Meta’s Verse: City of Heroes Halloween Review 2011
By Meticulous Meta, OnRPG’s Paragon City Journalist
Halloween is a special time in the City of Heroes universe. First, you have two weeks of darkness thanks to the Unseelie Court. This makes it a perfect time to go hunting for those elusive Banished Pantheon Spirit Masks which only appear at night or the ghosts in Croatoa. But this isn’t what makes Halloween special. It’s nothing more than a lovely bonus side effect in fact. What makes Halloween special is the extra lengths the Paragon Studios team goes to. The giant pumpkin monster Eochai and the giant Jack in Irons who really needs to invest in some pants roam free in the city. At every door stands the chance of getting a treat or a trick in the form of vampires, witches and ghosts. When the sky goes red and the warnings blare you know there is about to be a zombie horde invading the part of the city you’re unfortunate enough to be in. As if all that isn’t enough the citizens of Paragon City and the Rogue Isles face invasions from iconic horrors. All of these things though are from the past.
New this year is Dr. Kane’s House of Horror, a haunted mansion with a deadly story. But before you get to hear more about the haunted mansion I want to talk about the residents of Paragon City. How insane do you have to be to want to live there? Sure, petty normal every day crime is low thanks to all the heroes. But you’ve got regular Rikti invasions from space, a meteor shower with giant goo aliens who want to destroy the world, zombie invasions, giant monsters roaming the city…the list can go on forever. Why would anyone in their right mind live in Paragon?
Anyway! Dr. Kane’s Haunted Mansion. First and foremost I have to say it looks beautiful. The art crew really went all out with it. It is a four man map using the trial technology. Though if I am completely honest I’m not sure why other than to show it off. You are really rewarded for talking to NPCs and exploring the map. You get to cut in line to see the haunted mansion thanks to your hero (or villain ) status. But as with anything in this world you soon discover things are not as they appear. The people who go in never come out. As you go through the house looking for Dr. Kane to question him you face wave after wave of zombies. But once you find him things don’t get any easier. You have to face off against his creations; abominable things where even his “failures” will give you a fight. After some epic battles, one of which takes place in a cemetery, a depressed Dr. Kane collapses in defeat. With the mystery torn open, the police on the way, and all of the patrons dead you’re left free to leave. It’s a great little distraction and a wonderful addition to the Halloween event.
It wouldn’t be a proper City of Heroes event with those well loved badges. And there are three new ones this year. All of them obtained in the Haunted Mansion. The easiest to get comes from just completing the Mansion. Its called ‘Is There a Doctor in the House?’ Another, called Tricked Out comes from defeating the final creation while wearing one of the costumes dropped during trick or treating. The final badge is called It’s Alive! And is earned by defeating the last of Dr. Kane’s creations and 99 zombies from the cemetery before the twelve minute timer runs out. It isn’t as easy as it sounds and that last badge is one I’m still working on trying to get. And with only one day left as of the time I’m writing this I really need to get on that before the Mansion closes for this year and maybe forever.
The only other thing that is really new this year for the Halloween event is that the bigger zombies during the zombie invasion are really, really, really big. Big to the point of being silly. A player character doesn’t even go up to the top of the ankle and when you zoom your camera all the way out if you’re fighting the zombie horde you can’t see anything above the knee. As far as I’ve read there has been no explanation for this change and feelings about it seem to not really exist. Initial reactions are things like “whoa” or “zomg” but that is all people say before they continue on with the fight. Personally, I hate them. I want to be able to actually look at what I’m fighting. But seeing as there haven’t been many complaints about it I think it is safe to say I am in the minority there.
So that’s the round up of Halloween 2011 in City of Heroes. With zombies, giant walking pumpkins, trick or treating, and haunted mansions, Paragon City is ripe for Halloween fans looking for a thrill. Sadly Halloween is ending on Tuesday November 2nd. So there really isn’t any time left this year for you to experience it. But don’t worry, next Halloween is only a year away!
I feel I should take this time to acknowledge the fact that I’ve been away for a few months due to person health issues. I’ve taken some time out to get myself back into peak physical health. Ok, as peak as you can be while being a gamer and sitting at a computer all day. I am quite glad to be back to writing and looking forward to sharing my thoughts and the latest City of Heroes news with you. If you are a first time reader come back to OnRPG every week to read a new article from me, Meticulous Meta.
The weekly strike targets for November 1st-November 7th are the level 24-33 respec trials in Terra Volta and the Tree of Thorns.
Editor’s Note: Meta’s Verse is written by Meticulous Meta who lives in Atlas park and is writing this from under her desk hiding from the zombies.