The World of Cyberpunk 2077: A Quick Glimpse before Releasing Later this Month

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Ani HVX
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Published 
July 9, 2020
E

arlier today IGN was given a Preview for the upcoming The World of Cyberpunk 2077 book by Dark Horse Comics.

In the short preview there is quite a large amount of information to soak up from just these pages alone. For some reason, they've decided to release these pages at such a small resolution that it's hard for some to read certain pages.

For your reading pleasure, I've copied over the text from all the pages! So let's dive in shall we? Also, before we begin I want to give a shoutout to /u/Devianaut on Reddit for cleaning up the Skyline image that was used in the header of this article so thank you my man

INTRODUCTION

WE LIVE IN A DYSOPIAN WORLD, MY FRIENDS, FILLED WITH CRIME, CORRUPTION, AND POVERTY—RULED BY MIGHTY, POWER-HUNGRY CORPORATIONS AND HEARTLESS, BRUTAL GOVERNMENTS. Each year we’re facing another global crisis, and each day we’re forced to face the consequences of the previous ones. The corporate-backed mass media—like N54 or WNS—are feeding society with bland, easy-to-digest pap of processed news, brainwashing programs, and commercials—enforcing the ever-popular trend to “buy more and think less.” They do this because it’s easier to control and manipulate the ignorant, uneducated sheeple than those that are educated, well-informed, and aware of the world around them.

And yet you’re here because you don’t want to be another mindless sheep, aren’t you?

In our reality, there is a huge need for free media. There are dozens of indie news stations and information sites—and the first step to independent thought is to seek them out.

We, the Night City Inquirer, are one such site. You won’t see our advertisements on the displays downtown—but we’re here, maintaining our ever-moving website on the Net.

We’re not some clueless rebels, straining for influence against major corporations. We just present you news, essays, and stories from the real world, showing things as they are without the corporate bias and icing on the top. We’re collaborating with courageous independent writers, correspondents, investigative journalists, and experts in various fields to provide you with real information, giving you an opportunity to think for yourself and to motivate you to search for further genuine info. Because in today’s world, knowledge and the ability to distinguish truth from fake news are the real superpowers.

Do the big companies try to shut us down? Occasionally. But in most cases, they don’t pay much attention to us. We don’t affect their ratings, and they have bigger fish to fry—mostly fighting each other. Most of our info isn’t restricted anyway—it’s just that this kind of info is omitted, hushed, or unpopular because it isn’t in line with the corporations’ interest. Have you heard that Petrochem recently lost two trials at the Supreme Court in Spain? That NetWatch was nearly kicked out of Australia, and Militech-backed mercenaries were forced to withdraw from Iceland after the joint military intervention by the Scandinavian countries? These are the facts, but you won’t hear it in the news… At least not from the corporate-controlled media in Night City.

The fact that we’re not at war with the corporations doesn’t mean that we’re not writing stories big enough to make their CEOs shudder. That’s why were’ careful and protective of our associates and collaborators. Some of them are top-notch news reporters who write for us under fake names, hiding their identities so as not to lose their jobs—or lives. We value the privacy of our contacts too. You can provide us with some authentic, interesting material without fear that your identity will be divulged to the public.

So why this form? Why text?

Have you ever wondered why Nomads speak in such a strange, often overly-sophisticated way? That’s because their mobile homeschooling system forces them to actually read, not simply watch the news. We strongly believe that the excess of modern technologies harms our interpersonal communication, affecting our relationship and communities. Plugging yourself in to the feeder makes you vulnerable to intrusive commercials and pushy propaganda. Reading longform text is a dying ability in our modern world, so to prevent the extinction of the written word we’ve elected to support the form at our website (ok, so we know that not everyone has time to read nowadays, so we also have voice-over versions of our articles available to download).

Thanks for reading this far. Feel free to visit our archives and browse the latest materials and essays that will give you a glimpse of the world as it is.

THE EDITOR

CHAPTER 2

THE TECHNOLOGY OF TOMORROW

[030] CYBERWARE
  • The Market and Availability
  • The History of Cyberware

[040] WEAPONS
  • Gun Culture and Gun Laws in Night City
  • Weapon Sales
  • Weapon Manufacturers
  • Consumers Guide: A Typology of Weapons in 2077

[052] VEHICLES
  • A History of Vehicles after the Fourth Corporate War
  • SID and Car Theft
  • Vehicle Manufacturers

[062] BRAINDANCE
  • Consuming Braindance
  • Recording Braindance
  • Editing
  • Celebrities and Braindancers
  • Other Problems with Braindance

[074] NETRUNNING
  • Bartmoss and the Death of the Old Net
  • Mayhem in the Net
  • The Net Today
  • Netrunning Today: Gear Tiers

VEHICLES

EDITOR'S NOTE

We acknowledge that transportation is a vast field of technology in its own right, so for the purposes of this recap we've limited the discussion to ground vehicles, aerodynes, and drones. We hope to present you with other articles on water vehicles, airplanes, and Assisted Combat Personnel Armor in the months to follow. Stay tuned!

