Cyberpunk 2077 players have been searching for The Witcher’s Ciri in the game from day one, and some think they’ve now spotted a fairly sneaky reference to the character in one of the game’s endings.
Mild spoilers for one Cyberpunk 2077 ending follow – proceed at your own risk!
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As pointed out on Nintendo Smash, the endgame quest All Along the Watchtower (check out our Cyberpunk 2077 guide for how to reach it) begins with V waking up on top of the Badlands Dam, and seeing a bird perch on the open car window.
That bird looks and sounds like a barn swallow – in the world of the Witcher, ‘Swallow’ is the Elvish-English translation of ‘Zireael’, from which Ciri’s name derives (and is the name of the silver sword given to her by Geralt in The Witcher 3).
That might seem to be a coincidence, but Cyberpunk 2077 makes very clear that there are no birds in or around Night City. A shard (the game’s name for text logs) titled “Avian Extermination Act” makes clear why:
“In the face of increasingly frequent and deadly zoonotic disease outbreaks, the City Council has decided that the most effective method for reducing the risk of infection among residents is via the extermination of all avian life within 18 miles of city limits.”
That makes the appearance of a living bird in the game particularly notable, and one with such close association to Ciri feels like a deliberate choice to some fans. There’s no sign yet from CD Projekt Red as to whether that is actually the case – it’s very much a fan theory at this point.
As for why players have been specifically looking for Ciri in Night City – that comes down to a set of lines she speaks in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Ciri describes a world she hid in to escape the titular Hunt, saying: “People there had metal in their heads, waged war from a distance, using things similar to megascopes. And there were no horses, everyone had their own flying ships instead.”
Many have taken that to mean she arrived in Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 director Adam Badowski previously said he was against the idea of crossing the worlds over, despite many on the team hoping to include Ciri in the game – it could well be that this reference was the compromise.
Even if it’s a total coincidence, Ciri does make another appearance in the game – albeit in the form of the cover star on a retro gaming magazine found in the Cyberpunk’s prologue for Corpo players.
Many have wondered if Ciri will be the lead in the Witcher game due to begin development after Cyberpunk’s release. It may well be a while before we find out, however, as Cyberpunk itself clearly has a long way to go.
After the poor state of the game on consoles at launch, CD Projekt has committed to a number of updates to fix the game by February, after which it will receive free DLC and paid expansions and, eventually, a multiplayer mode. Considering you can’t even buy the game digitally on PlayStation right now, it’s likely going to be a long road until we get even a chance of seeing CD projekt’s take on Ciri in person again.