The lost opportunity of the Cassel's twins

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Hey there !

Listen, I love Cyberpunk and I was blown away by Phantom Liberty on many aspects. And I absolutely understand that it takes a long time to produce anything in the gaming industry (I have my own experience on the matter).

When you're crafting some absolutely killers characters like Aurore and Aymeric Cassel and you give them such an introduction scene like the roulette one, during the Black Sapphire event, and the acting is on point, the charm, the chit-chat...

I think it's honnestly one of the best scene in the game in my opinion. This whole mission is an absolute banger, it makes me even forget I play a game, like if I'm watching a movie (I think in VR, this scene could be insane!). Now I have to put the spoiler filter for the next part.

BUT when the very next time we have to interract with these gorgeous gems of characters, we need to off them the worst way possible, I cannot feel anything else than a wasted opportunity.

Not even talking about romancing one of the twins (which could have been absolutely awesome, by the way), getting closer to them with a few side missions or having to develop a relation with them in hope to get them to turn against Hansen, join your group of misfits or, I don't know, get them involved with a gig with Hands...

ANYTHING !!! I mean, anything would have been so much better than executing them as soon as we force them out of the car. I get that it had some "shock" value.

But I guarantee you than even if it was this "shock" you were after, doing the same thing after a couple of missions in which we could have had the time to bond with (one of) them, this could have been de-vas-ta-ting.

I loved Phantom Liberty, so much content added like the "Just Another Story" mission for El Capitan and the revisiting of Mr Hands which is absolutely magnificent by the way, but I have the feeling that it could have been much much more by letting us sympathize a bit more with some of the chars involved.

I am taking the twins as an exemple here but I could say the same about Alex. Even about Hansen. Having an opportunity to meet the guy in a friendly fashion before he turn on us could have been interesting.

What do you think ?
 
I agree. The Cassel twins were wasted...literally and figuratively. I get that it adds to the drama, but one thing that bugs me about the game is the way absolutely great characters get used for a brief scene or two and then get thrown away with 90% of their potential unexplored.

We barely got enough Jackie...we didn't get _nearly_ enough Meredith [could have been a unique fixer for Nomad V, while Frank Nostra could have been an 'inside man' for Corpo V] , not nearly enough Ozob [one of the funniest and best characters in the game]...not even enough Kirk and Big Joe, even though I really thought they were scumbags. Rachel? LOVED her despite her awfulness. Alix...words fail me. That scene in The Moth where she danced with V....went nowhere!!?? Even some of the fixers and vendors could have had a bit more backstory or role to play in the game. Wilson was great...but what about that lady gunseller out in Rancho that sounded kinda flirty ["Well, hello, gachinga"...or whatever it was she said].

I get that if every possiblility in the game had been developed/explored, the process would never end. But seriously.... CDPR definitely followed the old showbiz maxim "Leave 'em wanting more".
 
I loved Phantom Liberty, so much content added like the "Just Another Story" mission for El Capitan and the revisiting of Mr Hands which is absolutely magnificent by the way, but I have the feeling that it could have been much much more by letting us sympathize a bit more with some of the chars involved.

I am taking the twins as an exemple here but I could say the same about Alex. Even about Hansen. Having an opportunity to meet the guy in a friendly fashion before he turn on us could have been interesting.

What do you think ?
:) (y)

Kurt Hansen.png
 
The additional story about El Capitan in Phantom is exactly what I'm talking about...great example. It would have been interesting to have some more cat-and-mouse with Hansen as well.
 
While I enjoyed Cassel twins as characters and V's interactions with them, I feel that it was good enough with how their story ended. If they gave the twins more purpose to the story, I think it would've been distracting. Because Songbird and Reed, even Alex and Myers are much more important characters and it would've been too crowded if the twins were important as them, you know?

As for Alex, we had that bar scene with her and possibly more of her depending on your choice. I think the alternate option to side with Hansen against Myers could've been interesting, though.
 
Maybe it's just me who's a bit frustrated and I understand Oksiki point of "Let's not crowd the story". I get that the twins in particular were not supposed to be protagonists of the story. And for most of the NPC, I'm fine with it. Let's take Lina and Toolina, I think this gig was great and that it was enough. I enjoyed the texting in the aftermath but when it was done, it felt "done".

Here, the twins were introduced like some major characters could have been introduced. I'd argue that it was even more impactful than Hansen. Not in the intimidation, but in the presentation. Come one guys, as I said, this was for me one of the greatest scene in the game !

Token77 summerized it very nicely with this "I get that it adds to the drama, but one thing that bugs me about the game is the way absolutely great characters get used for a brief scene or two and then get thrown away with 90% of their potential unexplored."

You know a quick way to fix this with minimal efforts ? Phone calls and text messages. These are relativelly easy to implement (especially the text messages which are just... text) and can do so much to sell a real connection. This is already the case with romantic partners and fixers.

And I could definitely see Aurore slip you her number during her wink for you to call her later or text her for various reasons.
 
