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"In 2077, they voted my city the worst place to live in America. Main issues? Sky high rate of violence and more people living below the poverty line than anywhere else. Can’t deny it; it’s all true... but everybody still wants to live here. This city’s always got a promise for you. Might be a lie, an illusion, but it’s there... just around the corner - and it keeps you going. It’s a city of dreams. And I’m a big dreamer..."
V
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Cyberpunk 2077 is an Action RPG game developed by CD Projekt RED based on R. Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk Tabletop RPG. The title is CD Projekt RED's first new property since they started developing The Witcher game series. Unlike the Low Fantasy world of The Witcher, however, Cyberpunk is, as its name suggests, set in a dystopian futuristic world in which ultra-modern technology co-exists with a degenerated human society.

Year 2077. Night City, Free State of California. The world is broken. MegaCorps manage every aspect of life from the top floors of their sky-scraping fortresses. Down below, the streets are run by drug-pushing gangs, tech hustlers, and illegal braindance slingers. The in-between is where decadence, sex and pop culture mix with violent crime, extreme poverty and the unattainable promise of The American Dream. You are V, a cyberpunk. And In a World... of cyber-enhanced street warriors, tech-savvy netrunners and corporate life-hackers, today is your first step to becoming an Urban Legend. But some legends aren't made easy, and yours will be marked with the death of friends, the fall of an emperor, and many other crazy stunts.

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The game was released on December 10, 2020 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Xbox and Google Stadia.

CMON have announced that they are producing Cyberpunk 2077 Afterlife The Card Game to release alongside the game. Players take on the role of Fixers, recruiting cyberpunks and sending them on missions in Night City. A "NightCity.LOVE" website serves as a short guide to the city, much in the style of Grand Theft Auto V. Dark Horse published a series of Prequel comic books, including Cyberpunk 2077 Trauma Team written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Miguel Valderrama, Cyberpunk 2077 You Have My Word written by Bartosz Sztybor and illustrated by Jesús Hervás, with colors by Giulia Brusco and a Variant Cover by Mattia de Iluis, Cyberpunk 2077 Your Voice TP written by Aleksandra Motyka and Marcin Blacha and illustrated by Danijel Zezelj, which was added for free to the game's preorders and will be released in a physical form in June 2021, and Cyberpunk 2077 Wheres Johnny written by Bartosz Sztybor and illustrated by Giannis Milonogiannis, with the cover by Sean Phillips that will be released in September 2021. A 10 episode anime set in the world of the game called Cyberpunk Edgerunners was announced to premiere on Netflix in 2022. The series is produced by Studio Trigger in collaboration with CD Projekt RED and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi with Akira Yamaoka as composer.

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     Pre-Release Material  


Wake the fuck up, Troper, we've got examples to burn:

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  • 100% Completion: There is no counter for the game at large, but the character menu keeps track of how far you've progressed in the three interconnected subplots of V's merc career, Johnny Silverhand's tale, and V's Relic problem, respectively. However, their meaningfulness is debatable. Aside from that you can unlock achievements by completing all gigs and NCPD tasks in Night City's various districts, with one achievement per district.
  • Aborted Arc: Several times throughout the game, interesting events occur that seem to initially build up, only to be abandoned and ultimately go nowhere.
    • While investigating the death of Mayor Rhyme for the Peralezes, V finds a lot of evidence that his advisor Holt was involved, or at the very least knew it was going to happen and covered it up, with further implication that the NCPD may have been behind it due to Rhyme cutting their funding. None of this is picked up after the quest that the evidence is discovered, and River explicitly mentions that it was all swept under the rug.
    • On the topic of the Peralezes, V begins to find evidence that the suspicious activity in their homes, and their odd memory issues, is being deliberately engineered by someone for an unclear purpose, and this someone contacts V with a warning not to interfere further just before they meet with Jefferson to reveal their findings. However, regardless of V's choice, none of this is brought up again, and the mysterious caller doesn't come up at any point after this. The only change is how Jefferson addresses V in the end credits: Tell him, and he's a paranoid wreck as the mysterious operator continues to harass him and his wife. Don't tell him, and he is relatively normal, and even asks if V would be interested in more wetwork for him.
    • A more egregious version of this trope shows up during the Nomad heist of the Basilisk from Militech. At V's prompting, the Aldecaldos can reveal they learned about the Basilisk from monitoring Militech comm channels, to which V can reply that the whole setup seems a little too good to be true, what with the convoy carrying the Basilisk essentially driving right by the Aldecaldo camp, practically waving it on the Nomads' doorstep. V's observations are pretty much shot down with little more than the explanation of "well, its too good an oppertunity to pass up!" but later in the quest the game hints again at something going on when the Militech comm operators conveniently boot the 'Caldos off their radio channels right after they snag the Basilisk, as if they just noticed they were listening in. Again, this is ignored by the Nomads, and Mitch later reveals he apparently threw Militech off the trail by parking the stolen transport trucks near a rival Nomad camp, and nothing more is made of it.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The max level is 50. Each level grants one attribute point, and the max level of each attribute is 20, and weapon and gear spawns are scaled to the player's level while enemy levels are static. All of the game's content becomes comfortably doable in the 20's, and reaching into the 30's makes most of it a push-over. Interestingly, it's difficult to reach level 50 unless you do absolutely everything in the game.
  • Absurdly Huge Population: Night City is densely populated with citizens from a variety of ethnicities, cultures, and subgroups due to being an important trade city. It is also economically segregated with a massive homeless population and reliant on trade with Nomads. As a result, people are packed together in a very small space with the Badlands stretching on for vast distances.
    V: Main issues? Sky high rate of violence and more people living below the poverty line than anywhere else. Can’t deny it - it’s all true... but everybody still wants to live here.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Mantis Blades and the katanas can easily cut enemies apart.
  • Ace Custom:
    • Not only is V able to own several vehicles, but each one has unique visual and performance modifications not found in the models found in the streets. Cars sold by Dakota Smith are all this trope, being heavily modified by Nomads to better handle the scarce resources, hostile bandits and corpo soldiers, and nonexistent roads outside of big cities.
    • During the course of the game, V can acquire Iconic Weapons, modified versions of ordinary guns that boast special effects, extra damage and flashy paint jobs.
      • Special mention must be made of Johnny Silverhand's Malorian Arms 3516 handgun, a one-of-a-kind semiauto pistol designed and built specifically for him. It's one of the few truly unique weapons in the whole game, and the only gun that combines the traits of Power and Tech weapons in a single package.
    • All of Judy's braindace equipment is custom made, except the casings.
    • The Basilisk armoured transport the Aldecaldos steal ends up as this once their techs get to work on it, giving it massively upgraded firepower (an extra gun in its turret and a heavy-duty multi-tube smart missile system), a high-speed booster, and one of the clan's signature fancy paintjobs. It ends up being dangerous enough to solo an entire Militech strike force with a single pilot and cone out the other side in one piece.
  • Act of True Love:
    • "The Sun" ending is treated like this for Johnny. After everything they've went through with Johnny, V trusts him enough to give him control over their body to get them to Mikoshi, because they believe they lack the strength to do so themselves. Johnny is clearly very humbled and eager to make V proud.
    Johnny: Thanks (for trusting me) V. I’ll get us through this, you’ll see. See you on the other side (...) That’s right. Even if I gotta burn this whole fuckin’ city down!
    • Giving their body to Johnny in the "Temperance" ending is this for V, especially when the player achieves a high relic compatibility. Instead of living out whatever little they have left, they choose to go beyond Blackwall with Alt and give Johnny a chance at a new life and redemption.
    Sacrifice - that doesn't even come close to describing what happened in Mikoshi. Is there a word for trading your life for someone who doesn't deserve it? Brass tacks - this body's got a new owner and he can go straight to hell if he doesn't treat it with respect. You catch all that, V? Shit, somehow I can't share the feeling you're still here somewhere...
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Nancy Hartley/Bes Isis's reaction to finding out the mysterious net personality Swedenborg-Riviera that she's pursuing for a news story is actually a simple fortune-teller AI in Pacifica hacked by a prankster netrunner to spout nonsensical anti-corporate rhetoric. Especially if a Netrunner-specced V decides to join in the prank and crank up the nonsense on the AI to eleven when they find the fortune teller bot, so the clueless Bartmoss Collective followers go nuts trying to interpret the extra-ridiculous rhetoric.
  • Adapted Out: Despite Morgan Blackhand's importance to the 2023 Arasaka raid and his and Adam Smasher's one-on-one duel, he himself doesn't make an appearance. Instead, the raid is entirely driven by Johnny and rather than being dismembered by an autoshotgun, Johnny and Smasher have the duel on Arasaka's roof.
    • Morgan Blackhand does appear as the author of the "The Solo's Manual"-shard. It also references a certain rockerboy who tried to take on a platoon of corpsec and got flatlined for the trouble. "It didn't make him a solo. It made him dead."
    • Given how Alt clearly states that Johnny's memories are not to be trusted, there is speculation that the events of the table top are in fact still canon and Johnny's narcissism simply edited out his contribution, some even placing Morgan's duel during the conspicuous cut between Smasher's dramatic entrance at Arasaka and Johnny arriving at the roof.
  • Action Girl: V can be played as a woman if the player so desires thanks to Character Customization. You fight alongside a few of them (notably Judy and Panam) in a few story missions as well.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Early in the game, when Jackie teases the female V for her frequent substance abuse, she shoots him down by claiming to be "as clean as a cunt in a convent". Apparently, even hard swearing can be given a poetic touch.
  • Adjustable Censorship: There's a "Nudity Censor" option that blurs out explicit nudity and prevents the player from customizing V's genitalia.
  • Advertised Extra: The Animals boss Sasquatch received quite a bit of focus in the game's pre-release phase, including the player's choice to let her live after her Boss Battle. In the actual game, Sasquatch can be snuck past without much problem, avoiding the fight entirely, and even if you do fight her, whether you let her live or not has no consequences whatsoever.
  • Advert-Overloaded Future: Night City is completely covered in ads top to bottom. It's hard to walk a couple of meters without running into a tv screen with some incredibly crass advert blaring on it. Tv shows can hardly go for a minute without an ad break, and there is even a entire channel on TV called "Just Ads!" which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Played with:
    • Delamain is nothing but polite and professional to a fault towards V and even manages to snap a joke, but his personality fragments are crazy to the point they mimic real mental issues such as poor anger management, depression and multiple personality disorder.
    • The reason for the existence of the Blackwall is the fear that the A.I.s which thrive in the Old Net will eventually begin attacking humanity, who depend on the Net and Cyberware. Played with the A.I.s you can interact with, Delamain is nothing but polite and genuinly helpful and good-natured, Alt is cold, calculating, unfettered and remorsless.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: V and their allies tend to be this. Criminals, mercenaries and Fixers of all kinds and yet their actions are far less cruel than the ones they go up against. Many of V’s side jobs tend to have them working as a Vigilante Man and Fixers, especially Regina and Padre Ibarra, generally send V on missions to put down people Night City could do without, rescue people who’ve gotten in over their heads and/or are being victimized and generally go up against vicious gangs or amoral corporations.
  • The Alleged Car:
    • Almost all the cheapest vehicles sold by fixers are either beaten-up junkers in various states of disrepair or things barely worthy of being called cars, with the performance to match. A prime example being the Thornton Galena mentionned below and the Mai Mai, a tiny shoebox of a car with absymal performance across the board that no self-respecting edgerunner would be caught dead in.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Discussed and lampshaded in the side mission "Holdin' On": Kerry and Johnny talk about their bandmate Denny dating their another bandmate, Henry. Johnny doesn't understand what Denny saw in Henry, due to Henry being a Functional Addict and Denny being the smartest member of the band. Kerry answers that Denny always had a thing for losers, and that Henry was perfect for her, because she got to "rescue him over and over again". Johnny then asks "But why did she never tried to fix me?", to which Kerry responds with "Because she'd have to get in line, that's why!".
  • Alternate Universe: Due to being set in the same world as Cyberpunk 2020 by Mike Pondsmith. The setting's history diverges noticeably from ours:
    • Most importantly, viable Brain–Computer Interface technology that allows for fully functional cyborg prosthesis is already working and in wide circulation by the early 2000s, something that even at the time of the game's development in the 2010s was still very much in a research phase.
    • Many other alternate events, like a The European Union equivalent being established a year earlier than in the real world and as a monetary union right off the bat, also occur.
    • The Soviet Union is still around, being the headquarters of SovOil. It's an ally of the European Economic Community that's abandoned orthodox Marxism-Leninism.
    • The United States collapsed and split in the 1990s, paving the way for the Japanese domination of American economy, at least outside the NUSA.
  • An Aesop:
    • Even under an oppressive system, you can still lead a meaningful and impactful life. Stay true to yourself, uplift other people and find small joys in life and you'll be able to say that you've had a decent run.
    • Dying for a vague ideal just isn't worth it. Risking your life to save/protect your loved ones, who are tangible people, is.
    • No matter how noble the goal you might be fighting for is, it doesn't excuse being abusive and toxic to people who are closest to you.
    • Change is good and a sign and a part of life. Clinging to what you know at all cost will lead to losing your humanity and can be compared to death.
    • Bonds with other people is what makes life worth living and they should never be underestimated.
    • Accept death and mortality, your own and your loved ones. You will grieve, but time will help, and you should keep living your best life to honor your departed loved ones.
    • Eternal life at the cost of your own humanity isn't worth it.
    • Pursuit of fame and glory will only make you want more and more. You will never be satisfied with what you have.
    • You have more people looking out for you and caring for your well-being than you likely think.
    • Even if you won't become well-known or remembered by the whole world, you can still inspire others around you to change their lifes for the better, which is just as, if not more, valuable.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Explosives and high-powered weapons like a good old point-blank shotgun blast has a chance to dismember your target. There's even a perk explicitly designed to boost the percentage chance with shotguns for the sake of doing it more often, too.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: V can choose between four arm-mounted cyberweapons:
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Zig-zagged in the Act 1 interlude, which opens with a playable flashback, as Johnny Silverhand, to the 2023 assault on Arasaka Tower. It's later revealed that V is experiencing this memory of Johnny's thanks to the Relic.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: After finishing certain missions, V will get new items for their house. They will appear in set places, except for the figurine Mitch gives you, which has to be manually placed.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Only one ending ("Death", obviously) actually definitively ends things for Johnny and/or V. The rest of the endings have V either moving on to continue their search for a cure (or to live what life they have left to the fullest, depending on our interpretation) or Johnny in V's body leaving Night City for a second chance at life.
  • Antepiece: Braindancing serves as this for a plot-related one involving the Relic heist.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Despite the game indicating otherwise, you don't actually need to use non-lethal tactics against cyberpsychos. Even if you shoot one in the head with an anti-tank rifle - which is actually encouraged since one capture practically forces a Sniper Duel - the game counts it as a non-lethal takedown and the target will be left squirming on the floor alive.
      • That being said, it is possible to actually kill a cyberpsycho if your weaponry is powerful enough (a fully-modded Legendary weapon with boosted crit chance and crit damage will do it), earning a stern admonishment from Regina. Basically, when you face them, bring a powerful gun, but maybe leave the Comrade's Hammer at home.
    • Allies are invulnerable and undetectable, so you don't have to worry about getting caught or failing during an Escort Mission.
  • Anti-Hero: V is an Edgerunner, doing dirty work for corpos and higher-tier criminals, their only concern being how much eddies they make in the process. Where they fall on the scale depends on some of the choices players make. At the very least just about everyone they go up against could count as an Asshole Victim in one way or another and some missions like rescuing victims or taking down human traffickers are downright heroic.
  • Anyone Can Die: Most notably with Jackie, who received a lot of coverage in trailers and pre-release material, and is dead by the end of Act I. Of course, this was actually spoiled in one of the pre-release trailers, setting players up for this trope in the game proper. Other characters who always die are T-Bug, who gets her brain fried by Arasaka netrunners during the heist, Saburo, who gets choked out by Yorinobu in act I, deShawn, who gets shot in the head by Takemura, Evelyn, who gets hacked and sold to Scavengers, after which she commits suicide and Scorpion, who gets killed by the Kang Tao. Depending on how one views living behind Blackwall with Alt, either Johnny, V or both will die.
    • Depending on player's choices, other casualities are Takemura, who might get saved in "Search and Destroy", but it's so unclearly telegraphed that many players missed it, River gets killed if he rushes the Serial Killer's lair by himself, Hanako will die in "The Sun" ending, where Alt brings the Arasaka space station down, Yorinobu gets murdered in "The Devil" ending, Rogue will die in "The Sun" ending and Saul will die in "The Star" ending. There are countless other minor NPCs who might die depending on players' choices.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: All over the place, both due to standard FPS reasons and RPG mechanics.
    • A particularly good example is comparing the Lexington, Unity, and NUE handguns. All three are expressly .45 caliber pistols, so their stopping power should be about the same. But the Lexington can only do a small fraction of the damage per shot of the other two, for no apparent reason other than that it is fully automatic. The NUE and Unity are closer in stopping power, but the NUE is a bit stronger, again for no reason other than that it is a bit slower to fire and has a smaller magazine. Assault rifles and submachine guns, as a general rule, deal only a small fraction of the damage per shot that pistols do.
    • Johnny Silverhand's iconic handgun, when wielded by himself in his flashback missions, is a pure death machine. When V wields it in the game's present day, it's a powerful but nowhere near as game-breaking pistol generally on par with most of the standard handguns of the same level.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: One of Claire's four racing missions takes place in the Badlands, an ideal opportunity to break out your favorite Nomad-pimped car. Unfortunately, this race is also the only one that forces Claire's massive truck Beast on you for no apparent reason. Its top-heavy chassis, spongy suspension and low acceleration make Beast one of the worst cars you could possibly sit in for this race, giving the whole thing a lot of Fake Difficulty that could've been avoided if the player was allowed to pick one of the cars specifically built for this kind of terrain.
  • Arcology: Par for the course for the codifying franchise of the Cyberpunk genre, the Megabuildings around town (within one which V resides) are arcologies by another name.
  • Armor Is Useless: Weirdly zigzagged. Armor is definitely helpful in mitigating incoming damage, but its Level Scaling is so atrocious that its effectiveness drops off rapidly as V levels up. By the time you hit level 25+, the armor values you need to retain noticeable damage reduction have become so high that trying to get by with looted or purchased gear is equivalent to walking around naked. The only way for armor to stay competitive in the late game is through abusing the Item Crafting system, which means anyone who didn't specialize in the Tech skill is basically SOL.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Tech rifles have the ability to punch through cover and hit targets on the opposite side.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions:
    • In order to make Night City seem alive, the sidewalks and streets are filled with people. Unfortunately the pathfinding leaves much to be desired, with some civilians crossing the streets only to turn around, walking in circles, walk straight into walls, get stuck on each other, or even through each other.
    • Sometimes you may see civilians conversing with one another... and glitches can cause them to accidentally face the other way.
    • On occasion you can see police officers surrounding someone as if to arrest them. But sometimes the game won't spawn anyone to be "arrested", causing the police officers to instead be staring at thin air.
  • Artificial Limbs: Robotic arms, legs and so forth have become commonplace by 2077. There are stores selling them around Night City, and you can add them to yourself if you have the eddies.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The aforementioned civilian AI leaves very much to be desired. Sometimes, the AI might point guns at you and not open fire.
    • There's about a 50:50 chance that V's car actually ends up near them when you summon it thanks to its shoddy pathfinding capabilities. Half the time it drives off into the sunset instead.
    • Car spawning when summoned gets wonky on busy streets; it's not rare to see the car arrive completely torn apart because it spawned under or inside another vehicle.
    • The driving AI is so lacking that they they will almost never leave the rails they're scripted to drive on. This effectively makes car chases with the police non-existent.
    • The police are laughably easy to evade. If you're a couple meters away from them and out of their sight for a couple seconds after being spotted, they'll completely forget about you.
    • Characters that have abnormal factors (such as being paraplegic) don't have their AI flagged or scripted to behave differently. This creates hilarious effects like V seemingly being able to cure paralysis by punching people.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Apart from the distinct Torii gate, the Shinto shrine in Japantown is arranged and designed more like a Buddhist temple than what it's supposed to be. It's also attended to by what look like Buddhist monks (although there is a kannushi in attendance as well).
  • Ascended Meme: The "You're breathtaking!" meme from E3 2019 is referenced multiple times: it's one of the photomode poses, it's the name of one of the achievements, and Kerry will respond to a shouting crowd member with this line and associated pose in "Off The Leash".
  • A Taste of Power: After stealing the Relic and being betrayed by Dex, the player is put in the shoes of Johnny Silverhand during his assault on Arasaka tower. He has 400 health that regenerates extremely fast, infinite ammo, and a bonafide Hand Cannon that can kill every single enemy in the map in one or two shots. Needless to say it'll be a while before V can get to this level.
  • Attack Drone: The Flathead, a quadruped spider drone made by Militech that V must retrieve in Act 1. Its purpose is more reconaissance and infiltration rather than anything direct, with a suite of features to that end. The more traditional flying variants show up as well, mostly used by Arasaka and Militech.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • High-end cars can fall into this. As cool as owning a Rayfield Aerondight is it costs a whopping 220,000 eddies, something you could spend on far more useful upgrades, and it isn’t even the fastest car in the game. You can also get free cars throughout the story and side missions that function just as good, if not better, than the majority of the bought vehicles.
      • Just to hammer the point home: the Aerondight's sole outstanding feature is its ludicrous price tag. Its top speed and acceleration are decent at best, it handles like a full shopping cart around corners, and contrary to what the trailers claimed, it isn't even armored, being no more resilient than V's starting car. No matter what you need a car for, there're always better and much cheaper options than the Aerondight. Its role is essentially a Bragging Rights Reward both In-Universe and out—well, that and cruising Night City in style. Middling performance notwithstanding, it is a slick-looking ride.
    • Some high ranked items aren’t as good as the ones a tier below them. An epic quality leg cyberware upgrade allows the player to float briefly in the air to shoot down at enemies...which just makes them a bigger target due to lack of cover. Adding to that the jump height is shorter than its lower tiered counterpart, making it less practical for traversal.
    • A few of the high-tier body perks also qualify. Being able to regenerate health both inside and outside of combat is all well and good, but the game practically throws healing items at you anyway. Using one or two of those to near-instantly bring you back to full-health is far more reliable than waiting for it to slowly regenerate in combat, especially on higher difficulties where enemies can easily kill you in a handful of shots.
  • Bakeneko and Nekomata: During the mission "Gimmie Danger", Takemura and V will see a stray cat sitting nearby their hiding place, with Takemura commenting that the animal might be a bakeneko. The same cat model is used multiple times during the game: after Johnny got left for dead in his memories and when V heads to Misty's Esoterica rooftop to make a decision about theirs and Johnny's fates. Are they actually bakenekos or just regular cats? It's up to the player to decide. The rifle model used by Arasaka snipers during the parade that takes place in the next mission with Takemura is called nekomata.
  • The Band Minus the Face: Subverted. Johnny Silverhand IS present on Samurai reunion gig, but for most people in-universe it will be V performing in Silverhand's place.
  • Battle Couple: Male V and romanced Panam form one in "The Star" ending. Johnny and Rogue during the first attack on the Arasaka Tower (and possibly the second one, if the player chooses "The Sun" ending) might count, because while they've broken up, there is clearly some unresolved romantic tension.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: the three female characters who (may) take part in the Relic heist:
    • Evelyn: Beauty. She's the escort who managed to get vital info from Yorinobu's penthouse when on the job.
    • T-Bug: Brains. The netrunner responsible for the Flathead and Mission Control for Jackie and V. Judy might also qualify, to a lesser degree.
    • Female V: Brawn. She actually sneaks into Corpo Plaza with Jackie to steal the Relic, and she's the only one capable of holding her own in open combat.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Pre-release footage shows off Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish and many other languages that provide various easter eggs, puns and jokes.
    • One hostile NPC shouting "Du blir løyst fra banda som bind deg" / "You will be freed from the ties that bind you" in Norwegian, a Shout-Out to a lyric from "Helvegen", a song by the band Wardruna.
    • A sign in the E3 2018 gameplay for a hotel reads "HOテル", aka HOteru, aka the Japanese transliteration of hotel. (One can imply by the pun what kind of hotel it is.)
    • The "Tools of Destruction" featurette has a large "Corp-Bud" sign on a building, the "Bud" part being a stereotypical suffix used in Polish construction company names.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Or Downer Ending, depending on what ending the player gets.
    • No matter what choices are made V's days are numbered. V can be Driven to Suicide and leave behind all their grieving and angry friends, agree to have their mind copied as an engram like Silverhand by Arasaka, walk away from Arasaka with just weeks to live, give up their body so Johnny can take over and have a fresh start, or return to their body in the non-Arasaka endings with months to live. If V chooses to go with the Nomads they'll leave Night City determined to live and hopeful for a solution while if they go alone they'll stay in the city, trying to build up their legend before their inevitable death. The Downer Ending would be suicide but the Bittersweet Ending is that V can survive as a digital ghost under Arasaka or in cyberspace, or they can believe they can find a cure while living on their own terms.
    • The ending of Judy's questline, "Pyramid Song". Judy decides that she can't stay in Night City any longer and decides to leave it behind, but is nevertheless grateful for V's friendship and support. She only stays in Night City if V romances her, but she states that it's only temporarily.
    • Any ending where your romantic partner breaks up with you. While the scenes themselves are sad, you always split on relatively good terms, with both sides understanding their reasons.
  • Black Comedy: Rife with it. Night City is a brutal, lawless, and horrific place but you can find some very dark laughs here. One example is a shard detailing the conversation between two criminal debt collectors torturing a guy by slowly chopping off his fingers. He gave at 9 but his torturer's OCD couldn't let him leave it at that.
  • Black Market: The Pacifica district contains a particularly well-stocked one of these, allowing you to stock up on guns and cyberware.
  • Body Horror: The setting's cybernetics can get extreme: People cut off their arms to turn them into concealed cybernetic blades, or pluck out their eyes to install "better" robotic ones. This is best exemplified with the Maelstrom gang, an extreme body mod faction, whose members all have the top-front quarter of their skulls removed to install a set of robotic eyes in the gaping cavity. Similarly, the attempts at hacking into brain implants depicted in early trailers and gameplay videos can lead to burning people's skulls out. Adam Smasher takes the cake, having replaced 96% of his body with cybernetics.
  • Bookends:
    • The Streetkid's Lifepath prologue starts and ends with V straightening out their broken nose. Finishing with The Sun Ending as a Streetkid starts and ends with V talking to a shady Fixer for a job.
    • Getting The Star ending with the Nomad lifepath will have V begin the game leaving one family, and end the game joining another.
    • Regardless of lifepath, V also points out that they started and ended the plot by stealing Arasaka tech.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Ping quickhack. It doesn't debilitate or damage in any way, but it does reveal every networked device (including enemies with cyberware) in a local subnet when you apply it. It's an instant recon sweep. The legendary version even lets you hack enemies through walls, no line of sight required.
    • Overheat and Short Circuit are simple early-game quickhacks that, once buffed with a few perks, can one-shot almost anything in the game that isn't a boss, and their sheer damage output makes them very useful against those as well. They're also non-lethal, doubling their value due to the numerous optional no-kill mission objectives.
    • The Gorilla Arms Cyberware. While comparatively not as flashy as the Mantis Blades, Monowire or Projectile Launcher, they basically enhance the power of your fists alone. Being non-lethal, they are also great for incapacitating enemies, plus they're the only weaponized equipment V can use in fisticuffs-only situations (such as boxing matches, or tossing Valentino thugs out of Mama Welles' bar). Can be made less boring with some fridge thinking: Punch a concrete or metal wall, notice the damage you did to the wall, and contemplate that you are striking people with these.
    • The Reinforced Ankles implant simply lets V jump much higher than normal, but it's amazing how handy this simple feature can be in any number of situations, from traversal to infiltrating guarded areas unseen. It's probably not a coincidence that the implant is among the most expensive on the market.
    • Smart guns. Just aim them in the general direction of the enemy and keep laying on the trigger until nothing shoots back anymore. While unspeakably boring for avid shooter players, they can be a godsend for people who aren't as good at this sort of game. The fact that they use the same Universal Ammunition as all the other gun types makes them even more viable for casual gamers.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Despite looking like a single-shot weapon, the Projectile Launch System has infinite ammo and never needs to be reloaded.
    • Same goes for the Basilisk tank's autocannon.
  • Brain–Computer Interface: Naturally, given that it's Cyberpunk. The most common is cybernetic brain augments with sockets or cables for wired connections and reading from external media, a la Ghost in the Shell.
  • Brain Uploading: The main selling point of the Relic chip - a TV show guest early in the game says it allows for immortality by having people's minds transferred into new bodies. In the "Devil" ending, it's revealed that the one V stole wasn't the only one in the world, and Saburo Arsaka comes back from the dead thanks to it.
  • Breather Episode:
    • "Pyramid Song", the last quest in Judy's questline. While it's quite melancholic, it's a peaceful mission where V and Judy go diving together to test out Judy's new BD scrolling technique. It's notably one of the few missions where you literally can't kill anyone or engage in any sort of violence. It's both a breather episode for Judy's questline and the game in general.
    • Kerry's entire chain of quests, while it can veer into some heavy emotions, is kept relatively light-hearted. Once again, the entire storyline can be played without any sort of combat (the only exception is if you've allowed Patricia to take over Maelstrom; you will be forced to fight with some mooks in "Second Conflict"). "Boat Drinks" is just a peaceful sail with Kerry that ends with the two of you engaging in some property damage (instead of cold-blooded murder, as it often is in other missions). Kerry's story arc gets unlocked right at the end of act two, so it's a break between the frantic act two and the ending sequence.
    • "Following The River", the last quest in River's storyline, is just a nice dinner with River and his family, that allows V to spend a nice evening with their new friends, especially after the tense investigation before.
  • Brick Joke: The "Postcards from Night City" featurette shows a woman being held hostage by two gangoons. "2077 in Style" featurette reveals they were Mugging the Monster, as she promptly deploys her Mantis Blades and kills them both.
    Karina Lee: Look at the moves on this girl! Slicin'em up like sashimi!
  • Broad Strokes: How certain events and characterisations from the [[Tabletop Game/Cyberpunk tabletop game]] are handled. For example, the Arasaka Tower raid in 2023 took place in both the video game and the tabletop game, but Johnny was captured alive and killed with Soulkiller, and not dismembered by Adam Smasher's autoshotgun. Morgan Blackhand is also suspiciously absent in the game's retelling of the events. Worth noting that Johnny's memories (through which we experience those events) are openly stated to be biased and not an exact retelling of what happened.
  • Brutal Honesty: The advice that Sgt. Dobs gives during the Safe & Sound segments is as grim as it is valid, no matter how gently he tries to convey it.
  • Bullet Time: Two reflex booster implants allow this: Sandevistan is more versatile and grants longer use at slower time, but replaces your cyberdeck, so you can't, for example, distract or paralyze enemies with Quickhacks, while Kerenzikov slows time for the duration of a dodge, allowing you to correct your aim and let off a shot. Another implant gives you momentary Bullet Time when you're in an enemy's line of sight or when your health is low, allowing you a moment to retreat.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Even if V and Jackie stealth through the hotel knocking out every guard their automated ride will drive loudly through the garage, thus forcing an escape and a loud firefight through the streets that will get V betrayed by Dex for getting too much attention. Even if V tells Dex that they weren't the one to kill Saburo, Dex will remark that Arasaka won't care and uses this as justification to betray them.
    • During the second Johnny flashback Thompson records Alt’s death, much to Johnny’s rage. Though the game gives you a time sensitive prompt whether to punch him or not it doesn’t matter - Johnny’s so angry that he will beat Thompson to near death even if you let the timer run out.
    • In the Corpo lifepath, the only possible attitude you can adopt towards Jenkin's order to assassinate Abernathy is reluctant acceptance of the task, with no room for either enthusiasm or rejection. Nor can you turn your back on him and inform Abernathy after you leave, in an effort to save yourself. Regardless of what you think of the job, you're locked on rails to support Jenkins and ultimately fall with him.
  • Camera Perspective Switch: At the game's ending cutscene, the camera switches from first-person to third-person, which is the only time the game does this outside of mirrors, vehicles, and picture mode.
  • Canon Immigrant: Yishen, the Deuteragonist of the Cyberpunk 2077 Your Voice TP comic added to the pre-release copies of the game can be briefly seen and interacted with in the "Never Fade Away" mission, where she struggles with a broken vending machine, with Johnny having an option to help her out.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After being shot and left for dead, V is rescued by Saburo Arasaka's bodyguard Goro. While he initially has no love for V, they are the only one who can prove Yorinobu murdered his father, and the only one he can turn to after being framed for the crime by Yorinobu.
  • Cap: V's level and street cred are capped at 50, attributes and skills at 20. There's also a limit on how much loot they can carry, but this can be modified in a number of ways.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Night City is just about the most bleak portrait of unfettered capitalism imaginable, with amoral corporations using every means available to protect their bottom line while reducing their employees to virtual serfdom. Those who don't work for a corp fare even worse, with no social safety net and most of the population unable to afford even basic medical care, while it's treated as a given that the wealthy elite can get away with just about anything. No one ever offers any real alternatives, however; the rebellious Edgerunners are just as capitalistic and cutthroat as the corpos they oppose, more concerned with finding their own fame and fortune than making radical change. Likewise, the game also throws a few jabs at the Soviet Union, the NUSA's communist rivals (which has a socialistic corporate system). The main point in highlighting the negatives of capitalism is to demonstrate how out of their league V is in all this.
  • Cash Gate: At some point the main story won't progress until you pay a certain fixer 15,000 eddies for their help in an upcoming mission.
  • Cassette Futurism: The "shard" digital media format and "jack" connection port tech work exactly like "future" looking versions of SD cards and USB cables that were industry standard in computers at the time of the game's development. Over-the-air hacking does exist, however.
  • Cast from Money: The iconic pistol Plan B, found on Dex DeShawn's dead body, uses V's cash as ammo, one eddie per shot. Being an unremarkable piece of hardware apart from that feature puts it pretty deep in Joke Item territory.
  • The Cameo: Hideo Kojima can be seen in a restaurant in the story mission "The Heist", under the name "Hideyoshi Oshima".
  • Casting Gag: Who else to play a cyberpunk messiah but Keanu Reeves? Johnny Silverhand joins the ranks of his other cyberpunk heroes by being a revolutionary anarchist and Antihero with a severe attitude problem. Silverhand also joins the long list of characters that Reeves has played named some variation of "John".
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • Self-inflicted. Keanu Reeves portrays Johnny Silverhand. Keanu is also co-owner of Arch Motorcycles, a bespoke motorcycle maker. Arch-brand motorcycles appear in the game, one of which is owned by Jackie Wells and potentially/eventually by V.
    • There's also the Run the Jewels song, "No Save Point", made specifically for the game and that actually plays on one of the radio stations, which directly namedrops Keanu Reeves. The creators' explanation is that Reeves existed in-universe as a niche actor who never really got popular, and whose most notable trait was his physical resemblance to Johnny Silverhand.
    • Is the Soviet ripperdoc Nina Kraviz and the real life Russian musician Nina Kraviz are the same person?
  • Central Theme:
    • The impossibility of dealing with systematic issues like poverty, prejudice, sexual exploitation, and environmental devastation. The Edgerunner protagonist, V, constantly butts heads with Johnny Silverhand over whether its possible to change anything in Night City. The player character can accomplish individual good in quests or profit from the crime in the city but they are unable to change anything on a structural level. Not unless they're willing to do something just as big, like assaulting Arasaka Tower, and even then the change is temporary at best and devastating for bystanders at worst.
    • Another is what it means to be alive. Many characters debate on whether it's better to live a long and quiet life or to go out young in a blaze of glory as a legend so you can be remembered. Going hand in hand with this is how you live your life in the face of impending death. Life in Night City is already a dangerous place where you can catch a bullet to the head on any given day even if you aren't involved in criminal activity, but it goes doubly so for V who is facing impending death within weeks due to the biochip in their head.
    • Different ways of dealing with mortality, your own and your loved ones. Religion is still prominent in the universe, with shinto and catholic priests in the overworld (and Padre being one of the fixers), buddhist monks being a part of different sidequests, and other major religions like Judaism or Islam being mentioned. The "Secure your soul" program promises people immortality through technology, and rich members of society (like the Arasakas, Rogue or Kerry) being able to prolong their lifes and youth through different implants and rejuvenation treatments. Many sidequests center around different characters' way of dealing with their loved ones deaths (Claire seeking revange for her husband's accidental death, Misty missing Jackie and reminiscing with V, Judy's guilt over Evelyn's death, Kerry's and Rogue's problems with handling Johnny's death, Joshua's spiritual awakening before his death sentence is carried out, how V will handle their own deteriorating health and imminent death).
    • Legacy. V is trying to carve their own through the course of the game, Johnny has to grapple with the fact that he's mostly remembered as a terrorist and an asshole, Viktor left his past as a boxer to lead a quiet and humble life Jackie wanted to become a legend, but died tragically, and is mostly remembered by his loved ones by his personal qualities, Joshua Stephenson wants to be crucified and leave the braindance of the event as his legacy, Alt left the Soulkiller to be used by Arasaka after her accidental death, and now wants to destroy it, Panam is frustrated that the Aldecaldos under Saul are slowly becoming an antithesis of what they stood for (rejecting their legacy), Rogue and Kerry have to live up to their legacies of a legendary fixer and rock star.
    • The importance and meaningfulness of human relationships. Throughout the game, V can befriend many different characters and change their lifes for the better. Every playthrough ends with V recieving calls form their friends, who want to stay in touch or outright thank V for what they did for them. The "Reaper" ending shows that V was never as alone as they felt, but instead had plenty of friends who were there for them. Unlocking "The Star" and "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" endings, considered the most optimistic ones, requires forging a deep bond with the Aldecaldos and Panam/Johnny, respecitvely. The main catalyst for Johnny's and V's character growth is their mutual bond and their respective acts of true love show the lenght to which they both will go to to save eachother's lifes.
  • City of Adventure: Night City has been voted "worst city in America" by 2077, with poverty galore and absurd amounts of violence (both regular and corporate-sponsored). People go there regardless in the pursuit of a better life... even if they have to take it from someone else. It is full of multiple criminal gangs who rule whole districts, a police force that works for sinister megacorporations, and has an entire subculture of mercenaries doing jobs for all of them. Violence is the way that almost all issues are resolved.
  • Character Customization: V's gender, appearance, skills and even backstory are up to the discretion of the player.
  • Character Level: Three systems: Experience levels, Skill levels and Street Cred. The first allows you to improve your attributes, giving you straightforward stat upgrades. The second is limited by your attribute level and increases by using specific skills, granting you perk points and bonuses to those skills. The third works like fame and recognizability and is awarded by completing quests.
  • The City Narrows: Pacifica, a coastal neighborhood for the wealthy, including a giant mall and a beach resort, was completely abandoned (some buildings mid-construction) following the Fourth Corporate War. Now, it's the worst part of Night City, where nobody aside Max-Tac or elite Edgerunners dare to go and where only homeless people, down on their luck immigrants and the Animals live. And the Voodoo Boyz.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: This a Mature rated game and the characters frequently throw in curse words ranging from mild ones to Country Matters. If you took shots every time a hard curse word is uttered, you would suffer alchohol poisoning for years to come.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the Russian version, where almost everyone swears constantly.
  • Combat Medic: The Trauma Team are a combination of paramedic and bodyguards who come in in squads of four, fully armed and fully armored medics in a reinforced vehicle. This is pretty justified since Night City is plagued with crime, and their service area covers all of Night City, including gang hideouts or corporate sites (provided the client is working for said corporation).
  • Company Cross References: Cyberpunk 2077 features a lot of references to CDProjekt's previous hit, The Witcher series. A full list can be seen on the game's shout outs page.
  • Computer Virus: Used often, including with a credit chip containing a hidden virus shutting down electronics in a gang hideout. V can also weaponize viruses and use them to hack electronics, guns, and even people.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: The ultra-rich are rife with profligacy, spending money on opulence. The Neo-kitsch style exemplifies this, with iridescent golden trim and other flashy flairs with extravagant materials. For another example, the Rayfield Caliburn for sale is a mere two years old, in Dino's inventory because the previous owner believes "only poor people drive two-year-old cars". Scrappers covet the refuse from the ultra-rich because they're throwing away so much perfectly functioanl goods because it's just a bit worn out.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Higher level enemies with a skull, robots, and bosses are immune to stealth grabs. At best, some bosses are heavily chromed and vulnerable to a stealth takedown that takes out their initial 25% health.
  • Cool Bike:
    • The Yaiba Kusanagi sports bike, featured in the Deep Dive video and displayed at CD Projekt Red's booth at Tokyo Game Show 2019. Inspired by the motorcycles of AKIRA and Bubblegum Crisis.
    • The fourth Night City Wire livestream revealed that Keanu Reeves also granted CD Projekt RED Product Placement rights for his custom-built motorcycle brand, Arch. In the game, you inherit Jackie's Arch bike (based on the extremely limited edition Arch Method 143) in Act 2.
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • V can learn how to throw knives at enemies for a silent One-Hit Kill no questions asked. The problems with this are manifold - V really just throws the one knife they can hold, knives themselves are surprisingly rare drops, throwing your knife temporarily deprives you of your melee weapon, and if you miss, the knife's gone for good. Slapping a suppressor on a good revolver is nearly always a better choice for silent ranged combat.
    • You have the option to indefinitely upgrade weapons and clothing, slightly improving their stats each time. It's meant to keep your favorite gear competitive as you level up, but the exponentially escalating upgrade costs make this virtually impossible to keep up for long, and the ridiculous amount of level-scaled loot the game throws at you makes it unnecessary, anyway.
    • Power weapons' ability to ricochet their projectiles behind cover is undoubtedly cool but rarely of any noticeable use in gameplay. It's generally more efficient to just pack a half-decent Tech rifle and simply shoot through the target's cover instead of around it, which also frees up not one but two cyberware slots for more useful stuff. But when you discover that it can aim-snap to any place a smart gun lock-on can, even when firing from the hip, and that aim-snapping a high volume of fire is as simple as aiming at the ground half-way between you and the target...
  • Cool Car: The game contains cars that are every flavour of cool, from the Nomads' rolling fortresses to exquisitely sleek (and ruinously expensive) corpo hypermachines, with some old-school classics like Johnny's Porsche 911 thrown in for good measure. In-story, though, the stereotypical cool cars (and ultimate celebrity status symbols) are the Rayfield Caliburn and Arondight. Aesthetically inspired by the legendary Bugatti Veyron, they're advertised as blisteringly fast masterpieces of automotive art with the armour of a main battle tank - since if you have one of these, everyone in Night City is going to want to take it for their own. Unfortunately, their actual in-game performance doesn't come anywhere near that, leaving their looks and bragging rights status as their only perks.
  • Coolest Club Ever: Night City has many of these.
    • "The Afterlife", a club that takes a major Fixer like Dex Deshawn to even get a table at.
    • Lizzies is a nightclub that operates as a Band of Brothels' headquarters that specializes in braindance porn.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: This is typically how the corpos thinly cover up their murders when they can't use their control over the city to make their murder legal and present it as justifiable. The most notable example is Yorinobu Arasaka throttling his father to death, and then claiming he was poisoned.
  • Corporate Warfare: The megacorps of Night City all vie for control through subterfuge, economic dominance, or just plain violence. The primary conflict is between Arasaka Corporation and Militech, with both sides having gone to open war during the Fourth Corporate War and even used nukes.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In a world where corporations are above the law, only care about their bottom line and don't hesitate for a nanosecond to walk all over the little man if it means a cent more profit, just about every high-level corpo in Night City is one of these. One of the most prominent examples is Meredith Stout, a Militech agent you meet during the game's second mission. Egotistical, elitist and sending V and Jackie on what would have been a suicide mission if not for their skill, only to scoff and smugly insist on her superiority when called out by V. If the player chooses the right interactions V can actually end up sleeping with her though.
  • Cosmic Motifs: All endings feature it to some degree: "Path of Glory" has V departing to rob a space casino, "The Devil" takes place on an Arasaka reaserch station in space, "The Star" ends on a shot of V and Panam looking out into the night sky, and "Temperance" has Johnny departing Night City with the starry sky above.
  • Country Matters: Along with all the other foul language in the game, the C-word gets used liberally and is uttered by Night City denizens almost as often as mundane words like 'and' or 'the'.
  • Covert Pervert: On the outside Meredith Stout is as dignified, and arrogant, as any other corpo suit. If the player triggers her love scene, she will invite them to spend a night with her in the No-Tell Motel, where she will be dressed in the dirtiest outfit imaginable.
  • Crack Is Cheaper: In-Universe, high-quality weapons are absurdly expensive. A legendary socket wrench can easily set you back 100,000 eddies in a weapons shop, not to mention what firearms cost. For reference, the average late-game gig pays out between 3,000 and 5,000 eddies. It makes the whole "higher street cred unlocks new weapons at vendors" shebang largely meaningless because at these rates you'll never pay for weapons, anyway.
    • Similarly, high-tier cars can set you back about 100K eurodollars upwards. Each. And you have to collect them all to get a car achievement.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Night City looks incredibly pretty on the surface, but it wasn't voted the worst place to live in America for nothing. The "Postcards from Night City" featurette begins with cheery in-universe TV personalities, goes through clubbing scenes involving dancing, drinking and doing drugs, then hits you with a Mood Whiplash switching to reports about rampant crime, pollution and skyrocketing numbers of homeless.
    Newscaster: (cheerfully) We are fucked, America! (more serious tone) And I'm not sure how we're gonna fix it.
  • Crapsack World: As bad as it is in Night City and the New United States of America, it's implied through news reports and background dialogue that the situation globally is just as bad, if not worse. With pollution skyrocketing in Eastern Europe and governments making no attempts to intervene, and rising temperatures from global warming rendering large chunks of the Mediterranean uninhabitable.
    • To illustrate that point, one news report you can overhear in the game mentions that Antarctica is referred to by some as "Heaven on Earth" due to its amazingly low murder rate of 70 per 100,000 citizens. note 
    • One news cast you can overhear mentions that the Himalayan Wars blew so much dust and soot into Earth's atmosphere that solar panels and even wind turbines are rapidly becoming useless for power generation across the globe. The Himalayas are one of the tallest mountain ranges on the planet, but the area they cover isn't all that large, relatively speaking. For armed conflicts there to mess up the atmosphere so badly, they can't have been anything but nuclear exchanges of insane proportions.
    • Iraq and Syria are gone, having been nuked to hell in the so-called "Suicide War." The news mention that the neighbouring Turkey often gets hit with the radioactive dust storms that resulted from the war. Lebanon seems to be doing ok though, as evidenced by one of the alcoholic drinks named after the Baalbek region.
    • On a more down-to-earth level, Militech has been voted "Best Employer in Night City" three years running for offering such excellent benefits as a whole five days of paid vacation a year and free access to pharmaceutical-grade stimulants, and even offering a whole thirtyfour percent of their workforce retirement benefits.
    • One of the car purchase quest texts mention that Argentina is back to being a military dictatorship.
  • Crazy Homeless People: Prophet Gary, the trashbag-clad Conspiracy Theorist ranting outside Victor Vector's clinic. Modeled after and voiced by streamer CohhCarnage. He usually makes an insightful theory about the dystopian conditions they're living in... before blaming it all on Lizardmen sponsored by the Scientologists of Alpha-Centauri. He's something of a tourist attraction.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: The game was made in Poland, but it features a lot of references to foregin, mostly American and Japanese, media, ranging from genre staples (Blade Runner, The Matrix, Ghost in the Shell), popular movies and TV shows (Breaking Bad, Die Hard, Dirty Harry, Brokeback Mountain), video games (Death Stranding, Half-Life) to some really niche ones (a graffiti referencing a russian book called The Twelve Chairs). A full page dedicated to references in the game can be found here.
  • Cute and Psycho: Lizzy Wizzy starts off sympathetic at first, being a star in love with her manager and worried that he's cheating, but she quickly skips over this line when V finds out that said manager planned to have her mind copied in an engram. While a scummy thing to do, he was at least partially driven by fear of her due to her cybernetics messing with her mind... which is quickly proven true when in a rage she slowly strangles him to death. While she feels guilty at first she soon finds inspiration in it and her after mission texts mention she made a braindance out of the incident while cheerfully texting V with smiley emoticons.
  • Cute Kitten: There's a sphinx cat that hangs around V's apartment complex that can potentially be adopted by them and live in their flat. Even Johnny seems to take some interest in it!
  • Cutscene Incompetence: V is ambushed and killed by Dex and his one bodyguard after the failed Relic heist despite the fact that they're still armed and uninjured. If the player had been in control, they could have likely killed both. Doubly weird, since a previous trailer showed the scene and justified it better, with V successfully fighting back and killing both the bodyguard and T-Bug despite being hacked and Dex barely managing to shoot him instead of doing so with ease in the game proper. It may be explainable by how exhausted V is at this point, shattered by Jackie's death and having run themselves ragged the whole day.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul:
    • True to the pen-and-paper RPG, the more cybernetics people install in their body, the higher the chance they'll fall into "cyberpsychosis", a mental illness that causes them to empathize with machines more than humans to the point of bigotry and violence. The Maelstrom gang actually pursue this; V and Jackie comment on how they worship machines, and see cyberpsychosis as a sort of enlightened state.
    • Averted by V, however. No matter how many implants the player sticks in themselves, they're never at risk of cyberpsychosis. Also averted for Adam Smasher despite him being listed 96% cybernetic, though given that he was already a psychopath before the enhancements and is working for Arasaka, it's likely he gets treatment to avoid the effects.
    • The subject is also addressed in the Monster Hunter quest that reveals cyberpsychosis is not actually real. It's a term that was applied liberally by the media to a wide variety of conditions ranging from hard drug use to faulty combat mods to nervous breakdowns to severe PTSD. Cyberpsychos are, by and large, dangerous because they're incredibly powerful cyborgs on a rampage, as many of Night City's citizens are prone to doing, but the lie that "too many implants makes you crazy" is easier and requires less action than the massive systemic issues.
  • Cyberpunk: On just about every level. The game is named Cyberpunk. It's based on the Cyberpunk tabletop game that has been shaping the genre since 1988. You play as a cybernetically enhanced Street Punk. And it takes place in a world where violence, poverty, corruption and crime exists side by side with cyborgs, flying cars and other futuristic tech.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: It often rains during important story beats and very occasionally in the open world.
  • Cyberspace: Entering cyberspace is so risky that a hacker has to be in an ice-cold tub, a special suit or in a pool of water, to prevent their bodies from overheating while jacked in. And even then, of the times you do it yourself in-game, two (once in the Voodoo Boys' base, once during the "Star" endgame results in the entire system shorting out once you exit. As for Cyberspace itself, it takes the appearance of a black void with semi-transparent constructs in which a projection of you can move.
  • Cycle of Hurting: Grenades are cheap to craft and can stunlock bosses into their staggered animation.
  • Cynic–Idealist Duo: Subverted. In the protagonist duo, Johnny is both the idealist and the cynic. V is a hedonistic materialist with no interest in anything beyond the next job, paycheck or thrill. Johnny is a crusader, and lives and breathes his anti-corporate anarchist values. However, V is generally happy, mentally stable and has a wide circle of True Companions. Johnny is bitter, abrasive and egocentric, which, along with his unrelenting unwillingness to compromise or back down from his ideals, has alienated every friend he ever had.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Bosses can take a lot more damage than regular mooks. Most of the time, this is justified by them being heavily cybered badasses, but at least one boss who just seems to be a regular human in a suit can still soak an impressive number of bullets before dropping, simply because he's a boss.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: V, Johnny, and their group of True Companions don't exactly represent the archetypes associated with traditionally heroic characters: V is a struggling Professional Killer, Johnny is a Bomb Throwing Anarchist, Jackie is an ex-Gangbanger who works as a merc, Misty is a Perky Goth, Viktor is a Back-Alley Doctor operating from a dingy basement, Judy is a techie working for a gang, Panam is a merc who's not above hunting down a man who stole her car and gear and killing him, Kerry is an aggressive washed-up rockstar clad head to toe in leather, Rogue is a fixer setting up criminals with jobs, Takemura is a disgraced Corporate Samurai, the Aldecaldos are a clan of smugglers and even River, the closest one to a clasically heroic archetype (By-the-Book Cop) is pretty intimidating and willing to use force. Despite all that, all of them are actually much deeper than you'd think at a glance, and generally seem to be good, if not flawed or misguided, people and reliable friends. It contrasts them with the closest thing the game has to antagonists, the Arasakas (Saburo, Yorinobu and Hanako), who are clearly distinguished, dignified and upper-class, but are also scheming, coniving and clearly detached from the rest of humanity.
  • Daylight Horror: Much of the gameplay takes place during the day, showing the horrifying depravity of Night City.
  • Deadly Doctor: Despite the fact they're touted as a high-end premium medical insurance company, Night City's Trauma Team look about as far from an ambulance crew as you could get. Instead of medical scrubs, the squads look more like military combat medics; all of them equipped with guns and decked out in military-grade armor as they swoop in to haul their clients out of danger. At least they're nice enough to warn you back.
  • Deal with the Devil: At the conclusion of the Arasaka ending path, the Relic is removed as Hanako promised you, but your condition is still terminal as the Relic has already rewritten your brain beyond repair. You are offered one solution: You can enroll in the Secure Your Soul program free of charge and join Mikoshi as a digital engram, abandoning your body forever. However, engrams don't legally have rights, so you'll effectively become Arasaka property. The bright side is that the science will likely advance enough in the future for you to one day download yourself into a fresh new body, but it's unknown when that will ever happen. You can reject this, and return to Night City to live out the rest of your days unless a miracle cure presents itself to you.
  • Death by Adaptation: Santiago Aldecaldo. He survived the events of the TTRPG and is even explicitly mentioned in the RED World Book; he has a son named Trace and would tell stories of the 2023 Arasaka Raid, insisting the bomb going off early wasn't their's. Santiago is dead by the time of 2077 with a single dialogue contradicting RED and saying he died at Arasaka Tower in 2023. This likely made more sense in an earlier draft of the game; Saul used to be Santiago as can be confirmed via datamining. Why this change was made is currently unknown.
  • Deconstruction: The game deconstructs certain tropes and aspects common in western RPG games:
    • There is no clear villain that V is up against. Saburo gets offed at the end of Act I, you can get through entire game without speaking to Yorinobu once, and despite her flaws, Hanako proves to be at least somewhat accomodating and understanding to V (sets them up with the biochip surgery, allows them to leave the space station in "The Devil" ending, secures a spot for them in the "Secure your soul" program and is willing to hire them/give them funds for life if they choose to leave the space station and live free). The enemy is instead the whole faulty system that's put in place in Night City: It doesn't matter if Saburo, Yorinobu, or Hanako are at the helm, because the Arasaka corporation will still keep being opressive, money- and power-hungry force trampling over the people of Night City. V was just one of many people Arasaka crushed, and if not the fact that the biochip they have in their head is an incredibly valuable piece of tech, nobody would even bother with helping them. The Relic and how it works is just the extension of that mindset.
    • The game also deconstructs the Golden Ending trope. Not a single one of these endings can be considered unambiguously "good" without any drawbacks. V will either die, be living on borrowed time (six months maximum at the end of the story), or will let Johnny take over their body. Even the unlockable endings ("The Star" and "(Don't) Fear The Reaper"), while somewhat more optimistic than the standard ones, don't change that much in terms of V's chance for survival. The Relic has simply spread to far, and no matter how many sidequests you do or right dialogue options you'll pick, it won't change the fact that V's body is permanently damaged (seemingly) beyond repair.
    • V doesn't impact Night City that much and is ultimately unable to free it from corpo control. While the "Path of Glory" and "The Star" endings allow you to cripple Arasaka, Night City is still far from free. Many in-game articles imply that there were some tensions brewing between Arasaka and Militech, and it's very likely that Militech will simply kill off any Arasaka remnants and take over the city, meaning that, in the grand scheme of things, not much will change. To top thing off, V (or Johnny) likely won't live long enough to see what their raid has caused, or will be far away from Night City by then.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: River expresses disgust at the amount of artificial substances that went into factory farmed beef in the early 21st century, of the type that most players of the game would cheerfully eat, but equally cheerfully scarfs down any number of foodstuffs players would find revolting, including but not limited to insects and synthetic fats.
  • Demoted to Extra: Michiko Arasaka, daughter of Kei Arasaka. is a prominent character in the Cyberpunk: RED era of the TTRPG who has her own scenario and expanded backstory. In 2077 she is only passingly mentioned in a few shards and lines of dialogue as the leader of the company's liberal reformist faction, but has a small cameo in the Arasaka ending path as one of the board members gathered to hear the testimony against Yorinobu. Notably, she's the only board member besides Hanako who survives Yorinobu's shootout.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The developers included the option to turn off copyrighted music and nudity for the sake of online streamers.
    • If the player manages to get in and drive Judy's car (which is impossible to do without mods), she will send them a light-hearted, but annoyed text message.
    • You can actually fail the mission "Boat Drinks" by jumping off the boat and swimming to the shore. After some time, Kerry will send you a hurt message, where he's upset about you leaving him.
  • Dialogue Tree: How every conversation where V is a part of works. Sometimes you get new dialogue options depending on your V's chosen lifepath and skillpoint allocation.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage:
    • At the start of "Pyramid Song", you can catch Judy humming her Leitmotif, "Bells of Laguna Bend" to herself. Variations of the tune play throughout the entire mission.
    • Before the sex scene with Kerry plays out, he turns on the radio that starts playing a variation of the Samurai song "Archangel". It plays non-diegetically through the rest of the scene.
  • Dirty Cop: It's hard to find a police officer who is not on the take or otherwise involved in illegal activity. For example, the police chief paid off the Scavengers to get rid of the homeless dwelling in an abandoned tunnel, and V gets hired to "persuade" a honest detective to stop her investigation in the side mission "The Woman from La Mancha". However, most are at least still trying to do their basic job. Then, you have some dirty cops who take it to the next level and are opening working with the city's criminal gangs, even fighting alongside them in combat.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Dying Night is given to V for free by Wilson while leaving to meet Jackie for the first time after the Kabuki job. While it's a Lexington, it has an enormous headshot bonus damage. With a high quality silencer and some upgrades, stealth headshots can go well into the thousands of damage (or tens of thousands on crits), making it an excellent weapon for stealthy players.
    • The Fenrir submachine gun can be acquired as soon as the player met Dexter DeShawn, being located in a small warehouse visited during a sidequest. While it's damage output will eventually fall short, it's still a Rare weapon with a thermal damage bonus that can carry players for a long while.
    • There's a well-hidden loot chest in Kabuki that contains a legendary Monowire arm implant. Not only is this one of the most powerful melee weapons in the game, you normally can't even purchase it until you hit 25 street cred, and it costs well in excess of 100,000 eddies if you buy it at a ripperdoc's. You can pick it up right after the intro mission, with the only deterrent being a bunch of Animals gangoons guarding the area.
    • For Handgun users, Lizzie is a unique Omaha tech pistol that can be found when meeting Judy early on in the game. While its short range hurts its effectiveness later on, it fires as fast as you can pull the trigger, resulting in huge DPS that can carry you well into Act 2 even when not upgraded.
    • Skippy, one of the most absurdly powerful weapons in all of Night City, can be picked up the moment you start Act 2. And unlike all of the above examples, it stays that powerful indefinitely because it's the only weapon in the game that levels with the player instead of requiring expensive upgrades to stay competitive.
    • Buzzsaw is likely to be one of the first craftable iconics you'll come across. While not overwhelmingly powerful stat-wise, it's one of only a handful of Power weapons that can shoot through cover, walls and other enemies, making it surprisingly lethal in a game whose gunplay is mostly cover-based.
    • Not a weapon, but an all-black version of the ultra-expensive Caliburn supercar can be picked up for free in a cave near Rocky Ridge. Namely, the same cave where you fight Nash and his goons in Panam's first mission. It's right around the corner of where that battle takes place, accessible at any time after the Heist mission. If you want to get places quickly and in style, accept no substitutes.
  • Divided States of America: Night City is located in "The Free State of North California." The United States broke apart due to a coup attempt by the Alphabet Agencies (called the Gang of Four) and attempts to reunite the country only divided it further. News reports also reveal Texas is its own independent nation and has recently rescinded their law requiring their border guards to give warnings to trespassers before shooting them.
  • Do Androids Dream?: V occasionally talks to Johnny about whether or not he has a soul, being technically just a digital copy of the original. In one side-mission revolving around a man who wishes to make a braindance of his state-sanctioned execution in order to inspire others to turn to God, V can ask Johnny if he believes his original body's soul has passed on to the afterlife, or if it was locked out since a copy of his consciousness still remained on Earth. Johnny's reaction is his usual dismissiveness.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Due to the brutal hellhole that Night City is, quite a lot of characters get unceremoniously killed off:
    • T-Bug has her brain fried by Arasaka netrunners. Other than a brief sentence where she's referred to in past tense and the fact that we never see her again, nothing about her death is outright said.
    • Dexter gets shot in the head by Takemura and is never talked about again, save for one or two brief mentions.
    • You can find Meredith's corpse wearing cemment shoes in one of the water reservoirs that surround the city. That only happens if you don't accept her offer.
    • Hanako dies in every ending path besides "The Devil" after Alt hacks the Mikoshi network and fries everyone connected to it.
    • Takemura will die during "Search and Destroy", when he gets crushed by rubble. The player can actually save him if they turn around immediately after they get control of V, but nothing in the game indicates that this is a possibility, so most players just left him to die.
    • If you abandon River Ward at the farm where his nephew Randy is being held, he'll be killed in his solo attempt to save him. Additionally, Randy will die if you go to the wrong farm.
  • Double Jump: Possible with one of the cybernetic implants, and another one grants you the ability to jump higher In a Single Bound.
    • Fingers has a special version of the double-jump implant that allows you to hover after double-jumping. It doesn't let you jump as high as the regular implants, but can help you reach far-away platforms.
  • Drill Tank: Not a tank per se, but the Aldecaldos weaponize a giant tunnel drilling machine to clear a path into the basement of Arasaka Tower in the Star ending.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Pointedly averted. The Street Cred level means that the more missions you do the more your reputation grows, which has benefits such as more missions and more items at shops. Meanwhile Fixers when you first enter their zone will also treat you with respect and sing V's praises as a reliable Edgerunner who can get anything done.
  • Dump Stat:
    • Cool is not necessarily a bad stat, but it is quite comprimised in comparison to the other stats. It can provide great critical damage to body or reflex builds for instance (especially at higher levels), but on it's own it has very little to offer, especially against bosses. A pure body, intelligence or reflex build will give a much stronger bang for your buck and tech will provide plenty of perks for making money or crafting items.
    • The Body stat covers the "loud" approach to combat in a game that frequently asks you to proceed stealthily. At range it improves shotguns, which are too short-ranged for most situations, and machine guns, which generally lose out against assault rifles in every respect except clip size. Body's buffs to blunt weapons and hitpoints are nice to have but ultimately irrelevant, and in the one instance where they could be really useful in theory (the boxing matches), they don't make much of a difference. Generally speaking, both ranged and melee combatants are better off focusing on Reflex and Tech instead due to these stats covering the vast majority of weapons in the game, and as far as hacking is concerned, Intelligence is the One Stat to Rule Them All anyway. Worst of all, the most important Body-dependent implants like Berzerk and Sandevistan replace V's cyberdeck, costing the player a huge chunk of flexibility by preventing the use of quickhacks. It probably explains why the two Body-dependent achievements are among the rarest unlocks on GOG. A common strategy is to bring Body to 6 points (required to handle certain heavy weapons like Grad sniper rifles or Burya revolvers with maximum efficiency) and leave it at that.
  • Dystopia: The cyberpunk world of C2077 has a society that allows body modification to the point many suffer psychotic breaks, and a police force that responds with dangerously excessive force to crimes. Ambulances are now floating APCs staffed by PMC troops who will kill on sight to ensure no one gets in the way of them treating someone insured by their medical company. And millions live below the poverty line, with many only able to make a living as criminals resorting to stealing, selling drugs, Organ Theft and worse, or Hired Guns who hurt and kill their fellow man for a tiny bit of temporary contract work from Corrupt Corporate Executives. Did we mention that all major corporations are pushing their major resources into perfecting mind-control? Arasaka collects memories from their uploaded clients, Trauma Team wipes memories from their patients, and a shadow organization brainwashes key political figures.

     E to H 
  • Ear Worm: "Ponpon Shit", a song by the In-Universe J-Pop band Us Cracks, is designed to be this. It's a perky, cutesy track with a catchy chorus that's harder to get out of your head than Johnny himself.
  • Easter Egg:
    • After the Heist mission, returning to the landfill where V was left for dead by Dex DeShaw lets you find his body and loot his unique handgun, Plan B. There's also a minor sidequest to be found there that can give netrunner players an early-game boost.
    • You can find the Batmobile (actually an all-black Caliburn) in a cave near where you fight Nash and his goons in Panam's introduction mission, complete with a manifesto of some Vigilante Man by name of Murkman. Even if you don't give a damn about the joke, it's a free supercar that normally costs 157,000 eddies.
    • Going down a certain alleyway in the Kabuki market will lead you to a mysterious garage locked by a keycode. Guess the keycode and you'll find none other than a secret developer room, complete with a large TV that displays photos of members of the CDPR team. There's also a sofa where Johnny will strum the tunes of various songs from the game on a guitar. Johnny will bring the garage to your attention, encouraging you to figure out the keycode.
    • If you look at Evelyn long enough during the first meeting with her, when she and V talk by a bar, she will wink at them.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: Night City includes chrome models, psychos who want to turn themselves into robots, ripperdocs who install cybernetic modifications but are entirely organic themselves, scavengers who kidnap people to steal their cybernetics, SWAT team ambulance workers, mind-linked identical twin mixed martial art fighters, overly sassy mercenaries, Haitian hackers worshipping AIs, "fixers" with gold-plated cyborg arms, and all sorts of other oddballs.
  • Electronic Eyes: One of the first pieces of cyberware V gets in the game is a bionic eye with a zoom lens that can later be upgraded. The Maelstrom gang instead opt for spider-like multi-camera arrays replacing their eye sockets. In fact, there are hints that everyone in Night City has cybernetic eyes, like the Reset Optics quickhack being able to indiscriminately infect gangoons and civilians alike, and the occasional kid on the street walking around with creepy red Maelstrom-esque cyber eyes.
  • Elite Mooks: Corpo soldiers are noticeably tougher, better armed and more challenging to hack. They also tend to shoot a lot better, making them much more of a threat than any of the gangoons on the street.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: V being the "enemy" in question. You can help yourself immediately to any food or drink in an enemy lair (or anywhere really), even directly off of a fallen enemy, if you press the secondary use button/key (as opposed to primary use key which stuffs it in the backpack)
  • Enhance Button: The game has its own high tech version with the "Braindance editor". Semi-Justified in that you only get what the recorder's cyberware enhancements picked up, but you can still move around in it to view different angles, and get data the recorder didn't notice, enhance and hear both sides of a whispered phone conversation, and even download whole files when the recorder only saw a single screenshot.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Shortly before release, it was discovered that the flashing lights that precede braindance sequences were done in a pattern that consistently triggered epileptic seizures for at least one reviewer. The developers issued an apology, added an epilepsy warning screen in patch 1.02 and toned the light show down in patch 1.04.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Well, not everyone. But in addition to Kerry being bisexual note , Panam can be romanced by a female V with a masculine frame and vice versa for River. Meredith Stout is available as a one night stand for any V. Rogue is willing to sleep with Johnny regardless of V's body note , and Johnny himself alludes to not really caring about the gender of someone willing to sleep with him. V can also be played as bisexual. The only character with an explicitly confirmed orientation that isn't bisexual is Judy, who's a lesbian.
  • Everything Is Online: doors, security systems, weapons, and even people are all hooked up to various networks, to the point you can (and often have to) hack into most of them.
  • Expanded Universe: The game is the "main" work in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe, but it's accompanied by officially licenced comics published by Dark Horse Comics that tell the stories taking place in the universe, but have no direct impact on the game's story and feature different casts of characters.
  • Experience Points: Deviating somewhat from the entirely point-based skill system from the original tabletop games, V gains experience points for three types of levels:
    • Character Level, which gives V attribute points and increases their overall health and effectiveness / availability of gear at their level. Mainly earned by neutralizing enemies and completing quests.
    • Skill Levels, which give V skill points and passive abilities. Earned by using the corresponding skill; V gains Street Brawling experience by punching people, Quickhack experience by hacking people's implants, Cold Blood experience by racking up a kill combo, etc. Note that each of V's skill levels cannot exceed their corresponding parent attribute.
    • Street Cred, which unlocks new quests and shop equipment. Mainly earned by, once again, neutralizing enemies and completing quests, but at a far faster rate than V's character level.
  • Extra Eyes: An option for augmented optics are multi-camera arrays resembling spider eyes, as used by the Maelstrom gang.
  • Eye Scream:
    • The E3 2018 trailer features two examples, one of a man's eye getting ripped out, the other of a corporate burning alive from within, with flames shooting out of his mouth and eye sockets.
    • Taken Up to Eleven when V goes to visit Viktor for the first time. V's eye is plucked out by a robotic hand and it immediately goes dark. Their replacement cybernetic eye is then activated before being implanted, allowing them to watch their own body on the operating chair, and it stays on as the ripper inserts it into their eye socket.
  • Fake Band: Songs on the radio are attributed to made-up artists, for example Samurai, Johnny Silverhand's band, is actually Refused, with Dennis Lyxzen credited as Johnny's singing voice, and Lizzy Wizzy's songs are performed by her voice actress, Grimes.
    • Hip-hop producer Konrad Oldmoney is actually credited as twenty eight fake bands, one for each artist he collaborated with.
  • Fallen States of America: Yet another cyberpunk hallmark, though played with. The United States federal government has almost completely broken with many of the states outright seceding from the union. What remains of the US and its successor states are third world countries in all but name, filled to the brim with crime and violence as well as both political and corporate corruption. Compared to 2020s, however, it's an improvement: the NUSA had succeeded in regaining control over much of the union, with the notable exception of Texas and Night City. America's armed forces remain the world's most powerful military and could wipe out Arasaka if they wanted to, only refraining from doing so due to how costly it'd be.
  • Fanservice:
    • The game is full of beautiful characters left and right in various stages of undress. Fanservice Extra of both sexes are often hocking wares and many of the models are attractive men or women wearing the clothes you'd find in a California hot summer. The Lizzie's Bar brothel is also full of gorgeous young punk women. You will find yourself visiting at least a couple of other brothels too.
    • Evelyn Parker is a She's Got Legs and You Gotta Have Blue Hair Femme Fatale who plays the mysterious client before the Heist. She also has a lot of Les Yay with her Riot Grrrl friend, Judy Alvarez.
    • While all four main romance options (Judy, Panam, Kerry and River) are fully realised characters with proper depth, all of them are also very attractive, and their romance routes feature custom-made, explicit sex scenes in the first person.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The first mission in the gameplay reveal has V rescuing a woman named Sandra Dorsett, who spends her entire time on the whole mission entirely naked. She's also dying and covered in deep cuts and gashes, her complexion is deathly pale from blood loss and trauma, her head shaved bald, having spent god-knows-how-long in an ice-cube filled bathtub in scavenger captivity.
    • The braindances offered with Dolls at Clouds. They're an erotic yet psychologically engaging experience with Intimate Psychotherapy as part of the package. Your partner, Skye or Angel, goes into the details of your life as well as recent loss of your partner Jackie while leading you up to what is implied to be mind-blowing sex. Except then you cut the feed and your partner immediately loses all awareness of what was going on, meaning the entire thing would have been SciFi Rape at best.
    • The extremely raunchy advertisements for things like dog food, cybernetics, TV shows, and tubes of meat paste are so ubiquitous they become background noise, and so ridiculous they lose any appeal they might have had.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Seems to be a trend in vehicle styling. Many of them features asymmetrycal tail- or headlight design. Chevillon Thrax even comes with asymmetrycal grille. Major exeption are Rayfield cars.
  • Fauxrrari:
    • Jackie's Quadra V-TECH is named after Honda's VTEC variable valve timing system and Audi's Quattro 4WD system. The car itself seems to be based mainly on Ferrari Testarossa, Vector W8, De Tomaso Pantera and Lancia Stratos with a more futuristic Cyberpunk design.
    • The Rayfield Aerondight supercar is at least partially based on Bugatti Veyron with its distinctive front grille.
    • The Quadra Type 66 and its subtypes are an ode to a variety of classic American muscle cars over the years, having elements of a variety of them in its aesthetic design: you can spot elements from the Ford Mustang, Dodge Charger, and Pontiac Trans-Am, for example. It also has a number of famous paint jobs in its skin variant set, such as a NUSA-themed pastiche of the General Lee, the green Mustang from Bullitt, and the silver/blue-striped Mustang from Gone in 60 Seconds (1974).
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Despite the game not having a real class system, the three general approaches to combat boil down to the classic trio even so. Focusing on Body and Reflexes creates a warrior-style solo that fights with brute force in melee and massive firepower at close to medium range. Going for Reflexes, Tech and Cool results in a thief playstyle that relies on stealth and long-range firepower. Last but most definitely not least, any Intelligence-heavy build plays like a traditional mage with a wide array of "spells" fueled by a sci-fi version of a mana bar.
  • Filk Song: Several, by various artists:
  • Follow That Car: Happens in a few missions. In "Sinnerman" you have to chase down a police car carrying mass-murderer Joshua Stephenson. "Dream On" sends you in pursuit of a Creepy Stalker Van that's spying on the Peralezes. And during the final race in "The Beast in Me", Claire asks you to chase after Peter Sampson instead of racing for the finish line so that she can execute him in retaliation for seemingly killing her husband.
  • Fortune Teller:
    • In the side quest "Killing In The Name", Nancy asks V to find out more about the mysterious thought leader who's been captivating the people of Night City, Swedenborg Riviera. After decoding a series of routers, V finds out that Swedenborg was a modified fortune telling machine, called Leonora the Savantron, from Pacifica.
    • Misty is a somewhat more modern take on the trope, being more Perky Goth than Magical Romani. She does tarot readings as one of the services in her shop, and can read V's future in a couple occasions.
  • For Want of a Nail: The absolute crux that essentially results in the entire plot after Act 1 is that Saburo and Yorinobu happened to have their meeting at the same moment that V and Jackie were burgling Yori's penthouse. Had they been but a few minutes earlier, Jackie and V would have had a good chance of klepping the Relic before the meeting and likely would have been walking out the door before Arasaka even knew it was missing. A few minutes later, and the security alert triggered by Saburo's murder would have locked down the tower and V and Jackie would have had to scrub the heist lest they get discovered.
    • Another crux was that Evelyn organized the heist herself, rather than simply scrolling Yori's penthouse as the Voodoo Boys had originally hired her to do, with the intention of cutting them out of the deal to sell the Relic. Had she stuck to her original orders (and not asked too many questions), the VDB would have obtained the Relic as they wanted and V and Jackie never would have gotten involved.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The E3 2018 reveal had codes for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for Xbox One for a few seconds when the conference was being 'hacked'.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Id: Jackie. He's a very affable, emotional guy who loves partying, food and other people. He's both most upbeat and most prone to strong emotions like anger or compassion (his reaction to seeing Sandra Dorsett during "The Rescue").
    • Ego: V. Due to being the Player Character, they can be more outgoing and upbeat like Jackie, or cooler and levelheaded like T-Bug, depending on the player's preference.
    • Superego: T-Bug. She's much more distanced (literally and emotionally) from her co-workers' jobs, and gets V and Jackie out of trouble by staying cool and using logical thinking and her netrunning skills. She's also a fan of Aristotle.
  • From Stray to Pet: V can adopt a stray sphinx cat that lives near their apartment.
  • Flying Car: Aerodynes, or "AV's" as they are colloquially called, which pretty much fill the airspace over Night City. True to the source material, AV's are reserved only for the wealthy and certain organizations such as the NCPD, military, private security, and Trauma Team, and, while some can be manually piloted, many are flown using automated systems so the passenger(s) can sit back and enjoy the flight. V has several encounters with them throughout the game, an in some instances eve get to ride in them.
    • The Corp prologue has V being chauffeured in one while going to Lizzie's bar.
    • The game also has flying garbage trucks. Including one that crashed into the upper floor of a suburban house.
    • Trauma Team's main vehicles are flying ambulances built like APCs, complete with autocannons which can and will shoot down any other AV in their way, whether it's blocking them intentionally or not.
  • The Fixer: An actual line of work in the game's world. V is hired by several fixers over the course of the game, most importantly by resurgent big shot Dexter DeShawn, to pull off jobs for clients who would like to distance themselves from the illegal nature of the work.
  • Future Slang: Has a few. Notable examples:
    • Choom/Choomba/Choombatta - friend, dude, buddy
    • Gonk - fool, idiot, asshole
    • Delta - go/leave, usually in a hurry; example: I gotta delta - I gotta go/run
    • Flatline - death
    • Zero - kill
    • Borg - a nickname for people with large amount of cybernetics; derived from "cyborg"
    • Preem - an expression of positivity, similar to "cool" or "awesome"; derived from "premium"
    • Nova - basically a stronger version of "preem"
    • Input/output - boyfriend/girlfriend, respectively
    • Chrome - Cyberware, regardless of color. The term is mostly used about big, noticeable implants like limb replacements.
    • Chroming - Excessive use of cyberware.
    • Iron - Firearm.
    • Klep - Steal.
    • Klepper - A thief. Derived from "klep", see above.
    • Monochrome - A corporate executive. Derived from the prevalence of black and white in corporate fashion styles (such as Neo-Militarism, primarily), as opposed to the more colorful streetwear.
    • Corpo/Corpo-rat - A corporate executive. Far more charged and derisive than "monochrome".
    • Scop - Junk, garbage, crap, detritus. Calling someone a "scopmuncher" is exactly as insulting as you think. Also the label for a synthetic protein supplement, standing for Single Cell Organic Protein, and considered to be poverty-level food of last resort.
    • Ripper/Ripperdoc: An underground cyberware implantation specialist. Most Rippers also act as trauma surgeons and primary care physicians for those who, for various reasons, don't want to seek aid from a corp-owned medical facility.
  • Funny Background Event: Johnny tends to hang in the background in most main plot (and more important sidequest) missions. Only V can see him, so he can pretty much do whatever he'd want without anyone else noticing him. In "Life During Wartime", he paces around the hotel room V and Hellman are talking, lying down on one of the beds and walking over another one. In "Gimme Danger", he will appear lounging on a railing, and will drop down the building V and Takemura are on when he gets frustrated with Takemura's loyalty to Saburo.
  • Futuristic Jet Injector: Gun-like jet injectors appear to be ubiquitous in the Night City, particularly with ripperdocs like Viktor, who uses one early in the game to sedate V's right arm while he grafts a ballistic augmentation onto their palm.
  • Gaia's Lament: Much like in the original source material, the planet is in rough shape, especially around Night City. Desertification is common, the rain is more acidic than not, and pretty much every natural body of water in and around Night City is some form of biohazardous. On the fauna side, animals are almost unheard of, due to the environmental devastation and several wildlife-borne diseases that started several human pandemics as well, and resulted in deliberate exterminations that essentially wiped out the few animals that managed to survive the pollution and diseases. The worst part? No one cares. When an environmentalist tries to explain the horrific side effects that have been caused by killing off all birds, the talk show host brings out a woman who lost her children to Bird Flu and makes the environmentalist confront her.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: It came to light that there's a hard cap of eight megabytes for a save file. Hitting this limit can and will cause your save data to become corrupted and irrecoverable. This is caused mostly by hoarding items, as the game has to note how many items you have and each item's individual stats, which adds up fairly quickly. The issue was fixed in one of the first post-release updates, but the fix wasn't retroactive, so those players who had already lost their save data at this point were still out of luck.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • One side mission has a Fixer send V after someone after they went out of control and killed all the guards and the driver during what was supposed to be a hijacking, claiming it drew too much attention and ire. The player can behave identically in just about every gig and the worst they get is a slight reprimand from the Fixer for sub-par performance if there's a bonus objective to be stealthy and/or non-lethal. And a lot of the time they just ignore it.
    • Judy's side-mission starts with her trying to recruit an old flame Maiko to gather more bodies so they can help take over the Cloud dollhouse/brothel. At no point can V point out they're a One-Man Army that might have already killed everyone there on their own, including the old owner, the last time they went and that they don't need any help.
    • Just like any open world RPG the player is free to make V run around killing innocent people and cops during free roam. Outside of getting the attention of cops (for however briefly they bother to attack you) there's never any lasting consequences for this and none of V's friends and acquaintances ever mention them going on a killing spree.
    • Missions that require you to remove your weapons always ignore all models of V's potentially cyber-weaponized forearms or a cyberdeck full of hostile quickhacks and act as if they're disarmed once they toss their weapons. Particularly noticeable in Konpeki Plaza where, with enough grinding, the player can purchase said cyberware but when put through a weapons scan comes up clean. It's especially egregious when you remember that in the Cyberpunk lore, combat cybernetics are actually more dangerous than guns themselves, and even someone with just a single cyber-weapon can stil mow down swaths of gun-toting citizens before being brought down.
    • If you go for the Temperance ending with the Aldecaldos' help, the game gets confused and treats Rogue as both alive and dead at the same time - Johnny-in-V's-body goes to the cemetery to mourn Rogue's death, only to get a call from her during the credits in which she verbally rips into him for what he allowed to happen. It's possible that this ending was originally restricted to Johnny's version of the final mission before it was made available as an option for all choices except The Devil.
    • In gameplay V can heal from bullet wounds, explosions and melee attacks by inhaling a Maxdoc or injecting a Bounceback, which are in plentiful supply all around the city. In the story wounds are portrayed far more realistically. Jackie bleeds out after the failed heist with V desperately yelling at Delamain to take him to a ripperdoc rather than just injecting Jackie with either of the two drugs. The same applies to both V and Takemura who take days/weeks to recover after the highway chase.
    • Attacking gangs never leads to any long lasting consequences. While every other gang member in the area will be hostile the faction as a whole never seems to hold a grudge against the lone merc who kills dozens if not hundreds of them in NCPD missions or free roam. You can, for example, attack the Voodoo Boys before and during V’s temporary alliance with them without comment.
    • During the scene where V gets his or her first implants (besides the Militech cyberdeck that he or she starts the game with), V may comment on the Kiroshi optics, gushing over how they are "top shelf tech". In gameplay terms, however, these are the most rudimentary optical implants the player can receive, and they can be traded in for a superior version at almost any ripperdoc in the city. Whether they're further upgraded or not, the supposed quality of V's optics is never brought up again by anyone. It gets even weirder when you realize that Kiroshi is the only optics manufacturer whose products V can purchase; there's literally no in-game competition.
    • The game has a huge problem with keeping Johnny's and V's relationship consistent between the main story and sidequests. It's all too common to get into massive bitching contests with Johnny during a main quest, only to turn into instant best buddies in the next sidequest because quest dialogue doesn't change regardless of where in the overarching narrative you choose to do the side content.
    • Various characters and news casts point out how toxic the water in and around Night City is, but no matter how long V swims or even dives in lakes, river or the Pacific, they never suffer any ill effects.
  • Gangbangers: The "Gangs of Night City" featurette showcases several of the gangs, including the ones revealed earlier: the Maelstrom, Voodoo Boyz, the Animals and the Moxes.
  • Gang of Hats: The gangs are visually, ideologically and criminally distinct:
    • The Animals are roided-up bodybuilders used as muscle for hire.
    • The Voodoo Boyz are Haitian hackers paying lip service to Hollywood Voodoo.
    • The Sixth Street are gun-toting Eaglelanders clad in military gear who started as a Vigilante Militia before falling into crime themselves.
    • The Tyger Claws are Yakuza (who behave more like Japanese Delinquents) favoring melee weapons dabbling in prostitution and rackets.
    • The Maelstromers are augmented to the point of being grotesque and take their names out of the Norse Mythology, fittingly dealing in illegal cyberware and assorted activities.
    • The Moxes dress in neon and/or pastel and behave like studs and bimbos from The '80s, being joytoys who took up arms to protect sex workers from abuse.
    • The Valentinos are stereotypical Central and South American gangsters with added gold-plated cybernetics.
    • The Scavengers' rank-and-file behave like gopniki (Russian hoodlums) while their higher-ups take more from The Mafiya.
    • The Wraiths are a gang comprised of Raffen Shiv; Nomads exiled from their clans for heinous acts. They have a Desert Punk style to them.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Trauma Team personnel always have masks on to ensure they won't be afflicted with any potential airborne poisons, pathogens or illnesses while treating incapacitated patients.
  • Gay Option: A V with a masculine body and voice can pursuit Kerry Eurodyne, while a V with a feminine body and voice can chase after Judy Alvarez. You can also hook up with joytoys regardless of yours and theirs genders. Meredith Stout is available as a one-night stand for any V.
  • Gayngster: Same-sex romances and sexual encounters are available to the player for both male and female V, allowing you to play as a deadly hired gun operating in the Night City underworld who just happens to be gay or bi.
  • Gender Bender: In the Temperance ending Johnny takes over V's body, which leads to this if you're playing as a female V. Man, I Feel Like a Woman can be averted or played straight, as Johnny can tell his new sidekick in the ending that he won't be a woman much longer, implying some corrective surgery is already lined up.
  • Gender Is No Object: Women, men, and people of other genders seem to be about equal in the grand scheme of things: There are female ripperdocs, edgerunners, policewomen and soldiers. The most respected fixer in the city, Rogue, is a woman. Alt was a brilliant and well-known netrunner when she was alive, and Judy is considered one of the best braindance editors out there. Female V can be everything a male V can be. One of the MAX-TAC units is led by a woman (Melissa). Nobody has any objections when Saul appoints Panam as the second leader to the Aldecaldos, nor do they have any issues if she starts leading them by herself after his death in "The Star" ending. Even a company very heavily tied to traditions like Arasaka has no problems with Hanako taking over after her father's death in "The Devil" ending. Amusingly, even all the gangs have male and female members and seem to allow everyone to rise in the ranks on the same terms and allows women to become leaders (Suzy Q is the leader of the Moxes, Ofelia can become a leader of Maelstrom, The Voodoo Boyz are led by Mama Brigitte and Tyger Claws and Animals have high-ranking female members). That being said, women (especially sex workers) do tend to be victims of various forms of sexual assault by a wide margin; the Mox were explicitly formed by sex workers who felt it was safer look out for one-another.
  • Getaway Driver: At the end of The Heist mission, Delamain plays this role.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • In the E3 2018 gameplay, V denies Jackie's prediction that they will spend everything on a three-day bender. In the next cut, they are shown waking up...after a three-day bender.
    • Another one happens in "The Gig" trailer: after T-Bug says "Preferably no bodies, not one", Jackie and V are shown going guns blazing through a bar.
  • Glowing Mechanical Eyes: A shorthand for the characters using the Net is their eyes glowing blue. Other colors are possible, like the Afterlife's bouncer's eyes glowing orange when he contacts Dex DeShawn over the local subnet.
  • Golden Ending: Averted. Despite the game having multiple endings, none of them can be considered purely "good" without any drawbacks. V will always either die, or will have six months to live, with unclear probability of finding the cure. What most players would consider the best ending would be "The Star", with Judy or Panam romanced and all the other character sidequests finished. There's also the "Temperance" ending, where Johnny takes over V's body with their consent, but even that ending is very melancholic and bittersweet.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: A great lot of Neo-Kitsch-style clothing has gold trim.
  • Good Prosthetic, Evil Prosthetic: the Maelstrom favor red, black and silver cybernetics with an inhuman look (including glowing Extra Eyes), V prefers flesh-colored cybernetic arms and discreet optic implants with subtle, scar-like wiring on the face.
  • Gratuitous German:
    • The Maelstrom gang's HQ is a club called Totentanz, which is German for "dance of the dead".
    • One advertisement around the city shows some BDSM imagery with the slogan "Zeig dich" - "show yourself".
  • Grenade Spam: Enemies that carry grenades have an infinite supply of them, so either take them out quickly or prepare for having assorted explosives chucked your way every couple of seconds. On the other hand, with grenades being cheap to craft and able to stunlock just about everything including bosses, this is an easy way to beat almost any Boss Battle with a minimum of fuss.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Skippy is a smart pistol that can be tuned to Puppy-Loving Pacifist mode, where he only shoots people in the groin. This Crosses the Line Twice when he sometimes shoots prematurely and apologizes for it.
    • One early-game side mission is about an unfortunate dude who's suffering a constant and very painful version thanks to his defective Mr. Stud penis implant. Black Comedy at its finest.
  • Guide Dang It!: It's shockingly easy to miss unique loot and even story content; this isn't helped by the fact the game's wikia/fandom wiki, where you'd normally go for that sort of thing, is lore-focused and the dominant moderators are rather hostile towards gameplay/loot related edits.
    • During the quest where Takemura kidnaps Hanako to talk to her about her brother's betrayal and murder of her father, he takes her to a hotel that gets raided by Arasaka soldiers and the floor collapses under you. V says that they need to save Takemura, but Johnny says that it's too late and that V needs to get out of there. There's a secret objective where you CAN go back to save Takemura, but the game in a rare instance doesn't give you ANY hints about this. You just have to go looking for a way back through purely your own volition (or by accident). Otherwise, Takemura WILL die.
    • There are certain strands of sidequests that, when completed, will unlock additional endings. Unlocking the secret ending requires not only completing a certain sidequest, but selecting a very specific set of dialogue options throughout it. There is absolutely nothing in the game to indicate any of this.
    • There is a very powerful Epic Iconic Smart Pistol with an AI attached, Skippy, that is picked up in an alley on one of the locally triggered sidequests. When picked up, Skippy informs you that he has two modes: Stone Cold Killer or Puppy Loving Pacifist. In Stone Cold Killer mode, his Smart tracking aims at the head, making him one of the most powerful pistols in the entire game, and in Puppy Loving Pacifist mode, his smart tracking aims at the legs, making him one of the worst Iconic weapons in the game. Any normal player would obviously pick the far superior headshot mode at the start. The catch? With absolutely no prior notification, after 50 kills Skippy switches to the opposite mode PERMANENTLY with no way to stop it or change it back.
    • One of Judy's missions involves a sleazy scumbag of a ripperdoc called Fingers. You get multiple very tempting opportunities to beat him up during his interrogation, but doing so even once prevents you from using his services later on, and he sells several unique implants and cyberware upgrades you can't find anywhere else.
    • Almost all cyberware including the legendary variants can be found in the world for free, saving you a lot of cash and SC grinding, but the chances of tracking them down without a guide are remote.
    • The trademark perk of Power weapons is their ability to ricochet their projectiles off of any solid surface. One of the two starter implants you get from Viktor is a Ballistic Coprocessor in V's palm that allegedly allows you to see the ricochet trajectory. Nowhere is it mentioned that you also need a specific eye upgrade to actually enable this feature. The relative obscurity of the cyberware upgrade menu while trading with ripperdocs means that many players don't realize these upgrades even exist, extending the problem to almost all cyberware in some way.
    • The player can go through the entire game without meeting Kerry and River, two out of four romance options with their own arcs and sidequests. River's sidequest gets added to your questlog automatically after a certain point in the main story, but you have no obligation to actually fulfill it. Kerry's questline is even more hidden, because it requires completing almost the entirety of Johnny's questchain, with no indication that it will unlock Kerry. Kerry's questline also comes very late in the game, at the tail end of act two, right before the ending. After discovering them, romancing them is fairly simple (doing their questline and choosing a few dialogue options), but many players missed them entirely. As of February 2021, only about 14% of steam players finished Kerry's storyline, and about 29% completed River's. Compare that to 32% who finished Judy's, and a whopping 42% who completed Panam's, both of who you meet through the course of the main story.
    • Unlocking "The Star" ending, widely considered the best one by the fans, requires completing Panam's entire questline. This is the only other ending that has to be unlocked that drastically changes the game's epilogue (since "(Don't) Fear The Reaper"'s one is a slightly modified "The Sun" epilogue, to the point where the two are often lumped together and simply called "Path of Glory"). While Panam is an important character to the plot and one of the romance options, the player will likely do many sidequests for tons of different characters, with no indication that this specific questline will unlock something so significant. It's also worth noting that the three other love interests don't unlock any other ending's, it's just Panam.
    • The game contains several legendary outfit sets, each following a specific theme like cop, media or fixer. Not only is this mentioned absolutely nowhere, most of the outfit pieces are also fiendishly well-hidden in places few players would ever look.
    • Many legendary items are hidden behind stat-gated doors at side quest locations. If you complete the sidequest before your stats are high enough to open the door, you have no reason to ever go back there again and will never know there was a legendary item on the other side.
  • Gun Fu: The actual name of an achievement you get for quickly killing three enemies with a handgun at close rangenote . The devs all but confirmed that the whole thing is yet another tribute to Keanu Reeves, particularly John Wick.
  • Guns Akimbo: The weapon of choice for Jackie Welles. V can eventually obtain Jackie's guns, both of them, but can only use one at a time, which makes them the only iconic gun you can wield and display on V's Wall of Weapons simultaneously.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Real Life revolvers, barring some very rare exceptions, are generally incapable of mounting a suppressor due to their lack of sealing between the cylinder and the barrel making it useless anyway. CP 2077 not only ignores this completely, it turns revolvers into the best stealth guns in the game thanks to a combination of massive single-shot damage and often enormous headshot damage multipliers enabling easy One-Hit Kills on all but the most elite enemies. However, this can be explained by suggesting that in 2077 all revolvers have some kind of gas seal, Nagant-style or otherwise.
    • Ajax assault rifle supposed to have 5.56mm caliber and magazine size of 30 rounds. Said magazine is very long with noticeable curve, similar to Real Life 40-round 7.62mm magazine of RPK machine gun. 5.56mm mag of such dimensions would hold about 60 rounds.
    • On the same note, Johnny's Malorian pistol is stated to have enormous 14mm caliber. It's magazine placement makes sense, but its size way to small to hold 10 rounds of such dimensions.
  • Hacker Cave: The Voodoo Boyz' base of operations, full of computers, screens and, of course, hackers.
  • Hand Cannon: There are quite a few massive handguns in circulation in Night City, but the most impressive examples are the Burya and the Liberty, respectively a bulky tech revolver of Soviet origin and a power near-exact copy of the Automag V that fires slowly but with tremendous power.
    • Honorable mention goes to Johnny's Malorian Arms pistol that, while not looking particularly huge, is chambered in a custom 14mm caliber, meaning it has a larger bore than a .50AE Desert Eagle and the firepower to match. It's closest real life equivalent would be Pfeifer Zeliska revolver, chambered in .600 Nitro Express.
  • Hard Truth Aesop:
    • A single person (or a small group) can't reform a corrupt system that spans the entire globe, because they simply lack the means and power to do so, and even if they'll put a dent in it, it will be patched up sooner rather than later.
    • Some people are their own worst enemy. While the system or an outside agent might make a tempting target for blame, the fact is that sometimes the only one who is to blame for your bad situation is you and your poor choices.
  • Heroic BSoD: V gets two over the course of the game.
    • The first is at the very beginning of Act 2, when they learn that they will eventually die by having their personality overwritten by Silverhand's and that Vik, one of the best ripperdocs in town, can't do anything to save them.
    • The second is at the very end of the game, when V learns that after all their troubles, all they did to still find a way to save themselves, their brain has already suffered too much damage and that, even after being separated from Silverhand, they only have months at most to live. This is actually foreshadowed somewhat at the end of the tarot-collecting quest "Fool on the Hill," but with significantly less angst; V doesn't know this for sure yet.
  • Hired Guns: Night City has an entire class of deniable mercenaries, so-called "edgerunners", who do dirty jobs for whoever pays enough. V and their companions make their living this way, and while brute force isn't necessarily on the agenda, design or circumstance often conspire to turn any job into a shootout.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Comes with the setting. With Netrunner skills, you can use hacking not only to break into computers, but also to hijack your enemies' cybernetics and force them to perform Psychic-Assisted Suicide, as demonstrated in the 2019 Gameplay Deep Dive. The same video has Sasquatch, the leader of the Animals gang, grab V, plug a cable into her and upload a virus, causing Interface Screw.
  • Hollywood Silencer: The detachable suppressors V can mount on many Power weapons play the trope completely straight. The only one that at least skirts the edge of realism is the one that's part of Panam's iconic Overwatch sniper rifle. Unlike the normal ones, this suppressor merely reduces the report instead of making it inaudible, so unless you're several dozen meters away from any witnesses, the shot will be heard.
  • Homing Projectile: The "Smart" weapons can lock onto opponents, allowing you to hit them with minimum aim. They are essentially gyrojet weapons, with projectiles guided wirelessly by the smart gun's targeting computer which interfaces with the shooter through a piece of hand-mounted cyberware built for smart gun interfaces.
  • Hover Tank: The Basilisk armoured transport you can help the Aldecaldo nomad clan steal is one of these - a floating hexagonal lump of metal with a 25mm autocannon turret on top. This makes it useful for passing over rough terrain and Militech minefields, which is one reason the Aldecaldos (who make a great deal of their money from border smuggling) want it so badly. The other reason is that it's a Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond, where the tiny fish it's up against are Raffen Shiv marauders and their ramshackle Desert Punk vehicles.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The easiest and cheapest way to heal V is to have them eat any of the food items one can find absolutely everywhere. This confers a long-lasting and pretty powerful Healing Factor outside of combat, but since this merely means "as long as the enemy hasn't detected V", stealthy characters can benefit from it practically nonstop... but then again, stealthy characters will rarely have need of it in the first place.
     I to M 
  • Iconic Outfit: V's "Samurai" jacket - with Tron Lines in the collar and large metal studs on the shoulders - is featured in most trailers, promotional artwork and action figures.
  • Immortality Inducer: The plot revolves around a prototype chip that allows to store one's soul, or at least a copy of it.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: You can unlock an achievement by shooting an enemy's thrown grenade out of the air with any of the game's slow-firing revolvers, which requires either a fair bit of marksmanship or a lot of dumb luck.
  • Informed Poverty: Despite frequent mentions of Night City having more citizens below the poverty line than above, very few people seem to be actually struggling to make a living. The number of beggars in the streets can be counted on two hands, homeless camps aren't nearly as prevalent as one would expect, and just about everyone has the funds to afford non-essential cyberware by the truckload. Probably the worst example is River Ward's sister Joyce, a jobless single mother of three who lives in not one but two house-sized "trailers" and seems to have no problem putting decent food on the table, getting decent clothes for the kids, and even providing some pretty spiffy entertainment tech for them. All of this is apparently financed by River, a low-ranked cop who certainly won't be rolling in dough. All things considered, Night City isn't so much depicted as poor as it is simply dirty and decrepit. If they'd clean up a bit and did some renovations, the city would probably look quite decent in a flash.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Keanu Reeves did face capture, performance capture, and voice work for his role as Johnny Silverhand. There are also cameos by various live streamers throughout the game, all of whom are designed with cyberpunk takes on their real appearances.
    • Charter Hill ripperdoc Nina Kraviz is, in fact voiced by Russian musician Nina Kraviz, and modeled after her.
  • Instant Sedation: A potent quickhack called System Reset, which is a unique piece of soft built by legendary netrunner Rache Bartmoss, will instantly stun and knock out a target via their cyberware. It is essentially the nonlethal (and stealthier) variant of the gruesome Suicide quickhack.
  • Interface Screw: Every now and then after Act 1, the Relic starts glitching and causes this to the Player. This is largely the only real impediment caused by the Relic's weeks-to-live effect.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Flathead combat drone uses "dynamic camo", which uses cameras and screens on its surface to blend in with its surroundings. It's still fairly visible, but would be easy to miss at a glance.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: Played With. The end credits (shown simultaneously with voicemail messages sent to V) roll over a glass pane on the other side of which drops of water fall down. Depending on the player’s choices, V may or may not be alive and in their own body at that point, though even if the former, V’s days are numbered anyway.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Johnny Silverhand's classic Porsche 911 is one of the best, if not the best car in the game. While slightly inferior in the top speed department to most of the muscle cars, it's still very fast, has great acceleration, good brakes and excellent handling. It's also quite sturdy and agile due to its small size, making it a top choice for Claire's racing missions.
    • V's default car is quite slow but sturdy and handles better than 90% of all the other cars. The Delamain 21 behaves exactly the same aside from higher top speed.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: As is common with cyberpunk settings, there is a massive amount of Japanese text and advertisement across Night City, which is based in California. It's still unknown though if Japan has become the dominant superpower by 2077 or if the European Economic Community still remains the most powerful player on the globe, like it did in the original tabletop games. Though Japan itself may not be, the most powerful singular corpoation is the japanese zaibatsu Arasaka Corporation, run by a family whose patriarch is an old Japanese imperialist.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: A scan of Mauler of the Animals reveals he's wanted by the Night City police for "Illegal use of pineapple or pineapple-adjacent products (Pizza Desecration Act, article 1, 5 5o)".
    • This reaches a new level of comedy when you realize that "Tofu'd tuna and pineapple pizza" is a commonly available food item.
    • This can apply literally if you jaywalk in sight of an NCPD patrol since it counts as an offence punishable by death.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Wilson probably shouldn't be calling his potential customers "bush-league", but his rant about disrespecting firearms, and the responsibility of learning to handle a firearm if you own one are things pretty much anyone can get behind.
    • Maiko is clearly out for herself and agrees with the plan to kill the Tyger Claws ruling over Clouds mostly to get back at Judy, but she's right about the Tyger Claws not sitting by idly after losing Clouds.
    • Johnny is a massive asshole, but he's right about how corporations have ruined the world.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: Deconstructed by Johnny, a veteran himself. After V and Panam manage to get their hand so the Basilisk, Johnny bitterly said that back when he was young, people his age didn't even need pro-army propaganda to join; they just needed to be shown the "toys".
  • Katanas Are Just Better: When they're superheated and Sharpened to a Single Atom, like the Arasaka Thermal Katana featured in the "Tools of Destruction" featurette. Unfortunately, none of these made it into the game, turning most katanas into standard melee weapons that are generally overshadowed by Mantis Blades. Only Saburo Arasaka's personal katana is truly powerful.
  • Kill Streak: The Cold Blood perk tree is focused on taking down enemies to gain stacks of Cold Blood which grant various buffs when leveled like increased armor, health regen, or attack speed to list a few.
  • Kill the Poor:
    • A background newscast talks about the city's plans to fumigate the sewer system in the Watson district to deal with the vagrant population in them. Residents are warned to stay away from sewer openings during the operation.
    • Two NPCs in the wealthy City Center district casually discuss shooting homeless people for sport as a fun pastime.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Three major types of ranged weapons are "Power" - more or less conventional firearms with the added potential for ballistically plotted ricochet trajectories; "Tech" - electromagnetic railguns that can potentially pierce cover; and "Smart" - gyrojet guns firing guided micromissiles.
  • Knife Nut: The Stealth skill tree puts heavy emphasis on knife work, encouraging this playstyle among stealth-centric players.
  • Large Ham:
    • Keanu Reeves CLEARLY enjoyed himself in this role. And boy does it show.
    • Royce, the off-the-hinges leader of Maelstrom, is large and in charge and likes to let everyone know.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Aside from constantly talking your ear off, the iconic smartgun Skippy initially appears to be an otherwise normal weapon of its class... until you unlock its Stone-Cold Killer mode that automatically aims for the target's head, making it one of the deadliest weapons in the game that can take down absolutely anything (including any and all bosses) in extremely short order. Note that Skippy can be acquired and fully "trained" as soon as you start Act II, assuming you know where to look and how to train it.
  • Level Grinding: More like Everything Grinding, really. Gangoons in the streets respawn when V leaves the area, which sometimes means just walking around the next corner and back. A popular example is a certain tour around the ripper clinic in Pacifica that takes you past at least seven groups of Voodoo Boys and Scavengers in less than two minutes of running and gunning. Rinse and repeat to grind XP (very slowly), street cred (surprisingly quickly), money by selling all the loot (decently quickly), crafting components by disassembling all that loot (ditto) and even specific weapons due to each gang having unique gear preferences. It's also a handy way to grind achievements like "take down [number of] enemies with [type of] weapons".
  • Level Scaling: Zigzagged. Random weapon and armor drops scale to V's level, but enemies do not. The highest-level enemies including the Final Boss sit somewhere around level 20-25, which V can reach before they even tackle the Heist mission. It tends to turn the rest of the game into a shooting gallery due to most enemies going down in one hit from almost anything once you exceed level 35 and wield the gear to match.
  • Liberty Over Prosperity: The nomad perspective of the world in a nutshell. They may live hard lives, but consider it worth it to maintain their freedom from the domination of the corps. Saul threatening this independence with what Panam considers short-sighted decisions is Panam's main source of friction with him.
  • Like Brother and Sister: If the player tries to romance a character who isn't attracted to them - Judy and River for male V, Kerry and Panam for female V - that character will let them down gently, and confirm that it can't happen. Despite this, they will still remain on close, friendly terms with V, and in the case of Panam, even be willing to risk her life for them. Judy seemingly views V as her new best friend after losing her previous one to suicide, and she's by far the character devastated the most by their suicide in the Reaper ending.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The main story already features quite a lot of players, but couple that with the crazy amount of characters from sidemissions you can easily miss and you've got quite a roster of unique personalities with their own stories and distinct designs.
  • Local Reference: You'll notice that the street name signs have an unusual design and color scheme for an American city. That's because they're based on the visual identification scheme used in Warsaw.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • An odd example: If the player romanced Kerry Eurodyne and chooses to call him before the Point of No Return, they can ask him about a new song he's working on. In the original Polish version, he says the title will be "Seamurai Goes Down", referencing the events of the last mission with him, where him and V have sex on a yach they stole from his manager and then promptly sank it, making the title a Double Entendre. In the English translation, the song's title is instead "Seamurai in Smoke", which loses the dirty pun. It's unclear as to why the title was changed, since it was already in English to begin with.
    • Two last missions in Kerry's questline are called "Czarna Materia" ("Dark Matter") and "Teoria Wielkiego Wybuchu" ("The Big Bang Theory") in Polish. It also ties the first one with a song called "Dark Matter" on Kerry's computer, which foreshadows the events of said mission. In the English version, due to all missions being Titled After the Song, "Czarna Materia" was titled "Off the Leash" (an In-Universe song), and "Teoria (...)" was changed to "Boat Drinks". While an attentive English-language player might connect the dots with the song and "Off the Leash" (it's briefly mentioned that the club this mission takes place in is called Dark Matter), the theme is completely lost with "Boat Drinks".
    • A minor one in the corpo lifepath prologue: When Jenkins talks about the dirt he has on Abernathy, in the Polish version he specifically uses the word "kochanka", meaning that Abernathy's lover is a woman. The english word "lover" is gender neutral, so this detail is omitted.
    • At the very start of "Gimmie Danger", Takemura says that the parade is going to celebrate "Japanese heritage", which may suggest that it's being held to celebrate people of Night City who are of Japanese ancestry AND their culture. In the Polish version, the word used is "dziedzictwo", which strictly means culture.
    • During the gig "Psychofan", Johnny can recount one of Samurai's afterparties, where he says that Kerry threw up in Nancy's guitar case. This seems odd, because Nancy was the band's keyboard player, not guitarist. In the Polish version, the word used is "futerał", which is a more generic name for a case used for transporting any musical instruments, not only guitars.
    • The samurai jacket V can obtain is called "samurajka" in the Polish version, implying that it's a name of this specific jacket model (kind of like a cardigan is a specific type of sweater and not every sweater is a cardigan), or that this paticular jacket is somehow one of a kind. The English name suggests that this is simply a regular jacket with a Samurai motif.
    • In the English version of "Off the Leash", before V gets an option to kiss Kerry, he will say "Think you can drive the shadows away?" to which V can respond "I'll even protect you from yourself". This conversation sound more natural in the Polish version: Kerry instead asks "Obronisz mnie przed cieniami?" ("Will you protect me from the shadows?"), with V's response being more or less the same as above.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Depending on your ending, your love interest might break up with you due to diverging goals in life. Each one has at least one ending where they stay in a relationship with V, however.
  • Machine Worship: Many Psycho gangs have the end goal of turning themselves into machines. The Maelstrom in particular treat cyberpsychosis as a path to enlightenment through detachment from the human condition.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • Smart weapons in a nutshell. Assault rifles and submachine guns rapid-fire homing mini-missiles with impressive Roboteching capabilities, shotguns fire whole packs of miniature missiles at once, and certain iconic models may even allow you to target multiple opponents at once.
    • The Basilisk hover tank is fitted with a cluster homing missile launcher after the Panam's Aldecaldo clan really gets to work on it. It's ready to go by the time the Endgame rolls around, and is put to use in the Star ending, during the assault on the tunnel construction site.
  • Made of Explodium:
  • Magikarp Power: A netrunner's initial quickhack options aren't all that useful in combat, but put some points in the relevant perks and craft some advanced quickhacks and you'll quickly end up with the most powerful, most versatile character build in the game.
    • The Cold Blood perk tree can start off as fairly underwhelming, since it gives V a very minor speed boost after killing an enemy (up to three times with upgrades). However, going further down the skill tree can grant V very useful boons, some of which also stack such as armor, attack speed, melee damage or quickhack cooldown. Some, while they don't stack, are also very useful and activate as soon as one stack is acquired, such as an immunity to ailments, more stacks, higher headshot damage or more damage resistance, allowing V to become a Lightning Bruiser with the ability to absorb and dish out way more damage while moving at a faster pace than before.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The "Tech" weapons, relying on magnetic accelerators, allow you to use Charge Attack that can punch through walls.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Later videos, for example the "Tools of Destruction" featurette, show enemies wearing masks fitted with screens displaying simplistic, cartoony faces.
    • MAX-TAC officers, police authorized to use lethal force, wear helmets that cover the entire top halves of their head.
    • Trauma Team troops wear gas masks at all times to make sure they can access patients without risking exposure to airborne pathogens or toxins.
  • Mana: A netrunner's RAM bar is essentially the scifi equivalent of a mage's mana supply. Every quickhack consumes a certain amount of RAM when used. If you empty your RAM, you have to wait for it to replenish before you can continue to use quickhacks.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Night City is a technological breakthrough as per the genre but some things are hard to explain with just advanced tech:
    • One Cyberpsycho gig has V track a ritual where a bunch of dead gang members surround a womam lying on a freezer. Investigating around the area will lead to flashes of noise before the woman herself eventually springs back to life and attacks V despite having been dead up to that point. Neither V or Silverhand can explain what exactly happened there.
    • One mission has V and Takemura spot a stray cat while doing reconnasaince, when V points out that most animals disappeared from Night City a long time ago, Takemura will jokingly suggest that it's a Bakeneko, a cat spirit that spreads misfortune and is able to revive the dead. While this is easy to dismiss at that time, what appears to be the same cat will later appear In Johnny's memory of 2013 some fifty years earlier, during what was likely the greatest moment of misfortune in his life: as he lays bleeding out having failed to save Alt from being kidnapped by Arasaka, right before he'd embark on his first raid on Arasaka in a rescue attempt that ended with him inadvertently killing her.
    • When exploring a serial killer’s memories to track the location of his lair V can see images of his deceased mother such as her shadow behind a curtain but when the blinds are drawn she’s nowhere to be seen. While this might be explained away as the memories being a dream the rest of the memories are relatively mundane with little in the way of fantastical elements,
    • Peralez’s entire quest chain has their memories being altered by a shadowy organization with no hints as to who it might be. While initially pegged as a Corpo conspiracy it takes on a more Existential Horror vibe the longer the quest goes, especially when V gets a phone call and seemingly gets hacked by an inhuman voice. Johnny surmises that it was a rogue AI that was responsible but ultimately it’s left ambiguous who the mastermind is.
    • Misty’s tarot readings are noticeably accurate in the endings with her referencing death (of a sort) in Temperance ending and good fortunes in the Sun ending.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Although not nearly as numerous as human enemies, you'll run into your fair share of hostile combat robots, ranging from humanoid security androids to flying attack drones to massive walking tanks. They're generally Made of Explodium but give huge amounts of XP and have an absurdly high chance to drop legendary crafting components.
  • Meet the New Boss: If V chooses to allow Maiko to take over Clouds in Judy's quest chain, the conditions end up exactly the same and there's effectively no change in management. On the other hand, she’s correct in that Judy’s plan accomplishes nothing but getting reprisals from the Tyger Claws. And at the very least it seems unlikely she’ll do things like rape catatonic Dolls then toss them to Fingers like the previous boss did, and even puts said rapey-human-traffickey boss in V's and Judy's path to do with as they please as a show of good faith.
  • Mega City: Night City's individual high rises are like small towns of their own, including the mega building apartment complex you live in.
  • Mega-Corp: It wouldn't be cyberpunk without them. Multi-national corporations have "diversified" into having controlling interests in almost all aspects of daily life, with the Arasaka Corporation in particular having a stranglehold on multiple industries. It is also mentioned that corporate employees above a certain level are all but immune to prosecution by civil authorities, and are generally turned over to corporate security for "internal discipline".
  • Mission Control: Various characters will regularly pop up on your HUD based phone to offer new jobs, give you info on your missions, or dictate your new marching orders if they're your employer. "The Heist" mission also has T-Bug act as this for V and Jackie.
  • Mock Hollywood Sign: A promotional image reveals one for the affluent North Oak neighborhood.
  • Modular Epilogue: Zig-zagged. While the main part of the epilogue is always the same (the only potential difference is which love interest makes an appearanace), the ending calls you get from your friends will be different, depending on how far you've gotten into their respective personal quests. The only exception is "The Reaper" ending, where all characters will be devastated by V's suicide, no matter their previous relationship.
  • Moment Killer: Relic Malfunctions can happen at any time, including right in the middle of phone calls and even romance dialogue cutscenes. Needless to say that V suddenly cursing and coughing up blood while their vision distorts is highly effective at killing any sort of moment in an instant.
  • Money for Nothing: The only commodity in Night City that makes sense to invest in is top-tier cyberware, and even that can be found in the world if you know where to look. Everything else can be crafted regardless of crafting skills (ammo and grenades) or is either useless (most types of clothing), too expensive for what it does (weapons and armor), or both of the latter (vehicles). The result is an exploding bank account once you're decked out in your favorite cyberware at the start of the midgame. It's probably why CDPR came up with the Autojock achievement for buying all vehicles in the game.
  • Money Sink: Practically the only reason why V can purchase vehicles. There's next to nothing in the game aside from cyberware one could reasonably spend money on, so if all that hard-earned cash is burning holes in your pockets, go buy a car.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: While not as impressive as the initial plans, the "Lifepaths" featurette presents V's possible backgrounds: an inner-city gangbanger, a disgraced corporate agent or a Nomad whose clan fell apart. Each of them comes with its own set of prologue missions and additional gameplay options, but they all join up with V befriending (or being reunited with) Jackie and the two of them working together as Edgerunners.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has a variety of different endings depending on your relationships with various characters and choices about who to ally with in your attempt to raid Arasaka in hopes of using their facilities to split yourself from Johnny and the biochip.
    • "The Devil": You join forces with Hanako Arasaka to get access to Arasaka's facilities in return for avenging her father Saburo. You successfully oust Yorinobu, but collapse shortly afterwards and are taken to an Arasaka medical space station. The Relic is successfully removed (and Johnny's code erased) and you spend months in recovery aboard the station, but to no avail - the Relic has done too much damage and you'll be dead by winter. You are given a final choice: Surrender to Arasaka and let them turn you into an immortal virtual ghost like Johnny, or walk away to enjoy freedom for the few weeks or months you have left.
    • "The Star": You enlist the help of Panam and the Aldecaldos nomad gang to raid Arasaka, and following the splitting of you and Johnny, you choose to keep your body. You then leave Night City with Panam and the Aldecaldos, hopeful that a solution to your dying psyche can be found in the months you have left with your new family.
    • "The Sun": Johnny temporarily takes control of V's body to enlist the help of Rogue, raids Arasaka alongside her and ultimately completes his quest for revenge, though at the cost of Rogue herself. Following the splitting of you and Johnny, Johnny chooses to let you keep your body. You spend the following months managing the Afterlife and living the high life, having left your mark on Night City as a legend, but ultimately, with only weeks left to live before the effects of the Relic catch up to you, you take on one last job: robbing an Arasaka casino on an orbital resort station. Whether you come out of it alive, you don't care; after all, your number was called a long time ago.
    • "Temperance": In either the Star or the Sun, you choose to give your body to Johnny to live out a long, fruitful life while your psyche remains in cyberspace, at least no longer in danger of being deleted by the Soulkiller virus in the biochip. Johnny eventually leaves Night City, in search of a new life thanks to the second chance you gave him.
    • "The Reaper": Rather than put any of your friends in danger for the sake of you or Johnny, you decide to leave on your own terms and shoot yourself in the head.
    • "(Don't Fear) The Reaper": If you befriend Silverhand and spend a few minutes debating which ending to take, he decides to propose assaulting Arasaka Tower solo. Whether it be avoiding risking your friends for yourself or Johnny, or simply going out with a bang like Jackie would have wanted, taking this ending means a Challenge Run with no allies, and without dying once, or else you get a variant of the Reaper. If you survive the whole way, though, you carve your legend out on your own as the one who took on Arasaka headquarters on your own and lived to tell the tale. The rest of this ending follows a variant of the Sun or Temperance.
  • Multiple Game Openings: Depending on which lifepath you choose for V at character creation, the first half of the prologue features a completely unique storyline: the Nomad V smuggles a contraband item into Night City with Jackie; the Corpo V gets entangled in a political scheme within Arasaka, then fired by their superiors covering their assesnote ; and the Streetkid V tries to hijack the same supercar as Jackie but both get busted by the police. Either way, it is followed by a universal Training Montage and the first proper mission with Jackie.
  • Mythology Gag: The promotional materials are packed with references to the pen and paper RPG.
    • The female cyborg poster in a window in the teaser trailer is based on the cover art for one of the Cyberpunk pen-and-paper rulebooks.
    • V's glowing popped collar matches the one seen on the cover of the 2.0.2.0 version of the tabletop game.
    • The character of chrome-skinned celebrity Lizzy Wizzy is a reference to the cover art of the "Chromebook vol. 1" sourcebook.
    • The Voodoo Boyz are now a gang of mostly Afro-Caribbean netrunners, having taken the name of an "earlier gang" - their Cyberpunk incarnation was a culture-appropriating bunch of rowdy white kids, and Mike Pondsmith stated in an interview he prefers CD Projekt's version.
    • The XBox Series X gameplay preview has an advert for "Mr Stud" implant play in the elevator. It's an actual piece of cyberware/bioware you could get in the tabletop game.
    • The concept of brain uploading software goes as far back as the first edition of the tabletop game, where the Soulkiller program was an important element of the metaplot and Johnny Silverhand's backstory.
    • One sidequest has V come across the mortal remains of Rache Bartmoss, still in the disguised-as-a-refrigerator cryogenic chamber he'd been in since initially flatlining in the tabletop game's metaplot. One of V's reply choices to Johnny also nods to Rache's near single-handed wrecking of the Old Net in the tabletop games, as well.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: It's implied that by 2077, Miltech has effectively taken control of the United States, given that the federal government is either comprised of former employees or bureaucrats under their payroll.
  • Optional Boss: The vast majority of bosses are optional, being either part of side missions or avoidable by making certain decisions in the main story. Only a grand total of two bosses must be fought with no way around it.

     N to S 
  • Named After Somebody Famous: All cocktails on the Afterlife's menu are named after an Edgerunner who made it big enough to be allowed inside and died during a run. Jackie ends up having his own entry on the menu after the biochip heist.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: That "Samurai" jacket V is seen wearing in most trailers? You only get it near the end of the game, and only if you do Silverhand's quests.
    • Additionally, perhaps a change from the earlier gameplay demos, Jackie never owns - or goes out to buy - a Quadra Turbo, instead having a Valentino-themed Arch motorcycle. However, later on in the game, V will eventually get the opportunity to buy one for themselves.
    • T-Bug never betrays V and is dead before V gets to the meeting with DeShawn after the heist.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Not just V reacts a bit dumbfounded when the young, wealthy Russian ripperdoc who owns the Charter Hill clinic reveals that she actually enjoys being in Night City. Turns out she finds it fascinating how folks shoot each other in the streets or have to pay through their noses for basic medical services, both of which one apparently finds Only in America.
  • No Antagonist: The main conflict driving the story is the biochip slowly taking over V's brain, and their race against time to get themselves untangled from Johnny and save their life. The closest thing to a Big Bad the game has would be the Arasaka corporation and the entire exploitative, soulless system governing Nigh City, but even then dismantling it isn't V's goal. If they'll take down the Arasaka tower in the "Path of Glory" or "The Star" ending, it's mostly done as a means to an end to get to Mikoshi and save themselves, and not due to any personal vendetta or heroic goals.
  • Noble Demon: Goro Takemura works for the most tyrannically oppressive corporation in the world as bodyguard to none other than its sinister CEO. However, he carries a distinct level of honor and principle not commonly seen among those working for Arasaka, and he allies himself with the player to bring Yorinobu to justice and can eventually become V's friend.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Saburo Arasaka came very close to disowning his son Yorinobu in the past, but choose not to in order to spare his daughter the pain of seeing her brother be cast out. Yorinobu repaid Saburo by conspiring against him and murders him once he discovers that knew of his plans.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: You don't get to fight neither Saburo nor Yorinobu, depending on which one you see as the real Big Bad. Saburo is an elderly man, and while Yorinobu used to be in a bosozoku gang, he likely wouldn't stand a chance against a One-Man Army like V. The closest you can get to fighting them are boss fights agains Oda, Hanako's bodyguard, and the very last battle of the game, Adam Smasher.
  • Not So Different: In the "Bullets" side mission, the MaxTac team's lieutenant tells V that they enjoy killing just like her and suggests that they join her team. The player can decide whether V thinks the same.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • According to the Maelstrom boss Royce, Dexter DeShawn played an important role in Pacifica's downfall, but neither V nor the player ever learn the specifics.
    • Rogue mentions having done past dealings with Arasaka, including (to her deepest regret) working with Adam Smasher. It's this that compels her to help V and Johnny hunt him down.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: The Basilisk tank isn't a main battle tank but a transport vehicle, and is also obsolete compared to Militech's latest product line. It is, however, head and shoulders above the vehicle capabilities of banditry that maraud across the Badlands, and also floats handily over minefields used by Militech and others to bottleneck and suppress smuggling routes, or ones left over from the Corporate and Unification Wars. For these reasons, a dissident faction in the Aldecaldo nomad clan led by Panam Palmer seek to smash'n'grab one that's being convoyed through the area by Militech for sale to a third-world country. Once assembled, Wraith bandits choose the worst time ever to attempt to wipe out the Aldecaldos while the Basilisk is loaded with live ammo and being put through the testing rounds, and the established leadership of the clan concedes the contention about it.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Due to the Gray-and-Grey Morality of the setting, most choices are unpleasant Mortons Forks, but in some cases, some choices lead to marginally better outcomes.
    • In one quest, a couple of NCPD officers ask V to check on their comrade Barry, who is also V's neighbor. Talking to Barry, you learn that he's in severe depression after the one-two punch of watching a child be murdered (and the guilty party allowed to get away with it due to their connections) and losing his closest friend, Andrew. V can either wash their hands of the entire situation right there (even telling Barry to suck it up and deal) or they can be sympathetic and visit Andrew's grave. If they do, they will find out that Andrew was a tortoise — when Barry tried opening up to his fellow cops, one of them mocked him for it, and he felt so alone that talking to a tortoise was his only release. If you go back to his cop friends and let them know, the cop who mocked Barry will instead open up and reveal that he's been dealing with similar trauma.
    • A bartender will ask V to tail his wife, convinced that the times she's come home late, combined with the fact their son looks nothing like him are due to infidelity. After tailing her, V will find out that she's meeting a strange man in a rundown building. V can simply walk out without learning more. If they stay and listen, however, the wife will explain that the man is her ripperdoc, and that she's meeting him in secret because every aspect of her body is artificial — her hair, her skin color, eye color...everything. She underwent such drastic work to escape from a sordid past life, but her old face had hereditary influence over their son anyway. If you explain this to the bartender and tell him that his wife truly loves him, both will thank you later on.
    • In the Reaper ending V kills themself mainly to keep anyone else from dying for their sake. Instead it just leaves their friends depressed and grieving with Panam and Kerry even angrily pointing out that it just proved they weren't thinking of their friends and what their death would do to them.
    • The same could apply for the Temperance ending where V gives up their body to Johnny. While this does give him a second chance at life most of V’s friends are unaware of what happened and Panam and Rogue, who do know, cast doubts on the decision. The former vows revenge against Johnny and promises to ‘rip V out of Johnny’s head’ while Rogue’s opinion on Johnny for being a body snatcher tanks to the point that she tells him to never come back to Night City.
    • Breaking Maiko’s deal and sticking to Judy’s plan for the Clouds club to become independent leads to it being attacked and one of the Dolls that helped you being killed. It has Judy decide leaving Night City is the only feasible option after everything that’s happened.
  • Obvious Beta: Upon release, the game was criticized for being buggy and unpolished on all platforms, but the console versions had this especially bad, with base eighth-gen console versions being borderline unplayable for many players. One player even reported 3 crashes within the first 3 hours of gameplay.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Things that happen between the introductory Lifepath mission and the Sandra Dorsett rescue are shown as a quick, non-playable montage, hinting at several setups and outcomes of potentially awesome things we aren't allowed to see or play through (including a Bar Brawl).
    • Johnny’s brief escape from Adam Smasher in his playable flashback isn’t shown apart from Johnny firing at him a few times to no effect and then he’s suddenly up on the roof.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: One of the random lines from passersby in response to violence is just an annoyed-sounding "Not again!" ...Which can lead to this trope if it's, for example, in response to a screaming woman destroying plastic lawn flamingos with a comically oversized vibrator.
  • Older Than They Look: Due to cybernetic modifications and advanced medicine, many characters who are comparatively old only look like they are in their late thirties. Vik Vector, for example, is at least seventy years old but looks like he's about forty.
    • All members of the Arasaka family look about half their actual age. Saburo and Yorinobu are canonically 158 and 82 years old.
    • All members of Samurai (except Johnny, of course) are still alive despite being young adults in 2023, meaning they're around 80-90 years old. They still look like they're in their mid thirties/fourties (Kerry, Denny, Henry) or, at the most, mid fifties (Bes Isis/Nancy), nowhere near their actual ages.
    • Rogue is also still here, running the Afterlife and working as the city's best fixer. She's roughly the same age as the Samurai members, and looks to be in her fifties.
  • One-Hit Kill: Possible but difficult to accomplish without alerting every enemy in the area. Fully charged Tech sniper rifles, a Projectile Launch System loaded with tranquilizer rounds, revolver headshots, and quickhacks are the only reliable means, but only the latter two are viable for stealth gameplay. Unfortunately, chaining instakills is the only way for gunslingers to avoid raising an alarm. Many enemies being too spongy for this approach is one of the main reasons why Cool is generally considered a Dump Stat.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Tech rifles have a Charged Attack that can penetrate cover, walls and enemies. Killing two or more enemies with the same Tech rifle shot unlocks an achievement.
  • One-Letter Name: The customizable main character is simply referred to as "V". A story mission reveals that their actual name is Vincent (if male) or Valerie (if female), with V stating that they only allow really close friends.
  • One-Man Army:
    • V can and will tear through entire gangs by themselves. Many side missions like Crimes in Progress and Bounties more or less require the player to tear through groups of enemies consisting of half a dozen or more gunmen and melee enemies, many of whom likely have cybernetic enhancements or body modifications like Maelstron or the animals. Doing a healthy amount of side missions can easily put the player's body count in the triple or quadruple digits.
    • Turned Up to Eleven in the (Don't Fear) the Reaper ending where V stages a solo assault on Arasaka tower, killing every single guard inside and even defeating Adam Smasher. And all of this while being on their last legs due to how far Relic has spread. There's a reason they become a Living Legend afterwards.
    • Johnny Silverhand also counts. In his playable flashback he's strong enough to match a high level V and in the ending where the player enlist's Rogue's help he takes over V's body for the attack, proving just as deadly as them.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Intelligence is the only stat that can impact a sidequest's resolution. Without it, some sidequests can only end negatively such as being forced to destroy Delamain's core or his rogue personalities instead of merging them together or not being able to identify the possibility that a replacement liver has been sabotaged. Quickhacks, an Intelligence skill, is also better for stealth than the actual stealth tree since it only needs line-of-sightnote  which includes remotely controlling cameras, won't immediately set off the alarms in case an attack doesn't oneshot, works on enemies that are immune to grabs including higher level enemies, robots, and bosses, actually works once a fight does break out, and time slows to a crawl while scanning and choosing which virus to torment your enemy with.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted for the name "Elizabeth" and related. One instance is Elizabeth "Lizzie" Borden, the madame for the brothel that was where Lizzie's Bar is now. Her murder at the hands of Tyger Claw gangsters was the cassus belli that led to the formation of the Mox gang before the game story's time frame. The second instance is pop music star Lizzy Wizzy (birth name Elisabeth Wissenfurth), famous for her full-borg cybernetic transformation in the middle of a concert. Third instance is Elizabeth Peralez, wife to Night City Councilman and mayoral candidate Jefferson Peralez.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: V can romance and have sex with male and female characters regardless of V's gender, though two of the four major romance options will only be available to male or female V respectively.
  • Organ Theft: The first main mission in Night City involves rescuing a woman from some implant thieves. Stealing cyberware and reselling it is one of the main revenue sources and namesake of the Scavengers.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Averted. One of the main fixers is a Catholic priest, Buddhist monks are frequently seen in the streets and religion still plays a heavy part of the world, with the biggest ones expressing themselves about cybernetics: Christianity have no problem with it (except Mormons who tolerates it only in life-or-death situations), Islam is against it but does not forbid people getting implants, Hassidic Judaism requires to ask a rabbi before getting chromed up, Buddhism completely forbids it. It's also possible to have a fairly long philosophical discussion with the monks on whether or not a Living Memory or an AI counts as a "person" in Buddhism (the answer is complicated).
  • Pacifist Run:
    • The developers claim that you can play the entire game without killing a single person. While technically true, this is mostly due to the fact you can make your weapons "non-lethal" with a special mod. You'll still be filling them with large amounts of "non-lethal" lead, especially if said lead comes from their own pistols and knives when you hack them into committing suicide, and (as usual) there's no acknowledgement that blows to the head and blunt force trauma are plenty lethal in their own right. The talking "Skippy" gun pokes fun at the seemingly arbitrary nature of choosing to fight nonlethally, as you're still brutalizing enemies pretty badly either way.
    • There are also missions that force you to kill enemies regardless. Panam's mission in particular has the player driving a Hover Tank and killing scores of Nomad outcasts when they attack.
  • Painting the Medium: In Johnny's flashbacks, and when you allow him to take over V's body and in the "Temperance" ending, the UI changes from yellowish orange to purpleish blue. Likewise, Johnny's version of the "Quest Updated" icon fits the clunkier Retraux style of 2023.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Absolutely everywhere.
    • There are two ripperdocs who sell items that are unique to them but can be made impossible to trade with; one refuses to deal with you if you physically assault him during a main story mission, while the other does a runner or gets killed if you find out what's in his basement and don't accept a discount to keep quiet about it.
    • Some missions become unavailable after a certain point, such as a funeral from a quest giver who moves location after a different mission.
    • Iconic crafting schematics disappear along with the body of the boss enemy that dropped them if you fail to pick them up before leaving the area. Overlooked one or more schematics? Enjoy that gaping hole in your Wall of Weapons for the rest of the game. Some of these sub-bosses are hidden in main missions where the mission parameters discourage you from engaging them, so you might miss some schematics without even realizing it. And even if you have all the schematics, they won't do you any good unless you invested a ton of points in the Tech stat, making these guns unobtainable for high-level players who specialized in other stats.
    • Related to the above, many iconic weapons are tied to certain main story characters and can only be picked up at specific points during specific missions. Miss your chance and they become unobtainable. To add insult to injury, some require serious Violation of Common Sense to acquire, like Saburo Arasaka's personal katana being found in the opposite direction of where you're supposed to run for your life.
    • Shoot enough people with everyone's favorite Lethal Joke Item Skippy and it'll eventually initiate a quest to return the gun to its original owner. If you do so, Skippy's gone for good with no way of getting it back. The gun even has another example of this trope before that with its choice between a non-lethal and an extremely lethal firing mode. The one you pick only lasts for about 50 kills before Skippy permanently switches to the other one, taking many a player by surprise either way.
    • It's very easy to cut off any chance at romancing your favorite Love Interest just by making one wrong dialogue choice at some point in their personal quest chain, with the consequences often only becoming apparent much later in the game.
      • Similarly, the Don't Fear The Reaper ending hinges on making a whole string of very specific dialogue choices while talking to Johnny over the course of the game. Miss even one and you're locked out of this ending for good.
    • Do anything other than rain fire on Maelstrom in "The Pickup", and you'll miss out on the one-night stand with Meredith Stout and the iconic melee weapon she leaves behind in her hotel room.
    • The achievement for the Devil ending requires that Takemura is still alive at this point. If you failed to account for this, usually by not knowing the option even exists, the only way to unlock the achievement and watch the "official" version of this particular ending is to either load a save from very long ago, or start a whole new game from scratch.
  • Pinball Projectile: The "power" weapon projectiles can bounce off obstacles, allowing you to hit opponents behind cover. Weapons in this category either require a piece of hand cyberware called a Ballistic Coprocessor, or an integrated Ricochet Engine. To see where it will ricochet, you will need to install a cyberware module into the Kiroshi ocular system called a Trajectory Generator (ricochet trajectoriess still happen regardless of eye cyberware setup).
  • Platonic Prostitution: The "Clouds" dollhouse promises to fulfill their clients deepest desires. As V can find out in "Automatic Love", those desires don't have to inherently be sexual in nature; sometimes, like in V's case, they can be something as simple as talk and reassurance, which V's doll is happy to provide for them.
  • Powered Armor: Royce, no matter why the Flathead deals goes south, uses an exoskeleton that provides greater strength and armor. A similar exoskeleton can be encountered in two of the Cyberpsycho Sighting sidequest: one manned by a construction worker driven mad by its control implants, and a nomad that was abducted alongside Saul having been tortured and forced in by the Wraiths. And Adam Smasher has this integrated into his own physical body, his brain being the only biological part of him remaining.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The roles from the tabletop RPG have been eschewed for a "fluid class system" with a trio of Solo, Netrunner and Techie skill trees to freely invest in and combine. The Attractiveness attribute has been removed (as V is as attractive as the player wants to make them) and the slow-paced Improvement Point system has been replaced with a more typical XP bar.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: In full effect. Currently, there are no cosmetic slots to wear whatever the player desires without impacting their armor value. This is somewhat mitigated though by the people around you being equally as mismatched. Weapons are not exempt, the best examples being the Cocktail Stirrer and the Kongou, powerful Iconic weapons, the former being a completely hot pink katana, the latter being a Liberty with a silver finish and neon pink accents.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending:
    • The ending where you leave Night City with the Aldecaldos is the closest ending to this; while most of the other endings contain varying glimmers of hope, Panam and V are both in high spirits that one of Panam's contacts can provide a cure for V's still-deteriorating condition in the months they have left to live.
    • "The Devil" is normally a very bleak ending, but if Takemura is alive he will be optimistic that you will one day be given a new body and therefore the chance to walk among the living once more; he even leaves you with the promise of hitting a restaurant with you someday in the future.
  • Rear Window Witness: In the middle of a botched heist, V and Jackie are forced to hide in a room and witness Yorinobu Arasaka murder his father Saburo Arasaka, the head of the Arasaka megacorporation, in cold blood and hear them discuss how Yorinobu stole a Relic chip (the one holding Johnny Silverhand) from his father to sell it to Netwatch.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • The Maelstrom's creepy red cybernetic eyes are the first sign to be wary around them.
    • When an enemy activates their Berzerk implant, their eyes start glowing orange, warning you to get out of their melee range or else. Two of the Beat On The Brat boxers do this before every attack and can take V down in a single combo thanks to it.
  • Relationship Values: The Relic corruption procentage in the stats screen doubles as a meter of how far the Relic has spread in V's body and V's relationship with Johnny (the higher the closer they are). It grows as the game's story progresses, and it can be boosted by choosing the right dialogue options (though don't think it's easy to tell which ones are the correct ones) and completing Johnny's personal side quests.
  • Relationship Upgrade: After the sex scene with one of the available romance partners, they will ask if this was a one-time thing, or something more. Choosing the latter will officially start a relationship with that character, allowing you to call them before the Point of No Return, which will make them appear in your epilogue.
  • Retcon:
    • In the tabletop game set in 2020, the root causes and and pathology of cyberpsychosis were well understood and, if not curable then at least treatable. Fast forward 57 years, and suddenly cyberpsychosis is far less well understood, and treatments are experimental at best and outright myths at worst. When the game came out in the 1980s, it was pretty much a way to increase Body Horror and limit players from just having everything, by threatening your character with removal by GM Fiat. Thirty years later, with more real world knowledge about limb replacement, it may sound ableist and offensive to people with real world psychological issues and disabilities. The shift in the video game from the tabletop — that Cyberpsychosis isn't real but instead a bunch of factors like defective tech, psychological trauma, and drug use — updates it to modern times while tying it into the setting's statements about corporate greed and recklessness. (It also saves CDPR from creating new dialogue and animations for a low-Humanity V, or figuring out if that's even possible given their condition, but that's surely a coincidence.)
    • Likewise, Johnny Silverhand was killed by Adam Smasher via becoming Half the Man He Used to Be. In the flashback the biggest damage done is Johnny's mechanical arm being shot and he's instead shown being uploaded as the Virtual Ghost that becomes V's companion.
    • Pre- to post-release example: Various promotional materials stated that V is 23 years old, but in the game proper, they're 27.
    • The artbook states that Johnny was in his late fourties when he died, but in-game he died at 33.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The various revolvers are generally the only handguns worth carrying around, mostly because they're your only half-decent chance at instakilling enemies silently from a distance. Semiauto handguns, barring a few iconics like Lizzy or Skippy, rarely qualify as more than an Emergency Weapon.
  • Rewatch Bonus: When you first get to the Afterlife with Jackie, you may catch a conversation between a woman and her rather cagey-sounding partner. On the second playthrough, you might notice that it's actually Panam, and her "partner" is the man who betrayed her on a mission and stole her truck.
  • Romance Sidequest: There are four possible romance routes for V, with two of them available in a single playthrough. Starting a relationship with any of them requires completing their personal side quest and choosing the right dialogue options. Male V can romance Panam or Kerry, while female V can get with Judy or River.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: The average fashion in 2077 is this, with garish and mismatched colors galore, only people who avert this are usually corpos or in uniform. Also because Rainbow Pimp Gear is in full effect in the game, a V with optimal armor rating most definitely looks like this too, unless they spend a lot of materials upgrading their gear constantly.
  • Rushmore Refacement: Mentioned by one of the talk show hosts on televisions jokingly about Saburo Arasaka considering this in his not-so-secret intent to run roughshod over American culture.
  • Samurai Shinobi: Goro Takemura has been scouted, augmented, and employed by the Arasaka Mega-Corp to be the personal bodyguard of the patriarch CEO Saburo Arasaka. After Saburo is killed by his own son, Takemura goes rogue and his story arc is essentially that of a Rōnin. On the other hand, he is of "peasant" birth (i.e. recruited from the streets), specializes in assassinations and other dirty work, and, notwithstanding his Undying Loyalty to the Arasaka clan and his snobbish disdain for any culture other than Japan's, is basically a cyborg ninja. If you do anything besides cooperate with Arasaka in the endgame, the corp will fall to ruin with Saburo remaining unavenged; the bitter message Takemura sends V in the credits implies he is considering his own seppuku.
  • Save Scumming:
    • A valid method to try out different dialogue options, although useful only in short-term cases. The really important choices usually don't make themselves known until much later.
    • Unique legendary clothing pieces hidden in the open world spawn with a random number of upgrade slots that is determined when the item is picked up. Save and reload until you get the maximum possible number.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Male and female V are this to eachother. Male V tends to come off as more of a distanced and cold Broken Ace, while female V is more fiesty and prone to anger. According to Cherami Leigh, the voice actress for female V, this was done on purpose.
    • Female V can be this with Johnny, due to Johnny's more dryly sarcastic nature contrasting V's more temperamental snark.
    • Both Vs are also this to their respective love interests: Male V and Panam play this trope straight, while male V and Kerry are a same-gendered example. Same thing with female V and River, though it's somewhat zig-zagged with female V and Judy; while Judy is certainly Hot-Blooded and prone to making impulsive decisions, she's overall more mellow, at least when compared to female V, making them qualify for this trope.
  • Schmuck Bait: One side job involves approaching a street vendor who offers an extraordinary braindance for 16,000 eddies. If you go through with the purchase, he charges an additional 4,000 eddies to use his headset since it's an older braindance. Fall for that, and you wake up naked without any gear in a building full of gangsters. Namely the very apartment you and Jackie rescued Sandra Dorsett from way back at the beginning of the game.
  • Sentient Vehicle: Delamain is a company that rents out luxury taxis controlled by a single AI with an intelligence that exceeds most humans. "He" becomes an ally to V in the story after acting as their Getaway Driver after the botched heist mission, and enlists their help to locate divergent offshoots of the AI that have broken free and are driving rogue in various parts of the city.
  • Sequence Breaking: A minor example, but the game seems to assume you'll complete Act 1 as quickly as possible and has some dialogues that don't make sense otherwise. For example, it's perfectly possible to get Victor the 21,000 Eurodollars you owe him before going on the heist, yet the dialogue still suggests that V is dying, which they aren't yet.
  • Series Continuity Error: Continuity within the side quests isn't perfect, as some of your choices will be ignored following later side quest plot updates; in the Beat on the Brat series, beating El Cesar will prompt you to choose 3 outcomes as a prize: just get the prize money, get the prize and his car, let Cesar keep all, just take the glory; even if you let Cesar keep all, earning his respect in the process, when his daughter is born a while later, V and Cesar will friendly message each other as if V chose to take the car regardless. Similarly, Judy's sidequest involving the takeover of the Cloud will proceed as though Woodman, one of the managers there, is alive, even if you killed him during your last encounter.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The side job "Killing in the Name" has V go all around Night City to track down the elusive Swedenborg. Turns out they're just a fortune-telling machine that someone connected to the net behind proxies and modded to spew out anti-corporate messages filtered through fortune messages. Johnny at least, is amused at the absurdity of the situation.
  • Sharing a Body: The main plot of act II and III revolves around Johnny's personality, which was on the chip V had slotted into their head, taking over their body. The process isn't instant, which forces V and Johnny to cooperate to find a way to take the biochip out before the time runs out and Johnny will fully inhabit V's body. Johnny can only talk to V and show up in their vision as a Virtual Ghost, but with time, he can take over temporarily, at first with the assistance of suppressant pills, and, with time, whenever he wants.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • In the end after V is jerked around as free muscle for most of the main questline, it all proves meaningless since V's condition has deteriorated too much for them to be cured and they're only left with the choice of becoming a cyberghost or living out their last few months as themselves. In endings that aren't "The Devil", V does not assist Hanako Arasaka which results in her death and renders Takemura's efforts just as pointless whether he's dead or alive.
    • One side job involves a client tagging along because It's Personal and he wants make sure an escaped killer receives street justice. One car chase later, he's unceremoniously shot by cops because he decided it was a great idea to approach them with a weapon drawn after they repeatedly told him to back off.. If you stick around, said escaped killer becomes your new client who demonstrates that he's genuinely remorseful for his actions, and hadn't escaped at all; he was only being shuttled around town in preparation for broadcasting his own crucifixion as repentance.
    • In the Corpo V side job "War Pigs", an exasperated V can point out it's pointless to capture them since Abernathy probably doesn't even know or care who V is, let alone the fact that V hasn't worked for Arasaka for the past six months. A firefight starts anyways.
  • Shout-Out: Has enough for its own page.
  • Shower Scene: "Path of Glory" ending allows you to take a shower with your romantic partner.
  • The Six Stats: The game has five main stats, with branching specialties:
    • Body: Which combines the classic Strength and Constitution attributes; it calculates health, carrying capacity and both melee and heavy weapon damage as well as allowing V to intimidate others in dialog.
    • Intelligence: Calculates V's ability to notice details and solve problems. It also calculates the player's skill in hacking.
    • Reflexes: Analogous to Dexterity, it calculates V's precision with weapons and driving ability.
    • Technical Ability: This stat determines the effectiveness of V's equipment, crafting and engineering, as well as looting. They are more apt to talk shop with other techies in dialogue mode as well.
    • Cool: A mix of Charisma and Willpower, Cool determines V's ability to make witty comments, but also maintaining stealth and keeping focus in combat, increasing the chance of critical hits.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: Towards the end of the game, a major boss can take damage in a cutscene if you have allies with you (namely, one of your allies pulls a Taking You with Me on Final Boss Adam Smasher). When the cutscene ends, the boss fight starts with the boss already damaged by more than 1/5th of his health bar.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: The creators have expressed their dislike for how overplayed "Dark, gritty raining world" cyberpunk settings have become. As such, 2077 is full of bright multi-colored neon lights and relatively clean urban environments.
  • Smart Gun: Smart Weapons fire homing ammunition (typically high-velocity mini-rockets) at. In particular, 'Skippy' is a pistol with a simple-yet-snarky VI named Snippy installed; they can be customized to fire only at the head or only at the pelvis, they sometimes fire prematurely (typically a plus unless you aim at civilians on accident), and they chatter with the level of intelligence that you'd expect from a brain the size of... well, a gun.
  • Socketed Equipment: Weapons, armor, and even externally accessible cyberware can have mods attached to them. Some are removable (called Attachments in some documentation) like gun sights and muzzle attachments, some are only recoverable with certain crafting skill perks, and necessitate the scrapping of the item.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Johnny's preferred way of proving to people from his old life that he's truly in V's head is to say, do, or know something only the real Johnny would know.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Zigzagged with Archive's song "Bullets" from the teaser trailer. Albeit the lyrics fit well with the teaser, the Trip hop sound of the song doesn't.
  • Space Age Stasis: The sections where you play as Johnny Silverhand seem to be technologically identical to 2077, despite being set 60 years in the past. This is subtly lampshaded in a few throw-away lines throughout the main story - the people in power, first of all the megacorp leaders like Saburo Arasaka, are paranoid about keeping the status quo going on forever. Any significant change would upset the balance of power and threaten their cherished lifestyle of infinite luxury. No wonder nothing's changing societally, technologically or otherwise.
  • Space Compression: A downplayed example. Though Night City as seen in the game could technically hold its canonical population of 5 million, the suburban districts of Rancho Coronado and North Oak are far too small for the city of this size; this is especially notable in North Oak, which is supposed to house dozens, if not hundreds of multibillionaires living in luxurious mansions, but the game's version of the area only has three. The limited infrastructure seen in the game would also be hard pressed to keep this level of population density functional.
  • Squad Nickname: MAX-TAC (Maximum Force Tactical Division) is nicknamed the Psycho Squad because their chief job is to hunt down psychos, rogue cyborgs gone nuts.
  • Spooky Séance: Discussed in "A Like Supreme". After Johnny gives the control over the body to V, Kerry will ask if Johnny is gone. V will respond that yes, but he can still hear Kerry talking. Kerry will laugh and say that he's "not in the mood for hovering tables and voices from beyond the grave right now".
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: There's a monk who can guide V through some meditation, but he disappears without a trace after each session.
  • Stress Vomit: Happens to V at the very beginning of the Corpo origin, from a combination of stress from the Frankfurt Incident and implied drug abuse. It's also a symptom of the biochip's encroachment, causing V to throw up after interrogating Anders Hellman.'
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: When V comes back to Judy's apartment after getting a call from her, he discovers Evelyn Parker lying on a bathtub with her wrist slit. Judy was also sitting next to her bawling her eyes out.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: At numerous times, V has no choice but to directly walk into situations that any savvy merc would see as exceedingly dangerous, if not sure death. For instance, when meeting Meredith Stout, V goes right up to her and her goons in a secluded location and attempts to shake her hand. Predictably, this leads to V being clocked, tied up and almost killed. An even more major case occurs during the final meeting with Dexter; alongside his body guard, he tells V to go into the bathroom and wash blood off their face. V has no choice but to do so, and the moment they do, their fate is sealed. Players can even hesitate to leave and stare directly at Dexter's bodyguard standing right outside the bathroom door, but they have no choice but to step outside, get clocked again, and get shot in the head by Dexter. If V refuses to enter the bathroom, they will still eventually get taken down by the bodyguard when distracted by Dexter.
  • Super Cop: The Psycho Squads are not your average SWAT team. Armed with the best in armor, commo-equipment and vehicles they have free reign to anything and everything in their power to pull cyber-psychos to state sponsored therapy, whether they like it or not.
