Thursday, May 9, 2019

Thorough Thursdays : CITY OF HEROES

Prior to this post I have only mentioned City of Heroes, the Massive Multi-player Computer Role Playing Game launched by NCSOFT in 2004, a mere handful of times. It seems only a single entry with that title as a tag has ever been posted and after reading the entry, I really have not idea why that is the one place I decided to place said tag. 

That's just wrong. 

It's difficult to know exactly where to begin in describing what City of Heroes meant and means to me. 

At the time City of Heroes was released I was living with my then girlfriend, now ex-wife, and it was one of the many things we enjoyed doing together. It was very much an 'us' activity. Sure we'd both go on and play solo (by ourselves) every now and then but we generally preferred to operate as a team. 

The Midnight Hour and Lady Touche'

Illustration for a City of Heroes based
Mutants and Masterminds campaign

The Midnight Hour Returns!

One day, fairly early in our progress in the game, our dynamic duo ended up biting off more than we could chew, accidentally drawing in two huge gangs of street thugs. Just when all seemed lost, a machine gun-toting Iron Man look alike fellow showed up and helped us clean the streets of those dirty crooks. 

The player of this character who eventually become a real life friend who remains so to this day. 

When my ex-wife and I separated and divorced, I couldn't bring myself to play the game again for a very long time. Even when I did eventually go back to it, I would never stay long. I had lost my love of the game as it reminded me too much of her and better times that were now over.

Eventually some friends who had also left and gone back for various reasons got me to return from time to time and we had a blast. Sadly, the game itself had changed so much and so many other MMOs had come out to steal its thunder (namely World of Warcraft) that while fun to return to periodically, it just wasn't the same. 

Recently the operators of a private server released the Source Code for City of Heroes, allowing any individual to host their own servers and start the game up again and indeed people have. I jumped at the chance to tussle with Hellions on the mean streets of Paragon City and try to rebuild (or even improve on) some of my favorite old characters. 

This looks like a job for...
Captain Superpower!

City of Heroes was always different from other MMOs in my experience because it was a game for Superhero fans by people who clearly understood Superheroes. While you definitely ran into the typical MMORPG players, you more often than not ran into people like yourself; players who made fun characters in cool costumes with names like Mister Patriot, Neutrino Woman, and Tachyon Flare, who were stoked to fly over the world presented, swooping down to save a citizen from a horde of zombies or do battle with clockwork robots.

That same feeling remains. While I am not the die hard MMO fan I was when City of Heroes was at its height, it was City of Heroes that got me into MMOs and made me a fan, so I can't help but smile as I sprint through Atlas Park, run along the elevated train tracks, and leap around staring at all the great costume designs my fellow heroes are sporting. 

If you were a fan of this awesome game back in the day, come on back and feel the rush of nostalgia. If you've never tried it but you are a fan of Superheroes and Computer Games, what are you waiting for? It's free to download and play and crime isn't going to fight itself!

Tell them Starguard sent you!

Up, up, and away!

Barking Alien


  1. Actually, it wasn't NCSOFT that released the source code. There was a private server that had the original games database and had been operating for the last 7 years. This server was 'outed' a few weeks ago and caused a huge kerfluffle and the CoH community was being torn apart. The source code was released by the operators of the private server.

    1. Interesting. I will look into this further. Thanks for the scoop Greg!

  2. I was unaware of this! My goodness!