well first we have the question of why his tank was there at all, also why JC’s was. The most likely answer for that is control. In creating an identical child you need controlled conditions, simple cloning does not yield an exact match unless it develops under the exact same conditions. You need the same womb.
Now that is impossible, even if you put the embryo in the same person they have changed since the first child was born. The tanks would appear to be artificial wombs, designed to eliminate this problem. When JC was made they only had the very beginnings, JC’s embryo had to be implanted into Paul’s mother at a very early stage. Still it developed in the tank during early stages and this would be the same for all JC clones created in the tank.
As the experiments progressed the embryo could be kept in the tank for longer and longer periods. The end goal being a growth accelerated clones carried to adulthood, this was the reason for the size of the tanks. (When we look at it ingame with two growth accelerated clones -and one hologram of one- the size makes sense, but consider that it was originally used for an embryo only, it’s a wonder they didn’t lose it.)
We aren’t sure how far they had gotten when Alex was born, but it’s reasonable to believe that he was carried to term. Regardless he was born before the growth acceleration work had been completed and had to grow up like any old fashioned human.
The tank, like JC’s, was kept as it had been for him to produce more identical clones. At the time of Deus Ex it was empty, as was JC’s. Perhaps this was because across the lab they had finally managed to growth accelerate two clones. JC and Alex’s tanks were configured for old fashioned born as a baby clones. They may have stopped using them any time over nine months before to focus on the other tanks.
JC’s tank being empty was not unexpected as JC was the one who found out it was empty, but Alex’s tank being empty would prove that there was another Denton out there somewhere. In fact there were most likely multiple ones running around. JC had people from all over the world watching his infolink, and it was undesirable for them to know Alex was out there.
As such the hologram of a clone was set up, the datacube as altered, and the door was set to go boom.