LORE AND HISTORY OF CYBERPUNK 2077 UNIVERS
The first edition of Cyberpunk 2013, the first part of the board game in the series that inspired CD Projekt RED to create Cyberpunk 2077, was released in 1988. And until this year, the story in the fictional universe went the same way as in our textbooks. Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Industrial Revolution and other stages of the formation of mankind took place in the world of « Cyberpunk » according to the scenario already known to us. The most interesting thing began only in the late 1980s, and if you describe further events in one phrase, then for the world it was a complete … failure.
Players who have completed Cyberpunk 2077 admire the creation of the world and its history. And those who could not complete the game for technical reasons may not understand the full depth of the Cyberpunk 2077 lore. Therefore, we advise you to unblock the game, solve technical problems and complete Cyberpunk 2077. Moreover, reading this article will make the game even more atmospheric and interesting.
Is the United States of America exactly in the game?
For obvious reasons, the United States of America is described in more detail in the games and related materials, or, rather, the not so United States of America. In 1994, the country suffered a terrible economic crisis. How scary? Let’s just say that the 2008 crisis and the Great Depression refer to him as “Sir”. The government was unable to cope with either it or its consequences, as a result of which the United States lost its superpower status. In addition, several western states have declared themselves free – they are still formally part of the federation, but in fact have full independence.
The beginning of the 1990s was supposed to be the end of the Cold War, but in fact it only launched a new round of it. The United States distanced itself from Europe and unleashed a war with Latin America, in which the secret services tried to destroy the coca crops with biological weapons. The cartels responded with a nuclear attack on New York.
By 1996, the crisis was at its peak, with unemployment, corruption and homelessness sweeping across the country. The ensuing civil unrest did not improve the situation. It got to the point that the president and vice president were killed on the same day – and the crimes were linked to each other and occurred in different parts of the United States. Power was transferred to the interim government, which declared martial law. The nuts began to tighten.
A catastrophic string of accidents almost destroyed the country. But in fact, not all of them were random. Behind the collapse of the stock exchange, the ensuing crisis, political assassinations and other things, there was a secret organization called the Gang of Four, which included the leaders of the main US intelligence services. Sowing chaos in the country, establishing a regime of permissiveness and impunity, they hoped to get to unlimited power.
In 1997, the neo-luddite movement formed in the United States. The original Luddites in the 19th century destroyed machines as they allegedly took jobs from people. In the world of « Cyberpunk » their followers were doing about the same, but on a large scale – they blew up airports, factories, highways, etc. And the country’s army, meanwhile, participated in the Iran-Iraq war, where it suffered huge losses.
But do not think that only people are to blame for all America’s troubles. « The Land of the Free » also turned out to be unsympathetic to Mother Nature – the unbridled greed of mankind has long tested her patience for strength. The 1998 drought not only left the country almost without food supplies, but also led to the disappearance of family farms. In the same year, an earthquake sent 35% of Los Angeles under water. And what remained of agriculture was destroyed by firestorms in 2000.
The beginning of the new century was remembered in the United States by the unrest of sectarians. They assumed that with the turn of the millennium, the world would disappear on its own, and were very saddened when this did not happen. They tried to solve the problem with massive orgies and suicides. At the same time, an epidemic of a new disease broke out, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. In 2003, the United States invaded Central America, initiating a war that has been dubbed « the second Vietnam. » As in the « first Vietnam », the United States did not achieve success in it.
A year later, in 2004, the First Corporate War broke out. By then, the megacorporation already had the power to support private armies. It would seem that the country has almost turned into the scenery of « Mad Max », where did the super-rich companies come from that could also fight each other?
First, megacorporation didn’t come out of nowhere. They originated in the XX century, when the situation was a little calmer. And by the beginning of the next century, they had already received international status, which leads us to the « second »: such corporations have ceased to be tied to geography. Are consumers in the US impoverished? There are about 190 other countries in the world.
Thirdly, the main mega-corporations are involved in the sale of weapons, equipment and even soldiers. And the demand for such goods only grows during the crisis. Servants of the people prefer to buy more sticks in order to deter the very people who need the carrots.
Fourth, the political impotence of states provides enormous bonuses when played correctly. Tax cuts, government contracts, the abolition of any kind of regulation, disregard for labor legislation – this and much more can be easily obtained from a country whose ruler does not believe that he will live to see tomorrow.
There will be three more corporate wars in the future. The second will unfold in Siberia and the Chinese Sea, the Network will become the third battlefield, and the fourth will visit American soil again and end with the detonation of a nuclear charge in the center of Night City.
Despite the protracted socio-economic crisis, one industry did not lack funding and attention – the military. In the history of the United States, there were practically no moments when the country would not be at war with anyone. This is understandable: the interim government consisted entirely of generals, and corporations profiting from conflicts happily added fuel to the fire.
