Conversations from the Cubicle!

Everyone has a story that's interesting to another!

Cyperpunk 2077


CD Projekt RED is proud to collaborate with Mike and bring this city to life in its upcoming RPG — Cyberpunk 2077. The game will be set in the near future in which advanced technologies have become both the salvation and the curse of humanity. A multi-thread, nonlinear story designed for mature players (a CD Projekt RED trademark) will give players a chance to freely roam the open-world and visit places well known from the pen-and-paper RPG “Cyberpunk 2020®”, including a combat zone completely taken over by gangs, the legendary Afterlife joint and the nostalgic Forlorn Hope.

For more info about the game go to

Night City Cyberpunk-2077 Cyberpunk_CityCyberpunk 2020:

The megacorporations

  • Arasaka, a huge Japanese zaibatsu headed by a megalomaniacal CEO obsessed with making Japan into a superpower. Likely nod to World War II arms manufacturer Arisaka.
  • Biotechnica, an Italian biotechnology, pharmacology, and cybernetics firm.
  • Euro Business Machines (EBM), an information technology corporation (an obvious nod towards IBM).
  • Infocomp, a commercial think-tank and information repository.
  • International Electric Corporation (IEC), a European conglomerate involved in multiple and diverse industries ranging from consumer products to heavy construction through to corporate finance and insurance (an obvious nod towards General Electric).
  • Kendachi, a Japanese armament company.
  • Lazarus, American mercenary/private security contractor with close ties to Militech.
  • Merril, Asukaga & Finch, financial analysts. (An allusion to Merrill Lynch).
  • Microtech, a computer and electronics manufacturer.
  • Militech, American arms manufacturer and mercenary contractor with strong ties to the US Government and its military. Its CEO desires to make the US into a superpower again and often competes with Arisaka for influence.
  • Mitsubishi-Sugo, a major transportation manufacturer.
  • Network News 54, an American broadcasting company.
  • Orbital Air, an African corporation with a monopoly on space transportation.
  • Petrochem, an energy company.
  • Raven Microcybernetics, leading cybernetics company.
  • SovOil, a neo-Soviet oil giant, controlling a vast percentage of the petrochemicals market.
  • Trauma Team International, a private medical firm also dealing in medical insurance, prepaid disaster relief, prepaid CSAR, etc. Teams extract their patients from hostile Landing Zones and then evacuate them to an emergency care facility.
  • World News Service, a worldwide news conglomerate, similar to the Associated Press or Fox News Corporation.
  • World Satellite Communications Network (WorldSatCom), a satellite communications giant.
  • Zetatech, a computer, cyberdeck, robotics, and cybernetics manufacturing company.


The Cyberpunk 2020 equivalent of character classes are Roles, of which the main rulebook contains 9, and later supplements have expanded the number considerably. Each Role has a special ability which gives a character a unique edge.

Role Description Special Ability
Cop Maximum lawmen on mean 21st century streets Authority
Corporate Slick business raiders and multi-millionaires Resources
Fixer Deal makers, smugglers, organizers and information brokers Streetdeal
Media Newsmen and reporters who go to the wall for the truth Credibility
Netrunner Cybernetic computer hackers Interface
Nomad Road warriors and Gypsies who roam the highways Family
Rockerboy Rebel rockers who use music and revolt to fight authority Charismatic Leadership
Solo Hired assassins, bodyguards, killers, soldiers Combat Sense
Techie Renegade mechanics and doctors Jury Rig/Medical Tech

Iconic characters

The game’s backstory had a series of powerful characters that influenced the world of Cyberpunk.

“Good Guys”

  • Alt Cunningham: A brilliant Netrunner and programmer, she invented the beta version of Soulkiller, a program that would make a digital emulation or copy of a netrunner’s mind. Arasaka kidnapped her, extracted the information from her, and made a more deadly version that would simultaneously fry the netrunner’s mind after backing it up, allowing a Sysop to interrogate it at will. They then used it on Alt since she was of no further use to them. Her digital “ghost” broke free into the Net, but could not be reunited with her body.
  • Johnny Silverhand: A famous and idealistic Rockerboy singer and guitarist with a silver-chrome cyberlimb arm. He opposes Arasaka for a grocery list of personal grudges from the loss of his arm to the death of many of his close friends and family. He is Alt’s ex-boyfriend. He was in the Chromatic Rock band Samurai with fellow famous rocker Kerry Eurodyne, and is most famous for the songs “Chippin’ In” and “Never Fade Away”.
  • Morgan Blackhand: A pragmatic Solo with an anodised black-chrome cyberlimb arm. Generally considered to be a “Solo’s Solo”, with years of experience and ops under his belt.
  • Rache Bartmoss: The most brilliant (and paranoid) hacker in the Net, he invented the Hound and Demon series of programs. He was the “narrator” of the Guide to the Net and Brainware Blowout sourcebooks (posthumously edited by his rival/colleague, supreme hackerette Spider Murphy). Rache finally flatlined in 2021, either by a lucky Sysop or poor health due to repeated bouts of malnutrition and dehydration from surfing the Net too long. Fortunately he had top-of-the-line life support to maintain him. Unfortunately, he was too paranoid to trust anyone with his location or leave any means of recovering him. He spent his time deteriorating in a cryogenic freezer (disguised to look like a refrigerator) while still managing to be one of the best hackers in the Net prior to his death in the opening salvos of the Fourth Corporate War.

