Cyberpunk 2077: an overview of the universe

Cyberpunk 2077: an overview of the universe
Cyberpunk 2077 is almost upon us. After a series of postponements and the fear that even December 10 could not be the long-awaited launch date, five days after its publication there is no longer any doubt that we will finally be able to play one of the most anticipated titles of this 2020. A little more 'patience, therefore, and finally the streets of Night City will have no more secrets for us. In the meantime, to refresh your memory, we dive into an overview of the narrative universe of the game, including neighborhoods, gangs, corporations and some of the characters who have made the history of this fictional Californian town. We have dedicated an in-depth study on the past and present of the dystopian world of Pondsmith a few months ago, so we invite you to read it for detailed information regarding the Collapse, the Fourth Corporate War, the Postwar period and so on. Nonetheless, we take up this discourse again through a short "diary of dates" which briefly traces the most salient moments of Cyberpunk starting from that fateful 1990 where everything started, slow but inexorable, to collapse.

From 1990 to 2077

Cyberpunk's narrative universe takes shape in the 1980s, which is why a summary of the main events is the basis from which to start if you want to face Cyberpunk 2077 with the certainty of not getting lost in its sea of ​​information . On the other hand, we speak, for better or worse, of forty years of history to be absorbed and in our case condensed to facilitate the task. As history begins to take a turn for the worse since 1990, it is clear that today it can no longer be considered as a possible version of our future, but rather an alternative reality. The information up to 2045 is taken from Cyberpunk Red, the continuation of Cyberpunk 2020 set, in fact, in 2045: from now to 2077 not much is known, in all probability the missing events will be told during the video game. So let's see how the world collapsed and rose again, with the difficulties of the case, over the course of over fifty years.


- A secret coup organized by the so-called Gang of Four, a coalition of four government agencies (NSA, CIA, FBI and DEA), it succeeds in putting an end to federal democracy in the United States. Many states begin to ignore federal authority, declaring themselves "free states".

- This leads to the first Central American conflict in which the United States invades countries south of the border, justifying the action as a war on drugs and communism when in reality it is only an imperialist ambition. Many US soldiers return home dismembered and in poor condition, resulting in a demand for cyberware.

- The US creates and spreads "plagues" around the world aimed at specifically targeting coca plants. and opium: the result is a collapse of governments such as Chile, Ecuador and Afghanistan.

- War breaks out between the United States and the drug barons in Central America.

- The drug lords Colombians detonate a small atomic bomb in New York in retaliation for US actions, killing thousands.


- Coronado City is founded, the metropolis that will become Night City, designed to be a paradise free from crime and corruption. Ironically, its founder Richard Night is murdered by the mafia in his penthouse in Parkview Tower on September 10, 1998. The killer is not tracked down and in memory of Richard the newly appointed city council renames Coronado City as Night City. From then on, organized crime slowly took over the city, turning it into a hotbed of everything it should have opposed.

. The US is caught manipulating the stock market. This leads to the collapse of the world stock market in 1994.


- We arrive at the so-called Collapse. The United States falls apart due to losses due to the collapse of the world stock market: one in four Americans becomes homeless, martial law is established, gangs appear with alarming regularity and with them the first nomads (families who have lost home and sustenance). A fertile ground for the birth of megacorporations.


- The so-called "Mideast Meltdown" occurs, that is a thermonuclear war that devastates a huge slice of the Middle East: the oil supplies are cut by half.

- In the United States, droughts and earthquakes damage what is left of the nation. Worse still, the Wasting Plague devastates much of America and Europe.

- Construction of the Crystal Palace space station begins, which will finish in 2011: it is the largest space station in all of universe of Cyberpunk.


- The NET is established, that is the internet according to universe of Cyberpunk.

- The 2002 food crisis destroys Canadian and Russian crops, while US agri-food crops survive thanks to a new biological agent capable of protecting them. The neo-Soviets accuse the United States of biological warfare. In this latest tragic scenario, the nations of the Far East such as China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam reap huge profits from the export of real and synthetic foods.


