New York City was once considered the greatest city on earth in the early 1900s, nowadays the metropolis is left with crime-filled streets and has sections of the city cut off known as "lawless zones."
In 1993, Colombian druglords detonated a nuclear device in New York City at noon on a Thursday, killing 15,000 (unofficially reported to be much higher) in retaliation for US attacks on Bogota, destroying the World Trade Center and Rockefeller Center. As a result, the Manhattan borough became akin to a large combat zone. Immediately after the nuclear detonation, plans were made to rebuild Manhattan. However, The Collapse brought these plans to an end with the collapse of the federal government. Despite the damage done to Manhattan, other boroughs of New York such as Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, managed to survive, growing to compensate for the loss of Manhattan. As such, Manhattan has become reputed as a treasure trove of riches, from jewelry and bank vaults, for cyberpunks and treasure hunters willing to search the borough. Arasaka was eventually brought in to protect the city from utter destruction.
In November of 2020, Night City Today printed a story about how the city suffered the worst winter in over 100 years, recording 180 deaths directly by the weather by November 10th, with many more homeless expected to be found frozen to death. Massive snowfalls, negative 20° degrees temperatures nightly, and 3 and a half feet of snow caused major infrastructure stoppages and delays to streets and airports, allowing only vectored thrust crafts. The National Guard was sent in to assist emergency services and maintain order.
However, many companies still found opportunities in the city, with offices of many major and local corporations located in the city, with the Perkins/Worldwide Contractors company having several major projects underway in 2020. Another major reconstruction project is the Gargoyles nomad tribe planning to extend the TransCon Maglev to the city, with preliminary work determined to begin by 2023, although it is not known how the Fourth Corporate War and succeeding Time of the Red have affected this, if at all.
During The Time of the Red in 2045, New York was part of the Boston-Washington Corridor (BosWash), the remnants of the US Federal Government. New York may not be the worst city in the USA, but it's far from the best place to live.
- Michael Hart (Fixer, currently based in Tokyo, Japan)
- Shelly Simpson (Netrunner)
- Bosh (Solo and Bounty Hunter, currently based in Night City)
- Adam Smasher (Solo, member of Arasaka security and former gang member, currently based in Night City)
- Red Guidebook p. 8: "In retaliation for US attacks on Bogotá, Colombian drug lords detonate small tactical nuclear device in New York. 15,000 killed."
- Land of the Free p.11: "But I thought New York was nuked?
At least, part of it was. The bomb detonated in Rockefeller Center at noon, on a Thursday. The final death toll is unknown (15,000 is the "official" number, but most say it was much, much higher), but the damage caused by the explosion and EMP pulse; the rioting and radiation, still last to this day. Think of the entire central area of Manhattan as one giant combat zone, with small pockets of civilization clinging onto the far north and south of the island."
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.4: "In Cyberpunk, my solution has always been to treat the entire world like a giant comic book, divided up into roughly ten-year story arcs. The Cyberpunk world goes to hell beginning in 1993, starting with the invention of modern cyberware and the attack on the World Trade Center in New York by Colombian narco-terrorists. We start the main Cyberpunk story (what I call the Never Fade Away Arc) ten years later in 2013 with the culmination being Johnny Silverhand's attack on the Arasaka Tower in an attempt to rescue his girlfriend, Alt Cunningham. Ten more years pass and then begins the Cyberpunk 2020 Arc (which I call the Fall of the Towers Arc... starting to see a pattern here, what with me destroying big buildings all the time?) by the end of which the Cyberpunk world is totally disrupted in 2023."
- Land of the Free p.11: "Right after the disaster, there were plans to rebuild, to make Manhattan the great city that it once was. This all ended with the collapse of the federal government just three short years after the bombing."
- Land of the Free p.11: "This does not mean that New York is a total write-off. Only a percentage of the city was actually located on the island; parts of Queens, Brooklyn; the Bronx survived intact, and have grown to make up for Manhattan's loss. In fact, with vast wealth still remaining unclaimed (many very expensive jewelry stores and exclusive bank vaults still lie under tons of rubble and slag), Manhattan and the surrounding city have become a mecca for treasure hunters and cyberpunks eager to make their fortunes haunting the ruins of what was once the greatest city on earth."
- Cyberpunk 2020 Sourcebook p.247: Night City Today November 10th Screamsheet: "Worst Winter In Over a Century In New York City
180 Deaths Reported
New York - Massive snowfalls, and several nights where temperatures have dropped to 20° below zero, have created havoc in New York City. Nearly 3 feet of snow is on the ground, including 6" in the last 24 hours. Deaths directly attributable to the weather number 180, and city officials privately expect to find many homeless people frozen to death in drifts. National Guard troops have been sent into the city to help maintain with emergency services and maintain order. Traffic on all but a few major streets has come to a halt. All local airports have been closed, and the only aircraft moving are vectored thrust craft. Further snows are expected, and high winds of up to (cont'd page C-20)."
- Cyberpunk 2020 Sourcebook p.247: Night City Today November 10th Screamsheet: "HELP WANTED: CONCRETE PUDDLERS, MIXER OPERATORS, SHEET METAL WORKERS, ELECTRICAL INSTALLERS, AND ALL CONSTRUCTION TRADES WORKERS: Perkins/Worldwide Contractors has several major projects underway in NYC, and we need qualified craftsmen to do the job. Wages are competitive with union jobs, and unmatched benefit package assures you of on-the-job-protection. Call 1-910-555-1900 for an application. PERKINS/WORLDWIDE NEEDS YOUR SKILLS!"
- Neo Tribes p.76
- Red Guidebook p. 5: "The United States Government is still primarily centered in the Boston–Washington Corridor (aka BosWash) from New York to Miami, where it operates as the effective regional government much as the regional councils do for Night City. The branches of the Federal Government still operate as before; there is an Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branch—these just have little or no effect on anything past the Mississippi, and their members come almost exclusively from the East and near Midwest"
PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2020. 2nd ed. Berkeley CA; R.Talsorian Games, 1990.
WINN, R. Neo Tribes. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1994
Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit World Book. Talsorian Games, 2019
Cyberpunk Red Corebook. R. Talsorian Games, 2020