This weekend is my birthday, and it will mark the last 30 days of operation of the online massive multiplayer superhero game CITY OF HEROES. It is being shut down by NC Soft, and, as best we startled and woebegone players can tell, not due to lack of money.
That this is the best superhero computer game available. No other game has anything near the range of options for power sets and costume design. You can write up a short backstory or bio if you wish, and give your cape a “It’s Clobbering Time” style battlecry, and you can even design your own batcave or secret base. More ambitious players can design and run their own adventures in something like a holodeck, and invite other players to join.
I have roughly one hundred and fifty characters on the fifteen servers in this game. As you can tell from that number, the making up of new characters is my favorite part of the game.
All my characters are going to die in thirty days, evaporate, retire to oblivion, when Paragon City and all its environs and nearby parallel dimension go into oblivion.
Here are a few of my favorites. I include a screen shot and a copy of the bio. See if you recognize anyone.
If you want to sign the petition to keep any of my favorite characters alive, go here: http://www.change.org/petitions/ncsoft-keep-ncsoft-from-shutting-down-city-of-heroes
Description: Escaped from an evil orphanage, this beautiful creature from another dimension seeks to use her fourth dimensional powers for good, to heal the sick, and smite the wicked. She is secretly Phaethusa, daughter of Helion the Titan of the Sun.
Battlecry: Greetings from the 4th Dimension!
Description: High School student Vanity Fair signed up for afterschool clubs, including cheer squad, 4-H and Super Hero Club. She thought that the Super Hero Club would involve collecting autographs or scrapbooks or something, but instead she found she had to go out and fight supervillains for her extra credit.
John C Wright, Author
Description: John C Wright, author of such famous novels as COUNT TO A TRILLION, NULL-A CONTINUUM ORPHANS OF CHAOS, LAST GUARDIANS OF EVERNESS, and THE GOLDEN AGE obviously read too many comic books when he was young, and the Comic Radiation affected his brain, given him super strength. Driven insane by Harlan Ellison at a SWFA meeting, after losing a Nebula Award to Joe Haldeman, he takes out his frustrations by beating up villains, scofflaws, and ne’r-do-wells.
Description: With his Null-A trained double brain, Gilbert Gosseyn seeks to unravel the labyrinthine secret of his amnesiac existence!
Battlecry: In the Name of Sanity!
Jommy Cross is the next stage of human evolution, a creature with two hearts and telepathic powers. Can he survive in a world inexplicably hostile to him?
Battlecry: I can kill you with my brain!
When working for the Portal Corporation aboard the SS Event Horizon, Susan Summers accidently opened a dimensional portal to the Outer Darkness where a lake of eternal fire burns. Having a completely modern education, she recognized nothing about the place. She did not ask whether the infernal devils were right or wrong, but only whether they were progressive or reactionary, and therefore soon came under their control. Now in a fog of moral confusion, thinking she controls what she summons, Susan has joined the resistance as ‘The Summoneress’
Powers: Summoneress is a Mastermind, and the ‘pets’ she summons are named Screwtape, Wormwood, Scabtree, Triptweeze, Toadpipe, Slubgob.
Iron Kitten of Kyoto
Description: After her family was slain by time-traveling robot ninja vampire yakuza, Iron Kitten vowed revenge on killers and bad people everywhere! She seeks to change the future so that her past will never become her present!
Description: Found as an orphan in a deserted mining town on the Ghost Planet, Janet Foster grew to teenhood under the tutelage of the galaxy’s greatest hero, Space Ghost! Now, on Earth, she seeks to use the wonder science of the Galaxy to bring the worlds most villainous villains to justice!
Description: Strange visitor from another planet called Bow World or something, with powers and abilities mostly the same as an Earthwoman, excpt with good hand-eye coordination, Robyn Hoode’s adopted parents , the Kents, were killed before her eyes as a child by Joe Chill! And her Uncle Ben was killed by a crook she failed to stop when she had the chance! Brooding over how best to fight crime, she was sitting by the window when an arrow flew in: this made her realize the criminals were a cowardly and superstitous lot! Then, as fate would have it, she was bitten by a radioactive arrow, giving her the proportionate strength and reflexes of an arrow, which, maybe, is not that impressive. Then she was kidnapped by the Koreans when shrapnel was lodged near her heart! The only way she could stay alive was by donning an archery costume and pulling the transistor-powered bowstring! And THEN, to top it off, she came upon a crashed spaceship where a dying alien gave her a magical green arrow! Wow!
It’s shoot a pointed stick time!
Look! It’s the man who flies around like an eagle! Look! It’s the enemy of all thats illegal! Look! At the muscles on those arms, they’re like hammers! Look! It’s the nut who walks around in pajamas! That’s no nut boy, that’s Captain Nice! Nice! Nice! Nice! Nice! Nice!
Son of Green Hornet
Description: Another challenge for the Son of the Green Hornet! On Police records a wanted criminal, the Son of the Green Hornet is really Bartholomew Reid, owner-publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his dual identity known only to his secretary and to the district attorney. And now, to protect the rights and lives of decent citizens, rides THE SON OF THE GREEN HORNET!
Description: When there is trouble, I am not slow! It’s hip-hip-hip and Away We Go!
Battlecry: There’s no need to Fear!
Description: Life is sad, believe me, Missy, when you’re born to be a sissy without the vim and verve. But I could change my habits, nevermore be scared of rabbits if I only had the nerve. I’m afraid there’s no denying I’m just a “dandy” lion: a fate I don’t deserve. But I could show my prowess, be a lion not a mouse, if I only had the nerve. Oh, I’d be in my stride, a king down to the core! Oh, I’d roar the way I never roared before— And then I’d rrrwoof and roar some more!
Battlecry: Whatd’v ya got that I aint got?
Description: Amphibious Man, swift and powerful monarch of the ocean! With ability to command and summon all the creatures of the deep! Amphibious Man! Who, without his annoying teenage ally Amphibious Lad, is charged to defend all that lives in the sea against the forces of evil! Amphibious Man, King of the Seven Seas!
Battlecry: My Powers are Useless on Land!
Description: Father Jeremiah Breakbone was left on the doorstep of the Orphanage of Our Lady of Perpetual Combat, and raised by Jesuits of the First Church of Our Lady of The Strong Right Cross, of the First Tactical Assualt Squadron of the Salvation-Through-Superior-Firepower Army. He has read the Book of Joshua, but has not actually gotten around to reading the nicer parts of the Bible yet. On the other hand, since you live in a city where gangs of Fallen and Damned and Hellions and creatures from fallen Pantheons roam free by day, who can really say such villains are not overdue for some Wrath of God? Heal the Sick! Cast out Devils! Kick Ass! That is his commission!
Battlecry: Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!
Battlecry: Say Your Prayers, Peck!
Description: After her father was dropped in a vat of acid by Batman, and her uncle the District Attorney had half his face burned off by acid, went insane and developed a split personality, and her college roomate started to dress up in a skintight catsuit and steal jewelry, and her favorite television actor was melted into a shapechanging mass of clay, still alive, Remora Lassiter decided the world was so weird she simply HAD to become a supervillainess.
Battlecry: I just SHOOT people!
Yes, we saw her earlier, but this is the last chance ever to behold her.