“Bad Guys”

  • Saburo Arasaka: The devious head of the diversified Arasaka Corporation, which not only dominates most of the Third World (including America), but also Japan. He has united factions of the Japanese government, the military, organized crime and various lesser corporations under his control. Some have begun calling this era in history the “Arasaka Shogunate”.

The Firestorm Series

Firestorm was supposed to be the bridge between Cyberpunk 2020 (the 2nd edition rules and milieu) and Cyberpunk V.3 (the 3rd Edition rules and milieu). Its purpose was to shake up everything and get players prepared for the new background they were cooking up.

Firestorm I: Stormfront

Set in 2023, the backstory has two deep-ocean-based megacorporations duelling for control over a third one (the period known as the “Ocean War”). When it escalates into open warfare, they each hire mercenaries. One hires the Japanese diversified technology and security services firm Arasaka and the other hires the American military technology and mercenary services firm Militech.

During the conflict, the long-standing bitter rivalry between Arasaka and Militech causes them to forget about their customers and go for each other. In the beginning they feud quietly (the phase called the “Shadow War”). But the covert war between the two heats up, becoming the Fourth Corporate War.

In the course of the adventure setting, the characters are hired to hunt down a pesky netrunner who is making their anonymous employer unhappy. Little do they realize that the hacker is the infamous (and already “dead”) Rache Bartmoss. Regardless of what they do, their employer pinpoints the apartment with an orbital mass-driver and vaporizes it.

Firestorm II: Shockwave

Set in 2024, the second part of the Firestorm series sees Arasaka mobilize the Japanese Defense Force to take on Militech and the American military in a series of “proxy conflicts” (the phase dubbed the “Hot War”).

Waves of cyberviruses corrupt databases worldwide, leaving the isolated Arasaka Towers arcology in Night City the last viable data storage mainframe in the world.

Militech gathers together the surviving meta-characters and a Special Forces team played by the player characters into a “super team”. Their job: to take out Arasaka’s Night City arcology with a tactical nuke to deny its assets to Arasaka.

Then they find out that Alt Cunningham, who was captured by Arasaka earlier, is trapped inside the mainframe. Of course, Johnny won’t let Alt die a second time, so the team tries to break her out.

The end result is that the meta-characters go out in a blaze of glory. Johnny Silverhand dies at the hands of Arasaka’s cyborg assassin Adam Smasher in order to buy Spider Murphy enough time to break Alt into a series of datapackets and downloads her into the Net. Morgan Blackhand then takes on Adam Smasher atop Arasaka Towers while the rest of the team gets extracted out. The outcome of the duel is greatly disputed because the low-yield tactical nuke the team deployed sets off the 2-kiloton “self destruct” bomb Arasaka had placed in its data core. This destroyed much of downtown Night City and contaminated the ruins and anything downwind of it with lethal fallout.

Firestorm III: Aftershock

The long-awaited third volume, Aftershock promised to tie all the loose ends together and herald the end of the old Cyberpunk 2020 game world and usher in the beginning of the new Cyberpunk 2030 game world. It was later cancelled and its material was folded into the Cyberpunk 203X rules book.

Cyberpunk 203X

Ever since the 1998 release of the Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook Firestorm: Shockwave, fans of the game had been waiting for a third edition of the Cyberpunk game, known as Cyberpunk 203X. Over the years, the entire project had at times been discounted as vaporware, its delays due to other projects and Pondsmith’s involvement in the development of The Matrix Online.

The setting has been heavily updated from its last event book series, Firestorm, which covered the opening of the Fourth Corporate War. The aftermath of the Fourth Corporate War has resulted in widespread corruption of the Net and major losses of hardcopied data, to the point that all data is intangible and recent recorded history is in doubt. An example that pops up in Pondsmith’s demos at conventions, releases on the Internet, and in the finished game is that history has become so corrupted that many people in the world now believe Richard Nixon, instead of resigning over Watergate, committed suicide on camera and that memes such as the moon landing being hoaxed become prevalent.