We would like to thank our consultant—Mitch from the Aldecaldos family—for his invaluable aid in the creation of his material. He didn't agree to an interview, but he was a real gas-powered fountain of information, and his comments proved to be an invaluable source of information on the topic.

The automotive and aviation industry of 2077 is booming. From all kinds of cars and trucks, to aerial vehicles like planes and helicopters, to speedboats, to drones, the range of vehicles is so broad that everyone can find something to suit their tastes, assuming that they can afford (or steal) it.

The industry was temporarily stalled by global recession and fuel shortages, but is gaining momentum again as new technologies are developed and implemented by automotive companies. Aerodynes are becoming more and more popular, but are still expensive to produce and operate when compared to other means of transport. Nevertheless, their growing numbers have had an impact on city planning and layout, which is constantly adapting to ever-increasing air traffic.

Outside of urban areas, on the wide open roads of America, cars have become a vital part of the Nomad culture. Not only are automobiles a means of transportation for entire families and tribes of the Seven Nations, but a symbol of their independence.

MITCH, 2077

A HISTORY OF VEHICLES AFTER THE FOURTH CORPORATE WAR

THE FIRST DECADES AFTER THE FOURTH Corporate weren't very kind to the vehicle industry. In the late '20s and '30s, fuel shortages caused by global crises, the destruction of refinery infrastructure, and crop blight caused by bioengineered combat viruses grounded a significant percentage of more advanced vehicles. This mainly affected publicly and privately used aerodynes, which are fueled by an intermediate (and more complex to manufacture) version of CH00H2. The same fuel was simultaneously in demand for civilian and military aircraft, so in some parts of the world AVs were almost completely absent from the skies for almost twenty years.

The petroleum industry’s lack of stability over the following years resulted in the invention of numerous unique hybrid systems. Various biofueled, hydrogen-operated, and electric motors were researched in this period, but none proved to be an ultimate substitution. Fossil-based fuels also made a comeback in some parts of the world as the extraction of oil and methane became profitable once again.

A major breakthrough in electrically powered ground vehicles occurred in Europe in the year 2041 with the development of so-called “induction wheels.” This groundbreaking tech amplified the charging rate of electric engines, making them almost completely self-powering. Now, most cars operating within the limits of larger European cities use induction-wheel technology.

In America, after years of research, Biotechnica scientists developed a new strain of Triticum vulgaris megasuavis that was immune to a crop-eating biovirus. This achievement boosted the country’s economy and allowed vehicle production to resume without costly reconfiguration to other technical solutions. The automotive industry began to recover after years of stagnation, and was soon moving rapidly forward. A new era had begun.

Auto manufacturers began to develop new models of aerodynes in response to decreasing CH00H2 prices and worsening street traffic. Today AV technology is quite popular, although in private hands it’s a sign of luxury reserved mostly for corporates and upper-class citizens. AVs are used on a larger scale by police, military, and corporate forces and by transport companies. Transportation of goods within the city has shifted into aviation routes, which helps to decongest overcrowded street traffic.

CH00H2

The fossil fuel criss of the late 1980s necessitated the search for alternative combustible fuel sources. A major breakthrough occurred in 1993, when Biotechnica developed CH00H2, a synthetic alcohol that became the world’s standard combustible fuel for the next thirty years. CH00H2 is a synthetic, modified grain-based alcohol, made of a genetically created high-sugar wheat called Triticum vulgaris megasuavis. In the 1990s, Biotechnica was a relatively small corporation that couldn’t farm its wheat in quantities large enough to make the new fuel profitable, so it licensed the rights to its formula to several petro-chemical companies—the largest two being Petrochem Betterlife and SovOil. CH00H2 burns much cleaner than gasoline and diesel, but the fuel itself is toxic. Like some other alcohols, metabolites in CH00H2 can cause poisoning, blindness, and death at higher doses.

The shift from petro-fuels to CH00H2 primarily occurred between 2010 and 2020. During the Fourth Corporate War, between 2023 and 2025, huge swaths of Triticum vulgaris megasuavis crops were attacked and destroyed by a bioengineered virus, resulting in the worst fuel crisis of this century.

NETRUNNING

EDITOR'S NOTE

During his research for this section, Josh made contacts with individuals who would prefer to remain anonymous. Those contact also provided some fascinating material that chronicles this history of the Net. Our special thanks go out to the netrunner who contacted Josh by hacking into his account and leaving behind some unique data—some of which was though tot be lost during the fall of the Old Net. Thanks, choomba, whoever you are!

We would also like to thank Nix from Afterlife for shedding some light on the matter of netrunning gear.

Before the Fourth Corporate War, the Net was a vast global network capable of transmitting and storing all kinds of data, from unprotected public files to the most heavily encrypted corporate secrets. To interact with that data, you had to access the Net. You could have done this the old-fashioned way with a terminal or computer, or the quicker and more effective way by using a cybermodem and its interface. A cybermodem was the way to experience the Net in all three dimensions—some even claim four dimensions, because time was also a factor since the user could interact with data much faster than with a traditional connection.

In 2077 the global Net is no more—at least not as a global communication platform. It was destroyed by corporate attacks, rogue ISs, and the parting gift of one dead man.

— NIX, 2077

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