CYBERPUNK 2077 Gameplay Review: IS THIS what the VOODOO BOYS are LOOKING FOR?


Hey, V! You alright? Let’s do this! Greetings Earthlings!
Welcome to the MadQueen Show! I am your host the MadQueen On today’s menu, we have a new Cyberpunk
2077 video for you, and today we’re going to continue analyzing the gameplay of Cyberpunk
2077 that CD Projekt RED made available recently This video is a continuation of the video
I published last week were I explained what’s the true battle between the Voodoo Boys and
NetWatch, the history of the free Artificial Intelligences of the Net, and who Johnny Silverhand
really is, because this was hidden in plain sight! To better understand today’s video it would
be a good idea that, if you didn’t watch the previous one, you stopped this and watched
the first part before, because for the sake of time I’m not going to repeat it all over
again Today we’re going to talk about the history
of the Voodoo Boys, beyond what the narration of the deep dive explained, who they are and
what are they looking for, and this is going to have a plot twist The Voodoo Boys were already an established
boostergang in the 2020s, although a very different one They were a terrorist gang that dealt with
non-synthetic drugs, which was quite a rare thing back then Their contacts in the Caribbean to get the
drugs they sold on the streets put them in touch with the Voodoo religion, but even though
they could learn from the source they rather going for this colonial vision of this religion
that was mostly based on myths of how obscure and scary it was, so, they adopted the popular
stereotype of this religion like some type of style, they had these magic overtones without
understanding much what the whole thing was about, and they used these myths about Voodoo
to scare the competition, dressing with feathers and sending heads of death chickens as a warning These magical overtones were good to give
some mysticism to the type of drugs they sold, mostly to students of the Night City University
that were easily impressed with all this rubbish Mike Pondsmith created this gang as a commentary
of cultural appropriation: these white boys that were wandering around Night City pretending
to be Haitians, and using the pop stereotypes of a culture they didn’t really bother to
understand because they thought it would be cool and, you know, being cool in Night City
is everything But things changed in the 2060s Due to natural disasters provoked by climate
change, other of the structural themes of Mike Pondsmith’s Cyberpunk, the islands
on the Caribbean ended up underwater and forced people living there to emigrate on mass Night City seemed a perfectly suitable place
to settle, as the city was heavily stroked by the 4th Corporate War in the early 20s,
war that left the city practically destroyed, and the reconstruction of the city during
the after-war period, known as the Time of the Reds, offered many jobs as not only the
city was practically destroyed, but also because the displaced were occupating areas that were
abandoned during the 20s, so the workforce needed to both, build it up again and expand,
was immense: during this period, sections of the city were constantly rebuild Night City was originally built to be the
playground of megacorporations, especially the ones who funded the original construction:
the German EBM, the Japanese Arasaka and the American Petrochem, as the political map of
the times had Night City as some sort of independent state inside the Free States of California,
which gave megacorporations a lot of space to do as they pleased After the war, as it was obviously expected,
megacorps still wanted their playground, and invested a lot of capital in creating a posh
resort in the district of Pacifica, so the Haitian community established there to work
in this construction, but megacorps withdrew the funds for it, leaving it half done and
leaving all workers behind, sinking the economy of a district which survival depended on construction
jobs and turning Pacifica into the poorest and most dangerous district of Night City,
known as the Combat zone As Haitians obviously came with their own
culture, soon the real Voodoo practitioners took the place of the poser Voodoo Boys and
ended up ruling the district The original Voodoo Boys were natural enemies
of the Bozos, this boostergang that biosculpted themselves to look like evil clowns and loved
deadly pranks, as their turfs were pretty close to each other, if you believe in any
god is a great moment for you to pray they kept this because one of my wild dreams about
this game is that the Bozos established their turf in the amusement park of Playland by
the Sea, which is in Pacifica, but that’s a fetish of mine, now let’s go back to the
subject Obviously, Haitians traveled to Night City
carrying their culture with them and, with this, their religion, and this is where the
thing gets interesting Is funny trying to explain the evolution of
religions in a techno-dystopian society when there’s this generalized notion that religion
has no place in a technological world because religion offers a cosmology that explains
the universe under a “magical” perspective while science explains it with facts and logic,
but the truth is that we currently live in a technological society and religion survived,
not only out of pure stubbornness, because it’s not only that religion intersects with
technology, no matter how technological the society is the rhetoric of religion always
revolved around the hope for a better future, and this is quite an impactful message in
a dystopia where there is no hope and hardly any future And I don’t only mean in the concept of
heaven, with equivalents in other religions, even techno-gurus like Bill Gates or Steve
Jobs use the same narrative and poetics of religion when they prophesy a utopic future
free of disease, isolation, and other bodily catastrophes, thanks to technology, this doesn’t
fall very far from the Bible Even the word “Technical” usually revolves
around the realm of dispassionate, disinterested or even “spiritless” activities Technical operations are not supposed to “mean”
anything by themselves as opposed to religious ritual performance But technology itself also has a cosmological,
ethical, and even theological dimension as a force of history and also as a creator of
cosmology, because our world nowadays is explained under a scientific perspective and that’s
still a cosmology So, in certain ways, blind trust in technology
is still a religion I’m sure at this point more than one is
thinking, what the hell does all this have to do with the gameplay? Oh, plenty, we’re getting there If there is a place where is plenty of room
for theology in a techno-dystopian Cyberpunk universe is in Cyberspace, even a religion
as Voodoo that has always been popularly considered as something tribal and primitive, but, is
there something more tribal than Cyberspace? Is not the first time that the Voodoo Religion
and Cyberspace intersect, so, yes, we’re going to talk about the prophet William Gibson
and the Sprawl Trilogy, which is the founding narrative of Cyberspace, as Gibson coined
this term, in his short story “Burning Chrome” but his very successful book
Neuromancer popularized it In the three books of the trilogy: Neuromancer,
Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, Voodoo has a prominent role and was used to explain
the spiritual side of Cyberspace which, for him, was way more than a simple virtual reality
universe where people met, he called it a “consensual hallucination” This Cyberspace was born from a vague idea
of the space between the computers to end up being a sentient AI who fragmented and
became convinced that it’s the pantheon of Haitian voodoo Oddly enough, Gibson’s inspiration to introduce
Voodoo came from electronics, as he explains himself, as the first time he read a book
on the voodoo religious system when he was a kid he kept thinking about the ritual symbols
for the different gods, and how much they resembled circuit diagrams One can’t help seeing parallels between
Gibson’s depiction of Voodoo and the Voodoo Boys in Cyberpunk 2077: the spirituality of
this religion is, for Gibson, cool, highly technologized, subversive, underground and,
