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OFFICIAL Cyberpunk 2077 Game Discussion

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Johnny always struck me as the kinda guy you'd see driving a white van with come see my puppies and get free lollies painted on the side
He's intended to be Cyberpunk Tyler Durden with all the same criticisms against him.
 
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Johnny's lines and characterization aren't my favorite. I enjoy Reeves' acting, but the tone just doesn't work for me in many moments. His VA performance are utterly outshined by other main characters. V and Johnny are among the worst voiced mains in my book.

Other times, he can be fun, like when he uses 'cock-rot' as an adjective for journalists. I love how crude he is sometimes - it's just so absurd in its 90s edge. And then ideologically, he's like a walking Tumblr profile with some of the shit he says. Johnny is kind of a dumb narcissist, but I think he paints a good picture of what living in night city can do to a person with no direction. It's funny, because I think Johnny's revolutionary streak is real for him - like, he actually does care about ordinary people and wants to save them... wake them up, but it's as real as the fact that he has been a parasite his whole life. You think the bombing of Arasaka tower really went how you saw in his memory? Think he really did all of that himself? That he just waltzed in like a badass, gunning everyone down in the chopper and strolling in one-shotting people? Even after he is dead, he must use others to do his dirty work. He's one facet of the big lie that is Night City. A personification of it.

That's something worth considering about the Cyberpunk world... and this starts with 2020. Pondsmith had this idea for a high-style world of people gaming up superficial things... nothing is as it seems. People lie or have wrong information, senses and memories are not untouchable - and they really nail into you this idea that there's always something else actually moving circumstances, and that nobody in the shit knows what's real about it. That includes YOU, V, the player. The way this stuff is all written, you are supposed to stop and wonder how you're getting bullshitted by what you see and hear. And it's never gonna tell you outright when it's doing it. The point of Night City is that you can't always know. Once you understand that, there is SO MUCH MORE to think about in the story and side quests. They are far more linked than they appear. Maybe another time.

Johnny is annoying, but I understand why he exists and how he himself is as confused as anyone, so I accept him in spite of that. You're supposed to judge him negatively. He himself is a symptom of everything wrong with Night City... how even when you see the truth of it, you are lost... maybe even more lost. Johnny flies too close to the sun with the truth of Night City, but it had long taken from him the actual drive and sheer wherewithal to execute on what he himself knows matters the most - he loses sight of that in the fog of his rockerboy world, and the persona he built living there as he attempts to cope with this reality that is constantly crushing him and his delicate ego. That's why he's a construct in the mind of a rando merc, now. He's a loser with big dreams and nothing to show for them, because he let the city take him up in his own escapes, and it's his insistence that it couldn't reach him that made it possible. He can be so lucid in his ethics at times, and yet in the next moment dragged down by his own baggage. He is a tragic character, if not the most sympathetic. But to hate him is to hate the filth of Night City that molded him and his 'tude. The archetype of Johnny is a response to a world run by gangs and corpo overreach. His terroristic hatred and snot-nosed nihilism is the embodiment of the suffering of millions of normies in the greater NC. Everyone there has a bit of Johnny in them. He's just a guy fighting for a sense of identity and agency in a world where the human soul itself is about to be fully commodified. He was really the first person ever to be packed on a chip in that way.

One character I wanted more of was Yorinobu. Yori's a good guy. On his 21st birthday, it's implied that Saburo let him in on the full extent of his imperial dreams. Yori is the obvious successor, and he has just become a man. You can read about this in a shard in your temp room at Konpeki. Yori just kinda bails right then and there. And then when you see them speak, Yori references Saburo's plans with utter contempt and disgust. Saburo is an at this point, biblical-aged, conservative Japanese man. I mean... Saburo Arasaka was born in 1919! 158 fuckin years old, tryin to beat out Abraham himself. He flew for Japan in WWII! This, I think, is why Yori left to do the street gang thing immediately after. If you pay attention to their conversation, you get the sense that Yorinobu doesn't simply hate his father for mistreating him. He hates the very idea of who his father is and what his plans represent in the world. He too wants to be free, and free people from tyranny. Saburo wants his Arasaka to rule the world through fear. He seeks to impose a rigidly hierarchical and one-sided version of Japanese harmony, a mindset more of people who would've been on the side of Japan pre-1950's in our own world. Arasaka is not simply an entity. It seeks to be a force of nature in the world of Cyberpunk... to dominate people's very existences, take ownership of their personhood. Yorinobu is like the foil to all of that, he just doesn't give a fuck, but he's pretty smart and has the yams to get shit done and not worry about what people say or think about him. He's out with the old, in with new to his core - one of few people of his time who truly and fully thinks for himself.

He's the real revolutionary. And I bet he stood a good chance of succeeding. V and friends are the ones who fucked it up. His dad is one of the most feared men ever to exist, but Yorinobu has never been scared of his dad, and Saburo's biggest secret is that he accomplishes nothing without that fear. Yorinobu despises this about him, grows up hating that about his father. And Saburo ultimately pays for that egotistical weakness when the one person who doesn't fear him at all chokes him to death and factionalizes his empire overnight. He must've thought nobody would dare. Yorinobu seems full of himself, but he wasn't wrong to point out his father's fatal levels of hubris. It gave him the win. Live by bayonets, die by bayonets. Yorinobu would be the only person to deeply understand Arasaka's greatest weak points and oversights, and he possesses the will to act on that in a calculating way, with the end goal of relinquishing Arasaka's hold on people's lives and allowing the world to choose a new direction for itself. He seems like a really cool character with room for a lot of complexity. As much as Evelyn, at least. I really would've liked a main story fork that had you going with them on a different path.
 
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