Cyberpunk 2077: Who is Adam Smasher?

Adam Smasher's intimidating looks helped him stand out in the lastest Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, but there's more to this cyborg than meets the eye.

Cyberpunk 2077 Adam Smasher
Photo: CD Projekt Red

The latest round of Cyberpunk 2077 reveals featured quite a bit of new info about the game (and introduced us to a very promising new Cyberpunk anime series), but the one thing in the Cyberpunk universe that everyone seems to be asking about these days is Adam Smasher.

Briefly featured in the latest Cyberpunk 2077 trailer (and name-dropped by the game’s developers in an interview), Adam Smasher quickly established his presence by virtue of his Terminator-like appearance and memorably corny name. What you may not know is that Adam Smasher is actually one of the most infamous figures in the expansive Cyberpunk role-playing series.

Here’s what you need to know about the lore of Adam Smasher and what role he may play in Cyberpunk 2077.

Adam Smasher Was a Punk Turned Army Soldier

The details of Adam Smasher’s early life are fairly unremarkable.

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He was born in New York and grew up to be another “punk” in a world that suffered no shortage of young street thugs. Smasher’s initial time as just another face in the criminal crowd came to an end when the rest of his gang was wiped out.

Short on options, Smasher decided to join the Army. There, he managed to make himself useful for a time, but his superiors eventually discharged him due to a stunning number of conduct violations. It was then that Adam returned to New York and became a mercenary.

A Most Unfortunate Incident Involving Rockets

While the Army didn’t appreciate Smasher’s complete lack of morals, that very quality quickly ensured him a home in the world of contract killers.

It was around this time that Smasher not only realized he was more capable than the average punk but that he craved a hedonistic lifestyle. Smasher spent much of the money he earned as a gun-for-hire on drugs, sex, and a variety of equipment designed to advance his now flourishing career.

That is until Smasher finally took a job that put him in well over his head and ended with him being blown up by some rockets. Remarkably, Smasher survived that incident long enough to be carried back to New York in pieces. It was there that a representative from a mysterious corporation (later identified as Arasaka) offered Smasher the chance to live on as a cyborg warrior/corporate henchman. Smasher accepted the proposition with some glee.

Adam Smasher’s Second Life As a Deadly Corporate Operative

Smasher was pretty good as a hired human gun, but as a cyborg, he quickly became one of the deadliest operatives in the world.

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Thanks to the advancements offered by his robotic implants, Smasher soon built a reputation for himself as a truly feared corporate mercenary. It was during this time that Smasher also established (or at least advanced) two defining personality traits.

The first was a love for seemingly senseless violence. In fact, Smasher would rarely take a job that didn’t involve taking innocent lives and causing widespread mayhem. The second was Smasher’s growing involvement in the philosophy of cybernetic superiority which revolved around the idea that “metal is better than meat.”

That philosophy (and other factors) would soon pit Smasher against his greatest rival: Morgan Blackhand.

Feud With Morgan Blackhand

In Cyberpunk, there is a type of soldier known as a “Solo.” A Solo is a kind of hired mercenary who typically benefits from cybernetic implants (such as guns for arms) but remains mostly human.

Few Solo operatives in the Cyberpunk universe are more infamous than Morgan Blackhand. Not only is Blackhand widely considered to be one of the most skilled soldiers in the world, but he’s famous for being able to resolve complicated situations without always having to rely on over-the-top violence.

Maybe you’re starting to see some of the reasons why he and Adam Smasher don’t see eye-to-eye. Actually, Smasher had tried for quite some time to challenge Blackhand in combat in order to prove that he is both physically and philosophically superior, but Blackhand often chose to ignore Smasher and treat him as something of a pest.

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That is until Smasher decided to make his presence and prowess known in a more…direct manner.

The “Death” of Johnny Silverhand

Johnny Silverhand (aka, the guy that Keanu Reeves plays in Cyberpunk 2077) and Morgan Blackhand’s history dates back to when Blackhand helped rescue a member of Silverhand’s band. Sometime after that incident, an organization called Militech assembled an elite team of operatives which included Silverhand and Blackhand.

During one of the team’s missions, Silverhand was seemingly gunned down by Adam Smasher. We say “seemingly” as Silverhand’s body was never technically found. Even though that’s likely because a nuclear weapon destroyed the area in which Silverhand was gunned down, his missing body means that Silverhand enjoys roughly the same status as Elvis does in our world. That is to say that many believe that the musician is still alive despite the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary.

Regardless, Blackhand decides to confront Smasher moments after Silverhand is gunned down. His decision is certainly based on a desire to settle his feud with Smasher (and avenge Silverhand’s death), but he’s also just trying to help the rest of the team escape.

Because Smasher and Blackhand chose to have their battle atop the soon-to-be-destroyed Arasaka tower, nobody actually got to see it play out. At the time, though, it was widely assumed that both were killed.

Adam Smasher’s Fate?

Considering that Adam Smasher is clearly alive and well in the latest Cyberpunk 2077 footage, it would appear that the game is trying to imply that he survived the battle against Morgan Blackhand. After all, Cyberpunk 2077 serves as a kind of alternate timeline follow-up to the events of the Firestorm series (which features the battle between Smasher and Blackhand described above).

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However, the circumstances of that encounter raise serious questions as to how Adam Smasher could still be alive and what that means for characters like Johnny Silverhand and Morgan Blackhand. Some are already speculating that the version of Smasher we see in the game isn’t quite who he appears to be and that the game may actually alter his (and other characters’) lore in order to tell its own story.

We should get answers to those lingering questions when Cyberpunk 2077 is hopefully released later this year after a long series of delays.