- Creator: Alt Cunningham
- Year of creation: 2013
- Class: Free Roaming Black Program
- Strength: 4
The Soulkiller uses an advanced matrix recorder to copy the entire personality of an intruder, storing it in a huge database. It then wipes the original personality away, leaving a mindless husk that eventually dies if the original or a new mind is not downloaded to this body to coordinate bodily functions.
The original SoulKiller was developed by the programmer Alt Cunningham while working as a System Operator for the multinational ITS. Inspired by the latest technological breakthrough brought by the technological corporation Microtech who introduced for the first time the first true artificial intelligence in 2013, the scientific community, and neuroscientists in particular, started to speculate about the possibility of recreating human consciousness digitally. Alt Cunningham used her programming talent to find a way to digitally store the memories of dying people. This code was soon weaponized by ITS and used as a black program, which grabbed the attention of the Japanese conglomerate Arasaka who had the technological means to improve the set of skills of the SoulKiller. They extracted Alt Cunningham and forced her to create Arasaka’s SoulKiller 1.0. Once the program was created at Arasaka premises in Night City, after Cunningham used its control over the Arasaka mainframe she was connected to, to kill several technicians of the Japanese conglomerate that held her captive, and transfer a high sum of Eurodollars from Arasaka’s accounting department, the SoulKiller was used against her, turning Alt Cunningham into the first human Artificial Intelligence. After this action, as Alt Cunningham deleted all the traces and notes to replicate the program, and it was considered to be destroyed.
- Creator: Arasaka Corporation
- Year of creation: 2020
- Stats: Unknown
The SoulKiller version 1.0 was supposedly destroyed in early 2013 but the former CEO of the Arasaka conglomerate, Kei Arasaka, never stopped dreaming in creating a mobile version of the original SoulKiller program that was capable of lobotomizing his opponents, so he reactivated the project using fragments of the original SoulKiller that remained, Alt Cunningham’s notes, and small amounts of research material, including the investigations of the neurochemist Dr. Albert Dreff, whose findings help create the Black Ice programs Brainwipe, Zombie, and Liche. Betatesting of the SoulKiller 2.0 started on March 2022 although Kei Arasaka wanted to keep its existence in secret. It wasn’t fully tested in electronic combat until the early stages of the 4th Corporate War, when in a few days a number of high-ranked individuals were found dead while jacked into the net, including congressmen, state senators, two major Militech stockholders, and a US Senator.
Arasaka continued improving the SoulKiller 2.0 and created a new iteration called the SoulKiller 2.5. This version of the program was tested planting a sample of Soulkiller 2.5 in the vehicle smartlink processor of a mid-level Militech executive. He died horribly as his mind was transferred to a distant database via cellular transmission. The information acquired from the digital interrogation of this mid-level Militech officer was later used by Arasaka to raid on Militech’s Night City office using passwords gleaned from the late executive.
This incident escalated the hostilities between Arasaka and Militech, and caused a major tactical adjustment in Militech’s approach that hired the most experienced netrunners to locate and destroy the SoulKiller master program while their Black Ops teams directly attacked Arasaka developing premises. Later this month the netrunner Rache Bartmoss discovered the location of the SoulKiller 2.5 master program. As a celebration for this discovery, he went on a net crime spree against Arasaka and several other non-involved corporations. As a response, Arasaka puts out a web of operatives assigned solely to locate Rache Bartmoss. They succeeded in their attempts when the netrunners Alt Cunningham and Rache Barmoss were caught in a raid, resulting in the death of Bartmoss and the capture of Alt Cunningham.
By June 2022, although the activity of this virus dropped thanks to the actions of the netrunner Rache Bartmoss, Militech has intensified its efforts against Arasaka programmers in an attempt to destroy the program.
- Creator: Alt Cunningham - Arasaka Corporation
- Class: Anti-Personnel/Demon
- Strength: 7
- Subroutines included: Hellblast, Anti-program, protection, and Stealth.
The Soulkiller 3.0 is the most advanced version of the SoulKiller created by Arasaka, and nearly an artificial intelligence of its own. With a stealth ability that allows it to take any form it wishes and a processing speed that allows it to attack several objectives at once. This program forcefully copies the personality of its victims, called engrams, stores them in a virtual prison for future interrogation, and kills the body in the process. In spite of its very powerful compression algorithms, the SoulKiller 3.0 needed a massive memory buffer, for this reason once engrams are of no more use they are disposed or dumped to the Net where they wander for an unlimited time. Equipped with powerful pseudo-AI routines, the SoulKiller is capable of defending itself better than any other Demon program.
It is thought that the SoulKiller 3.0 was destroyed at the end of the 4th Corporate War, and its last copy was used to kill the CEO of the Arasaka Corporation Kei Arasaka.
Now accessing information: Other applications of the SoulKiller
Raven MicroCybernetics Wiseman Mark-II
The Raven Microcybernetics Full Cybernetic Body Conversion uses the Wiseman TechGnosis™ operative system and thanks to a link to his NeuroNet® parallel-processing network it can accede to external memory. This is the only cybernetic system known to have enough memory to store an engram extracted by the SoulKiller. Its processing power is such, that the Raven MicroCybernetics Wiseman Mark-II doesn’t use a transplanted brain, but actually houses a cloned brain encoded via SoulKiller-type programs with a software to duplicate a human mind.
BIOTECHNICA Artificially grown Human bodies
After successfully creating the first fully-functional, self-aware, and self-viable human clone in 2020, in spite of the international ban on cloning, Dr. Francis Young, former head of Cloning Research at Biotechnica, also set the basis to create full human clones with artificial minds using a variant of the SoulKiller. The first intended application for this discovery was the creation of artificially grown armies with implanted personalities. The development of this project was stopped during the 4th Corporate War and the Time of the Red.
Variants of the SoulKiller
- Name: Emergency Self Construct
- Programmer: Rache Bartmoss
- Class: Compiler
- Strength: 4
- Availability: Extremely rare
The Emergency Self Construct is an underground copy of the SoulKiller that takes advantage of the main purpose of the original virus: electronically preserving the intellects of dying people. The emergency construct is usually handmade and it requires a special and very expensive computer with a large memory buffer, unless the storage of the engram is done in the net itself, which may result in additional problems since the different memory units of the personality can be scattered resulting in loss of information. The Emergency Self-Construct set-up is supposed to save netrunners from being killed by anti-personnel attacks: when the vitals of the netrunner drop to a particular stage the program kicks in a drains their intellect and memories into an electronic entity, although this process renders the physical body unusable. This process is far from safe.
- Name: R.A.B.B.I.D.S. virus
- Programmer: Rache Bartmoss
- Class: Unknown
- Strength: No measurement available
The R.A.B.B.I.D.S virus is rumored to be a variant of the Emergency Self Construct created by Rache Barmoss. This virus, which only copy was released following the alleged death of the netrunner has caused the destruction of most of the information stored in cyberspace, and the potential infection of the artificial intelligences stored there.
Due to a powerful wall of black ice raised by Netwatch to prevent the virus from spreading, no information regarding the evolution of the virus or the full consequences of its expansion could be retrieved.