For me, it simply means that CDPR did a great job writing interesting and appealing characters, even those which do not appear "a lot" in the game.
But, I wonder, do you think it would have been better if, knowing these characters will not appear a lot, to write blank and forgetable characters? Characters that players wouldn't care about if they appear briefly?
Honestly, I don't think so. Yes it scould seem like "misssed opportunities", but it's a good thing afterall :)
 
For me, it simply means that CDPR did a great job writing interesting and appealing characters, even those which do not appear "a lot" in the game.
But, I wonder, do you think it would have been better if, knowing these characters will not appear a lot, to write blank and forgetable characters? Characters that players wouldn't care about if they appear briefly?
Honestly, I don't think so. Yes it scould seem like "misssed opportunities", but it's a good thing afterall :)

This. 100%

The Cassel twins are not a missed opportunity. They are "side" NPCs that in most RPGs wouldn't register on anyone's radar.

The fact that people like them and their story so much is only a testament to the quality CDPR strives for in their narratives and the execution of said narratives.

In most RPGs, these types of NPCs are almost meant to be forgetable. It's a great thing that CDPR delivers memorable NPC's, even when they're not meant to be there for a long time. It should be celebrated, not held against them.
 
It's not about holding a grudge against CDPR. I mentioned many times how I love the game and I 100% agree with you that it's quality stuff right there.

It's about pointing something that I felt was lacking from my very subjective point of view, explaining why and asking if anyone felt the same.

In retrospect, I cannot help but think that they had more in store for these specific characters. Things that, maybe, had to be cut. And it has nothing to do with the quality of crafted NPCs because I didn't have this feeling for many other amazing NPCs. Take Slider, for example, a very well designed NPC from the main story with a great scene : in the end, he did his purpose and it was OK, no frustration with him, even if he had a very short screen time.

Or maybe you're right and it was just a trick to get ourselves overly attached to characters that turned out to be... disposable at best. But as I said in my first post, if the purpose was to shock, a greater buildup could have make the shock hit way harder. Here, I feel like it just falls flat. And this is why I say it's a missed opportunity.
 
It's not about holding a grudge against CDPR. I mentioned many times how I love the game and I 100% agree with you that it's quality stuff right there.

It's about pointing something that I felt was lacking from my very subjective point of view, explaining why and asking if anyone felt the same.

In retrospect, I cannot help but think that they had more in store for these specific characters. Things that, maybe, had to be cut. And it has nothing to do with the quality of crafted NPCs because I didn't have this feeling for many other amazing NPCs. Take Slider, for example, a very well designed NPC from the main story with a great scene : in the end, he did his purpose and it was OK, no frustration with him, even if he had a very short screen time.

Or maybe you're right and it was just a trick to get ourselves overly attached to characters that turned out to be... disposable at best. But as I said in my first post, if the purpose was to shock, a greater buildup could have make the shock hit way harder. Here, I feel like it just falls flat. And this is why I say it's a missed opportunity.

See, I think you do hold it against them to a certain extent. Just look at the wording you're employing here. "Just a trick to get us to care" but what if it's not a trick at all?

I don't think it's a trick. I think a lot of gamers have gotten too used to these kinds of secondary characters being 100% forgetable that they can't fathom the idea that such characters can also be interesting. That a character who's role is meant to be short lived can also be of high quality.

What if CDPR just wanted to apply the same level of quality throughout? Doesn't matter if it's secondary characters that have 10 minutes on screen or hours. Just high quality throughout. That's what I see the twins, and many others, as. Characters that were never meant to be more but, contrarily to most RPGs, CDPR strove to make them just as interesting as any other primary characters.

I personally find this far more immersive too. Sometimes you just meet clearly incredible people randomly and these people are in and out of your life in an instant.
 
While I enjoyed Cassel twins as characters and V's interactions with them, I feel that it was good enough with how their story ended. If they gave the twins more purpose to the story, I think it would've been distracting. Because Songbird and Reed, even Alex and Myers are much more important characters and it would've been too crowded if the twins were important as them, you know?

As for Alex, we had that bar scene with her and possibly more of her depending on your choice. I think the alternate option to side with Hansen against Myers could've been interesting, though.
Personally, I see one possibility: is that if a scene is overloaded with actors, we always have a revolver. ))
A mass shooting of the FIA staff made by V could have improved things dramatically, provided a breath of fresh air, and opened up the scene to new characters.
And that's another plus in favor of an "ending for Hansen" - an opportunity to clear the playing space... Indeed, there are too many FIA agents in DogsTown...too many! :)
And...In this case, the CP would come closer in genre to the classic cowboy western. (y)

Edit: With this approach, it's not just the French twins who have a chance to survive - many of the Phantom Liberty's "wasted"characters may get a 'second chance' :)
 
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It's not about holding a grudge against CDPR. I mentioned many times how I love the game and I 100% agree with you that it's quality stuff right there.

It's about pointing something that I felt was lacking from my very subjective point of view, explaining why and asking if anyone felt the same.

In retrospect, I cannot help but think that they had more in store for these specific characters. Things that, maybe, had to be cut. And it has nothing to do with the quality of crafted NPCs because I didn't have this feeling for many other amazing NPCs. Take Slider, for example, a very well designed NPC from the main story with a great scene : in the end, he did his purpose and it was OK, no frustration with him, even if he had a very short screen time.

