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We present City of Titans, a spiritual successor for the superhero MMORPG City of Heroes, being developed by Missing Worlds Media.
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Ephesus Lecture Series - History Of Titan City Overview

Posted by Missing Worlds Media (Creator)
Hello. I’m Professor Assan. I’ve held tenure here at Ephesus University for over two decades, and it is my honor to be teaching our fine city’s next generation of intellectual leaders. But to lead us into the future, you need to know the past. So, welcome to History 231, “History of Titan City.” Let me give you an overview of what we’ll cover in this course.

Titan City began as a collection of small settlements situated on both sides of Steward’s Bay, beginning in the early 1600s. Achieving an unusual rapport with the local Native Americans, these settlements flourished. This of course reduced the amount of land and resources available to each town, and they soon became rivals. Gradually, two “blocs” coalesced, centered around Bradford in the north and Charleston in the south. 

The industrial revolution brought new prosperity and vast changes to the region. Factories sprang up all over. By the way, many of you will of course have heard of the infamous Tannerworks Megafactory. Many lurid tales have reached the media about the slavery there and the massive raid by the National Guard and the organization now known as PIT. 

The nineteenth century also marked the debut of the first officially recognized costumed superpowered hero: James Duncan, or as you probably know him better, American Star. In 1887, he somehow gained control of a mysterious sword and piece of armor. He soon began using their powers to fight crime in and around his native Bradford. 

In 1908, the region was rocked by two separate yet devastating fires on the same night. The fire on the northern half of the bay started in an unused warehouse belonging to Sinclair Ship Works, and the southern fire started shortly thereafter in a small house in Ironport. Taking a full three days to extinguish, the fire utterly destroyed much of the area. Were it not for the actions of a number of superhuman rescuers in the area, the death toll would have been catastrophic. 

Ultimately, the fire’s devastation led to the region’s rebirth. In December 1908, Oswald Lawrence delivered a speech in what would become one of the defining moments of the city's history: 

"I foresee a time, in years to come, when our city will stand as an inspiration. When its shining spires rise from this desolation! When this city of titans will be a beacon of opportunity for the world!" 

His words inspired the people of all the settlements pulled together in a way no one could have expected, and ultimately, their efforts led the once-rival cities around the bay to unite to become Titan City. 

The first decades of Titan City’s life as a united metropolis brought booms in construction and investment, blunting even the effects of the Great Depression. At the same time, costumed heroes and criminals became more and more prominent. Soon, American Star had dozens, then hundreds, of peers. It seemed that the gates of science and even so-called “magic” had opened and let loose a flood of the amazing on the city. During World War II, many of these superpowered adventurers served abroad (sometimes battling against Axis superweapons), while others defended the homefront. 

In the wake of World War II and the shock of the nation over the depth of Nazi atrocities, Titan City settled into a quieter period, due at least in part to the massive proliferation of costumed vigilantes during this era. Entire teams of superpowered crimefighters arose, most notably American Star’s Paragons. During this period, Titan City experienced an economic boom, as many of the manufacturing facilities from the war were converted into commercial factories and refineries. The founding of the Northeastern Research District in the early 1960s further cemented the city's status as an economic power by introducing a surge of scientific development. This period of colorful light-hearted prosperity would, however, culminate in the acclaimed triumph and personal tragedy of Operation Anvil. 

As superpowered heroes became an accepted, even popular, feature of Titan City life, so did super-crime. By the later 20th century, organized crime syndicates, such as the Black Rose and the Five Dragons, struggled for control of Titan City’s underworld. Backed by superpowered criminals, these organizations rapidly became widely feared. In response, in 1985, D.A. Yousef Amir initiated Operation Anvil. This was a joint effort among the local police, FBI and a handful of locally known heroes.The operation succeeded wildly, resulting in 513 total convictions. However, tragedy marred its conclusion when Amir was assassinated. 

Operation Anvil’s successes turned out to be a false dawn. Many on the police force resented the fact that Amir received the credit for their work, while others in city government showed a new interest in manipulating public opinion. Corruption grew rife, stretching from the mayor’s office down to day to day government. People lost faith in authority figures, and that included superpowered heroes. Meanwhile, the superpowered community itself changed. The appearance of grim, dark vigilantes who regularly blurred the line between heroism and villainy confused and troubled the public. By the late 1990’s, the newly coarsened superpowered community had turned inward, focusing on its own rivalries and concerns. 

Hurricane Atlas changed all that. 

Most of you will remember the hurricane that devastated Titan City in 1998. The hurricane was originally a natural occurrence, but the villain Cumulus Rex exacerbated the problem. He meant to hold the city for ransom, using machinery to turn the ordinary hurricane into a supremely destructive storm from which he grew stronger. The city’s heroes rose to the occasion, protecting lives and property across Titan City. Meanwhile, a force of heroes, some who until that moment had been villains, challenged Cumulus Rex in his lair. We know them today as the “Atlas 33”; those who held the line the longest against the murderous Rex. That battle resulted in the death of Titan City’s favorite son, American Star, after more than a century of crimefighting. 

