Cyberpunk 2077

Gates of Hell, Mr Blue Eyes, and Delamain

I already wrote about this is my previous post, but the conversation quickly died out and the post was left to rot. I also started rambling a lot and spend way too much time not really going nowhere… I didn't really plan to add all that information in the same post… so I'll try to explain my reasoning a little better.

To those who are well aware of EVERYTHING circling around the Mr Blue Eyes, you might not get any new information, but to those who've only watched a single YouTube clip there might be plenty of new things you don't remember or haven't taken a closer look at.


The story of Netwatch

I listened a radio podcast by Mike Pondsmith, in Cyberpunk 2077's Maximum Mike, talking about the real origins of the net. In this podcast he has a trusty informant who isn't a crazy person, she lays out a case where the Net is actually Hell, and what Rache Bartmoss actually did was just to open the door. This leaves a speculation of whether he was actually the one to create these demons, and what actually happened he just simply erased all the floodgates that controlled the vile aspects of the Net from the citizens when the Net was free.

Paladin from movie Jumper

The unnamed Netrunner that Maximum Mike talked about also mentions how the Netwatch is a very crucial defense organization that had it's origins from the Vatican… not really super important information, but it does highlight the fact that the mission that Netwatch has is to detect and destroy evil, like the Paladins from a movie Jumper were this ancient order that was meant to keep the order and stop these Jumpers just having these powers that they clearly weren't responsible to control, just like the movie quote from Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility".

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If you are with great power, you need to be extra careful to use it, or you are immediately deemed reckless and dangerous, just like the citizens of these metropolitans who deem these vigilantes dangerous criminals, or the Jedi deeming Sith Lord to be too dangerous to be left alive.

Even if one's goals could be benevolent, it's the power that is unacceptable in this world, especially if that power is not in the hands of those deemed righteous to wield it.

Netwatch fears that there's going to be apocalypse (and possibly for a good reason) if Blackwall was to be breached, and is doing everything it's power, no matter how morally dubious to preserve the wall.


Night City isn't the same as it was, something has changed

This next argument requires some leap of faith, but lets assume for a second that something has changed in Night City in very recent history.

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When you first play the campaign and are locked in Watson. Something has happened in the area. There has also been a rise of Cyberpsychos in very recent history, the Government and the news media blame it all on the Cyberware malfunctions… but it all doesn't add up.

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During a quest Bloody Ritual, Maelstrom gang has put a woman in the iced chamber and connected her to the Net. After connecting to the Net, she couldn't handle all the information overload that made her lose her mind, potentially brainwashed her consciousness with someone elses.

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Going back to the early stages of the game, The next day when you wake up after the Rescue mission, there's a bunch of high level agents send into the area just to scan the networks. There's Garry the conspiracy guy being fed signals with strange messages. Also the Scavs had some kind of virus implanted into the head of Sandra Dorsett. It could be it was downloaded from the Net itself and there exists bunch of holes all over the Blackwall.

As someone pointed in the comments, Netwatch agent says "The Blackwall is a lot less like a wall than it is a garbage bag taped over a broken window that the voodoo boys keep poking holes in."

According to Cyberpunk 2020 wiki: "Netwatch is a policing organization based out of London, England. Its focus is the protection of the Net Over Europe and the United States." meaning that they are way understaffed to handle issues that may have arisen just in Night City alone.

It's as if there was something that caused Netwatch agents to walk in every street corner and start scanning the networks nearby, trying to make sure that things are going as planned. Hey, maybe they're just doing their daily routines, but the increase in Cyberpsychos seems to indicate this is more emerging concern than something that used to exist for ages.

Sure people might naturally become psychos and commit murders, but it seems like some of the instances these are people who dive deep into the net and find something hidden beyond the Blackwall.


Blackwall, the gates of Hell

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Behind the Blackwall we know exists this untamed side of the Net. We know Rogue AI does exist there and are left there to evolve and conquer and change and absorb. Netwatch was founded to make sure these gates are never opened, and it's done it's work to desperately keep it closed by all means, including using black programs designed to kill dangerous netrunners like the Voodoo Boys.