Or maybe you're right and it was just a trick to get ourselves overly attached to characters that turned out to be... disposable at best. But as I said in my first post, if the purpose was to shock, a greater buildup could have make the shock hit way harder. Here, I feel like it just falls flat. And this is why I say it's a missed opportunity.
Well, for you it's the twins, but for others it could be another NPC.
I mean, I'd love more interaction with the VDBs (Placide/Brigitte), or with Brian Mosley (Netwatch agent), or even some bad guys. I'd love see more of Fingers/Woodman and the "dark side" of Night City & riperdocs. Some would say Meredith, Evelyn, Maiko, Royce, Dum Dum, Hanako, Oda, Osob,... and so on. It's pretty much endless :)

Almost every "manually crafted" NPC can be considered as "missed opportunity". It's simply because they're well writen, interesting and that's a good thing ;)
 
To be honest I like that they did this. I'm a fan of writing where all characters are fully-fledged beings with proper internal lives. I really don't like the Star Trek red shirt concept -- that you know immediately that a character is disposable / there purely to provide a plot point and disappear because they have nothing of interest (or nothing at all) to say.
 
See, I think you do hold it against them to a certain extent. Just look at the wording you're employing here. "Just a trick to get us to care" but what if it's not a trick at all?

When you're telling a story, everything related to the scenario is a "trick" to some extent, because every part of a story is crafted to make you feel a certain way and it's not specific to Cyberpunk 2077. I can give you some exemple of tricks that are well used in story telling like Chekhov's gun, setup - payoff or even scenaristic "steps" like "the father's death", "the ally's critic", the shiny trinket that will get you to accept the adventure call ( a ring, a lightsaber, a letter from Hogwarts)...

So I did not use this word in a disdainful way and if it appeared like this, well, I apologize because english is not my native language.

Well, for you it's the twins, but for others it could be another NPC.
I mean, I'd love more interaction with the VDBs (Placide/Brigitte), or with Brian Mosley (Netwatch agent), or even some bad guys. I'd love see more of Fingers/Woodman and the "dark side" of Night City & riperdocs. Some would say Meredith, Evelyn, Maiko, Royce, Dum Dum, Hanako, Oda, Osob,... and so on. It's pretty much endless :)

I get that. I would have love to get to know DumDum a bit more as well, for a maelstrom guy, he seemed almost civilized enough to have a friendly conversation :ROFLMAO: Am I mistaken or is he not in one of the comics / books related to the universe ?

But yeah OK, maybe it's just me, the twins are the only NPC's that gave me this specific frustration though. Because any other on your list and in the game, I felt like the interraction was at least satisfying when it was not absolutely spectacular (talking about DumDum and Royce, their cutscene was insane). And for the VDB specifically, we get very quickly that they are so reclusive, it's basically stupid to try to be friendly with them hoping to get a positive outcome so why bother ? Slider had no choice, Brigitte will use you and dump you, same for Placide... Am I mistaken by saying the only cool VDB is their ripperdoc ?
 
Slider had no choice, Brigitte will use you and dump you, same for Placide... Am I mistaken by saying the only cool VDB is their ripperdoc ?
Yep, but I could say the VDBs were quite underused. I'd love if we had more "missions" with them about cyberspace, the black wall, netrunning or their "war" against Netwatch,... I think it would have been super interesting.
And the same goes for most of characters, factions, gangs or game "topics" :)

Since I'm on the forum, I saw so many threads created by people about most of game's characters or specific topics, thinking it was a "missed opportunity". Or more weirdly, it must have been "cut content" because it doesn't seem possible to create such great things without pushing it further :D
 
Maybe it's just me who's a bit frustrated and I understand Oksiki point of "Let's not crowd the story". I get that the twins in particular were not supposed to be protagonists of the story. And for most of the NPC, I'm fine with it. Let's take Lina and Toolina, I think this gig was great and that it was enough. I enjoyed the texting in the aftermath but when it was done, it felt "done".

Here, the twins were introduced like some major characters could have been introduced. I'd argue that it was even more impactful than Hansen. Not in the intimidation, but in the presentation. Come one guys, as I said, this was for me one of the greatest scene in the game !

Token77 summerized it very nicely with this "I get that it adds to the drama, but one thing that bugs me about the game is the way absolutely great characters get used for a brief scene or two and then get thrown away with 90% of their potential unexplored."

You know a quick way to fix this with minimal efforts ? Phone calls and text messages. These are relativelly easy to implement (especially the text messages which are just... text) and can do so much to sell a real connection. This is already the case with romantic partners and fixers.

And I could definitely see Aurore slip you her number during her wink for you to call her later or text her for various reasons.
It's all good, it's all pretty much right, it seems to me.
One question: why twins? :)
Why not Hanako, not Maiko, not Briana Dolson?
Not Elizabeth Perales (in the event of Jefferson's untimely demise, she will remain a widow!)!

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Not Yawen Packard, not Sachiko Kusama?
Why not Lizzie Wizzie?! :LOL:
 
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