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I saw corps ... transform Night City into a machine fueled by people's crushed spirits, broken dreams and emptied pockets. Corps've long controlled our lives, taken lots... and now they're after our souls! ... I've declared war not 'cause capitalism's a thorn in my side or outta nostalgia for an America gone by. This war's a people's war against a system that's spiralled outta our control.

— Johnny Silverhand during Tapeworm, Cyberpunk 2077

Johnny Silverhand, born Robert John Linder[1][Twitter 1], was a famous and influential rockerboy and lead singer of the band Samurai before its breakup in 2008.[2] A military veteran who defined the rockerboy movement as it is known today, Silverhand was the most prominent figure who fought against the corrupted NUSA government and megacorporations, often being described as a terrorist because of this. Despite being charismatic and quite the charmer, he was also known to be irrational, impulsive, and manipulative.[3]

Silverhand got his nickname from the silvery bionic left arm he had implanted after losing his actual arm in the Second Central American War. Most probably one of the early victims of cyberpsychosis as a result, he then became very temperamental and "on the edge."[Reddit 2] He is described in one interview as having been driven by "dedication and ambitions, but at the end of the day, he doesn't care much for the people around him as long as they are used to accomplish his goals."[4][citation needed]

Eventually, Silverhand was killed by Adam Smasher during the Night City Holocaust on August 20th, 2023. However, his consciousness was saved as an engram and stored on a Relic after his encounter with Smasher, but just prior to his bodily death. The engram is not Silverhand's actual consciousness, but instead a digital replication of his personality which, when copied onto Relic 2.0, is engineered to overwrite itself onto its host like a virus.


1988 - 2000s[]

Robert John Linder was born in College Station, Texas, on November 16th, 1988.[1][Twitter 1] Growing up, he became a massive fan of Wendy O. Williams and came to consider her the toughest rockergirl ever.[5]

John enlisted in the military as a teenager after lying about his real age, and it didn't take long for him to see action.[Twitter 2] He was sent to Nicaragua to participate in the Second Central American War of 2003. While in in the war, John's life was purportedly saved by a friend who died protecting him.

Perpetrated by a corrupt and manipulative US Government, the conflict was devastating. When the government's secrets were exposed, many of the American soldiers dropped their banners and fought back by deserting the military. In response, however, the government used its influence to launch a powerful propaganda campaign against these former soldiers and convinced the American public to despise them as deserters.

John was one of the soldiers who decided he would no longer fight in the corrupt war that ultimately led to him losing his arm and his friend. He left for Night City, staying at the Hotel Pistis Sophia for a whole month after his arrival.[6] The military and the war had changed his life forever.

John changed his name to Johnny Silverhand, with his new surname referencing the bionic arm he had implanted to replace his left arm.[7] Johnny thus began his mission of rebellion and exposing corruption by starting a rock band that would eventually be known as Samurai.[8][3] He started this band with his friend, Kerry Eurodyne, originally only playing in backstreet clubs.

Johnny's and Kerry's first ever gig was in the Red Dirt, a small bar in Night City. At some point in 2003, while they were playing in a bar called Rainbow Cadenza, a producer named Jack Masters discovered them and signed them to Universal Recording. Samurai was comprised of the co-founders, Johnny and Kerry, as well as Denny, Nancy Hartley, and Henry.

Johnny's music became revolutionary, kickstarting the rockerboy movement and becoming an overnight sensation. He, along with Samurai itself, rose to the top of the US music charts in record time. Despite their success, however, Samurai struggled to maintain as personal issues rose to the surface.

During this time, Samurai's keyboard player, Nancy, was in an abusive relationship. She reached a point in the relationship where she could no longer stand the abuse, and she pushed her boyfriend out of a window. After the NCPD discovered the body, Nancy was arrested and taken to prison.

Without Nancy, Samurai struggled to stay together and finally split up in 2008.[3] Johnny was still one of the most popular musicians at the time, however, and he planned to use his star power to launch a solo career in which to continue pushing his anti-corporation and anti-government message. By then, DBS Music wanted to sign Johnny so desperately that they blackmailed him, threatening to reveal his true identity as a deserter of the Second Central American Conflict.

In defiance of DBS Music's attempts to blackmail him, Johnny instead signed once again with Universal Music. He then released a complete album entitled "SINS of Your Brothers," in which he admitted to being a deserter and revealed all the terrible actions the government had ordered its military to carry out. The album was wildly successful and changed public perception on what it meant to be a deserter.[3]


Johnny continued his rebellious campaign into the 2010s. During this time, he performed his famous free benefit concert in Japantown to call attention to the brutal methods the NCPD used to quell the Homeless Riots.[9] Johnny's relationship with Rogue Amendiares also ended at some point in 2011 after she discovered that he had cheated on her.[1][10]

After giving a concert at The Hammer on August 4th in 2013, Johnny re-connected with his former girlfriend, Alt Cunningham. When the two went for a walk together that night, they were ambushed by a group of thugs hired by Arasaka. The thugs injured Johnny severely and kidnapped Alt as a helpless Johnny watched them take off in a van.

