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Cyberpunk Wiki

Looking at Chicago from outside the city in daylight is one of the most depressing sights in the world.

Chicago is a city of the NUSA state of Illinois.


Chicago was founded by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in 1833, first as a town, and later in 1837 officially as a city. During the late 1960s, the city experienced a rise in gang-related crime, becoming known for this issue.

Bio-Plague of 2012[]

Chicago was severely impacted during the Collapse, particularly in its early stages. Subsequently, the city was left in a state of absolute devastation. However, this level of destruction paled in comparison to the catastrophic bio-plague that later ravaged the city. Although initially believed to be an Ebola virus derivative, the bio-plague was actually created by the Federal Government. The bio-plague was primarily developed through research conducted by numerous universities, with the most lethal research being conducted in locations such as Heartland.

Heartland was a clandestine complex located in Chicago, constructed during World War II beneath the University of Chicago. The facility initially conducted research that contributed to the Manhattan Project. However, as primary research progressed more rapidly than anticipated, the complex fell into disuse until the early 1960s. Prior to the Vietnam War, Heartland was repurposed as a large-scale bio-agent and chemical research facility, funded by the NSC/DIA with billions of dollars invested. The majority of America's bio-arsenal originated from Heartland. Despite its successes in biological warfare, Heartland eventually closed due to its cramped and outdated infrastructure, which could not be renovated without significant disruption to the University. Consequently, the complex was abandoned, saving the University millions of dollars.

Several years after the closure of the facility, much of the work and materials remained on site, including samples of some of the world's deadliest diseases. These samples sat untouched, collecting dust. When the worst of the Collapse occurred, the government was unable to intervene. Eventually, the NSA filled the entry corridors with cement and placed bio-hazard warnings throughout the facility before departing to engage in a conflict against the government and military alongside the rest of the Gang of Four.

In late 2011, reconstruction efforts commenced at the University of Chicago. During the demolition of several old buildings on campus, the Heartland complex was discovered. Despite the presence of bio-hazard warnings, the reconstruction companies proceeded to demolish the complex, inadvertently releasing many of the diseases that had been developed at Heartland. This event triggered widespread chaos.

Within a span of six months, the city of Chicago was devastated, with a death toll approaching 200,000. Although some areas of the city remained habitable, the majority of residents relocated to safer regions of the country. In the aftermath of the plague, the U.S. Military constructed Chicago Port, recognizing that the absence of Chicago had severely impacted shipping operations on the Great Lakes.

Chicago still remained a wasteland; occupied primarily by nomads.


Following the Collapse, the majority of Chicago lay in ruins, with an estimated 90% of the city abandoned. The once-thriving metropolis was reduced to a mere shadow of its former self, overrun by algae and overgrowth, with rusted buildings standing as silent witnesses to its decline. It appeared that nothing could be done to restore the city to its former glory. However, this changed with the arrival of Storm Technologies.

Storm Technologies Incorporated (often abbreviated StormTech), is a technological company started by Dr. Richard Storm in the late 90's. One of the many huge and lucrative projects StormTech wanted to accomplish was the successful reclamation of Chicago. When toxicity levels in the city dropped to manageable levels, StormTech was able to negotiate a lucrative deal with four of the seven Nations to start the reconstruction of Chicago.

StormTech, since 2017, has been sending groups of people into Chicago to salvage certain critical resources. They have slowly been able to reclaim and rebuild a certain parts of Chicago, like The Loop and New Town. Though there are still other parts which aren't so lucky. Nowadays, Chicago is mainly traversed by Nomad groups and gangs looking to make a living.

By 2020, Chicago had undergone significant reconstruction and experienced a substantial population growth, reaching 8,000,000 residents. The city emerged from its previous state of abandonment to become the founding location of Cytech. As Chicago rose from the ashes, Cytech expanded its operations globally, providing services in the fields of cybernetic implants, manufacturing, holograms, infrastructure, military, and weapons..[citation needed]

The efforts to reconstruct Chicago came to an end during the Fourth Corporate War, when Arasaka detonated virus bombs in the city in an attempt to prevent it from becoming a stronghold for Militech.[1]


By 2077 Chicago is implied to have undergone some level of reconstruction, as mention is made of connecting Chicago with Night City using the transcontinental Maglev Network.

Areas of Chicago[]

The Loop[]


Ruins of the downtown area of Chicago.

The Loop is the part of downtown Chicago that is encircled by the elevated train tracks that run above the streets, forming a circle around a good part of the downtown area. This is where most of StormTech's reconstruction efforts have gone. Locals consider the inside of the Loop to be the entire downtown area.

There we can find Magnificent Mile, various museums, luxurious theaters and many more other buildings of Pre-Collapse Chicago. On Michigan Avenue, you can still find the old Chicago landmarks. Tribune Tower, the Playboy Building, the Old Water Tower, and the John Hancock Center. The JHC has been the center of StormTech's reclamation efforts. It has been fully decontaminated and now the local headquarters of StormTech. The building can be seen soaring into the skyline, with the neon StormTech logo clear in front of it.

Emerald City[]

Underneath downtown are several underground streets which traverse almost the entire Loop area. The Emerald City gets its name from the various green florescent lights that illuminate the streets underground at all hours of the day. Emerald City is inhabited by the Morlocks, a group of people who have no other way of life. Emerald City has power because of the reconstruction effort, so enterprising Raffen ran a jumper to the lighting controls for parts of Emerald City and tapped enough juice to run the lights. An underground thoroughfare designed for pedestrians runs parallel to the Chicago River, but is separated from the rest of Emerald City by a brick wall with one or two large holes in it. Once lined with restaurants, it is now home to rat-holes, bars, and rooms that only the most desperate hide in. The pedestrian traffic is never heavy because of the filth. The smell is horrendous, especially during the summertime. This is Emerald City.

New Town[]

Located on North Rush Street is New Town. It was once an up-scale residential area that was then run into the ground after the Collapse, but it has been fairly cleaned up now. Single-story homes are commonplace, with lawns turned into small vegetable gardens. After work in the evening, many nomads work to prepare houses for wintertime. New Town is home to many families. Most are nomads, but some are employees of StormTech. If any disturbances break out, StormTech and the dog-soldiers show up and heaven help the perpetrators. The area is well patrolled after dark, and lightly patrolled in the daytime as well.

Old Town[]

Old Town is located on the tip of North Wells Street (not to be confused with North Rush Street). This two block stretch, like New Town, looks like it's name suggests. It was once a residential area and is filled with two-story brownstone apartment buildings. Mixed in are also the strangest collection of businesses to ever grace one street: this is where the nomads who make a living entertaining other nomads hang out. It is also where the majority of drinking, wilding and fighting happens in new Chicago. In some bars, you'll find extremely attractive women (who turn out to be men), transvestites, and others. Most bars (deemed Smart Bars) serve, instead of alcohol, flavored drinks high in phosphotydle chlorine, a neuro-adrenaline producer.

Notable people[]


  1. PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk RED Corebook. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2020. (p.240)
  1. WINN, R. Neo Tribes. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1994.
  2. BATYLDA, M. The World of Cyberpunk 2077. 1st ed. Milwaukie, OR, Dark Horse Books, 2020.