In this Cyberpunk 2077 Lore discussion, we
shall cover arguably the most influential family prior to the events of Cyberpunk 2077.
The Arasaka Family. Born in 1919 to an enterprising industrialist, Saburo Arasaka served in the
Imperial Air Force during WWII until his crippling injury in 1942 dropped him out of the war.
In 1960, he stepped into his father’s shoes as head of the Arasaka corporation. Realising
that information equals power, Saburo formed the Arasaka Security division, whose services
came into demand as the world plunged into total anarchy. Forty years of study and careful
theorization had allowed Saburo to predict the Crash and the Collapse long before they
happened, so Arasaka weathered the storm. At the time of 2020, Saburo was one of the
wealthiest men in the world and 101 years old. He had a great deal of body reconstruction
and his destroyed arm and eye were replaced by cyberware. Nonetheless, he was confined
to a wheelchair and rarely left the impregnable family compound outside of Tokyo. Despite
his physical limitations, his mind remained sharp. Although his son Kei was now the nominal
head of the Arasaka Corporation, all major decisions and policies were still subject
to Saburos discretion. Saburo groomed his son, Kei, for eventual complete control, and
the realization of his private goals, but during the time of Cyberpunk 2020, he remained
undeniably in charge. Heir apparent to the Arasaka empire, Kei is
Saburos eldest son, and most trusted confidante. His expertise in matters of business, finance
and investment is second only to his fathers. Although Saburo still makes the most critical
decisions, Kei, at age 40 was already official CEO of the corporation, and has many years
of executive experience under his belt. Kei is fully aware of his father’s methods and
the scope of the corporation’s power. He shares in Saburo’s nationalistic dreams and has
every intention of following them through after his beloved father dies. Many considered
Kei more dangerous than Saburo because he is not driven by hate. While Saburo’s emotions
would often get the better of him, Kei is cold and calculating. He thought nothing of
employing violence and torture to close a deal or solve a problem. Whereas Saburos spirits
rise and fall with the fortunes of his brainchild, Kei maintains a detachment he considers imperative
to objective decision making. The only time Kei demonstrates any emotion is around his
family and most trusted friends. Kei was devoted to his father and younger half-sister and
always did his best to ensure their happiness and comfort. While Saburo is a virtual prisoner
of the Compound, Kei travelled the world and near orbit ceaselessly, arranging meetings,
consolidating business and making contacts. He would be instrumental in leading Arasaka’s
forces during the Fourth corporate war. Following the the fall of the Arasaka Towers,
Kei attempted to escape from Night City. The Sea Viper’s engines are off. Very strange,
he thinks, I gave no orders to stop. Have they arrived at the submarine rendezvous so
soon? Takakashi? Niroko? No answer. He slides his
hand into the secret panel in the bulkhead above and withdraws his pistol and wakizashi.
As he opens the door Kei notices his guards, slumped in the alcove. He checks their pulses:
alive, but unconscious. No sign of a struggle. A smell of ozone. Tazer or EMP pulse, he thought
to himself? Kei made his way through the skip, checking
for someone, anyone, or some cause for the intrusion. Even Tai-Sa Ogawa, is down, covered
in some form of plascrete, his electronic systems, garbled. Everyone else is missing
or slumped over at their station; there isn’t even a sign of a fight.
He comes to the forecastle. Stops. There are lights in the special room used for the Tea
ceremony. He draws his pistol from his sash. The door slides open. Inside, the soft lights
cast an amber flow over a low table, on which are set a massive handgun, some kind of computer
gear, and a dozen caseless rounds. On the far side is a young, pretty woman kneeling
down, dressed in a kimono. Her face seems unaccustomed to the grim look on it. He flips
through his memories and makes an association. His pistol comes up.
Spider Murphy. An unexpected pleasure. You are, however, uninvited.
I invited myself. Your guards didn’t seem to mind.
I do. And I believe I have the power to enforce my will. He waved his gun.
You need bullets to use that, if I remember correctly. But I could be wrong. After all,
I’m just a data thief. Her lips form a smirk. Kei, shocked stares in disbelief at the rounds
on the table. Dumbfounded, he pops the magazine of his hand gun to find it empty. He draws
his wakizashi. Spider is non-pulsed. Mine, of course is loaded.
Your people are fine, some will need medical attention. It’s amazing what you can do
with less than lethal technology these days and a few talented friends. Kei sees two figures
step out from behind a painted screen, an Alpha Borg he does not recognize, the other
a woman whose demeanour says solo. While they do not brandish their weapons, their presence
ends his plan to rush the girl. So, now what?
Now, Spider says as she picks a bottle from beside her, you are going to share some sake
with me, and then I am going to plug you into this little box. When I do, a Soulkiller system
will wipe your mind, and place it in a prison Rache Bartmoss set up a long time ago. It
was intended for your father, but I don’t think Rache would disapprove of your occupancy.
I see. And if I choose not to? You have no choice. You have lost everything
your father built. Your nation has turned its back on you. You have dishonoured yourself
and your family. It has all turned to ash, Kei. You must make amends.