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The blackwall is constantly being bombarded by Rogue AI's as we even might witness when we meet Alt the first time, people have attempted to visit there, but none have ever returned… or so we are left to assume…

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During summer time Steam Points Store quietly updated few extra backgrounds, including this imagery. Looking at this eyeless skull flashing and moving back and forward could easily look for someone with religious believes to be a demon.

Also same time we got plenty of background images of the Blackwall as alternative profile wallpapers… so all of these summer updates were perhaps meant to indicate which aspects of the story remain important for the continuation of the story.


Jefferson Peralez's brainwashing

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When you hear about there being a break in and nothing getting stolen or lost, you discover that there's organizations that are tasked to monitor the brain activity and alter both Jefferson's and Elizabeth's brains with new memories. Elizabeth for example remembers the roses in her wedding picture being blue.

Maybe the plan is to darken the past events of both Jefferson's and Elizabeth's lives so that these people will become far less empathetic to the suffering of the poor, become more corporate friendly people and alter their viewpoints. Jefferson for example promises in his campaign adds that he's going to tax the corporations way more than they've gotten away with so far. This clearly isn't in the interest of those who are in control of said corporations.

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When attempting to repair the TV (requires 12 tech skill if I remember right) you're in a split second shown a picture above, before it all becomes very blurry.

This seems like some sort of entity in the darkweb that just invaded your mind, maybe just getting all information about you, maybe to send out a warning… whatever it was, it didn't stop us pushing further, and later we get to see another symbol.

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When chasing the truck carrying monitoring equipment to a Maelstrom gang's base, you'll discover that there are actually far more people that are being monitored. Remember this is just 1 truck, which could be just 1 out of hundreds if not thousands of trucks.

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There are some similarities with the symbols but they might not be the same, meaning there's another entity that briefly interjects the transmission and soon starts wiping out the data to erase all the evidence of the said brainwashing happening. So it could be there are multiple entities that are behind this… and according to Johnny Silverhand,"I don't think it's people who are behind this… you are too young to remember but not too long ago (when Johnny lived) people talked about Rogue AI's prowling the cyberspace."

So it's likely that these symbols are possibly the names of these entities, or symbols to describe them.

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Later when still pushing further you're contacted by something that sends you a message. The entity tells that they are fully aware what you are and what you want. This could be interpret many ways. V wants to live, but V also wants to get rid of the chip, and with the help of Johnny Silverhand, maybe the entity does know V is about to contact Alt Cunningham, and that the idea that Alt Cunningham puts in V's head is that Mikoshi is what you need to be healed from this invading nanobots that are destroying your brain.

Perhaps Alt Cunningham is behind everything, or maybe she's being used as a pawn in far greater plot to assist V in his/her selfish goal of taking down Arasaka.

Who is the greatest competitor to Arasaka? Militech.


Where does Mr Blue Eyes fit in all of this?

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If you watch the Cyberpunk E3 2018 trailer again, take a snapshot of these people talking. Upon closer inspection you'll realize that's none other than Mr Blue Eyes himself, before he got those famous Blue Eyes. He's clearly having a performance review of one of the employees, just based on watching the statistics, there's a bar that was in the blue color, and in the past 3 months, in halfway changed into the RED territory, clearly signaling that the performance of the employee was far below of the accepted limit.

So Mr Blue Eyes at least in his past used to be another Corpo scum, who was just doing his regular business of…

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Ah right, he's also seen in that part of the trailer where he's just casually enjoying a drink upon seeing a person next to him getting attacked by a virus.

So what we can assume even before him getting those blue eyes, he's had a lot of experience much similar to what we saw in the Corpo lifepath opening, where your boss (Arthur Jenkins) takes out the whole staff having meeting in European Space Council.

Abernathy isn't concerned about the ethics of taking out the whole European Space Council, she's concerned that "Do you know how much the cover-up will cost?" so making these big moves isn't much of an interest of these organizations with the loss of little reputation they might have, but for a random strangers, even in high positions of power, these people have no problem getting rid of with hacking.

So what happened to him? He appears to have moved into another position or job, switched company or something. He's not anymore doing just regular frying of peoples brains, now he's monitoring you, he's watching the progress of Peralez dealing with the unfortunate encounter in his apartment and checking if he has to make more moves.

