Cyberpunk 2077

[Devil Ending] The Devil Ending’s contradictions and hints at cut content/DLC

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR DEVIL (ARASAKA) ENDING

I just finished all the endings, but this is the one I chose first and the one that interested me most because there were obvious contradictions in the dialogue and hints of cut content.

>!Takemura survived in my playthrough.

This ending had good parts, but overall was weakened IMHO by throwing away subtlety it had hinted at and instead emphasizing "corporations are really bad and will never respect you". This felt forced at parts, especially since Takemura and Hanako are often portrayed positively.


The 3 Factions and Michiko

Previous to the ending, Takemura had remarked about 3 factions in Arasaka. Hanako's loyalists to Saburo (Father) Arasaka, the traitor son Yorinobu, and a liberal one under granddaughter Michiko that Takemura didn't know much about.

What's interesting is that Michiko is AT the board meeting V testifies at (something I missed in my playthrough), and is one of the only survivors, though she has barely any dialogue and isn't acknowledged whatsoever by any of the other characters https://cyberpunk.fandom.com/wiki/Michiko_Arasaka_(Kei%27s_daughter). According to the wiki, Michiko is a cool person in the RPG.

There obviously could have been much more here originally planned. Saburo, as Yorinobu points out, is a powerless shadow in a box. There could have been another path planned where V sides with Michiko to destroy Saburo and steer Arasaka in another direction. This is further reinforced by Takemura (if he survived) being angry about Saburo being brought back, as he wasn't told and feels blindsided. Since he had warm feelings towards V (at least in my playthrough) it's possible that in some cut content, he could have been decisive in shaping the board's decision another way or helping Michiko take power.

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Opinions

Saburo's Opinion

When meeting Saburo's engram there are multiple conversation paths you can take, including ones where Saburo appreciates and even thanks V. These end up having no effect whatsoever on anything, but are possibly traces of being able to side with his faction.

Hanako's Opinion

On the station after the tests, Takemura speaks to V.

He says BOTH that Hanako doesn't care about V whatsoever and hasn't acknowledged them, AND that Hanako personally sent him to speak with V about their survival. Maybe an editing error, or maybe a hint that in some paths Hanako did care.

1:03:08 Hanako's forgotten you.

1:04:45 Hanako sent me here.


The Testing Montage and After

The space station sequence reinforces to the player repeatedly that corporations are bad, that people who serve them aren't valued past their usefulness even if they're loyal and previously useful. This is reflected by the awful coldness that V is treated with at the space station and Hanako not taking their call, and pushed even further by all of V's friends being cold when she calls them (with the exception of River, at least in my playthrough). Also, in 1:05:50, Takemura reminds V that to Arasaka, V means absolutely nothing.

But Arasaka Still Wants to Work with V?

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However, this sentiment is then contradicted. If V chooses to take the shuttle back to Earth, Hanako calls V personally and says that she and her father are interested in having V keep working for them in their time left! This is despite that V is deteriorating and dying. V would certainly still be useful- in my playthrough, V could 1-shot assault bots, tank a whole army hitting her with rifles, and took down Adam Smasher in about 6 seconds with pistol headshots. So her being treated like crap in the station would work against Arasaka's interests.


It appears like there could have been additional paths planned:

1) being able to gain Saburo's appreciation and join Arasaka more fully.

2) being able to side with Michiko and change the leadership of Arasaka

3) being treated with contempt by everyone and given the ending we got, but without the personal call from Hanako or even the chance at becoming an Engram.

4) Side with Yorinobu (nothing indicates this, but possible)

Possibly Takemura's being alive affecting the above. You could also possibly warn Arasaka about Alt and maybe betray her or something to Arasaka control. I didn't care for Alt and was disappointed there was no way to oppose her in any ending.

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Summary

Since there are obvious cuts throughout the game, I'm curious about the possibilities in the ending and for possible DLCs. Since there are hints in the other endings that V will find a way to not die at the casino (the cut-to-black right before entering is incredibly lame), it's also notable that the Devil ending is the only one in which V is not made into an Engram by Alt, and thus arguably killed.

Instead, the Devil ending as it stands is a heavy-handed emphasis that corporations are bad no matter what.!<

I'm probably way overthinking this.

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