If you drive to the outskirts of Night City in Cyberpunk 2077, you can find an abandoned dusty church wedged between industrial warehouses. It’s quiet, save for the whine of drones flying overhead. I’d heard there was a Doom easter egg in here (thanks Kotaku) and sure enough, there is. As a new player, however, I wasn’t expecting to fall into one of the game’s deepest rabbit holes. Before I start, here’s where to find it:
The easter egg itself is pretty cute, if hilarious when you start thinking about it. It’s a Doom-style rendition of Johnny Silverhand’s escape from Arasaka Tower, which is, uh—canonically in pretty bad taste. According to the Cyberpunk RED core rulebook, the bomb killed over half a million people when Silverhand set it off in 2023.
I played a couple of rounds. It’s pretty much just a few linear corridors featuring enemy models hit by a pixelation filter. Well, that’s what I thought, at least. Curious about the set-up next to the arcade machine, I walked up to the computer, read some emails, and—hold on, I recognise that number. Oh. Oh no.
It turns out that the silly little Doom reference also contains info for one of the game’s oldest mysteries—one that’s big enough to have its own subreddit—FF06B5. The netrunners among you might recognise this as the HTML code for magenta, but it’s also been a mystery that’s been driving Cyberpunk 2077’s community into cyberpsychosis for three whole years.
Here’s the basic gist: in Night City, you can find a bunch of monk statues with this code plastered on them. This spawned too many theories to count—such as this one involving tarot specialist Misty and her occult symbol. This Doom reference, new with the 2.0 update, actually feeds these starving fan theorists with some scraps that might spell the end of this three year saga. The road to get there, however, is anything but simple.
As summarised by YouTube channel Sam Bram (though they correctly credit the dozens of big-brained edgerunners in the FF06B5 subreddit), the arcade machine actually has a secret, backrooms-style maze. To get to it, you have to hunt down a six-digit combination, enter it by walking into numbered offshoots, then take an elevator to floor -10 of the cabinet’s retro Arasaka tower.
In this cursed secret level, you can find nine pieces to a QR code in a labyrinth with a seriously severe time limit. Well, actually, you can only find eight—one’s missing. Turns out you don’t need it, though, because there’s a real-world error correcting code developed in 1960 that was able to recover it. It’s called the Reed-Solomon error correction. Idris Elba’s character in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is called Solomon Reed, a direct reference to the code and its creators, Irving S. Reed and Gustave Solomon. My brain is burning.
Applying the error-correction code creates a piece of Python code holding an unwinnable tic-tac-toe game. At the end, there’s a single line: “The only winning move is not to play,” a quote from WarGames, a 1983 film about the threat of nuclear armageddon. Pretty apt, considering the nuclear warhead Johnny planted at the bottom of Arasaka tower.
This is where the story takes a bit of a sour turn. While this piece of code could very well lead to more codes to unlock a set of related data terminals, some clever netrunners have skipped the mystery with modding tools, forcing the terminals open. While it’s in-keeping with the hacker-filled world of Night City, it does also mean that a lot of the intended mystery’s been skipped.
Opening these terminals provides a set of coordinates leading to a mattress in the middle of the desert. The specific conditions are still being sussed, but waiting for a specific amount of time while standing on it will lead to a relic malfunction, a special cutscene, and a so-so reward—though considering the means used to acquire the codes above, the community’s still trying to do things legit, and I can’t say I blame them.
There are other things I’ve not even mentioned here—like this hieroglyphic laptop—but it’s overall still a mystery-in-progress. This is absolutely the most complex Doom easter egg I’ve ever seen in a game—and it’s a really nice love letter for all those three-year true believers going gonk over monk statues and HTML codes.