- Author: Daniel Downey
- Date: October 6, 2020
A Russian-language special edition of Night City Wire just dropped, and it gives us an inside look at the voice acting and localization that went into the Russian version of Cyberpunk 2077. In the voice actors’ interviews there were some interesting tidbits regarding the personalities of the characters in Night City, straight from the mouths that voice those characters in Cyberpunk 2077 (if you’re playing in Russian, anyway). We got to learn more about Jackie Welles and Johnny Silverhand, two characters that V will be hanging out with quite a bit in CD Projekt Red’s new RPG.
One of the characters V looks to be spending the most time with in Cyberpunk 2077 is Mexican mercenary Jackie Welles. Jackie used to be part of the Valentino gang, but had to leave once his over-protective mother found out. Now he’s a mercenary and V’s companion on each of the three prologue Lifepaths.
Jackie is also Head Localization Director Evelyna Novikova’s favorite character, and she told us a little bit about V’s early-game companion. He is the only main character in the game who has a family, or even any mention of one. Novikova describes Jackie as kind, open-minded, emotional, and easily amused — like a child: “You want a guy who always feels good? That’s Jackie!”
Jackie seems to be the classic gentle giant, silly and kind but big enough to still be intimidating. The 2019 E3 trailer showed Jackie’s untimely demise, but with any luck there will be other possible endings to that quest; Jackie seems like the type of guy who’d be good to have by your side when things go wrong.
Johnny the Jerk
Johnny Silverhand is the character that V will likely spend the most time with in Cyberpunk 2077, even if Johnny is a disembodied personality floating around in V’s cyberware-enhanced head. Novikova describes Johnny as a “rockerboy with a rich background” who is a “douche”, and makes the point that the Silverhand character is someone distinct from Keanu Reeves other roles as John Wick or Neo from the Matrix.
Johnny certainly comes off as a douche in a conversation between him and V; he makes fun of V for being scared, apparently about when Johnny was first making appearances from inside V’s head. Johnny also teases for being afraid to die at Misty’s store. V does respond by reminding Johnny how he whined for cigarettes and complained he couldn’t kill V. This suggests that the way Johnny is integrated into V’s cyberware makes it so Johnny can feel things V feels, which would make for an interesting relationship indeed.
Despite the fact that they initially want Johnny come to off as a jerk, the voice team’s ultimate goal with his voice lines was to make him a sympathetic character despite his flaws. The way Ilya Bledny (who voices Russian Johnny) sees it, the tough-guy attitude is a wall Johnny puts up to protect his true nature, his true feelings. Considering V will have Johnny with him for the majority of the game, lets hope all the voice actors succeeded in making him likeable, and that his true nature isn’t that he’s just a douche.
Night City is full of colorful characters, from the lovable Jackie to the calculating Evelyn, and all the quirky folk in between. Who are you most looking forward to spending time with in Cyberpunk 2077? Let us know in the comments!