Cyberpunk 2077’s 2.0 update arrived last week alongside new (and truly excellent) expansion Phantom Liberty, bringing a host of tweaks and improvements in an impressive climax to the originally technically-troubled and artistically-questionable game’s quite staggering redemption arc.
While just how good Phantom Liberty is is its own pleasant surprise in many ways, Cyberpunk 2077’s 2.0 update brings its own slightly more buried secrets. Namely, a playable Doom clone starring Johnny Silverhand tucked away in a corner of Night City, which has led players down a further rabbit-hole of mysteries.
The arcade machine featuring the ‘90s-inspired minigame is hidden in a derelict church near the Badlands’ Protein Farm, and boots up a Wolfenstein-aping shooter called Arasaka Tower 3D featuring a pixellated Keanu Reeves and a retro soundtrack based on 2077’s own score. (Thanks, Eurogamer.)
The game tasks players with blasting their way down Arasaka Tower’s 120 floors as Silverhand - a nod to his role in a deadly bomb attack more than half a century before the events of 2077.
The minigame itself is what you’d expect from a charming homage to Doom-likes, but the mystery thickens once you reach the leaderboard screen. One player’s score references the running FF:06:B5 Easter egg previously found on both statues in Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City and a set of ruins in The Witcher 3. (Spoilers for the FF:06:B5 Easter egg in Cyberpunk 2077 follow.)
We found a QR code and tic tac toe game in the Arasaka Tower arcade game, here's how.
On top of that, smarty-pants Reddit users discovered that waiting in a specific server room on the 52nd floor until the timer hits 270 unlocks a secret maze on the -10th floor, which itself contained eight QR codes.
The QR codes could be pieced together and scanned to run script for a noughts-and-crosses game. That wasn’t all, though. Enterprising fans worked out that a ninth piece of the QR code could be recovered using a method known as Reed-Solomon error correction - for whom Idris Elba’s Phantom Liberty character Solomon Reed appears to be named.
The completed QR code then ran another game of noughts-and-crosses, this time against an unbeatable AI. When the game hit its unwinnable state, it dropped a quote from ‘80s movie WarGames: "The only winning move is not to play."
What the intended steps were beyond that to unlock the mystery’s next part we don’t actually know, because - as per PC Gamer - a group of players decided to bypass the rest of the breadcrumb trail by using modding tools to skip to the end of the treasure hunt.
Said treasure was found via a set of coordinates relating to a mattress in a desert, which can be stood on for a very specific amount of time to unlock a cutscene and a custom version of the Mackinaw truck called the Demiurge.
Other players are continuing to try and work out how to connect the dots as CD Projekt Red intended - and with several other mysterious names on the leaderboard for its hidden minigame, it might be that there are a few more secrets to be discovered yet.