On the 5th of August, 2013, Johnny gathered a strike team consisting of his ex-girlfriend and solo, Rogue, media reporter Lyle Thompson, and the nomad leader of the Aldecaldos, Santiago, in order to infiltrate Arasaka Tower in Night City to save Alt. As a diversion, he called in a favor from all the members of his old band. Samurai gathered together to perform an entirely free show directly in front of the complex.

Samurai's performance led to a riot aimed at the tower as troops were called in to control the situation. Unbeknownst to Johnny at this time, Arasaka had kidnapped Alt specifically to force her to develop a new version of the Soulkiller software she had written for ITS.[1] In a panic reaction to the assault, Toshiro Harada used Soulkiller on Alt while the assault took place, trapping her inside the Arasaka mainframe.[citation needed]

As Johnny and his team infiltrated the tower, Alt attempted to find a way to escape the Arasaka mainframe and return to her body. The team reached the room where Toshiro and Akira were keeping Alt, and as a rage-fueled Johnny came upon Toshiro standing over Alt, he shot Toshiro dead. Johnny then disconnected Alt from the netrunning chair she was plugged into, assuming she had died as he gathered her still warm body in his arms.

Behind the wall of monitors, a disembodied Alt screamed out to Johnny, but he could not hear her.[10][11]

After the assault on the tower, Johnny and Santiago left Night City and went into hiding with the Aldecaldos nomad family. In 2015, the two finally returned to the USA from Mexico City.[12] Little is known of what Johnny did during this time, but it was around 2015 that a firefighter by the name of Samantha Stevens saved him from a fire in one of his studios.[13][14][15]


Around 2020, Johnny gave an interview in which he reminisced about a girl he had fallen for. She had told him she was born in Miami around 2004, as she could still remember the destruction of Tampa. Johnny mentioned that she had a biosculpt smile and blue Teknics 2350 eyes, though he did not care how much of her was "real."[16]

On August 20th, 2023, Johnny and Morgan Blackhand, alongside Rogue, Shaitan, Thompson, and Spider Murphy, led a Militech assault team on the Arasaka Towers in Night City, with the intention of destroying the towers with a mini nuke and ultimately ending the Fourth Corporate War.[17] Johnny had another reason for going back to the towers, however: he wanted to find Alt Cunningham. There were more than a few obstacles in the way of this personal objective.

After successfully liberating Alt, Johnny's team was pinned down in the Soulkiller labs by Arasaka forces and Adam Smasher. Johnny, who had barely managed to find cover, was conflicted on what to do next. He felt that during his first attack on the towers, he had failed Alt, and he was determined this time not to fail her again.

With a Militech SMG in one hand and his Malorian Arms in the other, Johnny resolved to leave cover, shouting at and provoking Smasher while emptying his ammo into the borg. Smasher, surprised at Silverhand's audacity, whipped around and fired his auto-shotgun at Silverhand, ripping the rockerboy in half. This allowed Shaitan to immobilize the Arasaka borg, granting the rest of the team the chance to escape.[17][18]

Spider Murphy tried to reach Johnny, but she was stopped by Rogue, who told her he was gone. Spider instead reached inside her jacket to pull out a data slug Alt had given to her long ago, and as she whispered to Johnny that she was sorry, she inserted the chip into the back of the dying rockerboy's skull. She then reached for her data suitcase, quickly realizing it had been destroyed in the crossfire, and then escaped with Rogue knowing that both Johnny and Rache Bartmoss would one day be avenged.[18]

Johnny's engram as coded on the Relic in 2077 holds a different tale of the events. In Johnny's version of the story, he escaped the initial fight with Smasher and attempted to reach the helicopter where Rogue was waiting, but was again cut off by Smasher. Johnny was then presumed gunned down by the borg and dead, but was instead recovered and detained by Arasaka.

According to the engram, while in the custody of Arasaka, Johnny was interrogated first by the corp's security and then later by Saburo Arasaka himself with the assistance of a techie. He was subjected to the Soulkiller program, in which his consciousness was scanned and stored on an engram as his physical body died. He was then allegedly buried under concrete in the derelict oil fields just outside of Night City.[19]

Despite there being no body to intern, a niche was dedicated to Johnny's memory at the North Oak Columbarium. His epitaph, which uses his real name, reads: "Robert John Linder: Son of a bitch who never gave up. A legend among legends."[20]

Black Dog[]

Not long after the 2023 Night City Holocaust, firefighter and Johnny Silverhand fan, Samantha Stevens, accessed the Hot Zone after receiving a request from Angel. There, Samantha recovered a non-detonated mini-nuke from a wrecked bunker of the destroyed towers, later tossing its contents into Del Coronado Bay. After finding Johnny's body among the ruins, she placed it into the nuke crate to preserve it.

At some point, Samantha also recovered several of Johnny's possessions, including one of his Malorian Arms and his Porsche. Along with the bomb case, she hid these items in her garage somewhere in Night City, where she protected and took care of them for years.

During the Time of the Red, after encountering a group of edgerunners who were trying to find an unreleased song by Silverhand, Samantha tasked the group with transport the crate containing Johnny's body to Los Alamos Labs in New Mexico. Before they left, Samantha took one of them, a mercenary known as Zara, aside and gifted her the Malorian. She intimated to Zara that the owner was never going to use it again, adding that Zara seemed the right person to carry it for him.

