Paragon City is the fictional city in Rhode Island where the City of Heroes MMO was based in.
It is the starting point for those players that select the "hero" path.
Paragon City was founded in 1823 when the town of Smithport merged with its neighboring towns. By the time of the Civil War, Paragon City had become a leading port city for ships coming from Europe. It was made even more prosperous when the Army and Navy used the city as a supply depot for the Civil War.
Because of their success as a port city, Paragon City wasn't really part of the Industrial Revolution until the 1900's. And then, it was only through help from organized crime. The railways were a contentious area for criminal activity, leading to riots, and eventually to legislation that would give civilians public transportation.
The Great Depression hit Paragon City hard, as it did all other places around the world. But it was through these dark times that a hero would emerge that would transform Paragon City.
That hero's name was Statesman.
A masked vigilante that stood up to the mobsters and the street gangs, Statesman inspired ordinary people to pick themselves up and stand up for themselves. His leadership inspired others to follow, and they made a stand when the city was threatened by the mechanizations of a man named Nemesis.
But rather than condemn masked vigilantes, as would be the normal approach in other communities, the people of Paragon City actually welcomed the heroes. When the police and the judicial system sought to stop the heroes, the people voted in new leaders and new legislation that recognized heroes on the same level as police officers provided they adhere to the same professional levels as police officers. Because of this new and different approach, heroes were allowed to flourish in the city. Organized crime was hit hard and the major families were chased out of Paragon City back to New York and Boston. Some relocated to Striga Isle and others to the Rogue Isles.
In December of 1941, on the same day that Japanese airplanes bombed American ships in Pearl Harbor in the colony of Hawaii, a legion of Nazi troops invaded Paragon City. Independence Port had been the major supply station for England, and Germany sought to end that to further alienate that besieged nation. But their invasion was short-lived as they were turned back by the super-sized hero Atlas. He stood his ground against the invaders until the rest of the Freedom Phalanx could arrive. Only then did he succumb to his mortal injuries. His noble sacrifice would become the symbol for the city to stand tall.
After World War II, heroes flourished in Paragon City. Although threats from the 5th Column and Nemesis continued, they were quickly answered by heroes. The Cold War brought the threat of nuclear destruction, but Paragon City's greatest defense was Statesman and the Freedom Phalanx.
Talos Island was literally created in the 1960's when the giant superhero Talos battled the giant monster Chimera. Both would vanish, never to be seen again, although a giant statue of Talos would later "appear".
In the 1980's a different kind of threat emerged: drugs. And unlike most cities, with the scourge of cocaine and methamphetamines, Paragon City's drug problem was a mysterious chemical called Superadine. Nobody would know who provided the drug, only that dealers would find it waiting for them.
In the late 1980's, Dr. Brian Webb, an ally of the Freedom Phalanx, created the Portal Corporation and soon announced that they had breached the barrier into alternate universes. A year later, he is tortured and killed in an alternate universe. That world's version of Statesman, the Nazi hero Reichsman, then invaded Paragon City. The heroes of Paragon City battled for days against the alternate universe Nazi forces, but eventually they triumphed, and Reichsman was then put in a stasis chamber underneath the Freedom Phalanx headquarters.
During this battle, a new TV network was created to highlight the efforts of the heroes. Based-in and focusing on all things Paragon City, the Paragon News Network would become as much of a media giant as certain other cable news networks of the time.
Paragon City would later become ground zero for an even larger and more devastating invasion in 2002.
On May 23rd, thousands of lights appeared all over the world. Not long after, an alien threat called the Rikti came through those lights, which were later determined to be dimensional portals. Although their invasion spanned the whole planet, the Rikti were specifically fixated on Paragon City itself, quickly dividing the city up into zones to focus their attacks. The area known as Baumton, home to both the Freedom Phalanx and the Midnight Squad, was the first to be flattened by the focused bombardment.
The world united to face this devastating threat. Heroes and villains from around the world put aside their differences and came together under the banner of the United Nations as a Vanguard force. But even this was not enough.
Finally a desperate move by the heroes in November would put an end to the Rikti threat. Dubbed the "Alpha-Omega Gambit", the two-stage attack would cut off Rikti reinforcements and cut off all access between the two dimensions. Without continued supplies, the Rikti quickly withered and went into hiding.
The war was over, but the losses were high, especially for Paragon City.
The city would rebuild, and faster than most would expect, but it wouldn't be the same. The giant War Walls that were put up by the Rikti to divide the city were never torn down. In fact, it was difficult for them to try to tear the walls down. So the city re-build itself around them.
When the Rikti returned as a global threat in 2007, though, Paragon City was ready. Even though the War Walls could not prevent the Rikti ships from going through (the Rikti, after all, created the walls), they did limit the damage the Rikti could inflict, and allowed the heroes a way to focus all of their efforts to stopping the threat.
Today, Paragon City still stands as the "City of Heroes", where heroes are welcomed and allowed to flourish to combat evil from any source. And even though the city mourns the loss of the hero that started it all, what Statesman started almost a whole century ago continues today and continues to make the city what it is.
(See its entry in the Paragon Wiki for more information.)