- The second Central American conflict with the invasion of Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru by the United States. The conflict turns out to be a complete disaster and many US soldiers are left on their own, forced to find their way home on their own.

- The Gang of Four is exposed by intrepid journalists, allowing democracy to return to America, albeit under the watchful eye and influence of megacorporations.


- Without any obstacle preventing megacorporations from exercising their will as and when they see fit, the first and second corporate war follow one another (2004-2005, 2007-2010): the level of violence that distinguishes them shocks even the most cynical of observers.


- An orbital war breaks out between the United States and Europe following the US assault on the Russian military platform MIR XIII, until the moon town Tycho drops a two-ton rock on Colorado Springs. Peace, albeit restless, is thus achieved.

- The megacorporations destroy the mobs that rule Night City, obtaining almost complete control of the city.

- Network 54 owns 62% of the multimedia production in the United States. We are ever closer to a total dystopia.

- Human cloning becomes reality but, given the absence of a technology that allows to implant personality or intellect within them, these bodies are exploited as spare parts by rich.


- The digital virus Soulkiller is developed by Alt Cunningham: it allows to make a copy of someone's mind when connecting to the NET.

- A Johnny Silverhand concert causes riots across Night City: rioters kill eighteen people and injure fifty-one. In reality this is a cover to allow Johnny to save his girlfriend, Alt Cunningham, or at least to try: the megacorporation Arasaka has kidnapped her after the invention of Soulkiller. Under the close watch of the Arasaka, Alt creates a more dangerous version of the virus, which kills the victim after copying their mind, and the first victim is her. However, the girl's digital self survives within the NET. These events combine to form the mini-adventure "Never Fade Away" in the original TRPG.

- The first artificial intelligence is created.


- The third corporate war following a cyberattack against megacorporation network: lost earnings amount to billions.


- A corporate helicopter crashes just outside Night City, unleashing a nanotechnology plague known as Carbon Plague. The disease ravages the city for two weeks, then mysteriously stops.

- Night City is considered a "free state" at this point: it exists outside the authority of the United States.


- The fourth corporate war breaks out, fought by the rival megacorporations Arasaka and Militech.

- The Seven Hour War takes place: the O'Neill 2 space colony, tired of continuous conflicts on Earth, it declares its independence by dropping a load of moon rocks on key sites on the planet causing death and destruction. The United States and Japan officially recognize the independence of the Highriders and their new government.


- Disruption of international trade, leading to the failure of many megacorporations.

- Night City Holocaust: Johnny Silverhand and a Militech strike team break into the Arasaka headquarters in an attempt to destroy their database. A tactical nuclear weapon is detonated, destroying much of downtown Night City and causing millions of lives. Arasaka is banned from the United States and Militech is brought to its knees by the US government.

- The Night City Holocaust leads to the so-called Time of the Red, so named because the particulates from the massacre and attacks by the Highriders cause a blood red sky for years to come.


- The NET collapses. Alt Cunningham founds Ghost World in the ruins of bio-destroyed Hong Kong.

- The United States is in full dictatorship, controlled by what remains of the government. They proclaim Night City as lost and leave it to rot.


- Night City is rebuilt thanks to the joint efforts of megacorporations and citizens.

- Johnny Silverhand's body is allegedly found and guarded by a fan.


- No one knows much of what happens in this time frame, however, it seems that the NET is re-established and Night City returns to a semblance of normalcy. In these thirty years of reconstruction, Arasaka regains its position as a leader in the arms manufacturing and security industry, eventually returning to the same Night City.

- At the end of 2069, recently elected president Rosalind Meyers presents a unification program aimed at extending federal rule over the Free States under the guise of strengthening the nation: this leads to a conflict known as the Metal War.


- Da Cyberpunk 2077 is set here. A digital version of Johnny Silverhand joins the or the protagonist V, while Soulkiller virus is ready to raise its head once again. Apparently there is work to be done.

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