The group of edgerunners managed to deliver the crate to Angel in New Mexico. After opening the crate, she whispered "Hello, my love."[15]


At some point prior to 2077, Johnny Silverhand's engram was copied onto a prototype version of the Relic know as Relic 2.0. This device was stolen by Yorinobu Arasaka and stored within a secure vault in Konpeki Plaza in an attempt by Yorinobu to bait his father, Saburo Arasaka, out into public. The engram and its location were uncovered by the Voodoo Boys, who then planned to steal it and use it establish contact with Alt and pass through the Blackwall.

The Voodoo Boys hired Evelyn Parker to record a braindance of the room and determine its security measures as well as the location of the Relic. Parker instead decided to betray the Voodoo Boys and steal the device for herself to sell to NetWatch. Using fixer Dexter DeShawn, she hired mercenaries V and Jackie Welles to steal the Relic from Yorinobu's room.

The two mercenaries were nearly successful stealing the Relic without getting caught, but their heist instead quickly fell apart after the unexpected murder of Saburo by his son. During the mercenaries' improvised escape, the Relic's storage case was damaged. To ensure the Relic's preservation, a wounded Jackie Welles inserted it into his shard slot, then later placed it into V's hands as he lie dying of his wounds in the Delamain Cab.

Immediately after Jackie's death outside the No-Tell Motel, V inserted the Relic into their own shard slot. Because of this, the Relic activated upon V's murder at the hands of DeShawn, preserving V's life and finally awaking Johnny's engram. It then began transferring the engram to V's brain, overwriting the mercenary's consciousness with Johnny's digital personality, just as it was programmed to do.

Initially attacking V in a bid to take over V's mind and body, Johnny eventually decided to cooperate with V to ensure his own survival or at least ensure the Relic's retrieval from V's head. Johnny appeared to V on numerous occasions, often either to provide advice to V or to offer his thoughts on their respective situations. Johnny also attempted to take control of V's body on a handful of occasions, and the Relic itself placed V into glimpses of Johnny's memories, including his attempt to save Alt in 2013 and his final attack on the Arasaka Towers in 2023.

If V took Hanako's offer in Nocturne Op55N1:

Johnny was angered at V's decision and believed V was too stubborn to see the truth. Because of this, he refused to help V in anyway during the mission. Johnny hated V and being forced to watch as Hanako Arasaka, Goro Takemura, and Anders Hellman worked toward restoring the Arasaka Corporation.
Despite his disappointment with V, Johnny was impressed with Yorinobu for his attempt to kill the entire board of Arasaka in a military coup. He even shared his consideration of buying Yorinobu a beer if he could. He took enjoyment in seeing Arasaka fight amongst themselves, but remained distrustful of Hanako and believed he knew where this would end.
After Yorinobu was dealt with, Hanako tasked Anders Hellman with taking V to receive the help they needed. During the surgery, Johnny and V spoke one last time, with Johnny sharing his disappointment in V's actions and explaining how they betrayed themselves. Before leaving V for good, Johnny claimed that they had become one mind, that without him, V would feel empty once the Relic was removed, and that ultimately, V betrayed Jackie by taking the easy way out instead of the blaze of glory.

If V asked Panam for help in Nocturne Op55N1:

Johnny was upset by V's decision, believing V was making a mistake in not trusting him. As such, he did not initially offer to help V during the assault on Arasaka Tower. However, Johnny then learned that V had the Aldecaldos' support, something he did not anticipate.
Even though Johnny could not join V, he still rooted for V during the assault and mocked Arasaka for getting attacked by nomads. Alt Cunningham also took pleasure in being right that Johnny was unable to manipulate V into taking control of V's body, and she still helped V in getting to Mikoshi. Despite this, Johnny was still content with the results of the assault since Arasaka was hurt in the process.
Once in the Net, V and Johnny met with Alt, who told them that even though the two had finally been separated, the Relic had altered too much of V's brain. Once V returned to their body, they would die after six months. As an alternative to this, Alt advised Johnny to return V's body instead, as it would not reject his psyche.

If Johnny stays with V's body:
V followed Alt beyond the Blackwall. A few months after the assault on Arasaka, Johnny chose to leave Night City, feeling grateful to live again, but also sad over V's fate.

If V lets Johnny go with Rogue in Nocturne Op55N1:

After V gave Johnny bodily control, Johnny formed a strike team with Rogue and Crispin Weyland. The strike time crashed into Arasaka Tower with an AV, eventually reaching Mikoshi after fighting their way down. While assaulting the tower, they were confronted by Adam Smasher, who then killed Rogue in front of Johnny. Devastated by Rogue's murder, Johnny then fought and destroyed Smasher in revenge.
Once in the Net, V and Johnny met with Alt, who told them that even though the two had finally been separated, the Relic had altered too much of V's brain. Once V returned to their body, they would die after six months. As an alternative to this, Alt advised Johnny to return V's body instead, as it would not reject his psyche.

If Johnny stays with V's body:
V followed Alt beyond the Blackwall. A few months after the assault on Arasaka, Johnny chose to leave Night City, feeling grateful to live again, but also sad over V's fate.