But those blue eyes… it's an indication he's in a constant feedback with a computer. When you're making calls, your eyes change orange, when you're checking data from datashard, your eyes turn blue. This man is constantly being given data, which likely indicates he's either not in control, or is at least very much working exactly as he's instructed.

In Westworld, you discover in end of season 3 that the Rehoboam has been actually feeding information to Serac throughout the whole season. Serac said exactly what he needed to say to convince Maeve to stop the new emerging anomality. Rehoboam was predicting every move of normal humans but couldn't read these very few special individuals that were unpredictable to it, and that's why they had to be institutionalized or killed.

So when it comes to Cyberpunk 2077, it could be that politicians that are promising to help the people are the animalities that these organizations are tasked to brainwash, and Mr Blue Eyes is another Serac, who has control to move his body as he wishes, but chooses to act exactly has he's told because it's so beneficial for him to do so.


The rise in crime statistics and unemployment

Cyberpunk as a genre is often critical of the successes of the capitalism as it does dispossess people who don't fit the mold. When technology advances, more people are ultimately deemed worthless to the society, unqualified to actually get education.

In Cyberpunk's world this is… technically not so, at least if you're willing to sacrifice your principles. If you get brain implants, you might get smart enough to get hired by these corporations above you. If you're willing to sacrifice your morals you might get hired as a mercenary to smuggle lizards or other rare animals. But it even then it still leaves people in the streets to ultimately fight among themselves.

Most of the cyberpsychos that we get to see are mostly living in these abandoned construction sites, or ghettos or in middle of nowhere. Sure there's few that are in vicinity of actual buildings with average earning citizens, but they are far removed from those which actually earn the big bucks and live in the capital area.

Listening in Mike Pondsmith's (aka Maximum Mike) radio podcast, he speculates "What if cyberpsychosis is intentional?"

Could it be that there's an entity that intentionally gives access to these things in the darkweb to enter human world in specific areas of the map, to thin the herd down of those who are deemed worthless to society? Or just to give a nice 30% boost in the gun sales?

I think there's good possibility that both Arasaka, Militech and the other arms manufacturers have quietly agreed to infect the unfortunate people with viruses. It could be that there's another entity that is either in control of Arasaka or Militech who greatly benefits from the increased sales.


Delamain is partly responsible on what has happened

Delamain is this friendly very polite taxi service we are first lead to believe. When we dig a little deeper in the end of his mission chain, you'll find out that the company used to be run by humans.

Somewhere in the past humans purchased this AI and let it run in their systems. It looked very promising first, increased efficiency, increased sales, business was going well. And then it seemed like it was running things a little too… inhumanely. Maybe it started "whipping" its workers with overtime hours, maybe it was attempting to install self driving technology to the vehicles. Ultimately what happened was that Delamain took over… everything, and everyone who worked in the company were ultimately fired.

Delamain is just one a cog in the wheel that is contributing to the larger problems that have risen due to automation.

So what's keeping this sharing of great wealth equally? Maybe it's originally the human greed that allowed things to go bad as they did… but why are Rogue AI's on the side of the system, if they are not being controlled? Is there a possibility that they are the ones that have been in control for tens of years, perhaps even 50 years?

What Delamain can tell us about the AI is that it's emotionless, cruel and only cared in maximizing efficiency and profits, so not caring about the poor and forgotten people in the bottom would fit the description, and it would not mind terrorizing these communities if it were to give increased profits for sales.


The sabre-rattling between Militech and Arasaka

After the Crash of 1994, USA became free-reign for the corporations to abuse their power to the fullest. Militech, established in 1996, became one of the worlds largest megacorporations and was headquartered in Washington, D.C. The last few US Presidents were ex-Militech executives.

With this need to compete with the biggest competitor Arasaka the company might have used bunch of AI algorithms to design their policies and push away the Japanese megacorporation, which ultimately resulted in wars of dominance. Ultimately it was settled but the war still kept going with the espionage.