The space program was also in operation within the defense industry complex. Apparently, a country, half of whose population lives below the poverty line, simply needs to conquer the Universe. However, other countries were also concerned about this, because of which it became cramped in orbit and the situation began to heat up: here someone’s garbage would damage the neighbor’s skin, and instead of an asteroid, someone else’s rocket would be blown up.
All these misunderstandings, as well as the difficult relations of the United States with literally all countries of the planet, resulted in 2008 in the First Orbital War, which lasted six hours. The United States attacked the Soviet defense platform MIR XIII, for the first and last time in human history, amphibiously boarding a space station.
In response to the US aggression, the European Commonwealth (a strategic ally of the Soviets) launched an orbital bombardment of the country, destroying the city of Colorado Springs. A year later, the Americans sponsored terrorists who attacked the European space station. The action was suppressed, and as a warning, the European Space Agency brought down a small asteroid near Washington.
To the credit of the United States, the country stoically endured the troubles that fell on it and was not going to just give up. It cannot be said that she has recovered – she will hardly be able to achieve her former greatness. However, the country managed to slow down the fall into the abyss and retained most of the territory. This was achieved due to a very tough policy and the remnants of the wealth and power accumulated in the 20th century.
In 2003, the military interim government eliminated the Gang of Four, responsible for the initial crisis, for which it was necessary to practically unleash a war on the streets of Washington. However, many conspirators settled in the offices of corporations. After that, the authorities began to gradually put what was left of the country in order, not without the help of corporations and loyal to the Militech States in the first place. Together with Militech, the United States entered into an alliance with China in 2008, and it became virtually the only friendly country. By 2020, martial law had been lifted, yielding to a not unlikely presidential dictatorship. But there was some kind of stability – not prosperity, of course, but the growth rates of unemployment, homelessness and crime in the new decade were less than in the previous one.
Despite this, the country’s losses during this period were appalling. Six states gained independence. Almost all of the west was turned into a lifeless desert, the north was scorched by firestorms, and the south was ravaged by drought. Nuclear and orbital strikes have been launched against several cities. The country has experienced two major epidemics, a series of earthquakes and floods. All in all, 100 million Americans died during this time.
As of 2020, America is the country with the largest gap between rich and poor. 65% of US residents are officially recognized as beggars. And this is not counting 25-50 million people who are generally deleted from any statistics and are deprived of electoral and other rights. These include, for example, nomads – people who have been left homeless by corporations or other circumstances. They actually live in a tribal system, roaming in their cars across the wastelands from one metropolis to another.
The period between 2020 and 2077 turned out to be somewhat poorer in terms of events. This is partly due to the fact that board games spanned predominantly the 20s and 30s. Partly because it was no longer possible to slide further at such a pace. The United States has reached a kind of plateau of its fall – the situation is still lousy and is gradually deteriorating, but not so quickly and clearly.
City of Dreams
The main location of the Cyberpunk games is the metropolis of Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 commercials often describe it as the worst city to live in America. And this says a lot, because, as we just found out, life in the cyberpunk States is not sugar at all.
Night City is located in the Free State of Northern California, on the Pacific Ocean. California was one of the first regions to gain independence – just behind Texas and Alaska, so the federal government means almost nothing to its residents. The corporations that helped build this city have much more power in Night City.
Originally Night City was named Coronado City, after the bay where it was located. It was the project of businessman Richard Night, who dreamed of building an ideal city, free from crime, poverty, corruption and all those phenomena, which eventually became a refuge.
In 1992, several large corporations invested in the construction of Coronado City. Obviously, they also wanted to build the perfect place for everyone to live. In addition, their own city would provide them with unprecedented freedom and protection from the government.
The construction of the city proceeded at an astonishing speed. By 1998, it had turned into a large metropolis. In the same year, Richard Night was shot and killed. The killer was never found, and the city was renamed in honor of the businessman. Despite the tragedy, many believe that Night was lucky – he did not see what his brainchild had become.
In the late 1990s, the collapse that gripped America was in full swing, and Night City was also affected by the situation. The city was divided into two opposing camps. The center was occupied by corporations and their private armies, and numerous street gangs began to rule the rest of the areas.
The crisis lasted until 2011, when corporations decided to reclaim the city. The heavily armed mercenaries left the center and went to sweep the streets. As a result, Night City returned to the mainstream of civilization. It didn’t make him much safer, but now the murders were at least investigated by the police, and arson was extinguished by firefighters. Unfortunately, for a long time of lawlessness, some areas of the city have completely lost the chance to return to normal life, forever remaining war zones.