above all, efficacious As the character Beauvoir explains in Neuromancer “Voodoo” isn’t concerned with notions of salvation and transcendence What it’s about is getting things done You follow me? In our system, there are many gods, spirits Part of one big family, with all the virtues,
all the vices…. Voodoo says there’s God, sure, Gran Met,
but he’s big, too big, and too far away to worry himself if your ass is poor, or you
can’t get laid…. Voodoo’s like the street” That’s a very practical religion, and even coming from a different universe explains
the Voodoo boys really well Not in vain they call their private network
Agwe, the Voodoo spirit of the sea, patron of pirates What in Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy were the
spirits of the voodoo pantheon, that, in reality, where the pieces of an artificial intelligence
that saw itself as something similar to a god, in Cyberpunk 2077 there are the free
AIs of the Net And not all of them were created by humans But one of the free AIs of the net is above
them all, the engram of the netrunner Alt Cunningham, an artificial intelligence that
was once a human being After the R.A.B.I.D.S virus spread, Cunningham
set herself as some sort of leader of the free AIs of the net that survived the DataKrash,
the event that practically destroyed the Net, probably feeling responsible that a good portion
of these artificial intelligences were once human beings whose engram was extracted by
the program she created, the SoulKiler In the late 20s Cunningham established a colony
for the surviving IAs in the western corner of the Pacifica region of the Net, not to
confuse with the district of Night City Pacifica, I know is confusing, but is not the same She established a colony in the ruins of Hong-Kong,
city that was destroyed by a bioplague, this way AIs could be sure that they wouldn’t
be disturbed by crazy netrunners that entered the net to loot what megacorporations left
behind because, as every part of the net equates to a position in the real world and Hong-Kong
was practically dead, this wasn’t a possibility, and no netrunner would be crazy enough to cross the whole net infested with Rache Bartmoss’ virus to find them This includes NetWatch Besides, as in every major city, all the basic
services of Hong-Kong were managed from the inside the net by the Dedicated Heuristic
Controller AIs, so basically AIs owned the city As the R.A.B.I.D.S virus’ origin is in Pacifica,
again, the Pacifica of the Net, it is not known if when Netwatch shot key nodes of the
Net down to avoid Rache Barmoss’ virus from spreading they locked the whole region And as Mike Pondsmit’s cyberpunk also has
its own mythology, one of the myths of the Net, created by the own Rache Bartmoss, was
that the region of Pacifica was an artificial intelligence by itself As it happens with myths, it is not known
if he was right or this was one of his paranoid fantasies If NetWatch locked the Pacifica Region to
avoid the R.A.B.I.D.S virus from spreading to other regions of the Net, a thing they
didn’t manage to achieve since the whole Net got infected, the free AIs were trapped
with a virus that slowly moved forward until it infected the whole region If Rache Barmoss’ was right and the Pacifica
Region was an AI, the landscape we’ll see when we cross the Blackwall is going to be
quite chtuluesque, as Pacifica would be infected by this virus and if this is not Wintermute-ish
I don’t know what it is But he also could be wrong, as he was a delusional
paranoid, but even if he was, sooner or later the R.A.B.I.D.S. virus would reach the free AIs and it doesn’t
sound like an amusing prospect The Voodoo Boys should’ve been aware of
the possibility that the virus infected the free AIs they wanted to contact with and it
seems they also considered it a “not an amusing prospect” because, otherwise, they
would’ve crossed the Blackwall themselves long ago without the help of V. Although,
then again, V has something special What? Unclear So, maybe they tried it without success In this part of the gameplay that was cut
in the Deep Dive publicly shown but was seen by media people at E3, it’s implied Alt
Cunningham went crazy And I’m positive the Voodoo boys were well
aware of that But Brigitte says, “She will be the first”
the moment Cunningham smashed the Blackwall so, is Brigitte talking about V or about Alt
Cunningham? The first to do what, exactly? Well, if she means Alt Cunningham, this may
not be an amusing prospect for V, because it looks too much to one of the most prominent
scenes of William Gibson’s book Count Zero The scene at the beginning of the deep dive
where V gets into a bathtub filled with ice has been explained by devs countless times:
the Voodoo Boys are using V as a proxy, so they put her in ice to make sure she doesn’t
overheat, and a proxy can be used for a myriad of reasons And this is highly suspicious As the narrator of the Deep Dive explains,
Pacifica, this time the district of Night City, has an assorted underground market,
from shell traders to get the most cutting-edge netrunning programs to merchants of stolen
military-grade equipment, so it doesn’t sound like the Voodoo Boys don’t have a
great selection of hardware to do the job, why using a person? Well, this can have several explanations,
and not all of them are an amusing prospect The most optimistic option: V is special and,
due to this unclear attribute she can circumvent the restriction imposed by the black wall,
and, once inside the Net, she can serve as a gateway for other Voodoo Boys to get in
as well Not so optimistic option: V will be the firewall
that prevents the AIs extracted from the net to reach the Voodoo Boys network Agwe, and
this may end up looking like the possession of Jackie, one of the characters in William
Gibson’s count zero, by the Voodoo spirit Danbala, who was extracted from Cyberspace But if the less optimistic option was a thing,
it’s hard to imagine Cunningham collaborating for her own initiative, first, because the
whole gameplay suggests she went crazy and, second, because, why would she want a physical
body in the first place? Most netrunners in the 2020s considered the
Net as the real universe, and the real world only existed to grant access to cyberspace,
they hated how slow having a body is and this could be what impulse her to create the first
SoulKiller for the corporation she worked for as a SysOp, before Arasaka turned it into
the deadly virus it is in 2077 It’s easy to make a parallel between the
free AIs of the net and the Voodoo spirits or Loa, who are the intermediaries between
the supreme creator and the world, as this supreme creator is distant from our world
and doesn’t interfere with it directly Since the creation of the first true Artificial
Intelligence by the megacorporation Microtech in 2013 to the DataKrash is 2022, AIs saw
their power grow since they were put in control of many aspects of human life, and this power
was given by humans themselves, as many of the detractors of the conspiracy theories
around an AI revolution liked to point out, it is homo sapiens who willingly gave this
power to Artificial Intelligences and they could take this power away from them but,
to do so, they should also give up on the commodities that technology has to offer, and this techno-dystopian society is addicted to technology But free IAs inside the net in 2077 were corrupted
by the R.A.B.I.D.S virus and became accustomed to not having to serve homo sapiens, so is
not surprising that Netwatch doesn’t want them to escape the Net and get into the CityNets
or other devices using AIs to avoid this rogue vision of their nature to expand The same way, a parallel can be drawn between
the preparation to enter into the net and religious ritual performance if we contemplate
Cyberspace as not only a simple “virtual world” but a place where the entire condition
of being wired, networked, fused with, and addicted to a technologizing reality is part
of its significance, as the highly influential vision of Cyberspace of William Gibson stated But if the Voodoo Boys saw the free AIs of
the Net as the technological version of the Voodoo pantheon, who would be this distant
creator? Who made the Artificial Intelligences of the
Net who they are in 2077? Thanks for entering the Net with us, I hope we’ll see your avatars again! Good Evening and long life to Rache Bartmoss