If V and Johnny go on a suicide run in (Don't Fear) The Reaper:

V did not like the options before them, fearing they could hurt other people. Johnny saw V as his only true friend, and so offered a fourth option: assault Arasaka Tower, just the two of them. While this seemed to be a clear suicide run, they both agreed to trust in each other.
Together, V and Johnny brazenly walked through the front doors of Arasaka Tower. V fought against several waves of Arasaka soldiers as Johnny coached V on how to keep pushing ahead, guiding V through to the end and encouraging V by sharing that V was better then any of them. As the two fought their way down to Mikoshi, V and Johnny received support of Alt Cunningham, who took control over the tower and eventually destroyed Mikoshi.
V and Johnny faced off against Adam Smasher and were successful in the end. Johnny was pleased with V's work as they finally made it to Mikoshi's access point. From there, Alt instructed them.
Once in the Net, V and Johnny met with Alt, who told them that even though the two had finally been separated, the Relic had altered too much of V's brain. Once V returned to their body, they would die after six months. As an alternative to this, Alt advised Johnny to return V's body instead, as it would not reject his psyche.

If Johnny stays with V's body:
V followed Alt beyond the Blackwall. A few months after the assault on Arasaka, Johnny chose to leave Night City, feeling grateful to live again, but also sad over V's fate.

Database Entry (2077)[]

Johnny Silverhand

They say you can become a legendary rockerboy without all the sex and drugs, the manic depression, run-ins with the law and one toxic relationship after another. But Johnny Silverhand's old school.

Frontman for Samurai, charismatic visionary, rebel with a cause, sworn enemy of corporations (but especially Arasaka) and the mind behind the cult singles "Chippin' In" and "Never Fade Away" - currently residing in V's brain as a digitized tenant.

Silverhand met his demise during the attack on Arasaka Tower after getting shot by Adam Smasher and subsequently flatlined by Soulkiller. But some rockerboys never really die. Point in case - Silverhand's personality construct was kept in Arasaka's labs for decades before it landed on a prototype biochip call the Relic, which - following a series of unexpected events - ended up in V's brain. If you think spending eternity in a cyberspace prison is worse than sharing your headspace with a complete stranger, you'd be dead wrong. For an egomaniac and narcissist like Johnny, it's a living hell.[20]



Silverhand released six albums between 2008 and 2020.[21]

Title Year Label
SINS of Your Brothers[8][13] 2009 Universal Music
A Cool Metal Fire[3] First half of 2013[8] Universal Music
Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition[22] ? ?
Clone Wars[3] 2020 ?


Title Album Year Label
Dancing With My Axe[3] A Cool Metal Fire 2013 Universal Music
Chippin' In[3] A Cool Metal Fire 2013 Universal Music
(Out of) The City[3] A Cool Metal Fire 2013 Universal Music
Flashing Lights[3] A Cool Metal Fire 2013 Universal Music
Never Fade Away[3][13][23] A Cool Metal Fire[3] / Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition[22] 2013 / ? Universal Music
Old Gold Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Synergize Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Return of the Sparrow Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Gaze Into Galaxy Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Lambs Rise Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Mechanical Heart Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Kill Steel Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Purple Flame Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Sun's Shadow Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition ? ?
Black Dog N/A 2023 (unreleased) / Time of the Red (rediscovered)[15] N/A

Dates Consistency[]

The release dates of some of these albums and songs is inconsistent within the Cyberpunk series.

  • Never Fade Away, Collector's Edition album (April 16, 2009) - As with "Chippin' In," the song "Never Fade Away" was written and composed by Silverhand for his 2013 Cool Metal Fire album.


Y'know they say time is the best teacher. Used to think that was true ... Blew 'Saka tower to smithereens, and it's still standing there. Just the same. Don't want people gettin' stuck in a rut, stuck in the past. want them to change. Them and the world.

— Johnny Silverhand to V, Cherry Blossom Market, Cyberpunk 2077

After leaving the military, Johnny Silverhand became determined to speak the truth of the corruption and oppression of many entities that held positions of power in the world. His music became an extension of his feelings for the public to hear, though none of it ever made him feel better. He made it his goal to spark rebellion in the people, opening their eyes to the reality of their oppression and galvanizing them to punch up against those he believed were their oppressors.

Johnny harbored a constant hatred for much the world around him: Night City, the NUSA, the police, corps, and most of all, Arasaka. He concentrated most of his anger and hatred on Arasaka, on two occasions carrying out attacks on Arasaka's HQ and becoming so obsessed with the megacorporation that his friends would criticize him for his extreme determination. To Johnny, Arasaka represented corporate colonialism at its worst, perceiving that megacorps would consume all the land and take complete control of people's lives, and he feared that humanity had already lost its freedom.

Despite his self-proclaimed fight for freedom, Johnny lacked empathy for most people. If he needed to kill to prove his point, he would do it without hesitation, never deviating from his goal of total rebellion. Garnering a reputation as a terrorist and anarchist, Johnny believed that taking control back from the corporate powers meant doing whatever it took, even dying as a legend to spread the same of spark rebellion in others.