Peace and quiet (by Cyberpunk standards) lasted about ten years. In 2021, the Fourth Corporate War began between the Japanese Arasaka and the American Militech, including Night City. The city was let down by the very independence guaranteed by the status of a free state. Since big business was completely ruled here and there was no government influence, no one could prevent corporations from tearing Night City apart. Snipers, drones, tanks and even a small nuclear bomb were used, which, however, was enough to destroy the city center and everyone who was there.
The explosion caused damage not only by the shock wave. It also caused an earthquake, and then radioactive contamination. Residents were forced to move to the suburbs and rebuild Night City from there. In this they were helped by nomads, neighboring cities and even other countries.
But the federal government almost did not participate in the process of rebuilding Night City, which further alienated the city from it. This led to the fact that during the Unification War of 2069–2070, when the strengthened federal center was about to regain control of the free states, Night City asked for protection from the Arasaka corporation.
The conflict drowned out before it began. As a result of the war, a new treaty was signed, which for the most part maintained the status quo. Night City, on the other hand, was recognized as an international independent city, free from the rule of both the United States and Northern California.
USSR – from corporate control to corporate control
Compared to America, the cyberpunk Soviet Union was fortunate enough. To begin with, it at least continued to exist, albeit with minor changes in the system.
First, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev turned the Union into a federation, giving more independence to the republics. However, this led to the growth of separatist movements. Therefore, his successor reorganized the country into the Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics (if you haven’t noticed, the word “socialist” has disappeared). By the way, there was such a project in our reality.
The new USSR was aimed at developing the economy and free trade and actively cooperated with the European Economic Community. In particular, the countries have undertaken several joint space missions.
In 1998, a corporation was established in the country, which, after several renames, will become SovOil – the largest producer and producer in the fuel sector. In the shortest possible time, the company, with the approval of the state, acquired its own army, and in 2002 declared itself independent of the government. The USSR tried to regain control of the corporation, but that very private army prevented this.
In the following years SovOil strengthened its position even more. In the end, it all came to the fact that the corporation began to actually rule the country. The fact is that the USSR tirelessly tried to break up into separate states, which could greatly harm the position of SovOil. Therefore, the corporation used all possible means to preserve the integrity of the Union.
Unfortunately, the economic successes of SovOil had little effect on the well-being of the inhabitants of the USSR. The country was going through one social crisis after another. The problems of the United States were still far away, but it was difficult to call the situation rosy.
The transition to a market economy against the background of a poverty-stricken social structure turned out to be fertile ground for the emergence of organized crime. As of 2020, the local syndicate « Organic » includes 180 thousand people from 8 thousand groups. In fact, this is another state within the USSR with its own army, taxes and other things, in the fight against which the law enforcement system is simply powerless. In addition to this, the syndicate controls about 200 organizations outside the country.
Criminals also have a certain weight in the political arena. Total corruption allows them to freely dispose of some state resources, although not at the SovOil level. Internal fragmentation prevents the syndicate from realizing its great ambitions. Despite their common name, the groups constantly confront each other and even fight.
The rest of the world (or what’s left of it) in the Cyberpunk universe
The European Economic Community, or Eurotheatre, is a union of a number of states, created to ensure the best possible joint economic development. Despite the name, it can include any country – for example, Japan was in it for 20 years. The greatest power among them was possessed by France, Germany and Benelux (the union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg).
Great Britain turned out to be one of the least fortunate countries in Europe. In 2001, during a coup, the monarchy was destroyed – most of the members of the royal family were killed, and a military dictatorship came to power. The unrest caused by this led to the collapse of the country. Half of the inhabitants became nomads, because of this, the cities were deserted and gradually destroyed. In addition, conflicts between England and Scotland, as well as between royalists and republicans, do not subside.
Latin America came under two attacks from the States. And although both times she was able to push back the enemy’s forces, the losses were still very heavy. But it helped to establish a strong alliance between the countries of the region.
Australia has largely followed the path of the United States. The country was severely shaken by the 1994 crisis. After that, the economy was never able to recover, allowing competitors to gain leadership in the international arena. In 2001, Western Australia seceded, declaring independence.
The UAE, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Chad were destroyed by nuclear weapons at the end of the 20th century. This led to a sharp increase in the cost of oil.
China is one of the main strategic allies of the United States. In the 1990s and 2000s, a civil war broke out in the country. The government faced an uprising in Tibet, secession of Taiwan, Muslim terrorists, but the main threat was the Maoist movement, which did not recognize capitalist reforms. The conflict was suppressed only thanks to the alliance with the United States and the Militech corporation.
Japan is one of the most powerful countries in the world and the home of the Arasaka corporation. In 1996, the country refused to comply with the decree on refusal to form its own army and navy, expelled the American military and since then has steadily increased its economic power. The Japanese government is one of the few in the world that is capable of at least partially deterring mega-corporations like Arasaka.
This is how the world in the Cyberpunk universe looks like – total devastation, the omnipotence of corporations, constant wars and incessant environmental disasters.