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There are no clean hands. But it is important how they become dirty. [...] You dirty your hands for money. I - in the name of principles.

– Takemura to VCyberpunk 2077

Goro Takemura (竹村 五郎) is the former personal bodyguard of Saburo Arasaka.[4] He is a stoic man of honor and fiercely loyal to Arasaka, but finds himself betrayed and out of his element in Night City.

Biography

Early life

Goro Takemura was born in the slum of Chiba-11, the district with the highest murder rate in all of Japan. It's unknown what became of his mother; as his father worked full-time in a kitchen, Goro was looked after by his grandmother. The family was so poor that they did their laundry in the chemically polluted canals.
Out of poverty, he was conscripted into Arasaka's corporate army, where he would eventually join the special forces division, a fortunate incident that he compared with having won the lottery. At the Arasaka academy, he received an education and graduated at the top of his class.

At some point Saburo Arasaka came to recruit a new personal bodyguard out of the one hundred soldiers the corporation deemed most skilled and loyal (a recruitment pool which may or may not be identical with the one for service at the Arasaka Family Compound). His loyalty to the family was beyond question, and he idolized his CEO. As Saburo's personal protector, Takemura received one-of-a-kind cyberware, including an endoskeleton.

Takemura personally trained the cyberninja Sandayu Oda, who served as the bodyguard of Hanako Arasaka.[4]

2077

In 2077, Takemura accompanied Saburo Arasaka to Konpeki Plaza, Night City, where the CEO intended to confront his son Yorinobu for stealing the Relic. Takemura was about to commence a full sweep of the penthouse, but was ordered out of the room by Saburo only moments before he would have uncovered V and Jackie Welles. After he and Adam Smasher had left, the hidden mercenaries were witness to a family argument, during the sad climax of which Yorinobu strangled his father in the heat of anger.
Immediately after the deed, the murderer alerted security, claiming that Saburo had been poisoned. He took advantage of Takemura's visible shock to assert his authority as the head of Arasaka family and corporation, ordering him to find the murderers before leaving the suite.

After V and Jackie had escaped Konpeki Plaza, Takemura tracked down Dexter DeShawn, who had set up the heist. As Jackie Welles had succumbed to his injuries and DeShawn had shot V and dumped V into the landfill to cover his tracks, Takemura forced him to lead him to V. After he had dragged V out and attempted to bargain for his life, Takemura unceremoniously killed DeShawn with one single shot. Then Takemura called Yorinobu and told that the murderer had been found. While he was delivering V by car, a group of assassins sent by Yorinobu approached them by motorcycles and attempted to kill Takemura and V. After beating the assassins, Takemura was injured, and V was in critical condition. Takemura told V to call someone who could save them, and V made every effort to call Delamain to deliver them to Viktor Vektor, and then passed out.

After V recovered, Takemura contacted V to discuss how to take revenge against Yorinobu, calling him to account for his crime. Takemura revealed that he initially attempted to contact Evelyn Parker, who had an intimate relationship with Yorinobu Arasaka, but failed. Then V told Takemura that Anders Hellman should be helpful, but Takemura said Hellman was just a pawn and had left Arasaka. He claimed the existence of powerful allies, who would be able to help clear their names and remove Yorinobu from power.[3] But anyway, Takemura still advised V to find Parker and Hellman first.

After V found Anders Hellman, who escaped from the Kang Tao AV hit by EMP (and a rocket) and was stationed at a gas station, V called Takemura to come and ask Hellman some questions.

Later, Takemura tried to contact Hanako Arasaka's bodyguard - Sandayu Oda. He arranged a personal meeting, giving V the opportunity to tell the truth about Saburo Arasaka's death. However, Oda refused to listen. While letting them go, he threatened that the next time he would not be as lenient.
Whether by accident or on purpose, Oda let slip that Hanako was visiting Night City for the parade during Aratama-matsuri festival[5].

Deeming that this was the only chance to reveal the truth to Hanako Arasaka, Takemura sought help from V for approaching Hanako during the parade. They asked Wakako Okada the information about the parade. [6]

Having formed the plan to jump on the dashi float from which Hanako Arasaka would be giving her speech, he conducted reconnaissance of Arasaka Industrial Park, where the platforms were in the process of being assembled. With or without V's help, a virus he picked up in Kabuki was uploaded to the float in question.[2]

During the parade, V took out the three snipers who would have prevented Takemura from getting on the float alive, only to hear that a netrunner had overridden the virus-granted access. While taking out the netrunner, V encountered Oda, who wanted to kill the intruder. V finally defeated him with the help of Takemura's running advice. After asking his ally to spare the defeated foe, he entered the float and tried to explain himself to Hanako Arasaka. However, Hanako tried to flee instead of listening, Takemura shot her with a shot of sedative, and told V to run before severing the connection.[7]

Having abducted his CEO's daughter, Takemura took her to an abandoned apartment building, and called V to come. After V came to the hideout, they tried to convince Hanako to believe what they said. However, the Arasaka force found the location and stormed the building. Before V was briefly incapacitated by falling through the floor, they could see Takemura shielding Hanako from the explosion with his own body. After he had fallen back, Hanako was carried away by Adam Smasher, who departed in the AV that had destroyed the wall.