Spider pours the sake with a steady hand. She passes a cup over to Kei, who takes it
with a steady hand. They drink. He nods to the computer link and the cable that is coiled
next to it. You would have me execute myself?
I could force you, but I have no wish to. It is inevitable.
It is the only honourable thing for you to do. Think of it as seppuku. You are samurai,
are you not? Her words are honed blades slicing away the
shield he had built in his mind. His attempt to deny his failure, the utter totality of
his clan’s collapse, his part in all of it as first son. As ruthless as he is, he
is still samurai. You are not my first choice of a kaishakunin,
but he says. Spider nods. He nods back, and solemnly jacks in.
As the Soulkiller rushes upon him, he speaks through the interface.
The ocean waves swell Stare into Death’s eyes, laughing
The Seagulls cry above. One might assume this means Kei will not be
around during Cyberpunk 2077. Two possibilities are worth considering. It is currently unknown
what happened to Kei’s Engram. He is trapped in a prison, rather like Alt Cunningham, so
technically he is still alive. The second, and less likely option to consider was that
under Kei’s instruction, Arasaka were performing research into various technologies, including
human cloning. Conceived when he was eighty, twenty-one-year-old
Hanako Arasaka is Saburos youngest child, and the apple of his eye. Hanako was born
to Saburo’s third and last wife, Michiko, who died shortly thereafter due to complications
caused by the birth. Saburo was charmed by his little daughters stunning beauty, and
he decided to raise her in the sheltered confines of the compound to protect her from the scarring
traumas of life in the exterior world. Hanako received her schooling at the compound through
trusted tutors. Cut off from the outside world, she learned how to travel and explore the
Net instead. Saburo made sure that Hanako was never made aware of the darker side of
the corporation, but, through her Net explorations, Hanako is just beginning to suspect the horrible
truth. Hanako is a sweet, intelligent woman. She has been chafing under her father’s
well-meaning restraint for several years, but she has not voiced her complaints. She
knows that her father wants to arrange her marriage in order to solidify a corporate
alliance, but she secretly dreads the day it happens. Hanako did not want to hurt her
father, but she has sworn to live an independent life after he dies. Hanako’s relationship
with Kei was strained. Shortly after 21-year-old Yorinobu Arasaka
graduated from Todai, his father Saburo Arasaka brought him to his private chambers at Arasaka
HQ. There he explained to his youngest son the true nature of the Arasaka Corporation.
Rather than agreeing with his father’s vision, Yorinobu was secretly appalled. That night,
Yorinobu slipped out of the compound and vanished into the Tokyo night.
Four years later, Yorinobu, considered to be a non-musical rockerboy, had gathered a
cadre of tough Tokyo nomads: the Kotetsu no Ryu aka the Steel Dragons. Together, they
swore to expose and destroy Arasaka. His knowledge of Arasaka facilities and corporate procedures
gave the Kotetsu no Ryu some advantages, but they lacked the power or information to make
serious headway against the corporation. Yorinobu is, however, able to tread the world of the
street and the corporate tower with equal facility. When he is not riding with his men,
he is travelling the world, meeting with other enemies of Arasaka, looking for funds and
equipment. Then the fourth corporate war happened. Aside
from providing the Japanese government details on Arasaka’s operations, information on
Yorinobu’s exploits during the war remained elusive, until Johnny Silverhand and his team,
while attempting to find the storage room for the Soulkiller program and Alt Cunningham,
stumbled upon a data file titled, Arasaka Yorinobu 24/9/2022. Kei Arasaka had used the
Soulkiller on his younger brother. Next to the Soulkiller database, Silverhand’s
team would find what appeared to be a cloning facility. What were the Arasaka scientists
up to? Amongst the tissues samples one was labelled Alt 17/02/2013 and Yorinobu Arasaka
23/09/2022. Remember, that while not perfected in 2020, the ability to fully clone a human
was viable at this time. Also, the Arasaka Tower riots where Silverhand had originally
attempted to rescue Alt happened on April 13th 2013, meaning Arasaka had somehow acquired
Alt’s DNA years earlier. It was revealed in Cyberpunk Red that Arasaka
broke into three warring factions. The Bakafu Faction, headed by Hanako Arasaka; the Princess
Faction, headed by Michiko Arasaka, Kei’s youngest daughter, who as a US citizen, allies
with the new US Government and the Rebel Faction, headed by Kei’s rebel son Yorinobu.
One can therefore speculate that the Yorinobu who is currently fighting the other Arasaka
factions is either a cloned imposter or there is a method of reversing the soulkiller process
to integrate an engram into a cloned body. This raises many interesting questions about
the 2077 narrative. Is it the real Yorinobu Arasaka? If the answer is yes, who restored
his engram to a living body? What about the other victims of soulkiller? If Yorinobu received
a new cloned body, what about the tissue samples for Alt Cunningham and potentially Johnny
Silverhand? Who has those tissue samples? Given that it was a Militech operation, are
Militech secretly trying to take over the Arasaka corporation through this new Yorinobu?
What was the true purpose behind the Arasaka research facility? So many questions remained
unanswered. Thank you for Chippin’In