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Disambig This article is about the artificial mechanism. For other uses, see Wall (disambiguation).

People imagine it as a great border wall, a one-time solution to protect humanity forever. Whereas it's more like a torn-open trash bag taped over a busted window.

Bryce Mosley to V during I Walk the Line, Cyberpunk 2077

The Blackwall (or Black Wall)[1] is a firewall developed by NetWatch. Located within the Net, it is tasked with keeping rogue AIs from breaking through into the rest of cyberspace and wreaking havoc.

The firewall often splits old network systems in half, leading to stories of haunted data.

History[]

2040s[]

Ever since the DataKrash caused by Rache Bartmoss, humanity had been forced to sacrifice its access to invaluable resources and knowledge for the safekeeping of the Net. NetWatch tried to regain control against the rogue artificial intelligences, but to no avail. As an alternative, NetWatch — helped by the Transcendentals and the Ghosts — secretly started development in 2044 of a project called "The Black Wall" in order to keep the Net under control, while permanently sealing off old access nodes into the Net. The Blackwall's task was to secure an area of cyberspace for human use while holding at bay the threat of the dangerous rogue AIs that were released decades earlier into Net.[1][2][3]

2077[]

By 2077, the Blackwall is still active, as the danger of the rogue AIs getting free could possibly cause the end of the world. However, several netrunner groups believe the free AIs will help them conquer the virtual world, and pursued methods on how to destroy the firewall. To ensure this never happens, NetWatch works overtime to keep others from destroying it.

It is revealed by various sources that the Blackwall is not a firewall, but actually a powerful AI masquerading as ICE, whose job is to keep out any rogue AIs it can identify from the secure net. It is also referred to as a band-aid solution, since the Blackwall, being an AI, could go rogue itself. The Voodoo Boys believe that outcome is inevitable, and are willing to do anything to remove the Blackwall and win favors with the rogue AIs for when they return.[4]

Other groups of a more elite veneer have also expressed an interest in the Blackwall. The American multinational corporation Militech in particular sought to reactivate the long-dead Project Cynosure, itself an early attempt at capturing rogue AIs using adaptive neural networks, to harness the Blackwall for its own ends, particularly to compete with Arasaka. The federal government of the New United States also expressed a disproportionate interest in harnessing the Blackwall through skilled netrunners such as Song So Mi, even though both of these actions would have likely led to another corporate (or global) conflict.

Alt Cunningham reveals that the best way to survive beyond the Blackwall is by assuming a human form to not turn into pure data, out of animalistic behavior.[5]

Depending on the choices made at the end of Cyberpunk 2077, either V or Johnny can agree to follow Alt beyond the Blackwall, where they will fuse with her like the rest of the constructs from Mikoshi.[5]

Database Entry[]

The Blackwall

THE BLACKWALL

When attempts to rebuild the Net after Rache Bartmoss' attack turned out to be futile and feral post-Krash AIs began to threaten corporations (often the same ones who created them), NetWatch decided to cut its losses. Dozens of the agency's finest netrunners created what came to be known as the Blackwall — a protective barrier keeping the fragmented, unstable (but still usable) Net safe from the rogue AIs roaming the ruins of cyberspace.

The Blackwall came without warning, out of nowhere, which meant that any netrunners left stranded on the other side had no way to safely jack out nor survive indefinitely in cyberspace. As a result, NetWatch managed to kill two birds with one stone — neutralizing the threat of AIs and getting rid of troublesome hackers. The price of the Blackwall meant abandoning major technological advancements that came with self-aware AIs. Nevertheless, NetWatch made up for it by creating new tools that would grant them even greater access over the Net.

For years, corporate propaganda glorified NetWatch agents as defenders of the people and, through the Blackwall, humanity's last line of defense. But mysterious raids in cyberspace (that agents are not always able to cover-up) prove that the "wall" maybe isn't as strong as we think it is...[6]

Notes[]

  • Members of Maelstrom were able to summon a rogue AI named "Lilith" through a ritual.
  • Rogue AIs from beyond the Blackwall are implied to inhabit physical objects V can craft, such as the Militech Canto cyberdeck and Midnight Arms Erebus.
    • Much like Lilith, these AIs show a condescending and demeaning view of human life in general.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk RED Corebook. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2020. (p.264)
  2. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Mission Kit - Edgerunner's Handbook. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2024. (p.6)
  3. Cyberpunk 2077 - America After the War
  4. Cyberpunk 2077 - I Walk the Line
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cyberpunk 2077 - Changes
  6. CD Projekt RED. Cyberpunk 2077. Video Game, Multi-Platform. Poland, CD Projekt S.A., 2020.
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