Solomon Reed sitting in a train car in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
Image via CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty: Should you help Songbird or Reed?

Actions have consequences.

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty is filled with all sorts of conundrums and dilemmas. Most central to the plot is a simple question: should you help Songbird or Reed?

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Understanding this question involves digging a little into the story of Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty. This article will walk you through a brief rundown of this more choice and some of its potential outcomes.

Cyberpunk 2077: Songbird and Reed, explained

To understand the question should you help Songbird or Reed in Cyberpunk 2077, you have to understand both sides of the story.

The first thing to know is that this decision will affect your play much more than other decisions, like whether or not you should spare Rinder. This isn’t just a matter of a moral choice or few extra weapons; the missions you play will be determined by the path you choose. It’s a tough decision, because both characters are sympathetic and have clear reasoning for the paths that they’re taking. Circumstances have just led them to being diametrically opposed.

Songbird is a netrunner fallen on hard times. She serves under NUSA president Rosalind Myers and has a highly important position. Both she and Rosalind crash into Dogtown, and she’s your initial contact to get her to help Rosalind out.

But not everything is as simple as it seems. It quickly becomes apparent that Songbird orchestrated the crash to escape serving under the president. Part of her job involved her going on a mission that saw her exposed to an AI from beyond the Blackwall which has infected her. She’s looking for a neural matrix that will cure both her and V’s condition. The NUSA isn’t happy about this however, and this is what puts Songbird into conflict with Reed.

Solomon Reed, portrayed by Idris Elba, is the high ranking NUSA federal who hired and trained Songbird. He’s now the sleeper agent tasked with taking Songbird down. He’s also enlisted V’s help, leaving V torn in the middle of this conflict.

The quest “Firestarter” is where this all comes to a head. You can either help bring Songbird to justice or help her escape. From here, your path is chosen, but there are still different paths for the ending.

Consequences for choosing Songbird or Reed in Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty

In the next quest, The Killing Moon, Songbird’s fate is decided. This quest sees V helping Songbird escape via Monorail to escape the government and get her condition cured. But there’s a catch—Songbird told a lie. The neural Matrix can only be used once, so if she uses it, V will not be cured, she told this lie to get V to help.

From here, you have your chance to turn you back on Songbird and hand her over to Reed right there, or continue helping her either way. If you carry Songbird to the ship, Reed catches up with you to confront you. This triggers a slo motion gun battle with Reed, where a single shot kills—you have to take your buddy Reed out. After this, Songbird escapes, and later progress reveals that she in fact cured herself. Pivotal character Alex meets up with you in a bar later to chat about her hopes and dreams, and eventually escapes to retire.

If you choose to hand over Songbird at this point, she’s taken into NUSA custody and given a forced procedure which changes her personality entirely, back under government control forever. As a result of her betrayal to Hansen, Alex is also taken out. On the other hand, Reed sets the government to fund V’s recovery, but this ending goes bleakly. Instead of a short recovery, V falls into a coma for two years, waking up after the death of Johnny Silverhand, after their friends have moved on, and with a body that can’t take any more combat cyberware.

There’s also a few earlier options, like choosing to end Songbird’s misery soon after meeting her. This is a sad but somewhat neutral ending. You drive her back with Reed in relative silence and receive a simple monetary reward for your troubles.

Another one is to simply hand Reed over, which has a similar outcome.

What’s the best choice for The Killing Moon in Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty?

V confessed to killing Reed to Alex in Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty.
V confesses to killing Reed. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Call it the rebel in us, but we think helping out Songbird and letting her escape is the better option. Though Songbird betrays V, it’s easy to understand why. She was running from a life of captivity and exploitation by the government and was being eaten alive by disease.

Ultimately, you selflessly help out the side of good and see your friend Alex survive. But the sting of having to kill Reed might stay with players for a while.


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Author
Christian Flynn
Christian Flynn (he/they) is a mixed race Puerto Rican writer and performer in NYC. He can be regularly seen performing in and producing comedy shows at the People's Improv Theater. His plays have been developed around the city.