Retrocity: Into The Long Night - par Helmgast

Retrocity: Into The Long Night est le prochain JdR créé par Bastien Lecouffe Deharme (GODS), adaptation de son propre roman graphique Memories of Retrocity (Editions du Riez/2011). Aucune indication pour le moment d’une future campagne de crowdfunding mais fort probable que ce soit le cas comme pour GODS avec le même éditeur: Arkhane Asylum Publishing.

Blinking neon lights and cigarette smoke, smell of whisky and gun powder, bodies laying in the moonlight and blood washed out in the rain…

RETROCITY Into the Long Night is a noir game of urban action and investigation in a dystopian version of America in 2050. An adult and realistic game based on gritty mood and narrative tension.

Players incarnate police officers, beat cops or detectives, going through their daily routines, within the walls of the nefarious and tormented Retrocity. The city feeding on the souls of its inhabitants.

Set in a near-future heavily influenced by the 80’s, RETROCITY Into the Long Night is a tabletop roleplaying game created by author and illustrator Bastien Lecouffe Deharme based on his 2011 graphic novel Memories of Retrocity .


Whether they are rookies coming straight out of the Academy, or veterans who have been walking the streets and the back alleys for more than 20 years, the characters in RETROCITY Into the Long Night are police officers from the Retrocity Police Department .

Guardians of the remnant of some kind of justice, the Officers are not immune to the City’s corrupted influence. Retrocity itself is triggering their worst inclinations, leading them through a hidden path within the maze of the streets, toward their own perdition.

Beat cops, officers on patrol, detectives, or members of the special unit called The Watch , the players will experience the reality of the everyday life as cops, leading their career within the massive American ultrapolis of 2050: Retrocity.


In the 1940s, the US government turned a prolific city into a political, social, and scientific experiment. A massive wall was built around the city and no citizen allowed to leave. Brother and sister James and Lucy Hover , both renown scientists, were nominated at the direction of the city. They created the Hover Corporation .

1942, official start of the experimentations. In the shape of a green fog, mood altering substances were sprayed in various neighborhoods.

January 15 1947, The Black Heart , a massive building of black stones with no doors or windows, appeared at the center of Retrocity.

In the 1950s, the experimentations in the City were going full speed.

Every product for sale was now branded Hover. Hover cars, Hover socks, Hover toothpaste, Hover cigarettes…

June 22 1958, Dr. Strauss diagnosed the first official case of Retroprocessus : Picture Man. A disabled 53 year old man had “blended/merged” with his color TV monitor.

Strauss’ report is as follows: “The man and the TV can not be separated without destroying one or the other. They are a one and unique thing. The TV monitor is occupying the right section of the man’s torso, stuck asymmetrically between shoulder and hip. There are veins running through the monitor and electric cables within the man’s body. The man’s voice changes as we switch the TV channels and there is light coming through his eyes. Unplugging the Man/TV has no effect. The man is still hungry and has kept his digestive functions. However, his mind is affected to a point where it is difficult to dissociate casual conversation from TV commercials.”

Evolving on its own, separated from the rest of the world, the City remained stuck in the spirit of the 50’s.

Cases of Retroprocessus multiplied in the city. The Retroprocessus was officially classified as an “ Affliction ”. Affecting 10% of the population.

Two other types of Afflictions appeared then: Ghosting and Hollowing . One sees the physical envelope of the individual disappearing, and the other affects the mind, leaving the body empty.

1962, under the supervision of Lucy Hover, a team of scientists figured out that the Afflictions were affecting human inclinations. Separating humans from their primordial needs and instincts were suspected to act as a remedy against the Afflictions. Mechanical implants in the flesh of the Afflicted individuals would appear to stop the Retroprocessus. The more machine an individual becomes, the less Afflicted.

Implantation of mechanical parts into the human body is, to this day, considered the only cure .


Biomechanical implants and prosthetics had become the new trend in the City.

1965, mysterious disappearance of Lucy Hover.

James Hover sent the request to have statues of her built all over the city.

Alone at the head of the Corporation, missing Lucy more than a brother should miss a sister, James Hover dove into a deep depression.

Life in Retrocity was at its worst. The Afflictions were spreading, the Corporation watching and controlling the citizens in their every move. The Watcher haunting the streets in their long black leather coats. The human body had become a business. Citizens were almost all infertile. And half the city lost power.

In 1968, the US government fully separated itself from Project Retrocity , removing it from the maps and the books. The wall still standing strong and the gates remaining closed, only to open when someone was thrown into the city, as an alternative to jail or death row.

The world forgot Retrocity, and the City forgot the world.

The graphic novel Memories of Retrocity took place in 2004. At the time the city was stuck in some kind of alternative 50’s. “Into the Long Night” is set in 2050, and Retrocity evolved toward the 80’s.


The collapse and the Big Blackout of 2031 did put America and the rest of the world into economical failure. While cities were collapsing, Retrocity remained protected, surviving on its autonomous economic system and resources.