6 thoughts on “CYBERPUNK 2077 Gameplay Review: IS THIS what the VOODOO BOYS are LOOKING FOR?

  1. The MadQueen Show, the Cyberpunk 2077 Commercials and the obsessive lore analysis happen thanks to Patreon support. Thanks so much for everyone continuing to keep my channel going! https://www.patreon.com/MadqueenShow

  2. My Lady another great vid with plenty of questions asked. I had my doubts about the Voodoo boys agenda before and now you have made it even more concerning. If we suppose that not only Alt Cunningham but all the Free AIs have gone insane then bringing down the wall is like opening up a warp gate in Warhammer to the Powers of Chaos. Alt Cunnigham is in essence a soulkiller AI and its is logical to assume that the other Free AIs are also in essence Soulkillers. No one could know what 50 years without a body in a cyber environment would do to the human psyche but I can't imagine its a positive one to be that long as a disembodied ghost? Maybe the Voodoo boys actually believe they can control a horde of AI Soulkillers with the intent of unleashing them on the cities Corps networks, with V being their human firewall to protect them. Its like aChaos worshipper believing she/he could control a greater demon of Slaanesh. In the end they're going to get screwed. And where does Johnny fit into this. Is he a Soulkiller himself or something more or less? I'm beginning to see Netwatches point of view.

  3. Marvelous analysis, great video! Instantly got me subscribed. A small correction, if I may: 08:27 Beauvoir is explaining VooDoo to Bobby Newmark in Count Zero, not in Neuromancer.

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