“Maelstrom’s territory is the industrial part of Watson. Its factories, the Totentanz Club – you’ll meet them there. They are obsessed with cybertechnology, and their urge to improve the weakness of human flesh is far stronger than their fear of cyberpsychosis.” (CD Projekt Red official forum post).
One of the most dangerous gangs due to the prevalent mental disorders caused by their extreme use of cyberware implants.
- Controlled Territory: Watson District: Northside Industrial District, northern Kabuki.
- Threat Level: Extreme
(The guide to all gangs of Night City.)
Who Are the Maelstrom?
Inhuman level of cyberware augmentation, black metal tattoos, bright-red cyberoptics: that’s Maelstrom, and these guys honestly don’t give a fuck.
What unites Maelstrom, however, is their dislike of human flesh, fascination with the occult, and an addiction to weird or otherworldly sensations. Many know Maelstromers for their Totentanz Club, one of the most popular clubs among gangs. Well, that is if you like weirdest brandance experiences and neo-death metal music. And, considering that the club does get packed often, many do seem to like this “drink&riot” atmosphere.
Maelstrom definitely seem to be involved in the production of black market braindance, the kind that’s extremely violent, disturbing, or otherwise bizarrely numbing. These “Numbness” records that present viewers with a deep emotional void are quite popular among those who got overstimulated by other kinds of BDs. Maelstrom continues to dominate this niche since NCPD can’t find the evidence to accuse the gang to this day.
Everything about Maelstrom points to this fascination with cyebrtech and the Net. Maelstrom have given up on their humanity a long time ago, augmenting their bodies until they begin to dance the line between reality and cyberpsychosis — a mental disorder associated with the loss of human empathy and morality. Many of the gang’s members have already crossed to the other side. Yet, Maelstrom don’t seem to be bothered much by it: going along with the gang’s fascination with bizzare experiences, the members seem to enjoy sliding on the edge of insanity.
Of course, these mental conditions do have their toll and there is a reason why Maelstrom are considered to be one of the most dangerous organizations in the city despite their low numbers, competing only with the likes of the ruthless Scavs. Many Maelstrom victims are found mutilated in brutal fashions: dismembered, skinned alive, drowned in wet concrete. Yet, the gang still continues to surprise with the level of organization it can put into heists on heavily-guarded corporate transports, which is far from being an easy task.
Aside from these more serious missions Maelstromers typically smuggle illegal medicine and drugs, such as tri-phet, and take on hit jobs. Along with the Totentanz Club this makes up their main stream of income.
Maelstrom’s Cyberpunk 2077 Questline
Maelstroms are the main rivals of corporate transport and they will steal a military robot during one of their heists. Who knows whether Militech got involved there, but this event will certainly cause some ruckus. Dexter DeShawn, one of the more powerful fixers, will get you involved to sort things out but also as a test of your loyalty.
You will always have an option to get violent and simply take the military bot, but with Maelstrom’s augmented combat abilities it will be easier to try and make your way through their headquarters peacefully. If you meet up with Meredith Stout and strike a deal with corporates, she will give you a chip with enough currency to buy the robot. Of course, neither you nor Maelstrom know that there is a potent virus uploaded onto it, so you will at least get a chance to get through and have a talk with the higher-ups. Although, it won’t be the most pleasant and smoothest of the talks, considering Maelstrom temperament.
A gang member called Dum Dum will be willing to sit down with you, share the inhaler, and talk business as he tries to pitch the Flathead robot to you. On the other hand, the last thing Royce wants is for you to sit comfortably on the sofa. At a certain point, he will open up the door to his cockpit, observing the exchange. Something will strike him as not right, and the next thing you know he will have his gun pointed at you and all gang members gathered around. Royce will push the talk to its boiling point and your ability to convince him to take the chip off of your hands will feel almost lucky.
Once the chip is plugged into the system by Royce, of course, everything falls apart. You will have to navigate the hostile building and confront Royce and his powerful weaponry with all you got. Quite an experience meeting the gang for the first time, but what did you expect? At the end of the day, Maelstrom are who they are and it’s rarely a good idea to mess with them.