With the climate changes and lack of care for the infrastructures, the outside world was officially declared “Hostile” by the government in 2033. It is today referred to as The Wastelands.

The US government claimed back ownership of “Project Retrocity”, asking the Corporation to open the gates of the walls in order to welcome American citizens from all over the country. The US government and the Hover Corporation now share the political power of the City.

The city that was once a highlight of America’s dark history is now a symbol of salvation and hope for the population. A massive influx of people forced the US government to extend the city and build outside the old walls. A new wall was built around the reformed city, to protect if from the outside world.

In 2050, Retrocity is referred as an ultrapolis.

But the City has not changed. It is starving and hungry for souls to devour. And the Black Heart remains.

1 « J'aime »

Face à Cyberpunk Red qui va sortir en VF, mon choix de nostalgique de mes grandes heures de rôlistes sera vite fait :wink:

2 « J'aime »

Tout pareil ! Cyberpunk forever ! D’autant plus que le background de ce Retrocity ne m’attire pas plus que ça.

C’est rigolo, l’article du fix que je cite sur le sujet Metro 2033 se termine par :

Enfin, surprise, alors qu’on s’attendait à tout moment à l’annonce de la reprise de la gamme Mutant : Yera Zero (jeu remarquable de ces dernières années mais dont la VF a été lâchement abandonnée en pleine campagne – vous l’avez ? – par Sans Détour) par AAP, plus qu’en très bons termes avec Fria Ligan, on découvre finalement que c’est Metro 2033 qui sera motorisé par ce système de jeu. Il serait alors étonnant que AAP s’impose ensuite sa propre concurrence en se chargeant d’un autre jeu post apo sous le même système. Dommage.

il semblerait qu’AAP soir prêt à s’imposer sa propre concurrence sur le cyberpunk…

Du nouveau du côté de ce futur RPG de Bastien Lecouffe Dehadme avec des illustrations, une future partie en live et du background…

We play live on Friday!

An odd encounter in the streets of Old Retrocity

Last night’s writing for Retrocity RPG.
I had to go back to the specific neighborhoods where my original 2011 graphic novel takes place.
Hope you connect with that!

Inside the black wall

A city within the City. Inside. Separated from the other sectors by a gigantic black wall. Unbreakable. A monumental monster of concrete. Vestige of the original Project Retrocity.

The wall is made of massive towers of dark stones, linked together by more blackened sections of concrete. Each tower was built to keep the city from outsiders, and to watch the people on the inside. Giant light projectors ornate the top of the miradors, and they are still functional! In fact, the beams of light can reach such a distance that police still uses them to push the shadows away from the darkest areas of the old city’s forgotten neighborhoods.

The nine gates of the old walls are now permanently opened. The heavy and rusted portcullises kept up. I heard that when Project retrocity was built, about a century ago, the only access to the inside was by train. Each gate was also a station where the original inhabitants were being delivered. The old rails are now mostly covered, but some remain visible in the asphalt. Cold and polished pieces of steel that have reflected many faces from the past.

Past the wall, an entire city awaits. With its own structure. Public squares, apartment buildings, sky scrappers and malls. A city within the City. A place that had been locked on itself for so long that its streets still smell like death and oblivion.

When the government reopened the wall, decades ago, the citizens left the old city to relocate in new, more modern, neighborhoods of the current city. The Old Retrocity was already underpopulated because of the experiments and the afflictions, so when the gates finally opened it became a ghost town.

The silent streets

Not many cops patrol the old Retrocity. It’s not like there is anybody there anyway.

I mean, there are people as well as some kind of police presence in a few neighborhoods, but so many areas are just completely abandoned, and nobody goes there.

It’s a dark place. A testimony of all the sick business operated within the walls for decades. Busts of broken androids suspended by chains between the facades of the buildings, the camera in their eyes still operating, skeletons of mechanical animals lying on the asphalt forever. Opened doors of empty buildings. Blackened facades. Curtains flying out of broken windows.

From what I heard, when the Hover Corporation started to intensify the experimentations during the previous century, they hit the population pretty hard. Deaths, disappearances. So much that entire zones simply became empty. Empty-ish I would say. A lot of inhabitants stayed there anyway, because they were sick. At the final stages of their diseases. They merged with the walls, with the doors and the street lights. Their souls are still there. Trapped forever, I guess.

I will never forget the night I followed an individual into the old city. I was parked at the crossroad, waiting for the guy to leave the apartment he just walked in. The window of the interceptor was half opened. To let the cigarette smoke escape while trying at the same time to not let the rain soak my shoulder. I heard a voice, someone calling “hey sir … sir?”. I could see no one around and it took me a minute to realize that the streetlight pole was talking to me. It was a bit crooked, old piece of painted metal with odd shapes like a rib cage and a tortured face. It was asking for a smoke.

