Well, if I hadn’t already beaten Best Ending Cyberpunk 2077 by completing every mission, gig, and street crime, I’ve certainly beaten it now after exploring the game’s numerous endings after the “point of no return.”
Normally, I’d write my standard post debating the pros and cons of each option, but here? I’m also going to give practical advice, because I don’t want folks to make the same mistakes I did the first time.
This article will be broken into two sections: a no spoilers section at the beginning, where I will try to be vague and merely lead you down a road, and a spoilers section afterwards, when I will explain the endings in greater detail and label it.
Cyberpunk 2077 has what feel like “right” and “wrong” endings
Which I didn’t discover until I played them all and realised I had clearly chosen “wrong” on my initial playthrough.
My first piece of general advice is to complete all of the big sidequests before the ending. These are primarily character missions for Judy, Panam, Rogue, Kerry, and others, since they will all have a role in the conclusion, sometimes in little ways, sometimes in major ways. Simply complete all of them.
The second piece of generalised advise I have is about the three primary ending alternatives, which I shall refer to as the Arasaka ending, the Johnny ending, and the Nomad ending, and which should not be taken out of context.
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I choose the Arasaka conclusion. This was incorrect. This is a dreadful conclusion. It is not a good choice for your first one. Although the Johnny ending is much better, it is still not my fave.
The Nomad ending is by far the finest, and it appears to be the one that will be considered “canon” in the game.
It neatly sums up all of the storylines and feels like the game’s most natural conclusion. Unless you want to end the game on a negative note, I strongly suggest you to choose this ending.
None of the endings need you to have chosen a particular course in life. Life path, as most gamers have discovered out, consists of nothing more than a brief intro task and a few varied dialogue options, yet another broken promise from CDPR. As a result, it has no bearing on this situation.
This is about all I can say without giving anything away, however I do want to go over things in more detail for those who have already chosen them, explaining why they are good or terrible.
Ready, alright, here come the spoilers.
I chose the Arasaka ending, which may make me a corpo sellout, but there was a valid reason for it at the time. When the previous two attempts had failed miserably, the thought of Johnny and Rogue storming Arasaka Tower for a third time sounded foolish.
And, as much as I wanted to see Panam again, this seemed like a game where she’d be killed for shock value, and it seemed like an unnecessary risk to have my entire Nomad family rescue my life. As a result, I decided to go it alone.
The Arasaka conclusion is terrible. Johnny basically calls you a coward, and you end up leaving on bad terms. The Arasaka daughter lets her father’s soul prisoned form to take over his son’s body, and the firm becomes even more powerful than before, declaring war on Militech.
You wake up in a space station with Arasaka conducting tests on you, with the option of returning to Earth with just six months to live (the Johnny surgery didn’t save your life after all), or going to soul jail. Fun!
I chose to return to Earth, which resulted in a startling finale that I initially mistook for a bug, but now I’m not so sure. It was strange because I had been conversing to Judy the whole time and had contacted her from the space station, where she expressed her excitement for my return.
So I decide to return home to spend the rest of my days with her, and what do I get? In the credits, she breaks up with me and tells me she’s moving away. All of this was horrible and deplorable, and I despised it.
Even though the Johnny ending is better, I still don’t like it.
Given how little overlap there is between these three endings, I’d think they’re all impressive. All of the missions are quite different, with just a little amount of overlap. The base-storming with Johnny’s guns blazing was a lot of fun.
What was not fun was watching Rogue die, knowing that I might have avoided it if I had let V take over instead, and it appears that both V and Johnny had a tragic finish. V has barely months to live in this ending, and you can have Johnny take over her body or continue to live as V.
I chose V and awoke next to Judy in bed. But, as much as I believed I’d made the right decision this time, you rapidly discover your connection with Judy has become strange, and you and she are behaving distant from one another.
This mission ends in space as too, but it’s a “battle royale” ending in which you, as a Night City legend, embark on a suicidal heist mission to a space casino, equipped only with a pistol. This mission is not actually run by you.
The end credits scenes are nearly identical, with Judy’s breakup message about how she’s going on.
Finally, there’s the Nomad conclusion. This is the correct one.
This mission requires you to storm the Arasaka Tower with your Nomad crew and the Basilisk, which is useful in some auto combat sequences but also requires you to fight on foot. You still get to play as V, but unlike Arasaka, you can conclude the game with a positive connection with Johnny.
Panam, thankfully, does not die. Saul, like Rogue in the Johnny mission, bites it in the scene with Adam Smasher. In the end, you not only fly out of town with your Nomad crew to live out your last days free (and possibly find a cure, as it is proposed), but Judy also shows there, and the two of you are still together.
She’ll accompany you, and whereas most endings end with her leaving town, this one has you accompanying her. I assume this is Panam’s romance option in Male V’s, which would be similarly pleasant. Finally, Judy has a nice thank-you note for you.
Simply put, this appears to be the “correct” conclusion. I didn’t like the thought of putting everyone in the Nomad crew’s lives on the line merely to save my own, as it seemed a little selfish.
And I despise how, no matter what you do, V only has a few months to live, making the remainder of the game seem useless. I know there’s a Johnny option in the last two endings where you can offer your body to him, but that doesn’t seem right. I also recently learned of a secret ending, which I intend to attempt later.
The Nomad ending in V’s body is the one for me. I just wish it hadn’t taken me three times to figure it out, and that I hadn’t started with the worst possible outcome. Hopefully, you didn’t make the same mistake as me and aren’t a corpo gonk.