When V regained consciousness after their fall, the engram of Johnny Silverhand told them that Takemura was already dead and advised them to run.[8]


If V left Takemura behind in Search and Destroy:

V fled from Takemura's hideout, who fought the upcoming Arasaka forces until he was eventually killed.


If V went back for Takemura in Search and Destroy:

V ignored Johnny's advice and returned to the second floor to save Takemura, who was pinned down with poor cover in his bedroom, fighting off Arasaka soldiers with the Shingen that had been stashed under his bed. Scolding V for coming back only to die along with him, Takemura then proved himself wrong by helping them fight out of the apartment building.

After escaping the trap, he parted ways from the mercenary, whom he considered to have a better chance of escaping Arasaka's notice. Afterwards, he was contacted by Hanako, who had him brought to a secure location. In a text message to V, he expresses gratitude for his life and concern for their wellbeing.[8]


In any epilogue where V does not side with Hanako:
After witnessing the mercenary's attack on Arasaka Tower and the decline of the Arasaka Corporation, Takemura acknowledged that he had failed avenging Saburo's death, deciding to commit seppuku. His last message was to V, in which he talked about jisei: while he had found many of the ancient samurais' death poems to be very beautiful, he was not one of their number and so could not write one himself. Instead, he had decided to leave the mercenary a message, closing it with the heart-felt wish that they would burn in hell.[4]

If V took Hanako's offer in Nocturne Op55N1:
Takemura and Anders Hellman rendezvoused with V at Misty's Esoterica, noting their deteriorating health. The three proceeded to the Arasaka Estate to extract Hanako from her brother's forces. After a successful rescue, the four of them took an AV to Arasaka Tower so that Saburo's daughter could confront the board of directors.

On the way, Hellman's comment about V's physical condition angered Takemura. He defended the mercenary so vehemently that Hanako interrupted the conversation to steer it back towards planning.[9]

At Arasaka Tower, he split from the rest of the group to meet with Oda (if V had not killed him) and those soldiers whose loyalty to Hanako he could guarantee. On the way to the Arasaka board meeting, Takemura heard from his ally that Saburo had survived as an engram. He expressed shock and disbelief, claiming that Saburo would have told him. It didn't take him long to regain his composure: when Saburo's engram roasted the board of directors, he didn't bother to hide his amusement.

The meeting was interrupted by an attempt of Yorinobu to destroy the Kiji and Hato factions by means of military coup. On Hanako's orders, Takemura and V fought their way through the Taka soldiers to take Yorinobu prisoner.[10]

Before reaching Yorinobu, Takemura and V had to overcome Adam Smasher. After defeating the cyborg, Takemura claimed that he would kill Yorinobu, defying Hanako's order that he was not to be harmed and thus voiding the deal between her and the mercenary. As a last service, he stayed behind while V entered the CEO's office.
A month later, Takemura visited V on the Arasaka Orbital Station, where he expressed disgust at the "barbaric" decision to confirm them to their room. No longer serving as Saburo's bodyguard, he would claim that justice had been served and that Hanako had made the best call in a bad situation.

However, the reason for his visit was that the procedure had failed and the mercenary was still dying. Regardless of their reaction, he showed himself supportive, apologizing that he had truly believed Arasaka could save them, and indicating that the corporation had acted in good faith. He offered them a possibility of survival: to join the Secure Your Soul program until such a point where a compatible body could be provided.


If V refuses the deal with Takemura in Where is My Mind?:
V refused the deal and wished to return to Earth. When Takemura pleaded with them to reconsider, the mercenary replied that they weren't willing to give up something that he never had: freedom. Picking up their things, they walked away from Takemura, who was visibly distraught.

If V accepted the deal with Takemura in Where is My Mind?:
V accepted the deal, stating that they wanted to live. Takemura replied that it was a good choice, advising them not to wait for their condition to worsen. When V inquired if they would meet again, he expressed his certainty that they would, inviting them to visit him in Kagawa, where he hoped to show them real food.

Database Entry

Goro Takemura
Goro Takemura

The only bodyguard of Saburo Arasaka who truly done fucked up. While obeying orders, he was unable to prevent the death of his master at the hands of Saburo's son, Yorinobu. After the Relic was stolen, Takemura went after the thieves, eventually leading him to a landfill, where he zeroed Dexter Deshawn and saved V - the sole living witness to Yorinobu's crime. In his mission to find the truth, Takemura became Arasaka's most wanted fugitive pursued by every agent in Night City. The ex-bodyguard is driven by a desire for vengeance and won't rest until he brings Saburo's murderer to justice - even if it means working with a petty thief like V.[4]