Per Alt Cunningham, Johnny's memories as encoded in his engram in 2077 are not accurate to what truly happened during the events of 2013 and 2023:

"What you saw [Johnny's memories] was his subjective view of what happened. A warped account of events he locked away in his subconsciousness and replayed time and again. It bears no resemblance to the truth."[24]

Mike Pondsmith has elaborated on the verity of Johnny's memories encountered through his engram in Cyberpunk 2077:

"In 2013, Johnny attacks Arasaka purely to save Alt. (okay, so he's also pissed at them because they messed with him). Near the end of the 4th Corporate War in 2023, Johnny's old Media pal Thompson finds out that Arasaka has amassed a huge, uncontaminated database that will make it close to all powerful in the wake of Bartmoss's wreck of the Net. Thompson arranges an assault on the database, backed by Militech (who is fighting with Arasaka worldwide). The Bomb is a suitcase bomb that the team brings along to destroy the database if need be (Militech provides the Bomb, along with Morgan Blackhand, who is there to make sure the op goes off).
Johnny comes along because his friend Spider Murphy has also discovered that Arasaka has trapped Alt after 10 years of hunting for her. He's mainly there to get her back, but is willing to join up with Thompson and Morgan to get the job(s) done. Johnny's recollection of the events that day are scrambled from the rad damage his body took and the process of recording his engram (CDPR and I have both agreed that Johnny is an unreliable narrator at best). The bomb that went off was detonated by someone in the assault (the actual person is unknown), but Militech and the NUSA both decided to pin the blame on Arasaka anyway."[Reddit 3]


  • The engram states that Johnny participated in the Second Central American War in Mexico, while in reality, Johnny was instead sent to Nicaragua.[25]
  • Johnny's engram also states that his dog tags originally belonged to a soldier who sacrificed his life to save Johnny during the Central American War. Despite this, the tags have Johnny's original name, not that of his brother-in-arms.[25]
  • The engram states that Johnny once thought about inviting Rogue to the cinema, but when V asks Rogue about it, she states it was her idea instead.[26]
  • One flashback shows Johnny performing one last Samurai show on August 20th, 2023 before assaulting Arasaka Towers, despite the band having been disbanded since 2008.[27]
    • Similarly, another flashback shows Johnny performing a show with Samurai on the night that Alt was kidnapped in 2013.[1]
  • The 2023 flashback shows Johnny spearheading the assault on the towers and planting the mini-nuke before being defeated by Adam Smasher on the tower rooftop and later soulkilled by Saburo Arasaka. While Johnny did participate in the assault, he died during the event, having been ripped in half by a shotgun blast from Smasher. He was instead supposedly soulkilled by Spider Murphy moments before his death after the fatal encounter.[27]
    • The individual who fought Adam Smasher on the rooftop was in fact Morgan Blackhand. Blackhand, however, is completely omitted from the engram's memories. Further, the assault was perpetrated by Militech themselves, along with the plan to plant the mini-nuke that was purported to have prematurely detonated.[27]

Game Information (2077)[]

Miscellaneous Items[]



For V's percentages, see this page.

V's affinity with Johnny does not seem to have any major impact in the game. However, the secret ending can only be unlocked via specific dialogue choices during Chippin' In, which also increases affinity.

Johnny's Affinity Percentage

1%: "Play it Again"

  • Johnny Silverhand, the legendary rockerboy who brought the fight to Arasaka fifty years ago and paid the ultimate price. Now he's back - as a digitized construct on a biochip jammed in your brain, slowly but surely overwriting your consciousness. If you don't find some way to get rid of him, you're as good as dead.
  • By completing Love Like Fire.

10%: "Breaking the Ice"

  • Johnny Silverhand has unfinished business with Arasaka. Problem is, he's a prisoner in your head and can't even lift a finger. Now he wants you to work together - scratch his back and he'll save your life, according to him. But can he be trusted?
  • By completing the first phase of Tapeworm.

15%: "Metamorphosis"

  • Becoming Johnny Silverhand means absorbing his memories, his goals and his insanity. Long before you're wiped, you'll stop being "you." Or maybe your body'll die first? Either way, you're getting worse by the day. You need to find a way to save yourself - and fast.
  • By completing the second phase of Tapeworm.

20%: "Mikoshi"

  • Johnny wants you to fid a way into Mikoshi, an Arasaka "soul prison" for constructs where you can undergo a procedure to separate yourself from Silverhand. Once that's over, he want to celebrate by blowing up Mikoshi and freeing the constructs. It's a gnatshit-crazy plan, but what's the alternative?
  • By completing the third phase of Tapeworm.

25%: "Fucking entropy"

  • Johnny's laid his cards out on the table. His desire to led the attack against the "fucking forces of entropy" hasn't waned a single bit, and the fight against Arasaka's only one battle in the war. Question is - is he just spewing fire or are these ideas you could actually get behind?
  • By reaching the last phase of Tapeworm.

30%: "Double Life"

  • Johnny's feeling increasingly more at home in your skin and it's getting easier for him to take over. No surprise there - before long he'll stop riding shotgun and get behind the wheel for good. Question is - who's really in control right now? Does the old V still have a say in things?
  • By completing A Cool Metal Fire.

40%: "Synergy"

  • Looks like Johnny finally took it down a notch. is it because his personality is merging with yours, or because he's starting to take a liking to you? Maybe you're both so intertwined that it's not even a question of friendship, but about accepting that you're two people in one?
  • Via a specific dialogue choice during Chippin' In. Otherwise, by completing Blistering Love or Holdin' On.

