Cyberpunk 2077

The Dark Underbelly of Night City

In Cyberpunk 2077 the neon lights that paint the skyline are just a facade, a thin layer of glitter masking the decay beneath. Under the chrome and glass, the true heart of Night City beats a dark, pulsating rhythm of violence, desperation, and shattered dreams. Here, the air hums with a constant threat—an invisible current that makes your skin crawl and your hand instinctively reach for your sidearm .

The NCPD? They’re about as useful as a wet noodle in a gang fight. Corrupt to the core, they’re more likely to shake down a street vendor than actually stop a crime. And the corporations that control the city from their ivory towers? They’re not much better. They squeeze the life out of Night City, leaving only a husk for the rest of us to fight over.

But hey, choom, that’s just the way it is in Cyberpunk 2077. This ain’t a place for the weak-willed. So, buckle up, grab your sidearm, and dive with me into the underbelly of Night City. It’s going to get messy, but hey, at least it’s honest.

The Dark Side of Night City

Night City’s criminal landscape is a dark tapestry woven with various illegal activities. In Cyberpunk 2077, crime is a multi-faceted beast. From reported crimes like assaults in progress to organized crime activities, Night City’s law enforcement is constantly battling against the tide. Here’s a look at some of the crimes that are more unique to the dark future of Cyberpunk 2077:

  • Cyberware Black Market: Craving Chrome? Night City has a thriving black market for illegal cyberware, offering enhancements at a fraction of the legal cost, but with potentially life-threatening consequences. This market fuels cyberpsychosis, a dangerous condition where individuals lose control due to excessive cybernetic modifications.
  • Braindance addiction: BDs, immersive recordings of experiences, offer escapism, but also pose a serious addiction risk. Gangs often exploit this, controlling and manipulating BD production and distribution, and sometimes creating and distributing illegal BDs depicting extreme violence, illegal activities, or disturbing content.
  • Corporate crime: While corporations maintain a facade of legitimacy, they often engage in illegal activities like market manipulation, environmental damage, and unethical research for profit, leaving a devastating impact on citizens and the environment.
  • Scavenging and black market trade: In a city overflowing with discarded technology, scavenging is common. Some take it further, dealing in stolen tech and weaponry on the black market, fueling a cycle of violence that includes arms trafficking and the proliferation of illegal cyberware.
  • Violence for hire: Mercenaries and criminal organizations offer their services for various illicit activities, including assassinations, kidnappings, and protection rackets.
  • Drug trafficking and production: Night City is rife with illegal drugs, ranging from combat boosters to mind-altering substances. Gangs often control and profit from drug production and distribution, exploiting vulnerable individuals and contributing to societal decay.
  • Human trafficking and exploitation: The vulnerable and desperate are preyed upon by criminal organizations involved in human trafficking, forcing individuals into forced labor, prostitution, or organ harvesting.

The Players on the Field

Night City’s a warzone carved up by various crews, each with their own twisted code and even more twisted ways of making a living. Let’s meet the major players in this game of chrome and violence:

  • Voodoo Boys: Shrouded in mystery and residing in the dilapidated district of Pacifica, the Voodoo Boys are a unique gang. Skilled netrunners with an air of religious fanaticism, they delve into the depths of the “Old Net,” a dangerous predecessor to the modern internet, seeking hidden knowledge and power. Their criminal activities primarily focus on the digital realm, including:
    • Netrunning attacks: Hacking into corporate and personal networks to steal data, disrupt operations, or cause general chaos.
    • Data theft: Stealing valuable information from corporations and individuals, often to sell on the black market.
    • Illegal hacking: Breaching restricted systems for personal gain or to inflict damage on their targets.
  • Tyger Claws: These ruthless cyborgs dominate the Japantown district, notorious for their brutality and involvement in various criminal activities:
    • Violence: Gang violence is a hallmark of the Tyger Claws, including turf wars, assassinations, and unprovoked attacks.
    • Human trafficking: The Tyger Claws are a major force in Night City’s human trafficking rings, preying on the vulnerable and selling them into forced labor or prostitution.
    • Prostitution: Controlling a significant portion of Night City’s sex trade, the Tyger Claws exploit and abuse sex workers.
    • BD (braindance) exploitation: The Tyger Claws are involved in the creation and distribution of illegal and often violent braindances.
  • Maelstrom: A ragtag group of tech-obsessed individuals, Maelstrom members are known for their extensive cybernetic modifications and volatile nature. They operate in Watson and the Northside Industrial districts, engaging in:
    • Cyberware trafficking: Maelstrom deals in illegal cyberware, often stolen or malfunctioning, at a cheap price but with severe health risks.
    • Black market tech dealing: They trade in stolen and illegal technology, including weapons, cyberware, and data.
    • Violence for hire: Maelstrom readily employs their violence and firepower for anyone with enough cred or cash.
  • The Mox: Formed in response to the brutal treatment of sex workers by other gangs, The Mox are a unique force in Night City. This group, primarily composed of sex workers, punks, and anarchists, fights for self-determination and protection within the harsh realities of the city. While they primarily focus on self-defense against exploitative gangs and corporations, they may sometimes:
    • Engage in illegal activities for survival: The Mox may resort to stealing or other illegal activities to secure resources and protect themselves in the unforgiving environment of Night City.
  • 6th Street Gang: Operating primarily in Santo Domingo and Westbrook, the 6th Street Gang is a complex organization caught in an internal struggle. Traditionally a patriotic group advocating for Night City’s independence, they are now divided between:
    • Those seeking violence: This faction engages in gang violence, turf wars, and intimidation tactics to assert their dominance and achieve their goals.
    • Those seeking power: This faction engages in extortion, smuggling, and illegal trade to gain power and resources, often aligning themselves with corporations for support.

Crime in Night City isn’t a sideshow. It’s the main event, the heartbeat of this twisted metropolis. It’s so ingrained in the fabric of the city that even the main story of Cyberpunk 2077 starts with a botched robbery. You, V, a hired gun, are tasked with stealing a biochip from a corporate facility alongside Jackie Welles, your partner in crime. But in Night City, nothing ever goes according to plan. The heist goes south, leaving Jackie dead and you on the run with the stolen chip, unknowingly entangled in a conspiracy that could shake the foundations of Night City.

Crime and the Common Man

In Night City, where desperation and opportunity dance a deadly tango, crime isn’t just limited to the organized gangs and corporations. The harsh realities of the city push even ordinary citizens to the fringes of legality, often forcing them to engage in criminal activities simply to survive. Here’s a glimpse into the underbelly of everyday life in Night City:

Night City churns through technology at an alarming rate, leaving mountains of discarded tech in its wake. Scavenging these scraps for parts or resale on the black market is a common practice, blurring the lines between resourcefulness and illegality. From stolen meds to illegal cyberware, the black market offers a lifeline for some and a descent into further darkness for others. V encounters several characters forced into selling black market goods, like Viktor, the Ripperdoc who can offer illegal cyberware upgrades .

Fixers, the middlemen of the criminal underworld, often hire individuals for various tasks, some skirting the legal boundaries. V, as a mercenary, frequently takes on jobs from fixers like Fixer Regina Jones, who may involve activities like repossessing stolen goods or retrieving sensitive data.


On the surface, the Nomads of Cyberpunk 2077 appear as a stark contrast to the harsh realities of Night City. Their emphasis on family, loyalty, and honor portrays them as a beacon of traditional values amidst the rampant cynicism. Interactions with Nomad characters often reinforce this perception, presenting them as warm, welcoming individuals.

However, this idealistic image is challenged by the realities of their lifestyle. Survival in the unforgiving Badlands forces the Nomads to engage in activities that directly contradict their seemingly noble values. They partake in raids and violent encounters with other factions, a stark contrast to the peaceful and harmonious image initially presented. This is further highlighted in specific quests: the theft of the Militech Panzer and the rescue mission during the Nomad ending showcase their swift resort to violence against seemingly non-threatening individuals simply protecting their interests. 

The narrative paints a complex picture of the Nomads, highlighting the contradictions inherent in their survival in a brutal world. While they possess commendable traits like strong family bonds and a sense of community, they are forced to engage in morally questionable actions to exist in the harsh environment they inhabit.

Remember, choom, in this city, trust no one, keep your head down, and maybe invest in some decent cyberware. You never know when you might need an edge in the concrete jungle. The criminal underbelly of Night City has its own dark energy, shaping the city’s character and the lives of its inhabitants. Whether you’re a seasoned merc or an ordinary citizen, navigating this web of violence and desperation is a daily reality in the neon-drenched heart of Night City.

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