Hard City's characters: a whole array of 80's pop culture archetypes.

Following the overview article about Hard City's setting and gameplay, it’s time to introduce the characters in the game, who represent pop culture archetypes seen in geek movies and 80’s TV series.

Doctor Zero, the new identity of Peter Zerovich after Zero Corp. went bankrupt, is a vengeful and cynical mad scientist. His only aim is to get even with the world that was (in his mind) unfair to him. He has sacrificed his whole life to find the cure for cancer, vaccines against mutated viruses, and even invented those damn strawberries that tasted like pineapples, and doesn’t matter if he also carried out secret experiments on animals and homeless people, or if a few waste transports ended up in some third-world country instead of its designated safe zone. Progress requires sacrifice, and the world was not ready for such a genius as his. So, Peter became Doctor Zero, and, still having access to the logistic network and connections of his falling corporation, he spilled the deadly mutagen into the city’s sewage system. Only a quick reaction by the municipal services prevented the whole city being poisoned. Still it was too late. One district was infected by the substance, and the innocent inhabitants turned into bloodthirsty monsters – a mutant horde at Doctor Zero’s command.

Doctor Zero and the police squad of Hard City.

The police squad is formed by four officers of the Hard City Police Department, and their loyal buddy - Blast, the police dog.

Captain Miranda Casey is the leader of the group. She owes her position in the HCPD only to her own persistence and hard work. She earned her captain's bars during the investigation into the famous "Golden Idols" case, which led to the arrest of numerous members of a criminal organization known as the Black Dragon Clan. Miranda is the best marksman the HCPD forces have seen in a long time. Some teases say that she is wasting her talents on the streets, and that she should be in the special forces or at the Olympics, as a member of the Stars and Stripes national team, but she knows this is her place, among the people who need her. She values privacy though, and doesn't talk about her personal life, most colleagues are just too afraid to ask anyway. She herself claims that she’s married to the department. But sometimes you can even laugh and joke with her, although never about Commissioner William Casey - Miranda's father.

Captain Casey, leader of the group and the best sharpshooter in the HCPD forces.

Jenny Takabura is a young but promising medic raised by a Kung Fu master grandfather, as her parents died in a mysterious crash. Jenny is a shy person, but ambitious and motivated. Becoming a Police Officer has been her dream since childhood, since the first time she stood up for a classmate. Rick Preston, the school bully, tried to hit her with a plastic bottle, but Jenny’s instinct worked immediately, as well as the lessons taught by her grandfather, and she performed a perfect Ninjutsu grab on the attacker. When her parents were called to school, her grandfather came instead, and promised that the situation would not happen again and only because of that Jenny was not kicked out of school. That evening she learned another lesson - that if she knows how to cause pain, she should also know how to soothe it. And so, she became a police medic - to protect and to serve.

Marcellus Hammer is an ex-wrestler and self-defense instructor with a shadowy past. Extremely strong even as a kid, he started practicing martial arts very early. In high school, he became the captain of the wrestling team. He got a scholarship and joined the Military Point academy, where he continued practicing various martial arts. Tempted by the money, he left the army to become a professional wrestler and signed a contract with the WWA federation. But after a two-year winning streak, Marcellus got mixed up in an intrigue that destroyed his career. He was falsely accused of taking anabolic steroids and lost all his titles. Marcellus began a private investigation that led him straight to the bosses of the WWA and their connection with Zero Corporation. Though he had hard evidence, the lawyers swept the whole thing under the carpet, even the prosecutor could not help. After these events, Marcellus could not find his place anywhere in the world. A few years later, he got a job at the HCPD as self-defense instructor, but he never gave up on getting his revenge on Zero Corp.

Sergeant Donathan Johnson is the longest-active member of the HCPD.

Donathan Johnson, a veteran officer, maybe a bit too old, maybe a bit too overweight, but definitely one lucky bastard. Donathan is the longest-active member of the HCPD. Beside the Commissioner, of course, but young recruits’ joke that he's 110, so it's pretty hard to be older than him. Donathan's only dream right now is to survive until retirement and have some free time simply to sit on the porch. Sergeant Johnson may seem an old geezer to rookies, but those who have known him for a longer time are aware that he used to kick some serious ass in the past. During his career he got shot a few times, but every time he just pulled through and returned to the station. When the Great Rocker Riots broke out, he defended the station in District 13 side by side with Commissioner Casey, who at that time was just a captain. Donathan misses the times when you did not have to be soft with criminals. His best friends are strong black coffee, a glazed donut, and his Magnum 44 revolver.

Blast is the station’s mascot and the best four-legged officer Hard City has ever had. Found, by Marcellus Hammer, in a secret laboratory where Zero Corp.’s illegal genetic experiments had been carried out. To protect the small and scared puppy from a sad fate, Marcellus took the little dog and the officers kept everything secret. Blast is exceptionally intelligent, fast, strong, and practically never tire. He could have been a deadly tool in the wrong hands, but instead he became a great and loyal aide to the police squad in Hard City.

Now you know the valiant officers are the last hope for saving the city and its inhabitants from the mutant invasion commanded by the evil Doctor Zero, and the story behind this evil mastermind. Choose your side and get ready to fight in Hard City!

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