50%: "Shadows of the Past"

  • Johnny was able to revisit some old friendships with the help of your body. Looks like he got a long-overdue taste of what it's like to really live. No doubt, Silverhand's a changed man - with every passing day he's looking back at everything he's missed.
  • By completing Blistering Love. Otherwise, by completing Holdin' On or A Like Supreme.

60% - 70%: "You Only Live Once"

  • This isn't just sharing a body anymore. It's sharing a life - or at least whatever's left of Johnny's. The hot date with Rogue and setting up the Samurai reunion sure means a lot to the guy. Sometimes these little gestures of friendship make you forget the inevitable... but as long as it all work out, only you'll be left standing at the end.
  • By completing Holdin' On (60%) and A Like Supreme (70%). Otherwise only 60% can be obtained by completing A Like Supreme.

?% "The Oath"

  • Pledging yourself to stale national ideals?! Talk about cliché. Not to mention old-fashioned. You have your own reasons to act. Now's not the time to be playing someone's puppet. Your time's far too valuable, and you both know it. Dying in the service of some NUS politico? Yeah... thanks, but no thanks.
  • Unlocked during Lucretia My Reflection.

?%: "American Blues"

  • Seeing all those faces plastered on that tree in Dogtown confirmed one thing - there is no grand plan, only the individual and their inevitable demise. And sometimes there's just no making any sense of it - no matter how hard you try. Friendship? Loyalty? Ambition? In the end, only cynicism remains. On its own, the feeling doesn't inspire much hope, but by sharing it, the two of you have grown closer. And that has to count for something.
  • By talking with Johnny in front of the Tree of the Lost after exiting The Moth during The Damned.

?%: "Ray of Hope"

  • That was some heavy shit, and you hate to call it a sigh of relief, but there's no denying it's given Johnny a light at the end of the tunnel. Even with the heavy cloud over head, a ray of hope shines through. There isn't always a path to freedom, but there's no telling what the future holds for you two. What would Songbird have done in your place?
  • By fulfilling Songbird's request during Somewhat Damaged.

85%: "Fuck the System"

  • No way in hell you could turn her in. You've been saluting the system with your middle finger all your life. If anyone's got a shot of escaping captivity and this neon-soaked hellhole, they deserve your help. Your help and Johnny's. It was a must-do move, personal motivations aside, and Johnny understands that all too well.
  • By sending Songbird to the stars during The Killing Moon.

90%: "The Sun"

  • Legends take many forms. Maybe you do great deeds, win the respect and admiration of others, maybe you slot a legend in your skull and gradually melt with his psyche? So what really happened here? Hard to tell from Earth. Better to blast off into space, look straight into the Sun - maybe then you'll see the light.
  • By starting Path of Glory.

100%: "A New World"

  • Sacrifice - that doesn't even come close to describing what happened in Mikoshi. Is there a word for trading your life for someone who doesn't deserve it? Brass tacks - this body's got a new owner and he can go straight to hell if he doesn't treat it with respect. You catch all that, V? Shit, somehow I can't share the feeling you're still here somewhere...
  • By starting New Dawn Fades.

0%: "Dead Quiet"

Medical File[]

During Never Fade Away, players can espy the following information on Milt Nauman's computer:[1]

Note: This information may not be completely accurate, as it is found only in Johnny's flashback of 2013 (see above).

JohnnySilverhand Robert John Linder Medical File

Johnny's medical file.

  • ID: NC488402-V
  • Blood Type: AB RHD+
  • First Name: Robert John
  • Last Name: Linder
  • Date of Birth: 11.16.1988
  • Gender: Male
  • Birthplace: College Station, Texas

Dog tags[]

They originate from the Second Central American War. The name reads Robert John Linder.

Johnny's Dog Tags, Cyberpunk 2077

Johnny wears a pair of military dog tags containing information about his past. Johnny's engram can be seen wearing the tags, and he guides V to the real tags during the final phase of Tapeworm:

  • Name: Robert John Linder
  • 35677 - 05_64 - 39233
  • 39233119 - 82 119 - 82
  • Blood Type: 0 NEG

Considering Johnny states that these tags belonged to a fellow army companion who died during the war, it would imply "Robert John Linder" is not Johnny's real name. However, it's most likely that he no longer considers himself Linder.[25]


Cyberpunk 2013/2020[]

Type Description
Stats INT 7, REF 8, CL 8, MA 7, BODY 7[2][3]
Skills Charismatic Leader +10, Pistol/Handgun +6, Rifle +4, Guitar +9, Sing/Perform +7, Compose +10, Athletics +6, Notice +6, Seduction +8[2][3]
Cyberware Chromed cyberarm (w/ recorder), Boosted Reflexes/Sandevistan boost, two cyberoptics (w/ IR, Low Lite, Enhancement)[2][3]
Weapons H&K MPK-11, Arasaka Rapid Assault,[3] Malorian Arms 3516
Gear Heavy Armor Jacket, Light Helmet[3]
Vehicles Porsche

Firestorm Shockwave[]