With the attack on Arasaka tower again, and the death of "the emperor" (Japanese Emperor is mostly just reserved for ceremonial duties and real power lies in hands of Arasaka), it's likely there's raised tensions that might start a war between these corporations.

So what Arasaka or Militech are doing to regular citizens has as much impact as some stepping over an ant, and that's why when Arasaka or Militech hires you, they offer you protection that no regular company is able to afford, the insurance that if THEY are being attacked, that the actions of their competitor won't go unpunished, a sort of nuclear deterrent.


So what about the future?

Well obviously there's still a lot of discover in Night City. We will likely discover who or what is behind the whole brainwashing operation, but will not likely entirely be able to stop this from happening, or even when we do, it's only going to be a temporary victory in a lost war.

There's still a lot to discover about the factions, the wealthy people, discovering what's happening in the inaccessible Casino area that's clearly reserved for DLC/expansion content. We will likely discover the luxurious world of Crystal Palace.

Some speculated we're going to go to Busan, Korea but I think it's more likely that Asia is entirely reserved for some sequel when they've already done plenty of reconstruction in Busan and maybe some AI entity declares it as independent state in year 2080.

I know it's "a little bit too far" to speculate but since Japan is very central to the whole cyberpunk lore, and Arasaka is headquartered there, and there's a lot of cities and areas described from the lore, that these are going to emerge in future content. It's likely that Japan is technically more challenging to create as the cybernetics are far more advanced there and people in general like to modify themselves far more than they do in Night City. I really doubt we're going to see Johnny in every single Cyberpunk game that follows, at least as a complete character from beginning to the end of the story.

So that in mind, I would think they really want to finish the story surrounding Johnny's time in war, what missing pieces could have been left in his dreams that Alt Cunningham says are not really accurate.

It'd remain my hopes from moving to radically different area across the globe, and maybe we might go somewhere in north America to solve or take at least a part in a conflict that might arise from the collapse of the Arasaka's infrastructure around Night City.

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In the book Neuromancer, Wintermute, an artificial intelligence created by the Tessier-Ashpool family who has two halves which are being pulled together.

In the story: "Wintermute was programmed with a need to merge with its other half, Neuromancer. Unable to achieve this by itself, Wintermute recruited Armitage and his team—- With Wintermute guiding them—– Wintermute unites with Neuromancer, becoming a superconsciousness."

I mean in theory this could be Alt Cunningham herself, who is already close to or far further from any consciousness known to man thus far.

The story does have it's differences even with this Alt-theory being true, but the story-arch of Alt could have been planned with similar goals in mind.

Why does she help us, if she's so far removed from humanity? She even says she's not really interested about Johnny in first place, yet somehow is convinced to eventually assist us?

And in the end upon reaching Mikoshi, she rewards us with a choice that she had no interest in the outcome, so we must have done something for her that is of great value.

If she was so removed from human consciousness and really didn't bother with human problems, what would make her so intent on getting to Mikoshi? She explained that she tried to reach it multiple times but failed, so what is clear that it's been her long time goal.

Did she achieve something from gaining all those memories and knowledges from the other trapped humans who've been sucked into this device? How many were there? Could there have been trapped AI's as well?

So could we see something interesting happening with Alt Cunningham? We simply don't know. She says in very start she's not even her, and is just taking appearance of her because the relationship to Johnny. She is far removed from any human connection in her state. So is she a future ally, a nemesis? Something in between? Or is she just going to disappear in cyberspace maybe to be heard in "Cyberpunk 2095" when Japan is attacked by Militech? No idea. But there's definitely a door left open for that possibility that she plays an important part, and that the souls that she sucked into herself weren't just for the goal of freeing them.

If I had to guess… and… why not, I'm just speculating… I'd say first expansion is going to expand the areas to visit, Pacifica, the Casino, other areas we might not be aware off doing some further missions for the AI, maybe with some conditions from main game and 2nd expansion could be this larger plot involving the Alt Cunningham story and the ruling forces in Government, which we might temporarily be able beat, but I wouldn't expect these changes have larger impact in overall future story. We're just one man/woman and our impact is vastly limited by simple fact that we don't stand on top of the class hierarchy and we don't possess powers of the AI.

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