The average citizen of Mega-City One regards the subterranean Undercity as an urban myth. Every juve who attends the MegaSchools knows that Mega-City One was built on top of the east coast of the former United States of America, engulfing old cities with strange and exotic names such as ‘Washington DC’ or ‘New York City’. Eld-shelter residents may retain vague memories of these semi-mythical places. Most citizens believe the old cities were destroyed when the construction of the Mega-City began, with only the occasional dilapidated structure – landmarks such as the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty – salvaged as historical landmarks. Only a few citizens know that the east coast landscapes of pre-war America continue to stand in the cold darkness beneath City Bottom, a subterranean mausoleum preserving these archaic structures for all time.
The homeless vagrant who scrapes a pathetic existence on City Bottom can be forgiven for believing that he is the lowest of the low, the mile high silhouettes of the surrounding cityblocks serving as a constant reminder that he ranks at the very bottom of Mega-City One society. Just a few yards beneath his scrawny feet, thousands of living beings strive to survive against the primordial plagues of hunger and thirst, and fight for their lives against other denizens who have mutated in horrific ways, perfectly adapted to the eerie and hostile concrete and brick landscape.
In the constant darkness of the buried cities a new civilisation has developed. Almost completely cut off from human progress and sunlight, mankind has been forced to rapidly adapt to life in the shadows. A stable mutant strain has developed at an incredible rate, producing squat, twisted creatures capable of seeing in absolute darkness called troggies. In addition, refugees of the terrible disasters that regularly beset the Mega-City seek out the Undercity’s dubious protection. Vicious criminals fleeing from the judges locate cracks in City Bottom, risking life and limb to squeeze through and make a bid for freedom down below. Cursed Earth mutants avoid the Cursed Earth’s harsh environment by chipping at Mega-City One’s foundations until they can enter the Undercity. Hundreds of Citi-Def units eagerly embark on training missions into the Undercity every year – many fail to make the grade and either become hopelessly lost, or killed by the troggie natives, hungry for food.
Apart from humans and human mutants, many other creatures make the Undercity their home. Some are useful to the humans, such as the rats that thrive in the ruined streets and buildings, serving as an inexhaustible food supply. Mutant strains of giant bats and pigs provide the raw materials for much of the primitive technology utilised by the human tribes. At the top of the food chain are giant albino gators that emerge from the old sewer systems to prey on anything not fast enough to avoid their lethal jaws. Huge cockroaches mutated by toxic and radioactive waste create elaborate traps for their enemies. Groups of renegade robots, escapees from the First Robot War, fiercely defend their territory. Zombies, who remain animated despite the death of Sabbat the Necromancer, their creator, and human cannibals transformed into ghouls by the Sisters of Death, form their own tribes alongside several strains of werewolf. Old enemies of humanity like the vampire and the wurdolak feed off the blood of the Undercity dwellers.
Mega-City One citizens brave – or foolish - enough to venture down into the Undercity, rarely stay for long – if they survive to leave at all. Even the judges prefer not to trespass unless the city’s safety depends on them doing so. Remarkably, some judges choose to end their careers patrolling the Undercity, taking the Long Walk into the unknown. Those who survive are often affected physically and mentally by their new home, and none ever leave the Undercity unscathed.
This source book is a comprehensive guide to the Undercity and its inhabitants for The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game. It details the Undercity’s geography, habitats, population, dangers and wonders, as well as providing lots of new characters, weapons, vehicles and equipment. Games Masters now have a new stratum of Mega-City One society to explore, an exciting and unusual setting for one-off scenarios or lengthy campaigns.