Type Description
Stats INT 7, REF 7/9, TECH 5, COOL 10, ATTR 9, LUCK 9, MA 7, BODY 7, EMP 7, SAVE 7, BTM -2[28]
Skills Charismatic Leader +10, Aikido +6, Athletics +9, Awareness +9, Basic Tech +3, Composition +10, Driving +8, Dodge +9, Education +6, Electronics +5, Endurance +3, First Aid +5, Guitar +9, Handgun +9, Heavy Weapons +3, Hide/Evade +7, Perform +10, Persuasion +4, Pilot Vectored Thrust +7, Rifle +6, Seduction +8, Shadow/Track +5, Stealth +5, Streetwise +7, SMG +7, Swimming +4, Wardrobe & Style +7[28]
Cyberware Neural processor, Sandevistan boost, interface plugs, chipware socket, two cyberoptics (w/ low-lite, infrared, enhancement), chromed left cyberarm (w/ digital recorder), smartgun link, nanosurgeons[28]
Weapons Malorian Arms 3516 pistol, multiple hand grenades[28]
Gear SP 24 vest, SP 18 bodysuit, headset radio, first aid kit[28]

Cyberpunk 2077[]

Type Items
Cyberware Chromed cyberarm
Weapons Malorian Arms 3516
Clothing Ballistic vest, Johnny's Samurai jacket, Johnny's aviators, Johnny's tank top, Johnny's pants, Johnny's shoes
Vehicles Porsche 911 Turbo (930)

Behind the Scenes[]

"Wake the fuck up, samurai." In the game, these words announce that Johnny Silverhand, legendary rockerboy, has smashed into our character's brain. At the Xbox E3 2019 press conference, the words announced that Keanu Reeves, a legend himself, had smashed into gamers' hearts as Johnny's voice actor and visual inspiration.

Johnny's face is pure Keanu, but the rest of his appearance is ripped straight from the pages of the Cyberpunk 2020 manuals. As we put it in our early character briefs, "Johnny is lean and wiry, with a lot of sex appeal. His entire body exudes a kind of built-up tension and nervous energy. Even when he seems laid back, you get the impression he could flip out at any moment for the most unexpected reason." He's self-confident in the extreme—to put it bluntly, he's a narcissist with a massive ego. Though he's only in his late 40s, he's seen and done and fucked it all already.

He's also stuck in V's head. Our head, that is, the head of a fledgling cyberpunk, an unproven rookie, someone who's still just figuring out who they really are—and he's not too happy about it. Johnny's therefore a protagonist that's also, in a way, an antagonist. He's a clashing, constant presence. So it's a good thing he's so damn likeable.

Early development trailers and gameplay demos showed Johnny Silverhand as a selectable childhood hero, which was the first iteration of the lifepath system. Among other options were Morgan Blackhand and Saburo Arasaka. During the gameplay reveal, there were hints that Silverhand had lived until the year 2076 before either supposedly dying or disappearing, with graffiti and radio broadcasts telling different stories of his demise.

During the E3 2018 trailer, several pieces of graffiti can be seen asking "Where's Johnny?", alluding to false reports of Silverhand's death. In the E3 gameplay reveal, V can be heard listening to Silverhand's version of the song, "Chippin' In," as well as wearing a Samurai jacket. This jacket is revealed in the game as a replica of Johnny's jacket.

At the Microsoft E3 2019 conference, Keanu Reeves was revealed as both the voice actor and model for Silverhand. Silverhand shows up at the end of the 2019 cinematic trailer to help V after V is left for dead in a landfill. In posterior interviews, it was revealed that Reeves had been approached to play Silverhand a year prior to the announcement.

It was revealed that while Silverhand is voiced and modeled after Keanu Reeves, Johnny's parts in the Samurai soundtrack are sung by Dennis Lyxzen from Refused.


Johnny Silverhand acts as V's guide to the city, accompanying them for most of the game. Throughout the game, V is haunted by the "digital ghost" of Silverhand, which confirms he is physically dead. Johnny Silverhand first appears at the start of Act 2, commenting on the player's actions through voiceover and occasionally appearing in-game as a hologram. Solving the mystery of Johnny Silverhand's digital ghost is a core aspect of the main plot.[29]


  • Johnny is left-handed. Accordingly, his custom Malorian Arms 3516 is designed to accommodate this.[citation needed]
  • "The Hand" is Johnny's "cyberpsycho expression," with Johnny blaming all of his horrible acts on his cyber-arm.[Reddit 2]
  • Depending on the player's dialogue choices in Cyberpunk 2077, they can either force Johnny's engram to admit he's nothing but data or give him a sense of humanity. If Johnny is treated as nothing but data, he will return through the Blackwall with the image of Alt Cunningham while admitting that his nature was to inspire rebellion within V and to honor the real Johnny Silverhand's final wish.
  • Starting in Act 2, Johnny Silverhand writes the jobs descriptions in V's journal, often using the second-person for side jobs and then switching to first-person when he is directly involved. This is similar to the Witcher game series—also developed by CD Projekt RED—in which the bard Dandelion writes all the journal entries for quests in the second-person and then switches to first-person when quests involve him.
  • Johnny appears in many side jobs throughout the Cyberpunk 2077, often playing the role of a mentor giving advice and sharing his past experiences of Night City. He will occasionally be the only other character involved in a job who talks with V.
  • In CyberGeneration, Johnny is stated to be the son of either an Apple Computer Technician or a studio guitarist for the night club scene in San Francisco.[30]
  • Despite Johnny's projection appearing to walk freely around V, he states he can only see things that are within V's field of vision since he is technically trapped in V's mind.[31]


