The Empire Wasteland spans the locals surrounding Manhattan Island and former pre-war city of New York's ruins. Once a major port metropole of the United States of America, now a desolate wasteland. This shining star of a city didn't get spared from the atomic wrath that engulfed the earth in 2077. A lot of the city's skyscraper were knocked over by the blasts, bar from most notably the Empire State building. Which now stands again as the tallest structure of the wasteland. This new frontier lends her name from this building.
Before The War
New York City was known by plenty of names. It being the biggest and most famous city on the east-coast. The city was on the forefront of American Idealism that was predominant in the west, where Hollywood shaped the thoughts and desires of the world, New York was the shining model city. Glamorous, Busy and Beautiful, the city that never slept. The theaters of Broadway, the advertising companies of Madison Avenue, the financial heart of the United States, where the World Trade Center commanded the economy of the whole world. Where Lady Liberty's torch lit way towards progress.
New York was also one of the first cities to have an express way build, along with monorails and an incredible Underground Transit system. Columbia University, although not Harvard or Yale, was one of the finer institutions of the United States, and the Natural History Museum near the lovely Central Park housed many treasures from days of old. After the second world war, Manhattan also became the art-hub of the free world. Many new art styles like Pop-art unfolded themselves into the scene. But also existing styles like Art-Deco and Fuctionalism shone brightly in the architecture of fancy clubs and skyscrapers. In many ways, it was a city of excesses, and it reveled in every aspect of it.
On That Fateful Day
The city had already enjoyed a close-call flirt with radiation. Due to enormous demands for electricity from a 17+ million population, a nuclear reactor in New York City goes supercritical, almost causing a meltdown. The near meltdown brings into effect power rationing, and the term "Hot Summer" is used to refer to this incident. But that month of June was nothing compared to the Holocaust of October 23rd, 2077.
On that fateful day, the bombs dropped. And New York City wasn't spared of the flames. Many of the skyscrapers were blasted to the ground, most of which were build in the 21th century. Most notably, The Empire State building withstood the blast, along with the Long Lines Building, a concrete skyscraper with no windows that was especially designed to withstand a nuclear attack. The Statue of Liberty was blasted into pieces, of which huge chunks landed in the Hudson river and the city. Parts, which can still be found today, between the rest of the rubble.
Vault-Tec was also there to help the citizens of NYC, except that due to budget constrains, there were very few Vaults actually made in the Manhattan area. Most of them were quickly built in honor of the "2077-2078 New York Word's Fair", as a publicity stunt from Vault-Tec: Creating the '200 series' vaults. They ranged from '200' to '266' adding 66 more vaults, after the original 122 were built.
Location: Inwood, Manhattan Island
General Synopsis: A vault designed to do exactly what the brochure told it would do. A living space, to survive nuclear devastation. The vault-dwellers of this one were exceptionally lucky. It opened in 2264.
Location: Upstate, New York State
General Synopsis: Currently known as "The Vault Of Silence" in the Empire Wasteland, it is one of the few Vaults that still has to open. The experiment inside however was quite gruesome. Mutating the residents inside into eye-less feral monsters that live in perpetual darkness.
Location: Brooklyn, New York City
General Synopsis: A vault where a social experiment took place, where the residents weren't allowed to tell the truth ever. It caused massive paranoia and the vault underwent the fate, most vaults went.
Location: Central Park, Manhattan Island
General Synopsis: One of the few vaults that was equipped with a G.E.C.K., but the residents did not know that it was an unstable one. Once the vault door opened, the wild G.E.C.K. kit reinvigorated the plant and aquatic life of Central Park, but it went beyond that, causing the park to grow out of its bounds and form a thick jungle where FEV mutated giant flesh eating plants lurk on travellers. It does however cause Manhattan Island to have clean water.
'The Brotherhood of Steel'
'Sanford' a small residential block converted into a safezone and eventually a working community they typically advanced first aid for favors.
'The People's Republic of Chinatown' on the southside is a communist fortress of Red Chinese sympathizers, convinced that one day, their comrades will liberate them.
'Raiders Camp' above Queen's ruins is a force to be reckoned with, they are even in the possession of a working prewar Hummer!
'Broadway & Timesquare' are now the center of town, really. Enjoying working electricity, think of it as a smaller New Vegas, filled with theater and casino joints. If you're looking for vice and leisure, you've come to the right place. This location also hosts the illustrious 'Ania Ray Lounge'.
'Fresh Grove', a village on the outskirts of Central Park that enjoys clean water, and own-grown fresh food... Along with plenty of raids because of that.
'Governor' based on Governor Island is a settlement with a clinic, a research center owned by a mysterious doctor who rarely leaves the island... Then again, most people who go there never come back.
'Niagara Falls' The former jewel of the north is now a glowing swell of radioactive goop. It is teeming with Mirelurks.
'Fort Lee' The former stronghold of George Washington is now a Supermutant compound. Sharpshooters armed with hunting rifles watch from the walls twenty for seven, and down in the fort’s courtyard mutants tend to their centaurs.
'Ridgefield' A former suburbia, blown to pieces and now thoroughly inhabited by raiders.
'Pop’s Ferry' Where Pop, the eccentric ferryman, lives. He will take you across the river for a small fee.
'Hoboken Ruins' Crawling with raiders, just like it’s counterpart, Ridgefield. However, the raiders constantly war over territory and city blocks, demolishing the already demolished city even further.
'Dean Domino’s Rad Pad' Former hangout of the famous musician, now the hangout for a gang of mercenaries known as the “Rat Pack.”