Wake up, Danila: what if Aleksey Balabanov made Cyberpunk 2077?

Wake up, Danila: what if Aleksey Balabanov made Cyberpunk 2077?

24 November 2021

Since its release in December 2020, video game Cyberpunk 2077 has gone viral for all the wrong reasons — from the title’s janky controls and dicey trans-representation, to its laughably bug-filled gameplay.

So when Russian YouTuber Nikten decided to make his own adjustments to the Cyberpunk 2077 universe, it could only be described as an upgrade. And he did so in style: by placing Danila Bagrov, the beloved protagonist from Aleksey Balabanov’s cult Russian film Brat, right into the heart of the action.

The montage sees Danila stroll through the neon-lit streets of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City shooting gangsters and looking for his favourite Nautilus Pompilius records. The video was later noticed by popular film blogger BadComedian (who himself makes a cameo in the game as preacher Bruce Stone), who shot the clip to viral RuNet stardom.

While the original Cyberpunk 2077 may not have lived up to users’ expectations, it was stuffed with a generous number of easter eggs — including plenty aimed specifically at a Russian-speaking audience. In the alternative world of Cyberpunk 2077, the Soviet Union is still very much around (albeit in a slightly different incarnation), which explains the ubiquitous presence of Russian cars, ammo, and cultural references.

Plenty of users have already clocked in-game graffiti in honour of Russian rockstar Viktor Tsoi, as well as plenty of references to Russian literature, courtesy of the developers at Polish studio CD Projekt Red. Listen hard enough, and you’ll even hear lines borrowed directly from Brat 2 — the sequel in which the character of Danila Bagrov also stars. They include the immortal line of dialogue: “— Are you gangsters? — No, we’re Russians.”

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