It's now been over four months since the release of Cyberpunk 2077, and while you may have put down your controller to wait for official game updates, modders have been hard at work creating wacky new additions and much-needed fixes. Along with significantly improving community-made modding tools (like the newly-released WolvenKit), over the past few months modders have found snippets of unreleased content, and in some cases, actually made them playable in-game. These include unused quests and old files for V - and modders have also surfaced some interesting references to unused characters from Cyberpunk's wider lore.
One of the more significant finds involves a collection of gig quests, which are normally unplayable in the vanilla version of Cyberpunk 2077. If you want to try them out for yourself without faffing around in debug mode, you now can, as modder romulus_is_here (who I previously spoke to for an article about another set of unreleased quests) has made a save-game mod allowing you to access them with relative ease.
Titled Cut Gigs Save Game, the mod allows you to try out four missions that didn't make it into the released game, two of which have car chases. Not all of them are in particularly great shape, however: a gig called "Hothead" is playable but very glitchy, while another called Desperate Measures is missing some NPC dialogues. The other two are in a better state, and both have multiple outcomes. Here's an example of Concrete Cage Trap, as accessed in debug mode a few months back:
The modding community also seems to be particularly fascinated with "restoring" the look of male and female V as they appeared in the E3 demos and trailers. This one by a group of Cyberpunk 2077 modders, for instance, restores the original E3 female V mesh and textures found in the files "back to their full glory". (It also pairs nicely with this version of female V's 2018 haircut.) This version of male V by almico, meanwhile, has been created through a combination of the original files and some custom work. Modder almico explained that a lot of parts remain in the game files, and they plan on adding further original parts in future (such as V's original eyes).
And if you need some authentic clothes to match your E3 V, modders have got you covered... literally. There's a mod by KickingWriter and Wulfgaardian that restores female E3 V's clothes, while a mod by Spookie restores the original look of the E3 2018 samurai jacket.
During their adventures digging into Cyberpunk 2077's files, modders have also found some interesting file names that provide clues about Cyberpunk 2077's development process, and some of the quests and characters that were considered for release. A warning that there are some spoilers below for Cyberpunk 2077's storyline.
Romulus used the Ghosts of Night City mod to find placeholder models for several characters from the wider Cyberpunk 2077 lore, who are name-dropped in the files as NPCs but never appear in the game. One of these is Garven Haakensen, a character from the pen and paper RPG Cyberpunk 2020. He was the deputy mayor of Night City and served under mayor Mbole Ebunike, who held office in 2020 (slightly before Johnny Silverhand bombed Arasaka Tower in 2023).
In the Cyberpunk 2077 files Haakensen is listed under sq012, a side quest called "I Fought The Law" given by Elizabeth Peralez, during which you also meet River Ward. This quest is currently playable in Cyberpunk 2077, but some of the characters tagged with this quest - including Haakensen, a ripperdoc and a braindance performer - seemingly never made it into the final version.
Community member Lexigraph is credited with spotting databse entries for another mysterious quest called q111, a main quest which never turned up in the released game. While all the assets for this quest have apparently been scrubbed clean, references to character names can be found in the localisation files. One dataminer found the objectives for this quest, which mention some of these character names. It seems like this quest would have involved River Ward, and taken place in Night City's prison complex - which is not explorable in the current version of the game.
Another character of note that appears in the files is Morgan Blackhand, Mike Pondsmith's Solo player-character in Cyberpunk 2020. In the game's files, Blackhand is listed in the Love Like Fire mission as an "obsolete" NPC. This is the flashback scene where Johnny Silverhand and Rogue head to Arasaka Tower to plant a bomb. In Cyberpunk lore Blackhand was part of this mission and battled Adam Smasher on the rooftop (after which he is assumed dead), but he never appeared in the released version of Cyberpunk 2077. So it seems CD Projekt Red at one point considered including Blackhand in the game - although it's hard to say at what point they decided to leave him out.
Romulus told me that there are more unreleased quests that have been in the game since launch, some of which aren't in a playable state or only exist as a bundle of entries. One minor quest, as discussed by Lexigraph in an extended Reddit post, involves a washed-up Corpo called Ken Lee, whose daughter joins the Corpo line of work and ends up losing her life. Another minor quest apparently involves bike racing - with "producers, drivers, and mentions of Kiroshi optics", which Romulus speculated could be a braindance scroll.
These are just some of the latest restoration projects and discoveries from the Cyberpunk 2077 modding community in recent weeks (along with the mods that reintroduce placeholder models), but hopefully we'll eventually see some of these made officially playable in the game. CDPR has announced that the game will be getting a number of free DLC updates, and judging by the recent addition of several more unreleased quests in patch 1.2, perhaps we won't have to wait much longer to see them.