Associated Quests

Development

Conception

CD Projekt RED wanted to tell a more corporate part of the main story, regarding Arasaka. Initially, they had a female character named Ayumi Gozen as a villain, but wanted to instead show a more human side of the corporation. Philipp Weber, Acting Lead Quest Designer at CD Projekt RED, wanted to create a character who was very close to Saburo, sharing his traditional values and believing that Arasaka's actions is morally right. Takemura came to life as a character who — in their own mind — was able to justify that everything they did for Arasaka was for the greater good. He believes in honour and traditional Japanese values. However, as the developers were concerned that players would be unable to empathize, they began to humanize him, wanting to display a character who had been forced to make terrible choices to guarantee his survival. This is the reason behind his likeable personality traits, such as being a foodie, the way he's not very good dealing with technology etc.
Overall, Takemura is supposed to be a character who genuinely believes that what he is doing for Arasaka is the right thing to do.[11]

Developer notes

  • The selfie Takemura sends to V was Philipp Weber's idea, who came up with it after a picture of Takemura's face from a low angle reminded him of a 'dad selfie.' A cinematic designer he spoke to came up with a selection of possible selfies to use, including ones with him looking 'flirty' and 'awkward,' yet his initial favourite remained.
  • Philip Weber came up with the idea of a little joke of the elderly man confusing Takemura as a famous celebrity. The idea was later developed by different members of the team, giving birth to the formerly-famous stand-up comedian Hideshi Hino. The team added more dialogue to the scene, scattering posters of Hideshi Hino across the city.
  • Takemura is a foodie. He has a strong belief in tradition and his belief that food should be prepared in a traditional way, and with care. CD Projekt RED's Paweł Sasko mentioned these traits are still an important reflection of his character.
  • Takemura had been supposed to have very unique optics; however, due to time constraints, he had to share Hanako's. After patch 1.2, they changed to brown with a reflective ring around the pupil. According to Philip Weber during a Q&A, his one-of-a-kind optics are an important way to make the player aware of his unique cyberware (even if most of it had been removed or disabled), and a way to distinguish his skillset from Hanako's netrunning abilities. However, Patch 1.3 reverted this change.[11]

Behind the scenes

Takemura's career peaked when Saburo Arasaka made him his personal bodyguard. That was the culmination of the long road he'd traveled from the gutters of Tokyo, one that took him through countless armed conflicts as an Arasaka soldier. Cyberware screwed into evey inch of the tall, thin frame draped with elegant black-and-white clothing, his face etched with unfazed expertise, he cut the figure of the perfect corporate samurai. Takemura's career tanked when Yorinobu Arasaka accused him failing to prevent his father's murder. Exiled from the organization he had made his life, stripped of titles and dignity, bounty hunters on his trail, he deactivated his implants and started, once more, on the streets. What remained was pure grit, determination and strength of character that allowed him to transform a tragic end into a turning-point.

Notes

  • When initially picking up V, Takemura drives a red Mizutani Shion Targa MZT - gameplay-wise it is an MZ1, even when scanned.
  • During Playing for Time, Takemura mentions to a Streetkid V that his father used to work in the kitchen all his life.
  • During Down on the Street, the elderly man in front of Wakako's Den can mistake Takemura for the former late-night comedian Hideshi Hino. This unlocks some humorous dialogues.
    • This dialogue will trigger if V does not accompany Takemura upon his arrival and he has to wait for them. He should then be leaning against the wall next to the entrance.
  • The cryptic text messages he sends V after their meeting in Tom's Diner are a reference to the kanji of his name: 竹 (bamboo), 村 (village), 五 (five). Since the game's subtitles render all names in katakana, he introduces himself to Wakako as タケムラゴロ.
  • No data exists as to Takemura's exact age.
    • Cut dialogue includes the following lines:

"I did twenty years of active service. Arasaka-sama had taken a similar path. He understood."
"Before the resource crisis 2035 there were cats in our neighbourhood. Then people began to lose their jobs. Spend their savings. Then the cats disappeared."

  • During a developer stream, the designer who had been responsible for his development wrote in chat: “Takemura has never knew any better. He really believed he was lucky. Saburo could have been like a father to him. That would really distort the view of reality for him.”
  • After completing the Gimme Danger quest, an additional text exchange with Takemura can trigger under specific circumstances. It will start with him sending V a picture of the bakeneko taken on the rooftop.[12]
Click to show
"About what we discussed on the roof... Bakeneko can take on a human appearance. Sometimes they even consume their owner and replace them. Keep it as a warning"
Just an img? No nuggets of bushido wisdom? (option 1). "Not every fool is a thief, but every thief is a fool. Takemura Goro, 2077"
Thanks. I'll remember (option 2). "Thank you... ^._.^"
What would you say to a little dinner together? a real one? (option 1).
Aren't you a little lonely? What would you say to... some company? :) (option 2). "Hmm.... I'm not sure I understand you... You mean to say... what I think you are saying? V... This is perhaps not the best idea... I'm honored but I have other...obligations in Japan. Under other circumstances... you understand I hope. But thank you, your words mean a lot to me."

Trivia

Gallery

References

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