  • Johnny Silverhand first appears in the Cyberpunk 2013 supplementary booklet, Welcome to Night City, within the mini adventure "Never Fade Away."
  • Mike Pondsmith has stated in numerous interviews that Johnny may be one of the main characters, but he is far from being the good guy in the story. In Cyberpunk, there are no good guys.
  • Pondsmith's original inspiration for Johnny was primarily David Bowie with a sprinkling of Bryan Adams.[Reddit 4]
  • Pondsmith has stated that Rogue's and Johnny's relationship was based on a couple he knew during college.[Reddit 5]
  • While the song "Black Dog" is claimed in the "Black Dog" story to be a Johnny Silverhand song that was recorded several years after Samurai's breakup, in Cyberpunk 2077, it shown to be a Samurai song.
  • During "Psychofan," V can inspect various Samurai concert posters from some of the band's most iconic performances. Johnny will state that he doesn't remember one of the concerts from April, 2007, prompting V to speculate that years of sponging up vodka caused memory loss. Johnny snaps back to claim that he never touched vodka, revealing that his "crowd" was instead bourbon, whiskey, and tequila (the latter of the three being the base spirit in the alcoholic beverage named after Johnny at the Afterlife).[32]
  • Johnny's 1% affinity percentage title, "Play it Again", is likely a reference to the song "Johnny Guitar" by Peggy Lee, in which a woman is in love with a man simply known as Johnny Guitar, who is regularly called cruel and cold, personalities that are repeatedly exhibited by Johnny, especially at the start of he and V's relationship.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Never Fade Away (quest)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2013. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1988.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2020 Corebook. 2nd ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1990. (pp.33,41,43,191–192,218,225)
  4. Mike Pondsmith Deep Dive Interview 2019
  5. You Know My Name - Conversation on the top floor terrace before leaving the hotel.
  6. Tapeworm
  7. PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2013: View from the Edge. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1988. (p.9)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 FISK, C. Rockerboy Sourcebook. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1989. (pp.5,44,75)
  9. PONDSMITH, M. Night City Sourcebook. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1991.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Never Fade Away (adventure)
  11. PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk RED Corebook. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2020.
  12. WINN, R. Neo Tribes. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1994.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Countdown to the Dark Future (#3, #67, #287)
  14. PONDSMITH, M. Chromebook Volume 2. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1992. (p.63)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Black Dog (story)
  16. PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2020 Corebook. 2nd ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1990. (p.33)
  17. 17.0 17.1 ACKERMAN-GRAY, D. Firestorm Shockwave. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1997. (pp.137–8; 143)
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Fall of the Towers
  19. Chippin' In (quest)
  20. 20.0 20.1 CD Projekt RED. Cyberpunk 2077. Video Game, Multi-Platform. Poland, CD Projekt S.A., 2020.
  21. MACDONALD, M. Home of the Brave. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1992. (p.41)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Villa Eurodyne - Samurai vinyls displayed on the ground floor
  23. Time Machine - Never Fade Away album on the vinyls' display section
  24. Transmission
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Tapeworm
  26. Blistering Love
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Love Like Fire
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 ACKERMAN-GRAY, D. Firestorm Shockwave. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1997. (p.143)
  29. Marks, Tom. "Cyberpunk 2077: New Gameplay Details from the E3 2019 Demo" IGN, IGN, 11 June 2019,
  30. PONDSMITH, M. CyberGeneration. 1st ed., Berkeley CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1993. (p.165)
  31. Lucretia My Reflection
  32. Gig: Psychofan



  1. Mike Pondsmith on Reddit: "Nice catch there. The CDPR and RTG crews have worked long and hard to match characters up to where we figured they would be between the two times. I did retcon the braid line, but I was actually explaining the fact that Keanu's Johnny wasn't the blond David Bowie type I'd envisioned when I wrote NFW-- the additional Spider line was with the permission of my wife, (who created Spider as her personal character) and was to show the typical kind of interaction between Johnny and Spider."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mike Pondsmith on Reddit: "YES! Took twenty years, but you guys finally figured out that The Hand is Johnny's cyberpsycho expression. Internally, Johnny treats any horrible thing he does as "The Hand took over.""
  3. Mike Pondsmith on Reddit: "From the Font of Truth: In 2013, Johnny attacks Arasaka purely to save Alt... ...Johnny's recollection of the events that day are scrambled from the rad damage his body took and the process of recording his engram (CDPR and I have both agreed that Johnny is an unreliable narrator at best). The bomb that went off was detonated by someone in the assault (the actual person is unknown), but Militech and the NUSA both decided to pin the blame on Arasaka anyway."
  4. Mike Pondsmith on Reddit: "Yep, Bowie with a tiny bit of Bryan Adams TBH. But I like Keanu's take and Bowie is dead anyway."
  5. Mike Pondsmith on Reddit: "Nice Job. Pondsmith Approved. Srsly tho, Rogue is the perfect example of when fan shipping doesn't happen. I based her and Johnny's relationship on a IRL couple I knew back in college; I really wanted her to dump the guy so that I was no longer tempted to break his leg when he mistreated her."