The Empire City Blast was a devastating explosion that occurred in the Historic District of Empire City, killing thousands of civilians, and in turn, led to a successive chain of events, the most notable being the rebirth of courier Cole MacGrath as an electrokinetic Conduit and conception of the Ray Field Plague.
Coming from a ravaged future by an entity known as the Beast, Cole MacGrath, who took the name Kessler, went back in time to rewrite history in an attempt to save his past self from suffering the same fate. After running some tests at New Marais courtesy of Dr. Sebastian Wolfe, Kessler had the Ray Sphere delivered to Empire City, where he ran even more tests on it. From human subjects to animals, Kessler tested all possibilities and outcomes to assure that his past self will not suffer. Along the way, NSA Agent John White assisted Kessler with the device, often carrying and protecting it in his absence.
Kessler also had the First Sons organize everything, locating Cole, when and where the package was delivered, and the coming after effects.
After the initial tests, Kessler was finally ready to trigger the consecutive chain of events, and had the package delivered to somewhere in the Historic District of Empire City, and specifically chose courier Cole MacGrath to deliver the package when he made the call. He also had a back-up plan prepared in case the initial test goes wrong.
After he was in place, Kessler called Cole and told him to open the package. The moment he did, a large catastrophic explosion occurred immediately, sending vehicles flying and leveling city blocks as the time passed by. Thousands died, though it gave way to the awakening of the nearby Conduit's powers, most notably Cole MacGrath's powers.
Right after the Blast and Cole's hospitalization, a lethal plague struck the city, which was consecutively followed by rioting, theft of property, rapes, and several other crimes. In an attempt to contain the threat, the government issued a Quarantine on the city, condemning everyone in the city with the most notorious criminals. With no law enforcement, the civilians were nearly pinned down by the criminal factions, and Empire City nearly fell in ruins.
Right after the fourth day, Cole awoke, now with new found powers. While it did cause Cole to gain powers, the event has caused much dismay to the citizens of Empire City, which was redirected at Cole after Dallas, the "Voice of Survival", broadcasted a video of Cole delivering the very package that caused the explosion. Early on in the game (whether Cole's Karma was positive or negative), civilians will show a dislike for Cole, blaming him for the event. Also, Trish Dailey broke up with Cole after seeing the broadcast because the Blast killed her sister, Amy. Kessler was successful, and watched as everything else fell into place.
Kessler and Cole later had their final confrontation on Ground Zero, the crater left behind by the blast. Later on, Cole has a flashback of the crater at Empire City after seeing the very crater left behind by a similar event near the city of New Marais.
- The size of the Empire City Blast has been inconsistent, being stated differently during each installment. While in Infamous, it was stated to have destroyed 6 square blocks, it was stated differently in Infamous 2, stated to have destroyed 5 blocks.
- Though some characters themselves (John White, among others), weren't sure on how many blocks the Blast has leveled, stating somewhere between 5 to 6 blocks.