I have seen and heard of many cases of Retroprocessus, but I will never forget this one. We chatted a minute under the rain. Me at the window of my car, and him a piece of metal shining under the neon light. He told me his story. How he stayed there after she left him. He looked at her crossing the street to never come back, and he stayed there. He lit a cigarette, his back against the cold pole, and he stayed for a moment. This moment never ended.

Then the guy I was after came out of the apartment. I turned the key and started the car.

And the guy led me straight to another area I suggest you avoid by all means.

People who know about this place call it “The Black Heart”.

The Black Heart

I was afraid you would ask.

Where Coliseum Street crosses 39th, at what is said to be the exact center of Old Retrocity, is the Black Heart.

If you search for it, you will find it. Lost in the middle of the abandoned neighborhood. The serpenting streets are all leading to it. Not a soul around. Even the rats ran away from it. If you stop a moment to let the echo of your steps dissipate between the buildings walls, you will feel it. More and more as you get closer. The slow pulse. The heartbeat.

If you search for it, you will find it. Some say they followed the whispers. Others speak of the subtle melody that got them there. I parked my car and just followed the pulse.

And there it was standing.

A massive cube of black stone. At least twenty stories tall. I don’t know if it’s some kind of polished concrete or actual marble, but its surface has a shine that reflects the neon light from the buildings around. It has no doors, no windows, no apparent openings. The cube is warm and a mist surrounds it when it rains, slowly rising to the sky in odd designs and shapes.

For all your questions the answer is the same: I don’t know.

Nobody knows.

Nobody knows when it was built, or if it was built.

Nobody remembers what was there before it was.

Nobody knows if it has a purpose.

Citizens avoid the place at all cost. They refuse to mention it in conversations. In fact, the denial is so strong that most people do not even know it is there.

And yet, for some it became an obsession. Some people have seen the Heart in their dreams and can describe it with great accuracy even if they swear that they have never been there.

And among those who have seen it, many have given correlating testimonies about windows appearing on the dark facades, and silhouettes staring at them through the warm glow of light before vanishing as they appeared.

I just don’t know.

Don’t go there.

I never went back. And if I ever do, it will be to try to get back this part of myself that remained there, trapped forever in the black stone and the mist.

Where the life still goes on!

And despite all of this, life still goes on in the Old Retrocity. Among the deserted zones left without power, some areas still maintain a pseudo normal activity. Stores, boutiques and various center of activities, still stuck in this vintage style of the previous decades. As if Old Retrocity was still evolving at its own pace, no matter the fact that the wall’s gates are now open.

The government and the Corporation are actively trying to re-populate the old city, and it seems like it’s beginning to work! The cheap interest rates and competitive mortgages are clearly very appealing for a certain part of Retrocity’s population.

So people came back to the (still) active neighborhoods first, and today they are starting to invest in the forgotten neighborhoods and the empty streets.

And I don’t know what to think about that. There is a darkness there.

What is really going on?

The facts talk for themselves: there are a lot more cases of sick people within the walls of the old city than anywhere else in Retrocity. And when I say “sick”, I mean “afflicted” by one of the three diseases that are officially considered as remnants of the past experimentations.

If you ask me, it is suspicious that even the Hover Corporation decided to relocate their building away from Old Retrocity. They rebuilt the same twin towers outside of the wall, close to the Hills. So now there are four of them, the old twin towers left behind in the old city, and the new ones, built identically, but somewhere else!

Landmarks and important places

  • Bar Hooker’s where William goes
  • The blue hotel
  • Androids Graveyard


To refuse to see, to deny, to forget, to remain quiet

1 « J'aime »

Ce sont les suédois de Helmgast qui éditeront Retrocity.

I have been truly excited about this one, and it is time to finally let you all know what is cooking:

Helmgast and I are teaming up to bring the Role Playing Game ‘RETROCITY / Into the Long Night’ to life. This dark, haunted, adult noir game is based on my graphic novel Memories of Retrocity published in 2011.

There is yet no release date but you may learn more, and follow the progress of the game.

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme en a dit un peu plus sur le système.

It will be a pool system. Very basic, very efficient and narrative oriented.
Also I am building a card system for the ones who want to push the « noir » mood a step further. Both systems use the same character sheets.

Mathieu Saintout, le boss d’Arkhane Asylum, était l’invité mardi soir de la chaîne Roliste TV. Ils en ont profité pour faire le point sur toute l’actualité chaude du moment. Voici ce qu’il a dit concernant Retrocity…

Pour l’instant Retrocity n’est pas encore ouvert à la négociation. Même si on a déjà signé avec Helmgast avec qui on vient de faire Kult. Ça en est là. Pour l’instant ils sont toujours en développement et ils ont juste annoncé leur collaboration. Ils n’ont pas de date de sortie. Rien. Evidemment que si c’est disponible sur le marché français, on se fera un plaisir de le proposer à la communauté française. Voilà ce sera l’occasion de rebosser avec Bastien. Pour l’instant il n’y a pas de négociation en fait parce qu’il n’y a rien de proposé.