The war has also led to the collapse of nations, the world economy, and many of the staple megacorporations. This civil upheaval leads to the rise of the “altcults”, alternative cultures similar in vein to the “phyles” from Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. In fact, Cyberpunk V.3 has more to do with the new postcyberpunk literary movement and transhumanism than with the Gibson-Sterling mirrorshades movement.

The Altcults

  • Corpore Metal or Cee-Metal – a society of full-body cyborgs that use Livemetal technology, where a modular braincase unit is inserted into a variety of purpose-built body frames.
  • Desnai’ – Disneyworld-like series of amusement park arcologies that strive to shelter themselves from the anarchy outside their walls. It is run heavily on automation and uses telepresence-piloted drones for travel, security, maintenance, labor, etc.
  • Edgerunners – the descendants of the anti-corporation Cyberpunk movement. Integral cyberlimbs are replaced by Neo-Cyber technology, in which detachable articulated frames called “bracers” worn over the body can be modified to perform all the functions of dedicated cybertechnology.
  • Reef – an undersea community whose members are heavily genetically modified to adapt and survive in the depths of the ocean.
  • Riptide Confederation – a fleet of Japanese floating arcologies that were cut off from their country following a nuclear civil war. They use bio-engineering to make living “tools” to aid them.
  • Rolling State – the descendants of the Nomad families in Cyberpunk 2020, who now use advanced nanotechnology and megatechnology to create land-based mobile cities.

In addition, there is also the Fallen Angels, space-bound scavengers, the Ghosts, people who have uploaded their minds, and the Neo-Corps, the surviving corporations of the Cyberpunk 2020 world that are now organized in the form of organized crime syndicates. However, the six listed above are the only ones that have been mentioned in deep detail.



One comment on “Cyperpunk 2077

  1. Sean Patterson
    February 22, 2013

    Yesterday’s debut teaser trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 wasn’t the only thing CD Projekt RED released on the subject of its upcoming science fiction game. It turns out the trailer contains a secret message for those who are observant and clever. Luckily, the internet makes in unnecessary for each of us to try and pause the YouTube video to read the message:

    Do you like our latest creation? We certainly hope so 🙂 You may remember that we sometimes send you guys secret messages like this. It’s a great way for us to speak right to you instead of burying ourselves in corporate mumbo-jumbo so let’s begin!

    First of all – have you noticed all the details in our teaser (yes, it’s a teaser. We’ll make a proper trailer in the future)? If you know the Cyberpunk setting there are some things you can spot, like implants – look for the weapon hands and the real skin – corporate emblems that should look familiar and more. Happy hunting!

    You’re probably curious about the release date. It’s currently scheduled a way off in 2015 but in truth the delivery date is more like “when it’s done.” We will release Cyberpunk to you when we’re convinced it is nothing but pure, refined, unadulterated awesome. We want it to be the most kick ass futuristic RPG ever – OK, maybe this sounds pretty bully, but it is our actual goal! You judge if we deliver it!

    Oh – and you may wonder why we announced our game so early before the release. The reason is that we’re still building our dev team so if you are a talented dude or dudette willing to work in a really different company (gamers rule & boring corporate stuff drools!) on a super ambitious project, send us your application right now!

    So you want to know what kind of game Cyberpunk 2077 will be? The short description is that it will be a story-heavy, nonlinear, open world RPG based on the well known Cyberpunk pen&paper system and setting. Building open world games is something we are mastering right now and we believe that properly joining nonlinear gameplay with an excellent story telling will bring a totally new quality. Mmm… We’ll tell some more about it soon!

    And that’s not all that’s new. We are about the reveal our other project which is much closer to being completed and yes, it will also be a fully open-world game with an intense story. You can probably guess the game we’re talking about 🙂 On the 5th of February it will all be clear.

    So stay tuned as we will have quite a lot to show and tell you soon!

    We are waiting for you on our newly created forum called Afterlife – what other name could we have chosen for it?

    CD Projekt RED Team

    The 2015 release window is a bit disappointing, but it’s better that the developer is taking the time to get the game right. Better one much-delayed cyberpunk masterpiece than several rushed cyberpunk titles.

    The Afterlife forums appear to be the official community forums for the Cyberpunk 2077 project. The developers there are soliciting suggestions for the game from the community. Also, one of the first posts to the forum gives a few more teasers for the game’s “grim vision of the future,” which includes a form of entertainment called “braindancing.” It’s certainly good that Night City won’t be glitzy, as one of the hallmarks of the cyberpunk genre is dystopia and the idea that technology hasn’t been a savior for humanity, but can easily be used to enslave it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on January 17, 2013 by in Dystopia, Literature and tagged .
January 2013
« Dec   Feb »



%d bloggers like this: