I recently told everyone about how to reach Cyberpunk 2077’s new “ultimate” ending, a new option presented through specific choices in Phantom Liberty. A track that joins the “Johnny on the Roof” tracks found in the main game.
Now, I want to actually talk about that ending, because it’s been haunting me ever since I finished it. And while it’s technically the “best” ending to Cyberpunk 2077/Phantom Liberty, it’s still quite bleak and terrifying. This is probably the ending I hated the most in the end. Not because it was poorly written, but because it broke me.
It’s very clear, Spoilers follow.
Before Phantom Liberty’s release, I wondered if the promised “new game” ending that accompanied it would finally offer V a way out of her death sentence. In the main game, there was no way for V to actually survive. Either her consciousness will be trapped by Arasaka, Johnny will inhabit her body, or she will continue to be terminally ill, and die after the events of the game. But will the new ending allow V to survive and perhaps create a new “canon” so she can return in Cyberpunk 2?
Well, there’s actually a new ending where V survives. But whoa. Stop.
These are the dual endings in which you hand Songbird over to the NUSA government and Reed, choosing not to kill her, as she requested in one ending, or put her on a spaceship after killing Reed who stands in your way in the other ending.
By handing over Songbird, you actually have top NUSA scientists manage to extract the chip from V’s head, saving her life. They say the procedure will take a few weeks but uh, that turns out to be not true.
In this ending, by surviving, V loses Everything. You wake up after two years, not a few weeks. She apparently lost Johnny, whom she agreed to purge before any of this happened, much to his dismay.
But then, when she tries to contact her friends, they have all changed over the years after she completely disappeared, and many believe she ghosted them. If you romance Judy, as I did, she (now with long hair) tells you she’s moved out of town and gotten married. Kerry is on tour and cleaning you up. River life has collapsed. Most disappointing of all is that Panam won’t talk to you, a message conveyed by Mitch. I assume it’s because they couldn’t get her voice actress back because of this, but it really hurts.
Then, what could be the most depressing part of all. The only person who still seems to care about you is Victor, who invites you back to Night City to deal with what you’ve just learned. This part of the chip repair means that you can’t use any kind of advanced combat cyberware at all now, and your body simply won’t accept it. Victor says he can fix it, but he can’t. This leads to a sequence where you get jumped by a couple of random street thugs, who get your ass kicked. This happens after you’ve slaughtered dozens of Arasaka ninja with Mantis Blades, or whatever your build is. It’s insulting.
The ending ends with a conversation with Misty, about how she says you have to live a normal life now, a “face in the crowd”, like a normal person. The camera pans back to reveal a V representing a ghost (himself/himself), a shaved head, makeup remover, and electronic software. Nothing like the personality you had all this time. She actually disappeared into the Nighty City crowd, and is now just another NPC.
So, V survives, but she’s completely alone, and has lost everyone she ever knew. Not only that, she had lost everything that made her special, was no longer the skilled king of Night City, and could no longer even handle random trash on the streets. The only sign of hope is that you can tell Misty maybe she’ll move away and start a new life, but man, this is just depressing. I didn’t want this to be the end of my V. I had to go back and do something else. The ending for Phantom Liberty that I went “canon” was that she kills Songbird at her request and then tells the boss to stop, leaving the rest of the game open to follow one of the original endings.
That V stayed in this ending doesn’t mean my theory was correct. I don’t think Cyberpunk 2 will involve V getting her cyberware back and continuing in the starring role. I think it’s another difficult ending to her story like the others, and she won’t be the star of Cyberpunk 2 despite living through one of the many endings. And again, despite it being the “best” ending where you actually live, I honestly think this is the worst possible ending. Not that CDPR’s writing is bad, it’s great, but it was more of a knock on me than anything else in the entire game. What do you think?
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