American Star’s former protege, Harriet E. Ross, took up his sword and carried on his mantle as the heroine Anthem. She soon founded a new team of Paragons, carrying this hallowed name into the new century. At present, the superpowered community is larger, more varied, and more diverse than ever. Hundreds of crimefighters, criminals, and other superbeings of every imaginable description still operate here, and their numbers only continue to increase. The superpowered community seems to have adopted Lawrence’s words for its own: anyone can make it in Titan City.


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    1. Missing Worlds Media Creator on

      @Sky - Magic is a concept to be used by the player, not us. We are but to provide the framework, it is you who will give it life.

    2. Missing avatar

      Peter Brennan on

      Cumulus Rex? Love it! I love all the rest too, but a solid villain name makes it that much more fun to beat down on 'em!

    3. SunHawk on

      I love how you incorporated the "Atlas 33" into the storyline.
      On a side note will "Magic" be a Primary or Secondary power?

    4. Lady of Ysgard, Voldine. on

      There's simply nothing that can be said that will truly encompass everything that I'm feeling at the moment about this bit of lore.

      The references to the predecessor are lovely, and are done in a way that is unobtrusive to establishing unique lore for the new game while building on a familiar foundation. This makes it both gratifying for people 'returning' to the game in its spiritual successor form, and accessible to newcomers through the virtue of not being shackled to a preexisting license.

      I simply hope our developers here keep a better bible of canon so there's little room for accidents where later content contradicts what came before it in a great cosmic retcon because someone noticed something years later that made them squirm.

    5. James Gorman on

      Very nice, well thought out and executed keep up the great work.

    6. Missing avatar

      Andrew on

      I love when games have a ton of history like this. I just hope that history will continue to be made as we play. One of my favorite touched that CoX did was adding the statue in frount of the Kings row metro. It was a small thing but It was big in my heart.

    7. Federico Ariño on

      Great work! I do wonder, though. Will we be seeing, and reading, biographies of each major character in the game? :)

    8. Jayleia on

      Wow. The references bring back a lot of beautiful and sad memories. It's over a year later, and I'm crying like the day they announced the closing.

    9. Missing avatar

      Jason King on

      This is my favorite kind of update, telling the Lore of our new world to come. And yes, the references are terrific! I wonder if Cumlus Rex will be a recurring villain along the lines of Lord Nemesis. :)

    10. Cinnder on

      Very nicely done! Even if it hadn't included all the clever references, it would have made a great foundation for our new home. But the Atlas 33 holding out against the depredations of an evil force trying to destroy the city is truly priceless. Also, since I have whinged so much about the lack of proofing in the last few years of CoX, may I compliment you on the technical quality of the writing as well.

      This got me thinking: will Titan City have history plaques?

    11. KinThalas on

      There are quite some references in there and I love them all! You guys did a great work on the background story for our future home. *thumbsup*

    12. Missing avatar

      Paul Kennedy on

      I agree, liking the Atlas 33 reference quite a lot. Very much enjoyed the class overview.

    13. Michael Davenport on

      Great back story! I like how this version of Statesman dies even before the game begins.

    14. Missing avatar

      Impish Kat on

      James Duncan, Sinclair Ship Works, a mysterious sword & armor, Oswald Lawrence, Five Dragons, the Paragons, the Atlas 33, Cumulus Rex, Anthem....

      Some very clever nods here. Nicely done.

    15. Tessachan of Phoenix Rising on

      /em holdtorch Woot! Give it up for Atlas 33!! -- a quote from Sumo Grrl

    16. Izzy on

      Nice. :)
      Now im wondering what American Stars costume looked like. ;D

      I'm thinking it might be a mostly Blue outfit. the Star on the chest? Maybe its morphed like 40% to 50% between a Phienix Bird and an actual Star? Top of Stars arc is the head of the Phoenix? Sides the Wings? And the Bottoms are the legs?
      Hmm, maybe have a semi thin stripe extend from the Star/Phenixes legs down the side of the oufits legs? and the same for the stars/phinix wings? i would keep the semi thin stripe very thin though. The mask, not really certain, but it would make sense that it looked a tiny bit like a regular mask.. with a hint of a bird like a phenix maybe? And thats also where the statues designer got the inspiration from, and maybe Phoenix Plaza got its inspiratory name? Since witnesses saw America Stars last battle, and he was partially covered in flames as he Fought Cumulus Rex, and as he kept getting back up, again and again, it gave the people a burning inspiration of hope for the Hero thats inside most of us.

    17. Michael O. on

      It's going to be a long two years ...

    18. Artorios Rex on

      "The Paragons"... "Atlas 33"... I love it!!!!

    19. Milan Dare on

      Fantastic premises! Best lore update yet. So want to be there :)

    20. Tytan-Guardian of Phoenix Rising on

      OMG..that was so cool! Great lore update. Thank You so much!

    21. Eoin Maloney on

      ...But everything changed when Hurricane Atlas attacked.

    22. Missing avatar

      André Santerre on

      Great lore update... many thanks.

    23. Grey Bradbury on

      ...oh, that's a clever reference.