  • Super Drowning Skills: NPCs that fall into the ocean (which is highly unlikely to happen in normal gameplay, but is still possible to achieve) will drown instantly, as no one in Night City other than V themselves seems to know how to swim.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In "The Woman from La Mancha" gig, your target, an NCPD detective whom the fixer would prefer be "discouraged" from her case rather than eliminated, is clearly very aware she is in hot water, if not being hunted outright. So when you break into her room to speak to her, she immediately draws on you, and you might be forced to gun her down if you don't pick the right dialogue options. Even if you do force her to stand down, she still has nothing kind to say to you because, one, you just told her that her NCPD partners are the ones who ordered the hit, and two, you're a fucking stranger who just burst into her room without so much as a howdy-do. Of course you're not suddenly going to be buddies.
    • Johnny was an avid smoker in life and will often neg V to smoke a cigarette to satisfy his craving. If V gives in, the player will be able to find filled up ashtrays in V's apartment. Given how stressful the situation V is in is, it's no wonder they became addicted.
    • Judy's attempt at a coup in Clouds will always fail, because a merc, a techie, two sex workers with kung fu moves installed in their implants and a low-level manager simply can't win with a highly organised gang sponsored by one of the biggest corporations in the world. Killing Hiromi and (possibly) Maiko will just make the gang angry and more than happy to retaliate in a very brutal way.
    • At the end of River's storyline he comes to the conclusion that it doesn't matter how much he will try to protect and serve the people of Night City, he's just one person struggling against a massively corrupt and jaded NCPD that is so far out of its league that the gangs would roll over it without a second thought even if it wasn't corrupted, and that he will never win this battle, no matter how hard he tries. He opts to quit the force entirely and start a new career as a Private Eye.
      • River's partner Han points out a good example of this when River confronts him over his involvement in covering up Mayor Rhyme's death: Yes, Rhyme's death in an underground strip club stinks to high heaven and back, but the mayor was an absolutely beloved public figure, both by the people and the corps, which is a rare thing indeed in a place like Night City. To try and challenge that and suggest that Mayor Rhyme died in anything but completely wholesome circumstances would set the city into an absolute uproar, the likes of which the NCPD simply would not be able to handle, wide-eyed idealism or not.
    • Kerry comes to realise that he can't just ditch his label, which exploits him and his art, because without them, he would have to either handle things like promotions, tours and media by himself or just ditch it entirely, which would essentially make his music unaccessible to most of his fans. He decides to stay with the label, but he's more than happy to make problems for his managers if they'll ever get too bold with his image or music.
    • After destroying the Arasaka Tower in 2023, Johnny is mostly remembered as a terrorist who killed thousands of civillians, and not as a hero who valiantly fought capitalist tyranny.
    • After the botched heist, Evelyn tries to hide in her old workplace, the clouds. As it turns out, it's hard to hide from your unsatisfied clients when said clients are some of the most tallented hackers in this universe, and can easily track her down and hack her remotely, without anyone being able to connect them to her death.
    • While V tries to convince Dexter that they didn't kill Saburo during the heist, Dexter actually believes them; it's just that everyone else, including Arasaka and NCPD doesn't. Dexter just doesn't want to risk being associated with someone the majority considers the murderer of the most powerful man on the planet. The presence of Arasaka's Exterminators later shows how right he is, and demonstrates that even if Arasaka and NCPD did consider V innocent, Yorinobu himself isn't going to risk letting anyone who witnessed the murder of his father walk free, not even his own bodyguard.
    • Many characters warn V about Dexter's "cool guy" act being a sham, and that he's much less chill than he lets on. He ends up shooting V in the head to avoid being tied to them.
    • Similar thing happens with the Voodoo Boyz: there are multiple instances where V is told that they are especially wary of strangers and that they tend to dispose of any mercs who work for them. Lo and behold, Placide infects V with a virus during their scan and will activate it after they do their job, expecting that the short circuit will kill them.
      • The Voodoo Boyz get a dose of reality right back at them if you strike a deal with Netwatch; turns out, double-crossing every outsider you meet, regardless of their intentions, only works as long as the outsider doesn't survive the doublecross. And if they do survive? They might come back absolutely pissed and possibly ready to wipe you and your entire gang from the face of the earth.
    • How is Johnny remembered by his closest friends after a lifetime of heavy drinking, drug use and toxic behavior? Mostly as a nuisance at best, or a destroyer of lifes at worst.
    • While Alt can separate V and Johnny's engrams with little to no issue due to being a brilliant netrunner, she's not a neurologist and can't fix V's brain degradation.
    • In "The Star" ending, many of the Aldecaldos actually die, because while they are trained veterans, Militech is still a professionally-trained private army with the advanced equipment to boot, while the Aldecaldos' most advanced tech is an old Panzer that was stolen from Militech to begin with.
    • Dealing a mortal blow to the Arasaka corporation by storming Arasaka Tower, destroying Mikoshi, and killing Hanako in the "Path of Glory" or "The Star" ending doesn't free Night City from capitalist exploitation, as it's heavily implied that another company (likely Militech) could easily fill the power vacuum. Just as killing a king won't take down feudalism, killing Saburo or Hanako won't end "cancer capitalism" (as airwave pirate Dr. Paradox calls it), because another person or company will just take their place.
    • V's romantic partner will leave them in some endings, either due to divergent life goals (like Panam has to leave Night City to lead the Aldecaldos) or personal problems (like Kerry being unwilling to leave Night City with V because he couldn't cope with losing him so far from familiar comforts to fall back onto). While there's no doubt that all four of the love interests truly love V, their relationships couldn't have been longer than a few weeks by the time of the ending, which just isn't long enough to drop all your plans and step out of such serious comfort zones for.
  • Swiss Army Gun: The Achilles tech rifle is essentially three rifle types in one package. Firing it from the hip produces a shotgun-like blast with decently tight grouping, useful for CQB. Aiming down the sights tightens the spread enough for mid-range combat, and charging the shot while aiming produces a single solid beam with pinpoint accuracy that can replace a sniper rifle in a pinch. It doesn't excel in any of these roles but is a decent multipurpose weapon that has applications no matter the situation.
  • Symbiotic Possession: Despite all his faults, Johnny has enough decency to never take over V's body without their consent, unless it's to save their life. He also tries to work with V, both in finding the solution for their Relic problem and in various sidequests and gigs, offering V advice and his own knowledge on various topics.
     T to Z 
  • Take That!: At the end of the E3 2018 trailer, the Freeze-Frame Bonus includes this text in response to the question of whether or not there will be microtransactions in the game:
    Trailer: In a single-player role-playing game? Are you nuts?
  • Take Your Time: Despite the fact that V is slowly being taken over (unwillingly on both ends) by Johnny Silverhand and only has weeks left to find a solution there’s absolutely no time limit. You could spend months wandering around, taking jobs and fulfilling every side mission. The impending Death of Personality won’t come till you advance the story. You'll also have story missions where characters will tell you not to keep them waiting, but you can meet them at their leisure; they'll act the same no matter when you arrive.
  • Tank Goodness: The Aldecaldo sidequest chain culminates in you helping your nomad friends get their hands on a Militech Basilisk to help them get the edge they need in smuggling, security, and raiding. Technically, it's an armoured transport rather than a true main battle tank, but it's still the toughest, hardest-hitting thing in the Badlands, especially once the Aldecaldo techs (several of whom are veterans from Militech tank regiments themselves) get to upgrading it.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks: As mentioned above, the Basilisk isn't actually a tank, as multiple in-game characters are quick to point out. Everyone still calls it a tank regardless because it's more convenient than "armored cargo transport with mounted self-defence weaponry", and because the modifications the Aldecaldos make to it after getting it up and running are mainly about enhancing its combat capabilities at the expense of its transport capacity.
  • Tarot Motifs: The achievements/trophies for the game and the endings are named after several Major Arcana. Fittingly, starting the game gives The Fool, which is the start of the journey while finishing the main storyline gives The World. There's also a sidequest to locate and scan graffiti of twenty Major Arcana, hallucinations caused by the presence of Johnny Silverhand with appropriately stylised, edgy artwork. Naturally The Fool is directly beside the entrance of V's apartment.
  • The Taxi: Autonomous Delamain cabs serve this role.
  • Team Switzerland: Netwatch, being vital to the world by virtue of maintaining the Blackwall and dealing with any Net-wide threats, stays out of the corporate wars and is paid a king's ransom by the corporations for doing so. They're actually Playing Both Sides in order to stay that way, as Arasaka and Militech would love to take over the Net.
  • Terminator Impersonator: There's a group of cyborg assassins known as "Exterminators" which are sent by the Arasaka corporation to eliminate dangerous targets. In addition to red Glowing Mechanical Eyes, they attack the protagonist on motorcycles, they have long arm blades and one even tries to climb his way onto a car in a similar fashion to the T-1000.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Saburo Arasaka considers his son Yorinobu's attempt to steal the Relic technology to be this. Too bad Yori long ago considered Saburo's instrumental part in perpetrating what is now terminal-stage capitalist oppression on the world to be far more unforgivable.
  • Time Skip: No matter which Life Path you choose, at the end of the Prologue, there will be a six month time skip montage showing you and Jackie getting integrated with the citizens and lifestyle of Night City which leads directly into the first mission.
  • Titled After the Song: Many missions are named after song titles, in particular a lot of the side quests, examples include - Space Oddity, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, Riders On The Storm, Killing In The Name, Dream On, among others.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Judy is the tomboy to Evelyn and Maiko.
  • The Tower: The "Tower" graffiti can be found in the Arasaka Tower, the subject of two raids that ended with the death of Alt, Johnny, and countless civillians. Johnny also has the tarot art tattooed on his right tricep. The first raid ended with Alt's death, which changed Johnny forever, the second one with Johnny being turned into an engram and uploaded on a biochip, and the potential third one will end with V, Johnny and Rogue or the Aldecaldos making their way through the tower to Mikoshi to save V's life, with Alt slaughtering pretty much everyone inside. All three of these events have a profound impact on the people making up the squad, the Arasaka corporation and Night City as a whole (at least for some time).
  • Tragic Bromance:
    • Between V and Jackie. Jackie's death during the heist has a clear impact on V, to the point where they get noticably upset and emotional whenever he's mentioned. V can order "his" drink in the Afterlife during the "Path of Glory" ending.
    • Between V and Johnny, especially if you've kept their relationship on a good note. Both of them seem very depressed and in mourning over the departed one in whichever epilogue you choose.
  • Transgender Fetishization: Seen on a street advertisement for the in-universe soft drink ChroManticore depicting a female model with a very noticable penis bulge, with the slogan "mix it up". The developers stated that the ad is there to show that, by 2077, transgender people became sex symbols in mass culture. The openly transgender character you actually get to interact with, Claire, isn't fetishized or sexualised in this way.
  • Translator Microbes: V starts the game with a translator implant that deciphers the most spoken languages in Night City, but requires to download additional modules in order to understand more exotic languages, such as Haitian Creole.
  • Underestimating Badassery: In the Corpo V sidequest "War Pigs", ex-coworker Frank is clearly down-on-his-luck and thinks he can hold V at gunpoint by his lonesome self to offer them to his boss Abernathy. What follows is a pathetically easy fight despite his Iconic tech pistol.
  • Universal Ammunition: There are only four types of ammo: pistol, rifle, sniper rifle, and shotgun. All weapons within each category can share ammo. The "rifle" category is the broadest, with SMGs, assault rifles, and LMGs all sharing ammo. Notably, even the mini-missile shooting smartguns use standard ammo despite theirs being vastly more complex than standard bullets or railgun slugs.
  • Unorthodox Reload: The reloading sequence of Johnny's iconic handgun is essentially two horizontal flipcocks with a magazine change in between, made doubly impressive by the gun lacking the trigger guard one would normally require to even attempt a flipcock in the first place. And then made triply impressive by handguns generally not being able to be flipcocked at all.
  • Urban Hellscape: Night city is overflowing with poverty, with at least half of the populace unemployed and/or homeless. The city is also so violent and dangerous that police barely have time to investigate accidents, suicides or non-violent deaths. The average Homicide Detective is working fifty homicide cases on a daily basis. Shootouts and crime scenes are everywhere, and the police are basically another gang, forced to pay deference to the local MegaCorps and willing to accept "tribute" from the various gangs around town. The special MAX-TAC division are basically a militarized SWAT unit that gun down dangerous threats with deadly force.
  • Vice City: While superficially it looks fairly decent (if crowded), Night City is absolutely one of these. According to the official trailer, it was voted the worst place to live in America due to rampant street violence and more people underneath the poverty line than above it.
  • Videogame Dashing: Double-tapping direction keys allows you to dash away from incoming attacks.
  • Video Wills: The Corpo V sidequest "War Pigs" opens with ex-coworker Frank sending a message about how his boss Abernathy (aka the one who got V fired) is purging everyone who's not 100% with her and he's gathering info on her before that happens. He adds that if V got the message, then Abernathy got to him first and he hopes V will finish the job. He's not actually dead. He just sent the message as bait to lure V.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: An Exploited Trope. In the final fight of the Beat on the Brat jobs, Razor Hugh is a championship boxer and kind of a jerk, openly bragging about how you won't last a round against him. Just after you receive an offer from your coach to take a dive against him in exchange for a larger payout, a young girl comes up and tells you about how Razor Hugh beat her father nearly to death even after the ref called the fight, and asks you to avenge her father on her behalf. Should you win the match, you can find the girl outside gloating over the phone about her acting skills and how much money she made off the fight. A Street Kid V is genuinely impressed, and tells her there's no need to explain and she should make her eddies where she can.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: V will throw up multiple times during the story, for different reasons, and since the entire game is in the first person, seeing it can't be avoided. The corpo lifepath even opens with V throwing up from stress. There's also a hack tree ability that makes the enemies keel over, puke their guts out and die.
  • Wall of Weapons: V can build an armory in their apartment which sports a variety of guns, blades, grenades and other hardware on the walls. One wall is reserved for iconic weapons received from main story characters and love interests, the other for iconics crafted from the specs you can loot off of certain sidequest bosses. An unfortunate side effect of this distribution is that players who don't specialize in the Tech attribute will always have one of their armory walls decorated with empty gun racks.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Militech-manufactured Mini-Mecha suits that some bosses wear have an inbuilt BFG that shoots a giant beam of energy at enemies. Royce, the Arc Villain showcased in the 2018 gameplay trailer and the game's potential Wakeup Call Boss, is the most prominent user, but there are others as well.
  • Weird Currency: Primary form of currency used in Night City is European Economic Community's digital currency known as EuroDollar, or "Eddie" for short. As seen in the E3 gameplay demo, cards containing these currency can include viruses and cause all sorts of havoc.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The final quest in Act I, "The Heist". The biochip job slowly deteriorates into chaos when Saburo Arasaka suddenly arrives in the penthouse to confront his son Yorinobu over the theft of the chip, forcing V and Jackie to hide. In a fit of rage, Yorinobu murders Saburo and frames the killing as an assassination, which leaves V and Jackie as the perfect scapegoats. The ensuing mayhem results in the deaths of both T-Bug and Jackie, and the quest ultimately ends with V getting shot in the head by Dex in a desperate attempt to tie up loose ends. This mission starts off the primary plot of the game while also fully cementing that Anyone Can Die.
    • The quest "Both Sides Now". It starts with Judy asking you to come to her place right away while clearly not sounding alright. When you arrive, you find that Evelyn killed herself sometime between when you left her with Judy and now due to everything she went through.
  • Wham Shot: In the conclusion of the E3 2019 trailer, after V is shot, he wakes up in what looks to be a garbage dump and is approached by a man with a silver cybernetic arm. The man in question is a character modeled and voiced by Keanu Reeves. And according to official materials, he's the long-thought-to-be-dead rock star Johnny Silverhand.
    Johnny: Wake the fuck up, samurai. We have a city to burn.
    • A moment in the game itself: During the flashback to Alt's kidnapping, Johnny is stabbed from behind by one of the "drunken groupies" that attacked him. He looks up to see the "groupie" standing over him...with some clearly high-end cyberware very unlike what an almost ennyless drunkard would have, and very like what an Arasaka ninja would have. It's a rather subtle nod to the revelation a few minutes later that Arasaka was behind the kidnapping.
  • What a Piece of Junk:
    • The Nomad lifepath's starter car, a junky Thorton Galena hatchback with the "Rattler" nomad kit, is more potent than it's portrayed to be. It's introduced in a garage getting a janky electrical system worked on, and has rust and bullet holes riddling the side. Its exhaust pipe also apparently vents in a clearly unmuffled manner out a cut hole in the hood, and it and the attached turbocharger also sticking out through the hood also glow red-hot when revving. It also lacks the Crystal Shield display tech seen on all the other Nomad-kit vehicles for sale later in the game, and has plain ol' glass windows. However, it has incredible acceleration, topped only by hypercars and other beefy cars with near-hypercar performance, has a fair bit of ground clearance for offroading, and can make it into the mid-160s in top speed. It beats out its more regionally common nomad car cousin, the Galena Gecko, in most performance areas. Though it gets wrecked before the prologue time-skip, an Act 2 Nomad Lifepath-specific quest pops up offering the chance to reclaim the Galena Rattler in working condition.
    • V's starter car that they receive after completing their lifepath is an Archer Hella sedan, which already has a reputation for being so Boring, but Practical that it almost bankrupted the company that made it because once a customer bought one, they'd basically never need another car ever again. V's Archer looks even rougher than the ones driven around by the other denizens of Night City, having apparently being repaired several times with jury-rigs and kludged fixes, including the entire rear bumper being removed and replaced with what appears to be a welded pipe frame. Performance-wise, however, while it is no Quadra or Caliburn, and it certainly won't win any beauty contests, it is pretty speedy and manuverable for its size, and is sturdy enough to take more than a few hits before it bursts into flames. While it tends to get out-paced by more high-performing cars later in the game, its a great starter vehicle and ideal for zipping across the city or just cruising and taking in NC's sights.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to the iguana V and Jacky acquire in the Nomad prologue? The fact that iguanas can live for up to 25 years makes it unlikely it died of old age during the six-months Time Skip. It's likely they sold it for some quick cash, but without any actual information about its fate, all we have is conjecture. It's alluded to that the iguana found in Yorinobu Arasaka's Konpeki suite is the same one, as it was pilfered from Arasaka Corporation to begin with and he may simply have determined it'd show up on the black market (since he has some experience with the criminal underworld). Jackie, however, claims that it couldn't be the same one because it had "more wrinkles."
  • Whip It Good: The Monowire cyberware is, as the name implies, a monomolecular wire V can use as a powerful melee weapon that can instantly dismember most human enemies. It charges while not in use, making its damage fall off quickly with every successive strike, so it's mostly geared towards stealthy players looking for an efficient emergency weapon that doesn't take up an inventory slot. Strangely, despite the wire being Sharpened to a Single Atom, V's idle animation shows them holding it taut with their free hand without cutting their own fingers off, though the addition of special pads on V's hands and fingers with the mods implied they're there specifically to prevent accidental finger-lopping.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: During the ending credits, you will get to listen to voice messages left by the friends you've made along the way, with all of them giving you a short update about how they're doing. The message changes depending on how far you've gotten into their personal quest or on which main ending did you choose. The only exception is "The Reaper" ending, where all characters will leave a message about how devastated by V's suicide they are, no matter their status before.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: The Detonate Grenade quickhack does Exactly What It Says on the Tin - it forces the target to detonate one of the grenades they're carrying. Moderately useful because you don't know what type of grenade will go off, plus not all enemies carry grenades in the first place, but at least it never fails to entertain.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Night City is a completely open world that is smaller than The Witcher 3's Continent but vertical in a way that its predecessor wasn't.
  • Wretched Hive: Night City is a shithole and that is putting it mildly. Not only is it full of violent crime with 5000 murders just a few years ago (that the police are bragging has gone down but clearly not by much), whole districts are ruled by gangs, corporations exist above the law, poverty is everywhere, deranged cyborg spree killers stalk the streets, and you personally witness a few suicides happening randomly about you. The abundance of technology has done nothing to make the world's problems any better and has actually made many of them worse. No wonder it was voted worst city in America. The "Postcards from Night City" featurette highlights the rapidly increasing number of homeless people, and the crime rates are twice as high as the New United States' average.
  • You Don't Look Like You:
    • Downplayed. The female V design revealed during the E3 2018 demo had pale skin, dark hair with red tips and wore quite a lot of eye make-up. The design used in newer promotional materials has her as an Ambiguously Brown Dark-Skinned Redhead with a magenta undercut. Her male counterpart, on the other hand, was kept relatively consistent.
    • Johnny Silverhand was potrayed as a blonde who was based on David Bowie in the original tabletop game. Here, he's played by Keanu Reeves, so not only is are his looks much different (including dark hair), but his entire design leans more into the "punk rebel" aesthetic much more than his original glam rocker influence.
    • While Kerry's 2023 design is relatively faithful to his tabletop depictions, the difference between the concept art from the artbook and actual in-game model for his 2077 design is staggering, to the point where it's difficult to say that it's the same character. The most noticable differences would be the fact that his concept art has tatoos on his stomach that are completely absent from his game design, his sleeves look wildly different, and his neck cyberware implant has a different look. The artbook design is actually used on some in-game posters.
  • Your Mom: One job has you rescue the coach of a prizefighter who went into self-imposed exile, and the Tyger Claws are none too happy that he skipped town. Being a Defiant Captive, the coach antagonizes his torturer with zingers comprising of this trope while being interrogated as to where the fighter is.
  • Zeerust: Most of the vehicles have digital gauges, that were considered very cool and futuristic back in the 1980s. Averted with Neokitsch-themed cars, that have much more modern (by Real Life standards) dashboards.

 
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